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John Wall, PG, Was ($7,100):
Defenses to Avoid
Indiana Pacers at Washington Wizard: This series has been miserable to watch; especially if you had a lot of exposure to the players involved. Through five games, the Pacers have yet to eclipse the century mark. Both teams are averaging exactly 88.2 points per game, and two of the last three games have been decided by more than 20 points. This is a must win for the Wizards, at home, so their defense should be amped up for this one.
Besides David West ($6,200) and George Hill ($5,700), I'm avoiding all Pacers in cash games. Paul George ($8,600) and Lance Stephenson ($5,900) make decent GPP (Guaranteed Prize Pool) plays.
Offenses to Use
Oklahoma City Thunder at Los Angeles Clippers: This one is a toss up for me, but I'm giving the slight advantage to the Clippers because they are playing at home; they are four and a half point favorites; and this is an elimination game for them. The last two games in this series have been decided by a total of three points.
Bold Prediction: This game will go into overtime, maybe multiple overtimes. Both teams in this contest should produce some solid fantasy performers. The Thunder have the top two players going Thursday in Durant and Westbrook, and the Clippers have a ton of guys that should make it onto your roster.
The Clippers have a ton of nice mid-salary options that should be considered. Jamal Crawford ($6,000) has been playing well lately, putting up 28.0, 36.25 and 24.75 FPTS (fantasy points) during the last three games. He is a solid option for head-to-head and 50/50 matchup contests. Matt Barnes ($5,200) is coming off a very nice game (37 FTPS), but has been inconsistent this series. He should be considered for GPP contests, but has the potential of producing a dud and derailing your cash games. J.J. Redick ($4,500) and Darren Collison ($4,300) also make nice GPP plays but should be avoided in your cash games.
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Wall is far behind the top two point guards going Thursday, Russell Westbrook
and Chris Paul
, but his salary is very reasonable compared to those guys. He bounced back with a solid outing last game (41.75 FPTS) after he shed the protective contact lense that hindered him for a couple of his previous games. I expect him to come out strong at home in a must-win game. I like him more in Head-to-Head contests because of his high floor, but he should get some action in GPPs also.
Other suggestions: Chris Paul
, LAC (vs. OKC), PG, ($9,400), Head-to-Head; Russell Westbrook
, OKC (at LAC), PG, ($10,100), GPP
Bradley Beal, SG, WAS ($7,000):
At only $7,000, Beal provides a lot of upside for his price. He has already put up a 55 point fantasy game this series, and his lowest fantasy output was 28.25. Beal's combination of a low floor and high ceiling make him a great play Thursday.
Other suggestions: Jamal Crawford
, LAC (vs. OKC), PG/SG, ($6,000), Head-to-Head; Lance Stephenson
, IND (at WAS), SG/SF, ($5,900), GPP
Kevin Durant, SF/PF, OKC ($10,400):
Durant is close to a must play for me Thursday. He has put up more than 50 FPTS in each of the last four games against Clippers. He continues to be guarded by Chris Paul
in some lineups, who is a foot shorter than him, so he should be able to get some great looks. If he continues to see double teams, he could put up a triple-double Thursday.
Other suggestions: Trevor Ariza
, WAS (vs. IND), SG/SF, ($7,000), Head-to-Head; Paul George
, IND (at WAS), SG/SF, ($8,600), GPP
Nene Hilario, PF/C, WAS ($5,700):
Nene has not been playing well this series. He is shooting just 29.4 percent over his last three games and is averaging under 20 FPTS over that span. I wouldn't trust him in your Head-to-Head matchups, but his recent struggles should make him under-owned Thursday. If he can put up the big numbers that he's capable of, he could become a difference maker in your GPPs.
Other suggestions: David West
, IND (at WAS), PF, ($6,200), Head-to-Head; Blake Griffin
, LAC (vs. OKC), PF/C, ($9,400), GPP
DeAndre Jordan, C, LAC ($6,600):
Jordan is coming off a Hibbert-like game of zero points and four rebounds in 20 minutes. That means it is time to buy low. His salary at the start of this series was $8,400, and it is now down $1,800. He is playing much better at home this series (31.9 FPTS) than he is on the road (14.6 FPTS). Jordan always has a shot at a 20-rebound game, but his scoring leaves something to be desired, so a terrible fantasy performance is always a possibility. Make sure you get a lot of exposure to him in your GPP matchups.
Other suggestions: Serge Ibaka
, OKC (at LAC), PF/C, ($6,000), Head-to-Head; Marcin Gortat
, WAS (vs. IND), C, ($6,500), GPP
THE VALUE BIN
, OKC (at LAC), C, ($3,500)
, OKC (at LAC), SG/SF, ($3,500)
, WAS (vs. IND), PF/C, ($3,800)
, WAS (vs. IND), SG/SF, ($3,200)
, IND (at WAS), PF, ($3,400)
, IND (at WAS), PG, ($3,500)
, WAS (vs. IND), PF/C, ($3,800)