FanDuel has been expanding its product in nearly every sport available, as the one-game contests are becoming a huge boom. A recent change that they made to these contests is that they are giving a different value to the five available slots. Instead of just one player who receives twice (2X) their production, FanDuel has added a 1.5X slot and a 1.2X slot. Picking where to put each player is critical in this new format, so I'll give you a sneak peek into my lineup and explain why each player is most valuable at that specific multiplier.
MVP (2X): LeBron James, CLE vs. BOS ($20,500): This is undoubtedly the easiest pick of the five -- it's almost unfair to use a player like this and get twice his production. The price tag may seem outlandish on the surface, but it's worth the production. In fact, James has at least 62 fantasy points in eight of his last 10 games, and he's averaging nearly 25 fantasy points more than any other player on this slate.
STAR (1.5X): Marcus Morris, BOS at CLE ($10,000): My strategy in this spot is to try to find the player with the best value based on his price. That means we should be looking for the best fantasy point-per dollar player and that appears to be Morris with his diminished price tag. The reason his price is such a nice value is the fact that Morris has been asked to start in this series, thus making him more valuable than his price tag would indicate. Not only did he play 34 minutes in both of the first two wins of this series, but Morris has at least 21 fantasy points in six of his last seven games. The minutes increase is what really makes him intriguing, though, as he's averaged a fantasy point per minute throughout his career. That means 34 fantasy points is a good baseline here, which would usually be more indicative of a $14,000 player in this format. Not to mention, Cleveland allowed the most fantasy points in the league to opposing power forwards in the regular season.
PRO (1.2X): Kyle Korver, CLE vs. BOS ($7,500): In order to get James into our lineup, we have to take a shot in the dark and find a near-minimum-priced player. Korver is the best bet of all of these cheap guys, as he's been mostly consistent throughout the postseason. Korver has at least 17 FanDuel points in five of his last six games -- that's plenty of value from a player approaching a minimum price. His upside is incredible too, as Korver has at least 23 fantasy points in five of his last 10 games. Having a 50 percent chance to land 23 fantasy points at $7,500 is well worth the risk, especially if you're getting a near-guaranteed 100 FanDuel points from King James.
Utility slots: With $22,000 remaining for our final two players, this makes picking these two guys much easier. Marcus Smart and Jayson Tatum are the clear pair to go with, as thatís the only combination of two players who have legitimately large roles. We could try to squeeze one of the remaining four higher options like Terry Rozier. Kevin Love, Jaylen Brown or Al Horford into our lineup, but that means we would have to add a risky option like Aron Baynes, Tristan Thompson, George Hill or J.R Smith. The combo of Tatum and Smart has destroyed any sort of combination we can make from those remaining players, and they make for an easy fill-in with how they've been performing.
Jayson Tatum, BOS at CLE ($11,500): Tatum has been one of the most consistent players in these playoffs, as he's surpassed 30 fantasy points in eight of his last nine games while averaging 32 FanDuel points per game in his last 16 outings. That's almost identical production to the likes of Horford and Rozier, but we get Tatum at a much cheaper price. The fact that Cleveland's defense has struggled mightily only adds to Tatum's value, as they allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing small forwards during the regular season.
Marcus Smart, BOS at CLE ($10,500): Smart has been the best bench player in this postseason, as he's carved out a huge role with Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward sidelined. Not only is he averaging 32 minutes per game in his last eight outings, Smart is averaging more than 30 FanDuel points per game in that stretch. That should be no surprise either when you consider that Cleveland finished the regular season 29th in defensive efficiency. Smart is averaging over 32 fantasy points per game in four outings against them this year.
So, here's our official lineup:
MVP: LeBron James ($20.500)
STAR: Marcus Morris ($10.000)
PRO: Kyle Korver ($7,500)
Util: Jayson Tatum ($11.500)
Util: Marcus Smart ($10,500)