Russell Westbrook $13,500
Even though Westbrook’s price tag is high, it’s far from absurd now that it’s the playoffs and considering what Westbrook provides in every stat across the board. The Rockets have allowed more points per game than any other playoff team this season, so if these games can maintain a small differential, we could be seeing some colossal lines from Westbrook in just his scoring output let alone what he puts up in assists and rebounds. His ownership percentage will certainly be high, but I can only see him not meeting his value if there were to be a blowout on behalf of the Rockets. I think in this small slate, and with what’s on the line, he’s one of the best ways to cash in on 22% of your salary cap.
Rajon Rondo $6,000
Rondo is coming off of a wrist injury, but still managed a solid line of 10 points, 5 assists, and 6 rebounds in the Bulls last game of the year against Brooklyn, so it would seem that he is ship-shape for the playoffs and a great multi-stat investment. In his 5 games prior to his absence he averaged 13 points, 9.6 assists, and 9 rebounds for an average of 38.8 Fanduel points. Rondo is currently playing his best ball of the season just in time for the playoffs. The biggest risk factor for Rondo today would have to be Dwyane Wade‘s presence on the court again and how it will effect Rondo’s usage percentage. But for his $6,000 salary, he shouldn’t miss his 30 point value mark by much.
Also consider: John Wall
Eric Gordon $4,300 – Of the 4 times the Rockets have played the Thunder this season, I was surprised to find Harden made up only one of the top 5 scoring performances, 2 of those top 5 came from Eric Gordon who eclipsed the 20 point mark twice against the Thunder, playing over his season average of 16.2 points per game. I really love Gordon’s value for $4,300 for as many minutes as he plays. The Rockets took their foot off the gas in their last 3 games, but in the 10 games prior to that Gordon never played less than 31 minutes, so he’s a good bet to be on the floor for most of the game. However I can’t see him being the focal point of Houston’s offense unless he gets hot early and Harden decides to yield to him for 3’s. Also, don’t expect much out of him in any other stat except scoring.
Tim Hardaway $5,500 – Of the 4 times the Hawks have played the Wizards, Hardaway Jr. owns 2 of the top 5 scoring performances. Hardaway has been great this season for the Hawks, averaging 19 points, over 3 assists and 3 rebounds per 36 minutes, and is really hard to bet against for his $5,500 price tag. The Wizards are going to run much of their offense through their backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal, so I expect Hardaway to be very involved on defense and attempt to reciprocate the Wizard’s pace-and-space style offense by himself. Hardaway has had a 29 and 21 point game against the Wizards this season, so they don’t seem to do much to stall Hardaway’s numbers or be a bad matchup for him by any means.
Bradley Beal $7,500 – It’s no surprise that Bradley Beal has lead the Wizards in scoring two of the four times they’ve played the Hawks considering Atlanta gives up more total points from 3 than any other team in the league at home. Bradley Beal’s salary sits at $7,500 and I’m comfortable paying that with the matchup Atlanta provides and their exploitable defense from 3. Beal will need to summon his scoring output from earlier in the year like 42 points against Phoenix, 41 points against the Clippers, 41 against Cleveland and 40 against Philadelphia on the road.
Jimmy Butler $10,000 – The top 3 scoring performances on behalf of the Bulls versus the Celtics are unsurprisingly owned by Jimmy Butler, with 29, 24, and 23 point stat lines. So realistically we can expect somewhere in the neighborhood of 24 points from him every game in this series. However, the playoff effect should instill a sense of urgency in Butler so we could be seeing a breakout from him, especially with the Bulls having their backs to the wall after having just made it into the postseason by the skin of their teeth. Boston split the season series with Chicago this season 2-2, so I think the potential for Chicago to upset Boston in not just the game but the series is actually pretty good. For that to happen though, Butler needs to take over and play his best basketball of the season.
Maurice Harkless $3,600 – For Portland to have a shot in this one, it’s going to come down to the pressure they can put on the Warriors in terms of steals, blocks, and offensive rebounds. Maurice Harkless is surprisingly 2nd in total offensive rebounds for Portland, first in total steals, and first in total blocks! So they’re going to need every bit of what he can fight for on the glass and on defense to make it a challenge on the Warriors. If Terry Stotts can recognize this in time, Harkless could end up playing a big role in this series for none other than the fact that he’s what they’ve got. I can’t see why he isn’t outstanding value today at $3,900. Just keep an eye on Jusuf Nurkic‘ status for today, because his presence would undoubtedly hinder Harkless’ rebound and scoring potential.
Draymond Green $6,800 – I was shocked to discover that in the 4 games the Warriors played the Blazers, Draymond Green averaged 9.5 assists. That’s over 14 FDP a game for Draymond just in assists! Kevin Durant was also present for all of those games, so if you look at only his assist output, it should remain intact for the most part with Durant being back in the fold. Draymond also tends to get a lot of 4th quarter run in blowouts, so if there is any garbage time, Draymond could see some easy minutes and a few extra rebounds and points to wrap up the game. I love his salary at $6,800 and what he can do for it. Just know that you’re not buying his scoring output, but his utility and defensive stats.