The NBA finals are off to a hot start, and fans got to enjoy a comeback thriller by the Celtics in game 1. A staggering 80% of public bets were on the Warriors to win outright, and despite a lackluster performance by Jayson Tatum, the Celtics were able to get the job done.
From a DFS perspective, a variety of builds were able to cash in by going the balanced route. This article seeks to break down tonight’s game and discuss the best approach to beat out thousands of others and win some money.
Before I jump into the plays I like for tonight, it’s imperative to take a look at game 1. Although no two games are the same, we can use game 1 as a foundation to consider different game theories.
- Three-point shooting will likely decide who wins this game and series. We saw this clear as day in game 1 – the Celtics could not miss from 3 towards the end of the game, while the Warriors went cold on all cylinders.
- Taking shots at the captain spot on Draftkings will likely pay off a lot in this series. Based on the scoring distribution in game 1, it’s hard to lock Curry or Tatum 100% at Captain and feel good about it.
- The Celtics are a more difficult team to analyze from a DFS perspective because player minutes can change substantially outside of the core starters.
- Certain players (think Jayson Tatum, Klay, Poole, Looney) underperformed relative to their ownership. This potentially gives us an ownership edge, particularly for Jayson Tatum.
Below are three high upside plays I like for tonight’s showdown slate on Draftkings.
Jayson Tatum - $15,600 CPTN, $10,400 UTIL
It’s astonishing to me that Jayson Tatum isn’t the highest-priced player on tonight’s slate. That award goes to Stephen Curry who has him beat by $300 and $200 at captain and utility respectively. Stephen Curry certainly has the upside to be the highest-priced player, but Tatum can easily outscore him just by playing more minutes.
When looking at the playoffs as a whole, it’s apparent that Tatum plays 40+ minutes every night. He put up 50+ fantasy points in each of the last four games against Miami and dropped as much as 66 against Milwaukee. Steph Curry has failed to put up more than 60 fantasy points in the playoffs so far but does have seven games with more than 50.
Jayson Tatum’s last game is the main reason I have interest in him tonight. Despite having only 12 points in game 1, he managed to post 13 assists and end with 40.75 fantasy points. We’re talking about a situation here where Tatum would’ve broken the slate if he made a few more shots. All things considered, it’s worth getting to a lot of Tatum tonight, regardless of whether it’s at captain or utility.
Draymond Green - $7,000 UTIL
It’s been a while since we’ve seen Draymond Green go above and beyond, but the potential is there at this price. If you look at Draftkings salaries throughout the playoffs, this is the second cheapest Draymond has ever been. From a strategy standpoint, he needs fewer fantasy points to hit a possible 7 or 8x value.
It was a mediocre game 1 for Draymond, but I loved to see that his minutes ticked up. He managed to stay out of foul trouble and post 28 fantasy points in 38 minutes. Looking at his stats, he could’ve easily had 40+ fantasy points if he hit his average assist and point numbers. Tonight’s game is one where Draymond can play 35+ minutes again but potentially be a lot more productive.
It’ll be hard for fantasy players to decide between Kevon Looney, Andrew Wiggins, and Draymond Green, who are all priced nearly the same tonight. Despite the price decrease on Looney, he gets far fewer minutes than Wiggins and Green, so he’s a likely fade for me. You can argue Wiggins has a higher upside in the playoffs so far, but the price and ceiling of Draymond are hard to ignore.
Derrick White - $5,400 UTIL
At this point, I’m not sure if Draftkings just doesn’t see the trend, or maybe they think Derrick White is a fluke. Either way, this is not a guy that I’d fade at the moment, especially given his price tag. The Celtics have been leaning on Derrick White heavily to shoot threes and play lockdown defense. Despite not seeing a lot of minutes with Boston in the regular season, he’s come to life in the playoffs.
There are so many reasons why I like Derrick White tonight, but I primarily like his bonus potential on Draftkings. This is a guy who can benefit greatly from the extra points for threes, blocks, and steals. Combine these with his ability to score, and you have a potential cheat code.
I’m projecting White to play about 28-29 minutes tonight, conservatively. This figure could be as low as 20 or as high as 35 if he’s in his groove. At this price, it’s hard to pass up Derrick White.
Last 5 Games (Fantasy Points): 28.25, 14.75, 43.25, 27.25, 39.