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NBA Fantasy Breakdown (Fri. 4/19): Target the Thunder in Must-Win Game?

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) celebrates in the fourth quarter against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena.

The NBA Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each day’s slate using the FantasyLabs Tools and metrics to highlight notable players.

Friday features a three-game slate starting at 7 p.m. ET.

Point Guard

Stud

The Thunder have struggled through their first two playoff games, dropping both to the Portland Trail Blazers. Russell Westbrook has also struggled from a fantasy perspective, averaging just 48.38 DraftKings points per game. He’s averaged 58.9 DraftKings points per game over the past 12 months, so that represents a massive decline in production.

Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, front, drives to the basket ahead of Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard

That said, there’s no reason not to expect a bounce back in today’s contest. He’s also been priced down to just $10,200 on DraftKings, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 98%, and Westbrook has averaged a Plus/Minus of +3.84 with a comparable salary over the past two seasons (per the Trends tool). The Thunder should also benefit from being back at home, and their implied team total of 114.5 is the top mark on the slate by a significant margin.

Value

Darren Collison has also struggled through his first two playoff games this season, scoring just 16.9 and 11.7 FanDuel points vs. the Boston Celtics. Still, he did play 33 minutes in his last contest, which is encouraging for his fantasy prospects moving forward.

He’s averaged 0.95 FanDuel points per minute this season, so he should be able to improve his fantasy production if he sees a comparable workload on today’s slate. He’s one of the best values at the PG position on FanDuel, where his $4,500 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 88%.

Fast Break

Kyle Lowry bounced back from a dreadful game 1 performance with 43.5 DraftKings points in game 2, and he seems way underpriced for today’s contest at just $6,800. He’s averaged 37.6 DraftKings points per game over the past 12 months and has averaged a Plus/Minus of +3.14 with a comparable salary over the past three seasons. You’ll gladly take that kind of production at his current price tag.

Damian Lillard has lived up to his “Big Game Dame” moniker over his first two playoff games, averaging 50.25 DraftKings points per game. He should continue to thrive given his matchup with the Thunder — his Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.08 is the best mark at the position — and his $9,100 salary on DraftKings comes with a Bargain Rating of 96%.

Shooting Guard

Stud

The shooting guard position is much thinner than the point guard position on today’s slate. C.J. McCollum is the only real option if you want to pay up, and even he costs just $6,900 on DraftKings.

He’s coming off a monster performance in his last game, scoring 52.5 DraftKings points, and has attempted at least 22 shots in each of his first two playoff contests. He owns the top ceiling projection among shooting guards in our NBA Models, which will likely make him a popular option for guaranteed prize pools (GPPs).

Value

Danny Green is very rarely going to produce an eye-popping performance, but he’s typically pretty dependable. He’s posted a Consistency rating of 92% over the past month on FanDuel and has averaged 24.1 points per game over that time frame. He’s a safe option at $4,300.

Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Toronto Raptors guard Danny Green (14).

Fast Break

Evan Fournier has seen a massive price decrease on FanDuel, dropping from $6,500 for game 1 of this series to $5,100 for game 3. He hasn’t provided much fantasy value over his first two contests, but that’s to be expected when you shoot just 36.7% from the field and 33.3% from 3-point range. He should see some progression in those areas moving forward, which makes him an excellent buy-low candidate on today’s slate.

Jaylen Brown owns a position-high Bargain Rating of 92% on FanDuel and should continue to see a few additional minutes with Marcus Smart sidelined. He’s played at least 26.9 minutes in each of his first two playoff games and has averaged 0.87 FanDuel points per minute this season. He more upside than Green at a similar salary and should check in with lower ownership for GPPs.

Small Forward

Stud

Paul George hasn’t provided the same fantasy value since injuring his shoulder — he’s averaged just 1.21 DraftKings points per minute over the past month — but he’s been able to make up for it through sheer volume. He’s played at least 40.5 minutes in each of his first two playoff games, and he could see even more minutes today with the Thunder fighting for their playoff lives. His current minute projection of 42.9 is the top mark regardless of position in our NBA Models.

It’s tough to ignore that kind of workload, especially on DraftKings. He’s priced at just $8,700, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 98%, and he leads the position with 13 Pro Trends.

Value

Jonathan Isaac was limited to just 23 minutes in the Magic’s last game, which they ultimately lost by 29 points. That said, he played nearly 40 minutes in the first game of the series and responded with 29.6 FanDuel points. He’s averaged 0.95 FanDuel points per minute over the past month, so he can do a lot of damage when given the opportunity to play heavy minutes. He’s a strong option at his current salary across the industry.

Fast Break

Most people choosing to pay up at the position will likely target George, which could make Kawhi Leonard a bit under-owned. He won’t play nearly as many minutes as George, but his superior average of 1.36 DraftKings points per minute over the past month means he doesn’t have to. He’s another excellent value on DraftKings, where his $8,200 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 98%.

Bojan Bogdanovic has been the man for the Pacers since the injury to Victor Oladipo. He’s led the team with a usage rate of 26.5% and has averaged 30.78 DraftKings points per game since losing their star SG on January 26th. The Celtics are one of the toughest matchups in fantasy, but that didn’t stop Bogdanovic from dropping 46.5 DraftKings points in his last game. He has a big ceiling at just $6,000.

Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Indiana Pacers forward Bojan Bogdanovic (44).

Power Forward

Stud

Pascal Siakam seems like a lock to win the Most Improved Player award this season, and he’s become a key factor in the Raptors’ rotation. He’s logged at least 36.5 minutes in each of their first two playoff games, including 42.3 minutes in game 1. His $8,500 salary on FanDuel seems a bit high – he’s seen a price increase of +$3,700 over the past year – but no one at the PF position can matchup his combination of workload and productivity.

Value

You probably don’t want to pay down too much at the PF position today, but Domantas Sabonis is worth some attention at $5,800 on FanDuel. He owns a Bargain Rating of 85% and has been one of the best producers on a per-minute basis at the position this season. He played 27.5 minutes in game 1 of this series, and he doesn’t need much more than that to make an impact at his current salary.

Fast Break

Aaron Gordon has seen a price decrease of -$800 over the past month on FanDuel and leads the position with 12 Pro Trends. He’s averaged a strong 0.97 FanDuel points per minute this season and has played at least 32.6 minutes in each of his first two playoff games.

Jayson Tatum had a bit of a disappointing regular season, but it looks like he’s going to carry a bigger workload during the playoffs. He’s coming off 38.7 minutes in his last contest, and he played more than that just twice during the regular season. He’s a nice value at $6,100 on DraftKings given his Bargain Rating of 86%.

Center

Stud

The Raptors have put the clamps on Nikola Vucevic in the past two games, limiting him to an average of just 22.75 DraftKings points. He’s averaged 45.9 DraftKings points per game over the past 12 months, so that represents a massive decrease in value.

That said, his price has decreased by -$1,700 on DraftKings over the past month, which makes him an interesting buy low candidate on today’s slate. He remains heavily involved in the Magic’s offense but has shot just 28.6% from the field. Getting him going represents their best chance of pulling off the upset, and I’m expecting him to bounce back in game 3.

Value

Myles Turner is another center who has struggled to start the postseason, averaging just 19.6 FanDuel points per game. Still, his workload is encouraging — he’s currently projected for 32 minutes in our NBA Models — and he’s averaged 1.15 FanDuel points per minute this season. The Celtics are a tough matchup, but they did rank just 23rd in team rebound rate during the regular season.

Fast Break

Al Horford is the ultimate glue guy. He does a lot of things for the Celtics that don’t show up in the box score, which ultimately makes him a better real-life player than fantasy player. That said, he’s worth some consideration today on FanDuel, where his Bargain Rating of 70% is one of the top marks at the position. He also has the best individual matchup given his Opponent Plus/Minus of +1.03.

Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Boston Celtics center Al Horford (42).

Enes Kanter has had wildly different results through his first two postseason games, scoring 52.0 DraftKings points in game 1 and 11.25 DraftKings points in game 2. He can score and rebound with the best centers in the league, but his defense will determine how much the Blazers can choose to keep him on the court. He’s a boom or bust target, but his upside is massive for GPPs.

News Updates

After this piece is published, FantasyLabs is likely to provide news updates on a number of players. Be sure to stay ahead of your competition with our NBA news feed.

Pictured: Oklahoma City Thunder PG Russell Westbrook (0)
Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports