Tuesday’s NBA DFS landscape features two games starting at 7:00 p.m. ET.
Let’s dive into some of the top plays on the slate using the FantasyLabs Tools and metrics.
Note: Projections and Leverages Scores/Ratings may change throughout the day after this article is posted. The NBA DFS landscape changes quickly. Consult the Player Models directly for any updates as we get closer to lock.
NBA DFS Point Guard Picks
Ja Morant has been very boom or bust in his first playoff appearance. However, playing at home seems to be his sweet spot. Morant has averaged 29.8 points and 59.3 DraftKings points per game at home compared to 14.7 points and 48.5 DraftKings points per game on the road. Morant has also averaged 28.5 points per game against the Warriors this season, including Game 1.
This game between the Grizzlies and Warriors is the obvious game to target tonight as the total is 227.5 points which is 12 points more than the Celtics and Bucks game. The Grizzlies are two-point underdogs after losing game one. If they lose tonight, they are in jeopardy of getting swept. Look for Morant to stay aggressive. He was one rebound away from the triple-double last game.
Marcus Smart is a really strong value option, but he is questionable to play with a shoulder and quad injury. He went through the ringer in game one as he was leaving to the locker room left and right. Monitor the status of Smart, as he is arguably the most important player who is questionable to play tonight. He doesn’t get enough credit for being the third option on the Celtics.
If, for some reason, Smart is unable to go, look to Derrick White and even Payton Pritchard as key values on this slate. They are both priced very well on both sites, but it is Smart who will be the key to unlock both players. Smart may take a backseat due to his defensive responsibilities, but he has combined for 11 3-pointers this playoffs and averaged 16.5 points per game against the Nets.
Stephen Curry has moved into the starting lineup and is fully off his minutes limit as he has played 37 or more minutes in the last three games. He has made at least five 3-pointers in back-to-back games as he is best suited for DraftKings with the 3-point bonus. Curry hasn’t provided much other than scoring, which makes him risky, but he is the best shooter in the world and can get hot in a hurry.
The Grizzlies have played at the fastest pace during the playoffs, which makes this a great matchup to target for Curry and the Warriors. There isn’t as much pressure on Curry to bail out the Warriors anymore with Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole on the team. Defenders are in a pick your poison scenario multiple times in a game, which can only help Curry get free on the perimeter.
NBA DFS Shooting Guard Picks
Jaylen Brown tied his career-high with seven turnovers in game one for the Celtics. He still nearly had a double-double while only scoring 12 points on 30.8% shooting from the field. It was one of Brown’s worst games of the season. Expect a bounce-back performance in game two for Brown. He averaged 22.5 points and 40.7 DraftKings points per game in the first round against the Nets.
The Bucks have the best defensive rating in the playoffs thus far, but they still can be attacked on the perimeter. The Bucks allowed the most 3-pointers attempted and made during the regular season. This is where Brown can take advantage. He can get as hot as anyone from behind the arc. Brown has averaged 2.5 or more made 3-pointers per game over the last two seasons. The upside is there.
Gary Payton II has a very specific job in this series, and that is to make life difficult for Ja Morant. He struggled doing that in Game 1 but also made up for it on the offensive side of the ball with eight points, seven rebounds, three assists, and 23.3 DraftKings points. Payton has had back-to-back games where he has crushed his projected Plus/Minus, and he still remains very cheap on both sites.
Payton will likely only play around 23 minutes again tonight, but he is very active when he is on the floor. He is arguably the best salary-saver on the slate where we need to save the money to get up to some of these studs. Payton will also be left wide open on several occasions as the Warriors flood their lineups with shooters. Not only can Payton hit the open shot, but he is a great cutter as well.
Desmond Bane is another key piece to this slate as he is also listed as questionable. During the first round of the playoffs, Bane led the Grizzlies in scoring. He had a rough game one against the Warriors, where he only finished with nine points while shooting 30% from the field and 20% from behind the arc. That was a rare sight to see as he lit up the scoreboard against the Timberwolves.
It is hard to see Bane not being able to play, especially since this is such an important game for the Grizzlies. If for some reason he is out, look to De’Anthony Melton, who ended up closing most of the game for the Grizzlies as he finished with 33.3 DraftKings points in 25 minutes. Melton played seven minutes in back-to-back games in the first round. He would be another value if Bane is out.
NBA DFS Small Forward Picks
The other Celtics star who should have a bounce-back performance is Jayson Tatum. He averaged a career-high 26.9 points per game this season and has increased his scoring in every season he has gotten to the NBA. Another benefit to these Celtics stars is the status of Marcus Smart. He is questionable with a quad injury. Tatum and Brown may be asked to produce even more.
Using our On/Off Tool, Tatum is second to Al Horford in DraftKings Plus/Minus with Smart off of the floor during the regular season. Regardless if Smart is able to go or not, Tatum is in a great spot to get back on track tonight. He averaged 29.5 points per game in the first series. It is hard to see him not bouncing back after just 21 points while shooting 6-for-18 from the field in game one.
Dillon Brooks always seems to find his way into this article, which is a blessing and a curse. He is a very boom or bust player who relies on his perimeter jump shot. He is second on the team this season in usage rate behind Ja Morant, which should come to no surprise as Brooks has never seen a shot he didn’t like. His aggressiveness is good for fantasy, as missed shots don’t matter.
Brooks is second behind Giannis Antetokounmpo when it comes down to projected Plus/Minus at the small forward position. His salary continues to drop on both DraftKings and FanDuel, making him a very strong value option. He has been in foul trouble lately, which has limited his upside. If he can keep his hands to himself, Brooks could be in for a big night playing heavy minutes.
The rest of the small forward position is pretty weak as it normally is, but Klay Thompson needs to be discussed. Make sure to prioritize Thompson on FanDuel, where he has an 87% Bargain Rating, but he has recorded a positive Plus/Minus in nine of his last 11 games. He has also displayed some massive upside during that time, with six games scoring over 40 FanDuel points.
Thompson is another Warriors player that can get scorching hot from the perimeter. In the first round, he had two games where he had six or more 3-pointers against the Nuggets. He has also had two or more steals in three-straight games showing his versatility, especially on FanDuel. This Warriors offense is absolutely loaded, but don’t forget about Thompson when setting your lineups.
NBA DFS Power Forward Picks
The player with by far the biggest ceiling on the slate in the Players Models is Giannis Antetokounmpo. He only shot 36% from the field but still was able to record a triple-double with 24 points, 13 rebounds, and 12 assists. Giannis has scored more than 64 DraftKings points in three out of his last five games. Without Khris Middleton, Giannis has done a great job facilitating as he had 12 last game.
Expect a much more competitive Game 2, which will include Giannis shooting much better. He shot 57.8% from the field against the Bulls in the first round. The Celtics are a much tougher matchup as they led the league in defensive rating during the regular season, allowing a league-best 104.5 points per game, but Giannis is a cheat code. There is enough value to prioritize Giannis tonight.
Sticking with the Bucks, we’ll look to Bobby Portis, who has been absolutely fantastic for them this season. Since returning from his eye injury, Portis has averaged 15.3 points and 13.5 rebounds per game over the last four games. He has recorded a double-double in each game as he has also combined for nine 3-pointers during that time. He is a perfect stretch-four for Giannis to kick out to.
The Celtics were the second-best team defending the paint this season, which is why having Portis on the perimeter works so well for the Bucks. He has averaged a career-high in points and rebounds in his second year with the Bucks. Against the Celtics this season, Portis is averaging 17 points per game while shooting 54.7% from the field. They have trouble defending him in all areas on the floor.
Outside of Giannis, the player who has the second-highest Plus/Minus on both DraftKings and FanDuel is Brandon Clarke. He has made a name for himself during this playoff run as Steven Adams was run off the floor against the Timberwolves and faces another tough matchup for him to get playing time against the Warriors. This is a perfect spot to target the high energy of Clarke.
Not only is Clarke a great play on both sites tonight, but he will also come in as one of the highest-owned players on the slate. He will continue to come off the bench for some reason, but Clarke has played 29 or more minutes in five-straight games. He has been a rebounding machine as he has averaged a double-double with 16.7 points and 11.7 rebounds per game in his last three games.
NBA DFS Center Picks
Center is by far the weakest position on the slate. There is no one priced above $6,500 on DraftKings or above $7,000 on FanDuel. There are a few mid-range options that are promising, and the one that stands out the most is Draymond Green. He was ejected for a controversial flagrant two foul last game and only played 17 minutes. Knowing Green, he will be playing with an extra chip on his shoulder.
The Warriors have forced their opponents to play small so that Green can thrive in this type of game environment. He is a stat-stuffer that can affect the game in a variety of ways. Green had an average first-round series but had to defend Nikola Jokic for most of the game. He had 21 DraftKings points in only 17 minutes during the first game before he got ejected. Great spot to target Green tonight.
Robert Williams could certainly be the value pick of the slate, but he is only projected to play 26 minutes. Instead, we will look at his veteran teammate Al Horford who has been exceptional lately. In the first game of the series, Horford had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds as he finished with 37.5 DraftKings points in 36 minutes of action. He will simply play more minutes.
There is no doubt Horford’s upside is limited with Williams back in the starting lineup, but he sets up well in this matchup playing against Portis and Lopez, who can also stretch the floor really well. Our model has Horford projected for 35 minutes tonight, which is the most of any center on the slate. That is valuable as more minutes equals more money. Don’t sleep on Horford in this spot.
Jaren Jackson Jr. is the highest-priced center on FanDuel, but he is coming off a great first game against the Warriors. He really struggled against the Timberwolves in the first round as he couldn’t stay out of foul trouble. Jackson Jr. had a double-double with 33 points and 10 rebounds as he shot 56% from the field and made six 3-pointers. If he stays out of foul trouble, he has incredible upside.
Jackson Jr. has the talent and size to take advantage of this Warriors defense, and he showed that in game one. He also has block upside to make him worth the expensive price tag on FanDuel as well. He led the league with 2.3 blocks per game this season, and even though the Warriors don’t allow too many blocks, Jackson Jr. still has the upside to have multiple blocks and another double-double.