NBA DFS Picks: FanDuel Plays and Strategy for Saturday, May 25

NBA DFS Picks: FanDuel Plays and Strategy for Saturday, May 25

This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.

After the Celtics managed to avoid a typical Game 2 pitfall Thursday and take a 2-0 lead in their series, Boston and Indiana clash at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on Saturday night. Boston's frontcourt is increasingly thin due to injury, but Indiana has an even bigger concern now that Tyrese Haliburton is dealing with a hamstring issue that forced his early exit from Game 2.

With only one matchup, we're dealing with FanDuel's single-game contest rosters comprised as follows: 

MVP- (Garners points at 2x the normal rate)

STAR- (Garners points at 1.5x the normal rate)

PRO- (Garners points at 1.2x the normal rate)

Two Utility spots- (Garner points at normal rate) 

With salaries also being different than in conventional FanDuel contests on multi-game slates and top players inevitably headed for heavy rostering, there are definitely strategic elements particular to single-game lineups. Finding key value plays for the two utility spots is undoubtedly key, as it enables you to fill out the multiplier spots with some of the top projected producers. 

Slate Overview

For the latest spreads and over/unders, visit RotoWire's NBA Odds page. There, you can also find player props, futures, picks articles and sportsbook bonus codes.

Listed spreads/totals are from FanDuel Sportsbook and current as of Saturday, May 25 @12:00 a.m. ET:    

Boston Celtics (-7) at Indiana Pacers (O/U: 222.5)

With Haliburton legitimately questionable, the Celtics are even larger road favorites than they would already be after taking the first two games of the series, including a 16-point victory in Game 2. 

The projected total is arguably on the low side after the first two games finished with totals of 261 and 236 points, but if Haliburton is confirmed as available, that figure should bump up at least a handful of points.

Injury Situations to Monitor  

For all the latest updates, visit RotoWire's NBA Injury News page and our comprehensive NBA Injury Report.

Tyrese Haliburton, IND (hamstring): QUESTIONABLE

If Haliburton is unable to suit up, T.J. McConnell would likely draw a start, while Andrew Nembhard would be set for a bigger role in the backcourt.

Kristaps Porzingis, BOS (calf): OUT

Porzingis' ongoing absence should keep Al Horford in the starting five Saturday night.

Other notable injuries:

Luke Kornet, BOS (wrist): DOUBTFUL

Elite Players

The two highest-salaried players on the slate are Jayson Tatum ($16,500) and Jaylen Brown ($14,500).

Tatum was down to 33.7 FD points in Game 2, but he shot a respectable 9-for-20 from the floor and saw a reduction in shot attempts since Jaylen Brown had an extremely hot hand. Tatum averaged 60 FD points in the four postseason games prior to Thursday's, however, so the upside is very much there for the top multiplier spot.

As alluded to, Brown scored 50 FD points in Game 2 on 14-for-27 shooting. It was his second tally of at least 50 in as many games in the series, leading to the salary bump and the consideration for the MVP spot. 

Expected Chalk

With only one matchup, the likes of Tyrese Haliburton ($14,000), Pascal Siakam ($13,500) and Derrick White ($12,500) should also be very popular. All three make for great options in the STAR or PRO slots.

Naturally, Haliburton's availability will be a matter worth monitoring leading up to tip-off. If the talented guard is announced as available, he should be highly rostered after putting up over 40 FD points in each of his last three non-injury-shortened postseason games, including 52.6 against the Celtics in Game 1. 

Siakam put up 35 FD points in 31 minutes during Game 2, going a blistering 13-for-17 from the floor in the process. The big man is now averaging 39.2 FD points per contest in the postseason, shooting an impressive 55.1 percent during that span.

White has seen a salary bump after scoring over 42 FD points in each of the first two games of the series, as well as 39 against the Cavaliers in the decisive Game 5 of the semifinal-round series. The combination of the defensive wizard's ceiling and his upside should make him very popular Saturday.

Key Values 

The following players make for strong candidates for the Utility spots:  

Jrue Holiday, BOS ($11,500)

Holiday wasn't as involved offensively in Game 2, but he was lethally efficient when he did put the ball up. The veteran guard, who shot 52.9 percent, including 47.8 percent from three-point range, in five regular-season meetings against the Pacers, before draining 10 of 16 attempts in Game 1, posted an 85.7 percent success rate from the floor in Game 2, leading to 32.6 FD points. Holiday is averaging 32.7 FD points on 56.8 percent shooting, including 45.9 percent from distance, since the start of the semifinal round, so he certainly appears to have the floor to support his candidacy for a utility role. 

Myles Turner, IND ($11,000)

Turner saw a notable price drop after generating only 11.8 FD points over 24 minutes in Game 2, but the big man had averaged 36.9 FD points per contest in the previous six playoff games. Turner put up a 23-point, 10-rebound double-double that helped net 43 FD points in Game 1 of the current series, and Boston should be even thinner in the frontcourt Thursday with Luke Kornet expected to join Kristaps Porzingis as inactive due to a wrist injury. Additionally, with Haliburton potentially sitting out, it's worth noting Turner is averaging 37.1 FD points per 36 minutes without his teammate on the floor since the start of the regular season.

Andrew Nembhard, IND ($10,000)

Nembhard is another player who stands to benefit from a potential Haliburton absence, considering the former is averaging 32.6 FD points per 36 minutes since the start of the season in that scenario. Then, Nembhard has already averaged 26.5 FD points per contest over the first two games of the series while shooting 50.0 percent. He also sports a 56.9 percent success rate, including 46.7 percent from behind the arc, since Game 2 of the first round against the Bucks, and the Celtics are also allowing 38.9 percent shooting from three-point range in the last three postseason contests.

ALSO CONSIDER: Al Horford, BOS ($10,500); T.J. McConnell, IND ($9,500) *if Haliburton is out*

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. Juan Carlos Blanco plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: jcblanco22, FanDuel: jc_blanco22, DraftPot: jc_blanco22, FantasyDraft: jc_blanco22, OwnThePlay: jcblanco22.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Juan Carlos Blanco
Winner of the FSWA 2016 Newcomer of the Year Award, Juan Carlos Blanco has been playing fantasy sports for over 20 years and covers NBA, MLB, NFL, CFL and Arena Football for Rotowire.com, including serving as the beat writer for teams in multiple sports. He has previously written for KFFL.com and remains an avid season-long and daily fantasy player in multiple sports as well.
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