Round 2 is well under-way, and today’s NBA targets breakdown looks at two key Game 5’s taking place on Wednesday night, with an eye towards the studs, sleepers and mid-range players you want to have rotating in your lineups. The Warriors can close out Portland with another win, and the winner in the East will have the clear edge in moving ahead to the conference finals. Let’s get right to it!
Damian Lillard – POR @ GS – $9,800 – He might only be the most expensive player at his position because of Steph’s injury, but he has lived up to it over the last couple of games in Portland. On his home court, he went off for 76 combined points in the two games, and he almost carried his team to a series-evening pair of victories. He was no slouch in Games 1 and 2 on the road, averaging just under 46 DKFP, but the Blazers are going to need him to keep up the form he showed at home to extend this series.
Stephen Curry – GS vs. POR – $9,700 – I guess he’s healthy. He is officially starting Game 5, after playing 37 minutes in Game 4. Because he was out for a number of games, his salary hasn’t increased to the number a guy with 60+ DKFP upside should be at. He took 16 three pointers in Game 4, making 5. Steph and the Warriors will want to end this series tonight, and you have to believe he’ll be the driving force. He’ll likely be highly owned, but he will be a very difficult fade in any format.
Goran Dragic – MIA @ TOR – $6,400 – He is averaging just over 23 DKFP in the Heat’s two wins in the series. He is shooting well (6-for-10 from three), distributing the ball to his other scorers and played solid defense. More shot attempts could fall on the backcourt over these next couple of games with the Heat’s depth up front depleted by injury. That can only really be a good thing for Dragic’s fantasy value.
Dwyane Wade – MIA @ TOR – $8,300 – Wade just put on a show in Miami, averaging 34 ppg, and 48 DKFP over the course of the two contests. For most of the two games, he looked like exactly what he is – the single most talented player going in this series. He shot over 50% from the field and took a dozen free throws, displaying the attacking style and old-school mid-range arsenal that made him famous a decade ago. Returning to Toronto, without Whiteside, I expect to see a continuation of those performances.
“. . . the Raptors have no choice but to continue to turn to DeRozan for scoring”
DeMar DeRozan – TOR vs. MIA – $7,300 – He’s playing through a sore thumb on his shooting hand, which you could see get bent backwards pretty viciously in Game 1 of this series. However, it hasn’t seemed to affect his play much. With Lowry playing poorly, the Raptors have no choice but to continue to turn to DeRozan for scoring, which is why he was able to average 21 ppg on on 23 shots per game in the first two games of the series at home. I expect to see him get up just as many shots in this one, which should provide you with a floor somewhere right around 30 DKFP, with obvious upside if he can improve his efficiency.
C.J. McCollum – POR @ GS – $6,900 – He has averaged just over 23 points per game over the last three games of the series after a poor showing in Game 1. Portland has developed some efficiency up front over the course of the season, making their big men better options than they were a few months ago, but McCollum is still the clear second option on the team behind Lillard, and that has led to three straight games with over 30 DKFP. That counts as consistency at this price.
Al-Farouq Aminu – POR @ GS – $6,000 – Aminu is capable of scoring, attacking the glass, and defending a couple of different positions. The big difference for him in this series has been the five rebounds per game he averaged for the first two games at Golden State, compared to the 11.5 he averaged for the two games in Portland. He is shooting better than 50% from three for the series (13-for-24), and that combo of shooting and rebounding had him over 40 DKFP in each of the last two contests, clearly more upside than anyone else at the position.
Joe Johnson – MIA @ TOR – $5,100 – He is getting the minutes – over 40 in three of the four games so far in the series. He was over 30 fantasy points in both of the two road games that opened the series, and while I expect Wade to contribute more in Game 5 than he did then, all Johnson needs is one or two shots from outside to drop, and he will be right back in that 30-fantasy-point range.
Andre Iguodala – GS vs. POR – $4,800 – Both Iguodala and Barnes have the same occasional 30+ DKFP upside, but are usually going to be somewhere right around 20. Barnes has been doing a little better in this series, but that’s because he is more likely to take over scoring responsibilities when needed. Now that Curry seems back in a big way, Iguodala can get back to filling the role of doing anything and everything else the team needs, which makes him my pick for tonight between the two.
DeMarre Carroll – TOR vs. MIA – $4,700 He tailed off in Games 3 and 4 after a 38.25 DKFP performance in Game 2, his first big night since returning from the knee injury that had him missing time in the regular season. You would think that with Lowry and DeRozan struggling, he would be more prominently involved, so you have to assume he really just isn’t completely healthy as of yet. But in a game where Miami is going to be missing Whiteside, there should be more room to operate in around the basket, which should help Carroll’s totals, both in terms of scoring and on the glass.
Draymond Green – GS vs. POR – $11,800 –The single most expensive player on the board tonight, he is still really tough to pass on with so little talent to choose from for the PF and C positions. For the series, he is averaging just over eleven rebounds, seven and a half assists, almost four blocks, two steals and 24.5 points per game, good for just a hair under 65 DKFP. Draymond is producing at an elite level, and I don’t see that stopping.
“. . . he is playing so efficiently that he is still providing useful fantasy performances”
Luol Deng – MIA @ TOR – $6,200 – He is playing 40+ minutes a game, he is just not shooting the ball. Despite the lack of shot attempts, though, he is playing so efficiently that he is still providing useful fantasy performances, especially in cash games. He is consistently over 20 DKFP. If that’s what you’re looking for, there is more safety and predictability here than in the two options below.
Ed Davis – POR @ GS – $4,200 – He has been under 20 minutes in three of the four games in the series, but he has shown a bit of upside for someone this inexpensive. He has gone over 20 DKFP twice in four games, and he has shown the ability to reach double digits in both points and rebounds, even in limited action, making him more of what counts as an upside play in this price range.
Josh McRoberts – MIA @ TOR – $2,900 – McRoberts could be the go-to play if you think it’s just impossible to find any useful production at the position behind Draymond – if you’re going to save, you might as well save a LOT. Whiteside is not expected to play tonight, after playing only 8 minutes in Game 4. McRoberts saw 21 minutes of action after that injury, compared to only 10 for Haslem and 12 for Amar’e, so he has a shot to return 15-20 DKFP for next to nothing, which could be exactly what you need to make the rest of your lineup work.
Mason Plumlee – POR @ GS – $5,600 – Plumlee is one of the players the Blazers have seen blossom over the course of the season. Plumlee is averaging 11 rebounds, 4 assists and a block so far in the series, so the question is whether or not he’ll get the chance to score. If he can make it to double-digits, he could provide you with 30+ DKFP upside.
Bismack Biyombo – TOR vs. MIA – $4,400 – With Valanciunas out, Biyombo is as close to a plug-and-play option as you will find. Last time out, he immediately went all the way up to 31 minutes on the floor, and even more importantly, he did something with it, finishing with 13 points and 13 boards, along with a couple of blocks. The perfect storm of the guy in front of him in the rotation AND his primary competition being out for Game 5 makes him an obvious play.