Thanks to the Clippers and Spurs, we get yet another chance to win money in round one of the playoffs. With only two games, there are not a ton of options, nonetheless, there are some players I think are well worth rostering:
POINT GUARD TARGETS
- Chris Paul vs. SA ($10000) – This is not a tough one at all. Paul has been a monster all season, and has continued is masterful play in the playoffs. While he does have one bad game against the Spurs in this series, he has also topped 50 fantasy-points three times, and had over 45 fantasy-points in all but one game.
- Jeff Teague @ BKN ($7200) – You want to make sure that Teague is actually playing before selecting him since he did leave the last game for a while after rolling his ankle– though he also came back into the game after going to the locker room. Teague has stepped his game up in the playoffs, averaging 3.4 more fantasy-points per game in the playoffs than he did in the regular season. He has also topped 40 fantasy-points in the last two games.
- Jarrett Jack vs. ATL ($5300) – There is nothing wrong with a guy having a solid series. That is exactly what Jack is doing. No, he has not had any monster games, but he has topped 34 fantasy-points four times against Atlanta so far, and has averaged 27.6 fantasy-points per game in the playoffs thus far — compared to his season average of 24.2 per game.
- Patty Mills @ LAC ($3000) – I think the only thing better than a cheap player is a cheap, reliable one. Mills certainly fits the cheap label costing only $3000. He has topped ten fantasy-points in every game in the playoffs thus far, and has averaged 18.1 fantasy-points over the last five games, which I think qualifies him as reliable, at least for a player that cheap.
SHOOTING GUARD TARGETS
- Joe Johnson vs. ATL ($7500) – Reliability is not really a term that comes to mind when I think of Joe Johnson, be he has been a reliable fantasy option in the playoffs. Johnson’s worst game against Atlanta so far was 32.5 fantasy-points; he has had at least 36 fantasy-points in every other game in this series.
- Kyle Korver @ BKN ($6300) – Reliability does not describe Korver’s playoff performance thus far. Korver has had games ranging from 16.0 to 41.75 fantasy-points against the Nets so far. He has averaged 29.8 fantasy-points over the last four games though, so is a decent value tonight.
- Bojan Bogdanovic vs. ATL ($4600) – Bogdanovic is a risk. He is coming off a 15.0 fantasy-point game, plus has scored less than 20 fantasy-points twice in the Brooklyn/Atlanta series already. Thing is, he also has 28.0 and 31.75 fantasy-points games, so there is upside. Bogdanovic has averaged 19.0 fantasy-points per game against Atlanta this season too. So, Bogdanovic is risky, but there is also some upside, and it is not like you are risking everything since he has been semi-decent even in his bad games.
SMALL FORWARD TARGETS
- Kawhi Leonard @ LAC ($8600) – The good news about Leonard’s sub-par game on Thursday as it helps depress his price tonight. The bad news is, the small forward pool is so small that Leonard will — justifiably — be on a lot of teams. I think you can pretty much count on Leonard at least matching his season average against the Clippers of 37.9 fantasy-points per game.
- DeMarre Carroll @ BKN ($6900) – Talk about stepping up your game in the playoffs… Carroll is averaging 8.3 fantasy-points more per game in the playoffs than he did during the regular season. He is also coming off of back-to-back 42.25 fantasy-point games. Carroll is not as good as Leonard, but given Carroll’s price, I think he is a better value.
- Matt Barnes vs. SA ($3900) – Blah. That is probably not something I should write about a player I am recommending, but that is my sentiment on Barnes. It is nothing personal with Barnes, it is just that he is not an exciting fantasy player. Still, he is cheap and has topped 20 fantasy-points three times in the playoffs.
POWER FORWARD TARGETS
- Blake Griffin vs. SA ($10200) – Despite the very high price, Griffin is an easy call. He has had over 60 fantasy-points in four of the six games in the Clippers/Spurs series. Against San Antonio this season, he has averaged 55.1 fantasy-points per game. He has also been considerably better at home than on the road this season, and is playing at home.
- Boris Diaw @ LAC ($5300) – Shockingly, Diaw is yet another player who has been playing better in the playoffs than he did during the regular season. In Diaw’s case the difference has been 7.5 more fantasy-points per game in the playoffs compared to the regular season. He also played well against the Clippers during the regular season, so his playoff production is not a small sample size fluke.
- Brook Lopez vs. ATL ($8300) – With Lopez you hit the trifecta of considerably betters. Lopez has been considerably better at home than on the road — 35.1 fantasy-points per game compared to 29.6 — considerably better against Atlanta than his average game — 4.2 more fantasy-points per game — and a ton better in the playoffs than the regular season — 40 fantasy-points per game compared to 32.4 per game.
- Al Horford @ BKN ($7600) – Like Lopez, Horford has been better at home than on the road this year, unlike Lopez, Horford’s split difference is not that great — which is a good thing since Horford is on the road tonight. Like Lopez, Horford has stepped his game up in the playoffs, and has been more productive against Brooklyn than he has been in his average game.
- Tiago Splitter @ LAC ($3000) – With so few players to choose from in this contest, you are going to need to go contrarian — not to mention find some cheap players. Splitter is a major risk, but he did just have a 25.5 fantasy-point game against the Clippers on Thursday. Just realize that he has fewer fantasy points total in his previous three games than in that one game.
- Pero Antic @ BKN ($2300) – Antic might actually be my favorite player tonight. Sure, he has very limited upside, but if there was much upside he would not cost only $2300. But, for that $2300 you are getting a player who has had at least 11 fantasy-points in every playoff game this season. He has also averaged 13.95 fantasy-points per game against the Nets so far. Cheap and reliable, those qualities are golden in such a small slate of games.
Thanks for reading, you can catch me on Twitter @STCDub.