FanDuel Single-Game Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: NBA Finals Game 1, Presented by Hulu's NBA Finals Bingo
In a traditional FanDuel NBA lineup, you have a $60,000 salary cap to roster nine players. The salary cap is the same in the single-game setup, but the lineup requirements are different.
You select five players of any position. One of your players will be your MVP, whose FanDuel points are multiplied by two. You also choose a STAR player (whose production is multiplied by 1.5) and a PRO (multiplied by 1.2). Two UTIL players round out the roster, and they don't receive a multiplier for their production.
This makes the five players you select essential in more than one way; you need to focus on slotting in the best plays in the multiplier slots rather than just nailing the best overall plays of the game.
Read this piece by Brandon Gdula for some excellent in-depth analysis on how to attack a single-game slate in NBA DFS.
Also, Hulu and FanDuel have teamed up to offer you an additional way to win with NBA Finals Bingo, a free-to-enter contest. Claim your card for a chance to win a share of $50,000 in prizes.
The NBA Finals begin Thursday in San Francisco, and they've left us with a spicy single-game slate for Game 1.
Thankfully, it's not impacted greatly by Thursday's official injury report.
The Eastern Conference champions from Boston got great news with Marcus Smart (ankle) off the report entirely after he missed two contests in the last series. Robert Williams (knee) is listed questionable, but he's preparing to play every game through the bruise.
The Western Conference champions have more activity. The Warriors have Gary Payton II (elbow), Otto Porter (foot), and Andre Iguodala (neck) all listed as questionable. Iguodala likely won't play even if active, but Porter logged upwards of 20 minutes in a few games against Dallas. Payton, returning from an elbow fracture, will likely be on a minutes restriction if he can play..
At The Top
Jayson Tatum ($16,000): FanDuel salaries are set based on recent performances, and Boston is coming from an ugly bar fight of a series against Miami. As a result, they're a bit undervalued in this environment against Golden State. Tatum averaged 29.3 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 6.0 assists in the last four games versus the Heat, so the near triple-double threat is the clear top MVP candidate opposite a muddy Dubs' scoring hierarchy. However, shooting just 47.6% in that series, Tatum is not the same must-have MVP that Luka Doncic was last round against Golden State.
Jaylen Brown ($14,000): The former Cal standout returns to the Bay Area for this series, and it could be a special homecoming. He averaged 23.0 points and 8.0 rebounds in the pair of games against the Warriors this season, and he's a sneaky MVP candidate in his current role. Brown (27.4% usage rate) had a slightly more voluminous usage rate than Tatum (27.3%) in the last series, and his $2,000 salary discount from Tatum -- viable in even the MVP spot -- goes a long way when trying to jam in Stephen Curry on the other side.
Others to Consider: Stephen Curry ($15,500), Andrew Wiggins ($13,000)
In The Middle
Klay Thompson ($11,500): This is going to be a challenging series for the C's if Klay is back to his old self offensively. Thompson erupted for 32 points and 8 three-pointers in the Game 5 closeout of Dallas, but his salary is the exact same mark it was for those single-game contests. Therefore, there's really no penalty for buying into Thompson as he potentially finds his groove, but keep in mind that Klay shot just 32.7% from deep in that entire Mavs series.
Draymond Green ($11,000): This is a fun single-game slate just because there's an argument for any mid-range guy -- including Jordan Poole with scoring bursts off the Dubs' bench -- in a STAR or PRO spot. Green popped for 17 points and 9 boards in the final game of the Western Conference Finals, but he's always a threat for upside with his propensity to accumulate blocks and steals (2.0 combined per game in the playoffs so far) in a hurry.
Others to Consider: Al Horford ($12,500), Marcus Smart ($12,000), Jordan Poole ($10,500)
At The Bottom
Kevon Looney ($10,000): Approaching the value tier is all about how you believe these teams approach this contest. The Warriors have been using Looney an increased amount. He logged at least 28 minutes in four of the five contests against Dallas, and it's important to note the Mavs play smaller than Boston will. If you expect Looney's big minutes to continue, opt for him over Otto Porter off the bench.
Robert Williams ($9,500): I am of the belief Golden State will stick to Looney in a series they'll critically need help on the boards. In that event, "Time Lord" should play more than he did against Miami. Grant Williams was a perfect size match for P.J. Tucker in that series, but Robert starts and led Boston on the glass in the regular season (9.6 rebounds per game). He could shred the smaller Warriors on the boards if presented with the opportunity. If you are constructing lineups for the potential of "small ball," use Grant or Derrick White instead.
Others to Consider: Derrick White ($9,000), Grant Williams ($8,000), Otto Porter ($7,500; if he plays), Nemanja Bjelica ($7,000; if Porter sits)