NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks: Time for a Jayson Tatum Statement Game (May 13)

Monday brings a pair of Game 4s to the table, with at least three more days of two-game slates. The action tips off at 7:00 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, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Donovan Mitchell, with a few value options sprinkled in for good measure.

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NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today: Monday, May 13

NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks

Jayson Tatum: Celtics at Cavaliers

Stokastic’s Fantasy Point Projections
DraftKings: 50.73 | FanDuel: 48.83
Stokastic’s Rostership Projections
DraftKings: 37.2% | FanDuel: 58.1%
DFS Salary
DraftKings $9,500 | FanDuel: $9,900

Saturday was a decisive game in this series as Boston took the lead early in the second quarter, never looking back as the Celtics regained a 2-1 series lead over the Cavaliers in Cleveland.

It should be no surprise for those who did not watch the game, to find out that Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown combined for 24-of-42 (57.1%) from the field, with 61 points, 22 rebounds, nine assists, two steals and a block.

Jrue Holiday finally made a little DFS noise with 18 points, eight rebounds, five assists and a block, though that is not much of a statement game. Al Horford was dreadful, missing all six attempts from beyond the arc, making his lone two-point shot to avoid the bagel. He at least was good on defense, though that doesn’t help fantasy gamers. The Regression Monster continued to torment Derrick White, who was 4-of-13 from the field, though that was the tiniest of improvements from his 3-of-11 Game 2 performance.

For tonight, expect Tatum and Brown to continue to do the heavy lifting, with Holiday continuing to meander through the box score, while Horford and White produce at a higher level than Game 3.

Payton Pritchard remains a strong discount dandy on both DraftKings ($4,000) and FanDuel ($3,900). He slipped below double-digit field goal attempts for the first time this series, but he has secure minutes and is a viable option for mop-up duty. Luke Kornet played eight minutes and Sam Hauser saw 10, but that duo is best left for the single-game format as extreme punt plays.

Cleveland is still holding out hope that Jarrett Allen (ribs) will return at some point this week, but it could be too late. He at least was a limited participant in practice, but he has now missed more than two weeks. Donovan Mitchell is dealing with a sore calf, though he is expected to play. One wrinkle was the return of Dean Wade, who had missed two months with a knee injury. He played nearly 17 minutes off the bench, with most of the run coming at the expense of Isaac Okoro. Marcus Morris Sr. and Tristan Thompson also became afterthoughts, with each veteran playing just over 4.5 minutes.

Caris LeVert is the safest of the reserves and he played nearly 30 minutes, contributing 15 points, six rebound and an assist. Max Strus was ineffective, to the point that Sam Merrill played 10 minutes in the second half as the team was looking for any offensive spark. Evan Mobley and Darius Garland were mediocre at best and Mobley will ultimately lose some usage and offensive opportunities when Allen returns.

There is no shame in shying away from the various Cleveland options, since playing against the Celtics and finding fantasy success is a tall order, particularly in the postseason.

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Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: Thunder at Mavericks

Stokastic’s Fantasy Point Projections
DraftKings:55.44 | FanDuel: 55.95
Stokastic’s Rostership Projections
DraftKings: 46.4% | FanDuel: 41.9%
DFS Salary
DraftKings:$9,800 | FanDuel: $10,900

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was outstanding in Game 3, doing everything other than securing an Oklahoma City victory. He was the leading fantasy producer on Saturday, just topping Tatum, while outscoring everyone else by double-digits.

In addition to his 31 points, he contributed 10 rebounds, six assists, one steal and five, yes FIVE blocked shots. That last stat is unlikely to occur again, but it just goes to show how complete SGA is on both sides of the court.

Once again Josh Giddey did not see the floor in the final frame, basically getting half a dozen minutes at the start of the game and the second half. He did make 4-of-8 from the field, but it is clear that coach Mark Daigneault has no plans in using the Australian during crucial stretches of the game.

On to happier news, Chet Holmgren and Jalen Williams continue to improve and they are each seeing major minutes as the wingmen for Gilgeous-Alexander. Each has a relatively safe 30 fantasy point floor, with a path to the 40 fantasy point plateau if things break in their favor. Luguentz Dort has seen his minutes increase from 26 to 33 to 40 as Oklahoma City is relying heavily on the lockdown defender. Dort should be able to collect enough stats to be semi-trustworthy as a punt play, though defense is his first priority and he had five fouls in each of the first two games against Dallas, while fouling out on Saturday.

From the reserves, Aaron Wiggins, Isaiah Joe and Cason Wallace all see enough minutes to be relevant for fantasy purposes. Each has a floor of around 12-15 and depending on game situations, each has a chance for gusts up to 20 minutes. Their main path to fantasy goodness is knocking down shots from behind the arc as the Thunder look for them to provide spacing and spread out the defense. Jaylin Williams is one rung below his fellow reserves, but he is likely to see more action than Giddey.

Luka Doncic was already dealing with a tricky right knee from the first round and a tweaked left ankle from Game 2, when he added a sore back after falling while going after a loose ball. The DraftKings scoring format is more favorable to him with the double-double bonus, but it is hard to go to him when he 15% more than SGA and 18% more than Tatum. While he is going to be playing 40 minutes, it is clear that he is laboring and it is no picnic going against the OKC defense.

Similar to Doncic, Kyrie Irving also has a less than appealing fantasy point per dollar projection, facing the same daunting matchup. This dynamic duo will continue to get all the usage in the land, but it may not be enough to make them viable fantasy plays. Irving cracked 40 fantasy points only once over the last five games and he was only half a point over that threshold on FanDuel in the last game. Irving has been more of a facilitator, with 18 assists in the last two games, rather than a scorer, as he has just 31 points in the most recent pair of performances.

P.J. Washington, that is the answer to the question of why has Kyrie been less productive from a scoring perspective. Washington set a career postseason high with 29 points in Game 2 and against all odds, he darn near got there in Game 3 with 27 points. In these games he is a combined 12-of-23 from 3-point range and while that is going to fall off at some point, it doesn’t have to on Monday, while he is still on his home floor. If he can stay out of foul trouble, which is a concern as he has four, six and four in this series, he has a chance to continue to be the secondary scoring option. His rebounding numbers are up and he has never been great for a power forward, so those too are likely to slide back as he has to battle Doncic and Daniel Gafford for errant caroms.

Gafford is still an intriguing option, even with his rising salary, while rookie Dereck Lively II remains the direct leverage pivot. Though with “value” somewhat scarce, Lively is actually the second most popular play on DraftKings ($4,200) and FanDuel ($4,100).

Similarly, Derrick Jones Jr. projects to be on one-third of all DraftKings rosters and half of the tournament entries on the blue site. Finally we have veteran Tim Hardaway Jr. who should see around 15 minutes of run as the Mavericks are desperate of outside shooting. He is a palatable option and while his fantasy production is entirely dependent on his scoring, he should see something approaching 10 field goal attempts.

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Today’s Top Sports Betting Pick

Betting against Luka Doncic is never a fun prospect, but currently the under 9.5 assists prop is popping. SuperBook is hanging a -120 line which is out of step from the rest of the marketplace. Looking at the -135 “true odds” (how OddsShopper measures the potential expected ROI of a given wager), we can see there is a solid 5.3% 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.

NBA Bet Pro has Doncic projected for 40.2 minutes and 8.69 assists, which is comfortably below the 9.5 mark. In the three games this series, the NBA scoring champion has nine, seven and five assists.

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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 6:00 p.m. ET on YouTube, breaking down all of the key elements for today’s slate. Brought to you by Sleeper – new users, use this link to receive a $500 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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