The NBA playoffs are upon us, and I'll keep going with this column as long as FanDuel keeps running daily contests. Playing on FanDuel makes watching the playoffs even more exciting, especially if your favorite team missed the cut. I'll continue using the same format; looking at players who are good value and surpass their expected fantasy points output in relation to their price.
Dwyane Wade, $6,900 –
John Wall, $7,800 – I know the Bulls are a plus team as far as defense goes, but Wall is going to be heavily relied upon to produce and play a lot of minutes. Even against the Bulls defense he has the ability to produce like an elite player who can score while racking up the assists. Kirk Hinrich is a decent defender, but Wall should get matched up with the smaller D.J. Augustin a lot too. This price is too good in my opinion to pass up, so take advantage while he's still this cheap.
Shaun Livingston, $4,700 – There are a few reasons to like Livingston even though he was coming off a five-game absence due to a toe injury before Saturday's game. He should be well rested, and as I wrote earlier this season, his size can cause some positive matchup problems. While he'll likely be matched up with DeMar DeRozan who is the same height, Livingston could have an advantage if he runs point on the second unit. He has the ability to fill up the stat sheet across the board, and he averaged 3.2 rebounds and 1.2 steals while shooting 48.3 percent from the floor this season. He could be a sneaky play if the majority of owners are worried about him coming off the toe issue.
Sitting 28 games during the regular season will help keep down your price, and Wade appears ready to be a regular during the playoffs. He has already stated he feels much better heading into this playoff season than last year, which only bodes well for his fantasy prospects. His price is so good I'd start building my lineup with Wade and then build around him. Keep in mind he's had games where his fantasy value is close to or has surpassed LeBron James
' ($10,500), and I don't see any defender on Charlotte shutting him down.
Lance Stephenson, $5,900 –
Stephenson has been a regular in my lineups a lot the season, and I'll go back to the well during the playoffs. He slumped a little down the stretch, averaging 9.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 4.4 assists over his final five games. Those stats are a little alarming considering there's a 17-10-11 triple-double averaged in there. An uptick of playing almost 500 more minutes this season might have worn him down, but Stephenson should be rested for their series with the Hawks after sitting out two of the last four Pacers' games.
Kyle Korver, $4,400 –
Like Livingston, Korver is coming off an injury that could have owners shy away from him. I probably would lean toward using Korver as a GPP (guaranteed prize pool) play over cash games at this point until he shows he's all the way back. I think there's still a lot of upside provided he gets back to playing around 35 minutes like he was earlier this month. From April 6-9, Korver had a nice three-game stretch where he averaged 13.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 1.0 steal, almost 30 fantasy points, showing the upside he has.
Draymond Green, $5,200 –
With the injury to Andrew Bogut
, both Green and Jermaine O'Neal
($4,200) become fantasy relevant. Taking their respective prices into consideration, I'm going to lean toward using Green out of the two. While O'Neal has been effective in most of his starts and had a bunch of dunks in Game 1, it will probably be Green who gets more playing time. For me, the difference between the two is that Green has the better chance to contribute with steals and assists, making him the better play. However, if the Warriors continue to use O'Neal with the D'Andre Jordan matchup, O'Neal is certainly worth considering as well.
Tim Duncan, $7,300 –
I said earlier I would start building my fantasy roster with Dwyane Wade
. I'll amend that statement and add that I'll start building my roster with Wade and Duncan. He's $1,100 cheaper than Dirk Nowitzki
and $2,300 less than LaMarcus Aldridge
yet offers the same amount of upside. Duncan is poised to play more minutes than he did during the regular season, and his days of rest have him fresh for the playoffs. I don't see who on the Mavericks is going to stop him, and he has an added bonus with his ability to block shots.
Josh McRoberts, $4,500 –
McRoberts can be a hit-or-miss type of player in fantasy, but for the price, I think he's worth taking a shot on. You probably won't find another player at power forward who has the passing ability of McRoberts, whom this year averaged a career-best 4.3 assists. He's had at least one three-pointer in each of his last five games and usually posts a block or steal every game. Again, using him will provide some salary cap relief while providing a decent floor at the position.
Dwight Howard, $8,000 –
Here's another price that's depressed since Dwight missed the majority of April's games due to injury. He's still an elite fantasy player who will be a daily double-double threat throughout the playoffs. Against San Antonio last week, he had 20 points and 17 rebounds and can contribute heavily with blocks. Robin Lopez
is a decent defender, but he's not going to stop Howard from reaching and likely surpassing his value here.
Chris Bosh, $5,800 –
If you're looking for a cheap value play at center, Bosh is your guy. He has 10 straight games of double-digit points, and the Bobcats frontcourt isn't known for their defensive prowess. Throw in that for the second consecutive season he averaged over one steal and one block per game and you've got another really good value at the center position.