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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Lineup Strategy for Celtics vs. Heat Showdown on September 23

Garion Thorne gives his top lineup advice for Wednesday’s fantasy basketball Showdown contest on DraftKings between the Celtics and the Heat, which starts at 8:30 p.m. ET.

It almost feels like it’s been weeks since we last saw the Heat and the Celtics take the floor. With the Western Conference in catch up mode, the East teams were privy to a unique three-day break in their series, with Boston’s Game 3 victory lingering in the minds of players and fans since all the way back on Saturday.

Which squad will benefit from the extended break? Can Miami take an always daunting 3-1 lead? Let’s break it all down from a Showdown perspective.

Set your DraftKings lineups here: NBA Showdown $750K Wednesday Shootaround [$200K to 1st] (BOS vs MIA)

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Boston Celtics

The first thing we have to accept on this slate is that Jayson Tatum ($10,600) is properly priced. While it always makes lineup construction easier when you can fade the most expensive asset — especially with shortened playoff rotations — Tatum has been an absolute fantasy monster as of late, scoring over 55.0 DKFP in four of his last five games. It’s also a span of time that’s seen the 22-year-old average 44.2 minutes, 11.8 rebounds and a team-best 11.0 potential assists. Right now, the All-Star is simply doing everything for the Celtics and not only does that raise his ceiling, but it also lowers his teammates’ ceilings. In fact, at 1.25 DKFP per minute, Tatum is the lone Boston regular putting up better than 1.0 DKFP per 60 seconds of action in the first three games against Miami.

However, it’s not like Tatum is leading his team in every single category imaginable. Kemba Walker ($8,600) is actually sitting No. 1 in usage rate so far in this series for the Celtics (27.6%) and it appears there’s some room for positive regression. While the point guard has been struggling with his 3-point shot since roughly Game 4 of the Toronto series, Walker has made at least four shots from distance in Boston’s past two contests. The All-Star is also shooting just 16.7% (1-for-6) on “wide-open” 3-pointers against Miami, which is not a trend history tells us will continue. I’d have Walker ranked ahead of both Jaylen Brown ($8,800) and Marcus Smart ($7,800) for tonight’s matchup, with the hope we finally get an efficient high-volume performance from the former NCAA Champion.

Finally, that brings us to Gordon Hayward ($7,200). Usually I’d be a little worried about investing heavily in someone who has only just returned from a severe ankle injury; but the forward probably stands to gain the most from the extended break between Game 3 and Game 4, and he already proved he could log at least 30 minutes on Saturday. More importantly, Hayward’s presence limits the amount of value you’re able to find on this Celtics’ roster. Daniel Theis ($5,400) was proving to be less effective in this series to begin with, but his role shrank in Game 3 with Brad Stevens more than willing to go small with his five most skilled players available. Heck, Brad Wannamaker ($3,600) — equipped with a sterling .769 true shooting rate in the Eastern Conference Finals — played a mere nine minutes with Hayward back in action. With Boston not wanting to fall into a 3-1 deficit, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Hayward exceed 35 minutes this evening.

Miami Heat

It truly feels like you’re going to have to mine value out of the Heat’s rotation on this Showdown slate. While the Celtics are in a top-heavy situation where multiple players will be logging 40-plus minutes on Wednesday, not a single Miami asset has yet to see even 38 regulation minutes in the first three contests of this series. Maybe that changes as we get deeper and deeper in the Eastern Conference Finals, but I doubt Erik Spoelstra gets too desperate in Game 4 with his squad still maintaining a 2-1 lead.

Still, if you did want to get some exposure to the top-end of the Heat’s pricing list, the two candidates are pretty obvious. To be blunt, Boston just doesn’t have anyone to deal with the size of Bam Adebayo ($9,600) in this series. In fact, the Celtics are allowing Miami to shoot 68.0% inside the restricted area, with Adebayo doing a majority of that damage. The big man is averaging 11.7 paint touches per game — almost double any other player in either Conference Final — and he’s posted a hyper-efficient 1.00 points per paint touch with those opportunities. On top of Adebayo, I’d suggest that Goran Dragic ($8,200) is due for a bounce-back performance after a poor showing on Saturday. The veteran leads his team with a 28.4% usage rate through three games and his salary is far more appealing than Jimmy Butler’s ($9,200), who has yet to exceed 38.0 DKFP in this series.

In fact, Butler’s just been really passive versus Boston. Yes, Tyler Herro ($6,600) hasn’t looked like a rookie in this playoff run, but it’s a little mind-boggling that the Kentucky product has attempted more field goals through three games (40) than the All-Star (38). Jae Crowder ($6,000) isn’t too far behind, either, and that expanded role has led to the 30-year-old averaging a very respectable 31.25 DKFP in this series. That’s really the point in the pricing where we run out of floor, but don’t overlook someone like Kelly Olynyk ($4,000) or Derrick Jones Jr. ($3,000) if you need a small salary to round out your build. Olynyk’s managed to score at least 20.0 DKFP in three of his last eight appearances, while Jones Jr. logged a notable 16 minutes of action in Game 3.


Obviously it’s tough to fit in a salary like Jayson Tatum ($15,900 CP) at 1.5x value, but I’m just not sure how you can ignore what the former lottery pick has been doing throughout these playoffs. He’s literally acting as Boston’s primary scorer and distributor right now and that makes him far and away the best DFS option on this slate. Still, if you wanted to go with Gordon Hayward ($10,800 CP) or Tyler Herro ($9,900 CP) at Captain for a more balanced build, that wouldn’t be a terrible strategy. It’s just a little more risky.

Final Score: Boston 109, Miami 104

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) 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 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.

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