Basketball Lineups Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Picks - Wednesday, 5/10/23
That Tuesday card wasn't the best we've seen in these playoffs, but we're expecting a sensational slate here. We have two closeout games to talk about, with Miami and Los Angeles looking to end their respective series. I have a gut feeling that the home team is going to prevail in both of these games and extend each series. The recent form wouldn't indicate that, but the Knicks and Warriors have to play well with their backs against the wall in a 3-1 set. With that in mind, let's ride the starting point guards of those two teams.
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If you're fading Chef Curry today, you should probably find another hobby. This former MVP is facing elimination in this Game 5, and he's been unstoppable in those circumstances in the past. The former MVP had 74 DraftKings points in the Game 7 against Sacramento and is averaging 29.3 points, 6.1 rebounds, 7.1 assists, and 1.6 steals across 41 minutes a night in his 12 career elimination games. That's well over 50 DK points per outing, and we have to assume that'll be his floor since Curry is looking at 40-45 minutes and 25-30 shots. We also saw Curry drop 76 fantasy points in Game 4, which is no surprise since LA allowed the second-most fantasy point to opposing PGs in the regular season.
Brunson is clearly the Knicks best player at this point, and they're going to need him to step up in this must-win Game 5. That's what Brunson did in Game 4, collecting 58 DraftKings points across 44 minutes of play. That gives him a 45-point average across his last 11 outings, scoring at least 37 fantasy points in all of those. The usage is what's going to make him valuable because he could be looking at 25 shots and 45 minutes, just like Curry. Not to mention, Immanuel Quickley is expected to sit, and it wouldn't be shocking to see Brunson play a full 48 minutes with no legitimate backup ball-handler.
Klay was terrible in Game 4, but we have to assume the sharpshooter will sharpen his scope for this critical Game 5. In his nine elimination games since 2016, Thompson is averaging nearly 40 DraftKings points per game. More importantly, he's averaging over 20 shots and 40 minutes a night in those outings. That's what we expect to see for Klay here, averaging over 31 DK points per game across his previous 17 outings before that rare dud on Monday. The matchup against LA's lackluster defense only adds to his value, with the Lakers ranked 20th in points allowed.
Quentin Grimes FD - $4300 DK - $4400
Opponent - MIA
Proj Pts FD - 20.1 DK - 21.05
This is a risky recommendation, but it's going to be key to find some of these value plays to pair with all the studs mentioned. There simply aren't many $4K players that are getting off the bench, let alone in line to play 35-40 minutes. We saw Grimes play 42 minutes in Game 4, and he was regularly doing that over the closing months of the regular season. In the 27 games that Grimes played at least 36 minutes, he averaged nearly 30 fantasy points per game. If you stumble into 30 DK points from a $4K player, you have one of the key pieces to the optimal lineup.
Jimmy Butler FD - $10600 DK - $9700
Opponent - NY
Proj Pts FD - 50.2 DK - 49.37
It's been amazing watching Butler carry this Miami team throughout this shocking postseason run. Playoff Jimmy is averaging over 52 DK points per game in these 2023 playoffs, scoring at least 53 DraftKings points in six of his last 13 games. What's made JB so valuable recently is his increased role, seeing more minutes, shot attempts, and ball-handling duties with Tyler Herro and Victor Oladipo both sidelined. Butler has had his way with the Knicks all year, too, averaging 45 DK points per game in their seven meetings. As long as Jimmy plays the 40 minutes and takes the 20 shots we anticipate, he should be in line for another vintage playoff performance.
LeBron James FD - $9900 DK - $9800
Opponent - GS
Proj Pts FD - 48.91 DK - 50.45
Speaking of vintage performances, it's going to be tough to fade King James. This has been one of the most reliable players in fantasy for 20 years now, scoring at least 36 DraftKings points in all but two games this year. We've also seen King James score at least 53 fantasy points in eight of his last 16 games, generating a 48-point average in that span. That's essentially been LeBron's floor throughout his playoff career, and he's always shown out in closeout games. In 52 career closeout games, LeBron is averaging 28.4 points, 9.2 rebounds, 7.1 assists, 1.6 steals, and 1.0 blocks. We don't expect him to duplicate that, but even 75 percent of that would be acceptable at this sub-$10K price tag.
Anthony Davis FD - $11300 DK - $10600
Opponent - GS
Proj Pts FD - 57.44 DK - 57.73
This is our final high-priced stud, and he might be the best option on the slate. Every basketball fan knows that AD can be the best player in the league when he's healthy, and we've seen glimpses of that in this playoff run. The big man has scored at least 50 DraftKings points in nine of his last 13 games while averaging over 55 DK points per game in that span. He's done that damage with some limited shots, but we've seen Davis score at least 60 fantasy points in three of his last five meetings with the Warriors. That's no surprise with their lack of size, and it would be shocking if LA didn't feed their horse in this potential closeout game.
Draymond Green FD - $6700 DK - $6300
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 35.29 DK - 36.11
The Warriors are rarely staring down the barrel of a 3-1 deficit, but these Golden State studs always show up when their season is on the line. In 12 career elimination games, DG is averaging 12.3 points, 10.8 rebounds, 6.2 assists, 2.1 steals, and 1.2 blocks per game. Those are incredible totals, equating to 40 fantasy points per outing. That's what we've seen from the playmaking big man over recent weeks, averaging 34 DK points per game across his last eight fixtures. We have to assume Green will play 40 minutes in this elimination game and is the only player below $7K who's a legitimate triple-double threat.
Bam Adebayo FD - $8000 DK - $7600
Opponent - NY
Proj Pts FD - 42.5 DK - 43.71
Honestly, Bam is the only center worth rostering on this slate. Many of these teams have been playing small ball, but Miami rides their All-Star center in every game. Bam has deserved those accolades, averaging 40 DraftKings points per game during the regular season. That's well below our projections, with Bam scoring at least 35 DK points in eight of his last 11 outings. He's also seen a bump in usage with Herro out, and Miami needs him out there for 40 minutes to defend guys like Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson. That's led to Adebayo scoring 35 or more DK points in the last three games of this series, and that should be his floor the deeper we get into it!
Kevon Looney FD - $4300 DK - $4800
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 15.03 DK - 14.75
This is extremely risky with the diminished role Looney has been looking at, but he's a sneaky GPP option with the massive price drop. Big Loon was nearly $2,500 more on both sites just two weeks ago, regularly playing 30-35 minutes a night as the starting center. He was productive before this move to the bench, averaging 40 DK points per game across his previous six starts. He's also scored at least 38 fantasy points in five of those, and there's a chance he's moved back to the starting lineup after the struggles in the last two games without him. If you hear that Looney is starting, get him in your lineups. Even if he's not, Loon is a sneaky option to provide 6X value.
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- Stephen Curry: AP Images