NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks: Jayson Tatum is The Man! (May 23)

Thursday brings Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals, and after a spicy overtime affair, Tuesday will be tough to top. Tonight’s action tips off at 8 p.m. ET on DraftKings and FanDuel. There are several options in the player pool worth analyzing to find the top NBA DFS building blocks and NBA DFS picks. Let’s dig into the NBA DFS picks and core plays like Jayson Tatum, Tyrese Haliburton and Jaylen Brown.

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NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today: Thursday, May 23

NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks

Jayson Tatum: Celtics vs. Pacers

Stokastic’s Fantasy Point Projections
DraftKings: 55.98 | FanDuel: 53.48
Stokastic’s Rostership Projections
DraftKings: 78.3% | FanDuel: 64.2%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $10,000 | FanDuel: $16,500

Jayson Tatum has rattled off four consecutive 60 fantasy point games (okay, so two were 58 under FanDuel’s scoring), which is phenomenal. Yes, it took overtime to get there on Tuesday, but what a game that was to see play out in real time! Tatum has attempted 25-plus shots in three of the last four games, so with that kind of volume, he is hard to avoid tonight. He has knocked down 31 3-pointers in his last four games, which is absurd.

Right behind him has been Jaylen Brown, but, when factoring in salaries, there hasn’t been too much of a difference. That fantasy-point-per-dollar ratio is important on DraftKings, where the multiplier-slot also comes with a 50% salary tax. It should be no surprise that this duo ranks first and second for popularity on both DraftKings and FanDuel.

Jrue Holiday had himself a game on Tuesday, with his 28 points being twelve more than any other game this postseason. His seven rebounds were one shy of his high for these playoffs. His three steals tied his most voluminous output, and the eight assists were the best as well. Being lower on him than the field has been a savvy strategy all postseason, so the road less traveled will be my path again tonight. Holiday is the third most popular play on DraftKings, giving Boston a podium sweep, while he falls to sixth on FanDuel behind a trio of Pacers.

Derrick White had a career-best nine assists in the overtime game while filling up the box score. Though he is unlikely to hand out that many helpers again, his ability to contribute in myriad ways keeps him live for 25-to-30 fantasy points per night.

Al Horford will turn 38 years old in a few days, and hopefully, his present will be Kristaps Porzingis (calf) finally returning to action. The elder statesman of the Celtics had more production in the last two games than he did in the first four combined against Cleveland. This is another spot where we can gain differentiation from the field, by rostering less than 40% Horford on our lineups.

Luke Kornet saw around nine minutes across two first-half stints, with four more in the third quarter. Another way to look at it is that he played every minute that Horford did not, making him the direct leverage play for Horford losing minutes to production, fouls or injury. Kornet could “pay off” his salary on the popular DFS sites just with another efficient game. It does not appear that the Masses have caught on to this development, which, of course, will disappear when Porzingis returns.

Sam Hauser is the dart throw, while Payton Pritchard is someone who has caught the eye of the field with his actual role in the rotation. His fourth-quarter run is contingent on mop-up duty, but he should see close to 24 minutes, even in another close game.

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Tyrese Haliburton: Pacers at Celtics

Stokastic’s Fantasy Point Projections
DraftKings: 41.81 | FanDuel: 40.56
Stokastic’s Rostership Projections
DraftKings: 49.1% | FanDuel: 42.1%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $8,300 | FanDuel: $14,500

Tyrese Haliburton was looking for his shot on Tuesday, and he ended up scoring 25 points. He event went 6-of-14 (42.8%) from 3-point range.

It was amazing to see the Pacers rally together to force overtime and nearly best the Celtics in Boston, just 48 hours after their series with the Knicks ended. Hopefully, Indiana has something left in the tank, because the C’s won’t be caught off guard again.

Haliburton had gone seven games between double-doubles, and at times this postseason, he has been dealing with sore legs and back spasms. Against New York, he had one game with more than 36.1 minutes, so his 40.5 minutes could have some lingering effects with the short turnaround time.

Myles Turner scored 23 points, with 10 rebounds and two blocks. He has six-straight multi-block games, with two-plus made 3-pointers in five of the six. When everything goes his way, he is a slate-breaker, but when more than one category slides, he is a roster crusher.

Pascal Siakam has been the most consistent scorer for Indiana, with 20-plus points in five of the last six games. He joined Turner and Haliburton, with his own double-double, racking up 24 points and half as many boards. He is the steadiest option of this trio, with each of their salaries balancing out median fantasy point projections on both DraftKings and FanDuel. Positions do not matter for the single-slate format, so let popularity and personal preference be your guide when selecting from this Pacer trio.

T.J. McConnell continues to be efficient, which has supported his salary to this point. It is starting to feel like a precarious spot, but until the wheels fall off the wagon, we can keep hitching a ride. Aaron Nesmith and Andrew Nembhard get the minutes and the secure first rotation with the starting unit, but neither is overly appealing since they defer to the big three while they are on the court with them.

Obi Toppin is another player who has been more efficient in the postseason and at $3,800 on DraftKings, he is an easy selection. It is a little tougher on FanDuel at $8,500, but the three fantasy points awarded for blocked shots on the blue site, leave the door cracked open just enough for him to burst through.

Ben Sheppard usually has empty minutes, but he did make one of four field goal attempts, with three rebounds and two assets. Let others chase this fantasy pyrite.

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Today’s Top Sports Betting Pick

While we want to ride with Jayson Tatum in the DFS world, there is some value on his under 5.5 assists prop. This proposition is currently available at -111 on Caesars. Looking at the -123 “true odds” (how OddsShopper measures the potential expected ROI of a given wager), we can see there is a steady 4.8% expected ROI with the current line.

By using OddsShopper to do the heavy lifting when researching favorable bets, we can quickly spot inefficient lines like this one, and having accounts at multiple sportsbooks allows us to pivot to the best number quickly.

We can see that the current line on the trio of operators stands out dramatically when compared to the -142 offered by Pinnacle, a sharp book.

NBA Bet Pro has Tatum projected for 40.1 minutes and 5.16 assists, which is just below the 5.5 milestone. In 11 playoff games, Tatum has six or more assists on five occasions, landing on exactly six three times.

In the six games where he has fallen short of this threshold, he recorded five assists twice, four once and three twice. This is a good line, but there is value if you can snag it at -115 or better. If the -121 posted by Caesars falls back to the pack, Hard Rock and DraftKings currently have the wager at -115.

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Final Thoughts on NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today

Get all the latest news and updates for NBA DFS picks today on the Stokastic NBA Live Before Lock Show at 7:30 p.m. ET on YouTube, breaking down all of the key elements, including even more on Jayson Tatum, Tyrese Haliburton and Jaylen Brown, for today’s slate. Brought to you by Sleeper – new users, use this link to receive a $100 first deposit match! Full details here.

Eric "EMac" MacPherson won the 2007 Fantasy Baseball grand prize (trip for two to the MLB All-Star game) in the Roto format on ESPN. He won again in 2008, this time in the H2H format. As one of the early adopters of daily fantasy sports, EMac has been providing content for baseball and basketball as well as both professional and college football since 2012 for a variety of websites including DraftKings Playbook, FanVice, RotoWorld, Daily Fantasy Bootcamp, and RotoGrinders. He is well into his third decade of fantasy sports and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Follow him on Twitter @EMacDFS or contact EMac by emailing [email protected].

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