We are well under way in Round 2 of the NBA Playoffs. This article aims to highlight some of the best plays at each position for today’s main NBA slate. Keep in mind that the following player write-ups were constructed earlier in the day, and sometimes injury/rest situations can alter the fantasy landscape. Monitoring our NBA News & Headlines Feed throughout the day will keep you in the loop. Today’s main slate on FanDuel, Yahoo and DraftKings includes two games starting at 6:30 ET.
Kemba Walker – Boston (at Toronto) – Yahoo: $29, DK: $8000, FD: $8000
Walker is a compromise, but these two-game slates are full of compromises. An excellent value on Yahoo, Walker has produced some of the most consistent fantasy totals in the playoffs. Coming off a 29-point game, he’s capable of a double-double, and does enough on both ends to warrant a roster spot in any contest tonight.
Also Consider: Kyle Lowry
Fred VanVleet – Toronto (vs. Boston) – Yahoo: $32, DK: $7700, FD: $7700
VanVleet makes all my lineups tonight thanks, again, to his consistency. He’s been a rock for the Raptors throughout the playoffs, and like Walker, it’s the multi-category contributions that seal the deal. For example, his six steals (!) in Game 1 of this series allowed him to post 40 fantasy points despite a cold night shooting (just 11 points on 18 percent shooting from the field). His salary is pretty easy to fit on all three sites.
You have a choice between Leonard or Nikola Jokic for your superstar tonight. I can’t do anything I really like with both of them in the lineups, and our NBA DFS Optimizer actually prefers rolling without either of them. Still, it’s hard to deny his upside. The consistency here is in his 30 real points per game; the upside comes from the nights he brings down double-digit rebounds, steals the ball four times, or dishes the dimes.
Marcus Morris – LA Clippers (vs. Denver) – Yahoo: $20, DK: $5500, FD: $5000
Morris’ only bad game in the playoffs came in Game 6 vs. Dallas, when he was ejected after 11 minutes. Otherwise, he’s been gold for the price. Hitting crucial three’s, being active on the boards, and getting steals in transition have him averaging about 30 fantasy points per game. You have to save somewhere, and Morris is one of the safer places to do it.
Marc Gasol – Toronto (vs. Boston) – Yahoo: $10, DK: $4500, FD: $4500
If you don’t go with Jokic here, you’re going out on a limb. I like the Gasol branch because his 20 fantasy points come soooo cheaply. I have no delusions of upside with this play, but he opens up another spot for someone like Lowry or George, which will make the difference for your lineups.
Bargains of the Night
Norman Powell (G/F – TOR) Plans to “get Powell going” in Game 3 didn’t exactly come to fruition, but it’s got to be a plan that is still on the table as the Raptors remain in the hole 2-1 to the Celtics. At $14 Yahoo, $4200 DK, and $4700 FD, Powell has nice upside (as he showed last week with 45 fantasy points in 24 minutes) for the price. He’s a risk, but I prefer him over the Denver guards (Torrey Craig and Gary Harris).
Daniel Theis (F/C – BOS) Theis has been impressive, especially vs. Toronto. He’s having a great series, and posted some big numbers against the Raptors in the seeding games. I loved his salary, so I was especially happy when I saw that our Projections had him for 30-32 fantasy points in tonight’s game, the best PF/C value on the slate on all three sites.
Paul Millsap (PF/C – DEN) Denver looked completely gassed in Game 1, but aging Paul Millsap managed a monster stat line of 13 points, 9 rebounds, 2 blocks and 3 steals in just 24 minutes. That’s more than he has been playing, which is perhaps why he was so fresh. His overall season averages against the Clippers aren’t as good as that line indicates, but at his salary ($12 Yahoo, $4600 DK, $5000 FD), it’s worth seeing if he can repeat it.
GPP Pivots of the Night
Nikola Jokic (C – DEN) As noted, Jokic and Murray both looked worn out from the effort it took to get to this round. Are they done? I hope not. Jokic is coming off a terrible game, but he played only 30 minutes in the blowout Game 1 loss. I expect a rebound effort from him tonight (pun intended), and at lower ownership given the 22-fantasy point line from Thursday.
Jamal Murray (PG – DEN) Murray’s salary is now almost prohibitively high on all three sites (worst on DK), which alone is enough to give me pause with Walker and Lowry playing well. Like Jokic, however, I think Murray digs deep tonight as the Nuggets fight to stay in this series. Yes, it’s only been one game, but that game was so decisive that it already feels like a must-win for Denver, and that’s the attitude they need to have. Murray embodies it as well as anyone.
Michael Porter, Jr. (PF – DEN) Denver was so sad Thursday that all my pivots are Nuggets. I’m still waiting for the Michael Porter of the seeding phase to appear in the playoffs (ok there was that one game vs. Utah but it feels like forever ago). There is a decent chance that it isn’t Millsap who steps up from the PF position tonight, and among those with young, fresh legs it’s Porter who has the best potential for low-owned, cheap fantasy points.