Add Lakers’ Josh Hart, Stream Hawks Isaiah Taylor | DFS Plays
Well, we’re here. It’s championship week for most leagues, so this will be the final column this season that focuses on traditional Fantasy Basketball play. This week is a mixed bag, with some teams (we see you, Rockets) looking to rest starters for the postseason, while others (namely the Jazz, Pelicans, Clippers and Nuggets) will treat their starters like a song from The Who and make them Run Like Hell in a last-ditch bid for a playoff spot.
In short, this is going to be a heck of a week if your team is loaded with Western Conference players. For one last time this season, let’s go dumpster diving. I feel like it’s a farewell of sorts.
Markelle Fultz, G, 76ers: Even though the Sixers are limiting his minutes off the bench, Fultz showed his passing wizardry with a combined 15 assists in his first 28 minutes back after missing most of the season with shoulder woes. Owned in 53 percent of CBSSports.com leagues, Fultz should see an increase in minutes and usage rate as Philly will seek to distribute the production of the injured Joel Embiid. If he’s sitting on your wire, see to it that Fultz isn’t there for long.
Quinn Cook, G, Warriors: Cook’s expected drop in production lasted long enough for Steph Curry to reinjure himself, forcing him out for the rest of the regular season. A brief slump came to an end for Cook when he scored 30 points in Thursday’s loss to the Bucks and with Steve Kerr likely to rest Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson as much as possible, expect Cook to see a high volume of shot attempts. Currently owned in 53 percent of CBSSports.com leagues, Cook can conjure up one hell of a dish for your team in a four-game slate this week.
Tyler Ulis, G, Suns: He’s thrived in the wake of Elfrid Payton’s injured knee, averaging 16.6 points, 6.6 assists and 3.4 rebounds in his last five games. Ulis’ ownership has seen a nice bump to 15 percent in CBSSports.com leagues, making him more of deeper league play. Phoenix will keep Ulis in the lineup the rest of the way, which will further enhance his value.
Josh Hart, G, Lakers: After missing more than a month with a broken hand, Hart returned on Friday and had 13 points and 13 boards in 35 minutes against the Bucks. He’s owned in 16 percent of CBSSports.com leagues and will continue to see minutes as the Lakers’ sixth man.
Streamers. Lots of Streamers
Gerald Green, G, Rockets: An abundance of minutes await Green, who goes for $5,200 at DraftKings. Green has struggled from the field yet has shown the ability to catch fire and deliver a 30 Fantasy point night. James Harden and Eric Gordon will rest a game or two down the stretch, opening the door for Green in the starting lineup.
Isaiah Taylor, G, Hawks: He’s a bargain at Yahoo, going for only $10. Taylor had a pair of 20-point games last week and with Dennis Schroder done for the season, he’s the only pure point guard on the Atlanta roster. The Hawks are riding with their youth, putting Taylor in a position to solidify his 2018-19 status with a strong finish.
Cameron Payne, G, Bulls: There are 30-plus Fantasy points waiting to happen if the Bulls are more consistent with Payne’s playing time. Currently going for $10,800 at FantasyDraft, Payne will see the bulk of the minutes at point now that Kris Dunn is, well, done, for the season. The assist rate is strong in this one, so keep that in mind when looking to roll the dice on Payne.
Ersan Ilyasova, F, 76ers: That season-best 46.20 Fantasy points Ilyasova dumped on the Hawks Friday night came out of nowhere, yet it showed what he can do when he finds his groove early. With Embiid out the remainder of the season, Ilyasova will be in position to put up solid numbers and would be a nice play at just $10 at Yahoo.
Jonathan Issac, F, Magic: More of a speculative buy ($4,500 at FanDuel), Issac will see extensive duty as Orlando plays out the string. His rebounding and shot blocking will be the foundation of a possible late season breakout. I think there’s a monster night before the end of the season that lay dormant inside Issac.
Another Day, Another DFS Play
Monday: House Silver will be silent as Michigan and Villanova play for One Shining Moment.
Tuesday: Kyle Kuzma, F, Lakers (at Jazz, $7,600/DraftKings): He’s quietly put in plenty of Big Man Work as he entered Sunday’s game against the Kings with at least 30 Fantasy points in eight of his last nine games, including four with 20 points and 10 boards.
Wednesday: Jayson Tatum, F, Celtics (at Raptors, $13,400/FantasyDraft): The rookie closed out a solid month with 24 points, six rebounds and four assists in Saturday’s win over the Raptors. Tatum averaged 16.8 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game in March and has cleared the rookie wall that appeared to hit him near the All-Star Break.
Thursday: Nikola Jokic, C, Nuggets (vs. Timberwolves, $17,200/FantasyDraft): They’re all must-win for Denver the rest of the way, which translates into monster numbers for Jokic, who has seven games of at least 48 Fantasy points over his last 12 games.
Friday: Ben Simmons, G, 76ers (vs. Cavaliers, $41/Yahoo): He’s had five triple-doubles since March 11. Add the fact the Cavs’ backcourt has been Fantasy-friendly to opponents and you see why paying top-end coin for Simmons will pay off.
Saturday: Caris LeVert, F, Nets (at Bulls, $5,400/DraftKings): Stat-stuffer who had 19 points and 12 boards in Saturday’s win over the Heat. LeVert has become an integral part of a Brooklyn team that is amassing an intriguing group of youngsters.
Sunday: Victor Oladipo, G, Pacers (at Hornets, $8,800/FanDuel): He entered Sunday’s game against the Clippers having scored at least 18 points in eight straight games, yet it’s his prowess of thievery (multiple steals in 11 of his last 12) that has put Oladipo among the best Fantasy plays of this season.
TEAMS PLAYING FOUR GAMES THIS WEEK
Hawks, Celtics, Mavericks, Warriors, Pacers, Lakers, Magic, 76ers, Raptors
TEAMS PLAYING THREE GAMES THIS WEEK
Nets, Hornets, Bulls, Cavaliers, Nuggets, Pistons, Rockets, Clippers, Grizzlies, Heat, Bucks, Pelicans, Knicks, Suns, Trail Blazers, Spurs, Wizards
TEAMS PLAYING TWO GAMES THIS WEEK
Timberwolves, Thunder, Kings
Winners: Normally, I wouldn’t choose a team with a three-game slate over one that has four games but...you know where is going, right? That means the Clippers are a strong play despite having to play the Jazz and Spurs, who are second and third, respectively, in defensive rating. LA is on the outside of the Western Conference playoff picture and will give their starters heavy minutes. DFSers should keep Saturday’s Nuggets-Clippers game in mind as it will likely be an elimination game for the loser. If there’s a Clips player to run with, look in the direction of Tobias Harris ($7,500 at FanDuel), who has averaged 19.2 points in his last five games prior to Sunday’s meeting against the Pacers. Harris is shooting 52 percent from 3-point range in the same span and can offer an adequate number of rebounds and steals.
Losers: If Towns and/or Russell Westbrook is the reason you’re playing for a championship, they may also be the reason that title slips from your grasp. Both the Timberwolves and Thunder play two-game schedules this week, denying their Fantasy owners a chance to deliver a decisive blow. Neither team has playoff positioning sewn up, so DFSers can play them with little fear and woe.
Josh Hart Photo Credit: AP Photo/Jim Mone
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