FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: NBA Finals Game 6
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
Against the odds, Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat stayed alive on Friday with a 111-108 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers, which put the champagne on hold for Los Angeles. The Lakers still hold a 3-2 series advantage entering Game 6 of the 2020 NBA Finals on Sunday.
The Lakers have been heavily favored in each game all series, but surprisingly, this game sits with Los Angeles as just 5.0-point favorites, which is the smallest spread of the entire series. The total on FanDuel Sportsbook sits at only 214.5, even with four of five contests so far exceeding that total. The low total is likely due to the Lakers and Heat posting only a 93.50 rating in pace in Game 5, which normally would have resulted in a total far lower than 219 if the teams did not combine to shoot an efficient 46% from the field.
Injuries and What-Ifs
Anthony Davis leaving Game 5 temporarily due to a heel injury is the biggest question mark for the Lakers. While he finished the game, he seemed noticeably less effective in the second half. Davis still played 42 minutes through the injury, which would make a surprise inactive a huge shake-up to the Lakers' rotation.
With Bam Adebayo back, the Miami Heat are now waiting on just starting point guard Goran Dragic to return to closer to full strength. Dragic has been deemed doubtful and then ultimately ruled out each of the last four games with his foot injury, and he is likely to face the same fate for Game 6, which once again opens minutes in the backcourt for Kendrick Nunn and Tyler Herro.
At The Top
LeBron James ($16,000): LeBron was three assists shy of the fourth 40-point triple-double in NBA Finals history on Friday -- ironically with Jimmy Butler holding one of the three others earlier from this series. That is reflective of James' giant 28.4% usage as well as his remarkable efficiency scoring the ball this series at 57.1% shooting. LeBron is averaging 1.47 FanDuel points per minute in the series and will likely continue to see 40-plus minutes and carry the load, which makes him the top option at MVP once again.
Anthony Davis ($15,500): At 1.30 FanDuel points per minute and 21.9% usage, Davis has fallen off his marks from the series against the Denver Nuggets and Game 1 of this series, but he still remains productive. His health really is not a gigantic question considering he still played 42 minutes through the injury, but that and reduced productivity will make him a interesting tournament MVP pivot, especially given the sizable 57.1 FanDuel points he is projected for by our model.
Jimmy Butler ($15,000): What else is there to say about Jimmy Buckets? He emptied the tank to play 47 of 48 minutes in Game 5 and still led all players on the court with 1.52 FanDuel points per minute. Butler now has 35-point triple-doubles in each of the last two games, and that could continue if Dragic remains out and Butler stays the primary ball-handling option with a 26.0% usage rate in the last two games. His role without Dragic is in no question should fatigue hold off.
Bam Adebayo ($13,000): With such a significant shoulder injury for Adebayo, the question around him remains if there is potential to buy low, or if he will just not be the same player due to his health. He is down to fourth on the Heat's usage pecking order since his return (20.2%), and Bam is averaging just 5.5 rebounds per game in that span. Considering Adebayo averaged 11.5 rebounds per game in the playoffs before this series as well as the nature of his injury, there is legitimate concern for Adebayo's ability to fight on the boards. He is certainly a tournament-only option until the results prove he can physically provide a double-double performance again.
In The Middle
Tyler Herro ($11,000): If there is additional hope for Miami, it is that Herro has not yet flashed his scoring burst potential this round. He's had several fine games, but he has come nowhere close to the ceiling he demonstrated in Game 4 against the Boston Celtics, when he splashed in 37 points. Herro's peripheral stats -- including pulling down just one rebound last game despite Adebayo struggling -- indicate there is buy-low potential in the Heat rookie, and his salary and opportunity make a lot of sense in several lineup configurations in the PRO spot.
Duncan Robinson ($9,500): The "Robin" to Butler's "Batman" has absolutely been Duncan Robinson the last two games. Robinson is averaging 21.5 points per game in that span, but at least on the surface, he appears to be due for some regression. Robinson's clip of 0.93 FanDuel points per game the last two games is significantly elevated from his 0.71 rate from the rest of the postseason, and even as talented of a shooter as he is, 52.7% from three-point territory is not sustainable, either. Robinson will be very popular in all formats due to his hot play, but the peripherals say to turn elsewhere.
Rajon Rondo ($9,500): There is plenty of noise around the Lakers' rotation given several poor performances, and Rondo certainly had one of those. He played just 18 minutes after shooting an abysmal 1 of 7 from the field. Considering Rondo averages only 25 minutes per game in this series, his minutes weren't slashed by that much. Rondo had a higher average rate of FanDuel points per minute than any Laker not named LeBron in the first three games of this series, and he still remains an option at third on the team in that category in the last two games (0.91).
At The Bottom
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($9,000): KCP is third on the Lakers in minutes per game this series (30.8) by a comfortable margin, which has made him viable in each game of this series. Considering 60.4% of KCP's FanDuel scoring this series has come from real-world points, it is incredibly encouraging that he took a postseason-high 15 shots in Game 5. Scoring in double figures in every game of The Finals except Game 3, he has taken the reigns as Los Angeles' third option.
Jae Crowder ($9,000): Crowder has had ample opportunity to score FanDuel points with at least 35 minutes in each of the last two contests. That likely won't change with his passable defense on LeBron, but he has yet to take advantage of it. Crowder's 0.52 FanDuel points per minute the last two games is incredibly concerning, but with Adebayo struggling to rebound, and Crowder's frosty 25% shooting from three-point territory surely to bounce back at some point, he still remains a solid option due to his minutes.
Kendrick Nunn ($8,000): Nunn is probably the lowest-salaried option with actual production expectations. He saw 27 minutes last game and finally got shots to fall, shooting 6-for-11 from the field despite making three of fewer shots in the previous three games before that. If you expect the game to get ugly -- or if Butler were to find foul trouble for instance -- Nunn is perhaps the only option who would see both rotational minutes and blowout minutes. His 16.7% usage in a bench role indicates he is the primary option when Butler and Herro are not on the floor.
-- Jimmy Butler and LeBron James have flirted with 40-point triple-doubles each of the last two games, but it is actually Anthony Davis who currently has the highest projection for Sunday, per our model.
-- Bam Adebayo's performance has suffered both shooting the ball and rebounding, which was a grave concern coming back from his shoulder injury.
-- Duncan Robinson has significantly outperformed his playoff production in the recent two-game sample since Adebayo returned, while Jae Crowder has significantly underperformed his with access to Adebayo's missing rebounds in the frontcourt.
-- Friday's Game 5 slate included a zero from a $6,000 player in the perfect configuration due to the strong performances in multipliers from James, Butler, and Davis. If this game were to stay close and those three log heavy minutes once again, we could see a similar outcome in Game 6. But it is unlikely no role player disrupts that formula two games in a row.
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.