76ers at Celtics May 3 DFS picks: Building ideal lineup for single-game NBA Playoffs slate

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Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (7) looks to pass while pressured by Philadelphia 76ers guard James Harden (1) during the first half of Game 1 in the NBA basketball Eastern Conference semifinals playoff series, Monday, May 1, 2023, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

The Philadelphia 76ers shocked the world by defeating the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of this second round playoff series without their leading scorer and 2023 NBA MVP, Joel Embiid.

The 76ers and Celtics continue their series tonight, and while the Celtics are eight-point favorites at FanDuel Sportsbook to get back in the win column, the 76ers could see Embiid return to the lineup tonight, even though he’s listed as doubtful.

We’re going to break down each team from a DFS perspective to see which players are worth rostering in tonight’s single-game Showdown Captain Mode DFS contests.

Boston Celtics

It’s clear that the Celtics will be led by Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown once again, and that clarity has us feeling confident in Tatum as a Captain pick. While Brown is also a solid Captain candidate, Tatum is the more well-rounded fantasy contributor and is worth paying up for even though he’s the most expensive player in the slate at $11,400 ($17,100 as captain). Marcus Smart is the Celtics’ third-leading scorer, but he’s questionable with a rib injury, which could lead to Derrick White and Malcolm Brogdon seeing expanded roles at guard. Brogdon would likely be the biggest beneficiary and is a value utility play at only $5,800, even if Smart ends up playing. The Celtics don’t get much scoring from their post players, but veteran Al Horford has seen consistent minutes and could be worth a utility play as someone who can put up fantasy production in other ways besides scoring.

Philadelphia 76ers

James Harden put the 76ers on his back in Game 1, but he likely won’t need to do as much in Game 2 assuming Joel Embiid returns to the starting lineup. All indications are that Embiid will be a go — despite being listed as doubtful with a knee injury — but we’re fading both him and Harden since it’s unclear how effective Embiid will be in his return to where their offensive efficiency might not be at its usual elite level. Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris have been consistent producers this postseason with or without Embiid and project as strong utility plays as the Celtics look to key in on the 76ers’ big two. Backup center Paul Reed saw an increase in minutes with Embiid out, but he’ll likely go back to a limited bench role, so we’re targeting De’Anthony Melton instead as a back-end utility option since he’s seen consistent minutes coming off the bench no matter what the starting lineup is.

Bottom line

Tonight’s matchup likely won’t see as much scoring as Game 1 with Embiid’s return likely spelling a more defensive game even, though he’s capable of scoring at will. We expected the Celtics to perform better offensively in Game 1, but they should come out much more motivated in Game 2 being down 1-0 in the series, and be able to deliver quality numbers with Tatum leading the way. As for the 76ers, expect them to try and generate offense outside of Embiid and Harden as they look to keep pace.

Ideal lineup

Salaries based on DraftKings’ $50,000 cap

Captain (1.5x): Jayson Tatum, Celtics SF/PF ($17,100)

UTIL: Tyrese Maxey, 76ers PG/SG ($7,800)

UTIL: Tobias Harris, 76ers SF/PF ($7,200)

UTIL: Al Horford, Celtics PF/C ($6,200)

UTIL: Malcolm Brogdon, Celtics PG ($5,800)

UTIL: De’Anthony Melton, 76ers SG/SF ($5,400)

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