This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Basketball series.
It's the second day of the NBA playoffs and it makes for an interesting DFS slate. With only eight teams in action, the choices are limited and top-heavy. Because we are in the playoffs, that means starters will likely see even more minutes than before and superstars will be leaned on more heavily than ever. Getting a LeBron James or Chris Paul in your lineup is a must, so hopefully some of these value plays can clear up some cap space to allow you to fill out an optimal lineup.
Dwyane Wade, MIA vs. CHA ($29): Wade is the type of player that steps up in important games and he should be leaned on heavily in the opening game of the playoffs. His price is affordable as well, as he averages over 31 fantasy points per game and costs less than $30. The matchup is good too, with Charlotte ranking 23rd in fantasy points allowed to shooting guards. The usual concern with Wade are the minutes, but that won't be an issue in the playoffs.
Reggie Jackson, DET at CLE ($25): With all the expensive studs out there, it's nice to be able to use someone with the upside of Jackson at such an affordable price. There are only three point guards who average more fantasy points and more minutes per game than Jackson yet he's priced as the seventh-highest point guard. What's also encouraging is the matchup, with Kyrie Irving being the one weak spots in the Cleveland defense.
Guard to Avoid:
Damian Lillard, POR at LAC ($45): What is tough here is the matchup, as Chris Paul might be the best defensive point guard in the league, and the Clippers were fourth in fantasy points allowed per game to point guards this season. Lillard is also in a bit of a rut for his standards, as he has scored fewer than 38 fantasy points in eight of his last 10 games. That sounds good, but that's not enough for a player who costs $45.
Zach Randolph, MEM at SAN ($27): Using a Grizzles player may seem like a bad idea, but Randolph is the only guy worth taking a shot on, and he is likely to be lower-owned. Over the last few weeks, Z-Bo has been the catalyst of the offense and controlling the offense through the post. Since returning from injury on March 19, Randolph is averaging 18.6 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.0 steals per game. Those are very solid numbers, and when you factor in that he is taking 18 shots and playing well over 30 minutes per game in that span, he's as reliable as anyone in these playoffs.
Luol Deng, MIA vs. CHA ($20): Since the injury to Chris Bosh, Deng has really stepped up, averaging 15.2 points, 8.1 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.2 steals per game. The matchup isn't half bad either, with the Hornets ranking in the bottom-10 in fantasy points allowed per game to power forwards this season. Look for Deng to reach his 34-minute average across his last 28 games and exceed value simply through usage and hustle stats.
Forward to Avoid:
Matt Barnes, MEM at SAN ($17): Barnes is the type of player who thrives off three-pointers and hustle stats, which is a terrible combination against the Spurs. San Antonio ranks in the bottom five in pace, top 10 in turnovers and top three in three-point defense. Those are all stats that kill a player like Barnes and it makes him a tough DFS play. He should get plenty of minutes but his upside is far too limited.
Mason Plumlee, POR at LAC ($14): Not only has Plumlee scored at least 22 fantasy points in seven consecutive games, he's been reliable all season, averaging over 24 fantasy points per game, which is a steal for a $14 player. The matchup is tough against DeAndre Jordan, but because of Portland's lack of height, Plumlee should be asked to play more minutes than usual. Additionally, Plumlee averaged just shy of 30 fantasy points per game in his four appearances against the Clippers this season.
Center to Avoid:
Tim Duncan, SAN vs. MEM ($16): Duncan is coming off his best two-game stretch of the season, but don't let that fool you. The future Hall of Famer has very little upside. What concerns me most are the minutes, as he has played more than 30 minutes in a handful of games this season. The blowout potential is scary as well, with the Spurs being the largest favorite on the slate. That could also limit Duncan's minutes in a matchup against the fourth-best defense based on fantasy points allowed to centers this season.