This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
I want to start this off by saying that we have a different sort of slate ahead of us. There happens to be one game on the schedule, which leaves us with a single-game showdown. That means lineup building will be a bit different and I'll break it down. There's only five roster slots to fill, with a Star, an MVP, a Star, a Pro and two Util spots. The MVP slot is a 2x multiplier, the Star Slot is a 1.5x multiplier, the Pro slot is a 1.2x multiplier and the Utility slots are normal scoring. That's going to change things a bit, so, let's go ahead and get into it!
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DEN-LAC: Los Angeles leads the series 3-2 and remain heavy favorites to advance. That has them entering this matchup as a 7.5-point favorite, with the total sitting at 213.5. Amazingly, the under has cashed in all six games of this series but this represents the lowest total we've seen yet.
As you'll see, there aren't any designated positions, but it's still a good way to break it down. The valuation is also strange, but you'll get a better idea how to approach it after the article.
PF: This is the most interesting position. We have Marcus Morris, Paul Millsap and Michael Porter Jr all in the same range. Morris is at $9,500, Millsap sits at $9,000 while Porter is at $10,000. All have been inconsistent and picking the right one will be critical.
Injuries to Monitor
Luckily, these teams are relatively healthy.
Will Barton (DEN)
Barton has departed the bubble because of a knee injury and won't suit up in this series. It's given Porter and Grant a lot more playing time.
Elite Players/Expected Chalk
This is where things get interesting. Almost everyone will be using Kawhi Leonard in their MVP slot and Nikola Jokic in their Star slot. That's a strategy that's hard to avoid, with Kawhi averaging 57 FD points per game in the postseason and Jokic scoring at least 44 FD points in 10 of his 12 playoff games. That means you can anticipate both being in nearly 100 percent of lineups, but where they're placed is going to change everything.
In terms of cheaper chalk, I anticipate Jerami Grant, Marcus Morris and Patrick Beverley to be widely-used. All three carry plenty of potential and they could be huge values with their diminished salaries. Morris and Grant work because of their minutes and Beverley because of his lower valuations. With all that said, it's going to be tough to get Jamal Murray and Paul George into your lineup if you're taking Kawhi and Jokic and it will likely make them rarely used. That could make them great options and there's a lot of constructing you need to do to find the right build.
Marcus Morris, LAC ($9,500)
Morris was a brilliant player for the Knicks before being acquired by the Clippers. And while he hasn't been the same for LA, he's still playing too much to fade at this salary. If you take out the game where he got ejected against Dallas, Morris is averaging 25 FD points across 32 minutes of action over his last 15 fixtures. That's all you can hope for from someone so affordable, and he's a great pairing with Kawhi and Jokic.
Patrick Beverley, LAC ($9,000)
Beverley's minutes have been slow to come around, but 27 minutes in Game 5 is a great sign. That's the most he's played since the bubble and should be ready for 30 minutes here. If you look at the 22 games that Pat-Bev played at least 28 minutes this season, he averaged 29.3 FD points per game. That would be a crazy total from a player this cheap and it makes him hard to fade.
Ivica Zubac, LAC ($9,000)
Zubac only played 31 minutes in Game 6 and scored 18 FD points despite making just two shots. It was actually his second-straight game playing 30-plus minutes while averaging 23 fantasy points. That's really all you can ask for, especially when you consider Zoo averaged 29.3 FD points per game in the 14 contests he played at least 24 minutes this season.
Jerami Grant, DEN ($8,500)
There's not much value on Denver with Jokic and Murray dominating usage, but Grant does present some upside. What I really like about him are his minutes, playing at least 34 in eight of his last nine games. That's stellar from someone who flies around the court and could easily provide something like 14 points and eight rebounds with a few defensive statistics. If Grant does that, he would be the value of the day and a fixture in every winning lineup.
These single-game slates can be tough to figure out, but I believe many people overthink it. That's why I'm going to ride Leonard in my MVP slot and Jokic in my Star slot. That's the chalky play, but it's the optimal strategy. Once you do that, you're left very thin in salary. That's why I'm going to fill out my lineup with cheaper guys like Williams, Harris, Harrell, Zubac, Morris, Millsap and Grant. That means I'm fading Jamal Murray and Paul George, as both have shown way too much volatility in this series.