Three games? Six teams? No one ever said winning in daily fantasy during the playoffs was easy, but if it were easy everybody would be doing it. To help you possibly win some money today, here are the players I like in Friday’s games — and a couple for Saturday in case you play in a game that uses both nights:
POINT GUARD TARGETS
John Wall vs. TOR ($9100) – Wall was masterful in his last game against Toronto putting up a line of: 26 points, 17 assists, 2 three-pointers, one rebound, one block and one steal. Sure, he had five turnovers, but given all the other stats that was not a big deal at all. With Kyle Lowry clearly not at 100%, Wall is in line for another big game tonight.
Chris Paul @ SA ($10100) – Paul has been more of a scorer and less of a distributor in the first two games of the Clippers/Spurs series, averaging 26.5 points but “only” 6.5 assists per game. Along with increasing his scoring, Paul has been a rebounding machine — 7.5 per game in the series — and has hit 3 three-pointers thus far. Long story short, Paul has been an even better fantasy player in the playoffs than the regular season which is pretty scary.
Patty Mills vs. LAC ($2500) – No doubt Mills is a huge risk and that San Antonio’s last game was the optimal time to own Mills. Still, the Spurs did win the last game in this series and Mills’ 18 points aided in that victory. Mills has actually averaged 11.2 points and 2 three-pointers per game over his last five games so it is not like him having a good game came out of nowhere.
J. J. Barea vs. HOU ($4800) – Rajon Rondo is not expected to play again this season, Devin Harris might play tonight but is not at 100%. In essence, Barea is Dallas’ only healthy point guard, which in turn, means a healthy amount of minutes for Barea who has topped 20 fantasy-points in both of his playoff games against Houston.
Greivis Vasquez @ WAS ($4900) – Ignore Vasquez’s playoff production thus far, instead look at his playing time. Vasquez has averaged 29.5 minutes so far against Washington, and it is pretty clear that Kyle Lowry is playing hurt. We know that Vasquez is capable of good fantasy games, we also know he is likely to play around 30 minutes again tonight and with minutes comes the potential for fantasy-points.
SHOOTING GUARD TARGETS
James Harden @ DAL ($10600) – The playoffs have not been all that kind to Harden, after all he is only averaging 24 points per game thus far in the postseason. To me that just means that Harden is due for a big game. Harden has virtually the same stats on the road as at home this season, and despite the lower scoring against Dallas so far, Harden has been dishing out more assists than usual.
Monta Ellis vs. HOU ($6700) – Slightly better than average. That is how to best describe both how Ellis has played in this series, and against Houston this season. Ellis has not been great against Houston, but he has been better than his season averages against Houston despite the Rockets being one of the better defenses against shooting guards this season. No, slightly above average is not exciting, but it can be the difference between winning money and not winning money during the playoffs.
Bradley Beal vs. TOR ($7000) – Of the playoffs teams, Toronto has been the worst at defending shooting guards. That weakness has manifested itself in Beal’s stats so far against the Raptors. In the two games in this series, Beal has averaged: 22 points, seven rebounds, four assists, 1.5 three-pointers and a steal per game. Expect more of the same from Beal tonight.
Manu Ginobili vs. LAC ($5200) – Ginobili is no longer the player he used to be, even in the playoffs. Yet, he still seems to have that extra gear come playoff time. No, he is not a stud, but given his price he does not need to be. His 9.5 points, 4.5 assists, 4.5 rebounds, one steal and 1 three-pointer per game are nice stats for a guy who only costs $5200.
SMALL FORWARD TARGETS
Kawhi Leonard vs. LAC ($8800) – Leonard’s strong late season run has continued into the playoffs. In fact, he has been even a little better in the playoffs than he was at the end of the regular season. There is no reason not to expect another strong fantasy game from Leonard on Friday.
DeMarre Carroll @ BKN ($6600) – (Saturday Game) Leonard’s strong late season run has continued into the playoffs. In fact, he has been even a little better in the playoffs than he was at the end of the regular season. There is no reason not to expect another strong fantasy game from Leonard on Friday.
Paul Pierce vs. TOR ($5500) – It looks like Pierce still has some basketball left in him, and is still able to step up his game for the playoffs. Among the highlight for Pierce against Toronto so far, have been his 15 points and 3 three-pointers per game. He has also blocked a shot in both games of this series so far.
Richard Jefferson vs. HOU ($2200) – When a player costs only $2200, it does not take much for him to return value. When a player is expected to start and costs only $2200, you almost have to take him. Jefferson will be starting in place of Chandler Parsons Friday. Will he give you even 20 fantasy-points? Probably not, but even ten would make him a nice value, and given the minutes he should see, ten is easily attainable.
POWER FORWARD TARGETS
Tim Duncan vs. LAC ($8000) – The fact that Duncan plays well in the playoffs is not a shock, but a 38-year-old power forward putting up a 28 point, 11 rebound game in the playoffs is still impressive. Duncan has had a double-double in both of his playoff games this season. Against the league’s third worst defense against power forwards, you should expect similar results on Friday.
Blake Griffin @ SA ($9900) – Tim Duncan has been good in the playoffs, Blake Griffin has been great thus far. Griffin had a triple-double in his last game, and has averaged: 27.5 points, 12 rebounds, 8.5 assists, two blocks and two steals per game against San Antonio. Blake also played well against the Spurs in the regular season so there is no reason to think he cannot continue to put up studly numbers.
Amir Johnson @ WAS ($4700) – If you are looking for a safe play, Johnson is not the player for you. It really has nothing to do with Johnson himself, it is just his playing time, most notably the inconsistency of his playing time. That said, Johnson has averaged 14 points and 6.5 rebounds per game so far in the Raptor/Wizards series so the risk is not all that huge.
Boris Diaw vs. LAC ($4500) – All Diaw has done in his two playoff games against the Clippers is score 21.5 and 38.25 fantasy-points. He has also averaged over 30 minutes of playing time per game. As an added bonus, he has averaged 25 fantasy-points per game against the Clippers this season. I think Diaw is a nice value on Friday.
Marc Gasol vs. @ POR ($8500) – (Saturday Game) So far so good for Gasol against Portland. In Gasol’s two games against Portland ,he has managed 48.25 and 39.25 fantasy-points. While Gasol has been better at home than on the road this season, he has also averaged 41.4 fantasy-points per game against Portland in a not-so-small sample of six games.
DeAndre Jordan @ SA ($8600) – Jordan is not quite as good a deal as Gasol is this time around. He has not been quite as good in the playoffs as Gasol has been, and costs slightly more. Do not take that to mean he is not worth owning. He has averaged over 40 fantasy-points per game in this series as well as against San Antonio this season.
Zaza Pachulia vs. CHI ($5300) – (Saturday Game) Even if you take a chance on a guy like Richard Jefferson, you are going to need to find a below median priced player or two. What you want from those players — most of the time — is just a solid night. I present to you Zaza Pachulia. He who has averaged 23 fantasy-points per game against Chicago in the playoffs and only costs $5300.
Robin Lopez vs. MEM ($4300) – (Saturday Game) If you want similar upside to Pachulia for $1000 less — with a good deal more risk — then Lopez is the guy for you. In his first game against Memphis he had 9.25 fantasy-points, he managed 24.0 in the second. He has played better at home than on the road so he does have that going for him. In other words, he is a GPP option, not a good choice in cash games.
Thanks for reading, you can catch me on Twitter @STCDub.