This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
The Bucks enter Tuesday in position to clinch their second title in franchise history thanks to a memorable fourth-quarter rally in Game 5 at Phoenix Suns Arena. Milwaukee's Big Three will be looking for an encore after all of them clicked Sunday night, while the Suns will simply look to play better defense at critical moments to avoid elimination and force a Game 7 in front of their raucous home crowd.
With just one game on the ledger, we're dealing with FanDuel's single-game contest rosters, which are comprised as follows:
· MVP- (Garners points at 2x the normal rate)
· STAR- (Garners points at 1.5x the normal rate)
· PRO- (Garners points at 1.2x the normal rate)
· Two Utility spots- (Garner points at normal rate)
With the pricing also being different than in conventional FanDuel contests on multi-game slates and top players inevitably headed for heavy rostering, there are definitely strategic elements particular to single-game lineups. Finding key value plays for the two utility spots is undoubtedly vital, as it enables you to fill out the multiplier spots with some of the top projected producers.
Phoenix Suns at Milwaukee Bucks (Projected total: 221.5 points):
One game after the lowest-scoring contest of the series, the two clubs combined for a series-high 242 points in Game 5. Each team frequently had its way with the other's defense, with the Suns notably shooting an elite 68.4 percent from three-point range and the Bucks not finishing too far behind with a 55.2 percent success rate from distance. The two prior games in Milwaukee finished with totals of 220 and 212 points, but if both Jrue Holiday and Devin Booker can keep their hot hands for their respective sides, this total – which has already been exceeded three times in the series – will have a chance of being eclipsed again.
FanDuel single-game rosters don't have traditional positions that match those on a starting five, so we'll instead break down some candidates for the top three multiplier positions:
MVP (2x): The top two candidates for this spot based on recent performances are Giannis Antetokounmpo ($16,000) and Khris Middleton ($14,000), with Devin Booker ($12,500) a very close third. Antetokounmpo has been a one-man wrecking crew throughout the series, averaging 62.4 FD points over the first five games. Middleton has been an excellent complementary asset, as he's put up 41.6 FD points per contest over the first five contests. Booker is highly intriguing for this spot at his salary, as he's now delivered back-to-back 40-point efforts in which he's shot 55.7 percent and averaged 50.8 FD points.
STAR (1.5x): Whoever doesn't make the cut for the MVP spot above are excellent candidates for this slot. All three players have been impressive to varying degree in filling the stat sheet in a way that makes them particularly valuable in a multiplier spot, but Booker is easily the most scoring-dependent of the trio. Jrue Holiday ($13,500) and Chris Paul ($13,500) could also have a case made for them, albeit with a bit more risk – Holiday has shot under 40.0 percent in three of the first five games, while Paul averaged a somewhat modest 14.5 points and 25.9 FD points in the first two road games of the series.
PRO (1.2x): Candidates for this spot include anyone above plus Deandre Ayton ($13,000), with the latter averaging a well-rounded line of 15.2 points, 13.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.4 blocks and 1.4 assists thus far in the series.
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.
Thanasis Antetokounmpo, MIL (COVID-19 protocols)/ Status: GTD
Even if the other Antetokounmpo is cleared for Game 6, it's unlikely he sees any playing time.
Sam Merrill, MIL (ankle)/ Status: GTD
Even if Merrill is cleared for Game 6, it's unlikely he sees any playing time.
The two highest-salaried players on the slate are Antetokounmpo and Middleton. Each player is certainly more than capable of delivering elite scores and have already done so on multiple occasions this postseason.
Three players underneath both in salary – Paul, Holiday and Booker – are also capable of breaking out for ceiling games, as each has already demonstrated.
With only one game on the ledger, the likes of Ayton and potentially Brook Lopez ($11,000) should also be very popular. However, Ayton is likely to outpace Lopez's roster rate by a significant amount, as he's been much more involved offensively than his Bucks counterpart and has scored over 40 FD points in four of the first five games.
Note: On a multi-game slate, I typically try to highlight players that would be considered under-the-radar plays in this section. Naturally, with such a limited player pool, there will be very few low-rostered players that are likely to also be viable from a DFS perspective, so I'll instead focus on two of the best candidates to provide a strong return relative to salary for the two Utility spots in single-game lineups:
Mikal Bridges, PHO ($9,500)
Bridges has mostly underwhelmed since breaking out for 27 points in Game 2, but he did bounce back to an extent with a solid Game 5 that saw him tally 26.3 FD points over 33 minutes. Bridges was only slightly more involved on the offensive end (six FG attempts) compared to the prior two contests, but with everything at stake for Phoenix on Tuesday, he could well be a bit more aggressive than usual. Bridges has also put in solid work on the boards and in defensive categories, giving him a strong chance of offering a useful return if he takes on more scoring responsibility.
Pat Connaughton, MIL ($8,500)
Connaughton has been somewhat of an unsung hero during the series, putting up double-digit scoring tallies in three of the five contests and shooting 52.8 percent, including 50.0 percent from three-point range. He's also been solid with 5.4 rebounds per game, and he's encouragingly logged at least 30 minutes in four straight games. If he sees a similar workload Tuesday, he'll once again be in good position to offer a solid return, and like Bridges, it's likely a safe bet Connaughton is aggressive with the ball in his hands during his time on the floor.