Daily Fantasy Basketball Playoff Preview For Saturday, 4/16
The 2015-16 NBA playoffs arrive this weekend, starting on Saturday with four games and four more games on Sunday. The set-up and strategy certainly does change from the NBA regular season to post-season play, but that doesn’t mean we want to bypass some sweet daily fantasy basketball action.
It’s different, but in an obvious way it’s a lot safer. Injuries don’t impact the game nearly as much, everyone tends to get their minutes and it’s less likely that some random bench player goes nuts. Of course, gauging which players (that no one else sees coming) will erupt is more crucial than ever if you want to separate yourself from the pack in a big GPP.
We aim to help you do that this weekend, as we walk with you into the fire that is the NBA playoffs with a look at all of the top value plays across the first two days at DraftKings:
Pacers @ Raptors
Top Studs: Paul George ($8.4k), DeMar DeRozan ($7.4k) and Kyle Lowry ($7.2k)
George is going to be blanketed by DeMarre Carrol and/or Norman Powell all game, but he has the highest upside of any player in this game. He’s not really 100%, is on the road and doesn’t have an ideal matchup, but he still represents value based on the price. He could be huge and the Pacers will still lose, but naturally he’d be a great DFS play. He’s risky, but he’s probably the best play in this matchup.
The Raptors have two very good scorers in DMR and Lowry and both are very much in play at considerable value. Lowry is the better value due to his ability to convert on outside shots more and also rack up dimes, but his matchup might be tough and he has been banged up. He’s the better play, but DMR can really pile on the points. Both guys are at home and have a great chance to return value based on their cheap price tags.
Top Values: George Hill ($4.2k), DeMarre Carroll ($4k), Ian Mahinmi ($4.3k)
Hill is the starting point guard for Indy and is going to be needed to try to slow down Lowry. His price is dirt cheap considering how much run he’ll get, plus he can chip in outside shooting, dimes and steals. He has been pretty bad lately, but he costs nothing and will be on the floor a lot, as long as the game is relatively close.
The same probably goes for Carroll, who missed a lot of time this year due to knee surgery, but will be asked to drape PG-13 all day. His role is what makes him shaky, but if he can play 25-30 minutes he’ll do enough to make up for it. He can hit the three, will rebound and can also get steals pretty easily. That versatility is huge for a talented player who is insanely cheap to get the playoffs rolling.
You can also consider guys like Myles Turner and Jonas Valanciunas, but to me the last good value is Mahinmi. Jonas V has Bismack Biyombo behind him and we never know what kind of run Turner is going to get, so Mahnimi makes the most sense as a fairly safe, cheap bet. He is not an amazing scorer, but he can get easy buckets and defends very well. His defense will be needed on Jonas and at this price anything close to a double-double will make him a great play.
Celtics @ Hawks
Top Studs: Paul Millsap ($8.3k), Al Horford ($6.7k) and Isaiah Thomas ($7.3k)
Are any of these guys true elites? Certainly not, but they represent the most upside on a regular basis of all the options in this matchup.
Thrillsap is the top play and he’s actually a pretty good price when you consider how he could/should destroy Boston down low. He averaged over 44 fantasy points per game against them in four meetings this year, so he’s safely in play if you want a cheap elite option.
Horfy just has a lower ceiling and can sack out pretty badly. The Celtics are not strong down low, though, so he should get close to the 35 fantasy points he averaged against them.
IT2 is a monster as a scorer and there’s nothing Atlanta is going to do to prevent him from getting his. Being on the road and having Jeff Teague in his grill is troublesome, to be sure, but Thomas worked them pretty good (36 fantasy points per game in four meetings) and at this price you have to chase the upside he offers along with his reliability.
Top Values: Jeff Teague ($6.1k), Avery Bradley ($5.2k) and Jae Crowder ($5.6k)
I think concrete roles are pretty important in DFS, so come this first playoff game, I’m not sure I’m gaga about chasing after Kyle Korver, Kent Bazemore or Jared Sullinger and merely hoping for the best. To be honest, Baze and Korver aren’t attractive anyways, as they’ll have very good defenders on them.
Of this trio, Teague is the best pure value, as he’ll play a lot and can score, get steals and also set his teammates up. He wasn’t amazing against Boston this year, but he’s at home and hopefully will normally have Isaiah Thomas on him – at least to get things started.
Bradley is pretty erratic, but he can also explode and will have Korver on him for much of the game. That bodes extremely well for him. Crowder was banged up for a bit (ankle) but is back and will be in for a big role on both ends. He can do it all and remains a very good option at this price.
Rockets @ Warriors
Top Studs: Stephen Curry ($10.6k), James Harden ($10.8k), Draymond Green ($8.7k) and Dwight Howard ($6k)
Curry, Harden and Dray need no real explanation. They’re all pretty pricey for very good reason and there is very little to suggest they will disappoint in a very fast-paced, high-scoring game. Obviously Curry will have the pesky Patrick Beverley messing with him, but in two meetings Steph scored 30 points per game. I’m not overly concerned.
Dwight Howard hasn’t looked all that elite and his price is actually that of a bargain buy, but if he’s tuned in, he can crush in this matchup. Andrew Bogut is not an easy matchup, but it’s not one Dwight can’t get by. He averaged over 38 fantasy points in three battles with Golden State, so I like him quite a bit.
Top Values: Klay Thompson ($6.5k), Patrick Beverley ($5.3k), Trevor Ariza ($5.7k), Harrison Barnes (4.7k) and Andrew Bogut ($3.9k)
Thompson can obviously get insanely hot and the Rockets don’t defend, so there’s plenty of reason to like him at an absurdly low price. The only real issue is Trevor Ariza might come to life as a defender and Klay doesn’t do a whole lot other than score, but when he gets hot, look out.
Bev is a good play just because he has such a big role now and this matchup should help him get up more shots than usual. He wasn’t special against the Warriors during the regular season and I personally would hope for his price to be a little lower, however.
Ariza has some nice upside based on this low price, as he plays around 40 minutes and should be needed to try to slow down Klay Thompson. He can rack up steals and rebounds pretty easily and if his outside shot is falling, he’s a fun guy to have in a GPP.
Barnes is a bit of a throw-in just because he gets decent run and is cheap. You may need to be a little concerned about how much time Andre Iguodala takes from him. Obviously if Iggy is going to get insane run like he did in last year’s NBA Finals, he shoots up as a must-use value play, as well.
Last, but not least, is Bogut, who can rack up rebounds, blocks and put-backs as long as he’s actually out there. He will be needed to help against Dwight, so while he’s risky, he’s insanely cheap and could see 25-30 minutes possibly.
Mavericks @ Thunder
Top Studs: Kevin Durant ($10k), Russell Westbrook ($10.7k) and Dirk Nowitzki ($6.2k)
KD and Russ are gods in this matchup obviously, so pick your elite as you may. My choice would be KD based off of price value here, especially considering their results against Dallas are nearly identical. Dallas doesn’t have anyone to stop either of them, so this could be fun.
Dirk has slowed down quite a bit and kind of limps into the playoffs, but he could go vintage Dirk right away. We just can’t know, and though I hate the thought of Serge Ibaka on him, he carries some upside at this price.
Top Values: Deron Williams ($5.5k), Wes Matthews ($4.4k), Serge Ibaka ($5.4k) and Enes Kanter ($5.3k)
D-Will is healthy and has looked solid since returning from an injury. He comes into a very up-tempo game at a good price and actually was good against OKC (33 fantasy points per game) this year. His matchup is fine since Russ spends a ton of his energy on offense, so he should get his no matter how the game goes.
The same could be said for Wes, who is going to keep seeing heavy minutes at the two and three with Chandler Parsons likely done of the playoffs. He can hit the three and get steals, but he does little else, making him somewhat risky. The same goes for Ibaka, who can blow up with blocks and rebounds, but just isn’t involved enough in the offense to be overly reliable.
Ditto for Kanter, but if OKC runs wild early, he could see a lot of action late. He just scores the ball so well and so easily, that it’s tough to shut him out of lineups. That being said, I can understand interest in teammate Steven Adams or even Dallas center Zaza Pachulia, provided he starts and can see 25-30 minutes.
That does it for our day one preview to get the daily fantasy basketball playoffs underway. Enjoy the first night of NBA post-season action and good luck in your leagues!
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