This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
The Jazz-Clippers series remains one of the more confounding DFS puzzles of the NBA playoffs, and we'll now have the daunting task of tackling the matchup in a single-game format. This article will touch on basic strategy and identify our best builds at the multiplier and utility spots. For a more in-depth look at approaching single-game contests, read my recent article on the subject.
The results of Game 2 were a bit surprising, as Rudy Gobert's 20 rebounds locked up the center position for the two-game slate. Paul George snd Reggie Jackson were the stars for the Clippers, and Kawhi Leonard was nowhere to be seen. Less surprising was the standout play of Donovan Mitchell and Jordan Clarkson, who both excelled without Mike Conley on the floor. Conley's status is once again the significant question mark of the evening for Utah, and we probably won't know enough about what's happening there until later in the day. The guard situation for Utah will figure heavily in our analysis, but we will discuss pivot possibilities if Conley plays.
Donovan Mitchell, UTA ($15,000)
Kawhi Leonard, LAC ($14,500)
Rudy Gobert, UTA ($13,500)
Paul George, LAC ($14,000)
Reggie Jackson, LAC ($10,000)
I'm confident that our three best multipliers are in this grouping. Regardless of my builds, Donovan Mitchell will have maximum exposure in the build without question. I also feel that Reggie Jackson is almost a necessity to keep costs down, as we don't want to spend our way out of the utility position. The only question is who earns the position art MVP (2x), STAR (1.5x) and PRO (1.2x).
As noted in previous articles, many players overvalue the 1.2x multiplier, as the difference is relatively scant compared to the original score. Conversely, the 2x multiplier is often undervalued, which is the biggest mistake you can make in FanDuel's format. Nailing the 2x multiplier is more critical than lineup construction in almost every instance.
The situation in the paint for the Clippers is pitifully weak. Rudy Gobert has been able to pick apart the opposition in this series, so I think that he earns a spot in the multiplier trio in this single-game event. He also helps us out with a $13,500 price tag, which is the second-lowest price of our grouping.
With Gobert a lock, let's move to the quandary that is the Clippers as they try to turn things around at home. The home-away intangible is starting to take shape, and crowds at the Staples Center are increasing as the June 15th conclusion of the mask mandate in California draws closer. It seems feasible that exiting Utah's hostile environment could be the panacea the Clippers need, and we have seen how many teams have bounced back (most recently, the Bucks) upon arriving at their home court. This will be a repeat situation where it makes more sense to go with recency bias and take the player who had the most recent down game. Paul George's range is 32.3 - 52.4 FDFP for the playoffs, while Kawhi Leonard sports a range of 36.3 - 68.5 FDFP. While I think there's potential to swap the two frequently, Leonard has the most upside.
Can we get to a viable utility player by utilizing all five of the players above? The answer is yes, although the pool at $7,500 and below is quite limited. At least for this series, DeMarcus Cousins ($7,000) has generated the most consistency at this price point, although his median number is right at 10 FDFP currently. Although you've got to hold your nose at this level, it's Luke Kennard ($7,500) who stands out as the minute winner. His numbers are as volatile as the rest of the scrubs at his level, but he's seen more usage than the rest in this series. The inclusion of Kennard always for a combo of Mitchell, Gobert, Leonard, George and Jackson at the three multipliers and one utility With this combination, I will give Leonard the 2x spot, followed by Mitchell at 1.5x and George at 1.2x, with Jackson at the utility.
What should we do with Mike Conley? If he continues to be out, it's time to start thinking about Jordan Clarkson ($11,500) as an alternative, and if Conley is in, it will make for an argument to downgrade Mitchell's position in the multiplier. Overall, Conley is too expensive to risk as his usage will be limited if he plays. Joe Ingles ($9,500) also did well in a starting role, and he is worth consideration as well if Conley is out.
For those who are doing MME builds tonight, I would do a lot of mixing and matching between Michell and Leonard at the 2x spot and injecting more unique builds that move Clarkson into the fold if Conley is absent. However, that will only work with George, Leonard, or Mitchell. The differential with Jackson gives you no relief at the final utility. Pivots of Ingles, Jackson and Clarkson are also great ways to diversify depending on Conley's status.- -