This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
The Finals are upon us and while we're stuck with one-game slates from here on out, FanDuel will continue to offer contests. Thursday's, specifically, will go with five roster spots, and the scoring will be based on the following: MVP (2x points), STAR (1.5x points), PRO (1.2x points) and two UTILITY spots. With all that in mind, let's take a look at some suggestions for each roster spot.
LeBron James, CLE ($18,888): James is easily the highest priced player on the slate, currently sitting over $2,000 more than Kevin Durant. If this were a full slate during the regular season, that'd likely prompt me to fade him altogether. However, with just one game scheduled and it being the Finals, it's going to be very hard to stray away from James. He's easily been the most consistent of any player during the playoffs and his supporting cast hasn't gotten any better, so James is going to have to do the heavy lifting. In the Cavs' seven-game series against the Celtics, James averaged 58.2 FanDuel points, with his high-point mark coming as an 81-point outing in Game 6. With the pressure on and not a lot of help elsewhere on the roster, look for James to dominate the touches.
Draymond Green, GS ($13,500): Green reportedly sprained his right ankle in Game 7 against the Rockets, though I don't anticipate that ailment hampering him or keeping him out of the Finals opener. He did struggle to provide much offense last series against the Rockets, but was an absolute force elsewhere across the stat sheet with averages of 11.7 rebounds, 7.0 assists, 2.2 steals and 1.8 blocks. Overall, he averaged 40.8 FanDuel points and I fully expect that number to rise against a Cavalier defense that has a lot more holes and no Clint Capela clogging the lane. Green has already surpassed 50 FanDuel points five times in the playoffs thus far, all against teams with much better defenses than Cleveland.
Klay Thompson, GS ($11,000): Thompson can be hit or miss at times, with the bulk of his production coming from his scoring potential. However, he ended the Rockets series on fire, finishing the final two games with an average of 27.0 points, while shooting 58.3 percent from the field and a ridiculous 57.1 percent from deep. For that reason, I'm going to try and grab him while he's hot and while the Warriors are at home, where Thompson should be more comfortable. I certainly think the likes of James, Green, Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry will all out-score him when it comes to FanDuel points, though if you can fit Thompson in as that third option, you should be in good shape.
Tristan Thompson, CLE ($9,000): Yes, I realize the Warriors gave up the least amount of FanDuel points to the center position this season, but you still have to pay down somewhere on this slate and I think Thompson has as much upside as most of the others priced near him. Thompson averaged just below a double-double during the last series against the Celtics with 7.4 points and 8.0 rebounds across 28.0 minutes. He'll have to deal with some Draymond Green, which certainly doesn't help his fantasy value, but there will also likely be times where he's matched up with Kevon Looney or maybe Jordan Bell, which is when Thompson can bully his way into all those boards that we've come accustomed to seeing. Again, his upside isn't great, but it's better than others near his price, so he's worth the risk.
Jeff Green, CLE ($7,000): Green is about as cheap as I'd go on this slate, as you're left with a lot of poor options below. The value here likely depends on whether or not Kevin Love plays, who as of Tuesday, was still in the league's concussion protocol. Monitor Love's status all the way up until tip-off and if he does sit out, Green essentially becomes a must play. In the final two games of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Celtics with Love out, Green averaged 16.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.5 blocks across 36.5 minutes, which was good enough for 28.9 FanDuel points. He'll be far and away the best value with that sort of production, so keep an eye on the injury report through pregame warmups.