In the playoffs, limited DFS slates can be difficult but often profitable. The key is to build off exploitable matchups and find value players in advantageous roles. Sunday, two games are scheduled, and DFS entries are likely to be limited because of Mother's Days. Capitalizing on the holiday.
Tony Parker, SAN at OKC ($20) - Parker has been relegated to a role player in this new San Antonio offense, but he's still producing for fantasy owners in this series. Parker is averaging nearly 27 fantasy points per game against the Thunder, thriving off the matchup against Russell Westbrook. His minutes are back to normal as well, as he is playing 30 minutes a game. With few options at the position, using Parker at a reasonable price can be a game changer in tournaments and cash games.
J.R. Smith, CLE at ATL ($17) - The volatile Smith is in the midst of one of his good stretches. Despite scoring just 16 fantasy points in his last game, Smith is averaging more than 25 fantasy points a game in this series. Encouragingly, he is playing 34 minutes a game and taking eight 3-pointers a game. While his floor can be scary, his ceiling makes him an intriguing option at $17.
Guard to Avoid:
Jeff Teague, ATL vs. CLE ($28) - Teague is coming off one of his best games of the playoffs, but he hasn't shown much aside from that. Prior to that 14-assist game, Teague averaged less than 20 fantasy points in five games. He played 24 minutes once in that span. It's clear that coach Mike Budenholzer is not scared to use the hot hand, which makes Teague too risky for DFS. Not to mention, the Cavaliers are one of the three best defenses in the NBA.
LaMarcus Aldridge, SAN at OKC ($38) - Not only is Aldridge scorching hot, the Spurs are leaning heavily on their offseason acquisition. Aldridge is averaging 22 shots and seven free-throw attempts a game in this series. It's not just the usage, though, as he is averaging 34.3 points and 7.3 rebounds a game in this series. Aldridge will be highly owned Sunday, but he's a near must-pick the way he is playing.
Channing Frye, CLE at ATL ($12) - Frye has joined the rotation for this season, which makes him valuable at a near minimum price. The power forward dropped a playoff career-high 27 points in the team's most recent win, en route to 39 fantasy points. He also scored 24 fantasy points in the team's prior victory, so it wasn't a blip on the radar. While Frye has the ability to post a dud, there may be no better cheap option to potentially have a huge game.
Forward to Avoid:
Enes Kanter, OKC vs. CLE ($21) - Kanter was a monster against the Mavericks in the first round, but this is a different beast against the Spurs. Not only are they the best defense in the league, the Spurs also have arguably the best bench. Kanter is averaging just 17 fantasy points a game in the series and has yet to play more than 19 minutes in a game. That sort of production is solid with the minutes he's getting, but you can't put a guy who plays less than 20 minutes in a DFS lineup. It's difficult enough to get production out of a $21 player, but when he plays fewer minutes than his price, he's simply off limits.
Al Horford, ATL vs CLE ($29) - Horford isn't necessarily a great option, but he's clearly the only solid center option. The three centers below Horford are Tristan Thompson, Steven Adams and Tim Duncan, role players who could score in single digits in fantasy points. Horford is the only center who can reliably score 30-plus fantasy points. Some DFS players will get cute and use one of the aforementioned trio, but it's better to go with Horford, who will almost certainly lead the position in fantasy points.
Center to Avoid:
Tim Duncan, SAN at OKC ($14) - Duncan is too difficult to trust these days. He has failed to crack 16 fantasy points in five consecutive games, averaging less than 20 minutes a game in that span. Not to mention, the Thunder rank fifth in fantasy points allowed to centers this season, and Duncan simply can't match up with the young and athletic Thunder frontcourt.
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