This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
We have two games on the docket Friday night. Cleveland-Chicago has an over/under of 196, while Houston-Los Angeles has an over/under of 217; which game to target seems kind of obvious. J.R. Smith has now served his two-game suspension and should be back in the starting lineup, taking playing time back over from Iman Shumpert and Matthew Dellavedova. This article is written under the presumption that Chris Paul DOES NOT play. If he does, all Clipper recommendations come under great scrutiny. I won't directly recommend Lebron James or Blake Griffin, both great plays, as you'll likely only be able to afford one.
Derrick Rose ($8,100)
Kyrie Irving is a turnstile and and Rose has been taking a lot of shots while attacking him. He's averaging 23 shot attempts per game in the series, a number that will not drop, and if he can start making his shots, Rose can hit 30 points. Not to mention the big uptick in peripheral stats Rose displayed in Game 2. One simply does not do a Gatorade commercial in Chicago narrated by Tupac without making an impressive showing in the first home game in the Conference semifinals.
Jason Terry ($3,000)
Terry is the starting point guard in by far the highest over/under game of the night, so it'll take very little for Terry to hit value.
Jamal Crawford ($5,100)
Austin Rivers isn't actually running the show for Los Angeles; his father isn't that delusional. Crawford is seeing well over 30 minutes and taking nearly as many shots as Blake Griffin at well below half the price. Crawford is averaging 20 points, five rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.5 steals per game in the series. This is a big bump from his regular-season averages, and as long as CP3 is out, Crawford will continue these kind of numbers.
Matt Barnes ($4,500)
Barnes falls into a similar category as Crawford, though at a cheaper price. He's not going to offer the scoring consistency, nor upside, but he boasts very good defensive stats and the ability to occasionally hit from three (though "occasionally" can turn into an 0-for-5 like in Game 2). At this price, with this many points being scored, Barnes should surpass value with ease.
Pau Gasol ($8,700)
Gasol is due for a game to really show what he's capable of, and game in front of the home crowd is just the spark he and the Bulls need. Just hope this game stays close so we can see starters getting their full allotment of minutes. Do you really think Tristan Thompson and Timofey Mozgov can handle Gasol?
Dwight Howard ($9,000)
Frankly, Howard is not the best play, he's the only play. Hack-a-Howard may be the Clippers' best method, but fantasy owners should capitalize on the free points he'll get (even if he is sub-.500 from the "charity" stripe). Do I really need to sell Howard's ability around the bucket on both ends? Just in case I do, he's averaging 23 points, 13 rebounds and 4.5 blocks per game so far in the series. Plus, who else are you going to take? DeAndre Jordan may be seeing limited minutes now as Doc Rivers doesn't go for the hack-a-Jordan, as seen in the mere 25 minutes of playing time he got in Game 2 – no thanks. Joakim Noah and Timofey Mozgov have basically been nonfactors in the Chicago-Cleveland series – no thanks. I repeat, Howard is really the only option.