Saturday's slate has three games starting at 3:30pm EST. After a few days off for the teams they are back in action today. It could be the end of the road for two teams today if they can not pull out a victory. The Orlando Magic and Portland Trailblazers are down three games to one, while the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder are tied at two.
The big news of the day is that Damian Lillard has left the bubble and will miss the game. This will most likely be the end of the road for the Trailblazers. With Lillard off the floor C.J. McCollum picks up the largest usage bump at +7.5% for a total of 33.5%. Carmelo Anthony is second with +5% for a total of 26%. Over the last two games Anthony has taken 35 shots. He is in line for a big game. Anfernee Simons will be the biggest beneficiary most likely starting and playing close to 30 minutes.
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Top Tier Players
Four players on the slate are listed at over $10,000 on both sites: James Harden, Giannis Antetokounmpo, LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
The Portland Trailblazers will be without Damian Lillard today, which worries me that the game will not stay close. The last three games have been blowouts and this was with Lillard playing. That being said, Davis just dropped 37 fantasy points in just 18 minutes. He would be my number one pick due to the fact that no one can stop him on Portland. Harden’s minutes have increased with each game, but the Rockets get back the star point guard Russell Westbrook. His minutes will be limited, but no limit has been mentioned yet. With Westbrook back, Harden should lose some ownership, but he is still a viable option. Giannis Antetokounmpo has hit 65 or more fantasy points in three of the four games. He is averaging 1.95 FPPM during the playoffs. James has shown a ceiling of 73, but a floor of 29 fantasy points during the playoffs. He is playing well overall. Westbrook could hit value in limited minutes, but without knowing how much he will play its tough to trust him.
All four of these players are viable and would rank them as: Antetokounmpo, Harden, Davis and James. These players will not be listed below. They are ranked in order of preference as listed.
Players to Target
Anfernee Simons - Portland Trailblazers ($4,000 DK, $4,300 FD)
During the last game Damian Lillard went down with a knee injury and Anfernee Simons stepped in and played 25 minutes and put up 18 fantasy points. He had five rebound and six assists, but shot poorly going 1-8 from the field. Add in five to 10 more minutes, hitting a few more shots and easily hits value. On a three-game slate Simons should pick up high ownership, but is in a good spot to return value.
C.J. McCollum - Portland Trailblazers ($8,100 DK, $8,000 FD)
McCollum should be another player coming in at higher ownership but with Lillard off the floor has a 33.5% usage rate. He will take more shots and play some point guard as well which will increase his assists. We saw his upside two games ago taking 25 shots and putting up over 50 fantasy points. I would expect a similar stat line today as he will need to step up in order for this game to stay close.
Nikola Vucevic - Orlando Magic ($9,200 DK, $9,000 FD)
Vucevic has played extremely well in this series averaging 29.5 points, 10 rebounds and close to four assists per game. He is playing minutes in the higher 30's and should do so today again as the Magic are one game away from being eliminated. Brook Lopez can not guard Vucevic and it has shown in this review as he has dropped 50 or more fantasy in three of the four games. With all the other studs on the slate Vucevic could come in at low ownership. He has 7 time upside today. Run this back with Antetokounmpo on the other side.
Utilize these players along with a stud or two and some of the additional players listed below to create a lineup.
Additional Options: Danilo Gallinari is coming off a poor performance. Nice bounce back spot along with a reduced price.
Carmelo Anthony, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Hassan Whiteside
Kyle Kuzma is a nice option. He should see an increase in minutes and usage. Anthony Davis will most likely be the first one off the court if this game gets out of hand and Kuzma would be the beneficiary.
Luguentz Dort is playing over 30 minutes a game as of late. They have used him to defend Harden. Reasonable price and has hit value in the last two game.
D.J. Augustin is coming off a subpar game. Bounce back spot.
Gary Trent Jr continues to see over 30 minutes a game. More shots to go around with Lillard off the floor.
Mario Hezonja played 19 minutes and could see additional minutes today. Would expect him to come in at lower ownership and he has 20 plus fantasy point upside.
George Hill has averaged over 20 minutes during the playoffs. Exceeded value in two of the four games.
JaVale McGee has put up two 25 plus fantasy point games in under 15 minutes each. Could see additional time in blowout.