I had the wrong play last night, as the Cleveland Cavaliers again got housed in Boston by the Celtics. Rostering LeBron James as my MVP was not a bad strategy, but outside of Kevin Love, nobody else on the Cavs felt like showing up.
Considering I rostered four Cavs and just one Celtics player, this ended up being a pretty big deal.
In fact, had Cleveland actually cared about this game, my strategy might have been brilliant. James was almost 80% owned, but Love was just 32% owned and both Kyle Korver and J.R. Smith were below 27% owned. That strategy didn’t work out, though, so it’s onward and upward come Wednesday night.
Tonight we get a fun showdown between the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets. This is an up tempo clash that probably favors Houston as they try to tie things up on their home floor, but I don’t think you necessarily need to stack one team in this one.
One thing I definitely want to try tonight is diving deep to get as many studs as possible tonight. Let’s see what my team looks like for FanDuel GPPs:
MVP: James Harden – Houston Rockets ($17.5k)
Harden is my top stud for this slate and it’s really not close. That’s saying something given the options we have available to us, but he’s at home in a must-win game and he’s fresh off of a sick 41-point performance. Harden could be even better tonight and he probably has to be if the Rockets are going to win and tie this series up.
Star: Chris Paul – Houston Rockets ($14.5k)
I also really want CP3. Houston runs a ton of isolation sets for these two guys and they were both great in game one. They’ll need to be even better in game two and Paul’s assist numbers will hopefully creep back up if he can get his teammates involved a little more.
Pro: Stephen Curry – Golden State Warriors ($15.5k)
Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson were the guys carrying the scoring load for Golden State in game one and it’s not like Curry to sit back and be a bystander. Maybe he doesn’t go nuts here, but I think he can show up with a better outing than he delivered in game one. Maybe that bumps him up to Star or MVP for you, but I rank him slightly below Harden and CP3 tonight.
I think Curry is an elite pivot off of KD, who was big in game one and may be the target of Houston’s outside defenders in game two. I don’t think Durant will get shutdown, but Curry offers a little more value tonight.
Util: Joe Johnson – Houston Rockets ($6k)
Last night the first step to winning was making sure you rostered King James and slid him into your MVP slot. Then you needed to use the right Celtics guys and not use Cleveland role players. I botched that, but the big takeaway is the top GPP squad had both of their Utility guys produce below 18 fantasy points.
I’m not saying last night’s strategy will always carry over, but the rotations are tight in playoff basketball and you’re going to need to roll the dice a bit if you want to win big.
The main idea here is to differentiate your roster. Nobody is going to be on Iso Joe, seeing as he logged zero minutes in game one and has literally played four minutes throughout the entire postseason. However, due to offensive struggles from basically all of Houston’s role players and a lingering shoulder issue for Luc Mbah a Moute, I think there’s a chance we see Johnson get some run tonight.
It’s these kinda of predictive moves that can separate the winners and losers at the end of the night. Nick Young is a safer play (he logged 15 minutes in game one), but I’m not trying to be safe here.
Util: Shaun Livingston – Golden State Warriors ($6.5k)
There are not many viable options below the $7k price tag, but Livingston has a pretty steady role off the bench. You’re only looking at 12-15 minutes usually, but he has the green light to score the ball and he also has the ability to rebound and rack up some dimes. I’m not expecting the world here, but if he can hit a few shots and set some of his teammates up he could return solid value on this slate.
For me, this slate starts with James Harden and I’m certainly siding with the Rockets here as they face a must-win situation on their home floor. I think Harden and CP3 are going to deliver big games and I also feel like Curry is an elite pivot off of KD in this contest.
My cheap options are major dice rolls (pivot to other options if you hate them), but I like the logic in GPP settings.
Whatever you opt to do, I wish you luck in your FanDuel daily fantasy basketball contests tonight!