We have two great games on tap tonight, with the Bulls/Cavaliers and Rockets/Clippers both tied at a game apiece. There are two injury situations to monitor. Iman Shumpert suffered a groin injury and is currently listed as questionable for the Cavaliers. Chris Paul is also questionable, as he is still working his way back from a hamstring injury.
Here are my top FanDuel plays for Friday night.
Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls (Salary: $8100, FPPG: 27.8, MPG: 31, Usage Rate: 30.9)
Rose was the only Bulls player that was able to do anything offensively in Game 2. He finished with 14 points, 7 rebounds and 10 assists. He has now scored at least 37 fantasy points in each of the first two games in this series. He has a good chance to keep that streak alive tonight, as the Cavaliers have had no answer for his ability to attack the rim. With Kyrie Irving priced at $9,500, Rose is the top point guard dollar for dollar.
Jason Terry, Houston Rockets (Salary: $3000, FPPG: 13, MPG: 21, Usage Rate: 14.1)
While Terry may not have a ton of upside, he has a better chance of reaching value than the other options at point guard tonight. Chris Paul is dealing with an injury and Kyrie Irving is priced too high. Irving needs 47.5 fantasy points to reach value, which is a stretch. Terry, on the other hand, only needs 15 fantasy points to meet value expectations. He’s certainly capable of that, as he has scored 16 fantasy points in each of the first two games in this series.
Jamal Crawford, Los Angeles Clippers (Salary: $5100, FPPG: 22.7, MPG: 27, Usage Rate: 28.2)
Crawford has been a huge boost for the Clippers with Chris Paul out. We likely won’t know Paul’s status for tonight’s game until after rosters lock, which makes Crawford an intriguing option at shooting guard. He’s priced affordably on FanDuel and he would see a major fantasy boost if Paul ends up sitting out another game. Even if Paul plays, he will be less than 100%.
J.R. Smith, Cleveland Cavaliers (Salary: $5000, FPPG: 21.6, MPG: 30, Usage Rate: 19.1)
Smith will return from his two-game suspension tonight and he should immediately push for around 40 minutes of playing time. He played well in their first-round matchup against the Celtics, scoring at least 22 fantasy points in two of the four games. Smith is cheap and may get overlooked in his first game back. Smith should log heavy minutes and have a big role in the offense with Kevin Love out.
LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers (Salary: $11300, FPPG: 44.2, MPG: 36, Usage Rate: 32.5)
James has scored at least 52 fantasy points in each of his last four games and he will continue to carry the load offensively with Kevin Love out for the season. James does everything on the floor well and he’s the second best play of the night, right behind Blake Griffin. If you are paying up for a Cavaliers player tonight, James is the preferred option over Kyrie Irving. He has been more consistent and has a better chance of reaching value at his price point.
Trevor Ariza, Houston Rockets (Salary: $6200, FPPG: 25.7, MPG: 36, Usage Rate: 16.8)
Ariza was quiet in the series against the Mavericks, but he’s been terrific so far against the Clippers. He has averaged 34 fantasy points in 42 minutes per game through the first two. His price is still affordable at $6,200, and with the abundance of options at small forward, he will likely have a fairly low ownership level tonight in Game 3.
Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers (Salary: $11300, FPPG: 39.6, MPG: 35, Usage Rate: 28.1)
Griffin has been a man amongst boys so far in the postseason. The Spurs didn’t have an answer for him and neither do the Rockets. Griffin has scored 59 fantasy points in back-to-back games, and even though his price has come up, it still doesn’t match his recent level of production. Until he slows down, continue targeting him as the top overall fantasy option.
Tristan Thompson, Cleveland Cavaliers (Salary: $5300, FPPG: 20.1, MPG: 27, Usage Rate: 13.9)
Thompson hasn’t been extremely productive in this series, but he’s seeing huge minutes with Kevin Love sidelined. Thompson played 37 minutes in Game 1 and 37 minutes in Game 2. The rebounds are always going to be there for Thompson and he’s going to run into some easy buckets sooner or later. He’s a nice complement to Griffin at power forward tonight in cash games.
Dwight Howard, Houston Rockets (Salary: $9000, FPPG: 31.3, MPG: 30, Usage Rate: 23.3)
The Clippers have held James Harden in check, but they have had no answer for Howard. After scoring 46 fantasy points in Game 1, he backed it up with 55 fantasy points in Game 2. It may be tempting to take the cheaper route with Joakim Noah or Timofey Mozgov, but it doesn’t make a ton of sense in cash games. Howard is the chalk play at center and a very tough fade in all league formats with the way he is playing.