FanDuel Single-Game Daily Fantasy Helper: NBA Finals Game 5 (7/17/21)

The NBA scene changes on a week-to-week, day-to-day, and -- depending on injury news -- even a minute-to-minute basis, making every slate a unique one that requires an ever-changing approach.

With so much changing so quickly, we're here with plenty of tools to help you out. We have daily projections, a matchup heat map, a lineup optimizer, and a bunch of other great resources to help give you an edge.

Daily fantasy NBA is very reliant on opportunity, so you'll need to make sure that you're up-to-date with key injuries and COVID-19 situations. Our projections update up until tip-off to reflect current news and we also have player news updates.

We'll also be coming at you with this primer every day, breaking down a few of the day's top plays at each position.

Let's take a look at who you should target for Game 5 of the Finals matchup between the Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns, which tips off at 9:00 PM Eastern.

All injury updates are via the NBA's official injury report or numberFire's player news.

Read this piece by Brandon Gdula for some excellent in-depth analysis on how to attack a single-game slate in NBA DFS.

MVP Considerations

Giannis Antetokounmpo ($16,500): With no salary penalty for slotting Antetokounmpo into the MVP spot, this one feels like a no-brainer once again. It feels impossible to deny Giannis from that spot given that he is now averaging 1.67 FanDuel points per minute -- higher than his regular season average -- while seeing 39.0 minutes per game in the series. Antetokounmpo's 29.5% usage also leads both teams, and given that he is averaging 14.0 rebounds per game, his floor is still tremendous even if Jrue Holiday or Khris Middleton take the lead on the scoring front as they did in Game 4.

Deandre Ayton ($13,000): Ayton is the sleeper MVP on this slate because of Milwaukee's primary adjustment. With less Brook Lopez on the floor, Ayton's primary defensive assignment has been Giannis, who has taken 88.0% of his shots from inside. That allowed Ayton to remain closer to the rim in Game 4, where he gobbled up 17 rebounds, and if he continues not to have to chase Lopez out to the three-point line, where Lopez shoots from 38.6% of the time in the series, he could replicate that again and perform far better than 6 points -- the first time he was held to single-digit scoring in the series.

Devin Booker ($12,000): If he is going to get seven fouls in this contest, numberFire may need to bump up Booker's 41.0-minute projection. All jokes aside, the young scorer has absolutely taken the offensive reigns from Chris Paul well beyond his 42-point scoring outburst in Game 4. Booker has a 31.6% usage for the entire series, where as Paul sits at just 25.6% usage with definitely less ability to score from a catch-and-shoot standpoint. Booker is only at 0.99 FanDuel points per minute, with 0.72 coming from scoring, so he does not have the stat stuffing upside you would normally hope for at MVP...but he could score 70 in a must-win contest.

Others to Consider: Chris Paul ($14,000), Jrue Holiday ($13,500), Khris Middleton ($12,500)

Utility Considerations

Jae Crowder ($10,000): Trying to fade Crowder's 13.0% usage rate amidst growing popularity has been a fruitless endeavor, and largely it is because Crowder's aggressiveness is forcing him into the action. He may not touch the ball often, but he has still taken 7 or more shots in each of the past three contests, and he is averaging over a block and a steal per game in the series. The more notable reason to consider Crowder in this spot is really the imperfections of the alternatives with Brook Lopez and Mikal Bridges randomly seeing minutes reductions the past two contests. The decision on Phoenix wings comes down to Crowder or Cameron Johnson, and it is hard to deny the starter who also played eight more minutes.

Pat Connaughton ($8,500): The Bucks' main adjustment to get back into this series has been shelving Brook Lopez in favor of Connaughton or Bobby Portis and essentially playing Giannis at the five spot. As a result, Connaughton saw 32 minutes off the bench in Game 4 as a result, and while his 11.0% usage and 0.61 FanDuel points per minute in this series remains dreadful, there is something to speak for the only player under $10,000 in salary seeing 32 minutes. Connaughton's defensive impact is the main reason we should feel safe relying on him in Game 5.

Others to Consider: Mikal Bridges ($9,500), Cameron Johnson ($9,000), P.J. Tucker ($7,500)

Austin Swaim is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Austin Swaim also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username ASwaim3. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.