FanDuel Single-Game Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Celtics at Heat (5/17/22)
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 for 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. Read this piece by Brandon Gdula for some excellent in-depth analysis on how to attack a single-game slate in NBA DFS.
This series is going to be equal parts ugly as it is fun.
The Boston Celtics emerged in seven games over the defending champion Bucks to earn their bid to the Eastern Conference Finals. Miami extinguished the disappointing 76ers in six games. Many thought these two teams weren't actually the best teams out east despite their seeding. That appears incorrect.
Each squad has activity on the injury report. Kyle Lowry (hamstring) is officially out, but the Heat's myriad of "questionable" players that have played every single game include P.J. Tucker (calf), Gabe Vincent (hamstring), Max Strus (hamstring), and Caleb Martin (knee).
Boston has Marcus Smart (foot) listed as a surprising question mark on the report, but he played 37 minutes on Sunday after suffering the injury. Notably, Robert Williams is off the report against for the C's, but he played zero minutes Sunday in his return.
At The Top
Jimmy Butler ($15,000): There's an argument to be made Butler is the bronze medalist overall for the 2022 NBA Playoffs behind Giannis Antetokounmpo and Luka Doncic. Butler has averaged 1.40 FanDuel points per minute this postseason, and he's held a sporty 28.4% usage rate in the past three games without Lowry. Importantly, Boston is tremendous at defending the three (just 28.5 attempts per game for opponents in the playoffs), so Butler's inside-the-arc shot creation might be in even higher demand than the previous two series.
Jaylen Brown ($13,000): Brown and Jayson Tatum are more similar than their salaries are giving them credit for. They've slogged through an ugly two rounds with lower FanDuel-point-per-minute averages than their regular-season marks. Tatum sits at 1.14, and Brown's mark rests at 1.04. The $2,500 discount from Tatum to Brown -- given we're unsure how Miami will defend either -- goes a long way in terms of turning a value play into a bonafide starter from either team.
Others to Consider: Jayson Tatum ($15,500), Al Horford ($12,500)
In The Middle
Marcus Smart ($11,500): Smart exists in a tier by himself. He's not a true threat to break 40 FanDuel points (once in the 11 playoff games so far), but he's also got a 40-minute role directly in front of Max Strus in salary. Strus is a cold first quarter from not seeing the floor the rest of the game. Smart will likely be enormously popular given how nicely his salary fits into any build, so consider a STAR or a PRO spot to use him differently than others.
Tyler Herro ($10,500): Boston's 106.2 defensive rating was the best mark in the NBA this season, and they've totally flustered Kevin Durant and Jrue Holiday to open the postseason. Herro's unique shot creation will be much more valuable. Herro took more pull-up shots than Klay Thompson, Zach LaVine, and Ja Morant this regular season in a limited bench role. In this series, it wouldn't be surprising to see him return closer to his team-best 29.5% usage without Lowry from the regular season.
Others to Consider: Bam Adebayo ($12,000), Max Strus ($11,000), P.J. Tucker ($10,000)
At The Bottom
Victor Oladipo ($9,500): Oladipo is just a more uncertain version of the philosophy behind Herro. He comes at a salary discount because he logged less than 20 minutes during back-to-back blowouts to end the series with Philadelphia. If Strus -- due for regression from his 40.0% three-point shooting the past three games of that series -- gets off to that aforementioned slow start, Oladipo will be the one to capitalize. Quietly, Oladipo has logged 25.7 minutes per game in the past seven contests, eclipsing 15 points in three of them.
Grant Williams ($9,000): It's not the 27 points from Williams' folk-hero ending to the Milwaukee series that make him appealing in this spot. It's the 39 minutes he logged, relegating Robert Williams to the bench all game. Grant is a versatile defender with great size, so Ime Udoka is highly unlikely to pull him entering a matchup with the aptly-sized P.J. Tucker. Expect him to start in a full-time role again, and he's the lowest-salaried player projected for that kind of role.
Others to Consider: Derrick White ($8,000), Gabe Vincent ($7,500)