NBA DFS Picks: Yahoo Plays and Strategy for Saturday, May 20
Denver has to feel fortunate to be up 2-0 in this series. They barely held off LA in Game 1 and then completed a double-digit comeback in Game 2. A 2-0 lead is a 2-0 lead, though, and teams throughout NBA history typically win over 90 percent of series under those circumstances. LeBron James has bucked nearly every trend in NBA history at one point, though, and he's looking for another historic comeback here. With that in mind, let's start with the hero in that Game 2 win!
Jamal Murray, DEN at LAL ($36)
Murray was the most valuable player in Game 2. He looked lost through three quarters but dropped 23 raw points in the fourth to finish with 37 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and four steals. That equates to 65 Yahoo points, an unsurprising total since he has a 47-point average in these playoffs. He's also got his average above 40 fantasy points throughout his postseason career, and it's clear Murray loves to perform when the lights are the brightest. Not to mention, LA allowed the second-most fantasy points to opposing point guards in the regular season.
Dennis Schroder, LAL vs. DEN ($10)
We need to find some cheap players to pair with all of the studs, and Schroder looks like one of the best values on the slate. He hasn't done much with his minutes, but it's hard to argue with a 31-minute average over his last five fixtures. He's being asked to play a ton with D'Angelo Russell struggling, and it's rare to see a minimum-priced guy play 30-plus minutes a night. We've seen Schroder be a $25 player in that sort of role in the past, and he makes for a great pairing with Jokic, LeBron and AD.
Guard to Avoid
D'Angelo Russell, LAL vs. DEN ($18)
D-Lo was a massive acquisition for LA at the trade deadline, but he's been invisible for most of these playoffs. The former All-Star hasn't scored more than 27 Yahoo points in five straight games. He's also averaging just 20 Y! points per game in that span. Russell was already losing touches to LeBron, Davis and Reaves but losing minutes to Schroder is the nail in the coffin. LA needs Russell to play better if they're going to advance to the Finals, but we can't ride him in DFS until we see some flashes.
LeBron James, LAL vs. DEN ($45)
LeBron has made some questionable decisions late in these games, but he's still playing some fantastic basketball. The superstar has scored at least 44 Yahoo points in six straight outings, scoring 57 and 53 Y! points in the first two games of this series. This monster has established a 40-point floor throughout his 20-year career and is averaging over 50 fantasy points per game in the postseason. With LA staring down an 0-2 deficit, look for LeBron to leave it all on the floor once again.
Michael Porter Jr, DEN at LAL ($20)
Porter can be a frustrating player to watch at times, but no one can deny his talent. The sharpshooter is averaging over 30 Yahoo points per game over the last two months and has 28 and 35 Y! points in the first two games of this series. MPJ has had his way with the Lakers all year, scoring at least 25 fantasy points in all four matchups. He's also posting a 31-point average against them, which is no surprise since they ranked 20th in total defense during the regular season.
Forward to Avoid
Aaron Gordon, DEN at LAL ($21)
Gordon has the lowest usage rate among these five starters, and he looks lost in this offense right now. Murray and Jokic are doing everything, leading to AG scoring 24 or fewer fantasy points in six of his last seven outings. He's been even worse recently, failing to crack 18 Y! points in three consecutive games. Gordon hasn't even attempted double-digit shots in any of those, and it's clear he's just a defensive player with how this Denver rotation is configured. His ceiling has been limited against LA all season, scoring fewer than 30 Yahoo points in all seven of their matchups.
Nikola Jokic, DEN at LAL ($56)
If you want to fade Jokic, good luck! This has been the best player in fantasy for three years, and he's undeniably the best player in the NBA right now. The big man has scored at least 62 Yahoo points in nine of his last 10 games, averaging 33.5 points, 14.5 rebounds, 10.6 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.0 blocks per game in that span. That would be tough to accomplish in a video game, and it's genuinely a historic stretch from the two-time MVP. The Lakers haven't slowed down any centers all year, though, surrendering the sixth-most fantasy points to them in the regular season.
Anthony Davis, LAL vs. DEN ($51)
It will be tough to use Jokic and AD, but both of them are nearly impossible to fade. Davis struggled with his shot in Game 2 but still had 47 Yahoo points. That's essentially the big man's floor right now, scoring at least 46 Y! points in 18 of his last 25 games. AD is also averaging 55 fantasy points per game in that span and could be locked into 40-45 minutes and 20-plus in this must-win Game 2. Denver doesn't have anyone who can guard Davis, and he needs to feast with his team's season on the line.