• It’s a big day in the NBA with three teams fighting for their playoff lives on this three-game night. The Hornets stung the Heat in Miami and now has the potential to make it to the second round of the playoffs, something that hasn’t happened since 2002. The Pacers find themselves on the ropes, after a strong comeback by the Raptors in Game 5. And the Blazers look to knock out the hobbled Clippers.

    Vegas Point Totals

    Heat vs. Hornets: 191 1/2

    Raptors vs. Pacers: 195 1/2

    Clippers vs. Blazers: 198 1/2

    Surprisingly, these games are relatively low scoring. I know we are here to talk DFS, but if I were to make a bet on the over / under odds, I think I would have to take the over on the game in Portland. Back to the topic at hand, as you can see the point spread shows that it’s going to be pretty much an open market when it comes to making your lineups. As we discussed on Thursday’s episode of the ‘Fantasy NBA Today Podcast,’ it’s extremely important to look at the matchups of each player at each position.

    Let’s start the weekend off right by trying to put some money in your FanDuel account. Here is the Hoop Ball card for Friday, April 29th.

    Editor’s Note: Do you think you can build a better lineup? Test your skills in Hoop Ball’s free entry league here: https://www.fanduel.com/games/15441/contests/15441-24248770/enter

    Point Guards

    Damian Lillard ($8,200)

    Lillard is the most expensive point guard (not including the injured Chris Paul, who is out with a broken hand) that you can put in your lineups. He produced a 34.7 FanDuel points in Game 5 and with the game being back on his home floor, I’m expecting a big night from Lillard.

    George Hill ($4,700)

    After struggling through the first three games, Hill has finally shown signs of life averaging 28.6 FanDuel points over the last two outings. Head coach Frank Vogel has been incorporating Hill a bit more into the offense, especially with Monta Ellis struggling through this series. He’s a slight risk, but at $4,700 I’m willing to ride the hot streak.

    Shooting Guards

    Dwayne Wade ($7,600)

    Wade has averaged 34.4 FanDuel points through the postseason. After a questionable non-call during the closing minutes of Game 5 (which arguably cost the Heat the game), Wade is going to have to find gas in his old tank to help his team avoid a first round exit.

    C.J. McCollum ($7,200)

    The league’s Most Improved Player has been fantastic during the Blazers’ three-game winning streak. Over his last three games, McCollum has scored a total of 38, 27.6 and 40.8 FanDuel points. Now, with the Blazers back on their home floor to try and wrap up this series, McCollum should be able to continue his strong play as the team’s No. 2 option on offense.

    Small Forwards

    Paul George ($9,400)

    I mean was this really a surprise? George has played phenomenal through the first round of the playoffs, averaging 45.3 FanDuel points per game. After a gut-punching loss in Game 5, PG-13 is going to need to stay hot if the Pacers are to have any chance of winning.

    Maurice Harkless ($5,200)

    Harkless has been a sneaky good play throughout Round 1 of the playoffs. I have played him in the Blazers’ last two outings and he has been a combined 13.5 percent owned. In this series, Harkless is arguably playing the best basketball he has played in his young career. He is only averaging 22.4 FanDuel points throughout this series, but as we saw in Game 5 he has the potential to go for 30 FanDuel points.

    Power Forwards

    Luol Deng ($6,600)

    Deng has been the most consistent Heat player through the postseason thus far. He has not jumped off the page statistically since Game 1, but Deng is still averaging 29.8 FanDuel points per game and that’s a fair total to expect from the most expensive power forward of the day.

    Jeff Green ($4,900)

    With the Clippers getting hit by the injury bug and Blake Griffin ruled out for the remainder of the playoffs, Green had to step in as the team’s starting four-man. In the last two games, Green has seen over 30 minutes of action but it has only translated into one good game. The nickname ‘trick-or-treat’ makes him a bit of a risky play, but he is going to continue to see a high minute total with Griffin out and all we can hope for is that he gives us a treat for our lineups.

    Center

    Mason Plumlee ($6,200)

    At $6,200 you can feel more than happy having Plumlee in your lineups. The first-year Blazer has been having his way against DeAndre Jordan in this series, averaging six points, 7.7 assists and a massive 16.7 rebounds through the team’s three-game winning streak. If you have the cap space to go after a DeAndre Jordan or Hassan Whiteside I would understand the play, but Plumlee at a $2,000 discount gives you more money to spend in other areas. In this series, Plumlee is averaging 34.4 FanDuel points per game.

     

Fantasy News

  • John Beilein
    , Cleveland Cavaliers

    According to Adrian Wojnarowski, John Beilein is leaving as the Cavs’ coach and J.B. Bickerstaff will be elevated to head coach.

    It’s still not official, but once Woj says it’s happening, it’s happening. A shake-up is likely to be a great thing for this roster that contains at least a few unhappy star players in Kevin Love and Andre Drummond. Be ready to act on any significant role changes that come with this move. For example, will Larry Nance Jr. and/or Kevin Porter Jr. take on expanded roles?

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

  • Terry Rozier
    PG, Charlotte Hornets

    Terry Rozier (left knee soreness) practiced in full on Tuesday.

    Rozier missed the Hornet's final game heading into the All-Star break, but it wasn't considered to be a long-term concern. Feel free to get Rozier back into all lineups ahead of Thursday's game against the Bulls.

    Source: Rod Boone on Twitter

  • Damian Lillard
    PG, Portland Trail Blazers

    Coach Terry Stotts said that he wouldn't put a timetable on when star point guard Damian Lillard (right groin strain) would return, but he is expected to be re-evaluated on Tuesday or Wednesday.

    Lillard was given a timetable of 1-2 weeks last Wednesday, as the All-Star break came at an ideal time. Lillard has a shot to avoid any missed time if his re-evaluation shows progress, but owners should prepare for a scenario in which he misses a handful of games. The Blazers have five games remaining in February.

    Source: NBC Sports

  • Dario Saric
    PF, Phoenix Suns

    The Suns expect Dario Saric (left ankle) to be available to play against the Raptors on Friday.

    James Jones said that he expects everyone outside ok Frank Kaminsky to be available for Friday's game, meaning Tyler Johnson will be out there as well. While Saric has been out, Mikal Bridges has seen his role expand while Kelly Oubre Jr. has played a lot of PF. Keep an eye on how the rotation shakes out now that the Suns are healthy shakes out.

    Source: Kellan Olson on Twitter

  • Aron Baynes
    C, Phoenix Suns

    James Jones said that he expects Aron Baynes (left hip soreness) to be available for Friday's game against the Raptors.

    Baynes will be joining Deandre Ayton and the rest of the injured Suns' players in returning for this one. Baynes hasn't played in roughly a month and should be seeing a minimal role off the bench down the stretch. He can be left on the waiver wire unless something happens to Ayton.

    Source: Kellan Olson on Twitter

  • Deandre Ayton
    C, Phoenix Suns

    James Jones said that he expects Deandre Ayton (left ankle soreness) to be available to play against the Raptors on Friday.

    Ayton missed a few games to close out the first half, but it looks like the second-year big man will be good to go when the Suns return to action. Ayton was putting up top-12/16 per-game value in 9/8 cat leagues in the 13 games before going down, and owners have to be ecstatic to get him back in their lineups. Cheick Diallo will revert to a deep reserve role.

    Source: Kellan Olson on Twitter

  • Cody Martin
    PF, Charlotte Hornets

    Cody Martin (concussion protocol) fully participated in Tuesday's practice session.

    Martin found himself in the starting lineup before going down a few weeks ago, as he has started to earn a bigger role in coach James Borrego's rotation. With Marvin Williams and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist out of the picture, Martin should have a reasonably safe role for the second half of the season.

    Source: Rick Bonnell on Twitter

  • Clint Capela
    C, Atlanta Hawks

    Clint Capela (right heel) did not participate in Tuesday's practice.

    Capela doesn't have a specific target date as he continues to fight the heel issue. With Capela out, Dewayne Dedmon will continue to absorb the bulk of minutes at C with Damian Jones backing him up. Over his past four games, Dedmon has averaged 8.8 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.3 steals, 3.8 blocks and 1.0 trey in 28.3 minutes per game.

    Source: Chris Kirschner on Twitter

  • Otto Porter Jr.
    SF, Chicago Bulls

    Otto Porter Jr. (left foot fracture) returned to Bulls practice on Tuesday.

    Porter added that he felt good and will return to game action when is 100 percent healthy. It was being reported earlier this week that Porter is eyeing a return before the end of the month, and this would be in line with that projection. It is unclear what type of minutes Porter can handle down the stretch, but his versatile skillset makes for an upside stash in fantasy circles.

    Source: K.C. Johnson on Twitter

  • Wendell Carter Jr.
    C, Chicago Bulls

    Wendell Carter Jr. (right ankle sprain) resumed practicing on Tuesday as he eyes a return to game action.

    Carter is hopeful of playing when the Bulls return to action against the Hornets on Thursday. The Bulls may take a cautious approach and let him get in a few more practices before clearing him, but Carter's arrow is pointing straight up right now. If he is lingering on your league's waiver wire, go grab him.

    Source: K.C. Johnson on Twitter