Fantasy Basketball 2021: Daily Fantasy Tips for Sunday's NBA Playoffs

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMay 30, 2021

Fantasy Basketball 2021: Daily Fantasy Tips for Sunday's NBA Playoffs

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    Elise Amendola/Associated Press

    James Harden, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Jayson Tatum have left their marks on the first-round series between the Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics through three games.

    Tatum commanded the spotlight in Game 3 by posting 50 points. Harden produced 41 and Durant scored 39 in the defeat.

    Each of the four superstars is averaging more than 20 points per game in the series, which makes them the easy targets to be anchors of your daily fantasy basketball lineups for Sunday's four-game slate.

    Harden, Durant, Irving and Tatum will cost a high salary in FanDuel's main contest, but they proved in the first three games that they are more than worth it.

    If you take the chalky route and roster two members of the quartet, you will need to add players in the second or third salary brackets.

    Deandre Ayton should be the first member from those two groups chosen because of the consistency he displayed in the Phoenix Suns' three contests with the Los Angeles Lakers. After that, you will need to find value at some positions, but it is there if you utilize the right combination of players.

Build Around the Stars in Nets-Celtics Game 4

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    Kathy Willens/Associated Press

    You can't ignore the high usage rates of the stars in the Nets-Celtics series.

    Durant, Harden, Irving and Tatum have all attempted more than 40 field goals, and they have all got off at least 15 three-point shots. Additionally, Durant, Harden and Tatum made more than 25 trips to the free-throw line.

    Outside of Joe Harris' 25-point outing in Game 2, no members of the supporting casts has done enough to take away shots from the superstars.

    With that in mind, you should go after Tatum and one of the three Brooklyn stars to anchor to your lineup.

    Tatum may not put up 50 points again, but he must be around the 30-point range for Boston to be competitive over four quarters.

    Harden may be the right choice from Brooklyn since he has made 13 three-point shots, which is six more than Durant and eight more than Irving.

    With Harden at $11,000 at shooting guard and Tatum listed at $10,500 at power forward, you will have to find some value contributors in FanDuel contests. But you likely can't go wrong with a Harden-Tatum pairing at the top of your lineup given their high levels of production.

Utilize Deandre Ayton at Center

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    Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

    There are not many great options at center, which means your decision will likely come down to Ayton and Clint Capela.

    Ayton is averaging 21.7 points and 12.3 rebounds against the Los Angeles Lakers, and at $300 cheaper than Capela, he is the preferred option. Capela is the Atlanta Hawks' sixth-best scorer in their series with the New York Knicks.

    Sure, you could hope that Tristan Thompson has another double-digit point game for Boston or for Andre Drummond to increase his production, but both are risky options.

    Ayton proved in each of the first three three games against L.A. that he can be a strong partner for Devin Booker with Chris Paul dealing with a shoulder injury.

    If Ayton continues to be Phoenix's No. 2 scorer, he would be well worth the selection to partner the top scorers from Nets-Celtics Game 4.

    A combination of Ayton, Harden and Tatum would leave you with $30,800 in salary for six other positions, which is a manageable total to find value with.

Use Tim Hardaway Jr. as Top Value Play

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    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    It is hard to imagine Tim Hardaway Jr. still being at such a low salary compared to others who are putting up similar point totals.

    Hardaway has a $5,400 salary at shooting guard. and he is the second-best scorer on the Dallas Mavericks roster behind Luka Doncic.

    Hardaway hit 15 of his 23 three-point shots and is shooting more than 50 percent from the field, just like Doncic.

    At his usage rate and salary, Hardaway is a must-add who could potentially provide a similar level of three-point production as Harden. You could pair the two together at shooting guard.

    If you add Hardaway, there is potential for you to add Derrick Rose at point guard at $7,100, but that would require punting on one of the roster spots with a bench rotation player, like Payton Pritchard.

    You can also mix and match other point guard combinations since Paul, Kemba Walker and Dennis Schroder are all listed in the $6,000 salary range.

    With a handful of high producers like Hardaway in the medium salary range, you should be able to build a solid lineup with Harden and Tatum at the top without punting on multiple positions.


    Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90Statistics obtained from Basketball Reference.

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