We only have two games on the slate for NBA DFS tonight as the teams remaining dwindle down. Cleveland leads their series 2-0, so Atlanta needs to get on the winning track as they return home for game 3. The Spurs and Thunder are tied 1-1, so OKC needs to hold serve on their home court to remain in the drivers seat. Neither game is projected to be a blowout tonight, which is great for fantasy purposes. You really can’t have a move evenly distributed situation than we have tonight. Players from all 4 teams are in play, so let’s take a look at some of the top options.
Russell Westbrook – Thunder v. Spurs – $10,800 – Russell Westbrook is by far the most explosive player on tonight’s slate. Even if the Spurs decide to put Kawhi Leonard on him, I don’t think that limits his fantasy point production. If the Thunder want to win this game, and series, they’ll need Westbrook to replicate his 59.25 DKFP performance from game two. I’m of the mind that he can do that, and that’s why he’s my top option of the night.
Kyrie Irving – Cavaliers v. Hawks – $8,300 – I do not love the price here on Kyrie, but he has been around 35-45 points for most of the playoffs. It’s a decent return, but we really need to see 50+ in order to get excited about using him. He is getting us 5-5.5X when he sees 34-40 minutes of action. I think he has an excellent chance of doing that again if the game stays closer as expected. He has scored 19+ points in every game so far, and his low fantasy output was still a respectable 33.
Jeff Teague – Hawks v. Cavaliers – $6,000 – I am expecting a lot more out of Teague for the rest of this series. If we do not see it, the series will be over swiftly. Teague is one of the few Hawks who we have seen step up his game when needed. Down 2-0 with your back against the wall certainly qualifies as one of those spots for me. Kyrie has always been a little bit suspect on the defensive end, and people were predicting a big series from Teague because of it. His minutes and production are down, with 23 minutes, 11 points and 5 assists being his average through two games so far. It will be tough for him to deliver upside if they get blown out again, so hopefully the move back to Atlanta keeps this one a lot closer.
J.R. Smith – Cavaliers v. Hawks – $5,300 – J.R. definitely showed us his skill set in game 2 where he put up THIRTEEN 3’s. He sunk 7 of those attempts and totaled 33 DKFP. He’s the most expensive SG on the slate, and I think he’s the safest option at the position. He’s seen consistent court time, and, as I eluded to, he isn’t afraid to shoot the ball. At this price point, he should be able to hit value, as he’s consistently done throughout the playoffs.
Danny Green – Spurs v. Thunder – $4,000 – While Danny Green hasn’t always produced in his big minutes, he’s somewhat ‘come alive’ in the playoffs. In 3 of his last 4 playoff games, he’s had 25, 34.5 and 22 DKFP. The only game that he wasn’t over that 22 DKFP mark was the series clinching, game 4 against the Grizzlies. He’s a pure shooter, and at a weak position, he’s a decent option to reach value in a game that should stay close.
Manu Ginobili – spurs v. Thunder – ($3600) – Manu is still only playing an off-the-bench role, but the old man still has a lot of swagger in his game. He’s averaging a respectable 18 fantasy points in only an average of 16.5 minutes so far in this series. He played 22 minutes and scored 21 fantasy points in the last game. If he continues down this road, we could see a big game coming soon where he goes for 25 fantasy points at under $4K for a 7X return.
LeBron James – Cavaliers v. Hawks – $11,000 – James continues to be the driving force on the Cavaliers. He fills up the stat sheet on a nightly basis, and he’s always a threat for a 60 DKFP night. However, he isn’t my favorite high-priced player on the night. I like Westbrook a lot better as an expensive option because I am much less worried about a blowout in the Thunder/Spurs game. That being said, LeBron certainly has the ability to be the highest scoring player on the night, so he is a difficult fade.
Kevin Durant – Thunder v. Spurs – $9,300 – As I mentioned yesterday, the decision here comes down to Kawhi v. KD for $100 difference. Regardless how good Kawhi is at defense, Durant’s upside for $100 more is significant. Durant has the offensive ability to score, rebound and dish to rack up fantasy points in a hurry. The decision between KD and Kawhi is simple for me, but the LeBron/Durant debate is one that is much more difficult.
Thabo Sefolosha – Hawks v. Cavaliers – $2,300 – There is a huge drop from Bazemore to every other SF option on the board. Of all those cheap options, I like Thabo the best for a shot at 20+ fantasy points. In fact, he is so cheap that anything over 16 or 17 DKFP would get the job done for him in terms of value. He has averaged just shy of 20 minutes, and half of his games he’s returned 16-25 points in the playoffs so far.
LaMarcus Aldridge – Spurs v. Thunder – $8,700 – Aldridge has been the hottest player in the NBA for the last few games. He’s averaging approximately 55 DKFP his last two games against the Thunder, and it doesn’t appear Serge Ibaka can slow him down. Now, Billy Donovan may make some adjustments to try to limit LMA, but I don’t see it happening. His dynamic game paired with the well-tuned Spurs offense is too much for him to be significantly hindered. He’s the best PF option on the board by a mile.
Paul Millsap – Hawks v. Cavaliers – $8,600 – Despite the two losses in Cleveland, Paul Millsap produced. I like Millsap over Kevin Love in this spot because I believe Millsap’s matchup on the offensive end is much easier than Love’s. Going against each other, Millsap is a much better defender than Love is, so I think Millsap will have more opportunities for continued production in this matchup.
Serge Ibaka – Thunder v. Spurs – $5,600 – He has been solid throughout the playoffs, but he doesn’t have extreme upside. He has been between the 15-25 fantasy point plateau through 7 playoff games. He has an extremely difficult matchup against LMA on the defensive end, and he can rack up fouls quickly covering him. But, he is the best option outside of the $8K and up players.
Steven Adams – Thunder v. Spurs – $5,200 – Because Horford has been so bad through the first two games of his series, Steven Adams finds his way into the stud category for tonight’s slate. He isn’t the safest of plays, but he has shown the ability to have a decent fantasy point output for his price. The Spurs defense is weak on the interior, and Adams has proven he can consistently put up 20-30 DKFP.
Enes Kanter – Thunder v. Spurs – $4,900 – The Thunder centers are the only guys I believe make viable fantasy plays tonight. With Duncan deferring to LMA and Al Horford failing to produce, Adams and Kanter project as the only two centers to give us some upside for their price. Kanter has shown the ability to put up 25-30 DKFP, and at this price, that’s a great return. He’s played 19 minutes in each of the last 2 games, and he’s put up two very different fantasy totals (10.5 and 26.5 respectively). Given game one was a blowout and tonight’s game is projected to stay close, I believe he’ll mirror his 26.5 DKFP output.