This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
With the playoffs at the point where there is just one game per day, Fanduel has created an easily digestible, five-man format with modified scoring, so you don't have to decide whether to use Semi Ojeleye or Jose Calderon as your ninth man. It breaks down as follows:
MVP: 2x points
STAR: 1.5x points
PRO: 1.2x points
Below, I'll be outlining the five-man combination that I think presents the most upside.
LeBron James ($20,000)
This doesn't require much explanation. LeBron has been dominant at home throughout the entire playoffs, averaging 63.7 fantasy points at Quicken Loans Arena. During this current series, he's averaging 56.8 fantasy points at home via 30.8 points, 8.2 assists, 7.4 rebounds and a combined 2.0 steals/blocks per game. He's also had two 60-plus fantasy point outings in this series, one at home and one on the road. Ultimately, with the Cavs on the brink of elimination at home, I'm banking on LeBron to have an all-time performance.
Al Horford ($13,500)
It's tempting to go Kevin Love (also $13,500) here. While I don't think either choice is significantly better than the other, Horford gets the nod from me due to his upside. He's generally been a reliable scorer, reaching at least 15 points in all but one game during the series. He's not as great on the boards as Love, but has reached double-digits twice in that category. When it comes to defense and passing, however, Horford has the advantage. Assists, steals and blocks are the most valuable stats in fantasy, and Horford has shown his ability to rack up all three. Though he's only mustered two assists over the past two games, he handed out 14 through the first three games. Horford is also averaging a combined 1.8 blocks/steals per tilt in the series. If everything comes together Friday, we could be looking at another performance like Game 2, where the veteran posted 45.0 fantasy points via 15 points, 10 boards, four assists, two steals and two blocks.
Jaylen Brown ($12,000)
Brown is pricey but has only had one bad outing -- Game 3, in which he registered 13.9 fantasy points in 21 minutes. Taking that contest out of the equation, Brown is averaging 35.2 fantasy points in the series. Even accounting for Game 3, he's posting 19.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists and a combined 1.4 steals/blocks per contest. If you're looking to separate yourself from the pack, putting Brown in the STAR spot and slotting Horford in at PRO could pay dividends. It's risky, but the potential is certainly there for Brown to be the best player for the Celtics on any given night.
Aron Baynes ($8,500)
These two final utility spots is where we have to do some reaching. It's difficult to find someone as reliable as Baynes in the sub-$10,000 price bracket, however. Throughout the series, he's averaging 21.4 fantasy points in 22.2 minutes via 6.8 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per tilt, while never registering fewer than 17.7 fantasy points. He's a great glue guy for this five-man format to help keep your floor relatively high.
Jordan Clarkson ($6,000)
Believe me, I didn't want to do this. But, of all the minimum priced options on the slate, he presents the best upside. Think of it as a fun wild card. Brushing aside his -1.0 fantasy point effort when he saw four minutes during Game 4, Clarkson has had no qualms about firing shots off. In Games 1, 3 and 5 combined, he took 32 shots (16 threes), totaling 40.2 fantasy points. Maybe, maybe, he'll hit some of them during Game 6.