FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: NBA Finals Game 3
In a traditional FanDuel NBA lineup, you have a $60,000 salary cap to roster nine players. 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 players 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.
Lakers at Heat Overview
The Los Angeles Lakers have looked nothing short of dominant in the first two games of this series. They have cruised to a 2-0 series lead with an average margin of victory of 14 points, and LA sits just two wins away from setting the NBA record with an 18th championship. The Miami Heat have scrapped and clawed all season long, and they need a huge victory Sunday to get back into the series.
FanDuel Sportsbook is not optimistic for the injury-riddled Heat, as the Lakers currently sit as 8.5-point favorites to win Game 3. Interestingly enough, the total for this game is sitting at just 218.5. While that is higher than the Game 1 total of 214, the teams struggled defensively in Game 2 and scored a total of 238 points. Anything close to that would smash the over.
Injuries and What-Ifs
As has been well-documented in the lead up to this game, Miami is struggling badly with injuries. Goran Dragic is doubtful for Game 3 as he continues to nurse a torn tendon in his foot, and his outlook for this series is bleak. Kendrick Nunn was the biggest beneficiary of Dragic sitting, as he logged 29 minutes after playing just 22 minutes in all of the last series.
The best news for the Heat is that starting center Bam Adebayo will return for this contest, likely handling his normal workload with his bad shoulder. That should relegate Kelly Olynyk, who played 37 minutes off the bench, back to his more normal role, where he averaged 10 minutes per game last series against the Boston Celtics.
At The Top
LeBron James ($16,000): LeBron had a special Game 2, as he often does in the Finals, posting 33 points, 9 rebounds, and 9 assists. LeBron led in usage rate (28.9%), meaning that his production was a justification of the offense running through him. His salary is the highest on the board for a reason, as he remains a triple-double threat in every single game. He's a great MVP choice.
Anthony Davis ($15,000): James is actually not the highest projected player by our model for Sunday. That distinction belongs to teammate Anthony Davis, who is projected for 56.2 FanDuel points at a lower salary. Davis is shooting a remarkable 65.7% from the field through two games and has been a tough matchup for Miami given that he has added 11.5 rebounds per game, as well. His rebounding gives him a floor should this game turn into a blowout, which makes Davis a fantastic MVP option.
Jimmy Butler ($13,500): Without Adebayo and Dragic, Butler had to answer the call as the do-it-all option on Friday, as evidenced by his 28.3% usage rate, which lead Miami in Game 2. Butler played a heavy 45 of 48 minutes in the contest, and worth noting, he made the most of them. Butler now is averaging 24 points per game in the series on an efficient 51.7% shooting, and he posted a playoff career-high 13 assists on Friday. With Adebayo still on the mend, Butler is likely to be leaned on again, and he seems like a great fit next to Davis in more of a studs-and-scrubs approach.
Bam Adebayo ($13,000): When it comes to the general competitiveness in the series for the Heat, Adebayo's return could not have come soon enough. From a fantasy perspective, Adebayo has been Miami's top option at 1.15 FanDuel points per minute this postseason, and he makes for an interesting option given his injury. The injury is to Adebayo's non-shooting shoulder, but it may affect his rebounding ability. Given those concerns, he probably won't be a popular MVP play, making him an intriguing tournament option at this salary.
In The Middle
Tyler Herro ($11,000): Herro started as the de facto point guard for Miami on Friday, and while he was mocked for his -35 plus/minus rating after struggling on defense in Game 1, Herro played well in 43 minutes on Friday. Herro scored 17 points but took just 12 shots, which was the third-most on the Heat. He likely absorbs more usage tonight as Olynyk, who posted a 26.0% usage rate in Game 2, probably won't spend as much time on the court with Adebayo returning. Duncan Robinson was limited to just 21 minutes, so it appears Herro is the preferred option at shooting guard, and the rookie should see heavy minutes again at this mid-tier salary.
Kendrick Nunn ($10,000): The Rookie of the Year contender had been quiet in the playoffs after exiting the bubble multiple times, but Nunn did more on Friday with Goran Dragic out. Since Dragic's second quarter injury in Game 1, Nunn has played 49 of a total 72 minutes, meaning his standing in the rotation is stable. Nunn has not scored many fantasy points despite a solid 20.0% usage rate, but he continues to see court time late in the fourth quarter.
Jae Crowder ($9,500): For a role player like Crowder, losing a playmaker like Goran Dragic can be detrimental offensively, and in a small one-game sample, that appeared to be the case in Game 2. Crowder only took six shots after averaging 10.1 shots in the previous seven playoff contests, and his role has been cut short with blowouts in each of the first two games. Neither of those situations have changed, but our model forecasts Crowder to turn it around Sunday with 28.4 FanDuel points in 33 minutes.
At The Bottom
Rajon Rondo ($9,000): With such comfortable margins of victory thus far, the Lakers have not needed to lean on Rondo, but he has still been tremendously productive in his court time. He is actually second on the Lakers in FanDuel points per minute in the series at 1.34, which included an eruption of 34.8 FanDuel points in Game 2. Rondo has averaged 25 minutes per game even with two blowouts, so with his productive role set in stone, he is a fantastic play at this salary.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($8,500): It has been KCP, not the veteran Danny Green, who has played the most time on the wing for the Lakers this series. Caldwell-Pope has been given at least 30 minutes in both games. KCP has always been a stalwart on defense, but his role on offense is expanding. He has averaged double figures in points in the series despite just shooting 29.3% from the field, and that comes from opportunity. He makes for an interesting tournament option given his potential scoring upside if he were to begin shooting the ball well.
Andre Iguodala ($8,500): As a former Finals MVP, due in large part to his work defending LeBron James, Iguodala has been leaned on in this series, as he has played at least 25 minutes in both games despite eclipsing that mark just twice in the previous 11 games. The issue is that Iguodala is generally a low-volume fantasy option at this point, averaging just 0.69 FanDuel points per minute this postseason. He sees the most court time of punts in this range but will need to match his Game 1 total of 24 FanDuel points to be worth it in tournaments.
-- Anthony Davis is the top projected option on the slate by our model.
-- Kelly Olynyk saw 37 minutes and 26.0% usage rate in Game 2, but he will likely see a step back in both with Bam Adebayo returning to the lineup in Game 3.
--Tyler Herro has separated from Duncan Robinson in the Heat's backcourt, averaging 36.5 minutes per game in the series to Robinson's 24.5 minutes per game thus far.
-- Rajon Rondo, not Davis, is second to LeBron in FanDuel points per minute on the Lakers. Rondo has a far lower salary than his other ball-dominant teammates, and he's been productive despite getting only 24.5 minutes per game.
Austin Swaim is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Austin Swaim also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username ASwaim3. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.