Saturday’s NBA slate features Game 3 between the Heat and Celtics at 8:30 p.m. ET. The Heat have jumped out to a 2-0 series lead, so the Celtics have their back against the wall in this contest. No team has ever overcome a 3-0 series deficit in NBA history, so this is essentially a must-win game for them.
Let’s take a look at some of the showdown options to get your lineup started.
(NOTE: All salaries are in the utility spot unless otherwise indicated.)
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Miami Heat (101.5 implied points)
The Heat have two of the three most expensive players in this contest. It starts with Bam Adebayo ($9,200), who has scored at least 43.5 DKFP in each of the first two games of this series. He’s stuffed the stat sheet, averaging 19.5 points, eight rebounds, 6.5 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.5 blocks, which is something that he’s done for the majority of the season. Overall, he’s averaged 1.26 DKFP per minute this season, which is the top mark among today’s players.
Conversely, Jimmy Butler ($9,000) has struggled vs. the Celtics. He found his jump shot early in the playoffs after shooting just 24.4% from three-point range during the regular season but it deserted him again in his last contest. He shot just 4-of-11 from the field and missed his only three-point attempt. Of course, Butler is capable of scoring fantasy points without scoring the ball but the Celtics aren’t an ideal matchup for racking up peripherals. Boston allowed the second-fewest assists per game and the 11th-fewest rebounds per game during the regular season.
Goran Dragic ($8,200) is next up on the pricing spectrum and he’s been an offensive force for the Heat during the playoffs. He moved into the starting lineup in Miami’s first game vs. the Pacers and he leads the team in both points per game and usage rate over the team’s 11 postseason contests. He’s also found plenty of success in his first two games vs. the Celtics, averaging 41.75 DKFP in those contests. He might be due for a touch of shooting regression – he’s shot 55.26% from the field and 46.2% from three-point range – but he should continue to score the ball at a high level for the Heat.
After those three, Tyler Herro ($7,200), Jae Crowder ($6,800), and Duncan Robinson ($5,400) should absorb most of the additional playing time and shot attempts. Herro has developed the highest ceiling of the trio during the playoffs and he’s scored at least 27.5 DKFP in five of his past six games. Crowder has also been a steady producer and he’s scored at least 27.0 DKFP in six straight games. Robinson is the most volatile of the trio but he should also command the lowest ownership. He exploded in his last game, shooting 6-of-12 from three-point range and he’s already one of the best knockdown three-point shooters in the league.
If you’re looking for a punt play with the Heat, Kelly Olynyk ($4,200) looks like your best option. He’s not playing a ton of minutes at the moment but he’s posted a usage rate of at least 20.2% in four of his past five games, which gives him the ability to rack up points when he’s on the court.
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Boston Celtics (104.5 implied points)
Jayson Tatum ($10,400) headlines the Celtics’ roster and he’s blossomed into one of the best players in the league. He’s not on the same level as a LeBron James or Kawhi Leonard but he’s pretty darn close. He’s coming off a poor performance in his last game, scoring just 34.75 DKFP but he racked up 67.0 DKFP in Game 1. His lack of fantasy production came more from a reduced workload than anything else – he attempted just 12 shots after shooting at least 21 times in each of his three previous games – so expect him to increase his workload in Game 3.
After Tatum, the rest of the starters could have to deal with increased competition for touches. Gordon Hayward ($7,600) has been upgraded to questionable and the Celtics might be a bit more aggressive with him now that they’re in an 0-2 hole. Hayward likely won’t play enough to have fantasy value on his own but his presence could result in lower usage rates for the rest of the roster.
One player who seems underpriced at the moment is Kemba Walker ($8,400). He had been ice cold from the field during the playoffs but he finally put together a good game in his last outing. He scored 41.75 DKFP while shooting 9-of-19 from the field and 4-of-11 from three-point range. He’s going to return value once again if he shoots the ball that well in Game 3.
Jaylen Brown ($8,600) and Marcus Smart ($7,800) have been the other top options for the Celtics during the playoffs. Smart seems like a prime regression candidate – he’s shot the ball unusually well from three-point range this season – but Brown is a solid option at his price tag.
Brad Wanamaker ($4,800) stands out as a solid value at his price tag given his workload at the moment. He’s logged at least 24.1 minutes in each of his past two games and he displayed a ceiling of 33.75 DKFP in Game 1. It’s possible that the potential return of Hayward eats into his playing time but he should still operate as the backup PG at a minimum.
Finally, the Celtics dusted off Enes Kanter ($1,600) in Game 2 and he responded with 16.0 DKFP over 10.8 minutes. Kanter is a fantasy monster when he gets on the court, so any playing time would make him an interesting option at such a minimal salary.
I’m expecting the Celtics to take care of business in this contest, particularly if Hayward is back in the lineup. I think Kemba Walker ($12,600 CP) makes a lot of sense at the Captain spot at just $12,600, so hopefully, his shooting woes are behind him. Pairing Walker at Captain with Tatum and Dragic in the utility spots leaves an average of around $6,250 for your remaining three lineup spots, so rostering Kanter in one of those spots allows you to do whatever you want with the rest of your lineup. That’s a pretty appealing roster construction.
Final Score: Celtics 108, Heat 100
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