• Hey!  A fantasy article by Aaron Bruski!  Excessive exclamation point usage everywhere!

    I’ve been busy around here making Hoop Ball grow and yada, yada.  This is actually my first ever DFS article, too, as I’m filling in for Vince Miracle.  You guys know that I specialize in season-long fantasy hoops and I’ve generally strayed away from DFS because I don’t like to advise in areas in which I’m not profitable.  And in this case I simply don’t play.

    It’s a big point of contention I have with a lot of analysis you see on the Internet and even on major sites — they either don’t believe in their own work enough to bet their own money in semi-reasonable amounts (bet tell me more about my money) — or they don’t own up to their losses.

    Anyway, I’ve been playing DFS this postseason and that’s probably a sweet spot for me because I’m not thoroughly familiar with all of the strategy behind it.  I can leverage my knowledge of matchups and game play within a small universe of players, and though I find that terrible for the overall luck factor of a game, I’ve been able to build my initial bank roll up 250% over about three weeks or so.  To be clear, I’m not betting big money as I would with season-long games.  But I’m doing okay so I feel okay writing this article.  As I said to one reader that solicits my advice, maybe now is the time to fade me with that possibly unsustainable ROI lurking.

    On to the picks….

    **All prices from FanDuel

    POINT GUARD

    Kyle Lowry, $7900

    Lowry has gotten his mojo back and is extremely due for positive shooting regression, and with no Hassan Whiteside he’ll have as easy of a time getting into the lane as he might ever have.  He just needs to get past the first level of solid defenders he will face.

    Damian Lillard, $8900

    Lillard and C.J. McCollum have the speed advantage on Shaun Livingston and Klay Thompson so there is no real benefit to shading coverage, and the Warriors already switch everything as is.  I’m skeptical about the Blazers’ chances of winning tonight and they could struggle if the Warriors decide to clamp down, but one last gasp of competitive ball at home before they get sent packing seems about right.  Lillard is a big-game monster.

    SHOOTING GUARD

    Dwyane Wade, $8100

    Wade is the alpha and omega for the Heat and everything in-between.  The loss of Hassan Whiteside and Jonas Valanciunas probably speeds the game up a bit, but it will be the same Dwyane Wade show down the stretch of the fourth quarter as it has been all postseason.

    C.J. McCollum, $7100

    I wanted to roll with DeMar DeRozan for the same reasons I rolled with Kyle Lowry, but needed to save $500 and figured heck why not ride with the spunky Blazers at home.  At the price one can’t go wrong, even if he gets bottled up and doesn’t shoot a lot he still isn’t killing the drill.

    SMALL FORWARD

    Harrison Barnes, $4,400

    There aren’t a lot of small forwards to choose from and unless Steph Curry starts this game (unlikely) I’m envisioning the same sort of balanced usage that the Warriors have exhibited since Steph went down.  And by balanced I mean that everybody that is playing significant minutes is producing a healthyish amount of stats.

    Joe Johnson, $5,100

    This is a Joe Johnson series.  The Raptors are thin at the small forward and power forward positions and that’s essentially what Johnson is at this stage of his career.

    POWER FORWARD

    Ed Davis, $3,800

    Terry Stotts realized in Game 3 that Mason Plumlee was killing them with his decision-making and put in Ed Davis, who has at least a little chill to his game.  Plumlee actually thinks he’s Magic Plumlee and when it works it’s great but against Draymond Green he should have known better than to come with that weak sh*t.

    Draymond Green, $10,000

    I’m not banking on a great ROI here but it’s a safer play and I want to bank points with this pick.

    CENTER

    Bismack Biyombo, $4,700

    The only real big man worth playing for the Raptors, he can help with the Heat’s penetrators and they’ll be going small at the same time.  This is a match made in heaven and he’s a must-start option in DFS.  Only foul trouble can derail a huge night.

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