We get something new in this contest, the combination of a Sunday and Wednesday game. As strange as that might seem, it is another chance to make money which is always a good thing. Here are the guys I like this time around:
Sunday/Wednesday Playoff Contest
POINT GUARD TARGETS
Chris Paul @ HOU ($9300) – Chris Paul in a game seven? Sign me up. Paul seems to be over his hamstring issue — at least I assume he is since he had 57.25 fantasy-points in his last game. Paul has also been better on the road than at home this season. Those positives more than make up for the fact that Paul struggled somewhat against Houston this season — if you can call 41.7 fantasy-points per game struggling.
Jeff Teague vs. CLE ($7300) – We do not know if Kyrie Irving will play Wednesday. Even if he does, chances are he will be less effective than normal. That should benefit Teague as it is likely that Irving will conserve himself on defense in order to keep his offensive game sharp. In his last five games, Teague has averaged 35.8 fantasy-points per game so has been playing pretty well.
Dennis Schroder vs. CLE ($4600) – I consider Schroeder the “energizer bunny” of value point guards, at least in the playoffs. Schroeder just keeps on going and going and going with the 20+ fantasy-point games. He has had at least 20 fantasy-points in his last four games, Schroder also averaged 22.7 fantasy-points per game in four games against Cleveland this season.
SHOOTING GUARD TARGETS
James Harden vs. LAC ($9100) – James Harden in a game seven? Sign me up — hey, I am nothing if not consistent. Also consistent? Harden at home against the Clippers in this series. In his three home games so far, Harden has scored: 50.75, 48.25 and 57.25 fantasy-points. Really it comes down to me thinking Harden has a big game, the numbers just help support that assertion.
Iman Shumpert @ ATL ($5200) – Value thy name is Shumpert. Shumpert has averaged 26.1 fantasy-points over his last five games, he has been better at home than on the road, and averaged 27.8 fantasy-points per game against Atlanta this season. Well, Shumpert is playing Atlanta, in Atlanta. Plus, Kyrie Irving has issues — and might not even play. All that is just a long way of saying that you want Shumpert on your roster for this contest.
J. J. Redick @ HOU ($4900) – When you look at Redick’s player card you see a lot of 23’s. Redick averaged 23.4 fantasy-points per game this season, he has averaged that same 23.4 fantasy-points per game over his last five games. Against Houston this season, Redick has averaged 23.5 fantasy-points per game. All that makes Redick a solid value given his $4900 price tag.
J. R. Smith @ ATL ($4800) – If Irving is out on Wednesday then Smith is worth owning for sure. If Irving plays, Smith is not such a good option. Really that is what it comes down to with Smith; it is pretty simple.
SMALL FORWARD TARGETS
DeMarre Carroll vs. CLE ($6900) – Carroll is a bit of a risk, he has had a couple of stinkers during the playoffs. In general though, he has been better in the playoffs than he was during the regular season. Carroll has averaged 31.6 fantasy-points in his last five games which makes him a solid value in this contest.
LeBron James @ CLE ($11400) – You have to be realistic if you add LeBron to your team. James has been a monster during the playoffs, but at $11400, you really cannot expect anything better than five time value — and that is probably a stretch. But, he does have a 76.0 fantasy-point game in the playoffs already, and has failed to reach 50 fantasy-points only once in the last month. In other words, James is safe despite the price.
Trevor Ariva vs. LAC ($6300) – Ten games is a pretty large sample size in a basketball season, so Ariza’s numbers against the Clippers this season mean something. Ariza has faced the Clippers ten times this season and averaged 32.2 fantasy-points per game. He has also averaged 32.5 fantasy-points per game in his last five games.
POWER FORWARD TARGETS
Blake Griffin @ HOU ($10300) – While Griffin might not have as many fantasy-points in the playoffs as LeBron James has had, Griffin has provided more value. Blake has also averaged 49.5 fantasy-points per game in eight games against Houston this season. In Houston, in this series, Griffin has averaged 61.25 fantasy-points per game. Sure, three games is not a huge sample, but you can see that Griffin has the potential to provide nice value even with a $10300 price tag.
Paul Millsap vs. CLE ($8200) – If you cannot afford Griffin, or are willing to take less upside from your power forward, then Millsap is the guy for you. Millsap did average 38.5 fantasy-points per game against Cleveland this season in only 30 minutes per game. In a conference finals, I cannot imagine Millsap playing only 30 minutes per game.
Tristan Thompson @ ATL ($5800) – If it were not for a couple of pretty bad games in the playoffs, a case could be made that Thompson is a better option than Millsap. But, Thompson did have a 8.75 fantasy-point game against Boston, and has failed to reach 20 fantasy-points three times during the playoffs so there is some risk with him. He has also topped 30 fantasy-points two times in the playoffs, and averaged 29.3 fantasy-points over his last five games so he also has a good deal of upside.
Dwight Howard vs. LAC ($8700) – Aside from having a monster playoffs thus far, Howard was considerably better at home than on the road this season. Howard averaged almost eight more fantasy-points per game at home than on the road — and 4.2 more per game at home than in his average game. He also has averaged over 50 fantasy-points per game in his last two games.
DeAndre Jordan @ HOU ($7600) – I wish I could say Jordan has been a consistent producer in the playoffs, but he has not been, especially against Houston. Jordan has had games of 29.75 and 57.75 fantasy-points against Houston so far in this series. On balance, Jordan has been pretty good against Houston this season — averaging 42.0 fantasy-points in ten games — which is why I like Jordan today.
Timofey Mozgov @ ATL ($4900) – The farther we get into the playoffs, the lower our expectations for value should become. During the regular season, if a player did not provide five time value, he was considered a bust. Now, getting four times value is a good pick. Using that criteria, Mozgov is a good pick. He averaged 24.0 fantasy-points per game against Atlanta during the regular season. He has also averaged 28.75 fantasy-points in his last four road games.
Thanks for reading, you can catch me on Twitter @STCDub.