This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
With one week of the NBA Playoffs in the books, we have a good idea of how teams' rotations are operating now. Sunday's four-game slate contains a few hidden fantasy gems. With fewer players to choose from, a "stars and scrubs" approach is an absolute necessity. With a little bargain shopping, we can help you get there. Here's a look at Sunday's best value plays on the board.
Sunday Value Plays
Isaiah Thomas, BOS, $6,600: Thomas has played a bit of Jekyll-and-Hyde in the playoffs, posting FanDuel scores of 40 and 31.7 points in the first two games, while throwing up an ugly 8.2 FD points in Game 3. We'll take the $400 discount applied to his price tag after his lowly performance in Game 3 and trust the fact that he's still clearly the best offensive weapon on the Celtics roster. Expect Thomas to get back to the 30 minute range again and produce accordingly.
J. J. Barea, DAL, $3,700: Fantasy owners may have been disappointed to see Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle start Raymond Felton over Barea with Rajon Rondo out for the playoffs, but it ended up with little impact on Barea's value. He played 25 minutes off the bench in Game 3, more than Devin Harris (21 minutes) and token starter Raymond Felton (12 minutes), and provided one of the best value plays available Friday, scoring 31.7 points on FanDuel. We're hoping that Carlisle see's that Barea's plus/minus of +22 in Game 3 easily shows that he's their best offensive facilitator, and that gets more run in Sunday's game.
Monta Ellis, DAL, $6,400: With Ellis coming of a monster 54.9 FanDuel scoring performance in Game 3, I'm fairly surprised that there is little adjustment to his price tag. We won't waste time complaining though. Just know that with Chandler Parsons (knee) out the for the playoffs, it's basically the Dirk and Monta show for the Mavericks, and the usage rate for Ellis will continue to be high. That's all you need to know to lock Ellis into your lineups Sunday.
Bradley Beal, Was, $6,600: Honestly speaking, it's going to be tough to fade James Harden any day he's playing during the NBA Playoffs. But if you're not sold on Monta Ellis today, Beal provides a very safe and consistent alternative. He's has averaged 34.2 points per game on FanDuel during the first round while contributing stats across the board. Expect that trend to continue, with Beal being only one of three players getting double-digit shot attempts in the Wizards starting lineup.
Otto Porter, Was, $3,900: Small forward has been the easiest position for punt plays in the playoffs, and today is no different. Porter has averaged more minutes (24.5 minutes per game) off the bench than Paul Pierce has as a starter, scoring 29.3 FD points in Game 2 and 27.6 points in Game 3. Any time you have the opportunity to get six times the price tag as a return, you lock that player in your lineup, no questions asked.
Jae Crowder, BOS, $5,100: Take a look at Crowder's Game 3 stat line: 16 points, seven rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocks. Now that's how you stuff a stat sheet! That performance was good for 34.4 points FanDuel on Thursday, but even more encouraging is that Crowder has a floor of about 20 fantasy points or more given his production in the first two games. Crowder is the safest option today in the $5K range.
Amir Johnson, TOR, $4,700: Johnson presents a bit of risk at the power forward position today on FanDuel, but it's not by his own doing. Coach Dwane Casey went back to his original starting lineup in Game 3, and Johnson came through with his best performance of the playoffs, scoring 34.9 fantasy points. If you plan to pay up for a few of the studs available today. Paying for Johnson is a nice way to save money while still getting production.
Timofey Mozgov, CLE, $4,500: Granted, Mozgov is not an enticing play today (or any other day, for that matter) on FanDuel. But if your plan is to go stars and scrubs, the center position is a decent spot to save some cap space. Mozgov isn't going to go for 50 fantasy points in a single game any time soon, but he has scored 50 fantasy points total in the first two games, so he certainly shouldn't kill you at his price. The only three consistent big-money options at center today are DeAndre Jordan, Dwight Howard, and Marcin Gortat. So, if you're not paying up for the big boys, Mozgov may be your best punting option.
With that said, Dwight Howard remains a no-brainer option at just $7,500.