FanDuel NBA DFS Playoff Picks – May 23rd

Last night closed out the second day of FanDuel’s two-day daily fantasy basketball slate, which started on Monday.

I had Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Trevor Ariza left over from that unit and Curry and Durant both topped 40 fantasy points. Ariza was a bust with 18 fantasy points, especially since P.J. Tucker worked out.

For those that aren’t aware, this advice is for the two-day slates, with today’s analysis consisting of tonight’s game between the Cavs and Celtics, as well as Thursday’s showdown between the Warriors and Rockets.

There has been some confusion over that. While you absolutely can focus on the single game NBA DFS contests for each specific day there is a game, I’ll be providing lineups for as long as FanDuel pushes out these two-day contests.

My last team was decent and last night’s unit got off to a pretty good start with Curry/KD/Dray all topping 40+ fantasy points. Eric Gordon and Trevor Ariza both got just 18 fantasy points, but hopefully my Cavs four-man stack can get us into the green.

Again, I understand the confusion, as I’m touching on a slate that ended and a second slate that was technically still part of the first slate and will even leak into this slate.

Yeah, it’s a nightmare.

All you really need to know is there is an NBA game tonight and another tomorrow and I’ll be selecting players for this NBA DFS picks column. With that said, here’s my favorite lineup for FanDuel two-day contests that tip off tonight:

PG: George Hill – Cleveland Cavaliers ($5.2k)

Hill’s price has gone up for the third slate in a row, but he’s still too cheap when you look at the slate as a whole. Ideally you’d cram both CP3 and Curry together in this lineup, but it’s just not that realistic without taking some crazy dives on players that don’t even see the court.

Hill has been playing well the past two games and if Cleveland is going to win again in game five, he’ll likely need to have another solid outing. He’s the only deep dive that’s viable at PG right now, so he feels like a must in all formats.

PG: Terry Rozier – Boston Celtics ($7.4k)

I always want to pay up for Stephen Curry in this situation, but I think it could be contrarian to fade both Curry and CP3 and just roll with Rozier. The Celtics point guard showed in game four (48 fantasy points) that he has the ability to match them. In a huge game at home, I think he shows up and returns solid value.

Rozier paying off here would be big, as he would allow me to land a super pricey stud elsewhere. I wonder who that might be…

SG: J.R. Smith – Cleveland Cavaliers ($3.7k)

Kyle Korver is my preferred Cavs SG option, but Smith consistently gets more run and is just as capable of firing off from long range. Cleveland as a whole has shot 34% and 50% from deep over their last two outings and if Boston’s inability to defend the three ball pours into game five, Smith could have a field day.

There happens to be $300 remaining when it’s all said and done with my NBA DFS picks for this two-day slate. If you prefer Korver, feel free to pivot here. I just think Smith will be a bit more contrarian and could be an interesting alternative.

SG: Jaylen Brown – Boston Celtics ($6.7k)

Stacking the Celtics/Cavs game could be dangerous, but there is a lot of upside in this matchup. After four relative blowouts, I think this game five could be pretty intense. After all, Vegas is calling it a true pick’em.

I like Cleveland to win, but the Celtics should still fight hard on their home court. Brown has had no troubling finding the bottom of the bucket in this series, so another big scoring performance wouldn’t be shocking in the least.

SF: LeBron James – Cleveland Cavaliers ($13.5k)

I usually will side with KD on tiny slates where you can pivot to him and still save almost $3k for the rest of your lineup. Durant was still 57% owned in yesterday’s two-day contest, though, so I don’t think the edge is going to be that big – it’ll just be split at the very worst.

That’s one reason to hop on James, but if his price and Durant’s presence are going to drive ownership down, I’m all for that as well.

Either way, he’s been great throughout the playoffs and has a shot at a 70-burger in a tense game five situation.

I like the Cavs tonight, so obviously I think James has a great shot at beasting out. Hopefully I catch a break and most people pass on him for KD, but after fading him in the previous two-day slate, I’ll ride him in a big game five here.

Whether you use him in NBA DFS circles or not, James has been a fiend all year and has specifically turned it up a notch during the postseason.

Here’s a Tip:

You can capitalize on James’ playoff dominance over at MyBookie, where they wonder if he can top 58.5 total fantasy points. Considering he’s put up 60+ fantasy points twice in this series and 10 different times in the playoffs thus far, I’d say that’s a bet to chase.

SF: Trevor Ariza – Houston Rockets ($4.7k)

Ariza was a bust in game four and has been weak for most of this series, but recency bias should lower his ownership. He was barely 29% owned in yesterday’s slate, so he might drop further for this slate.

He’s back at home and the up tempo matchup still looks beneficial, though, so I’ll take my chances as a pivot away from the equally volatile P.J. Tucker.

PF: Kevin Love – Cleveland Cavaliers ($7.8k)

I’m staying with this Celtics/Cavs stack theme. Game four of the Western Conference Finals showed us that series can grind down just as easily, so I’m really just putting an emphasis on value and attacking a game I feel will be very competitive.

Love was a spare in game four, but he’s been really solid throughout this series and I expect him to show up in game five. He feels like an elite pivot off of Draymond Green going into this two-day slate.

PF: Marcus Morris – Boston Celtics ($6k)

I don’t love Morris, but he’s getting run and he has the ability to pop off in a hurry. He’ll be needed to try to slow down King James and I think the series shifting back to TD Garden has to help him.

He’s volatile and I can understand preferring to stack Love/Dray together, but he does offer value and helps me get the lineup I covet.

C: Aron Baynes – Boston Celtics ($4.7k)

Normally I’d go Tristan Thompson here, but I’ve used up my Cavs spots already and he’s the pivot I feel comfortable with. Instead I’ll turn to Baynes, who is going to be needed around 20-25 minutes simply because Love and TT are out on the floor.

Baynes isn’t a star by any means, but he can get rebounds, blocked shots and easy buckets. If he can get me 25 fantasy points it’d be a big win.

Ultimately, I’m favoring the Celtics/Cavs game that tips this two-day slate off tonight. Both games have the chance of being really tight and exciting showdowns, but there is simply more value to be had in this first game.

Feel free to consider the likes of Marcus Smart and Jayson Tatum for tonight, while you may want to keep an eye on the status of Iggy for tomorrow’s game. If he’s out again, you can shake things up by diving for a Warriors forward like Kevon Looney.

Hopefully my analysis helps to some degree. Either way, I wish you luck and enjoy the games!


2 Comments on “FanDuel NBA DFS Playoff Picks – May 23rd
  1. This is the second night in a row that your lineup doesnt make any sense. Last night was the rockets vs warriors game. Tonight is the cleveland vs boston game. Why are you combing the two games players? Most of the games on Fanduel consist of 5 players from one game…

  2. Hi Michelle, I tried detailing this in the intro, but if you switch to “full roster” on FanDuel in the game area in the lobby, you’ll see they offer 2-day contests. These are much better to play while they’re available, as they resemble regular NBA DFS contests.

    The lineup provided is referring to those contests, in which you roster players from either game and the contest is played out over two days. Hopefully that clears things up for you.

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