This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Basketball series.
The NBA playoffs tip off Saturday with four games on the schedule. The Warriors will begin their quest to repeat as champions by taking on the Clippers while the Sixers star quartet will try to live up to lofty expectations by getting off to a good start in their series against the Nets. We also have another opportunity to play DFS, so here are some players to target and avoid while creating your Yahoo entry.
Kyle Lowry, TOR vs. ORL ($27): The Raptors couldn't pull out the top seed in the Eastern Conference, but their regular season was nothing short of a success. Even though Lowry saw his scoring numbers decline with Kawhi Leonard now in the fold, he dished out a career-high 8.7 assists per contest. Point guard is a weak spot for the Magic with D.J. Augustin as their starter, so this is a matchup to take advantage of. At this reasonable mid-tier price, Lowry provides an excellent floor.
Patrick Beverley, LAC at GS ($16): The Clippers made the playoffs despite trading away Tobias Harris and their reward is a first round matchup with the Warriors. While the party might end early, this could be a high-scoring series with both teams inside the top-10 in the league in pace of play during the regular season. The Clippers will need Beverley's defensive chops to try and slow down Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, so he should see plenty of time on the floor. Across 30 games in which he logged at least 30 minutes, Beverley was productive with averages of 9.7 points, 6.1 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.3 steals.
Guard to Avoid
Evan Fournier, ORL at TOR ($21): Fournier averaged nearly three points per game fewer this season for a couple of reasons. First, his usage rate dropped from 23.3 percent to 22.1 percent. Second, his shooting percentage dropped from 45.9 percent to 43.8 percent. He did experience an uptick in assists due to the Magic's lack of depth at point guard, but he still provided very little in the way of rebounds and defensive stats. Since he's not all that cheap, it might be best to spend elsewhere.
Kawhi Leonard, TOR vs. ORL ($40): Leonard set career-highs in points (26.6) and rebounds (7.3) per game during his first season in Toronto despite playing just 60 games. His 30.3 percent usage rate also ranked inside the top-15 in the league. The Raptors were cautious with him throughout the year to ensure that he made it to the playoffs healthy. Now that he's here, get ready for him to shine.
Joe Harris, BKN at PHI ($13): With so many star players set to play heavy minutes in the playoffs, you need to take a chance on really cheap options in tournament play to help your budget. Harris stands out as a risk that might be worth taking since he starts and averages 30 minutes a night. He provides very few defensive contributions, but that didn't stop him from scoring at least 24.7 Yahoo points in seven of his last eight games. With the Sixers playing at the eighth-fastest pace in the league, Harris has enough scoring upside to be worth considering.
Forward to Avoid
Jonathan Isaac, ORL at TOR ($19): Isaac was forced to miss the last game of the regular season, but he'll play Saturday after clearing the concussion protocol. Even though he's had stretches when he's been extremely productive, he's largely been too inconsistent. It doesn't help his cause that he has just a 16.3 percent usage rate. With averages of 11.8 points and 5.8 rebounds across four previous meetings with the Raptors, Isaac isn't very appealing.
Nikola Jokic, DEN vs. SA ($43): After giving the Warriors a run for their money, the Nuggets ultimately finished as the second seed in the West. They got there on the shoulders of Jokic, who was a monster with averages of 20.1 points, 10.8 rebounds and 7.3 assists. He was even better at home with averages of 21.9 points, 11.7 rebounds and 7.7 assists. The Nuggets will go as far as he can carry them, leaving him with a tremendously high floor.
Ivica Zubac, LAC at GS ($10): Even though he's not a big name, the addition of Zubac at the trade deadline shouldn't be overlooked. He helped settle down the starting center job for the Clippers, averaging 9.4 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.5 assists over just 20 minutes a night. With at least 20.7 Yahoo points in seven of his last 10 contests, Zubac is a viable target in tournament play at the minimum price.
Center to Avoid
Montrezl Harrell, LAC at GS ($25): While Zubac might be the starting center for the Clippers, Harrell receives the bulk of the minutes at the position. He had a breakout campaign and finished the season by scoring at least 31.6 Yahoo points in four of his last six games. However, trying to slow down DeMarcus Cousins is no easy task. The Warriors have also done a good job of slowing down Harrell this season, limiting him to 12.8 points and 5.8 rebounds over four meetings. It wouldn't be surprising if he has a fairly quiet series.