This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Basketball series.
Both Conference Finals' series are about to enter the pivotal Game 5. There is now a relatively decent sample size to look at when determining your lineups. Ahead, we will look at less expensive players who have outplayed expectations, as well top-tier players due for a big outing.
Stephen Curry, GS vs OKC ($54) - Curry is coming off arguably one of his worst games of the season. He put up 19 points on just 6-for-20 shooting in Game 4. Both games in Oklahoma City he averaged 21.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 2.0 steals and 2.5 triples. Those numbers would make most players happy, but they are subpar for Curry's standards. However, this may be one of the rare times you can grab Curry as somewhat of a contrarian pick. I am certainly taking an entire season of historical numbers over a mini-playoff slump when attempting to determine how Curry will do in Game 5. Now down 3-1 to the Thunder, the Warriors have their backs against the wall, and Curry will bring everything he has to the table for Game 5.
Andre Roberson, OKC at GS ($12) - Roberson surprised many when he played one of his best career games statistically in Round 2's series finale against the Spurs. He put up 14 points, seven rebounds, one assist, one steal, two blocks and three triples for 31.4 fantasy points. Those numbers did not translate in the first two games of the Western Conference finals, in which he averaged just 14.6 fantasy points. However, things have clicked for Roberson recently, as he averaged 37.3 fantasy points in the previous two games. Both Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant have noticeably looked to get their teammates involved more, and Roberson should continue to reap those rewards.
Guard to Avoid:
Kyle Lowry, TOR at CLE ($41) - Including the playoffs, the Raptors and Cavaliers have played seven times this season. The home team has now one every one of those games. Basically everyone was counting the Raptors out following the first two games of this series, but the Raptors have surprised many by tying it up. The public likely will try to ride the wave of success produced by both Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, but expect the Cavaliers to continue the home-court trend in this series. The top-tier guard pool in this contest provides plenty of safer options.
LeBron James, CLE vs TOR ($51) - Sticking with the aforementioned home-court success theme of this series, I am not looking forward to playing a rejuvenated LeBron if I am on the Raptors. The other members of the Cavaliers' big three struggled mightily in Toronto, including Kevin Love, who might not be completely healthy. James in a pivotal Game 5 seems to be a reasonable time to pay top dollar. Also, he has played well this series, averaging 48.2 fantasy points per game, which is roughly three points higher than his season average. The Cavaliers cannot afford to lose the first home game of this series, so much like Curry, I will take me chances on a LeBron playing with his back against the wall.
Channing Frye, CLE vs TOR ($12) - Frye has been one of the biggest surprises in the postseason. He has really helped the Cavaliers' offense expand by utilizing the three-point potential from every position on the floor. Specifically, since Game 2 of their second-round matchup with the Hawks, Frye is averaging 21.7 fantasy points per game. That is about seven more than his season average. During that span he has put up 3.3 triples per contest. His ability to help stretch the floor should keep him on it, and thus making his near minimum price tempting.
Forward to Avoid:
Enes Kanter, OKC at GS ($19) - Kanter was an essential piece in upsetting the Spurs in Round 2. He put up 8.7 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in that series, which correlated to 19.4 fantasy points per game. However, they were matching up against the Spurs' dominant big men in that series, while the series with the Thunder has involved different matchups. Kanter's role has noticeably diminished as a result. He is averaging just 13.9 fantasy points in the conference finals and is coming off a 2.4-point outing. Given the Thunder's success, do not expect them to change strategy for Game 5.
Bismack Biyombo, TOR at CLE ($21) - Sometimes the obvious answer is the one right in front of you. Biyombo is arguably the biggest surprise of the postseason. He burst on the scene after Jonas Valanciunas got injured in the second round, and even though Valanciunas is expected to return in a limited role, Biyombo should continue receiving a heavy workload. It looked like he was coming back to earth a bit following the first two games of the conference finals, but he responded with an average of 37.5 fantasy points the last two games. Compared to the other available centers his ceiling is simply too high to avoid.
Center to Avoid:
Tristan Thompson, CLE vs TOR ($16) - There really are not a lot of center options remaining in the playoffs. Thompson would seem to be one of the few who could help out at the position, but he has been relatively quiet. He has put up a respectable 4.3 points, 9.0 boards and 0.8 blocks in the first four games of the series, but that has correlated to just 17.3 fantasy points per game. That is about three points less than his regular-season average.
Get a FREE RotoWire 10-day trial (no credit card required) at RotoWire.com