Tampa Bay Times

Each Thursday, FindBet will preview the DFS slate, highlighting players that are priced well on FanDuel as well as some contrarian plays that can push your team to the top of the leader board.

Most NFL Fanduel games have you putting a team together with players from a certain slate of games. It could be just Sunday 1:00 pm games or it could be every game that is slated for the week. Once the last game that has eligible players is over, the final payouts are made according to how many fantasy points each team scored. Each player is worth a certain dollar amount, and you have a cap of $60,000 to build your team with. You have to have 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 FLEX (RB, WR, or TE) and 1 DEF.

The general scoring rules include (6) points for each rushing and receiving touchdown, (4) points for each passing touchdown, (0.1) points for each rushing and receiving yard gained, (0.04) points for each passing yard, and also (0.5) points for each reception. There are other scoring opportunities for defenses. You can see the entire breakdown on FanDuel. Let's dive into players we like and players we advise to avoid in Week 1.

Jonathan Taylor is a great underdog option this week.AP Sports

Players to Target

Patrick Mahomes QB - $9300

I don't mind spending up on Mahomes this week as the TNF showdown with Houston should be a high scoring affair. When paying up for Mahomes you are going to have to go cheap somewhere else in your lineup though to make up for his high price.

Ben Roethlisberger QB - $7800

Roethlisberger has a great match up this week with the Giants on Monday night. I think you can almost get the same production out of Big Ben that you can get from Mahomes this week. The Giants defense is slated to be one of the worst in the league this year and the Steelers won't want to run Connor into the ground in Week 1.

Josh Allen QB - $7900

Allen gets a Jets defense minus CJ Mosley and Jamal Adams, arguably their two best play makers. Allen has top 5 potential this week, especially if he can add a TD on the ground.

Philip Rivers QB - $7200

Most people view Rivers as a game manager more than the gunslinger he was in LA. He has an elite offensive line and is going against a Jacksonville defense that is a shell of its former self.

Austin Ekeler RB - $7700

I think the Chargers are going to move more towards the running game becoming the central part of their offense. I like the Ekeler's match up against the Bengals this week.

Clyde Edwards Heliare RB - $7200

Heliare is priced nicely this week. I expect his price to go up even more as the season goes on, so a potential shootout with Houston is a good time to take advantage of this price tag.

Jonathan Taylor RB - $5300

Taylor may not get the start this week against Jacksonville, but game script will allow him to get plenty of work in the 3rd and 4th quarters in a game that Indianapolis should be up big by halftime.

Jonathan Williams RB - $4800

A real boom or bust pick this week, Williams looks he is going to get the nod over Devine Ozighbo to lead Jacksonville's backfield, at least for Week 1. He's going to need to find the end zone once or twice to make this pick worth it, but if you have spent up at other positions, he's a good lower priced option with high upside.

JuJu Smith-Schuster WR - $7100

As I talked about with Heliare, Smith-Schuster's price is only going to go up as the season goes on. He's got a great match up against the Giants this week.

Stefon Diggs WR - $6600

Diggs is going up against a weak Jets defense, and I have a feeling the Bills are going to want to show off their new WR and will get him involved early and often in this weeks game script.

TY Hilton WR - $6500

Hilton is priced decently this week, and gets a bottom 5 defense in Jacksonville. He's a great mid tier option when building your lineup this week.

Emmanuel Sanders WR - $5400

Sanders could be in for a nice day in what looks like it will be an offensive shootout with the Bucs. At $5400, Sanders looks like a steal this week. I have him in lots of my lineups.

George Kittle TE - $8000

Another player where I feel like it is going to be OK to pay up this week is Kittle. He is almost match up proof and will be one of the main targets for Garoppollo this week with all the questions the 49ers have at wide receiver.

Jared Cook TE - $5900

Cook gets the nod because of the high scoring potential the Saints-Bucs match up has this week. Drew Brees will be spreading the ball around this week.

Blake Jarwin TE - $5300

Jarwin looks like a decent play this week if you are trying to save money to spend in other spots of your lineup. The Rams-Cowboys game could have the potential to be a shootout.

Eric Ebron TE - $5000

Ebron is decent play for the same reason as Jarwin, Bad defense, with good QB play. He is a fine play if you want to save money at the TE position this week.

Buffalo Bills DEF - $4700

The Bills get a Jets offense that has looked awful this summer. They should eat this week.

Tennessee Titans DEF - $4000

The Titans landed Jadeveon Clowney earlier this week and added a top tier pass rusher to an already formidable unit. They get Denver this week, and could force Drew Lock into some bad decisions. You can do worse with other defenses this week.

Detroit Lions DEF - $3700

The Lions are a dark horse this week to score some points against a turnover prone Bears offense. Trubisky is starting for the Bears and he is always good for a turnover or two.

Indianapolis Colts DEF - $3700

The Colts are a great play this week against the Jaguars, especially at this price. I am targeting them on a lot of my teams and putting that money in other places on my team.

Matt Ryan is a fade this week going against an improved Seattle Defense.atlantafalcons.com

Players to Avoid:

Drew Brees QB - $8100

Drew Brees is going to be a nice play in regular leagues this week, but his price is too high for my liking. For that reason I am fading him this week.

Matt Ryan QB - $7800

Ryan has a high price and is facing a much improved Seattle Defense. I'll pass this week.

Kyler Murray QB - $7700

Like Ryan, Murray is high priced and facing an elite defense in the 49ers. You can do worse at QB, but he is a risky play this week.

Carson Wentz QB - $7700

Wentz is down two starting offensive lineman and facing a formidable Washington defensive line, he isn't going to have much time with that pass rush.

Christian McCaffrey RB - $10000

McCaffrey is elite, but also is the most expensive player in FanDuel this week. The Raiders aren't a very good defense, but he is not going to produce enough points to justify that price point.

Dalvin Cook RB - $8700

Cook held out all training camp and is slated to play Week 1. He'll most likely be on a snap count and may take a game or two to get into shape. Not a risk I am willing to take at that price.

Todd Gurley RB - $7100

Too many unknowns with Gurley's usage going into the season. Pair that with a tough Seattle D and I am fading him this week.

Kenyan Drake RB - $6600

Drake was electric last year, but the 49ers defense is suffocating and game script my force the Cardinals into passing more as the game progresses.

Davante Adams WR - $8000

I just don't see Adams producing and elite stat line this week against Minnesota. He's a fade for me but will be worth that price in spots down the road.

Keenan Allen WR - $7000

Allen will not see the pass volume to justify this price. Tyrod Taylor has been a check down QB his entire career, and unless Allen breaks a quick pass for a long score, he won't be very playable this year.

Terry McLaurin WR - $6500

McLaurin is most likely going to see a healthy dose of Darius Slay this week. That's enough for me to stay away.

Jamison Crowder WR - $6000

Crowder is about the only WR you may be able to get production from this year on the Jets. He has a tough match up with the Bills this week.

Evan Engram TE - $6300

Engram is going to have a good year, he'll finish as a top 5 TE scoring wise, but a match up with an elite Steelers defense is not a smart play this week.

Hunter Henry TE - $6000

Henry may see a garbage score this week on a goal line gadget play, but we need to see Tyrod in this offense a little bit before we justify spending up on Henry.

Austin Hooper TE - $5700

Hooper going up against an elite Raven defense is hard pass for me. He'll have startable weeks, but not in Week 1.

Hayden Hurst TE - $5300

I think Hurst has a great chance to be a top 10 TE this year. But a Seattle Defense that added Jamal Adams is enough for me to fade him this week.

Kansas City Chiefs DEF - $4200

TNF is going to be a shootout, not a good week for the Chiefs Defense.

New Orleans Saints DEF - $4100

Another shootout possibility with the Bucs this week has me fading the New Orleans Defense.

New England Patriots DEF - $4600

The Patriots get the Dolphins, but at $4600, there is too much assuming going on right now for me to be comfortable starting them. They lost 3 starters due to COVID opt outs, so I need to see a week or two before I start them in DFS

New York Jets DEF - $3900

The Jets are down Jamal Adams and CJ Mosley, going against a much improved Bills offense. No thanks.

FindBet Free Play for Week 1:

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Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors

Tom Pennington, Getty Images

In Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Bam Adebayo's 31-point and 10-rebound double-double led the Miami Heat to a 109-103 victory over the Celtics on the road. That was followed by a dominant second-half performance by Stephen Curry and Andrew Wiggins who led the Warriors to a 3-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals.

Tonight, we'll get the first of these two matchups. Boston will look to come back in their second home game against a Heat team that is clearly not at 100% healthy. Tyler Herro has been ruled out for Game 4 while Kyle Lowry remains questionable. Here are some of the best bets for tonight's and tomorrow's big Game 4s.

Please note that all odds and lines are from FanDuel Sportsbook and were accurate at 3:30 PM EST. Be sure to check for line movement or odd changes.

ECF Game 4: Miami Heat at Boston Celtics -7 (MIA Leads 2-1)

In Game 4, the Celtics rallied back from double-digits to make things interesting in the fourth quarter. However, Boston conceded Game 3 to the Miami Heat 109-103. On Sunday, Bam Adebayo was getting everything he wanted down low. He finished with 31 points, 10 boards, six assists, four steals, and one block. Ime Udoka will need to boost the presence of his big men down low, perhaps by extending Daniel Theis’ minutes or having him share the floor more with Al Horford. The major reason for which the Heat are considered the seven-point underdogs for tonight’s game is injuries. Tyler Herro has already been ruled out for Game 4, and the Heat have four or five other players in their lineup currently listed as questionable. This includes Max Struss, Kyle Lowry, Jimmy Butler, and P.J. Tucker. Butler is dealing with knee inflammation which sidelined him for the second half of Game 3.

Even if all of the players in the Heat’s rotation are good to go tonight (outside of Herro), Boston has not lost back-to-back home games since late October. Plus, Jaylen Brown is shooting much better than he did earlier in the postseason. In fact, he’s elevated his shooting to 50% from the field through the 2021-22 playoffs through 14 games played. Expect Boston to bounce back big in Game 4, with multiple players on the Miami Heat not at full strength.

The Pick: Boston Celtics -7 (-110)

WCF Game 4: Golden State Warriors at Dallas Mavericks -1 (GSW Leads 3-0)

Well, it’s looking like the Golden State Warriors are returning to the NBA Finals. With the emergence of Jordan Poole late this season and into the postseason, Andrew Wiggins’ First-Team All-Star season, and Klay Thompson’s return to basketball, Golden State has been simply phenomenal. Golden State is simply that good this year, with anyone on the team capable of stepping up. Stephen Curry erupted in Game 3, while it was Andrew Wiggins that caught fire in the second half of Game 4. Any given night, the Warriors have one or two guys who they can count on for scoring approximately 25+ points. Considering the Mavericks' struggles this round, particularly behind the three-point line, bettors should go with the Warriors as the slight underdog. Teams get swept sometimes. Just ask the Brooklyn Nets. The Warriors will bring out the brooms and sweep the Mavericks as they punch their ticket to the NBA Finals Tuesday night.

The Pick: Golden State Warriors ML -104

NBA Player Props

Golden State Warriors at Dallas Mavericks -1 (GSW Leads 3-0)

Prop #1: Stephen Curry, Over 27.5 Points

Stephen Curry has scored 31 points and 32 points over the last two games. He’s done so by converting at least 50% from the field in each contest. It makes sense that he would score at least 28 points in a series-clinching victory tomorrow night. Curry is averaging 27.1 PPG on 45.9% this postseason but has certainly put up more points and done so more efficiently over the last few games.

Prop #2: Luka Doncic, Over 3.5 Threes

Luka has drained nine three-pointers over the last two games. He’s knocked down at least four threes in three of his last four contests. Facing elimination and hoping to not let down the home crowd in back-to-back home playoff games, Doncic will convert at least four baskets from downtown in Game 4.

Tyler Herro (Left), Bam Adebayo (Right), Miami Heat

Getty Images

Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro, Bam Adebayo, and the Miami Heat held their own against the Celtics in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Likewise, Andrew Wiggins and Stephen Curry led the Warriors to a 112-87 blowout over Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks. Tonight, the Celtics play their second game on the road against the Heat. On Friday night, the Mavericks will look to bounce back after shooting horrifically in Game 1.

Let’s take a look at the best bets for the two NBA Conference Final Game 2 matchups set for 8:30 PM EST. tonight and 9:00 PM EST. tomorrow night.

Please note that all odds and lines are from FanDuel Sportsbook and were accurate at 4:30 PM EST. Be sure to check for line movement or odd changes.

Best Bets of the Night

Game: Boston Celtics at Miami Heat -2 (MIA Leads 1-0)

After a nail-biting series with the Milwaukee Bucks that the Celtics won in grandiose fashion, Boston conceded Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals to the Miami Heat. Tonight, they play Game 2 of the series at the FTX Arena and hope to bounce back from Tuesday’s 11-point loss. One of the principal reasons for their defeat in Game 1 was the absence of Marcus Smart (foot sprain) and Al Horford (health & safety protocols). It remained a relatively close game until the third quarter in which the Celtics were outscored 14-3 to begin the second half. Derrick White filled in for Marcus Smart and was terribly inefficient from the field. He scored three points (1-4 FG) and had four assists in 29 minutes filling in for the Defensive Player of the Year. In contrast, Max Struss and Gabe Vincent did a terrific job of filling in for Kyle Lowry, combining for 28 points on 9-of-19 shooting. In addition, Tyler Herro had a good night with a pivotal 18 points (7-15 FG) off the bench. Fortunately for the Celtics, both Smart and Horford are expected to return tonight.

Head Coach Ime Udoka indicated to reporters today that Smart was probable to play this evening. Horford was cleared of health and safety protocols today making him available for tonight’s contest. For those of you who have watched the Celtics this postseason, Horford and Smart have upped their play and have been absolutely integral to the team’s success. Tonight, let’s take the Boston Celtics to take a game on the road in the same fashion that they took two road games from the Bucks in the last series.

The Pick: Boston Celtics ML +108

Tonight's Best NBA Player Props

Game: Boston Celtics at Miami Heat -2 (MIA Leads 1-0)

Prop#1: Gabe Vincent Over 9.5 Points
In Game 1 without Kyle Lowry, Gabe Vincent scored 17 points in 34 minutes on 50% shooting from the field. As Kyle Lowry is out again for Game 2 tonight, expect Vincent to score at least 10 points. Vincent has performed admirably while filling in for the veteran. Even when Lowry returns, it's quite possible that Erik Spoelstra will give some of Lowry's minutes to Vincent.
Prop#2: Al Horford Over 9.5 Points
After five straight double-digit scoring performances, Al Horford scored eight points or fewer in the last three games of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Bucks. He missed Game 1 of the Celtics' series against the Miami Heat after entering Health & Safety protocols. Since he was only out for one game, he shouldn't face any minute restrictions tonight. Horford should score at least 10 points in 30+ minutes on the floor.

Tomorrow Night's Best NBA Bet

Game: Dallas Mavericks at Golden State -6 (GSW Leads 1-0)

Dallas was annihilated by Golden State in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. This comes after the Mavs blew out the Phoenix Suns on the road in impressive fashion, punching their ticket to the next round of the playoffs for a series against the Warriors. Golden State shot an impressive 56.1% from the field in the opening game and finished with 112 points. Just as important as the offensive production, Golden State clamped down on defense. The Warriors contained Luka Doncic, who converted just six of his 18 field goals on his way to 20 points. Andrew Wiggins did an excellent job guarding the young playmaker. Luka's teammates didn't help out much either as the Mavericks shot 36% from the field in Game 1, and 22.9% from downtown (11-48 3PT FG) for just 87 points on the night.

While I think the Warriors will win again on Friday night, expect the Mavericks to keep things more interesting after such an abysmal night shooting from the field. Dallas will make the adjustments needed to make this a competitive Game 2 in the Bay area.

The Pick: Dallas Mavericks +6 (-110)

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Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Klay Thompson is coming off one of his signature Game 6 performances. Thompson dropped his second-highest point total of the postseason, punching Golden State's ticket to the Western Conference Finals after defeating the Memphis Grizzlies in six games. In the elimination game, Thompson led the team with 30 points (11-22 from the field and 8-14 from beyond the arc), eight boards, two assists, and three blocks. Considering the multitude of injuries he has fought back from and the adversity he has faced, it's quite amazing that the five-time All-Star has converted at least 50% of his three-point shots in three of his last four outings. He seems to be in great form entering this pivotal series with the Mavericks.

Dallas stunned the top-seeded Phoenix Suns and reigning Western Conference champs on the road in Game 7, 123-90, and earned a trip to the Western Conference Finals. Let's see if Thompson can remain scorching hot as Stephen Curry and the Dubs host Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals tonight. Now, let's take a look at some of the best bets and player props to consider for tonight’s big matchup!

Please note that all odds and lines are from FanDuel Sportsbook and were accurate at 3:30 PM EST. Be sure to check for line movement or odd changes.

Best Bets of the Night

Bet #1: Golden State Warriors -5 (-110)

Following a tough loss in Game 5 to the Grizzlies despite Ja Morant’s absence from the lineup, the Warriors bounced back and closed the series at home in Game 6. They take on the Dallas Mavericks, who’ve been absolutely unbelievable on defense. Changes made to the Mavs’ rotation by Jason Kidd worked flawlessly against Chris Paul, Devin Booker, and the Suns in the previous round. One surprise for Dallas this postseason has been former New York Knicks lottery pick, Frank Ntilikina. He's a player who has stepped up immensely this postseason, especially on defense. Throughout the series, Ntilikina held Chris Paul and Devin Booker to a combined 3-of-40 shooting from the field when he guarded them.

It will be interesting to see if Jason Kidd keeps his minutes up, or perhaps increases them after what was truly an astonishing defensive performance against the Suns. Unfortunately for the Mavericks, the Golden State Warriors have four efficient scorers who will need to be contained. The Warriors will cover the spread tonight and win by more than five points on their home floor.

Bet #2: Over 214.5 Total Points (-110)

Dallas scored an impressive 123 points in Game 7, and they did so on the road. I expect them to reach at least 110 points in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. The Warriors shot on and off throughout their series against the Memphis Grizzlies. Nonetheless, they averaged 111 PPG in their series against Memphis (666 total points scored by the Warriors over six games). Both teams play a style of basketball that stresses ball movement to find an open man beyond the arc. When Dallas or Golden State shoot 40%-45% from the field, they can score in the hundreds because of the high volume of shots they take. Dallas started taking more shots and playing at a faster pace in the second half of their series against Phoenix. By the half in Game 7, Dallas was up 57-27. In the game, the Mavericks went 19-of-39 from downtown (48.9%). Even more impressive was Dallas’ 56.8% shooting from the field. Although the Warriors are one of the best defensive teams in the league, a 214.5-point Over / Under for tonight’s game is quite low. Smash the Over.

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NBA Player Props of the Night

Prop #1: Jordan Poole Over 1.5 Threes (-174)

Jordan Poole has finally cooled down after a stretch of three 20-point games against the Grizzlies. Over the last three contests, Poole has only hit two or more three-pointers in one contest. Over those last three games, he shot a combined 3-of-17 from downtown. While Poole has been highly inefficient over the last few games, he’ll hit at least two three-pointers in Game 1 tonight. The odds of this prop reflect how likely it is to happen. Although Poole isn't seeing as high a usage rate as when Curry and Thompson were injured during the regular season, Poole should still see plenty of open looks in the 25+ minutes he should log tonight. Given that Dallas will most likely try to stop Curry and Thompson from beating them, Poole should see a few wide-open looks. He will knock down at least two from deep range tonight.

Prop #2: Klay Thompson Over 20.5 Points (-112)

Klay Thompson has averaged just about 20.5 points since he came back this regular season. Throughout the postseason, he’s played strong and for the most part, been efficient from the field. Through 11 games in this postseason, Thompson is averaging 20.4 PPG on 45% shooting from the field. I like him to hit the over here in his first Western Conference Final matchup in three years. After getting his swagger back and dropping 30 points to eliminate the Grizzlies last round, Thompson should have all. the confidence in the world heading into Game 1 in the bay.

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