NBA DFS Picks: FanDuel Plays and Lineup Strategy for Sunday, May 21

NBA DFS Picks: FanDuel Plays and Lineup Strategy for Sunday, May 21

This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.

We're tackling FanDuel's single-game format once again as the Celtics travel to Miami for Game 3. Tip-off is at 8:30 p.m. EDT. If you're a golf fan like me, you can turn your attention to lineup construction after watching what should be an exciting conclusion to the PGA Championship.


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Before we begin, let's look at the winning lineup from one of FanDuel's most popular contests for Friday's Game 2 between Boston and Miami.

MVP Jimmy Butler        115.2

STAR Jayson Tatum     84.9

PRO Caleb Martin        41.76

UTIL Malcolm Brogdon 27.8

UTIL Robert Williams    25.1

TOTAL: 294.76

I came within eight points of the top, with my significant differences being a Tatum MVP, Butler in the STAR spot, and Gabe Vincent for Brogdon. The result was still a solid cash in 174th place. Salary increases for Sunday have taken this build out of play.


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Sunday's player pool is clean, with no relevant injuries to report.


Jimmy Butler ($17,500) MVP, STAR

Jayson Tatum ($17,000) MVP, STAR

Bam Adebayo ($15,500) STAR, PRO

Caleb Martin ($9,500) PRO

The winning lineups from the series' first two games had Tatum and Butler claiming the top spot, with Butler as the 2x multiplier on both occasions. I feel compelled to include Adebayo, who produced 55 FDFPs and came dangerously close to outscoring Tatum and Butler. The only issue is that the salary relief you achieve with Adebayo has minimal effect in a relatively static second tier. I correctly predicted Martin's role would increase, and his salary has subsequently increased. We still have plenty of room for the usual utility players with a Butler/Tatum/Martin or Tatum/Butler/Martin build, and I still think it's the best play here. This build allows for an average of $8,000 remaining for the final two utility spots. A unique stack would involve a Tatum/Butler-Adebayo pairing, which could still put Martin in the PRO spot. This would allow for an average of $8,750 per player remaining. As you can see from the player pool, the salary differential for this build doesn't do a lot for you in terms of utility boosts. You would leave a lot of production on the table if you took this route - or got more unique with Jaylen Brown or Marcus Smart.


Robert Williams ($8,500)

Gabe Vincent ($8,000)

Derrick White ($7,500)

Duncan Robinson (($7,000)

Grant Williams ($7,000) 

Horford and Smart are now out of reach and don't make much sense in a utility build. And to maximize our multiplier, we have to look at those in this salary range. I've left out Max Strus because his floor is too volatile. A big night from deep would probably hurt our lineups, but we haven't seen that kind of involvement from him in this series.

One would have suspected a higher total from Grant Williams in Game 2 as his matchup on defense against Jimmy Butler was well-documented throughout the game, though he only provided 17.4 FDFPs. Duncan Robinson (20.7 FDFP) popped as he did in Game 5 against the Knicks. Williams or Robinson will need to be in your lineup if you want Robert Williams, whose floor over the past two outings makes him much more desirable. You'd also be able to take the upside route with Kyle Lowry if you went for either 7k player.

The other route would be to match Vincent with White, Robinson or Williams. Dollar-for-dollar, I'm probably not going to fire up Robinson in many builds as I think Boston's implementation of Grant Williams will continue despite mixed results on defense. I like Vincent's game a lot in this series, although his defensive success isn't all that evident on paper. As the only player squarely at the per-position average in a Butler/Tatum/Martin build, he's in a tough spot because you're locked into White, Grant Williams or Robinson. The added allure of Lowry with Grant Williams or Robinson also makes this choice a bit murkier. For my money, my most popular builds will likely involve Robert Williams/Grant Williams or Lowry/Grant Williams


With Tatum and Butler locked in, Martin's inclusion in the multiplier is probably your biggest variable. One would expect similar numbers from Martin, but he carries a lot more risk than our studs at the top. An upside play could involve Smart, Lowry or Malcolm Brogdon in the STAR spot, opening up utility builds like Robert Williams/Vincent. If you are playing multiple lineups, replacing Martin and alternating the MVP between Tatum and Butler are the most popular ways to be unique.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire.
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Jeff Edgerton
Jeff has provided sports content for numerous sports outlets and has played fantasy sports since scores had to be tabulated via newspaper. He started working with RotoWire in 2017. Originally from South Carolina, he's a lifelong Clemson fan now enjoying the sun in Los Angeles.
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