This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.
Wednesday's available slate on DraftKings is a single-game showdown contest for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
MIA vs. BOS (-3.5), O/U: 210
With the return of Gordon Hayward, the Celtics took the necessary steps to figure out the Heat in Game 3. Hayward's presence gives us an additional value target in the Celtics' offense, but regardless of the game's eventual outcome, our elite players are identical, and the stop-loss point for our player selection is also the same. Since value is the key element we need in order to cash, we'll begin by making recommendations from the cheaper options in the player pool. For a deeper look into tackling the Showdown format, you can read my article about a single-game DFS strategy.
FINDING THE VALUE
Duncan Robinson, MIA (CPTN $6,900, UTIL $4,600)
The sharpshooter came back to Earth a bit in Game 3, but the potential upside of over 30 DKFP earns him a UTIL spot. His production is a bit too valuable to boost his salary to $6,900, and we're going to find a more valuable player to get the 1.5x boost. While you can still make a play for a cheaper guy like Brad Wanamaker, we don't need to make that much room for a suitable CPTN at the top.
Jae Crowder, MIA (CPTN $9,000, UTIL $6,900)
We're going to hammer the Miami end of this game for the best value on the slate, and the next man up is Crowder. His past two games against Boston represented two of his worst games in the bubble, but like Robinson, the upside potential for him is too good to pass up. Although Gordon Hayward has freed up Jayson Tatum to provide interior support, Crowder is a nice complement to Bam Adebayo, and the duo can dominate the paint on any given night. The Bucks couldn't overcome the one-two punch, and although Boston has enjoyed a bit more success, Crowder has every opportunity to be a force inside.
Tyler Herro, MIA (CPTN $9,900, UTIL $6,600)
Herro outdid Goran Dragic in Game 3, bringing Dragic's prolific string of production to a screeching halt. The problem with Dragic's run is the inflation of his salary that followed, and he's now at a place where he doesn't make a whole lot of sense in our build if we can get similar production at Herro's salary. The correlation between Herro and Dragic is something to consider, and if Dragic's dip is just a blip on the radar, it could spell trouble for Herro's numbers. There are more paths for our CPTN slot if we take the lower salary for Herro, but it is a bit of a risk/reward scenario.
Gordon Hayward, BOS (CPTN $10,800, UTIL $7,200)
We won't be giving much consideration to Hayward for a CPTN designation, but the expected improvement of numbers in his second game back gives him enough promise for a UTIL spot in some of our builds. Even at the elevated salaries reserved for Showdown contests, Hayward is a great candidate to meet 5x value, especially if you think he can get back to the floor he had before his injury. As he improves, Marcus Smart is going to become a less attractive option despite his 33 DKFP in Game 3.
Bam Adebayo, MIA (CPTN $14,400, UTIL $9,600)
Jayson Tatum, BOS (CPTN $15,900, UTIL $10,600)
If we employ the listed values, you have an option for either of these elites to slide into the CPTN spot. You'll also be able to put the other player into a UTIL position and stay under budget, and I endorse this position in your cash lineups. It probably won't yield the highest score in a GPP, however. Although it's possible that this build could yield the optimal score, more often than not it's a roster that leaves some money on the table that hits a GPP. Since most players maximize their cash and build right to the limit of their salary cap, a roster that doesn't spend all of their cash allotment is automatically more unique in this sort of contest. Likely avenues for this outcome would probably involve using Smart or Jaylen Brown instead of Tatum/Adebayo in the last UTIL position. There's also a way to eliminate Hayward, slot in Smart, Dragic or Brown, and settle for one of them as a CPTN. To summarize, you should try to mix it up in your GPP lineup to ensure a more contrarian build.