Two new series are tipping off Sunday, May 1, at 1 p.m. ET as the NBA Playoffs enter the second round on Yahoo, DraftKings and FanDuel. Let’s look at the player pool and discuss the top NBA DFS picks today for DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo lineups. As always, you can head over to the Awesemo NBA DFS & Fantasy Basketball home page for all the fantasy basketball content you need for any given slate.
NBA DFS Picks: Fantasy Basketball Building Blocks Today | Sunday, May 1
Yahoo Play of the Day — Ja Morant: Memphis Grizzlies vs. Golden State Warriors
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 50.34 | DraftKings: 52.58
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 35.6% | FanDuel 44.7% | DraftKings 35.2%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $44 | FanDuel $10,000 | DraftKings $9,600
In an odd twist, sports pundits have been less than thrilled with Ja Morant in the first round series against Minnesota. Through the final five games of the series, the winner for the Most Improved Player award averaged 37.4 minutes, 19.4 points, 9.6 rebounds, 11 assists and 2.2 combined blocks and steals. Yes, the armchair analysts seem to be disparaging a player who averaged a whisker shy of a triple-double in the first round.
DFS gamers, on the other hand, go by the numbers, and we are all aware of the many ways that Morant can rack up the fantasy goodness. While the postseason is a different beast, looking at NBA WOWY, it is good to know that the second-year guard averaged nearly 1.3 fantasy points per minute during the regular season against the ‘Dubs, and in the first round against the T-wolves he was right there with 1.26 fantasy points per minute.
Stephen Curry: Golden State Warriors at Memphis Grizzlies
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 40.7 | DraftKings: 42.62
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 28.8% | FanDuel 31.3% | DraftKings 26.4%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $38 | FanDuel $9,500 | DraftKings $8,900
This is an outstanding salary across the board today for Stephen Curry. The best shooter in the history of the NBA has had four days to rest and should be ready for a full complement of minutes this afternoon. One other thing in Curry’s favor is that he absolutely roasted the Grizzlies in three regular season matchups. In these tilts he averaged 38.5 minutes with 36.3 points, 5.7 made 3-pointers, seven rebounds, 7.3 assists and 1.7 steals. In each of these outings he had 54 or more fantasy points. Keep in mind, playoff defense is better and the pace and possessions are far more deliberate. Still, it is quite comforting to see this recent track record of success.
Giannis Antetokounmpo: Milwaukee Bucks at Boston Celtics
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 58.81 | DraftKings: 60.83
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 30.2% | FanDuel 49.0% | DraftKings 41.2%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $57 | FanDuel $11,800 | DraftKings $11,000
If you are looking to fly into the face of adversity, then why not roll with a two-time NBA MVP and elite fantasy stalwart in Giannis Antetokounmpo? While everyone saw the Boston defense lock down Brooklyn in the only sweep of the first round, the Celtics had a slim winning margin with just 4.5 points. To their credit, the C’s had Antetokounmpo’s number, allowing him to roll up just 1.53 fantasy points per minute in three tilts. The other major fantasy advantage in his favor is that Khris Middleton will likely be a ghost for the entire second round of the playoffs.
For comparative purposes, Kevin Durant averaged 44 minutes per game in the first round with 26.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, 6.3 assists and 1.3 combined blocks and steals. That is a reasonable fantasy proxy for Giannis, who is a better rebounder and has the ability to get to the rim for a better conversion rate, but make no mistake — Boston head coach Ime Udoka will have some looks to confuse the greatest basketball player from Greece while also trying to confound his counterpart, Mike Budenholzer.
Jayson Tatum: Boston Celtics vs. Milwaukee Bucks
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 49.54 | DraftKings: 51.96
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 44.4% | FanDuel 42.6% | DraftKings 43.7%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $44 | FanDuel $10,300 | DraftKings $9,400
In three regular season matchups, Jayson Tatum was relatively efficient with almost 1.4 fantasy points per minute against Milwaukee. For the last five seasons, the knock against the former Duke Blue Devil is his lack of rebounding, which is a non-starter for the savvy fantasy gamers. Tatum is third all-time among former Duke players in points per game in the NBA with 20.9 and just inside the top 10 with 6.6 rebounds per game. While Tatum has the ability to give the Bucks fits on offense, if he is only grabbing a handful of rebounds, he can be limited from a fantasy perspective. Tournaments only, though we should not be terrified of rolling with the fifth-year forward.
Yahoo Discount Dandies
Otto Porter Jr.: Golden State Warriors at Memphis Grizzlies ($11): Andre Iguodala is out on Sunday, so that should secure 22 to 24 minutes of action for Otto Porter Jr. Injuries derailed the promising career of the former Washington Wizard; however, in a limited role, he actually is a great comparison to Iguodala. Both focus on defense, make the extra pass and are capable of knocking down open looks. This is far from a sexy recommendation, but Porter is one of the better discount dandies available on Sunday. Teammate Gary Payton II ($10) is also a viable selection.
Pat Connaughton: Milwaukee Bucks at Boston Celtics ($10): This is going to be a tough matchup for the reigning NBA champions as they look to defend their crown. Gamers may continue to go to Grayson Allen, though the $4 difference here on Yahoo does have Pat Connaughton looking like the better option for cost-conscious gamers. Both have similar game styles, being dependent on their success from behind the arc while collecting a handful of rebounds and ideally lucking into a couple blocks or steals.
Final Thoughts on NBA DFS Picks for the Sunday, May 1 Fantasy Basketball Slate
During the regular season, the Bucks and Celtics each tallied a pair of victories in their four games, with the first two going to Boston and the final two to Milwaukee. Memphis actually took 3 of 4 games against Golden State during the regular season, so they are going to be brimming with confidence on Sunday afternoon. Boston has had nearly a week off after closing out Brooklyn on Monday. Milwaukee wrapped up their series on Wednesday, so they too should be rested. In the other game, the Grizzlies have had less than 48 hours after taking down Minnesota in six games. Golden State, on the other hand, has had two additional days to recuperate. Today should be fun with two new sets of variables and decisions in these second-round matchups.