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Chris Paul, LAC (at OKC), PG, ($9600):
Defenses to Avoid
Los Angeles Clippers at Oklahoma City Thunder: This series has been much higher-scoring than its Eastern Conference counterpart, but the Clippers' starters – besides CP3 – are risky plays across the board. First and foremost, the Thunder have effectively limited the fantasy impact of both DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin, the latter of whom was also a bit disappointing in the first round. Griffin has taken advantage of other matchups in the series, but Serge Ibaka continues to pose problems and will spend a good chunk of the game guarding the Clippers' star forward. The Thunder have also dominated the glass, posting a 56.2 rebound percentage through the first four games of the series.
Looking to the perimeter, the Clippers' division of playing time at shooting guard and small forward looks a bit more uncertain after Sunday. Matt Barnes ($4800) and J.J. Redick ($4700) both saw their minutes drop in Game 4, as Los Angeles was sparked by Darren Collison and Jamal Crawford in the fourth quarter. Expect to see plenty of Crawford in Game 4, with Redick likely failing to crack 25 minutes for a third consecutive game.
Offenses to Use
Washington Wizards at Indiana Pacers: A slow-paced, low-scoring series isn't typically the place to find fantasy production, but the Pacers seem to have pulled things back together to some extent, and all of their starters come at reasonable prices. While daily gamers shouldn't expect the massive minutes totals we saw in Game 4, it can only help the Indiana starters that their backups got absolutely demolished by the Wizards' previously-shaky second unit. With coach Frank Vogel clearly displeased by what he saw, the Indiana bench chipped in just 33 minutes between four players during Game 4. Again, Vogel probably won't ride his starters that hard in Game 5, but it can't hurt that the bench unit fell out of favor last game.
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Despite how I feel about the other Clippers, Paul is perhaps the best value from Tuesday's slate of games. He's been remarkably consistent throughout the series, putting up at least 46.75 DK (DraftKing) points in each of the four games, including a trio of 50-plus performances. Don't let your expectation for Paul's minutes be swayed by the Game 1 blowout and his Game 2 foul trouble. The superstar point guard logged 42 minutes in Game 3 and a remarkable 45 minutes in Game 4. If Collison and Crawford see more playing time, it will be at the expense of Redick and Barnes, not the the Clips' unquestioned leader.
Other suggestions: John Wall
, WAS (at IND), PG, ($6,800)
Reggie Jackson, OKC (vs. LAC), PG/SG, ($4500):
With one notable exception to be covered later (hint: Drew Gooden
), the sub-$6000 options for Tuesday are pretty ugly, as is often the case during the playoffs. Darren Collison
($4600) produces on a similar level to Jackson on a per-minute basis, but both players have comparable ceilings, and Jackson is more assured of his minutes, despite what happened with the Clippers rotation in Game 4. I can't say I love Reggie Jackson
here, but you have to look somewhere if you want to roster a star or two, and Jackson is the best of some unappealing options. OKC's Caron Butler
($4300) would be my second choice in this price range.
Other suggestions: Paul George
, IND (vs. WAS), SG/SF, ($9000)
Lance Stephenson, IND (vs. WAS) SG/SF, ($6000):
Stephenson has produced 25-31 DK points in each game of the ongoing series, and there's practically no chance he'll burn you at this price. Whether he'll come up big is a whole different story, but we know the potential is there, and as is the case for CP3, the combination of high floor and high ceiling makes Stephenson too tantalizing to pass up. The Pacers' breakout star hasn't played well this series, and Game 5 may bring more of the same. Luckily, he doesn't need to play well to provide a decent return at this price, as even his bad games typically bring low double-digit points, 5-10 rebounds and a few assists.
Other suggestions: Caron Butler
, OKC (vs. LAC), SF, ($4300)
David West, IND (vs. WAS), PF, ($6200)
West is having a quiet series, but he's still managed to outplay both of Washington's bigs. With the Wizards frontcourt full of question marks heading into Game 5, West should be more active on the glass, after grabbing just three rebounds in each of the last two games. Earlier this postseason, West put together a stretch of six consecutive games with at least 32.75 DK points, spanning from Game 3 of the first round to Game 1 of the current series. Whiie this matchup hasn't proved as fruitful as the one against Atlanta, West should perform better than he did in Games 2-4.
Other suggestions: Kevin Durant
, OKC (vs. LAC), SF/PF, ($10,400)
Drew Gooden, WAS (at IND), PF/C, ($3400):
Coach Randy Wittman rode a hot bench in Game 4, as Gooden (27) and Al Harrington
(23) combined for more minutes than Nene (25) and Marcin Gortat
(21). Daily gamers shouldn't expect another 27 minutes Tuesday, but Game 4 was still an excellent development for Gooden's value. Wittman showed that he'll give the 32-year-old extended run when he doesn't like what he sees from his starting big men – Marcin Gortat
, in particular. Gortat struggled in Game 3 and was even worse in Game 4, leading Wittman to bench the Polish center for the entire fourth quarter of a tight game. Between the possibility for extended run with the starters and the fact that Gooden has established himself as the top big man off the bench, there's little doubt regarding your best bet among the sub-$3500 options. Gooden played 16-18 minutes in each of the first three games of the series, so he shouldn't completely disappear, even if Gortat and Nene get starter minutes. Never trigger-shy, Gooden turned in 10 points on 10 field-goal attempts during Game 4, contributing both in the paint and from mid-range.
Other suggestions: Serge Ibaka
, OKC (vs. LAC), PF/C, ($6100)