We have another set of playoff games tonight, and hopefully we can start getting some more competitive games on a consistent basis.
Once again the big injury news on the night is the status of Stephen Curry. When you watch him do drills on the court, the injury doesn’t look too bad, but the Warriors are going to be extremely cautious with him. The Rockets have shown basically zero fight so they don’t really need him for this series, and from hearing Curry talk it sounds like he could be closer to doubtful tonight. For this article I’ll assume he’ll sit another game, but this is a situation we’ll have to monitor throughout the day before finalizing our FanDuel lineups.
Shaun Livingston, Golden State Warriors, $3,700 – If Curry sits again, there are six Warriors I’d give consideration, but on FanDuel we are limited to just four. Livingston certainly makes the cut as one of my four favorite Warriors, considering he’ll draw another start at PG if Curry sits. He played 29 minutes last game and produced 29 FD points, and along with his teammate Andre Iguodala, is the premier value on the slate. He’ll be highly owned, but he’s a very tough fade, and I’d definitely plug him into every cash game lineup if Curry is out.
Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder, $10,500 – The Thunder were feeling a little too good about themselves after their Game 1 blowout over the Mavs, and the Mavs came out and smacked them back to reality in Game 2. Coming off that loss, I think we see a focused and angry Thunder team, so I love this spot for both Westbrook and Durant. Westbrook has a floor of around 45 FD points, and he’s shot just 15-of-37 in this series, so if shoots the ball better then we should see that 60 FD point upside that we saw in the regular season.
Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors, $7,500 – With Curry in the lineup, Klay has been really average against Houston this season. However, in the two games against Houston that Curry has missed, Klay has averaged 36 PPG. He gets a big usage bump and is a plug and play at a weak position if Curry is out.
Wesley Matthews, Dallas Mavericks, $4,700 – As a Rockets fan, it’s tough not to recommend Harden, especially with the SG position so weak, but the Rockets are in disarray. I do think he’ll probably have one good scoring night in these last two games, so I’ll get some tournament exposure to him, but for cash games I’m prioritizing the OKC duo and the Warriors duo of Klay and Draymond (assuming Curry is out). There are a couple of potential value options in Devin Harris and Rodney Stuckey, but they are dependent on the status of J.J. Barea and Monta Ellis. Wesley Matthews isn’t exciting, but he’s going to play a ton of minutes. He’s been terrible offensively this series, but he still managed 19 FD points last game and he’s just 1-of-13 from three point land in this series. He’s a guy who shot 36% this season and 39% for his career from beyond the arc, so if some of those shots finally start falling he should be in the 20 to 25 FD point range.
Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder, $10,200 – He was downright terrible in the Game 2 loss, shooting just 7-for-33 from the field. I love taking superstars after a bad game because I’m expecting a big bounce back effort to get that bad taste out of his mouth, and he’s extremely unlikely to shoot that poorly again. Durant is one of the elite scorers in this generation and I think we see him bounce back with a big day scoring the ball.
Andre Iguodala, Golden State Warriors, $3,900 – If Curry is out, prepare to stack up those Warriors, and Iguodala is a guy that sees a big usage bump and is still dirt cheap. He shot the ball extremely well from three-point land in the last game, and I wouldn’t expect that again. However, he has the ball in his hands a lot more with Curry off the floor and helps initiate the offense along with Livingston. At just $3,900, he’s one of the first guys into my cash game lineups, but I do think he’ll be highly owned, so his teammate Harrison Barnes is a potential pivot in a large field tournament.
Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors, $9,000 – I don’t mind Andrew Bogut and Harrison Barnes, but if Curry is out, my four favorite Warriors are Livingston, Thompson, Iguodala, and Draymond. Dray is really in play regardless of whether Curry plays becuase he racks up so many peripheral stats and the Rockets have struggled against PF all season long.
Patrick Patterson, Toronto Raptors, $3,900 – I’ll also have some Serge Ibaka at PF, but if you need more value at PF, Patterson is the other value option I’m eyeing. He’s coming off the bench, but he’s averaged 29.5 MPG so far in this series and just over 21 FD PPG. The Pacers are a solid defensive team, but if I’m going to attack them, I want to do it with interior players.
Also Consider – Serge Ibaka
Jonas Valanciunas, Toronto Raptors, $6,500 – He’s been terrific in each of the first two games, and his price has remained cheap around the industry. The Pacers have struggled with big men at times this year, and Valanciunas even gave them some problems in the regular season. Ian Mahinmi is a little banged up and Valanciunas has completely dominated, averaging 17 points and 17 rebounds. I will say that I expect him to be extremely high owned and he does have the potential to get in foul trouble (and got away with an offensive foul or two in Game 2), so he’s a guy that is a potential fade in a large field GPP, but I certainly would make sure to get plenty of exposure to him in cash games.