DraftKings Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Thursday 7/30/20

The NBA is back. Which players should you zero in on for today's two-game slate?

With two games to choose from on tonight's opening NBA slate, let's take a look at how to utilize the DFS possibilities.

Here are some of the top plays on DraftKings. As always, good luck.

Point Guard

Reggie Jackson ($4,600) -- The Los Angeles Clippers are thin all-around with Louis Williams (quarantine), Montrezl Harrell (personal), and Patrick Beverley (personal) all either out or a game-time call. Jackson will be the point guard of the Los Angeles Clippers, and he has a 19.7% usage rate without those three on the floor, compared to 18.2% with Harrell and Williams on.

Jackson has played in only one game versus the Los Angeles Lakers and recorded 14.3 minutes and 11.8 fantasy points in that one. The Lakers allow the ninth-most fantasy points per game to point guards (48.62) and the fifth-most assists per game (8.51). Jackson played at least 18 minutes as the starting point guard in the Clippers' three exhibition games, and he scored at least nine points all three times. Jackson is projected by numberFire's model to tally only 17.5 fantasy points, but with all the uncertainty around the Clippers and their lineup, grab Jackson as a low-risk, high-reward option tonight.

Jrue Holiday ($8,600) -- Holiday quietly holds the highest fantasy average per game on the New Orleans Pelicans, at 40.8. Only a handful of players average 40 or more per night on this two-game slate, and he has the potential to be one of the top fantasy scorers. Holiday averages 1.20 fantasy points per minute with Zion Williamson ($7,500) on the floor. Without Williamson, Holiday has the second-highest usage rate on the team (26.2%) and scores the second-most fantasy points per minute (1.14). Zion is questionable for tonight.

Holiday is projected to have 19.4 points, 7.1 assists, and 4.9 rebounds by numberFire's model. That's 40.2 fantasy points, and he is one of the only guards on this slate who has been able to consistently demonstrate that type of production. Holiday's 7.1 assists are the third-highest projection total tonight, and his 19.4 is the eighth-most. He's worth the buy over teammate Lonzo Ball ($7,400) and other point guards.

Shooting Guard

Jordan Clarkson ($4,200) -- In two meetings versus the Pelicans this season as a member of the Utah Jazz, Clarkson has averaged 22.4 fantasy points in 22.5 minutes. He averages 15.5 points and two combined rebounds and assists versus New Orleans. Clarkson is primarily known as just a scorer, but he showed flashes in scrimmages that he can contribute more to DFS. Clarkson grabbed nine total rebounds in his last two exhibition games and added a few steals and assists per game, as well, off the bench.

The Pelicans allow the seventh-most fantasy points per game to shooting guards (43.62) and fourth-most points per game (24.18) overall. Against point guards, they post similar numbers, surrendering the seventh-most fantasy points (49.24) and eighth-most real-world points (24.61). Clarkson could find success scoring versus a team not known much for their defense, and he may get lost in the shuffle tonight with more potent shooting guards available -- like this next dude.

Donovan Mitchell ($7,000) -- Mitchell resumes his role as the primary scoring option for the Jazz, and at a fair $7,000 price tag, he should be an automatic play tonight. Mitchell is projected to finish second in scoring tonight with 26.8 points, and he's one of seven players predicted to post 40 or more fantasy points (40.2). In three meetings with the Pelicans, Mitchell averages 51.1 fantasy points per game -- well over his 38.4 season average. He's scored 34 points per game versus the Pels and added 10 combined rebounds and assists per meeting.

If New Orleans chooses to utilize its second-ranked pace (106.4), that will only help Mitchell's DFS outlook.

Small Forward

Marcus Morris ($4,700) -- Morris played in two scrimmage games with the Clippers and will prepare for a lengthed role for the short-term. Playing either behind Paul George and Kawhi Leonard or beside them, Morris will have to carry more of a load offensively with multiple Clippers out. In his two exhibition games, he scored 13 and 18 points in 24 minutes per night. Morris played 195 of his 340 minutes alongside George and Leonard, and he registered 0.66 fantasy points per minute on a 16.3% usage rate in that split. On the season with the Clippers, Morris is averaging 0.70 fantasy points per minute and a 17.1% usage rate.

With Harrell and Williams out, Morris could see some extended minutes with the bench throughout the game. In his first game versus the Lakers this campaign, Morris scored only one point and put up six rebounds for 11.5 fantasy points in 29.4 minutes. This time around, numberFire's model projects him for 20.1 fantasy points in 26 minutes.

Joe Ingles ($5,700) -- Ingles is projected to finish with 25.2 fantasy points tonight. That's only 3.3 points behind teammates Mike Conley, and Ingles can be had for $500 fewer. Conley has scored recently in the scrimmages, but Ingles steps into a more substantial role with Bojan Bogdanovic out for the Jazz. Ingles is projected to dish out more assists (5.7) than Conley (4.6) and grab more boards (4.1) than Conley (3.5) despite being cheaper.

With Bojan off the floor, Ingles' usage rate is 15.6%, and he racks up 0.81 fantasy points per minute. Ingles is a candidate for a short-term breakout, and considering the lowest scoring total was 248 points in the three meetings between the Jazz and Pelicans, he could score more points than his expected 10.5.

Power Forward

JaMychal Green ($3,500) -- Green has the potential to see a massive increase in minutes with the Clips short-handed. Competing with mostly Ivica Zubac for minutes, Green could be a cheap candidate for a double-double. With Harrell out, rebounding will be an all-hands-on-deck situation for the Clippers, and Green will be vital. He played at least 20 minutes in all three scrimmages, and versus the Lakers this season, he's averaging more fantasy points (14.4) than minutes played (12.2). Not many DFS players at $3,500 are worth a play, but Green's upside is tremendous for a guy this cheap -- at least until the Clippers get back to full strength.

Anthony Davis ($10,000) -- Davis is projected to be the top fantasy player on opening night as we peg him for 54.7 fantasy points. We project him to be the leading scorer with 27.7 points. This season Davis has averaged 46.3 fantasy points per game on 26.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 3.3 assists. The Clippers rank 14th in fantasy points per game to centers (45.08) and 13th versus power forwards (47.49). Davis has the advantage of going against a Harrell-less Clippers squad that will be dependent on Green and Zubac to stop him. That's probably not going to go well for the Clips.

Davis' 2019-20 regular season total of 51.1 fantasy points per game trails only LeBron James' 55.8 as the highest on tonight's slate. I'd back the cheaper Davis -- LeBron is $10,700 -- as he could have the more statistically dominant game.


Rudy Gobert ($7,100) -- Gobert has met the Pelicans twice during the regular season, and both times, he has done damage to the New Orleans interior. The French center and two-time reigning Defensive Player of the Year is averaging 13.0 points and 16.5 rebounds in two games versus New Orleans during the 2019-20 campaign. Gobert has grabbed at least 14 rebounds in both games and has totaled 40.4 fantasy points per game versus the Pelicans -- not far off from his season average of 40.1.

Gobert finished off the last two scrimmages with stellar performances, recording 20 points and seven rebounds in one and 21 points and eight rebounds in another, all while playing 22 and 24 minutes. He's looking healthy and ready for opening night for the Jazz, and taking on a weak Pelicans interior, he can once again have a field day. numberFire's model projects Gobert to have 15.5 points and 14.0 rebounds for 40.8 fantasy points.

Jaxson Hayes ($3,000) -- Right now, Hayes' main competition for minutes is Derrick Favors ($5,800), Nicolo Melli ($4,000), and Jahlil Okafor ($3,000). Hayes finished the final scrimmage with 17 points in 21 minutes, and in three games versus the Jazz this season, he has averaged 20.4 minutes and 19.6 fantasy points per game. The 20-year-old rookie has the highest ceiling of the Pels' center options on a nightly basis, and if Favors is in foul trouble or having an off night, Hayes is the next man up. He's not a bad dart throw at a thin center position.

Vaughn Dalzell is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Vaughn also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username vdalzell. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.