The NBA Playoffs are finally here, and we have our first slate of games set to get underway. While the first round can yield some lopsided results, the promise of star power on every slate makes creating lineup tons of fun. Let’s get right into my top targets for Saturday’s four-game NBA playoff slate.
Damian Lillard ($9,200) — Dame has potentially one of the best individual matchups of any stud in the first round. His salary is a little higher than usual, but that’s fine come playoff time. The Pelicans rank at the very bottom of the league defensively against PGs, and Lillard is the type of clutch player that takes his game to the next level when there’s more on the line. Just look at the 57.75 DKFP Dame dropped on Wednesday night when the Trail Blazers needed to get a W over the Jazz.
Other Options — John Wall ($8,500)
Dejounte Murray ($5,500) — Murray’s minutes have been scattered lately, but one look at his game log shows you that he has a 50-DKFP ceiling. Anticipating he sees some extra run come the postseason, Murray feels a little underpriced here. A paced-up matchup against the Warriors, who will be without Stephen Curry, should play into Murray’s favor.
Other Options — Patty Mills ($4,500)
Bradley Beal ($7,000) — I feel like all of the top options at SG are underpriced, but Beal sticks out the most. The matchup against the Raptors isn’t ideal, but hey, we never get our hands on Beal this cheap. Wizards PG John Wall will be the focal point of the defense, leaving Beal in a fantastic spot to exceed value to get the playoffs going.
Other Options — CJ McCollum ($6,800)
Evan Turner ($3,900) — Turner is simply too cheap for a guy that gets extended run for the Blazers. Obviously, Lillard and CJ McCollum will get huge minutes in the backcourt, but Turner can play both guard positions and SF, which is why he’s been getting so much time lately for Portland. Values are much tougher to find in the playoffs with everyone always playing their stars so many minutes, so a guy like Turner is extremely valuable.
Other Options — Tyler Johnson ($4,300)
Kevin Durant ($10,700) — The Warriors are in a weird spot for fantasy purposes, as they’ll have a slower matchup against the Spurs. That said, we still have no Curry, which means a larger role for KD. With Curry expected back in the second round, the first round could be where KD’s putting up his biggest numbers.
Other Options — DeMar DeRozan ($7,600)
Kyle Anderson ($4,600) — Anderson comes more expensive than Turner, but the idea is similar. He’s a main rotation player for the Spurs, so we can count on him to get minutes in a good matchup. Anderson seems like a reliable option for somewhere in the neighborhood of 25 DKFP, which is crucial for someone in his price range on a slate like this one.
Other Options — Markieff Morris ($5,200)
Nikola Mirotic ($6,900) — I know there are a lot of higher priced guys here, but Mirotic’s been a stud recently, so let’s keep riding this wave. No doubt Portland can be more of a difficult matchup, but Mirotic did just drop 46.25 DKFP in 34 minutes against the Spurs. And prior to that? Well, three straight games of 50-plus DKFP. I’ll lock him in while he’s playing at a star level for the Pelicans.
Other Options — Draymond Green ($7,400)
Dario Saric ($6,400) — Joel Embiid (face) is expected back soon, but it won’t be Game 1 against the Heat. Saric seems to shine with Embiid out of the lineup, so this will be the time to roster him. Many of the Philly bigs will make for solid value until Embiid returns.
Other Options — Richaun Holmes ($4,000)
Jusuf Nurkic ($6,600) — Nurk is in a pretty nice spot here besides having the task of covering Anthony Davis. Foul trouble makes him a risk, but the Pelicans are not a difficult matchup at any position. Nurk’s topped 30 DKFP in nine of his last 10 for the Blazers, flashing a 50-plus DKFP ceiling. There’s great tournament upside here.
Other Options — Anthony Davis ($11,300)
Pau Gasol ($4,700) — Gasol hasn’t been impressive lately, but that also has his salary down. We can project Gasol finally start playing some real minutes in the postseason, so no more 14-minute duds where the Spurs randomly decide to leave one of their most proven vets on the bench.
Other Options — David West ($3,400)
*DKFP DraftKings Fantasy Points
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