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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Targets for Celtics vs. Heat Showdown on May 25

Matt LaMarca gives his top picks for Wednesday’s contest on DraftKings between the Celtics and Heat.

Wednesday features arguably the most important game yet of the NBA playoffs. The Celtics and Heat will square off in a Game 5 tied at two games apiece, and history suggests whoever wins this contest will have a great chance of making the NBA Finals. Teams that win Game 5 of a tied series have historically advanced at a greater than 82% clip, so expect both teams to bring their A-game.

Despite being on the road, the Celtics are currently listed as two-point favorites on DraftKings Sportsbook. They’re also listed at -190 to win this series.

As you get your lineups assembled for the great DraftKings contests, check out some of my favorite options to consider for this Showdown slate below.

Set your DraftKings lineup here: NBA Showdown $600K Shootaround [$150K to 1st] (BOS vs MIA)

Captain’s Picks

Jayson Tatum ($16,200 CP) – Tatum put together his worst performance of the postseason in Game 3 of this series, finishing with just 21.0 DKFP over 40.7 minutes. He was just 3-14 from the field with seven turnovers, and he actually had more turnovers than points in the second half.

Still, Tatum has been able to bounce back from down performances all playoffs, and he did it once again in Game 4. Despite playing just 33.9 minutes in the blowout win, he still finished with 51.5 DKFP. Overall, Tatum has now scored at least 51.5 DKFP in five of his past eight games, and he’s managed to return value in seven of those contests.

Tatum is just the second-most expensive option on this slate, but he has the most fantasy upside. That’s a hard combination to pass up.

Bam Adebayo ($13,200 CP) – It has been a weird stretch of games for Adebayo of late. He’s scored 25.5 DKFP or fewer in five of his past six games, and he exploded for 63.5 DKFP in the other. That gives him an extremely wide range of outcomes.

His clunker in Game 4 was a bit discouraging, but there were still some positive takeaways. His usage rate wasn’t nearly as low as it was in some of his other poor recent performances, but his minutes were limited in a blowout loss. That provides some optimism that his fantasy scoring will return to form as his minutes do in Game 5. Ultimately, he stands out as a nice buy-low target at his current price tag.

UTIL Plays

Jaylen Brown ($10,000) – Brown is the 1B to Tatum’s 1A, and he’s had some huge games in this series. He scored at least 40.0 DKFP in each of the first three games vs. the Heat, before finishing with just 23.75 DKFP over 29.2 minutes in Game 4. Brown has also posted a usage rate of at least 34.7% in each of his past two contests, which represents a sizable increase from his regular season average (30.5%). If he’s going to continue to register a comparable number, he has excellent upside at his current salary.

Al Horford ($7,800) – Horford isn’t nearly the same usage threat as Brown and Tatum, but he has arguably been just as important to Boston’s success. He came up huge for the Celtics during their series vs. the Bucks, and he’s capable of impacting a game in multiple ways. His activity on the boards, as a distributor and on defense makes up for his lower scoring numbers, evidenced by his 34.25 DKFP on a 4.0% usage rate in Game 4. On nights where he does provide a bit of scoring, he has the potential to provide massive value.

Value Plays

P.J. Tucker ($4,600) – It isn’t always pretty with Tucker from a fantasy perspective, but he is a hugely important member of the Heat’s rotation. He typically plays at least 30 minutes in competitive contests, and he brings plenty of defense and effort to the table. Tucker has also developed into a quality corner 3-point shooter, which does give him a bit more fantasy upside than in the past. Overall, he’s scored at least 28.75 DKFP in three of his past six games, and he’s one of the safest contributors in this price range.

Dewayne Dedmon ($1,000) – I always like to use at least one min-priced option if I’m building multiple lineups. There are plenty of nights where the optimal lineup features all the studs and one true punt play, and Dedmon is the best candidate for a punt spot on Wednesday.

He’s served as the backup to Adebayo recently, which has afforded him around 10-12 minutes per game. He may not see that much playing time in Game 5, but he should still see the court for at least six minutes or so. That may not sound like the most appealing number, but Dedmon is capable of averaging more than a fantasy point per minute. If he can even generate 6.0 DKFP, that could be enough if all the expensive players smash.


Jimmy Butler ($11,200) – I wouldn’t say I’m outright fading Butler in Game 5, but I will likely have far less ownership than the field. Butler is a fantastic player who can dominate the game in many ways, but he’s simply too expensive at the moment. There’s no reason he should be priced more expensively than Tatum. Not only is Butler dealing with a minor injury, but Tatum has simply been the better fantasy player all year. Tatum has averaged 1.29 DKFP per minute compared to 1.23 DKFP for Butler, and Butler also doesn’t have the same minute upside. While Tatum has cracked 40 minutes seven times in his past 10 games, Butler has done it just three times all postseason.

Butler also provides less value on a per-dollar basis than guys like Adebayo, Brown and Horford, so it’s hard to get too excited about using him on this slate.

The Outcome

Is it too much to ask for one competitive postseason contest? It feels like we’re stuck with a blowout night after night, regardless of the teams involved or the point spread.

For what it’s worth, the spread on this game currently has the Celtics as two-point road favorites, so this should be a good game. I’m not sure if that’s possible in 2022, but the stakes are high enough that we should get the best effort from both squads. Teams that win Game 5 of a tied series advance at a greater than 82% clip, so this game is vitally important.

It seems like the Heat have been disrespected all postseason, and it would not shock me at all if they won this game. However, the Celtics were the clear better team over the second half of the regular season, and they have largely been the better team in this series. They’ve had some horrendous quarters — which has allowed the Heat to win two games — but the Celtics have dominated this series otherwise.

Ultimately, I’m going to trust Tatum and company to show up in a big spot, giving them a chance to clinch the series on their home court in Game 6.

Final Score: Celtics 107, Heat 102

Set your DraftKings lineup here: NBA Showdown $600K Shootaround [$150K to 1st] (BOS vs MIA)

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