NBA DFS Picks: FanDuel Plays and Strategy for Thursday, June 1

NBA DFS Picks: FanDuel Plays and Strategy for Thursday, June 1

This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.

After an Eastern Conference Finals for the ages, the NBA Finals are finally set to get underway Thursday night at Ball Arena. The rest disparity between the Heat and Nuggets – seven days – is especially expansive, and leaves Miami and Denver to worry about fatigue and rust, respectively. 

With just one game on the ledger, we're dealing with FanDuel's single-game contest rosters, which are comprised as follows: 

  • MVP- (Garners points at 2x the normal rate)
  • STAR- (Garners points at 1.5x the normal rate)
  • PRO- (Garners points at 1.2x the normal rate)
  • Two Utility spots- (Garner points at normal rate) 

With salaries also being different than in conventional FanDuel contests on multi-game slates and top players inevitably headed for heavy rostering, there are definitely strategic elements particular to single-game lineups. Finding key value plays for the two utility spots is undoubtedly key, as it enables you to fill out the multiplier spots with some of the top projected producers. 

Slate Overview 

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The Nuggets, which have yet to lose a home postseason game in eight tries, have unsurprisingly been installed as 9-point favorites as of late Wednesday.

The projected total of 219 points is a relatively modest total but seems to factor in the length of time between games for each team. 

Injury Situations to Monitor  

For all the latest updates, visit RotoWire's NBA Injury News page and our comprehensive NBA Injury Report.

Tyler Herro, MIA (hand): OUT

Herro has been putting up shots before games, but he remains out for Thursday's series opener.

Elite Players 

The two highest-salaried players on the slate are Nikola Jokic ($17,500) and Jimmy Butler ($16,000). Jokic is the clear-cut top candidate for the MVP spot, but Butler is an interesting pivot who certainly doesn't lack in upside. Whichever of the two doesn't make the cut in your lineup is naturally very viable for the STAR spot. 

Jokic has averaged 63.7 FD points through 15 postseason games, and he's put up an even better 69.1 in the last nine. The perennial MVP candidate has eclipsed 70 FD points on six occasions during that latter span, and he produced tallies of 53.4 and 54.4 FD points against the Heat in two regular-season games. 

Butler's shot went mostly cold over the last five games of the ECF, as he drained just 38.7 percent of his attempts during that span. He still eclipsed 50 FD points on three occasions in the sample with the help of a couple of double-digit free-throw-attempt tallies, but he shot just 41.9 percent in two games against the Nuggets this regular season. 

Expected Chalk

With only one game on the ledger, the likes of Jamal Murray ($15,500), Bam Adebayo ($13,000), Michael Porter ($12,500) and Caleb Martin ($12,000) should also be very popular. All four players make for very viable options for the STAR or PRO spots.

Murray is a borderline MVP Spot candidate as well and averaged 55.9 FD points in the WCF while shooting 52.9 percent, including 40.5 percent from three-point range.

Adebayo had a pair of down games against the Celtics in the ECF, but he's still scored 33.1 FD points or more in 10 of the last 12 games.

Porter scored 30.5 FD points or more in three of the last four games against the Lakers in the WCF, and he's eclipsed 30 FD points on six occasions since Game 3 of the semifinal round versus the Suns.

Martin has developed into nearly as dependable an offensive option as Butler, and after being inserted into the starting five in Games 6 and 7 of the conference finals, he averaged 45 FD points on 62.1 percent shooting, including 57.1 percent from behind the arc. 

Key Values 

The following players make for strong candidates for the Utility spots:  

Bruce Brown, DEN ($9,500) 

Brown has proven to be quite the sixth man during the postseason, and he averaged 28.6 FD points across 29.6 minutes off the bench from Game 5 of the semifinal-round series against the Suns through Game 3 of the WCF against the Lakers. The veteran also averaged 14.5 points on 55.0 percent shooting, including 41.7 percent from behind the arc, in two regular-season games against the Heat, and Miami checks in allowing 48.0 percent shooting on the road in the postseason. 

Gabe Vincent, MIA ($8,500) 

Vincent appears to be past the ankle sprain he suffered in Game 5 of the ECF against the Celtics, as he played through a questionable tag in Game 6 and didn't have an injury designation for Game 7. Vincent averaged just 19 FD points on 35.7 percent shooting in that pair of contests, but he's eclipsed 24 FD points on seven occasions in 16 postseason games and makes for a solid value play at his salary after a couple of days of rest. 

ALSO CONSIDER: Aaron Gordon, DEN ($10,000); Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, DEN ($7,500)

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Juan Carlos Blanco plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: jcblanco22, FanDuel: jc_blanco22, DraftPot: jc_blanco22, FantasyDraft: jc_blanco22, OwnThePlay: jcblanco22.
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Juan Carlos Blanco
Winner of the FSWA 2016 Newcomer of the Year Award, Juan Carlos Blanco has been playing fantasy sports for over 20 years and covers NBA, MLB, NFL, CFL and Arena Football for, including serving as the beat writer for teams in multiple sports. He has previously written for and remains an avid season-long and daily fantasy player in multiple sports as well.
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