Oftentimes what actually happens in a sporting event could differ significantly in the fantasy landscape. There is a good chance that the Milwaukee Bucks win Game 6 tonight and become the new NBA Champions, that Giannis Antetokounmpo will be named the NBA Finals MVP.
However, it has been Khris Middleton that has stolen the show in the DFS world during the last two games with his generous multiplier and lower ownership. On the other side, there has been much emphasis on Phoenix’s most recognizable names such as Chris Paul, Devin Booker, and DeAndre Ayton but it has been Jae Crowder, the forgotten starter, who has quietly put up decent numbers with a very high multiplier and a plethora of minutes. It is up to you how you approach tonight’s slate. You can focus on reality or play DFS for what it truly is, a fantasy.
Low-Multiplier Building Block
Khris Middleton (1.3x // 1.95x)
Giannis seems like the logical choice as a building block for your roster construction. After all, he is averaging 32.2 ppg, 13 rbg, and 5.6 apg during these NBA Finals while shooting 61.2% from the field and playing 39.3 minutes per game. He is arguably the NBA Finals MVP should he lead the Bucks to victory tonight. However, we are talking about DFS basketball here and a multiplier of just 1x will limit his upside when it comes to fantasy production.
On the other hand, Khris Middleton, who is in the “Scottie Pippen” role, is the one we should consider as a foundation for our DFS lineups tonight. His NBA Finals numbers are not as high as Giannis’s but they are still very strong: 25.4 ppg, 6.6 rbg, and 5.4 apg. He is shooting the ball well with a field goal percentage of 44.6% and is seeing 42.8 minutes per game. What separates him from Giannis is his ability to shoot threes, which provides an extra 0.5 SuperDraft points, and of course a multiplier that is 30% greater than Giannis’.
While Giannis is more likely than Middleton to earn a double-double and rack up steals and blocks, we can’t accurately predict such counting stats since Giannis had five combined steals and blocks in Game 4 but just 1 in Game 5. Given that Middleton has attempted 14 more field goals than Giannis during the last two games and is on the floor more often, Middleton needs to be the guy we build our lineups around, especially with lower ownership and a higher multiplier.
Jae Crowder (1.75x // 2.65x)
With so much focus on the Big Three for Phoenix (Paul, Booker, and Ayton), Crowder has been largely ignored in most daily fantasy contests with suppressed ownership during the NBA Finals. All Crowder has done from Games 2 – 5 is reach double digits in points each time while shooting 56% from behind the arc. Unlike other sharpshooters in the NBA postseason who are mainly one dimensional, Crowder provides several other counting stats with 5 – 6 rpg, 3 – 4 apg, and typically 2 – 3 combined steals and blocks per game all the while playing nearly 40 minutes per game, and hardly turning over the ball.
Clearly, Crowder has found his groove in the NBA Finals. For Rounds 1 – 3, Crowder reached double digits in points just 7 times out of 16 contests. He also had some abysmal nights shooting the ball and was largely a non-factor in the Western Conference Finals. The opposite has been true in the NBA Finals for Crowder and win or lose tonight, count on Crowder to separate your lineups from the rest of the crowd.
Chris Paul (1.2x // 1.8x)
The numbers don’t lie. Over the last three games, Paul is averaging 16.7 ppg, 9 apg, and 2 rpg, good for just 32.5 SuperDraft points per game. During the prior 10 games (entire series against Denver, Games 3 – 6 against the Clippers, and Games 1 & 2 of the NBA Finals), Paul had averaged 48.6 SuperDraft points per game.
Of course, the Suns were very successful during that 10 game stretch going 8-2 with an average point differential of +8.9 points per game. Now the Suns are on a 3 game losing streak with an average margin of defeat of -10 points per game. The Bucks are a 4.5 point favorite tonight and look to secure their first NBA title in 50 years on their homecourt. The reality is that Paul disappears when the Suns’ bright light fades and fade Paul you shall do.
You are playing fantasy basketball. The reality is that Giannis is most likely the NBA Finals MVP if the Bucks win tonight. However, if you want to win in fantasy, Middleton is your Champion while Crowder offers some sneaky upside. Forget about Paul who is running on empty.
This article expresses the personal views of the writer and does not reflect the view(s) of SuperDraft in any way.