Last night brought modest success with my NBA DFS picks. I didn’t win much money in my FanDuel GPP, but my team put up 262 fantasy points and finished in the green.
Stephen Curry was not the top option for the MVP slot, while fading Kevin Durant (37 actual points) turned out to be a mistake. You do need to take some risks in these one-game contests with just five roster spots, however, so I still think I made a solid call.
It’s back to the grind we go on Tuesday, as the Cleveland Cavaliers head to the TD Garden for game two of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics. Boston took game one quite easily, but I fully expect Cleveland to bounce back with a big effort (and win).
That has LeBron James as my top play, while I’m also stacking Cavs in this one. Let’s see how my final team shakes out for tonight:
MVP (2x Points): LeBron James, SF, Cleveland Cavaliers ($20k)
King James is the top player in this contest and after a very quiet game one, I fully expect him to explode tonight. You can make a far more balanced five-man squad by fading him, but there is great risk in that.
Star (1.5x): Kevin Love, PF, Cleveland Cavaliers ($14k)
I’ll hear an argument for the likes of Terry Rozier, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Al Horford here, but I think the Cavs open game two hot and never let up.
Boston players won’t necessarily be bad options, but Love was really the best Cavs player in game one and I won’t be shocked if he comes up big when Cleveland needs him the most.
Pro (1.2x): Marcus Smart, SG, Boston Celtics ($10k)
I do have to fit in a Celtics option in here somewhere and the money makes Smart the best option. He doesn’t always meet expectations, but he gets solid run and is needed for his defense.
He can also rack up the peripherals and get hot from outside, so he’s a viable value play if you’re only using one Boston player tonight.
UTIL: J.R. Smith, SG, Cleveland Cavaliers ($8k)
I’m just riding the Cavs here tonight and Smith’s ability to heat up from long range gets him on my squad. Cleveland ranked 7th overall at outside shooting in the NBA during the regular season, yet they turned up lame (15% from deep) in game one.
I really don’t think that lasts, as the Celtics actually got burned by the Bucks quite a bit from deep and Cleveland is simply better than that as a unit. The Cavs struggled in a similar fashion early in their first round series with Indiana, but ultimately corrected it. I think they catch fire in a game they know they can’t lose and if Smith can be part of it, he’ll be a steal.
UTIL: Kyle Korver, SG, Cleveland Cavaliers ($7.5k)
Ditto for Korver, who should see close to 30 minutes as a floor spacer and experienced playoff veteran. Korver doesn’t always do a whole lot beyond scoring, but he can surprise in the peripherals game at times and this is obviously a huge contest. He came up big in similar settings earlier this postseason and I won’t be shocked if he does so again tonight.
I think there are three main daily fantasy basketball strategies to consider on this one-game slates; stack as many studs as possible, roster as many intermediate players as possible or stack the best team. Usually that’s going to be the winning side, so I’ll gladly load up on Cavs tonight and hope they catch fire.
That doesn’t mean you can’t use Boston players in what could easily end up being a tight shootout, but that’s the path I’m taking for this NBA DFS contest. Hopefully my insight helps you piece together a winner. Regardless of what you do, I wish you luck!