Not only is weekend afternoon basketball good for the soul; it doesn’t hurt for daily fantasy purposes either.
Today presents an acceptable four-game playoff slate with enough necessary value to complement the top-dollar headliners (cough...Aminu and Barea…cough, cough). I have provided a complete breakdown of every matchup below, outlining what players you should attack, avoid, and keep on your tournament radar.
Enjoy the games today, everyone!
Cleveland @ Boston: 203 over/under, Cavs -7
Following satisfying performances in Game 1 and 2, Kyrie put up a fantasy clunker in Game #3. Due to substantial opportunity cost at the point guard position, I’m viewing him as more of a tournament option at $7,900 on FanDuel … Speaking of tournament plays, Isaiah Thomas is my favorite sneaky pick of the day. He torched the Cavs last Sunday and Tuesday, before a concentrated defensive effort slowed him down in Game #3. If he can recapture his rhythm, Thomas could post the highest return on investment of any player this evening … J.R. Smith hasn’t posted overwhelming stat lines this series, but he’s seeing 36-38 minutes per game, vaulting him into consideration for just $4,900 at a shooting guard position otherwise devoid of value … Evan Turner is a tournament pick in the same sentiment as his aforementioned teammate, Thomas. If the Cavs make a conscience effort to shut down IT2, Tuner will have another opportunity to take over as Boston’s lead man … LeBron James always makes for a great option in the playoffs, especially against Boston’s #20 ranked defensive efficiency against opposing small forwards. The only problem comes in the form of opportunity cost, as James’ price point is maxed out, and Kawhi Leonard could realistically put up a similar FP total for a fraction of the cost.
LA Clippers @ San Antonio: 200 over/under, Spurs -6
Do I even need to say it? Kawhi Leonard is the de facto top pick from this game, especially considering his salary level and positional scarcity. The Clippers rank 27th at defending opposing small forwards, and Kawhi has exploited that susceptibility to the tune of 40 fppg over the first three games … I’m keeping Chris Paul and Blake Griffin on my tournament radar, but they are otherwise too pricey for cash game consideration. The same goes for DeAndre Jordan … Tim Duncan is a borderline cash game option that’s probably better used for tournament scenarios. It all depends on how much San Antonio needs him this afternoon, as he took 23 shot attempts in Game 2, compared to just 6 in the Spurs Game #3 shellacking. The Clippers probably won’t go down quietly, which could inspire Duncan to replicate his totals from the first two games of this series.
Toronto @ Washington: 198 over/under, Wizards -6
John Wall checks in as a preferred PG option in all formats. He’s healthy, playing at home (historically higher splits) in a competitive playoff game, against a team that ranks 27th in defensive efficiency against opposing floor generals. Don’t overthink this one … DeMar DeRozan has been picking up the scoring slack with Kyle Lowry somewhat up-and-down this series. He’s a fine SG option if you can’t quite reach up for James Harden … Bradley Beal (34 fppg) should be in line to post a fourth straight solid game, given he’s seeing extended minutes over the first three games of this series.
Houston @ Dallas: 220 over/under, Rockets -2.5
Tournament: Josh Smith
This is the game you want to harvest for fantasy value, for a multitude of reasons. First off, it easily encompasses the highest over/under of the day. Also, several injury situations and pricing quirks present themselves from both teams. First thing’s first: if you can fit James Harden in, do it. Shooting guard isn’t terrible in the value department, but Harden profiles as the top overall play in this game-slate. A tight home matchup should help make that a reality … Also from the Houston side of things, Dwight Howard ($7,500) is way too cheap. His salary has been suppressed by limited playing time leading up to the playoffs. He’s now seeing a full complement of minutes, translating to 47 and 54 FP over the past two respectively. As the proverbial cherry on top: Dallas ranks dead last in rebound rate … Al-Farouq Aminu checks in as one of the better value options of the day. Parsons has been ruled out, and R. Jefferson is questionable, meaning Aminu should see another 30+ minute complement. Target him in all formats, as there isn’t really any other small forward value for him to compete with … The same goes for J.J. Barea, who should see 28+ minutes with Rondo once again ruled out. To make Barea’s situation even better, Felton is considered questionable as well, meaning J.J. could soak up even more minutes as Dallas’ floor general … Due to the Mavericks injuries, Monta Ellis has taken over as the Mavs primary ball handler/scorer. I’m expecting that role to continue tonight … Expect Dirk Nowitzki to pick up the scoring slack as well, posting three straight solid games in this series. He is also noticing a sizable uptick in minutes, playing 36-37, compared to his season average of 28-29.