This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
It looked like we were in for a short series after Game 2, but Game 3 was quite the shocker. A shorthanded Miami team took care of business to cut Los Angeles' series lead to 2-1. That shows the resiliency of this amazing bunch and it's a microcosm of how they got to this point in the first place. That leaves us with an absolutely critical Game 4, so, let's go ahead and get into it!
Miami Heat vs. Los Angeles Lakers: Los Angeles is a 7.5-point favorite, with the total sitting at 219. The final score actually landed on that number exactly in Game 3, making it hard to predict what style of game we're going to see.
After two double-digit wins by Los Angeles in Game 1 and Game 2, Miami came out with some fury in Game 3. Despite playing without Goran Dragic and Bam Adebayo, the Heat prevailed, 115-104, in one of the most impressive performances of the postseason. Miami actually won all four individual quarters in that game, shooting 51 percent from the field while holding Los Angeles to just 43 percent shooting. In addition, the Heat forced 19 turnovers from the Lakers while committing just 12 on their end.
FanDuel single-game rosters don't have traditional positions that match those of a starting five, so we'll instead break down some candidates for the top three multiplier positions instead:
MVP (2x): We mentioned Sunday that LeBron James and Anthony Davis were the only two options for this slot, but Jimmy Butler clearly read my article. He was so fired up by my indiscretion, that he dropped his first career playoff triple-double. While that means we do have to consider him here, I still believe that James and Davis are the clear-cut options for this section. I'm going to go with James because he's scored at least 49 FanDuel points in six straight games while averaging 61 fantasy points per game in that span. That's on par with his career averages in the Finals, averaging just shy of 60 FD points in 52 total games.
STAR (1.5x): If we're going to ride King James at the MVP, that means it's between Butler and AD here. We're going to go with Jimmy Buckets because this dude is on another level right now. In that must-win Game 3, Butler provided 40 points, 11 rebounds, 13 assists, two steals and two blocks en route to an absurd 79.7 FanDuel points. While he probably can't duplicate that, it's hard to overlook the fact that he played 44 minutes while leading the team with 20 shots, 14 free throws and a 33 percent usage rate.
PRO (1.2x): You can't go wrong picking Davis in either of the first two slots but we're going to slide him in here. He probably has the highest ceiling of anyone on the slate, but a 26-point dud in Game 3 is a bit concerning. He's actually failed to crack 50 FD points in five of his last six games and hasn't scored more than 53 fantasy points in 11 of his last 12 games. That's slightly worrisome at this cost, but we're still talking about a guy who surpassed a 50-point average during the regular season and has an 80-point upside.
UTIL: If you're using those three, you have to go cheap at these spots. In fact, you can only use guys like Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Danny Green, Duncan Robinson, Jae Crowder, Andre Iguodala, Dwight Howard, Alex Caruso and Markieff Morris. Crowder is easily the best option of the bunch and I'll discuss that below. If you want to fade one of the aforementioned studs, guys like Tyler Herro and Rajon Rondo are great plays here as well. Don't forget about Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic if they suit up.
Injury Situations to Monitor
NOTE: Injury reporting is especially fluid in the NBA, where the status of multiple players can change during the course of a day. Therefore, although the following serves as a foundation for the latest injury report as of the time the article is written (usually late morning Eastern time), check back throughout the course of the day with RotoWire for the latest news regarding the status of all players on that night's slate.
Goran Dragic (MIA)
Dragic suffered a torn plantar fascia injury in Game 1. He did not play in Game 2 or Game 3 and is doubtful for this outing.
Bam Adebayo (MIA)
Adebayo suffered a shoulder injury in Game 1 and missed Game 2 and Game 3. He comes into this matchup with a questionable tag. It would shift Meyers Leonard out of the rotation if he does return and diminish Kelly Olynyk's role.
Dion Waiters (LAL)
Waiters is questionable with a groin issue but he hasn't been part of the rotation anyway.
Elite Players/Expected Chalk
It's pretty safe to say that the elite players and chalk are going to be the same. LeBron James and Anthony Davis were both used in over 90 percent of lineups in Games 2 and 3, and Jimmy Butler wasn't far behind. The simple fact is, it's almost impossible to fade these three, with all three guys demanding so much usage. In terms of cheaper chalk, Kelly Olynyk was used in about half of the lineups out there in Game 3. His role dependent on whether Bam Adebayo will play, but if Bam's remains out, look for Oly to be in over half of lineups once again.
Rajon Rondo, LAL ($9,500)
Salaries have gotten pretty tight throughout the series, but FD continue to miss with Rondo. The former All-Star has been a stud ever since he returned from injury, averaging 27 FanDuel points per game in those 13 outings. There's no one else below $10K who can provide that sort of floor and it's scary to think that he hasn't even been hitting his shots consistently yet.
Jae Crowder, MIA ($9,000)
This is yet another price I don't understand. This dude has been a consistency monster throughout the postseason and he's being priced like a bench player. Not only is he averaging 34 minutes a game in the playoffs, he's also scored at least 22 FD points in 13 of his last 16 games while dropping 27-plus in 11 of those outings. That's really all you can hope for from someone priced so reasonably, and he's easily one of the best per-dollar plays out there.