Daily Fantasy

NBA DraftKings & FanDuel DFS Primer: May 17

FantasyPros considers the best player values in Yahoo fantasy leagues for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals tips off Wednesday night at 8:30 p.m. ET.

We tipped off the Western Conference Finals on Tuesday, so it’s time to dive into the Eastern Conference! Everybody expected Boston to get to this point, but the run by Miami has been miraculous. The Heat have been one of my favorite teams over the last decade, and it’s been exciting to watch them go on yet another playoff run. That’s what culture will do for you, and teams should take notice of what Miami is doing right now. There are much more talented teams, but something is special about this club. That makes this a tough series to pick, and I truly don’t know what to expect until we see some games!

Core Plays

Jayson Tatum (SF/PF – BOS): $12,400 DraftKings, $17,500 FanDuel
Tatum really struggled with his shot in that Philly series, but the Game 7 performance made everyone forget about those difficulties. Even with the poor shooting, Tatum has scored at least 52 DraftKings points in nine of his last 12 games. It culminated with that 83-point masterpiece in Game 7, and Tatum is going to be tough to fade as long as he’s playing 40-45 minutes while taking 20-25 shots a night. He’s excelled against Miami all year, too, averaging 53 DK points per game against them.

Jimmy Butler (SF/PF- MIA): $12,200 DraftKings, $17,000 FanDuel
Playoff Jimmy has been one of the best players in this postseason. He’s scored at least 38 DraftKings points in 15 consecutive games, posting a 54-point average in that span. That’s less surprising when looking at his playoff averages. Over the last two postseasons, Butler is averaging 28.8 points, 7.1 rebounds, 4.9 assists, and 1.9 steals per game. Facing Boston can be scary for most players, but Jimmy Buckets dropped 52 DK points in their most recent meeting.

Cash Game Considerations

Marcus Smart (PG – BOS): $7,000 DraftKings, $9,500 FanDuel
We had Smart in this article for almost every game in the Philly series, and it’s hard to understand why he is so affordable. This former Defensive Player of the Year always shows out in the postseason, averaging nearly 35 DK points per game in his playoff career. That’s on par with what he did in the first two rounds, averaging 34 DK points per game. He’s also had success against Miami, scoring 39 and 31 fantasy points in their two most recent matchups.

GPP Targets

Kyle Lowry (PG/SG – MIA): $6,800 DraftKings, $11,000 FanDuel
Lowry started playing much better in this most recent round, scoring at least 24 DK points in all six games of the New York series. He also scored 38 DK points in the Game 6 clincher and is back to a 30-minute role. This veteran is too good to be this cheap in a 30-minute role, and Miami needs him out there against this Boston backcourt. In their four matchups this season, Lowry averaged over 30 DK points per game against the Celtics.

Robert Williams III (PF/C – BOS): $4,400 DraftKings, $7,500 FanDuel
We saw Williams start at center in the final two games of the Philly series, and we have to assume that’ll continue with the way he performed. The big man played at least 28 minutes in both of those and has been one of the best per-minute producers throughout his career. He’s played at least 28 minutes in 53 games over the last three years and is averaging nearly 40 fantasy points per game in those outings. All you need is 25-30 DK points from a player in this price range, and it doesn’t even consider his elite upside.

Value Plays

Al Horford (PF/C – BOS): $7,200 DraftKings, $12,500 FanDuel
Much like Lowry and Smart, look for Boston to lean on their veteran here. Big Al is just that, playing in over 150 career playoff games. He’s also averaging nearly 35 DraftKings points per game in his postseason career and regularly played 30-35 minutes in the first two rounds. In fact, Horford averaged 32 DK points per game across 32 minutes a night in this postseason! The only concern is the bump of minutes for Rob-Will, but it’s clear these big men can play together.

Advantageous Pricing

Marcus Smart (PG – BOS): $7,000 DraftKings, $9,500 FanDuel

Duncan Robinson (SG – MIA): $3,400 DraftKings, $7,000 FanDuel

Kyle Lowry (PG/SG – MIA): $6,800 DraftKings, $11,000 FanDuel


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