Yahoo NBA Expert Picks: Saturday, May 19th

Each day when there are two or more NBA games, our daily fantasy basketball experts will provide their top plays for Yahoo. These picks will help you find the best values and top overall plays to build a foundation for all types of contests. Our top-ranked experts will also provide the reasons for their picks, so you can make informed decisions when setting your lineups.

Saturday, May 19th

We’re back for another two-game playoff slate, which includes my hometown Celtics on the road trying to go up 3-0 tonight and the Warriors coming home tomorrow tied at one. It’s just a two game slate, so I’m going to make this short and sweet with just my favorite play for each position that you should be able to build a roster around.

Point Guard

PG: Chris Paul, Houston Rockets, $35
I really think that the Warriors will take care of business at home in game 3, but for the Rockets to stay in this one they will need a good game out of Paul, who looked good as a floor general in game two. He put up 35.8 fantasy points in the last game, while only shooting 14 shots and going 1-for-5 from three. I’m expecting him to get a bit more aggressive on the road and we are going to see a big shooting game from him in this series. He basically provides a 30-point floor and offers plenty of upside. I’d like to make room for Harden, but this slate is all about LeBron and plugging in Paul always me the cap space for a well-balanced lineup.

Also Consider: Marcus Smart $21, Stephen Curry $39, George Hill $10 (at least the minutes are there)

Shooting Guard

SG: Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors, $25
Klay was outstanding in game one and then had a tough game in the last one. This is to be expected from a guy who’s relying on shooting. The good news is that he’s coming home, where he’s always shot better at from three (44.2%). He has the best individual matchup on the team, though the Rockets are great at switching and hiding Harden. He shot 15 three-point attempts in game one and provides a good amount of upside if he’s close to those attempts at home and if the Warriors are firing on all cylinders and spacing the floor, which I fully expect they will be able to do.

Also Consider: Kyle Korver $10, Jaylen Brown $24, Eric Gordon $22

Small Forward

SF: J.R. Smith, Cleveland Cavs, $10
He’s been downright awful against the Celtics, but he’s so cheap and the minutes are there. I think coming home should do him well with the crowd behind him and he has to be feeling the pressure to perform at this point. I’m expecting a better game and it’s not really about what he does, it’s about what he allows you to do with the rest of your roster construction. I definitely prefer Trevor Ariza in this spot, but it’s not allowing me to get Draymond Green in, who I definitely want – so sacrifices must be made. Another way to go is plugging in Jayson Tatum $24 here and using Korver instead of Klay at shooting guard.

Also Consider: Jayson Tatum $24, Trevor Ariza $13, Marcus Morris $19

Power Forward

PF: LeBron James, Cleveland Cavs, $57
This slate is all about LeBron. This is absolutely a must win for the Cavs and you can bet LeBron is going to try and do it himself with the home crowd behind him. He had an insane 47% usage rate in the last game and I’m seriously expecting a 70-burger from LeBron tonight. You can make a case for a fade if you think the Cavs blow out the Celtics, but at this point can you really count on that? The Celtics are playing outstanding team basketball and I’m expecting them to be in this one until the end, even with their playoff road game struggles.

Also Consider: Kevon Looney $10, Kevin Durant $48 (Warriors using more ISO for him), Al Horford $31

Center

C: Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors, $33
Green had a poor game in the last one, but I expect it will be the Warriors leading this game at home. The low shot attempts so far in this series is concerning, but more are coming and this is a great bounce-back spot for Draymond. It’s all about the peripherals with Draymond, who can pay off his salary alone with steals, blocks, and rebounds. He’s averaged close to 41 fantasy points in his last five games vs. the Rockets and I’m expecting somewhere from 40-to-50 fantasy points for him tomorrow.

Also Consider: Tristan Thompson $10, Kevin Love $30

About the Author

  • Chris Kirkwood (kirkdiese)

  • Chris Kirkwood graduated from UMass Amherst with a degree in economics. He’s been steadily climbing the Daily Fantasy Sports rankings since 2014 and in 2015 decided to pursue it full time. A 2016 FanDuel WFBC Finalist, Chris is currently ranked top 70 overall, 37th in MLB, 93rd in NBA, and 156th in NFL . He considers basketball his best sport and makes a habit of watching every NBA game with his dog Phil (named after Phil Ivey).

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