It’s the second day of the NBA playoffs, and the most important thing to consider is the minutes bump that a lot of players are going to get now that they’re not being coddled during the regular season. The perfect example is the Spurs. The starters should see normal minutes, and given they’ve drawn a tough first round matchup with the Clippers, that will likely result in a bunch of close, high-scoring games. We’re going to start seeing more consistent production, and more upside from Spurs players that were unusable for most of the regular season.
Let’s take a look at who I’ll be targeting tonight on FanDuel. Good luck!
Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs, $5200 – Expect to see a lot of Spurs recommendations, as we can finally rely on them to play a normal allotment of minutes. This isn’t the regular season, and the Spurs can’t afford to risk winning games in order to preserve their players. Their minutes are limited during the regular season in order to keep them fresh and able to play 30+ minutes nightly when the playoffs come around. This series with the Clippers is likely going to be the most competitive series, and I expect each game to be close and high-scoring.
Parker is a steal at $5200 as he’s priced like a player that doesn’t play full minutes a majority of the team, and is often uninvolved in the team’s offense. Expect that to change in the postseason. I’m looking for Parker to come out aggressive and be the player that we saw during various productive stretches in the regular season.
Jeff Teague, Atlanta Hawks, $6800 – Teague’s price is down due to injury and inconsistent minutes down the stretch of the regular season. The Hawks had the #1 seed wrapped up for quite some time, so there was no need for Teague to really push himself. The playoffs are different, and while we expect the Hawks to win this series easily, we just saw the Pelicans push the Warriors for four quarters last night, so anything is possible. Teague has already torched this team a couple of times this season, and with games meaning something again, I expect him to come out hot and abuse Deron Williams, who has never been known as much of a defender.
Manu Ginobili, San Antonio Spurs, $4000 – Ginobili is incredibly cheap, and I think we see him play somewhere around 30 minutes tonight, including being in the game down the stretch. He’s priced like a guy playing 15-20 minutes and not doing a whole lot, and that’s definitely going to change tonight. He’s a very good per-minute producer, and if he sees 30 or more minutes, he’s going to easily pay off his price tag and then some.
Kyle Korver, Atlanta Hawks, $4900 – Were this game in Brooklyn, I’d be recommending Joe Johnson, but I have concerns about the Nets being able to keep this game close. Shooting guard is not a strong position (Evan Turner is the most expensive option), and while I don’t typically target Korver, at least I know I’m going to get well over 30 minutes and the chance of a big game.
Additional Plays: Joe Johnson, CJ McCollum
Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs, $8400 – If there’s one thing we can count on, it’s that Kawhi Leonard is going to play at an absolutely elite level in the postseason. He carried the Spurs over the Heat in last year’s Finals, and I expect him to dominate a Clippers team that has no one that can defend him. He’s an elite player on both ends of the floor, and he contributes in every counting category. Expect a bump in minutes, as this series is going to force both teams to really ride their starters. We’ve seen Leonard post elite numbers in just over 20 minutes of court time, and what he’ll be able to do with possibly 40 minutes will easily pay off his $8400 price tag.
LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers, $10800 – I don’t really think Boston is going to keep this game close, but small forward is a tough position, so I think it makes sense to go ahead and get LeBron in your lineups if you can make it work. You’re going to have to make concessions somewhere, but if LeBron posts a huge line, it might not even matter if the guy you rostered to make him fit doesn’t do well. If Boston does manage to keep the game close, we could see a monster performance out of LeBron that will lock you out of the money if you decided to fade him.
Additional Plays: DeMarre Carroll
Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs, $7500 – Like the other Spurs, Duncan is going to be locked into the minutes we wish that he played during the regular season. I’m expecting a big line from a lot of players in this game, and Duncan is just one of them. This is certainly the game to target tonight, and with Duncan capable of giving you meaningful contributions in every scoring category, he makes for a very high floor, high ceiling play tonight.
Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers, $9600 – We’ll continue targeting the Clippers – Spurs game with Griffin, who should be in for a monster night. I expect that Chris Paul will see a good amount of Kawhi Leonard, which is going to limit his upside. It’ll force Griffin to pick up some of the slack, and I expect a big game from Griffin. He’s going to take a ton of shots, he’ll be active on the glass, and since the offense runs through him, he earns a fair amount of assists as well. Expect a shootout here, and very big fantasy score from Griffin.
Marc Gasol, Memphis Grizzlies, $7500 – Gasol’s production toward the end of the season was extraordinary, and now he’ll get a chance to improve upon it, as he should be in line for a few more minutes per game in the playoffs. He’ll get a sizeable boost if Mike Conley is unable to play, as he’ll be responsible for facilitating the offense more and should get more assists. He’s already a guy that contributes in every category, and he’s an extremely high floor play that I think has a ton of upside today as well.
DeAndre Jordan, Los Angeles Clippers, $9300 – I think Gasol and Jordan are the two best options at center. A Hawks blowout over the Nets concerns me, but I know that these other two games are going to stay close. DeAndre Jordan is likely in for a big game, and with him, it’s really just about how much he manages to score. We know he’s going to grab a ton of rebounds and block a handful of shots, and when he scores 15-20 points, his upside is massive. My advice would be to use whichever center works with the rest of your lineup, which will likely be Gasol because he’s significantly cheaper.