FanDuel has revamped how you play single-game daily fantasy basketball contests. That’s a good thing, since there were a crazy amount of ties. Now you have to basically rank your top plays and if you get the order wrong, you’re not going anywhere in NBA DFS tournaments.
While the new system makes it tougher to climb the ladder in GPPs, it should mean that a great lineup gives you a solid shot at winning all of the money. That’s your best chance at a big payday in daily fantasy basketball to close out the year, as these one-game contests are really all you’re looking at until next year.
Tonight rolls another one out, as the Golden State Warriors head to Texas to battle the Houston Rockets in game one of the Western Conference Finals.
Nobody knows for sure what to expect ahead of this game. Bovada and the top NBA betting sites are listing the Dubs as mild +1.5 underdogs, while this game boasts a stout 225 Total. In theory, that puts everyone in play here, so you’ll really want to pick your spots.
The top guys are all candidates to be chalk. James Harden, Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry are all $15.5k or greater. Chris Paul ($12.5k) and Draymond Green ($12k) feel like elite values on this one-game slate, while Trevor Ariza ($8.5k) may be the best value available.
You really do need to take a stance here, though, as you cannot roster all three of Durant/Harden/Curry. It might make good sense to just pick one true stud to roll with and then balance out the rest of your squad. That’s my favorite play, so let’s see what kind of team I come away with for NBA DFS GPPs tonight at FanDuel:
MVP (2x points): Stephen Curry, PG, Golden State Warrior ($15.5k)
My main daily fantasy basketball strategy tonight is to fade both James Harden and Kevin Durant. They’re both very expensive and they’re pretty restrictive in terms of piecing together a complete team I feel really good about. KD has also been fairly notorious for having a curbed ceiling when his GS teammates are all healthy.
Durant can still erupt and obviously Harden at home in such a huge playoff series is a tough fade. The price is the key here, while there are some amazing values starting with Chef Curry that absolutely can potentially match him. You can’t roster everyone, so paying $2.5k less to get Curry over Harden could be an elite pivot.
Curry matching or topping Harden would be a big win, while not rostering either Harden or KD could give me a huge edge on the field if that call works out.
I have no qualms about using Curry here. He’s been making up for lost time with a really nice run against the Pelicans (42+ fantasy points in three of four contests) and he’s torn up the Rockets in the past. Vegas likes Houston and everyone will want Harden, so I’ll pivot here and hope Curry ends up being the better play.
Star (1.5x): Chris Paul, PG, Houston Rockets ($12.5k)
CP3 is my second elite pivot. Harden and KD should be very good and possibly high-owned, but Paul is capable of huge outings and will want to show up big in his first ever WCF appearance. His price may make him a key option for DFS gamers, but I don’t mind eating the chalk if that’s the case.
Paul has the upside to be the top overall play on this slate and is red hot coming into this series, dropping 58 and 67-point fantasy outings over his last two contests. If he can keep it rolling, he’ll be a flat out steal at this price.
Pro (1.2x): Draymond Green, PF, Golden State Warriors ($12k)
The argument is similar with Green, who is always a triple-double threat and dropped a 21-7-6 line against the Rockets the last time he faced them. This has been a very positive matchup for him all year and he’s also coming in hot, putting up 50 and 60-point fantasy outings over his last two outings.
I love this Curry/CP3/Dray trio and think it both offers elite value and also could provide insane upside. The key will be getting the order right and also deciding whether or not to fully fade studs like Harden and Durant.
That’s my strategy tonight, but I can understand if you’ll want to take a slightly different approach.
If you have to roster one of them, I’d just replace Curry with the stud of your choosing (I’d go Harden). That’d still get you these two elite value plays and would only force you to make one deep dive.
Util: Klay Thompson, SG, Golden State Warriors ($10k)
No matter how you build out the top three spots, you’re going to be left looking for value at the two Util spots. The way I’ve mapped things out, I’m going to want Thompson. I know he does little beyond scoring, but this is an up tempo setting where he could catch fire pretty easily.
Houston has gone out of its way to get defenders to specifically slow down the Dubs, but I won’t be shocked at all for Golden State to hit them in the mouth tonight to prove to them that really isn’t something that can be done. Maybe I’m wrong here, but Houston doesn’t have enough guys to stop everyone in this game and Thompson can hit shots from anywhere.
Thompson is in a decent groove, too, as he’s topped 34+ fantasy points in three of his last five games. He had a nice 28-point outing against them earlier this year, so here’s to hoping he gets hot in this one.
Util: Eric Gordon, SG, Houston Rockets ($9.5k)
Ditto for EG, as he’s another guy to just scores and does little else. I don’t mind rostering him as a fun value play in the hopes he can get hot, though. This is a great game environment for the way he plays and he’s played well against Golden State this year, pouring in 30 and 24 points in two different games.
Golden State can defend well, but coming off the bench should give Gordon the green light in this one and let him fire away from deep. Using these two guys keeps my off of a guy like Clint Capela, but if you don’t mind rolling the dice on a true spare like Gerald Green and the like, that’s certainly an option to consider.
Overall, I’m starting things off by fading the two most expensive options. How you order them is up to you, but I think Curry is an elite pivot and he’s always capable of just going nuts. If he can have a vintage Curry outing, I’ll be off to an amazing start.
I tend to favor the Dubs here as a whole, as I think they’ll come in pretty disrespected and eager to prove they should be the true favorites in game one and in this series as a whole.
Whether you roll with my NBA DFS picks or not, I wish you luck in your daily fantasy basketball contests at FanDuel tonight!