FanDuel Single-Game Basketball Helper: Celtics at Heat (9/27/20)
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.
Celtics at Heat Overview
A date with the Los Angeles Lakers is on the line in the final games of this Eastern Conference Finals, as Los Angeles clinched their berth in the NBA Finals with a 117-107 win over the Denver Nuggets on Saturday. The Boston Celtics stayed alive by winning Game 5 on Friday, but the Miami Heat and their strong 11-3 postseason run are looking for one more win to clinch their first Finals appearance since 2013.
On FanDuel Sportsbook, the Celtics currently sit as a 3.5-point favorite to force a Game 7. The over (214.0) seems a little peculiar, as these two squads have exceeded that point total in four of the five games so far.
Injuries and What-Ifs
The teams will settle Sunday's contest at full strength, with a blank injury report on both sides. However, there are interesting minutes trends on both sides. The Heat have shrank to essentially a seven-man rotation, as only 11 combined minutes were played off the bench outside of Andre Iguodala and Tyler Herro.
For Boston, Kemba Walker played just 28 minutes in Game 5, but that was likely due to foul trouble. The Celtics are truly in a six-man rotation, with only 23 combined minutes for all bench players not named Gordon Hayward.
At The Top
Jayson Tatum ($16,000): Tatum is a tough option to pass up, given that he still leads the Celtics in both usage (27.2%) and FanDuel points per minute (1.27) -- and that package comes with him averaging 9 rebounds per 36 minutes. He is the default option for cash games given how inconsistent Miami's top options have been.
Jimmy Butler ($15,000): From a narrative perspective, there is always the chance Jimmy Butler goes total "hero ball" mode and occupies 50% usage in a must-have fourth quarter. Brad Stevens neutralized "Jimmy Buckets" early in this series, but Butler has broken 40 FanDuel points in consecutive games. That comes largely on the strength of exceeding eight rebounds in each game.
Bam Adebayo ($14,500): Bam said to put the Game 5 loss on his shoulders, but it is hard to fault the center who finished with 13 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists. That was the first time in three contests Adebayo has not scored at least 20 points, and so it may have been an overcorrection to reduce his salary by $1,000 from Friday's slate. Adebayo is projected for 45.9 FanDuel points by numberFire, which is the exact same total as Tatum.
Jaylen Brown ($12,500): The overall series lead in usage goes to Jayson Tatum for Boston, but Jaylen Brown took over Game 5 with 28 points and a team-high 29.3% usage. Brown seems to be more aggressive as the situation becomes more urgent, as he is now averaging 46.5 FanDuel points per game in the last three potential elimination games.
In The Middle
Tyler Herro ($11,000): Game 4's "Herro" fell back to Earth, as the rookie was nowhere close to his 37-point performance in Game 5, scoring only 14 points in 28 minutes. That was the first time he failed to exceed 32 minutes in the series, and Herro continues to see top-shelf usage for this salary, as his 21.7% usage rate is tied for second on the team with Jimmy Butler.
Marcus Smart ($11,000): Many expected Smart's role to fizzle once Hayward returned, but he still ranks fourth on the team in total usage at 19.6%. Smart's outing of 44.6 FanDuel points in Game 5 was aided by four steals, but the All-NBA Defensive Team selection has that in his arsenal. Smart may come at reduced popularity in tournaments because of a perceived lack of upside compared to his nearby alternatives.
Goran Dragic ($10,500): At $500 more in salary, Herro's usage was discussed as solid, but Dragic has an even higher usage rate as the clear team leader at 26.7%. Dragic is averaging 22.0 points per game in this series, but more importantly because 68.1% of his FanDuel production comes from scoring, he is shooting the ball at an efficient 43.1%. He will likely be a popular option in tournaments because of his scoring upside, and he seems like a nice fit for the PRO spot on FanDuel.
At The Bottom
Gordon Hayward ($10,000): Minutes have not been the issue for Hayward, as he has returned to a fairly normal 29.7 minutes per game since recovering from his ankle injury. The surprise, especially considering he is the only substantial bench contributor, is his 14.7% usage rate in the three contests so far. Hayward averaged 1.02 FanDuel points per minute in the regular season, so if he were to hit that in an individual game, there is upside at this salary.
Jae Crowder ($9,500): Although he went ice-cold at a crucial time in the actual game, it is hard to best Crowder's fantasy production at this salary. He has exceeded 27 FanDuel points in four of five games in this series, but his FanDuel ceiling may be yet to come, as he has failed to collect more than six rebounds in a game in this series despite doing so in three of eight contests in Miami's two previous series. He is a strong lowest-salaried option for balanced lineups in cash and single-entry formats.
Daniel Theis ($9,500): Theis has been in his normal, low-usage role throughout this series. He is averaging 31.2 minutes in the series, but prior to the last game, he had yet to do much in terms of scoring or rebounding. As a result, he had failed to score 20 FanDuel points in any of the first four contests. That all changed with a huge Game 5, when Theis used 15 points and 13 boards to break 40 FanDuel points. Using Theis is not chasing points given his role, but he will be more popular coming off such a large game.
-- Jayson Tatum continues to lead Boston in overall usage and production for the series, but Jaylen Brown led the team in both in Game 5.
-- Jimmy Butler is still contained offensively, but his rebounding has helped lift his overall FanDuel production. If his usage returns to its rate before this series, Butler could see his fantasy potential return to the same rate.
-- Goran Dragic and Tyler Herro have led Miami in overall usage this series, but neither are inside the top-five salaries in the player pool.
-- Jae Crowder and Daniel Theis are both averaging more than 30 minutes in their respective roles, and that makes it difficult to dip below the pair -- in addition to Duncan Robinson ($9,000) -- as the remaining lower options in the player pool logged just a combined 53 minutes in Game 5.
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.