FanDuel Single-Game Basketball Helper: Celtics at Clippers (11/20/19)

Kemba Walker and the Celtics hit the road to face the Clippers. Who stands out on FanDuel?

In a traditional FanDuel NBA lineup, you have a $60,000 salary cap to roster nine players: a center and two point guards, shooting guards, small forwards, and power forwards. Among those nine players, the top eight scores will count toward your team's total.

In the single-game setup, the salary cap is the same, but the lineup requirements are different. You select five players of any position. One of your player selections will be your MVP, whose FanDuel points are multiplied by two. You also select a STAR player (whose production is multiplied by 1.5) and a PRO (multiplied by 1.2). Two UTIL players round out the roster, and they don't receive a multiplier to their production.

This makes the five players you select important in more than one way, as you need to focus on slotting in the best plays in the multiplier slots rather than just nailing the best overall plays of the game.

Celtics at Clippers Overview

Tonight, the Celtics and Clippers square off in a game that favors Los Angeles by 5.0 points. Both teams are top-11 in defensive rating, so we could be looking at a tight, low-scoring affair.

Injuries and What-Ifs

As usual, Kawhi Leonard ($16,500) is questionable and has not played for three straight games. Without Leonard, the Clippers' defense drops in efficiency. They allow 107.3 points per 100 possessions rather than 96.1 with him. A lot of the Clippers' usage and Celtics' matchups hinge on Leonard's status.

Marcus Smart ($11,500) sprained his ankle on Monday, an injury that doesn't seem to be be too serious but that could cause him to miss the game. In that event, minutes would open up for the Celtics' guards.

Player Breakdowns

At the Top
Kawhi Leonard ($16,500) - If Leonard plays, we'll be dealing with some uncertain usage splits between he and George, but we do know that Leonard has a 35.7% usage rate on the full season to rank him second behind only James Harden (39.8%) among qualified players. Returning from injury, he could see limited minutes but still demands MVP consideration in his return.

Paul George ($14,500) - George has a 38.6% usage rate without Leonard on the court (so, all of his minutes) and has played 24, 20, and 29 minutes in his three games since returning. The minutes aren't great, but he still has 17, 17, and 14 shot attempts in those and deserves plenty of MVP consideration if Leonard sits. George rates out as the best value in this game, according to numberFire's projections. If Leonard plays, they could stagnate minutes and reduce George's workload, so perhaps the Celtics have more appeal at the top end.

Kemba Walker ($14,000) - Walker will have to deal with Patrick Beverley's defense tonight but still ranks second in projected per-dollar FanDuel points, according to numberFire. Walker owns a 27.5% usage rate and a per-minute average of 1.16 FanDuel points. If Leonard comes back to muck up the Clippers' usage, Walker has some intriguing pivot appeal as the MVP.

Jayson Tatum ($13,500) - Tatum is another option if avoiding the Clippers for the MVP or STAR slot due to usage questions. Tatum puts up 1.09 FanDuel points per minute and should play minutes into the low 30s. With a usage rate of 26.4%, Tatum has a high floor and high ceiling.

Jaylen Brown ($13,000) - Would be a key piece if Smart sits. Brown averages 1.06 FanDuel points per minute and has at least 16 shot attempts in six straight games. He is part of numberFire's optimal lineup for this single-game set.

In the Middle
Louis Williams ($12,000) - Williams has a 33.1% usage rate without Leonard and always has spike potential due to his sometimes elevated shot volume (22, 20, 13, 12 the past four games). If Leonard misses, Williams gets a huge boost.

Patrick Beverley ($10,000) - Beverley as a fantasy producer doesn't stand out much, especially if he'd be behind Leonard and George in the pecking order, but he should see assured minutes after playing 34 in his return on Monday night. The safety is valuable in a format like this, as we need production from all five players.

Daniel Theis ($9,500) - Theis has played 22, 22, and 28 minutes in his past three games, good enough for him to pay off his typical salary, as he has had 7, 10, and 11 boards in those three games. The Clippers do rank second in rebounding rate, but very few cheap options in this game have a guaranteed path to minutes.

At the Bottom
JaMychal Green ($8,000) - Green has clung to 20 minutes per game in his past three but has just a 12.5% usage rate while sharing the floor with Paul George. Still, with a decent 0.84 FanDuel points-per-minute rate, he can do something in limited action if spending down on multiple players.

Robert Williams ($6,500) - Our algorithm loves Williams tonight. In just 18.8 projected minutes, Williams is set for 18.7 FanDuel points, a good return for the price. Williams is a pretty elite per-minute producer (1.27 FanDuel points), so he has plenty of appeal even without a huge workload. Very few cheap options are projectable for strong roles in this game, so Williams really pops.


If Leonard misses, then we have a go-to option with George. The minutes could be capped again, but he's trending up overall.

With a lack of clear-cut value outside of Robert Williams, a more balanced approach seems like a good way to go initially. Especially if Marcus Smart were to miss, the Celtics' top options would get a boost, and they -- particularly Tatum and Brown -- are affordable. The spread points to the Clippers, but the salaries and roster construction point to a possible Celtics-heavy approach.

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