Basketball Lineups Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

05/04/2017
Doug Norrie
Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James holds the ball away from Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas during the second quarter of a NBA basketball game in Boston Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 5/5/17

These four teams have played four games so far in Round 2 of the playoff and all four games have been blowouts. That being said, one team is clearly in control while the other series remains somewhat of a mystery. We've got a lot to dive into here with this two game slate.

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Toronto Raptors at Cleveland Cavaliers

Well, we are getting close to being able to put any of that “Cavs are in trouble” regular season narrative away. Sure, six playoff games don’t necessarily represent enough of a sample size to declare a team “fixed” but Cleveland only seems to be improving as the playoffs go on. They’ve won the first two games of this series against the Raptors rather easily (by 11 the first game and 22 the last time out). Lebron James continues to lead the way, averaging a 37/8/4/2/2 against Toronto so far. It’s damn impressive and as long as he’s playing close to 40 minutes even in blowouts, it’s tough to fade him for cash games.

The Cavs continue to sharpshoot their way to victory from beyond the arc and hit more than 50% of their threes in Game 2. That’s tough to replicate, but they don’t even need to shoot that well to win. They are getting tons of open looks with Toronto slow to rotate. Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving make for excellent plays though fitting them in with Lebron and Kawhi is tough. I’d prefer Love if forced to choose between the two only because power forward is such a disaster of a position.

Tristan Thompson has been fantastic at his price on FanDuel and makes for a solid middle tier option again here tonight. He’s been solid on the boards per minute both games in the series.

The Raptors made a starting lineup switch last game, replacing Demarre Carroll and Jonas Valanciunas with Norman Powell and Patrick Patterson. It didn’t work, though from a fantasy perspective Powell at least came close to paying his salaries. Who knows what the Raptors plan to do tonight. They don’t really have many options that are going to work here. I suppose they could make another starting lineup change but it could be akin to shuffling around deck chairs on the Titanic.

I’m still willing to consider Kyle Lowry who’s been able to get a little of something going in this series, but Demar Derozan’s been fully neutralized. He’s just too expensive to keep playing considering how the Cavs have handled him on defense.

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San Antonio Spurs at Houston Rockets

Tales of the Spurs’ demise may have been (grossly) overstated. After taking a drubbing in Game 1, they returned the favor in Game 2 with a 121-96 victory. It was nearly identical to the loss they took in the first game.

But let’s get the bad news for the Spurs out of the way first. They lost Tony Parker for the rest of the playoffs with a ruptured quad. It’s a pretty bad loss for San Antonio considering Parker had picked up a fair amount the scoring load once the playoffs started. Now they’ll have to (most likely) play Patty Mills big minutes at the point though they showed a willingness to play Dejounte Murray during the regular season. I suspect Mills sees a majority of the playing time and at cheaper prices across the board he likely becomes a chalk play all around.

The good news for the Spurs, and a big reason for their runaway victory was the MVP-like game from Kawhi Leonard. He was dominant and finished with a 37/7/8/3/1 game in 38 minutes. He was incredibly efficient, going 13-16 from the field and 75% from three on four attempts. It was about as good a game as you’ll see and with Mills around it should be too difficult to fit both he and Lebron into lineups tonight. They are clearly the way you want to pay up.

San Antonio did pull a lineup switch for this game with Pau Gasol replacing David Lee. Considering the result I think you see Pau stick. He’ll also be a popular play considering the price is still in the lower middle tier after spending so much time coming off the bench in the playoffs.

After shooting the lights out of the place in Game 1 (22-50 from three), the Rockets came back down to Earth (like what I did there?) with only 32% in Game 2. Their propensity to just bomb away makes them a variant team as they need the three to drop consistently to really do damage. You won’t see a change in strategy and these games should smooth out some (you would think) as the series progresses. James Harden is still a great deal on DraftKings considering he’s cheaper than Lebron and only $100 more expensive than Kawhi. I would play him without hesitation over there.

Ryan Anderson is also a pretty safe bet for his price and he played 35 minutes in both sides of the blowout. It’s clear the Spurs like his matchup in this series and at a weaker PF position I think you can safely roster him on the somewhat cheaper side.

Clint Capella is also probably the cash game center option on DK where he’s just a little cheaper than Thompson.

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