After a much-needed victory in Game 4, Golden State has notched the Finals at two games apiece as the series shifts back to San Francisco.
Let’s dive into some of the top plays on the slate using the FantasyLabs Tools and metrics.
Note: Projections and Leverages Scores/Ratings may change throughout the day after this article is posted. The NBA DFS landscape changes quickly. Consult the Player Models directly for any updates as we get closer to lock.
NBA DFS Stud Picks
This is a top-heavy player pool, and there are only three players I’d consider playing as my MVP (FanDuel) or Captain (DraftKings). Stephen Curry and Jayson Tatum are in a tier of their own, followed by Jaylen Brown.
Some additional strategy goes into the Captain’s selection on DraftKings, and Matt LaMarca does a great job breaking that down here.
Curry is the clear top option on this slate. After injuring his foot in Game 3, he came out and willed his team to victory in a must-win Game 4 with 43 points, 10 rebounds, four dimes and seven triples. It was his second 40-point Finals game, and he became the third-oldest player in NBA history to score that many in a Finals game, behind only Michael Jordan and LeBron James. Draymond Green’s offense looks putrid, Klay Thompson looks like a shell of himself, and Jordan Poole is averaging less than 25 minutes a night. Other than Andrew Wiggins’ strong contributions, Curry has had to carry the offensive load, and he’s posted 34.3 points, 6.3 boards, 3.8 dimes, 2.0 steals and 6.3 triples per contest. Expect him to be at his best tonight with a chance to take a 3-2 series lead in front of the Bay Area faithful.
It hasn’t been smooth sailing for Tatum, who’s shot just 34.1% from the field in this series. He’s averaged an impressive 22.3 points, 7.0 rebounds, 7.8 assists, 1.0 steal and 3.5 triples across four contests despite the shooting woes, and he’s racked up plenty of fantasy points thanks to his work on the boards and as a facilitator. After a 12-point showing in Game 1, he’s tallied at least 23 points in each of the last three. Tatum is on par with Curry from a ceiling perspective, as he’s scored at least 50 fantasy points in 10-of-22 contests and at least 60 twice in the playoffs.
Jaylen Brown has posted 22.3 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 2.8 triples per contest in this series while shooting 44.0% from the field. He’s topped 50 fantasy points only twice in the playoffs. While Brown’s ceiling isn’t as high as Tatum’s, he’s been a bit more consistent on a game-to-game basis. Make no mistake; Brown has the upside to pay off for owners who select him as the MVP or Captain on tonight’s slate.
NBA DFS Midrange Picks
Andrew Wiggins has been right there with Curry as the consistent glue guys throughout the Finals, and he added an exclamation point in a must-win Game 4 with a career-high 16 rebounds. He’s scored at least 35 fantasy points in three of four games and averaged 16.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 2.3 combined blocks/steals in that span. He’s also recorded multiple blocks in two contests as a premier defensive stopper. Wiggins is just below Brown in terms of ceiling, but much like his real-life play, he’s become a glue guy in DFS, thanks to his steady and solid work as a scorer, rebounder and defender.
Marcus Smart has scored at least 35 fantasy points in three of four Finals games and went off for 18 points, four rebounds, five assists, four steals and three triples in Game 4, his best showing. He’s often a third or fourth option on offense and has seen his assist numbers dwindle thanks to Tatum’s work as a facilitator, but Smart’s excellent 3-and-D skillset serves him well in DFS contests.
Klay Thompson has eclipsed 30 fantasy points and 20 real points only once in the Finals, and he just hasn’t looked like himself. Thompson’s efficiency has been pedestrian at 35.8% from the field and 34.2% from beyond the arc. He’s a better option on DraftKings thanks to his 3.3 triples per contest, but there’s still plenty of risk with adding him to lineups. That said, his ability to get red hot from the field makes him a hard player to fade.
Draymond Green topped 30 fantasy points in two Finals games and only had one bad showing in Game 3 when he finished with two points, four boards, three dimes and a block. He’s averaged 7.3 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 2.3 combined blocks/steals despite posting just 4.3 points and making less than a quarter of his shots in the Finals.
Al Horford erupted for 26 points in Game 1 but just 21 total over the next three combined. He’s averaged 11.8 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.3 triples while shooting better than 56% from the field and 3-point range in the Finals. His upside will take a hit if Robert Williams is good to go tonight.
After logging 31 minutes in Game 4, Robert Williams is once again questionable due to a knee injury that’s hampered him for most of the playoffs. He averaged 7.5 points, 11.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 2.0 steals and 3.0 blocks in Games 3 and 4 and has proven to be an X-factor on both ends of the court. The Celtics’ only blowout loss in the Finals occurred in Game 2 when he only played 14 minutes. Keep an eye on his status, as his availability affects the upside of guys like Daniel Theis, Grant Williams and Horford.
Kevon Looney averaged over 30 fantasy points at home and just over 20 on the road in the Finals. Those numbers work out to 8.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 3.5 combined blocks/steals at home compared to 6.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.0 combined blocks/steals on the road. He’s on the lower end of pricing for guys who can put up 30+ points.
After averaging 18.4 points, 3.2 rebounds and 4.5 assists across 30.1 minutes in the Western Conference playoffs, Jordan Poole has seen his counting stats and playing time diminish significantly in the Finals. Through four games against Boston, he’s averaged just 12.5 points, 2.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists across 23.3 minutes per contest. Despite the dropoff in production, he’s still a viable option due to his lowered price tag.
Derrick White has made quite an impact off the bench in the playoffs, and he’s averaged a healthy 14.0 points, 1.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.6 combined blocks/steals and 2.5 threes through four Finals games.
NBA DFS Values & Punts
- Grant Williams ($3,800 on DraftKings, $8,000 on FanDuel): He averaged over 30 minutes and just over 15 fantasy points against Miami, but he’s played averaged just 17.5 minutes and just over 10 fantasy points in the Finals. He’s the only Celtic in play tonight at this price point.
- Otto Porter ($5,000 on DraftKings, $7,500 on FanDuel): Steve Kerr shuffled the starting lineup in Game 4 and swapped Otto Porter in for Kevon Looney. Porter proceeded to have his worst game of the Finals with just two points, one rebound and one dime across 14 minutes.
- Gary Payton II ($3,400 on DraftKings, $7,500 on FanDuel): GPII isn’t playing much, but he still went for five points, four rebounds, one steal, one block and one assist across 10 minutes in Game 4. He’s a dart-throw play who can rack up fantasy points with limited minutes.
- Nemanja Bjelica ($1,400 on DraftKings, $7,000 on FanDuel): He played a Finals-high 11 minutes in Game 2 and has logged just 13 combined minutes in Games 1, 3 and 4. In Game 2, he posted six points, five boards and a steal. I won’t be playing him on FanDuel, but at just $2,100 on DraftKings, he’s in play as a salary-saver.