The playoffs! It’s fun just to say, never mind watch, and the luckily, it doesn’t even have to mean the end of daily fantasy. Monday’s slate only includes only two games: NO @ GS and MIL @ CHI, so this article looks at, basically, every available option and will give you some insight into why you may, or may not, want to target that player. Good luck.
POINT GUARD TARGETS
Stephen Curry vs. NO ($10,300) – Did you hear the story about him hitting 77 free throws in a row? SEVENTY-SEVEN? I guess it’s not surprising. Actually, yes, it is. It’s ******* amazing. But then again, he does amazing routinely. This team is just good, and came into the playoffs firing on all cylinders. The Pelicans ran into a round 1 buzzsaw here, and you can expect the offense from the perimeter to continue to flow for the next three or four games, however long this series takes.
Michael Carter-Williams @ CHI ($6,800) – Honestly, the Bucks are just going to hope he plays good defense, which doesn’t say a lot for what you should expect out of him from a fantasy perspective. In case you didn’t not, you could save $100 and go with Rose instead. Just pointing that out.
Derrick Rose vs. MIL ($6,700) – He looked good. It’s all you can really say. I mean, I hope he stays healthy for another ten years, and by the end of his long career we don’t even think of him as an injury risk anymore. Because the guy can ball, and be plays hard, and I like watching guys like him play. Milwaukee plays some great defense, but Rose is special. It wasn’t that long ago he was pulling a similar Bulls team through the playoffs. He is one of those guys about whom I often write “he is a bad matchup for defenses, not the other way around.” 23-7 in under 30 minutes against the best statistical defense in the league? The Bulls will take it, and so will I.
Jrue Holiday @ GS ($5,600)) – He is currently listed as questionable, but expected to play, and especially if Evans misses, he becomes their best option handling the ball and getting the offense in gear. He can play with speed, which helps against this Warriors squad, but he has VERY limited upside, even with Evans out. He just doesn’t shoot enough.
SHOOTING GUARD TARGETS
Klay Thompson vs. NO ($7,500) – You need to rely on a big scoring game from him for there to be a great fantasy performance in this series. And you might get one of those, but predicting it will be tough. As for me, I do NOT think it happens tonight.
Jimmy Butler vs. MIL ($7,400) – Butler is a SG who seems more like a forward sometimes, which is to say, it looks like he benefits from having a ball-handler creating offense and getting him looks. And he does one great job converting when he is given the chance, but all this is a long way of saying: one of the first guys on the Bulls to perhaps have gained some appeal with the return of Derrick Rose.
Khris Middleton @ CHI ($5,700) – Middleton is fun to watch. I mean, I love watching him play defense, and he often makes the play that starts them in transition, and ends with him hitting a trailing three. It’s just classic basketball. Watching him and Giannis together almost makes me wish I was a Bucks fan.
Eric Gordon @ GS ($5,100) – They need someone other than Davis to score, and Gordon is one of their best options. Obviously, that’s why he got 14 shots up in game 1. I, personally, expect more of the same, which tells me the 25 fantasy points he got the first time out is going to be par for the course in this series, with 35 point upside – good value for short money.
SMALL FORWARD TARGETS
Giannis Antetokounmpo @ CHI ($6,200) – With Giannis as the most expensive option on the board, you have no choice but to save money on SF in this one. He went for only 12-5 in game 1, and I would expect him to improve on those numbers in this one.
Quincy Pondexter @ GS ($4,800) – A great choice no matter what, but especially if it turns out that Tyreke Evans is going to miss tonight’s game. He can score from the outside, but he has been contributing in all kinds of ways lately, and that should continue against a Golden State squad that does better defending big men.
Mike Dunleavy vs. MIL ($4,500) – He seemed to have the stars align in game one, getting near the top of his averages in scoring, rebounding, and assists. And the matchup looks good on paper. Explains it, right? Use him again? Not quite. Dunleavy is only going to see lower usage rates with his starting PG back, and is just not going to have the ball enough to have a real fantasy impact.
Andre Iguodala vs. NO ($3,900) – This was one of the only times in this column I didn’t write about every feasible option, because of the Iguodala/ Harrison Barnes ($4,500) question. And it was a tough one to answer. They both play a similar amount of minutes, very occasionally on the floor together, and it has consistently been that way for most of the season. And they have actually both been relatively consistent with their fantasy production as well, so almost every night, you can expect Barnes to outscore Iguodala by right around 2 fantasy points. If that’s worth $800 to you at the end of the day, make the upgrade.
POWER FORWARD TARGETS
Anthony Davis vs. GS ($10,900) – This is one of the positions where you are going to be spending your salary cap tonight, and you actually have a decision to make. Davis is a sure thing, even against Draymond Green, one of the best defenders in the league, as he showed in game 1 (35-7 with 4 blocks). The Pelicans’ stud is the reason they are in this spot, and they are going to lean on him in their attempt to get at least one W against this Warriors juggernaut.
Pau Gasol vs. MIL ($8,700) – Gasol has changed the look of the Bulls as a whole this season. With guys like Noah in the middle, even during their championship run, the offense has flowed from the guard spot, from the outside-in. But this year has been different – Gasol has the ball-handling and passing ability to help create offense for guys like Jimmy Butler, instead of requiring it to be the other way around, and if game 1 is any indication, they are going to continue to use him in that role, even now that Rose is back on the court. He has 17 shot attempts and 4 assists, showing he had the ball in his hands plenty. With that continuing, the 32 fantasy points he scored is near his floor.
Draymond Green vs. NO ($7,700) – He has a tough go of it in this one, getting D’ed up by one of the best big men in the game, who, for once, is actually athletic enough to stay in front of him on the outside. Plus all the energy he has to expend playing defense himself can’t help. Throw in an ankle injury that could slow him down even a little, and the lack of options at other positions, and you might want to decide to spend up on one of the other two PF options in this one.
Ersan Ilyasova @ CHI ($5,700) – Ditto for above. I don’t know why you would be looking here for savings, especially with this player, in this matchup. He’s not going to rebound in this series, so you are hoping for a 20+ point outing in order to get any fantasy value. Good luck.
Andrew Bogut vs. NO (6,400) – The only real issue with Bogut is always whether he is going to get the minutes. The Warriors are in the great position of being able to only use him extensively when the matchup calls for it, and, at least in game 1, they thought it did. He played 30 minutes, and if that is going to continue, he’ll continue to be useful (he finished with 12-14, 5 assists, and two blocks and steals each for 46 fantasy points).
Joakim Noah vs. MIL ($5,800) – Noah just hasn’t been an offensive threat for the Bulls in a while, and that’s not likely to improve with Rose’s return. You pretty much have to have double-digit rebounds to get a worthwhile fantasy performance, and that’s risky with the Bucks just because of the athleticism up and down the lineup.
Zaza Pachulia @ CHI ($5,300) – On paper, the Bulls are an ok matchup for a center, but the problem with the Bucks is they don’t have a great power forward threat either, and that is usually where Noah concentrates his effort. And Noah can defend. This takes Pachouli and downgrades him based on what you might be seeing in front of your eyes as you go to draft your team.
Omer Asik @ GS ($4,100) – Asik is consistent. Not good, but consistent. He scores you some fantasy points every night, and he is cheap. Just don’t expect him to score you 20+ and don’t use him in any GPPs, and you should be ok.