We have another round of playoffs starting up tonight, and hopefully we can get another solid game out of Toronto and Indiana, because the Western Conference playoffs have been blowout city so far.
Below you’ll find who I’m targeting at each position on FanDuel.
Raymond Felton, Dallas Mavericks, $4,700 – The Mavericks are expected to be without both Deron Williams and J.J. Barea tonight, and with Wesley Matthews already playing big minutes at SF due to Chandler Parsons’ injury, there will be tons of minutes and usage to go around at PG and SG. I don’t think Dallas keeps this all that competitive, but Felton should be forced into huge minutes and started the second half of last game for Barea.
*UPDATE* - It appears Deron Williams went through shootaround, but he is still listed as doubtful for tonight.
In terms of the second PG spot, we’re really in wait and see mode due to Stephen Curry’s ankle injury. Shaun Livingston is listed as questionable with an illness, but if Curry sits, I’d fully expect him to play and draw the start. At bare minimum price, he’d be a guy to plug into your NBA lineups, and is actually worthy of consideration even if Curry plays. The Warriors could easily roll in this one again, and would be likely to take it easy on Curry in that scenario. Livingston put up 20 FD points in Game 1 -- he played extended minutes due to the blowout -- and value is tough to come by on a short three-game playoff slate. If Curry does play and you’re looking to spend at PG, I’d give the edge to Westbrook, because I am somewhat concerned the Warriors would lighten Curry’s load -- the second half of Game 1 showed they really don’t need him to dispatch a weak Rockets team.
James Harden, Houston Rockets, $10,300 - I like to attack superstars who are coming off of poor games because we sometimes get a dip in ownership on them. Due to the three game slate, we probably won’t see quite the same ownership dip tonight, but it still could be a little down as Harden was definitely awful in Game One. The Rockets are very unlikely to make this a competitive series, but I do expect Harden to bounce back and go down swinging – at least offensively. He averaged 27.7 PPG, 5.7 RPG and 5.0 APG against the Warriors in the regular season and 28.4 PPG, 7.8 RPG, and 6.4 APG against them in the Western Conference Finals last year so Game One looks like the exception and not the rule.
Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors, $7,200 – This pick hinges on the status of Stephen Curry. If Curry sits then I’ll look to squeeze Klay into my lineups because he’ll pick up a lot more shots, and he put up 38 points against Houston earlier this year with Curry sidelined. However, if Curry plays I’ll either spend the extra money for DeRozan or punt the second SG spot with one of Wesley Matthews or Devin Harris, who should both see huge minutes with Barea and Williams expected to miss tonight. The reason for that is that Thompson hasn’t been very good against Houston with Curry in the lineup either this regular season or in last year’s playoffs.
Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder, $10,300 – The blowout really hurt Durant’s numbers in Game 1 and it’s certainly a concern again tonight. I think most people could very opt to save the $1,300 with George due to his big game last game. I certainly have no issue with that approach, especially in cash games, but for tournaments I’ll pay up to be contrarian with Durant. DeMarre Carroll is expected to get more minutes in Game 2, which is a slight downgrade to George because Carroll is a quality defender, and we know Durant can go off for 50+ FD points in only 30 minutes.
Harrison Barnes, Golden State Warriors, $4,700 – He’s not exciting, but there’s not a ton to like in terms of cheap SF. He’s very likely to finish with 20 to 25 FanDuel points, and with the Rockets putting Trevor Ariza on Draymond Green and Klay Thompson, he draws some of their weaker defenders in James Harden and Corey Brewer. He was just 3-12 in Game 1 but still managed to put up 20 FD points, which is a positive sign going forward in this series. If Curry happens to sit, I’d also bump up Andre Iguodala; he could see some time as a point-forward in that scenario.
Serge Ibaka, Oklahoma City Thunder, $5,900 – Dirk Nowitzki has never been a great defender, and at this stage in career, he is really struggling on that side of the ball. The Mavericks finished 25th in DvP against PF on the season, and Ibaka took advantage in Game 1 with 17 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocks. It will be tough to fit in both Westbrook and Durant tonight so Ibaka provides more exposure to the Oklahoma City offense to go along with whichever Thunder superstar you roll with.
Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors, $8,900 – The PF position is very thin tonight and Green is head and shoulders above everyone else at the position. He put up 41 FD points in only 33 minutes in Game 1, and the Rockets were 29th in DvP against PF in the regular season. Unlike Klay Thompson I think he’s in play even if Curry sits since he produces so many peripheral stats, but he also sees an uptick in usage should Curry sit.
Jonas Valanciunas, Toronto Raptors, $6,100 – Valanciunas came through with a big performance in Game 1 when he put up 12 points and 19 rebounds in only 21 minutes. He was limited by foul trouble as well as Dwane Casey’s reluctance to play him big minutes. Indiana is a rock solid defensive team, but they have struggled on the glass at times this year, and if Toronto is going to regain control of this series, I think Casey has to get Valanciunas’ minutes up to at least 30. In addition to his big Game 1, he also put up 21 points and 15 rebounds earlier this year against Indiana, so he’s a guy that Indiana struggles to account for.
Also Consider - Enes Kanter