Appropriately, on Tuesday there are two Game 2s on tap for what should be a thrilling fantasy basketball slate on DraftKings. The Celtics and Grizzlies both lost Game 1 at home and will look to avoid an 0-2 hole going on the road. While it isn’t “must-win” territory yet, it’s definitely getting close if these two No. 2 seeds hope to advance past Round 2. Let’s jump right in and take a closer look at who you should build your fantasy basketball lineups around this Tuesday night.
Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies vs. Golden State Warriors ($10,100) – Even though Stephen Curry ($9,100) emerged with the 1-0 series lead, Morant had a much better fantasy day in Game 1—68.25 DKFP to 37.75 DKFP. Morant fell just one rebound short of a triple-double, finishing with 34 points, 10 assists and nine boards while posting a 36.8% usage rate, his highest of any game in the playoffs. Morant shot only 14-of-31 (45.2%), so there’s plenty of room for improvement in that area as well. He has at least 46.0 DKFP in each of his seven postseason contests while Curry has only reached that level in three of his six games and Jrue Holiday ($8,300) only once in six contests. While Curry and Holiday definitely bring a high ceiling and save some salary, they can’t match Morant’s high ceiling and consistent playoff production, so spend up and build around the rising legend of Ja, who should be poised to bounce back with a big game to help his squad level the series.
Other Options – Stephen Curry ($9,100), Jrue Holiday ($8,300)
Derrick White, Boston Celtics vs. Milwaukee Bucks ($3,800) – Boston’s big trade deadline addition has been a very nice fit in the C’s system but has had a limited role in the playoffs, which makes him a great deal under $4K. He had 10 points in Game 1 and finished with 16.5 DKFP in 16 minutes. He could help pick up some of the slack if Marcus Smart ($6,200; quad, questionable) is limited. He had 19.5 DKFP in Game 4’s close-out win over the Nets and 22.25 DKFP in the first game of that series. If he is around those totals in this contest, he will return solid value at the bargain salary.
Other Options – Marcus Smart ($6,200), Tyus Jones ($3,800)
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Jordan Poole, Golden State Warriors at Memphis Grizzlies ($6,900) – This postseason has been a Poole party for the Warriors, who have turned back the clock in some ways while at the same time getting a huge boost from their new, 22-year-old contributor in the backcourt. Poole came off the bench in Game 1 but led the team with 31 points and tied Curry for the team lead in shots. Poole also added nine assists, eight rebounds and two blocks to finish with 59.0 DKFP. He did have a down game in Game 5 of Round 1 but posted over 36 DKFP in three of the five games in that series win over Denver, highlighted by 54.75 DKFP in Game 2. Poole brings an extremely high ceiling if he’s as effective as he was in Game 1 of this series, although there are obviously scenarios where Curry or Klay Thompson ($7,000) carry more of the load as well. Still, for an option under $7K, he comes loaded with upside and plenty of usage in what looks like it will be a fast-paced series that seems to fit his style well.
Other Options – Klay Thompson ($7,000), Desmond Bane ($6,700)
Gary Payton II, Golden State Warriors at Memphis Grizzlies ($3,500) – Payton got the Game 1 start over Poole but only played 23 minutes. It’s clear that the plan was for him to play suffocating defense on Morant. While that didn’t seem to slow Ja down very much, Payton did end up with eight points, seven boards, three assists and 23.25 DKFP. He was even better with 30.75 DKFP in the closeout win over the Nuggets, and even though he’ll never be a long-range force or a high-usage play, he does bring plenty of multi-category potential when he only costs $3.5K. He and Poole are definitely not mutually exclusive, either, since the Warriors use so many pieces interchangeably.
Other Options – De’Anthony Melton ($3,900), Pat Connaughton ($3,800)
Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics vs. Milwaukee Bucks ($7,700) – While Jayson Tatum ($9,800) is the centerpiece of the Celtics’ offense, he’s going to need more help from Brown if Boston is going to even up this series at one win apiece. Brown struggled in Game 1, shooting just 4-of-13 from the field for 12 points and totaling 31.25 DKFP. It was a sharp downturn for him after posting at least 22 points and 38 DKFP in each of the four wins over the Nets, including a 45.25-DKFP performance in Game 1 in which he stuffed the stat sheet. He may have been slowed or limited by a balky hamstring that tightened up on him towards the end of the Brooklyn series, but his production is the key to the Celtics turning things around, so look for him to get plenty of looks early as the C’s try to get him going. If Smart is limited on the offensive end by his injury, more of the work will fall on Brown as well. I think both Brown and Tatum will have strong games, but I love that Brown saves over $2K and allows more roster flexibility in other spots.
Grant Williams, Boston Celtics vs. Milwaukee Bucks ($4,000) – Speaking of roster flexibility, Grant Williams is able to come off the bench and play multiple positions for the Celtics and has been turning in good efforts throughout the playoffs. He has played at least 29 minutes off the bench in each of the past four games for Boston and produced at least 16 DKFP in each contest. He had 30 and 27.25 DKFP in two of the Celtics’ wins over Brooklyn, showing his upside when he’s asked to take more of the workload on offense. Like Payton, Grant doesn’t usually get high usage, but he does get meaningful minutes due to his defense and finds ways to chip in enough fantasy numbers to be a bargain option to consider.
Other Options – Grayson Allen ($4,700), Otto Porter Jr. ($3,700)
Giannis Antetokoumpo, Milwaukee Bucks at Boston Celtics ($11,400) – Giannis brings so much proven playoff pedigree that it’s impossible to overlook him even though he’s by far the most expensive option on the slate. He’s averaging a ridiculous 1.66 DKFP per minute in the postseason and has produced over 64 DKFP in three of his past five games, including a triple-double in Game 1 with 24 points, 13 rebounds, 12 assists and two blocks. The Celtics didn’t seem to have an answer for him defensively (much like the rest of the NBA), so he should continue to post monster lines, especially with Khris Middleton (knee) still sidelined, leaving more offensive workload for Giannis to carry.
Other Options – Jayson Tatum ($9,800), Bobby Portis ($6,300)
Al Horford, Boston Celtics vs. Milwaukee Bucks ($5,800) – Horford has proven to be a key part of Boston’s rotation after spending last year in exile in Oklahoma City. The veteran big man logged 36 minutes in Game 1 and posted 37.5 DKFP. He has over 34 DKFP in three of his five playoff games with a high point of 45.75 DKFP on 20 points and 15 rebounds back when he was filling in for Robert Williams ($4,900). While the Timelord is back in the mix, Horford’s production is still badly needed, and he should continue to chip in multi-category production and bring enough upside to be one of the best plays at any position available for just under $6K.
Other Options – Brandon Clarke ($6,000), Jonathan Kuminga ($3,100)
Jaren Jackson Jr., Memphis Grizzlies vs. Golden State Warriors ($6,100) – Jackson is trying to make the leap to stardom alongside Ja as the Grizzlies’ core to build around, and he’s well on his way to realizing that goal if he can put up more games like Game 1. JJJ had his second straight double-double and finished with 52 DKFP on 33 points and 10 rebounds in 31 minutes. That kind of ceiling performance is enough to make him worth a look all by itself with a salary of just over $6K, but it wasn’t his first monster game of the playoffs. Jackson had 18 points and 14 boards for 45.5 DKFP against the Timberwolves to finish off that Round 1 series. Jackson can be prone to foul trouble, so there’s risk involved, especially with Draymond Green ($6,500) back to anchor the interior defense. However, at just $6K, Jackson should be able to at least return solid value while also bringing that extremely high ceiling.
Robert Williams, Boston Celtics vs. Milwaukee Bucks ($4,900) – Williams returned to the starting lineup for the first time in the NBA Playoffs in Game 1 of this series and played a postseason-high 22 minutes while posting 24 DKFP with six points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots. Since his minutes should continue to climb, his production should as well. He will probably get the tough test of trying to slow down Giannis at times, but as long as he avoids major foul trouble, this should be a great opportunity to still get him at this more affordable salary while he’s working his way back from his knee injury originally sustained on March 27.
Other Options – Brook Lopez ($4,800), Kevon Looney ($3,200)
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