This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
The Lakers gave the Nuggets another tough time in Game 2 but once again came up short, making Saturday's Game 3 especially critical. There should be no injuries that affect the player pool, giving us plenty of ammunition for building single-game lineups.
With just one game on the ledger, we're dealing with FanDuel's single-game contest rosters, which are comprised as follows:
- MVP - (Earns points at 2x the normal rate)
- STAR - (Earns points at 1.5x the normal rate)
- PRO - (Earns points at 1.2x the normal rate)
- Two Utility spots - (Earn points at normal rate)
With salaries 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 critical, as it enables you to fill out the multiplier spots with some of the top projected producers.
The Lakers are listed as up to 6-point home favorites despite their 0-2 deficit, a split they're 16-13 against the spread in since the start of the regular season.
The projected total of 222.5 points falls between the 256 and 211 points the first two games have finished with, but much closer to the latter figure.
Injury Situations to Monitor
Anthony Davis, LAL (foot): PROBABLE
Davis is fully expected to continue playing through his probable designation after averaging 40.5 minutes in the first two games of the series.
LeBron James, LAL (foot): PROBABLE
James is also in line to suit up in spite of his probable designation and has averaged 39.5 minutes per contest in the first two games.
Other notable injuries:
Mo Bamba, LAL (ankle): OUT
The three highest-salaried players on the slate are Nikola Jokic ($17,500), Anthony Davis ($16,000) and LeBron James ($15,500). All three are excellent candidates for the MVP spot, and whichever two don't make the cut are naturally very viable for the STAR spot.
Jokic has opened the series with back-to-back triple-doubles that have netted 81.2 and 65.4 FD points, making him worthy every dollar of his salary and the clear-cut top candidate for this multiplier spot.
Davis has collected 71.5 and 51.8 FD points in the first two games of the series and has compiled at least 50 FD points on nine occasions this postseason.
James contributed his second tally of over 60 FD points in the last three games in Game 3 (62.8) and once again makes for a viable consideration for a multiplier spot.
With only one game on the ledger, the likes of Jamal Murray ($14,500), Austin Reaves ($12,500) and Michael Porter ($11,000) should also be very popular. All three players make for very viable options for the STAR or PRO spots.
Murray has found the Lakers highly permeable through the first two games of the series, totaling 55.5 and 65.5 FD points while shooting 52.3 percent, including 45.5 percent from three-point range.
Reaves now has over 30 FD points in four straight postseason games and has shot a blistering 55.6 percent from behind the arc in the first two games of the series.
Porter has averaged 30.4 FD points in the first two games of the series while shooting 53.8 percent from distance.
The following players make for strong candidates for the Utility spots:
Bruce Brown, DEN ($10,000)
Brown has been a well-balanced contributor off the bench throughout the postseason, averaging 23.9 FD points on the strength of 12.5 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.2 steals per contest, along with 52.6 percent shooting. He's tallied 23.8 and 28.5 FD points in the first two contests of the current series, draining 49.7 percent of his 9.5 shot attempts per game along the way. With Brown capable of checking off so many boxes on the stat sheet, he makes sense as a value play.
Rui Hachimura, LAL ($7,500)
Hachimura still sports a very reasonable salary and has been a tricky matchup for the Nuggets over the first two games, as he's totaled 21.5 and 26.9 FD points in those contests while shooting a jaw-dropping 76.2 percent on 10.5 shot attempts per contest. Hachimura has logged an encouraging 28 and 30 minutes in those games, and he should be due for another solid allotment of playing time off the bench in a critical game for Los Angeles.