In a traditional FanDuel NBA lineup, you have a $60,000 salary cap to roster nine players. The salary cap is the same in the single-game setup, 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 choose 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 essential in more than one way; 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.
If this is the end of the 2023 NBA Conference Finals, I'll miss them fondly. We've had no injury report traffic in either series.
Kevin Love (leg) is the only status not totally finalized for the Heat, but he's probable. The only other absences are those expected from Tyler Herro (hand), Victor Oladipo (knee), and Boston's Danilo Gallinari (knee).
At The Top
It's been "JFB" at optimal MVP for three straight games. Can Jimmy Butler ($17,500) complete that sweep, too?
Butler's role is just so clear of anyone else in this series. He's led the Heat in touches (70.7), usage rate (30.1%), and potential assists (9.0) in these three games and added 13 stocks (steals plus blocks) along the way. Miami also hasn't lost by double digits in the postseason, eliminating what seems to be his lone path to failure.
I play single-game in an extremely contrarian manner, but even I'm left stumped for answers behind him. You'd presume Jayson Tatum ($17,000) makes plenty of sense in a bounce-back effort. He did eclipse 30 real-life points in both games in Boston, but Tatum's 61.5% TS at home in the playoffs has dipped to 54.4% on the road. He's not had that same touch away from TD Garden.
Of course, I've been slamming Jaylen Brown ($13,500) at MVP with his higher usage rate (30.3%) than Tatum (28.3%) in the series. If that holds, you'd expect a pop game, but Brown's midseason hand injury might just be a non-starter. He's 2-for-20 (10.0%) on threes in this series.
Bam Adebayo ($15,500) could be an MVP candidate after posting a playoff-high 54.3 FanDuel points two games ago, but oddly, Adebayo has outscored Butler just once in the entirety of the playoffs. Typically, if he's contributing, he's helping feed basketball to his star.
In The Middle
Marcus Smart ($12,000) didn't struggle too badly in Game 3, encroaching a triple-double in 30 minutes.
Smart has comfortably won the power struggle in Boston's backcourt, and the former Defensive Player of the Year should see regression in the stock column having failed to record one in two games.
In a "kitchen sink" maneuver, Al Horford ($11,000) was held to 18 minutes for Boston to try small ball, and I don't think it'll happen again when Miami had a 130.6 offensive rating on Sunday. Horford has still comfortably played ahead of Robert Williams, who seems to be back out of the rotation after moving to the bench. Timelord played just 12 minutes in Game 3.
The way these rotations are leads to mostly a stars-and-scrubs build; Caleb Martin ($10,000) is the only other name left here. His ascension shouldn't be a surprise when his size matches up well with Boston's duo of wings. He's averaged 29.4 FanDuel points per 36 minutes in the playoffs and just needed time on the court. He's now getting it.
At The Bottom
Martin might start for the injured Kevin Love ($6,500) despite the probable status. Love has been held below 20 minutes in all three games during this series, andCody Zeller ($6,000) topped out at 18 mediocre minutes that were largely carried by a pair of blocks. I'll pass on the whole situation.
That's because we have plenty of backcourt options here. For Boston, Malcolm Brogdon ($8,500) and Derrick White ($7,500) could work. White started and significantly outplayed Brogdon in Game 3, bucking the trend of Malcolm closing the first pair of games in Boston. With a full-time role, White should be the most popular player on the slate despite that path to failure.
Of course, Grant Williams ($6,500) drew 29 minutes on Sunday, as well. Williams appears to be getting a turn off the bench and playing blowouts, which could be helpful if the C's no-show in Game 4. Williams has just one total stock in this series, and that could change with more time at the five.
Miami's backcourt is a total "hot hand" situation. In Game 3, Max Strus ($7,000) got the boot after going 2-for-8 on threes, leading to 28 minutes for Kyle Lowry ($9,000). Gabe Vincent ($8,000) overshadowed both with 29 points in 35 minutes, but as we've seen, he could easily end up on the bench with a cold night of his own. I'd rank them Strus, Lowry, and Vincent in tournaments based on popularity when it's truly wide open.
Another wrench into that situation? Duncan Robinson ($7,000) also saw 24 minutes, including run during the blowout. He could have some appeal in a build targeting a lopsided game.