FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Thursday 6/3/21

The NBA scene changes on a week-to-week, day-to-day, and -- depending on injury news -- even a minute-to-minute basis, making every slate a unique one that requires an ever-changing approach.

With so much changing so quickly, we're here with plenty of tools to help you out. We have daily projections, a matchup heat map, a lineup optimizer, and a bunch of other great resources to help give you an edge.

Daily fantasy NBA is very reliant on opportunity, so you'll need to make sure that you're up-to-date with key injuries and COVID-19 situations. Our projections update up until tip-off to reflect current news and we also have player news updates.

We'll also be coming at you with this primer every day, breaking down a few of the day's top plays at each position.

Please note: When I'm referencing a player's value figure, it is the number of fantasy points scored for every $1,000 in salary. Typically, a value figure of 5.0 (meaning, 5.0 FanDuel points for every $1,000 in salary) is the minimum baseline we'll be targeting.

Let's take a look at who you should target on tonight's two-game playoff slate, which locks at 8:00 PM Eastern.

All injury updates are via the NBA's official injury report or numberFire's player news.

Point Guard

Damian Lillard ($11,000) - It's damn near impossible to describe just how unreal Lillard was in Game 5. I mean, 55 points on 24 shots, 12 threes, 10 assists, 4 steals plus blocks...just ridiculous. All of that resulted in an output of 88.2 FanDuel points. Now, if you cast aside the Game 4 blowout, Dame has amassed at least 51.9 fantasy points in each of the other four games of the series. Our algorithm has him outscoring the next closest point guard by 18.4 FanDuel points.

Cameron Payne ($5,400) - The shoulder injury to Chris Paul in the opener of the series against the Los Angeles Lakers has sparked a bump in minutes and volume for Payne. The 26-year-old has averaged 32.5 fantasy points over the last four games, including a low-water mark of 25.3. Paul appeared to aggravate his injury in Game 5, which means Payne's role should be secure. He's numberFire's top-projected point-per-dollar play at the point.

Shooting Guard

Devin Booker ($8,400) - There are essentially only three viable options at the two-guard position tonight, which means you'll likely have to decide between Booker and C.J. McCollum ($8,000). Booker's ceiling makes this an easy call for me, especially in tournaments. The All-Star has put up 47.9 and 51.4 FanDuel points in two of the five games this series, and with CP3 ailing, he'll likely have to shoulder a larger role if the Phoenix Suns want to close it out in six.

Austin Rivers ($5,000) - Torrey Craig ($3,600) does have some viability tonight, but he has a lineup-killing floor without much of a ceiling. Meanwhile, Rivers has produced 18 and 21 real-life points in two of his last three efforts, and those resulted in 28.7 and 31.8 FanDuel points respectively. That's just about the best we can hope for at a salary in the $5,000 range tonight.

Small Forward

Michael Porter Jr. ($7,600) - LeBron James hasn't shown enough upside to warrant a salary of $10,600, so passing on him tonight is a strategy worth considering. MPJ's series has been a rollercoaster so far, as he erupted for 47.9 FanDuel points on Tuesday after managing a combined 29.5 in the previous two contests. The Portland Trail Blazers struggled to contain small forwards to close out the season, ranking 25th against the position over their last 30 games, according to FantasyPros.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($4,200) - Caldwell-Pope is questionable at the moment, but he is an intriguing target in tournaments if he does suit up. Even if Anthony Davis plays, he'll be far from 100%, which means the Lakers will need offense from another source if they're to force a Game 7. KCP hasn't done much of anything in this series, though he was racking up fantasy totals in the 20s regularly prior to the postseason.

Power Forward

Aaron Gordon ($5,600) - Gordon has garnered at least 22.3 fantasy points in four of the five games against the Blazers, topping out at 32.0 in the Denver Nuggets' Game 5 overtime win. numberFire's models expect him to remain productive, as he's predicted to finish as the second-best value play on tonight's two-game slate.

JaMychal Green ($3,700) - We're going to need to save some serious cap at multiple spots tonight, and rostering Green is one way to get there. The 30-year-old is averaging 1.03 FanDuel points per minute over his last two games, and that's resulted in fantasy outputs of 19.4 and 23.0. At tonight's salary, Green would only need 18.5 to accrue five-times value (or 5.0 fantasy points for every $1,000 in salary).


Nikola Jokic ($10,800) - Overshadowed by Dame's insane performance was Jokic dropping a near 38-point triple-double to go with 77.7 FanDuel points. The likely MVP has accumulated at least 53.7 fantasy points in all but one game this series, and he should have no trouble doing so again tonight. For what it's worth, our algo projects Jusuf Nurkic ($7,500) to be the top point-per-dollar play on tonight's slate, though he will likely be far more chalky than the Joker.