Defense to Avoid:
Golden State Warriors at San Antonio Spurs: People always talk offense when it comes to the Warriors, but it's their defense that truly makes them an elite team. Not only did they rank second in defensive efficiency throughout the regular season, they own a 97.9 defensive rating in these playoffs, which is easily the top mark in the league. What makes them even scarier is the fact that they face a beat-up Spurs team that may be without their two best playmakers in Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker against an elite team in Golden State.
Offense to Use:
Boston Celtics vs. Cleveland Cavaliers: With Boston heading to Cleveland for Game 3 and Game 4, this is one of their final stands. That's why their offense should be at full force here, as this is their best opportunity at a win. The fact is, this team needs to split its two home games and that should allow the starters to approach 40 minutes of action, which is fantasy gold for DFS owners. It's not like Cleveland has a scary defense either, as it ranked 22nd in defensive efficiency in the regular season. In Game 1, Boston started the game 1-of-15 from three-point range and still finished with 104 points. That shows just how much upside they have, as they'll surely shoot better in this pivotal Game 2.
DraftKings.com Player Recommendations
Stephen Curry, GS at SAN ($9,100): Curry has been playing at an MVP level for weeks and is hard to avoid with such limited options available. What's particularly impressive are his last three games, as he's averaged 56 fantasy points in that span. Much of that has to do with the struggling Spurs defense, as they have the lowest defensive rating of the four remaining teams.
Avery Bradley, BOS vs. CLE ($5,800): Shooting guard is undoubtedly the toughest position on this slate, and Bradley makes for a nice pivot to crutch your lineup. Not only is he the highest-scoring shooting guard among players remaining, but he also comes at a reasonable value. With an average of 32 fantasy points across his last four games, Bradley is providing an elite 6X value at $5,800. His minutes are as reliable as anyone too (at least 37 in four straight games).
Patty Mills, SAN vs. GS ($5,500): Mills has been a disappointment for San Antonio in this series, but there's reason to believe he can be better. The primary reason is the fact that he's had success when Tony Parker has missed games, as he's approaching close to 30 fantasy points his season in games without Parker. It's not like he's been dreadful either, as he's averaged 23.5 fantasy points in six games since Parker got injured. He should see an increase in usage too, as it seems unlikely that Kawhi Leonard will play in this game.
LeBron James, CLE at BOS ($12,200): It's impossible to avoid King James right now, as he's undoubtedly been the best player in the playoffs. In fact, James is averaging 34.8 points, 9.0 rebounds, 7.1 assists, 2.1 steals and 1.3 blocks in the postseason. What makes him so reliable is the fact that he's averaging nearly 43 minutes per game as well, so this price really doesn’t matter with that sort of role and production. Not to mention, James has averaged over 62 fantasy points in five matchups with the Celtics this season.
Kevin Love, CLE at BOS ($7,000): Love is coming off the best game of his playoff career, as he dropped 32 points and 12 rebounds in a Game 1 blowout win. What adds to the intrigue is the fact that he added six three-pointers as well, which are bonus points on DraftKings. His rebounding should be consistent in this series too, as he faces a Boston team that ranked 28th in rebounding differential.
Jonathon Simmons, SAN vs. GS ($5,200): Simmons has been a lone bright spot for San Antonio recently, as he's playing the best ball of his career. In fact, Simmons is averaging 25 fantasy points across his last five games, as that approaches his averages in the regular season in games where Leonard sat out. It seems unlikely that Leonard will play here either, so Simmons should be looking at another monster workload.
Al Horford, BOS vs CLE ($6,900): Not only does Horford have at least 28 fantasy points in all 13 of his playoff games, he's averaging over 35 fantasy points per game during that span. Those are shockingly reliable statistics for a player south of $7,000, and he should continue to succeed against a defense that ranked 22nd in defense efficiency in the regular season.
Tristan Thompson, CLE at BOS ($5,000): A rebounding beast like Thompson is only usable in certain matchups, but this is the perfect circumstance for someone of his skillset. Not only did the Celtics rank 25th in offensive rebounds allowed for the regular season, they ranked 28th in rebounding differential as well. It shows in Thompson's numbers too, as he averaged over 33 fantasy points per game in four games against Boston.