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FanDuel NBA: Monday Value Plays

The Miami Heat will attempt to steal another game on the road in Monday's action, while the Celtics hope to press their home-court advantage and even the series in the Eastern Conference Finals. We'll take a look at Game 3's winning lineup and try to nail the right combination in the single-game format.

For FanDuel single-game contests, participants are given five positions to fill. While two of them are normal (UTIL) spots, the remaining three allow for a multiplier to be given to the selected player. There are three tiers:

MVP - 2x

STAR- 1.5x

PRO - 1.2x The common mistake made in this format is a lack of emphasis on the 2x player value and the over-valuing of the 1.2x multiplier. In reality, adding .2x to a player is not that significant, while picking the wrong 2x player will kill your chances of cashing. You can survive most misses at 1.2x and even 1.5x, but getting the 2x spot correct is essential. Unlike other sites, the salaries are not weighed according to the slot selected. All of FanDuel's salaries are static, meaning that no matter where you put a player, their salary remains the same. This eliminates the challenge of CPTN format games where you must consider the overall value of the multiplied salary as you fill a slew of utility spots. Instead, FanDuel's single-game contests are mostly about picking the top three scorers and rounding out the roster with two value utility players. Let's take a look at the winning lineup from Game 3 via one of FanDuel's most popular contests. Jimmy Butler's early exit made for some interesting developments. MVP: Bam Adebayo 132 STAR: Jaylen Brown 76.95 PRO: Al Horford 56.76 UTIL: Marcus Smart 27.3 UTIL: P.J. Tucker 37.5 We were able to min-cash with Tatum at the MVP spot, and we grabbed some advantage by promoting Brown and downgrading Smart, but Adebayo proved to be the high-variance play that sunk many entries. We have a myriad of injury issues in Game 4, and the Heat continue to be liberal with their questionable tags as most players are working through their injuries on the court. There are some variations in tonight's player pool, however. Butler is currently listed as a game-time decision for Monday's game, and his status will impact how we should approach the Heat. There's also some concern about Kyle Lowry (hamstring), Gabe Vincent (hamstring) and Tyler Herro (groin). Things are also up in the air for two of Boston's best. Smart appears to be dealing with a bad ankle sprain, and it seems serious enough to warrant a missed game Monday. Robert Williams (knee) missed Game 3, and his status for Game 4 is also in doubt. The best way to approach this format before knowing every detail is to work within the framework we're given and identify who is most likely to sit. Smart appears to be the most likely absence at this stage, and Lowry's 36-year-old body may need another day to rest the hamstring injury. Obviously, this is a contest entry that you need to monitor as the day progresses. MULTIPLIER CANDIDATES Jaylen Brown ($14,000): MVP, STAR Jayson Tatum ($15,000): STAR, PRO Jimmy Butler (GTD) ($16,500): STAR, PRO Bam Adebayo ($13,000): STAR, PRO Al Horford ($11,500): MVP, STAR, PRO Tatum is officially a game-time call but is expected to play, but I'm using the injury as cause to bump him out of the MVP spot. The most interesting contrarian play for the MVP spot could be Horford, but only if Robert Williams sits again. If Williams plays, we could still justify Horford in one of the lower multipliers. The more reliable MVP is probably Brown, and I will have a liberal dose of him in both the MVP and STAR positions. He has been playing extremely well off the ball, and a possible downtick from Tatum will only help his cause. We've discussed the dubious merit of rolling back the previous MVP, but Adebayo still deserves a mention, especially if Butler sits. If Butler plays, it's probably a better idea to return Adebayo to the shelf, but I don't consider either player an MVP play. They could both serve as possible STAR or PRO selections. Adebayo's popularity will undoubtedly rise, and that's worth keeping in mind if you are attempting to be unique. UTILITY CANDIDATES Kyle Lowry (GTD) ($10,500) or Gabe Vincent (GTD) ($7,000) Robert Williams (GTD) ($11,000) - downgrade Horford if he plays Victor Oladipo ($8,500) - upgrade if Butler is out Max Strus (GTD) ($9,000) P.J. Tucker (GTD) ($8,000) Grant Williams ($9,500) - if Robert Williams sits Marcus Smart pivots: Derrick White ($7,000) or Payton Pritchard ($7,500) As you can see, the UTIL spots are all about injury contingencies, and our jobs would be a lot easier if we knew more about Smart and Lowry/Vincent. A Smart absence opens up tremendous value with White or Prichard, but if we get a green light for Lowry, he is a borderline PRO pick and a premium UTIL player. Erik Spoelstra will roll with Oladipo if Butler is marginalized, but Tucker and Strus would also contribute heavily if Butler sits. For popularity's sake, Oladipo stands out as somewhat of a contrarian UTIL pivot. CONCLUSION Patience is a virtue for Monday. Wait until there is word about Butler, Smart, Lowry and Williams. Use Jaylen Brown in some capacity for most of your lineups. Be somewhat conservative with Adebayo unless word comes in about a Butler absence, in which case you can increase your exposure to the big man. My early optimal build is Jaylen Brown/Jayson Tatum/Al Horford/Kyle Lowry/P.J. Tucker, but injury developments will determine Lowry's viability. If Lowry and Butler both sit, we have to give almost every Heat player an upgrade, starting with Adebayo. If Tyler Herro can overcome his groin injury, he would also be worthwhile in Butler's absence.

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