This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Basketball series.
Thank goodness Yahoo has decided to offer up one-game contests this season! That has us in prime position for this postseason because the slates are getting smaller the more teams continue to get eliminated. This one-gamer will be fascinating because we have the Bucks and Nets kicking off their Eastern Conference Semis. Many people believe the future champion is coming from this series, leading to some captivating games. With that in mind, let's get into this Game 1!
James Harden, BKN vs. MIL ($53)
There are two superstars that are going to be really tough to fade. They happen to be Giannis and Harden! The reason we love The Beard is the fact that he handles the ball on every possession for the Nets. That makes him the most reliable of their three superstars, with Harden scoring at least 61 Yahoo points in three straight games while averaging 66 fantasy points per game in that span. That's obviously one of the best totals you'll see from anybody, and it's not that far off of his 53-point average for the season. He's faced Milwaukee once earlier this year, too, collecting 34 points, six rebounds and 12 assists in yet another gem.
(Use Harden at Superstar Slot)
Bryn Forbes, MIL at BKN ($10)
It's imperative to save salary on slates like these, and there's no better minimum-priced option than Forbes. He was already playing a nice reserve role for the Bucks, but he's being asked to do a lot more with Donte DiVincenzo out for the remainder of the postseason. In the three games since that injury, Bryn has at least 18 Y! points in all of those, en route to a 25-point average in that span. That might sound weak after those absurd Harden numbers, but it's actually a stupendous total from a minimum-priced guy. We also don't mind that Brooklyn ranked 22nd in defensive efficiency in the regular season, either.
Guard to Avoid
Kyrie Irving, BKN vs. MIL ($39)
It's physically impossible to fit in all of the studs in this game, so it's imperative to pick and choose the ones you don't want to select. Out of the big four, we want to stay away from Kyrie. While this guy is amazing, he's the hardest one to trust of these big-name superstars. We say that because he has a 23 percent usage rate with Harden and KD on the floor, averaging fewer than 1.2 Y! points per minute. That's not good enough at this price, and it scares us that he scored 38 or fewer fantasy points in four of his five playoff games. A defensive matchup with Jrue Holiday is also a scary proposition because he's one of the best defenders in our game.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL at BKN ($55)
Picking between Harden, Irving, Giannis, and Kevin Durant is a tough cookie to crack, but we have to believe Giannis is the best play of the bunch. He's leading everyone in this game with more than 54 Y! points per game in the regular season and doesn't have to compete with all the guys the Nets players do. That's bad news for Brooklyn, with Antetokounmpo averaging 57.4 fantasy points per game in the first round. He did that damage despite many of those games being blowouts, and that's certainly not expected to be the case here. We also don't mind that he faces a bad Brooklyn defense that surrenders the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing PFs either. That's on full display when you see that Giannis is averaging 64 Y! points per game in their three regular-season meetings.
(Use Giannis at Mega Star Slot)
Pat Connaughton, MIL at BKN ($10)
To fit Harden and Giannis into your build, you have to find some cheap guys. The best pairings with those players are these affordable Milwaukee players because they need guys to step up in the absence of DiVincenzo. Connaughton is the one who got the start for him in Game 4, playing 22 minutes. While he did very little from a fantasy perspective, he averaged 21 Yahoo points per game in the 33 games he played at least 24 minutes in the regular season. That'd be a monster total from a minimum-priced guy, and it makes him a brilliant pairing with those two studs we wrote up before.
Forward to Avoid
Joe Harris, BKN vs. MIL ($17)
Harris is an amazing role player and one of the best pure shooters in our game, but it's scary how little he does when this roster is fully healthy. With all three of those superstars on the floor, Joe is posting an ugly 12 percent usage rate while averaging just 0.6 Y! points per minute. That's clear when you see that he's scored 27 or fewer fantasy points in 11 of his last 12 games, averaging just 20 Yahoo points per game in that span. Those numbers won't get it done for a $17 player, and it's even more concerning when you see that Harris has just 28 combined fantasy points in his last two meetings with the Bucks, despite playing 68 minutes.
Brook Lopez, MIL at BKN ($19)
To say the center position is weak would be a drastic understatement. That leaves us with Lopez as the only viable option, but he's been way too good to be this cheap. The big man is averaging 28 Yahoo points per game across his last nine outings, which is right on par with his average since the beginning of March. Those numbers are hard to believe from a sub-$20 player, and we certainly don't mind that the Nets allow the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing centers as well.
Center to Avoid
These guys were extremely valuable pieces in the regular season, but they no longer matter at this point. Brooklyn has chosen to go small for most of the postseason, playing Durant and Blake Griffin at the center position. That has actually omitted Jordan from the rotation altogether and left Claxton with 13 minutes a night in the Boston series. Don't get cute by using these guys because there are much better minimum-priced options out there.