Daily Fantasy

NBA DraftKings & FanDuel DFS Primer: May 1

FantasyPros considers the best player values in Yahoo fantasy leagues for Monday's 2-game slate of NBA playoff matchups.

Look for Tobias Harris in Game 1 of the 76ers-Celtics Eastern Conference semifinal series.

This is exciting. We’re getting into the conference semifinals, and there’s no better time to be a basketball fan. We’re tipping off one of the Eastern Conference series while the Phoenix-Denver matchup is playing their Game 2. It feels like we haven’t seen Philly play in forever, but we’re hopeful it’s given Joel Embiid enough time to get right. His status is the most important thing when evaluating this slate, but we’re going to assume that he’s out since he’s being listed as doubtful.

Core Plays

Devin Booker (SG – PHX): $9,200 DraftKings, $10,200 FanDuel
Booker has been playing at another level in this postseason. The perennial All-Star has scored at least 55 DraftKings points in four of his last five games, averaging 37.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, 7.4 assists, and 2.0 steals per game in that span. That’s over 60 DK points per game, and we have to assume Booker is locked into 40 minutes and 25 shots with Phoenix staring at an 0-1 deficit in this series.

Jamal Murray (PG/SG – DEN): $8,000 DraftKings, $9,200 FanDuel
It’s tough to fade Murray with the way he’s playing right now. The Denver guard has scored at least 44 DraftKings points in all but one playoff game, generating a 48-point average in this postseason. That’s hard to fathom from an $8K player, but it’s less surprising since that’s what he’s done throughout his postseason career. Not to mention, Murray has at least 46 DK points in seven of his last eight matchups with the Suns.

Tobias Harris (SF/PF – PHI): $6,400 DraftKings, $7,200 FanDuel
This is risky with the drop-off we saw from Tobias in the regular season, but he’s going to be impossible to avoid if Embiid is out. That means Harris will see a massive bump in usage, shot attempts, and rebounds, averaging 38 fantasy points per game when Embiid was sidelined this year. That’s a total you usually see from an $8K player, but this price is a bit diminished in what should be an expanded role.

Cash Game Considerations

Nikola Jokic (C – DEN): $10,800 DraftKings, $11,500 FanDuel
The Joker has been the best cash game option for three years, scoring at least 40 DK points in all but a handful of games in that span. He actually had a 62-point average and a 50-point floor before the final month of the season, and that’s the stud we’ve seen in these playoffs. Jokic has at least 56 DK points in four straight fixtures, generating a 64-point average in those outings. He’s also averaging 28.7 points, 17.3 rebounds and 9.7 assists in his three matchups with Phoenix this year.

James Harden (PG/SG – PHI): $8,800 DraftKings, $9,000 FanDuel
Harden isn’t the MVP we saw in the past, but Philly needs him to play like that if Embiid is going to miss this game. With Joel off the floor this year, Harden leads the team with a 32% usage rate. That’s nearly 6% higher than his season total, averaging nearly 60 DraftKings points per game in those outings. That’s incredible from a $9K player, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see the former MVP play 40 minutes, take 25 shots and post a 40% usage rate if Embiid has to sit.

GPP Targets

Robert Williams III (PF/C – BOS): $4,800 DraftKings, $5,800 FanDuel
Williams has been all over the map in terms of consistency, but his upside is massive. The big man has been one of the best per-minute producers since he was drafted, averaging nearly 1.4 DK points per minute. We love that with his recent bump in playing time, recording 27 minutes in two of the last three games. All he needs is 20-25 minutes to be a good value in this price range because he’s got a 50-point upside in a 30-minute role.

De’Anthony Melton (PG/SG – PHI): $4,000 DraftKings, $4,700 FanDuel
This is the riskiest play for Philly, but Melton could be massive for the Sixers if Embiid is unable to go. The stat-stuffing guard was starting when Embiid was out earlier in the year, averaging 34 DraftKings points per game when Embiid has been sidelined. That’s absurd from such an affordable player, and they need Melton to play big minutes to oppose this talented Boston backcourt.

Value Plays

Chris Paul (PG – PHX): $7,100 DraftKings, $8,100 FanDuel
Paul doesn’t have a huge upside with KD and Booker swallowing up most of the usage, but he’s one of the safest bets to reach 5X value on DraftKings. The guard only needs 35 fantasy points to be a solid pick, and he posted a 37-point average during the regular season. He’s also scored at least 32 fantasy points in 22 of his last 23 games, totaling a 38-point average in that span. He excelled against Denver in the regular season, too, averaging 43 DK points per game in their three matchups.

Marcus Smart (PG/SG – BOS): $5,700 DraftKings, $7,000 FanDuel
This 2021-22 Defensive Player of the Year always sees a massive bump in minutes in the playoffs, playing 35-40 minutes a night regularly. That was on full display in the Atlanta series, with Smart scoring at least 35 DraftKings points in four of those six games. He also maintained a 34-point average in that series and could be playing 40 minutes a night here to oppose James Harden.

Advantageous Pricing

Devin Booker (SG – PHX): $9,200 DraftKings, $10,200 FanDuel

Robert Williams (PF/C – BOS): $4,800 DraftKings, $5,800 FanDuel

Chris Paul (PG – PHX): $7,100 DraftKings, $8,100 FanDuel

Marcus Smart (PG/SG – BOS): $5,700 DraftKings, $7,000 FanDuel

Jayson Tatum (SF/SF – BOS): $9,900 DraftKings, $10,900 FanDuel

Jamal Murray (PG/SG – DEN): $8,000 DraftKings, $9,200 FanDuel


Joel Bartilotta is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Joel, check out his archive and follow him @Bartilottajoel.