The NBA playoffs are here, and one thing we can be certain about is that we won’t have any starters receiving any rest days. Rotations are going to tighten, and every game will be treated like a must-win because every game matters. We have four games to work with today on FanDuel, and plenty of solid options. Good luck, and enjoy a much less stressful version of DFS basketball.
Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors, $7700 – I’m going to be targeting the Raptors and Wizards quite a bit as I expect this game to be to be close and high-scoring. Lowry is underpriced for me considering this is a playoff game and he’ll likely play close to 40 minutes. He tuned up for playoffs by dropping 44 fantasy points on Charlotte, and I’m expecting a big performance from him again against Washington.
Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls, $6200 – Rose is priced like a guy playing limited minutes, but I expect he’ll return to normal minutes in the playoffs. He’s just too cheap, and while he’s been inconsistent at times, he just has too much upside relative to his price to ignore. Milwaukee is a good defensive team, but if Rose gets going, he can get you 40 or more fantasy points, which would be terrific at his price.
Lou Williams, Toronto Raptors, $5200 – The Raptors strongly feel that Williams deserves to win Sixth Man of the Year, and I’m sure he’s going to get his chances in the playoffs. He’s going to play around 30 minutes of the bench, and you couldn’t ask for a more consistent game log. With rotations tightening, he may even play a few more minutes, and with so many high-priced options, you’re going to need solid value plays like Williams to round out a solid roster.
Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors, $7300 – I think the high-priced shooting guard options are a bit over-priced, though you can always get a monster performance out of James Harden. The problem is having to fit him into your lineup and not making too many concessions elsewhere. I like Klay Thompson as a high floor, high ceiling play that should be good for at least 30 fantasy points. If he gets hot, he can get you well over 40, and the only real concern here is the likely blowout since Golden State is so good at home.
Paul Pierce, Washington Wizards, $4200 – Pierce is priced like a player getting about 20 minutes each night, and that will likely change in the postseason. He should see over 30 minutes now that every game is important, and he’s even been told to expect to play some power forward, which should give him a production boost over his typical small forward role. Small forward is by far the weakest position tonight, but at least Pierce has a chance to give you decent production relative to his price, and the cap savings allows you to spend at better positions.
Trevor Ariza, Houston Rockets, $6400 – Ariza isn’t a guy that’s going to go off and give you huge production, but you know he’s going to play heavy minutes, and he’s not going to give you a dud. The contest between the Rockets and Mavericks is projected to have the highest score of the night, and given the expected fast pace, I like Ariza to get around 30 fantasy points. The Mavericks don’t defend the wing positions very well, and he should get free for some open three-point looks.
Additional Plays: Draymond Green
Ersan Ilyasova, Milwaukee Bucks, $5200 – A road matchup with the Bulls is a tough draw, but Pau Gasol isn’t exactly an imposing defensive presence. My expectation is that Jason Kidd tightens up the rotations, and that the starters see extra court time, so hopefully we get more out of Ilyasova than we saw toward the end of the season. At this price, he’s capable of giving you a very solid return on your investment. Like Lou Williams, he’s another value play that I think you need to consider in order to build a balanced lineup.
Terrence Jones, Houston Rockets, $5900 – Jones’ minutes have been all over the place, but I expect a more stable playoff rotation now that the games really mean something. He should play at least 30 minutes, and he has tremendous upside at this low price. Dallas is a poor rebounding team, so expect Jones to grab plenty of rebounds, and he should be in line for a double-double with some blocked shots. He’s another fairly cheap option that allows you some roster flexibility.
Dwight Howard, Houston Rockets, $7400 – Howard isn’t going to play huge minutes, but word is that he may play around 32. Considering he’s been paying off his price tag in fewer minutes than that, and he’s facing a Dallas team that doesn’t rebound well, I like his chances for around a 35-40 fantasy point performance. He’s been a terrific per-minute producer since returning from injury, and I expect that to continue against the Mavericks.
Marcin Gortat, Washington Wizards, $7400 – Gortat probably has more upside than Howard, given he’ll play more minutes. He’s also been producing at a very high level lately, and he hasn’t had any bad games since a poor performance against Memphis, which was to be expected. After underperforming for very long stretches of the season, Gortat is playing at a high level, and that should continue against Toronto. I expect this to be a very close, hard-fought series, and each game should be close and highly competitive. Expect Gortat to play more minutes than he typically does, which will only serve to boost his average production.