FanDuel Single-Game Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Heat at Celtics (5/23/22)
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.
We likely won't know the optimal way to build this slate until shortly before lock. I'll do my best to bring as many "what-if" scenarios to this helper to prepare all of us.
The reason why? Monday's injury report -- for a single game -- reads like War and Peace.
On the Miami side, all eyes are obviously on Jimmy Butler (knee). Butler didn't play the second half on Saturday in Game 3 and is questionable. The Heat also have Kyle Lowry (hamstring), Tyler Herro (groin), Max Strus (hamstring), P.J. Tucker (knee), and Gabe Vincent (hamstring) listed as questionable. Of those guys, only Herro -- with a new listing -- appears to be in serious jeopardy.
Now, for Boston, they've dodged their biggest bullet -- Jayson Tatum (shoulder) is probable. But the Celtics have Marcus Smart (ankle) and Robert Williams (knee) listed as questionable. Williams sat Game 3, and Smart's absence in Game 1 should indicate that he's not a slam dunk to play, either.
**Editor's Note: Herro is now officially out with his groin issue.**
At The Top
Jaylen Brown ($14,000): With both teams' top stars injured, there is a true four-player argument for MVP, and that number could be as high as six. Brown's 40-point outburst on Saturday has been brewing for a while considering he dropped 24 points in back-to-back games before that. With Tatum shooting just 43.5% from the field in this series, compared to Brown at 54.7%, J.B. has clearly been the more effective scorer. Defensive attention may start to shift from Miami as a result, though.
Bam Adebayo ($13,000): Adebayo's willingness to be passive offensively has lowered his production for most of the playoffs. He had just a 17.2% usage rate in the postseason entering Game 3. Largely due to Butler's injury, he was unleashed into a 25.0% rate on Saturday. That resulted in 31 points, but the aggressiveness carried over to the glass (10 rebounds) and as a facilitator (6 assists). He's a legitimate MVP candidate, but he'll be popular after being the top FanDuel scorer last time out.
Others to Consider: Jimmy Butler ($15,500), Jayson Tatum ($15,000):
In The Middle
Al Horford ($11,500): With no Williams, Horford logged 41 minutes and pulled down a series-high 14 rebounds. Even with Williams likely returning for Game 4, "Time Lord" hasn't seen more than 28 minutes during the entire playoffs. That means Horford should be in line for a massive role again. He holds a lower salary than he did in Game 3, and injuries are littering his salary tier, so expect Horford to be enormously popular in this space. You can always combat that by using him at a STAR or PRO spot instead.
Kyle Lowry ($10,500): Lowry logged 29 minutes in his return, but that was probably more than Miami wanted to use him after Butler went down with a lead on the road. The mid-range -- beyond Horford -- is a dumpster fire with Marcus Smart potentially not playing and Tyler Herro not seeing court time even if he does suit up. Therefore, you're probably looking at Lowry as a contrarian option with a decent role on a slate where many likely turn to a stars-and-scrubs approach.
Others to Consider: Marcus Smart ($12,000)
At The Bottom
Grant Williams ($9,500): The reason "Time Lord" doesn't play a lot is what a natural fit Williams is opposite P.J. Tucker. Williams came off the bench in Game 3, reducing his popularity. However, he still logged 39 minutes. Look for him to get more involved offensively. He averaged 6.7 three-point attempts per contest in the Milwaukee series, but he's taken just 8 total three-point attempts in this one. He's a great start to a bargain bin with several quality options, which further incentivizes spending up at the top.
Victor Oladipo ($8,500): Oladipo is the largest "what-if" on the slate. He's a slam-dunk value option if Butler sits. In the one game Butler didn't suit up in the playoffs, Oladipo led the Heat in shots (16) and points (23), starting ahead of Herro. If some combination of Lowry, Herro, or Max Strus misses this contest, he'll still have a hearty role off the bench. If the entire crew ends up suiting up, you'll probably steer clear of him altogether, but he does play in blowouts if your lineup is scripting a lopsided contest in either direction.
Others to Consider: Max Strus ($9,000), P.J. Tucker ($8,000), Payton Pritchard ($7,500; if Smart sits), Derrick White ($7,000; if Smart sits)