Damian Lillard – Trail Blazers v. Clippers – ($8500) – The Chris Paul situation is a killer for the Clippers, but on the other hand it does make life easier for Dame. He will likely be guarded by Austin Rivers and Pablo Prigioni for the remainder of the series and both of those matchups are softer than seeing Chris Paul. Dame has been solid with scores in the 4-5X value range, but I’m expecting those to tick up here. We saw him explode for fantasy scores in the 50 and 60 point range during the season and I think he can repeat that here.
Kemba Walker – Hornets v. Heat – ($8300) – Kemba did not shoot well last game and still put up 32 fantasy points. The two games he did shoot well in the series he had 42 and 48 fantasy points. A repeat of either of those efforts would make him a 5-6X value guy and one of the top plays on the day. Chris Paul is now out and IT2 is banged up, so these are the only two point guards I can justify paying up for.
Jeremy Lin – Hornets v. Heat – ($5000) – The Charlotte mantra is that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Batum is healthy and playing, but will remain coming off the bench. The reason is that Jeremy Lin has been a beast lately. He’s consistently popping off scores in the mid to high 20s range which is good value for his $5000 price. He has played over 30 minutes and scored 28, 28, and 32 Fantasy Points in his last 3 games.
“I like Hill as a cheap cash game option if you need to save some money…”
George Hill – Pacers v. Raptors ($4600) – I like Hill as a cheap cash game option if you need to save some money. He is playing over 30 minutes a game and has between 22-32 in each of the last 3. He does not have a soft matchup against Lowry, but he does enough of everything to get you 22+ fantasy points which is an acceptable 5X return for only $4600.
DeMar DeRozan – Raptors v. Pacers ($7000) – Lowry has not looked great this series and it seems DeRozan is the one carrying the Raptors offense. DeRozan played 40 minutes and had 43 fantasy points in the last one, so he is one of the few shooting guards who have gone 6X in their series. The value today is at the SG spot, so you will likely get him low owned if you choose this route.
CJ McCollum – Trail Blazers v. Clippers – ($6800) – CJ and Evan Turner are priced about the same today and I think I like CJ a tad more. If IT2 is limited or out, I switch to Turner here, but I think the pace and matchup favor CJ. He now faces a Clippers team without Paul and Blake, so the matchup is much softer.
Jamal Crawford ($5600), JJ Redick ($4300), Austin Rivers ($3900) – Clippers v. Trailblazers – All 3 of the Clippers shooting guard eligible players get a bump with Paul and Blake out. That means more time with the ball in their hands, more shots, and more minutes for each of these three. Crawford has had some huge games without Paul in the past and will be relied upon to up his scoring. He will also see some time at the point, although most of that will be split between Austin Rivers and Pablo Prigioni. Rivers did have some big games when filling in for Paul during the year, so it’s not a stretch to think he can get you 25-30 and be a supreme value at $3900. JJ Redick lacks elite upside for me, but his minutes and shots should see an increase without Paul and Griffin. At only $4300, he can make value as well. Redick is very scoring dependent, so he will need to be making his 3-point attempts or will likely fall way short of value.
Paul George – Pacers v. Raptors – ($10000) – PG-13 is the best player in the series and arguably the second best player in the conference. He is playing about 37 minutes and averaging about 47 points in this series. He is coming off a huge 39 points, 8 rebound, and 8 assist performance that netted him a stunning 68 fantasy points in the last game. He is not likely to repeat that, but George is the best option to pay up for on this slate by a wide margin.
Jeff Green – Clippers v. Trailblazers – ($4200) – Green is going to be playing a lot of minutes here and will be asked to take on a bigger offensive role. A ton of shots open up without Paul and Griffin on the court and Green is one of the few guys who has the ability to step up his scoring. $4200 is an absolute steal for a guy who dropped 30+ in the last game after those injuries. I would not be shocked to see him play 35+ minutes again here and get 30+ fantasy points in the process.
Joe Johnson – Heat v. Hornets – ($4700) – I debated the merits of Deng and Johnson for a long time. I like Deng for more raw points, but at just $4700 I prefer the discount on Johnson. He is averaging 35+ minutes so that is pretty safe in terms of court time. He scored 31 and 28 fantasy points in his last two games, so he is returning over 6X value at the price. I’m not in love with Johnson to be honest, but that’s mostly because I can save $500 and get Green who I think makes more sense.
Moe Harkless – Trailblazers v. Clippers – ($4500) – Harkless always seems to be underowned, but he’s been consistently solid. He has played over 30 minutes in 3 of the 4 games this series and has returned 22+ fantasy points in 3 of 4 also. That means he is giving you at least 5X if he gets there again. Without Blake, I expect both teams to play smaller at the forward spot and that likely means added minutes for guys like Aminu and Harkless at the expense of a big like Ed Davis.
Paul Millsap – Hawks v. Celtics – ($8700) – Millsap does not just make this list, he is the list. With Blake and Bosh out, he is the only option over $5200 available at power forward today. The Celtics are weak in the interior, but Millsap has not been as consistent as he was earlier in the year. Sure he exploded for 79 fantasy points two games back, but he failed to reach 4X in any of the other 3 games of the series so far. He has upside for a tourney, but I am not sold on him as the way to go and spend up on in cash.
Jonas Jerebko – Celtics v. Hawks – ($4400) – It is no secret that the Celtics look better with Jerebko on the court instead of Jared Sullinger. Sully has seen his minutes dropped down to the low teens while Jerebko is back up near 30. He has averaged 30 fantasy points in the last 3 games since the minutes boost and is cheap enough where that makes him a 6-7X value guy. All indications are that this is the way the Celtics will play this series, so the discount being offered is hard to pass up.
Myles Turner – Pacers v. Raptors – ($5200) – Turner is a very boom or bust option for the Pacers and let me explain what you need to make this work. Mahinmi tends to get most of the minutes opposite Valanciunas. Turner is a tad undersized to play center, but they are using the small ball lineup a tad more. It is mostly employed when they are down or trying to push the pace. There is a scenario where Turner plays the five with PG-13 at the four as we have seen. Mahinmi had a monster game 3, but struggled in game 4. If the back problems are the reason for the struggles, then we could see a ton of Turner in this one.
“He is definitely more of a GPP play, but you can’t argue with a consistent 30+ minutes and Cody Zeller likely being out”
Marvin Williams – Hornets v. Heat – ($5100) – Marvin Williams has been up and down in this series, but can definitely get us 25-35 fantasy points. He’s had two good games where he scored about 35 fantasy points in each and two clunkers with under 20. He is definitely more of a GPP play, but you can’t argue with a consistent 30+ minutes and Cody Zeller likely being out. Not to mention the Heat basically play Luol Deng at the power forward spot so Williams does have a size advantage over him.
DeAndre Jordan – clippers v. Trailblazers – ($8200) – He is the most expensive center option on the day, but I love him in this matchup. Portland was one of the worst at guarding bigs all season long and gave up a ton of rebounds. With no Blake, Jordan is going to find himself as the sole big man under the basket. He will play a huge number of minutes and should grab a ton of boards. People want to think his scoring will jump up, but we rarely see that out of him. He could get a few more shots, but he does not have the kind of offensive game where they can just dump it into him more. He gets his points by running the floor, finishing with dunks when his guards drive the lane, and rebounding second chance misses off the rim. I think he gets enough of those things to make him the top scoring center.
Mason Plumlee – Trailblazers v. Clippers – ($6700) – I like him a lot more at $5K, but he’s been so good this series that the price is justifiable. He has 47, 47, 40 and 40 DKFP in the first four games. Those numbers are outrageous! Plumlee has been open on dives to the basket and rebounding chances where he can clean the glass and finish the putbacks. He has really impressed me this series and is still not too expensive based on his recent production.
Al Jefferson – Hornets v. Heat – ($4900) – Al Jeff is finally rounding into shape and just in time for the Hornets. With Cody Zeller banged up, Al Jeff is up to 25 minutes a game and averaging about 28 fantasy points. The price tag is below $5K, so 28 is 5.5X value on it. He’s been solid and consistent, so I’m okay rolling him out to save some money.
Ian Mahinmi – Pacers v. Raptors – ($3900) – I like finding really cheap guys with 30-40 point upside and Mahinmi qualifies as one of those. Of course, he could just as easily go for like 20 fantasy points and be sat as the Pacers go small with Myles Turner at the five. This is why I think he is GPP only. Still a guy below $4K who had 40+ fantasy points two games back deserves our attention here. If he is not hurting, I could see him dropping another 30-40 point game before the series is over.