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NBA Daily Fantasy Helper: Wednesday 5/15/19

Giannis Antetokounmpo's price tag is the highest on today's slate by a big margin. Is he worth paying up for in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals?

If you're new to daily fantasy basketball -- maybe you started your DFS journey during the MLB or NFL seasons, or maybe basketball is your sport and this will be your first year giving it a shot -- you're in for a treat. The NBA scene changes hugely on a week-to-week, day-to-day, and -- depending on injury news -- even a minute-to-minute basis, making every slate a unique one that requires an ever-changing approach.

With so much changing so quickly, we're here with plenty of tools to help you out. We have daily projections, a matchup heat map, a lineup optimizer, and a ton of other great resources to help give you an edge.

We'll also be coming at you with this primer every day, breaking down a few of the day's top plays at each price point.

Let's take a look at who you should target on today's one-game slate, which follows a different format than typical NBA contests on FanDuel. Your lineup consists of five position-less slots, with one designated "MVP" having their fantasy score multiplied by 2.0, a "STAR" multiplied by 1.5 and a "PRO" multiplied by 1.2, as well as two utility slots receiving their usual points.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks ($18,000)

No doubt, $18,000 is getting close to prohibitively high, but there are a few reasons to make it worth paying up for Giannis tonight: there's some solid cheap value available, his salary is high enough that is should keep his ownership in check (especially with Kawhi Leonard so much cheaper), and he can produce at some absurd levels.

Nobody with even 50 minutes played matched Giannis' 1.72 FanDuel points per minute in the regular season, and only one player with at least 500 played (Anthony Davis) cracked even 1.60.

Despite the absurd efficiency, his playoff production has been spotty, and he failed to hit even 55 FanDuel points in six of his nine games. That's been almost entirely due to a lack of minutes in blowouts, though. Only two of the Milwaukee Bucks' nine playoff games this season have been decided by fewer than even 15 points, with only one finishing with a single-digit margin of victory. That game saw him play 39.1 minutes, while the other eight had him average only 30.5 per.

That 39-minute game saw him drop 69.6 FanDuel points, which is one of three times he's eclipsed 68 in the postseason. Leonard's highest single-game fantasy score in these playoffs has been 68.2, even though he has four games with at least 39 minutes played.

The Toronto Raptors should keep things a lot closer than the Detroit Pistons or Boston Celtics did, and even though a 6.5-point spread in the Bucks' favor doesn't suggest an ultra-close game, it does give a serious boost to the chance that Giannis' minutes push 40 tonight.

His upside is simply unmatched in this series, and even with a huge gap in pricing, it's worth paying up for that ceiling, especially when you can get a two-times multiplier on it in your MVP spot.

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