FanDuel Single-Game Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Mavericks at Warriors (5/18/22)
In a traditional FanDuel NBA lineup, you have a $60,000 salary cap to roster nine players. In the single-game setup, the salary cap is the same, 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 select 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 important in more than one way, as 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.
In the Western Conference Finals, we'll see two changes from the Eastern side: more offense and fewer injury notes.
The Golden State Warriors have a chance to return to the NBA Finals after extinguishing Denver and Memphis. The Dubs were somewhat expected to be here, but the Dallas Mavericks absolutely weren't. They upset the Jazz while missing Luka Doncic at the start of the series, and then they shocked the Phoenix Suns on the road to win Game 7.
At The Top
Luka Doncic ($16,500): From a fantasy perspective, Doncic is so much better than any other player on either side. Unless his salary encroaches $20,000, I can't imagine fading him at any point in this series. In the playoffs, Doncic has posted 56.4 FanDuel points per game, and the next-highest guy in the series is Stephen Curry (42.4), but he's only $1,000 less in salary. Fading Luka would solely imply a game script of a Mavs implosion, yet they're just 5.0-point underdogs.
Draymond Green ($12,000): The Warriors' backcourt scoring can now come from four places with Jordan Poole's breakout campaign. However, Green's lack of reliance on scoring always makes him a priority target before any of their scorers when all the salaries are close. Green has averaged 0.99 FanDuel points per minute in the playoffs, and for context, that's sandwiched between Kyrie Irving and Al Horford on the postseason leaderboard. He has occasionally run into foul trouble, blowouts, or an ejection to keep him from his full workload. He's great at this salary should he get said workload.
In The Middle
Jordan Poole ($11,500): Poole's path to failure in Round 1 against Denver was that Payton II would play in his stead for additional help defensively. Yet, once Payton was hurt in Game 2 against Memphis and Poole was primed for a fantasy breakout, he fell into a deep shooting slump. Since the start of Game 2, he's shot just 7-for-28 (25.0%) from three-point land. Playing fewer than 25 minutes in back-to-back games due to the blowouts, he might not be popular at all at this salary, but he's got upside. He showed it with 31 points in Game 1 last series.
Dorian Finney-Smith ($10,000): My key strategy in the mid-range is to fade Spencer Dinwiddie's hot Game 7. He shot 73.3% from the field and 71.4% from three-point territory, but the reality is his role is not incredibly stable right now. He played only 25 minutes in Game 7, and that was still his highest total since Game 3. Even though DFS is averaging just 0.66 FanDuel points per minute, it's hard to not target Finney-Smith's 40-minute role instead of rolling the dice on Dinwiddie staying hot.
Others to Consider: Andrew Wiggins ($11,000)
At The Bottom
Reggie Bullock ($9,500): At 0.57 FanDuel points per minute, Bullock can make Finney-Smith seem like a fantasy star in terms of per-minute production, but he's the one and only full-time role below $10,000 on the slate. He's shown single-game upside, knocking down five threes in a Game 6 rout of Phoenix last series. The bottom falls out of this slate quickly if it turns into a small-ball situation where many of the bigs in this salary tier are off the floor, but Bullock will likely be on the floor a ton barring a blowout.
Otto Porter ($8,500): Porter missed the last two games against Memphis with a foot injury, but he's off the injury report. Both of these teams prefer to play small, so while Kevon Looney was a hero with 21 boards in Game 6, he may not play very much at all in this series. Looney may start opposite Dwight Powell, but Porter should see more time on the court. He played 23.5 minutes per game during the Memphis series in games not cut short due to injury -- a mark that towers over anyone else's who is below $9,000.