NBA DFS Picks: Yahoo Plays and Strategy for Sunday, May 21
The Heat have been shocking the basketball world since the opening round, but the start of this series might be the most surprising thing we've seen. Nobody thought Miami could pull out Game 1, but grabbing both games in Boston was truly mind-blowing. Something is special about this Miami culture because it doesn't look like anyone can beat them right now. No club has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit in NBA history, so you know Boston will leave everything on the court in this must-win Game 3.
Marcus Smart, BOS at MIA ($19)
Smart always balls out when the games matter most. Being down 0-2 in a series classifies as one of those important outings, with him averaging 31 Yahoo points per game during the playoffs. We've always seen Smart average over 30 Y! throughout his postseason career, but it directly correlates with the bump in minutes and usage in these critical games. This isn't quite an elimination situations, but Smart is averaging nearly 40 Y! during those circumstances.
Kyle Lowry, MIA vs. BOS ($15)
Lowry had a rough night in Game 2, but he's been one of the stars for the Heat in this shocking playoff run. The former All-Star produced at least 23 Yahoo points in seven straight outings before that stinker while averaging 32 across 29 minutes a night. We've seen Lowry do that for months at a time before, and it's clear that he's healthy for the first time all year. The boost is less surprising since he's being asked to do more with Victor Oladipo and Tyler Herro both sidelined. We're about to mention some expensive players in the next section, and there's nothing better than pairing them with Lowry.
Guard to Avoid
Derrick White, BOS at MIA ($15)
White was one of the best players for Boston over the final months of the regular season, but his role has collapsed of late. Not only has he been relegated to the bench, but he's also scored 23 or fewer fantasy points in 12 of his last 13 games. It's been even worse recently, having failed to crack 18 Y! in five straight fixtures. That becomes even more challenging against a Top-5 Miami defense, and it'd be silly to use White with an inflated salary.
Jayson Tatum, BOS at MIA ($45)
Tatum has established one of the highest floors in the NBA this season with at least 33 Yahoo points in all but four games. That floor has crept closer to 40 Y! during the playoffs, with at least 38 from 14 of 15 appearances. Tatum's also averaging 52 over that span and should be looking at one of his largest workloads in this must-win matchup. He's a lock for 40-45 minutes and 20-25 shots, making him the safest option on the single-game slate.
Jimmy Butler, MIA vs. BOS ($45)
It's pretty wild to watch Playoff Jimmy go off every night. The superstar has been carrying Miami on his back having produced at least 37 Yahoo points in all 14 playoff games. He's also scored at least 52 Y! during half of those while averaging 30.6 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 2.1 steals. The effort matched with the role makes Butler impossible to avoid as he averages 21 shots and 40 minutes throughout this ridiculous run.
Forward to Avoid
Kevin Love, MIA vs. BOS ($10)
You might see Love is starting for Miami and use him as a value play, but that wouldn't be advisable. This former All-Star is a shell of himself logging fewer than 16 minutes in four straight outings. Love's not even productive with that limited workload as he's failed to reach 20 fantasy points in six consecutive appearances. He's simply out there as a veteran leader and needs to stay away from your DFS lineups.
Bam Adebayo, MIA vs. BOS ($29)
Bam was the star of Game 2 and finished one assist shy of a triple-double. What people don't realize is that he's been annihilating the Celtics all season with at least 36 Y! points in all six of their matchups - which culminated with 22 points, 17 rebounds and nine assists on Friday. Adebayo has also scored at least 32 fantasy points across 12 of his last 15 games overall with a 38-point average during that stretch. He's got one of the highest floors with his ability to stuff the stat sheet, and you know Miami will be motivated to make this series 3-0 at home.
Robert Williams, BOS at MIA ($13)
Williams has been starting at center for the last four games, and he's tough to avoid in that role. He's been an elite per-minute producer throughout his career, having averaged over 1.3 Y! points per minute. That's amazing when evaluating Rob-Will's expanded role where he's playing 26 minutes a night. He's previously averaged 40 Y! points per game in a 30-minute role, and all we need is 20-25 Y! for him to be an elite value in this salary range.