Daily Fantasy: it's not just for the regular season, it's for the playoffs too!
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The Best of the Best
LeBron James - Milwaukee's supposed to be solid defensively or something? I think Miami's 122.4 offensive rating from Game 1 showed how much respect they give to that statistic. LeBron finished with a 140 ORtg of his own, meaning that every time he tried to score, he averaged 1.4 points per possession. That allows 27 points to be racked up quickly. And the scariest part? Those 27 points weren't off an extraordinarily ball-hogging effort: his 28.5 percent usage rate was right in line with his season average.
Dwyane Wade - Just because you have LeBron on your roster, don't assume that Wade is off limits as well. Why not get both halves of the Double Trouble? Monta Ellis did have Milwaukee's best defensive rating among all Bucks starters (115, still not great), but Wade was still able to finish with 16 points thanks for 6 for 8 free throw shooting. If he increases his minutes (three less than average in Game 1) and effective field goal percentage (.111 eFG% less than average) back to normal levels, his production should shoot up even higher.
Paul Pierce - Game 1 of the Knicks/Celtics series was a grind-it-out defensive battle. However, I'm not so sure that Game 2 will follow the pattern: both teams shot over .050 eFG% worse from the field than they averaged during the regular season. Some of that can be attributed to better defense, but mostly it can just be attributed to cold nights like Paul Pierce's 6 for 15. After grabbing a 106 offensive rating during the regular season, Pierce could only manage a 94 ORtg in Game 1. As these numbers return to the mean, some more of those 15 Pierce shots can be expected to fall. New York's .549 eFG% allowed to small forwards this year doesn't hurt, either.
Top Mid-Range Values
Kevin Garnett - What was that I said about bad shooting? Garnett went 4 for 12 in Game 1 after hovering right around the .500 eFG% mark in the regular season. Considering New York's .505 eFG% allowed to opposing centers, I consider this one an aberration. And judging from Doc Rivers' post-game comments concerning playing through Garnett, I figure that over 12 shots may not be out of the question, either. The rebounds will always be there, but tonight, we're expecting some points as well.
Carl Landry - This isn't a very analytical observation, but it doesn't seem that people as much attention to projected playing time in the playoffs. That certainly seems to be the case with most Daily Fantasy platforms: Landry's cost is universally limbo-bar low. Considering his projected PT bump for replacing Lee and his No. 15 in the NBA offensive rating, I don't think projected some solid points and rebounds is too far out of the question for the new starting power forward.
Tyson Chandler - Could it be that Garnett has lost something defensively? Opposing centers shot .511 eFG% against him this season, and his 15.5 percent total rebound rate is his second-lowest since the turn of the millennium. Garnett may have shut Chandler down in Game 1, but all stats regress to the mean eventually. All signs out of the Knicks camp are that Chandler will receive more PT in Game 2, especially down the stretch. With his cost having plummeted, the man who set the Single Season record for Offensive Rating comes in as an ultimate high-upside play.