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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Lineup Strategy for Celtics vs. Heat Showdown on May 17

Matt LaMarca gives his top NBA lineup advice for Wednesday’s fantasy basketball contest on DraftKings between the Celtics and Heat

The Celtics were always expected to be in the Eastern Conference Finals, but I’m not sure anyone expected the Heat to be here. They were facing elimination before even making the playoffs, having to win a play-in contest vs. the Bulls just to earn the No. 8 seed. Since then, they’ve managed to knock off the Bucks and Knicks, setting up a rematch from the 2021-22 Eastern Conference Finals. The Celtics managed to win that series in seven games, but the Heat bested the Celtics in six in the 2019-20 Conference Finals. This is truly the trilogy that we always needed but never knew we wanted.

Let’s dive into some of my favorite Showdown selections for this contest, which starts at 8:30 p.m. ET.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA Showdown $555K Shootaround [$105K to 1st] (MIA vs BOS)

Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat

Captain’s Picks

Jayson Tatum ($18,600 CP): Choosing between Tatum and Jimmy Butler ($18,300 CP) for the top spot is a tough choice on Wednesday. Butler has been arguably the MVP of the Eastern Conference playoffs — no one can compete with Nikola Jokic in the West — averaging 31.1 points, 6.6 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game. Overall, he’s averaged 1.33 DKFP per minute over the past month, which is just slightly behind Tatum’s mark of 1.34.

Still, Tatum has been the superior player over the bulk of the year. He’s averaged 1.41 DKFP per minute this season, while Butler is at 1.28. That’s a much larger gap than the current prices suggest. Tatum is also playing as much as anyone in basketball during the postseason, logging at least 41.7 minutes in five of his past seven games. He absolutely erupted in Game 7 vs. the 76ers, scoring 51 points with 13 rebounds, giving him a slightly higher ceiling than Butler. as well. Ultimately, Tatum seems like the better choice for the Captain spot.

Bam Adebayo ($13,500 CP): If you’re looking to go a bit cheaper at Captain, Adebayo is worth consideration. He hasn’t been at his best to start the postseason, but he remains capable of contributing in every category across the board. He’s averaged 1.14 DKFP per minute for the year, and he was a solid contributor vs. the Celtics during the regular season. He averaged 25.0 points, 9.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists in four games vs. Boston, and he’s a threat in the defensive categories, as well. Overall, he stands out as one of the best per-dollar options on the slate.

UTIL Plays

Jimmy Butler ($12,200): Even though I give a slight edge to Tatum over Butler at Captain, there’s no denying that Butler is worthy of a roster spot. His production during the playoffs has been absolutely insane, scoring at least 49.25 DKFP in five of his past seven games. His numbers were slightly down vs. the Knicks, but they’ve played at the fourth-slowest pace during the postseason. The Celtics represent an upgrade from a matchup perspective, especially since their defense has slipped a bit during the playoffs.

Robert Williams III ($4,400): Williams was reinserted into the starting lineup for Games 6 and 7 vs. the 76ers, and there’s no doubt that he makes a significant impact. The team increased their net rating by +4.7 points with Williams on the floor during the regular season, so he should continue to start as long as his knee can handle it. Williams has averaged 0.99 DKFP per minute for the year, and he should play around 30 minutes if he stays in the starting unit. That makes him an outstanding per-dollar option and one of the best salary-savers on the slate.

Cody Zeller ($1,000): The name of the game for Showdown slates is finding a way to jam as many studs into your lineup as possible. In fact, the optimal lineup for Tuesday’s matchup between the Lakers and Nuggets featured a $1,000 player who scored zero DKFP. Taking a zero from someone meant that you could get Anthony Davis at Captain alongside Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Rui Hachimura. That five-man combination outscored any possible six-man combo. That’s not as rare as you might think in the single-game format.

Zeller is easily my favorite of the min-priced options on this slate, and he should contribute some fantasy points. He’s played around 10 minutes per game during the postseason, and he’s averaged 0.86 DKFP per minute for the year. If guys like Tatum, Butler and Adebayo go off, just a handful of points from Zeller could be enough to put him in the optimal lineup.


Jaylen Brown ($10,200): This is nothing personal against Brown, who has blossomed into an excellent 1B option to Tatum’s 1A. That said, we can’t play everyone, and Brown provides the least value among the stud tier on this slate. He’s averaged just 0.99 DKFP per minute over the past month, putting him well behind Tatum and Butler, while he’s significantly more expensive than Adebayo. Brown’s biggest issue has been a lack of peripherals, averaging just 5.3 rebounds and 3.4 assists during the playoffs. With the other three top options all threats for double-doubles, Brown would have to do a ton of scoring to keep up. That’s certainly possible, but I’m willing to roll the dice on the other options.


The Celtics are pretty massive favorites to win this series, and they’re listed as eight-point favorites in Game 1. However, if they’re not ready for a 48-minute fight, the Heat can get them. Miami has already proven that you have to throw out everything that happened during the regular season. This is a different team now, and their win vs. the Bucks means they can beat anyone.

The Heat have pulled off upset wins in Game 1 of their first two series, while the Celtics dropped Game 1 of their series vs. the 76ers. If they’re not careful, that same scenario could repeat itself.

Ultimately, I think the Celtics get the job done, but this game could be much closer than some expect.

Final Score: Celtics 108, Heat 105

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA Showdown $555K Shootaround [$105K to 1st] (MIA vs BOS)

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is mlamarca) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.