Plays of the Day
Value: I love Tristan Thompson as a value pick in this one. The Pacers aren’t good against opposing centers and Thompson is always relentless, but he’s a whole other animal come playoff time. Look for him to rack up boards, especially on the offensive boards. For just $4,700 he can be a double-double waiting to happen. While there are better centers on this slate, they don’t have great matchups.
Fade: This was a tough slate to pick with so many great players having terrible matchups, but I’m fading Chris Paul. CP3 has a terrible matchup against the Utah Jazz. It wouldn’t shock anyone if CP3 had a great game. Still, I’m fading him at his current price and getting more value with a cheaper option.
Games to Target
- Indiana Pacers @ Cleveland Cavaliers
- Milwaukee Bucks @ Toronto Raptors
Kyrie Irving (CLE) vs. IND FD: $9,000/DK: $7,800
There are two schools of thought when it comes to this Cleveland Cavaliers team. Some believe they’ve been coasting and will just flick the switch now that it’s playoff time, while others think they just aren’t that good and will be exposed possibly even before the NBA Finals. I’m in the camp of the prior. We have seen what Irving can do in the playoffs, and it’s scary. Last year’s experience should only make him more dangerous.
Kyle Lowry (TOR) vs MIL FD: $8,600/DK: $8,200
We all know of the Raptors’ postseason struggles, and Lowry certainly hasn’t been immune. Still, the fact that he’s not playing the Jazz or Spurs goes a long way to making him a stud here. He’s still a high-level talent, and we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt until he and his team falls apart.
George Hill (UTA) @LAC FD: $5,800/DK $5,800
On this slate, Hill is good enough to be one of the top two PGs on this night from a Fantasy perspective. You could save a ton of money by starting him and be rewarded with a 40 point Fantasy game or close to it. Especially if he sees his minutes jump now that the playoffs are here.
Matthew Dellavedova (MIL) @TOR FD: $3,800/DK: $3,100
I was between Delli and Patty Mills here, but I’ll go with perhaps the longer shot. Still, Dellavedova plays significant minutes, and we’ve seen him shine in the playoffs. A guy with a championship pedigree can play a huge role in the playoffs on a team that lacks that experience otherwise.
Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL) @TOR FD: $10,400/DK: $10,200
This was a no-brainer. The two top SGs are so far ahead of the rest of the pack there wasn’t much to consider. The Greek Freak has been a Fantasy beast all year, and he should carry that right into the playoffs.
DeMar DeRozen (TOR) vs MIL FD: $8,300/DK: $8.000
Again, not too much doubt was in my head when rolling with DeRozen. However, he also has a tendency to fall apart for long stretches of time in the playoffs. Nevertheless, there is no way to justify him not being a stud here.
J.R. Smith (CLE) vs IND FD: $3,700/DK: $3,900
How do you just overlook Smith at this price? He’s almost bottom of the barrel. We have seen just how hot this guy can get at any given moment and look for his numbers to jump in the playoffs. This is a player that can easily give you more than 30 Fantasy points if he gets hot.
Kyle Korver (CLE) vs IND FD: $3,700/DK: $3,600
This is the same story as Smith. One of these two guys are going to go off, and no shooter in the league is more accurate than Korver. Any given night he can push 30 points and far surpass his value at this low price. The Cavs will look different in April than they did in March.
LeBron James (CLE) vs IND FD: $11,000/DK: $10,800
This is his time of year. No one takes their game to the next level quite like LeBron James come playoff time. Don’t expect that trend to stop now. James also has a long history of putting up ridiculous numbers against the Pacers.
Paul George (IND) @ CLE FD: 10,000/DK: $9,800
The Cavs defense will be better in the playoffs, but it’s still not great. George has been able to get his in the past against LeBron-led teams as well including just last month verse the Cavs. I don’t expect the Pacers to do much in this series, but George will be a Fantasy asset.
Khris Middleton (MIL) @TOR FD: $5,900/DK: $6,100
Middleton night in and night out posts solid numbers. The Bucks have a lot of those unsung heroes, and that’s why they are in the playoffs. He can post 30-to-40 Fantasy points in just about every game in this series. Look for him to play big minutes with a high floor considering his price.
Vince Carter (MEM) @SA FD: $3,500/DK: $3,400
You’ll notice there aren’t a ton of Western Conference players listed and that’s because the defense is so much tougher out West on this slate. However, I had to go with Carter as my longshot. He tends to have big games once every few nights, and he will be utilized in the playoffs. He is a veteran leader with an ability to hit clutch shots. You won’t get much more upside at a minimum price.
Kevin Love (CLE) vs IND FD: $8,300/DK: $7,900
Love has become a walking double-double. His floor is about 30 Fantasy points while he puts up 25 and 10 on a bad night. There is no doubt he’s a stud on this slate. Especially now that the Cavs are finally relying on him so heavily like a true piece of a “Big 3”.
Blake Griffin (LAC) vs UTA FD: $8,200/DK: $7,700
Griffin has the most upside of all the PFs on this slate. In his last seven games he topped 40 Fantasy points four times, 50 Fantasy points twice and even had another 39.8 game. The Jazz are tough underneath, to say the least, but I still trust Griffin more than any of the other PFs behind him.
Thad Young (IND) @CLE FD: $5,200/DK: $5,600
The Cavs struggle inside and Young is no stranger to posting big numbers. My concern with him is every time I start him he plays like trash, and when I don’t, he goes off. Still, this is an ideal matchup, and he’s been playing very well and consistently over the past few weeks. I’m tentatively going back to this well today.
Patrick Patterson (TOR) vs MIL FD: $3,500/DK: $2,500
Patterson is a guy you can get at the minimum price which holds value. It’s not rare for him to play more than 20 minutes in a game and he can contribute both with baskets and boards. Odds are he’s not going to light it up, but you may have a gem if he gives you more than 20 Fantasy points, which isn’t as long a shot as you may think.
Rudy Gobert (UTA) @LAC FD: $8,900/DK: $8,300
Gobert has truly come into his own this season, especially during the second half of the year. He’s separated himself as one of the best young centers in the league. He’s been putting up double-doubles on a nightly basis and throwing in a handful of blocks. He’s the top option on this slate.
Myles Turner (IND) @CLE FD: $6,900/DK: $6,500
I’m opting for Turner in Cleveland over DeAndre Jordan and Marc Gasol on this slate. Jordan and Gasol both cost more and face the Jazz and Spurs respectively. I’d much rather save some cash and have Turner going up against the Cavs who lack a true man in the center.
Tristan Thompson (CLE) vs IND FD: $4,700/DK: $4,500
I love Tristan Thompson as a value pick in this one. The Pacers aren’t good against opposing centers and Thompson is always relentless, but he’s a whole other animal come playoff time. Look for him to rack up boards, especially on the offensive boards. For just $4,700 he can be a double-double waiting to happen. While there are better centers on this slate, they don’t have great matchups.
Thon Maker (MIL) @ TOR FD: $3,600/DK $2,600
This is a huge Hail Mary throw here, and I’m just going with my gut. However, Maker has the capability to make a splash in these playoffs. He’s the kind of guy that can contribute in a large number of areas and put up Fantasy points quick. If you are desperate at center with little money, he could get you 23 Fantasy points in 20 minutes.