This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
The NBA Finals have lived up to the hype so far, with the matchup between the Warriors and the Celtics being about as hotly contested as expected. Boston looks 2-1 in the driver’s seat and has one more home game, but it’s certainly worth noting that Boston has struggled at times this postseason at TD Garden and Golden State will no doubt be in desperation mode Friday night.
With only one game in the ledger, we are faced with FanDuel’s single game competition lists, which break down as follows:
· MVP– (Earn points at 2x the normal rate)
· STAR– (Earn points at 1.5x the normal rate)
· PROFESSIONAL– (Earn points at 1.2x the normal rate)
· Two utility spots– (collect points at the normal rate)
Also, since the salaries are different than traditional FanDuel competitions on multi-game boards, and top players inevitably head for an extensive roster, there are definitely strategic elements that apply specifically to single-game rosters. Finding key value plays for the two utility spots is undoubtedly key, as it allows you to fill the multiplier spots with some of the best forecast producers.
Golden State Warriors at Boston Celtics (-4) (Prediction overall: 214.0 points)
The Warriors have now suffered losses of 12 and 16 points throughout the series and are 3-5 straight on the road in the postseason with a bloated 117.4 defensive rating. Golden State has suffered four double-digit losses overall since the regular season began, and the Celtics, who were only 6-4 at home in the playoffs, have had four double-digit wins there in that span.
Games 1 and 3 of this series also confirmed Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown’s ability to break through against the Golden State defense, although each also had a clunker. On the other hand, Stephen Curry has made the most of Boston’s defense to varying degrees in all three games, but he’s at least somewhat hampered in Game 4 by the foot injury he sustained in Game 3.
FanDuel single playlists don’t have traditional positions equivalent to those on a starting five, so we’ll instead break down some candidates for the top three multiplier positions:
MVP (2x): Stephen Curry ($16,000) and Jayson Tatum ($15,500) remain the clear frontrunners for this spot after their efforts in Game 3.
As just hinted at, Curry is technically shaping up as questionable due to his foot injury, but he already has on record that he will struggle to push off his ailing foot, but the fact that he has 48.5 FD points per game in the series averaging 31.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.7 steals makes him a consideration for the spot if he passes.
Tatum averages 41.6 FD points per game in the series, despite scoring 33.9 percent overall. However, he achieves an excellent success of 43.5 percent
STAR (1.5x): Which of the above two megastars doesn’t make it onto your MVP spot is obviously the best candidate here, but an argument is certainly there Jaylen Brown ($14,000) and Markus Smart ($10,500).
Brown made a brilliant recovery from a difficult Game 2, scoring 46.3 FD points based on 27 points, nine rebounds and five assists, including a block. Brown also had 44.9 FD points in Game 1 of the series and has eclipsed 40 FD points a total of nine times this postseason.
Smart averaged 36 and 34.9 FD points in two of his first three games of the series, performances he pinched around a memorable 9.9 FD point deployment in Game 2 in solid contributions in rebounds and assists, so that he has an advantage at this multiplier spot if he has the hot hand again offensively.
PER (1.2x): Which of the trios is mentioned for the STAR position certainly comes into consideration for this spot Andrew Wiggins ($12,000), Al Horford ($10,500) and Clay Thompson ($10,000).
Wiggins averaged 37.4 and 38.0 FD points in Games 1 and 3, and he averaged 31.5 FD points in the 14 games he’s played against the Grizzlies since the start of the semifinal round.
Horford has 35+ FD points in three of his last four games, and he has scored at least 30 in 15 of 20 postseason games while shooting 52.4 percent, 46.4 percent of which is from three-point range.
Thompson was a little more in sync in Game 3 than he had been in the first two games of the series, as he scored 39.1 FD points while scoring 25 points. However, he had only 21.9 and 20 FD points in his first two games after scoring just 33.3 percent in his only regular-season encounter against Boston.
Injury situations to monitor
A NOTICE: Injury reporting is particularly fluid in the NBA, where the status of multiple players can change over the course of a day. Therefore, while the following provides a basis for the most recent injury report at the time of writing (usually late morning EST), you should check RotoWire later in the day the latest news regarding the status of all players on that night’s board.
Stephen CurryGSW (feet)/ Status: GTD
Curry has stated he’ll be ready for Game 4, but Jordan Poole would likely pull the start at point guard if there’s a setback.
Robert WilliamsBOS (knee)/ Status: QUESTIONABLE
Williams continues to struggle with persistent knee pain and Daniel Theis would likely start at center if he wasn’t able to play.
Other notable injuries:
Otto PorterGSW (foot)/ Status: QUESTIONABLE
Andre IguodalaGSW (knee)/ Status: QUESTIONABLE
The two highest paid players on the board are Stephen Curry ($16,000) and Jayson Tatum ($15,500). As already detailed in the position breakdown section, everyone is capable of elite productions and should see heavy use on Friday.
With only one game on the ledger, such as Jaylen Brown ($14,000), Draymond Green ($13,000), Andrew Wiggins ($12,000), Markus Smart ($10,500) and Clay Thompson ($10,000) should also be very popular.
note: On a board with multiple games, I usually try to highlight players that would be considered under-the-radar games in that section. Of course, with such a limited player pool, there will be very few low-ranking players who are also likely to be viable from a DFS perspective, so I’ll instead focus on two of the best candidates to achieve a strong return-to-salary for the two Utility Spots in Single Game Lineups:
Derrick WhiteBOS ($9,000)
White scored a modest 16.2 FD points on Wednesday but managed 24.7 and 25.8 in the first two episodes of the series. The estimated second-unit asset averaged 27.7 FD points in his last seven postseason games and shot 40.0 percent from three-point range while averaging an encouraging 29.7 minutes. He should have similar chances in Game 4 having proven himself at both ends of the court this postseason.
Robert WilliamsBOS ($8,500)
Williams has played his questionable day cleanly since Game 4 of the ECF against the Heat due to knee pain, so we’d expect him to do the same on Friday. The big man averaged 23.9 FD points per game during that span and has averaged an even better 25.8 FD points since Game 1 of the conference semifinals against the Bucks. William’s ability to complement his high-percentage offense with blocks and steals makes him very attractive as a wage-saving option considering he’s already racked up 10 rejections in his first three games.
The author(s) of this article may enter Daily Fantasy competitions including, but not limited to, games that they have recommended or advised on in this article. While playing these games with their personal accounts, it is possible that they use players in their lineups or other strategies that deviate from the recommendations given above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Juan Carlos Blanco plays in daily fantasy competitions with the following accounts: DraftKings: jcblanco22, FanDuel: jc_blanco22, DraftPot: jc_blanco22, FantasyDraft: jc_blanco22, OwnThePlay: jcblanco22.