As we near the end of the first round of the playoffs, the slates will continue to get smaller and smaller. Tonight will be one of the last times during the playoffs with three games on the schedule. We have two teams that are facing elimination tonight (Bucks and Blazers) and another one that is looking to tie the series up at two games apiece (Nets). With all of that in mind, let’s get to my top picks for tonight’s contests on FanDuel.
Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls (Salary: $6100, FPPG: 27.8, MPG: 31, Usage Rate: 30.9)
The Bucks were able to slow Rose down in Game 3, but for whatever reason, he is still only listed at $6,100 on FanDuel. He will likely be 80%+ owned in cash games, which makes fading him a very risky proposition. Rose looks as healthy as he has in years and he as averaged 39 fantasy points per game in this series. He offers tremendous upside at his price point, making him close to a must-start tonight on FanDuel.
Beno Udrih, Memphis Grizzlies (Salary: $3800, FPPG: 14.2, MPG: 19, Usage Rate: 19.6)
Much like J.J. Barea has been a must-start for the Mavericks the last two games, Udrih is now a must-start for the Grizzlies. He is a much-needed source of value, as he will draw the start for the injured Mike Conley. Udrih has played well in this series and he will immediately push for 30+ minutes of action. The Blazers have struggled to defend point guards all season and Udrih should be able to reach and exceed value with ease.
Joe Johnson, Brooklyn Nets (Salary: $6400, FPPG: 25.8, MPG: 35, Usage Rate: 20.9)
Johnson has been terrific in this series, averaging 17 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists in 41 minutes per game. He played 42 minutes in Game 3 and should see a similar allotment tonight in a must-win Game 4 at home. The Nets are going to continue to lean on him offensively and he’s had no trouble putting up points, even in his difficult one-on-one matchup against DeMarre Carroll.
Kyle Korver, Atlanta Hawks (Salary: $5200, FPPG: 22, MPG: 33, Usage Rate: 14.2)
The Nets were able to contain Kyle Korver in Game 3, holding him to only two points. He finished with 16 fantasy points, which was by far the lowest fantasy output that he has had in this series. The Hawks will look to get him going again in Game 4. He’s shown that he has 30+ fantasy point type of upside in this matchup and he is still listed at the bargain-bin price of $5,200 on FanDuel.
Nicolas Batum, Portland Trail Blazers (Salary: $6400, FPPG: 25.1, MPG: 34, Usage Rate: 14.6)
Batum is coming off of a huge outing in Game 3, finishing with 40 fantasy points 42 minutes of playing time. He should see all of the minutes that he can handle in a must-win game tonight at home. In addition to his extended minutes, Batum also sees a small fantasy boost at home. He has averaged nearly three more fantasy points per game at home than he has on the road since the start of last season.
DeMarre Carroll, Atlanta Hawks (Salary: $5800, FPPG: 23.6, MPG: 31, Usage Rate: 16.6)
Carroll has been productive in this series, averaging 27 fantasy points in 34 minutes per contest. He hasn’t shot well from the floor, yet he has still been productive thanks to his ability to fill up all areas of the stat sheet. With small forward being such a thin position tonight on FanDuel, Carroll is one of the best plays at the position. He needs roughly 29 fantasy points to reach value, a feat that he has accomplished four times in his last nine games.
LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland Trail Blazers (Salary: $9400, FPPG: 39.8, MPG: 36, Usage Rate: 29.9)
Even at his elevated price point, Aldridge is the premier play at power forward tonight. He has been terrific in this series, averaging 48 fantasy points in 43 minutes per contest. The Blazers need a win to avoid being swept by the Grizzlies and I expect a huge performance from their star player tonight. It also helps that there are a couple of value plays on the board, as it makes it very easy to fit Aldridge into your lineups.
John Henson, Milwaukee Bucks (Salary: $4800, FPPG: 17.5, MPG: 18, Usage Rate: 18.7)
Henson is the one Bucks’ player that I will have a heavy exposure to tonight. Through the first four games of the series, he has averaged 26 fantasy points in 29 minutes per contest. He should see minutes in the upper 20’s in tonight’s must-win game against the Bulls. He is still priced under $5,000 on FanDuel, which means he only needs to score 24 fantasy points to reach value tonight.
Marc Gasol, Memphis Grizzlies (Salary: $8400, FPPG: 35.3, MPG: 34, Usage Rate: 24.7)
The Grizzlies’ offense already runs through Gasol on a large number of possessions, but that number may be even higher tonight with Mike Conley out. Gasol can score when needed and he’s also one of the best facilitating big men in the NBA. His price has come up on FanDuel, but he remains an elite play, even at his elevated price point. He has averaged 43 fantasy points per game in this series and should post a similar outing tonight in Game 4.