• Good afternoon, it is Friday April 19 and we have three playoff games to look at for tonight’s DFS slate. As you know here at Hoop Ball we are partnered with DraftKings so we will be using their pricing as a base.

    I am switching things up a little for today’s article and instead of just listing my favorite value on the card I will be going game by game, listing the players who I will have in my player pool tonight. I generally run out multiple lineups and making sure they correlate is extremely important. For example: If I am looking to play a stud from both the Thunder and Raptors you could easily correlate it by playing Russell Westbrook with Kawhi Leonard or Paul George with Pascal Siakam. Both options would allow you to spend up at small forward, while still having exposure to at least one of the highest projected scorers on for each team.

    This is just one example on a way to correlate, but there and hundreds of ways. An example of negative correlation would be playing a power forward and center from the same team. Yes, they could both hit value, but in a GPP we are looking for the best possible outcome to win a tournament and they those two positions tend to eat into each other’s rebounding upside. I will get to a specific example of this negative correlation in this article.

    Now let’s jump right into some playoff action!

    Raptors @ Magic – 211 ½ Game total – Raptors +4.5

    Raptors

    Kawhi Leonard – $8,200 – Leonard put the Raptors on his shoulders during Game 2 and will look to continue doing so throughout this series. Small forward is generally a spend up vs. spend down position. Leonard is at a fair price and I am expecting this game to stay a little closer than the last with the game being in Orlando.

    Pascal Siakam – $7,300 –Siakam has taken on a scorer’s role during the playoffs. Over the first two games of the series Siakam has shot 40 times and has averaged 39.5 minutes per game during that stretch. I am expecting decent ownership, but he feels like a great cash option with some GPP upside.

    Kyle Lowry $6,800 – Lowry said coming into playoffs that he is expecting to be more of a facilitator. Well, he dropped 43.5 DK points while only dishing seven assists. He is still sporting a usage rate of 20.3 percent and while I am not expecting another 43 DK points I do think 35 is on the table. We have a lot of great point guard options on tonight’s slate and lineup correlation is important with the Raptors’ starters.

    Magic

    Nikola Vucevic – $7,800 – This is just a stupid low price for Vucecic. He maintained a salary over $9,000 for the majority of the season should be hovering around $8,500 right now. Obviously the matchup is difficult, but the Magic are at home and need Vucevic to perform in order to stay in the game. He has a 26.6 usage rate and it is bar far the highest of the centers on the slate.

    Aaron Gordon – $6,200 – I never feel too comfortable about playing Gordon, but he is underpriced and makes for a solid pivot off of Vucevic if you are still trying to have some exposure to the Magic. Power forward is not that deep today and Gordon offers cash and tournament upside. I would not play Vucevic and Gordon in the same lineup unless I was stacking this game up.

    Celtics @ Pacers – 203.5 Game total – Pacers -3

    Celtics

    Kyrie Irving – $8,900 – Irving is simply the driving force of this team. He has been looking to get his teammates more involved on offense, while still scoring at a monstrous clip. We have plenty of good options at point guard and we have seen how low scoring these games could be, but he is clearly the best option on Boston.

    Marcus Morris – $4,700 – Morris was the chalk two days ago and everyone who started him suffered. I do not expect him to light the world on fire, but we need value and I am hoping Morris left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth and we see a slightly depressed ownership.

    Pacers

    Myles Turner – $5,700 – Let me start by saying I do not feel comfortable with any of the Pacers on tonight’s slate, but someone has to get there right? Turner has been getting the Horford treatment throughout the series and while I do not expect that to end I know there is still upside for tournaments in there. His price tag has dropped low enough to the point where we could temper expectations, but still hold out hope for a big rebounding and blocks game. Thad Young and Domantas Sabonis could be in play as well if you find you want to get some exposure on the Pacers side, but did not want to occupy your center position.

    Wesley Matthews – $3,900 – Matthews may have cost the Pacers a shot at winning Game 2, but he is a veteran and is under $4,000. There is not much of a ceiling, but if you are starving for value there are worse spots you could go.

    Blazers @ Thunder – 222 Game total – Thunder -7.5

    Blazers

    Damian Lillard – $9,100 – Lillard time has already begun and I do not see the reason to jump off now. Having C.J. McCollum back has freed up some space for Lillard, but I just love this matchup. He is only $200 more than Irving, but the expected pace and game total of this game is much higher. Lillard and Russell Westbrook have a feud brewing and these two guards get up to play against one another.

    C.J. McCollum – $6,900 – Honestly, I feel like we could jump off McCollum after a big game, but he is still underpriced and that leaves him in my player pool. Much of this will come down to ownership to me and if I get the feeling that everyone is on him by around lock and I will pivot elsewhere. When we only have three games on the slate taking a stance is important. Now, I am not fading him, but I will be under the field on him.

    Enes Kanter – $6,500 – Kanter burned some people last game and I was one of them. He took a trip to the locker room and when that happens it’s hard to come back and hit value. I expect Kanter to play more than the 20 minutes he did last time out and his salary has dropped $500.

    Al-Farouq Aminu and Moe Harkless are in play, but they are not grading out for me as spectacular plays. It would come down to them just fitting into my lineup, rather than going out of my to play them.

    Thunder

    Russell Westbrook – $10,200 – There is not much that needs to be said. Westbrook is severely underpriced for a player who provides 80 DK point upside. I mentioned the rivalry forming between him and Lillard and Westbrook is an emotional player who uses that to fuel his fire. It is going to be hard to avoid Westbrook, especially knowing he is only $1,300 more than a popular Irving.

    Paul George – $8,700 – George says his shoulder is fine, but I do not believe that completely. Still, we know his upside and now his price has dipped below $9,000. I like Westbrook more, but small forward tends to be a garbage position and locking in one of the studs could be worthwhile.

    Steven Adams – $5,900 – Adams will continue the fly under the radar throughout the series, but he simply has the best matchup on the court. We never expect Adams to come out and shoot a ton, but he gets to value without scoring and could in this matchup if he needs to. I will have a lot of exposure to this game and while Adams may not be my first option at center I still think he is one of the better cash plays.

    Dennis Schroder – $5,200 – Schroder is strictly a tournament play. In the first game we saw him play 36 minutes and take a boatload of shots. In the last game we saw his minutes dip down to 20 and he let everyone down. I am throwing that game out the window for blowout purposes and leaning towards the first game representing a better sample size. We may not get the 36 minutes that we are looking for, but I feel confident he plays at least 28 minutes and takes 10-plus shots.

    As always you can find me on Twitter @MikeApotria with any of your questions or comments.

Fantasy News

  • Damion Lee
    SG, Golden State Warriors

    Damion Lee scored 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting with nine boards, two assists and three steals in Monday's preseason game against the Lakers.

    Lee had a solid game and should find himself into some rotational minutes, but Jordan Poole (eight points, one rebound, three assists and two triples) is a more intriguing prospect while both are irrelevant in fantasy.

  • Dwight Howard
    C, Los Angeles Lakers

    Dwight Howard double-doubled with 12 points and 13 rebounds to go with six assists, four steals and a block in Monday's 104-98 win over the Warriors.

    He went 2-for-4 from the field and a solid 8-for-10 at the line. Howard outplayed JaVale McGee (11 points, one 3-pointer, five rebounds, one assist and three blocks) tonight and with DeMarcus Cousins (ACL) out for the season, we expect a timeshare at the center position. McGee is the more attractive option due to his high block rate, but Howard makes for a good rebounding specialist for fantasy owners.

  • Zach Norvell
    PG, Los Angeles Lakers

    Zach Norvell scored 22 points on 6-of-13 shooting with three triples, four rebounds, an assist and a steal in Monday's game against the Warriors.

    Norvell looked great tonight, shooting without hesitation and scoring efficiently. It's still difficult to envision him playing consistent and meaningful minutes, but performances like tonight can't hurt.

  • Marquese Chriss
    PF, Golden State Warriors

    Marquese Chriss scored 14 points with 11 rebounds, four assists, a steal and three blocks in Monday's game against the Lakers.

    Warriors players and coaches have been voicing their admiration for Chriss and his game this preseason and it actually looks like he has a solid chance to make the final roster. There are still plenty of things getting in the way of Chriss being a strong fantasy asset and we've seen this hype train plenty of times so for now he's a guy to watch.

  • Stephen Curry
    PG, Golden State Warriors

    Steph Curry scored 17 points on 6-of-17 shooting with three 3-pointers, a rebound, three assists, two steals and two blocks in Monday's preseason game against the Lakers.

    Curry didn't shoot the ball well, but we're not worried at all about him. He dropped 40 points a few nights ago and the Warriors are going to let their MVP run wild this year.

  • Frank Kaminsky
    PF, Phoenix Suns

    Frank Kaminsky led the Suns in scoring with 22 points on 6-of-10 shooting to go with two triples, six boards, three assists and a block in Monday's 102-107 loss to the Nuggets.

    Kaminsky won't beat out Deandre Ayton (14 points, four rebounds, one assist and a block) but if the Suns are willing to play him at power forward, he might be a fringe standard-league guy.

  • Kelly Oubre Jr.
    SF, Phoenix Suns

    Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 11 points on 3-of-11 shooting with four rebounds, an assist, a steal and a block on Monday.

    Oubre Jr. went 3-for-11 from the field but 5-for-6 at the line. He's not going to be an efficient shooter from the field, but he gets to the line frequently and puts up counting stats which makes him an appealing fantasy option.

  • Michael Porter Jr.
    PF, Denver Nuggets

    Michael Porter Jr. scored 11 points on 5-of-10 shooting with five rebounds, a steal, two blocks and a 3-pointer against the Suns on Monday.

    Porter Jr. looks great out there and right now the only real fear is whether or not he can stay healthy. Nuggets fans have waited a while, but Porter has looked fluid and athletic during the preseason as a forward that can do a little bit of everything. He's definitely someone you'll want to watch closely.

  • Jamal Murray
    PG, Denver Nuggets

    Jamal Murray scored 16 points on 6-of-16 shooting with eight rebounds, six assists and two triples in Monday's game against the Suns.

    Murray is the clear No. 2 guy in Denver behind Nikola Jokic (four points, four rebounds, four assists, a steal and a block) and leads a high powered Nuggets offense which has given him a clear green light. Gary Harris (18 points, two triples, two rebounds, two assists and a steal) is going to have to battle his way into production as the Nuggets have plenty of guards that can play.

  • Jerami Grant
    SF, Denver Nuggets

    Jerami Grant scored 22 points on 6-of-8 shooting with two triples, two rebounds and three steals in Monday's preseason game against the Suns.

    Grant got the starting nod with Paul Millsap (DNP-CD) sitting out and should contribute solid minutes to a deep Nuggets team. There's too much depth on the team for him to make a fantasy dent like he did last year, but if Millsap misses time. Grant should post standard-league value as a fill-in.