DraftKings Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Friday 7/31/20
With six 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.
C.J. McCollum ($7,500) -- McCollum's role with the Portland Trail Blazers is expected to increase with teammate Damian Lillard ($9,300) dealing with foot inflammation. Lillard's expected to play versus Memphis Grizzlies, but McCollum could be their leading scorer for the second time versus Memphis. In the first meeting, McCollum scored a team-high 23 points, dished out five assists, and grabbed three boards for 37.3 fantasy points. On the season, the Grizzlies allow the fourth-most fantasy points per game to shooting guards (43.36) and the fifth-most real-world points per game (24.16). Memphis is also one of five teams that McCollum averages 20 points or more against for his career. numberFire's model predicts McCollum to record 23.0 points, 4.2 assists, and 4.2 rebounds in his first game back.
Shabazz Napier ($5,700) -- The Washington Wizards are down their best players heading into the league's restart, and with a 0.1% chance at making the postseason, the youth movement has begun. Napier closed out the season on an impressive stretch, totaling 48 points, 13 assists, 7 steals, and 6 rebounds across his last two games before the hiatus. Now that Bradley Beal and Davis Bertans are out, the Wizards have a ton of value options who should see a drastic minute and production increase. Napier could be the primary beneficiary from Beal opting out, and the Phoenix Suns are an excellent team to start the eight-game bubble against. Phoenix allows the sixth-most fantasy points per game to point guards (48.18) and the second-most real-world points per game (25.33). He's only played 13.6 minutes without Beal and Bertans, so there isn't much to look at in the on/off stats, but he and Ishmael Smith ($4,000) are great plays in DFS when it comes to this depleted roster.
Caris LeVert ($7,800) -- LeVert will manage the load with Spencer Dinwiddie, Kyrie Irving, and DeAndre Jordan, and more out for the Brooklyn Nets. He's averaging a career high in points (17.2), rebounds (4.1), and his second-most assists (4.1) per game this season. LeVert has a 33% usage rate and is averaging 1.25 fantasy points per minute when Dinwiddie, Irving, and Jordan are off the floor. With them, he's at a 15.5% usage rate and 0.68 fantasy points per minute -- a drastic drop-off. It's obvious LeVert is the guy in Brooklyn right now, and every night he will have the opportunity to lead the team in shot attempts. His opponent, the Orlando Magic, ranks 15th in fantasy points per game to shooting guards allowing 41.60 per game. The Magic-Nets matchup will be for sole possession of the 7 seed. LeVert put up a 38.8-fantasy point performance in the first and only meeting with the Magic this season. LeVert's projected for 22.7 points, 6.0 assists, and 5.0 rebounds for the Nets.
Derrick White ($5,700) -- White is in for an increased role with the San Antonio Spurs after a few players opted out of the restart. The Spurs are on the outside looking in, and after a few losses, their season will likely be over, so they could resort to giving their younger players extensive minutes. White would be one of the Spurs expected to benefit the most from the additional time.
White had two low-output games versus the Sacramento Kings -- Friday's foe -- recording 11.3 fantasy points in 23.1 minutes, but numberFire's model projects him to total 12.9 points, 4.4 assists, and 4.2 rebounds in his bubble debut. The Kings allow the 11th-most fantasy points per game to shooting guards (42.27) and the fifth-most assists (5.00). White is averaging 3.4 assists on the season, and if he can be one of the facilitators of the offense, his $5,700 price tag is worth it. The main factor in White's projected success is he's played the most minutes on the team without LaMarcus Aldridge (722.1), who's sitting out of the restart. White's a candidate to outproduce his projections every night for the Spurs.
Luka Doncic ($10,500) -- Doncic is one of three players projected to score 30 points and total more than 50 fantasy points on tonight's slate. Doncic's averaging a whopping 57 fantasy points per game on the season, and he put up silly numbers in the Dallas Mavericks' scrimmages. Doncic had 20 points, 11 rebounds, and 9 assists in 24 minutes of their final exhibition game, so you could say he's feeling and looking well. The Mavericks' star is always a threat to drop a double-double, and facing a small-ball lineup versus the Houston Rockets, Doncic could go for double-digit rebounds. In his only game versus the Rockets, he went for 71 fantasy points on 41 points, 10 assists, and 6 rebounds in 34.3 minutes earlier in the season. He's a must-have versus the Rockets and their less-than-stellar defense.
Mikal Bridges ($5,600) -- The Suns will likely be monitoring the minutes of their main players, and Bridges is a young player who can see an increase in run. Kelly Oubre ($5,400) may play, and that will impact Bridges' DFS value, but if Oubre doesn't play, Bridges is a great pick. Bridges balled out in the Suns' final scrimmage -- going for 26 points, 5 assists, and 3 rebounds in 27 minutes. Headed into the first game versus a Wizards defense that allows an NBA-worst 119.7 points per game, Bridges is undervalued at $5,600. The Wizards' starting lineup will look different than it has all year, and Bridges should see some time versus what are usually bench players, making him a sweet play if Oubre is out.
Rui Hachimura ($7,400) -- Hachimura has scored at least 15 points in the Wizards' last three scrimmages, and he double-doubled in one game with another finish one rebound short of a second. The Wizards' top two scorers in Beal and Bertans are out, giving Hachimura a chance to step in as the leading scorer and leading rebounder for Washington. Hachimura met the Suns once and totaled 17.5 fantasy points in 31 minutes, and after his three scrimmages, he has a great chance to go over that total. numberFire's model projects Hachimura to amass 14.6 points and 6.4 rebounds in 31 minutes versus the Suns, but that could be a conservative forecast. Hachimura could play his best ball of the season in the final eight games as the Wizards get experimental with their lineup.
Giannis Antetokounmpo ($10,500) -- Antetokounmpo is averaging 60.1 fantasy points per game on the season, and in two games versus the Boston Celtics, he has averaged 60.1 fantasy points. He's the highest-projected fantasy performer tonight by numberFire's model and rightfully so. Antetokounmpo played 44 minutes combined in the last two scrimmages and scored 52 real-world points total. He's clicking and averaging 15.5 rebounds versus the Celtics, so a double-double is likely and backed by numberFire's model.
Aron Baynes ($5,100) -- The Suns are going to be careful with Deandre Ayton's ($7,900) minutes moving forward, and Baynes is the top candidate to reap the benefits. Baynes hasn't played the Wizards this season, and Washington's big man situation is limited. Baynes could double-double in the Suns' first game back, depending on how many minutes Ayton plays. Baynes is projected to record 13.6 points and 6.8 rebounds in his first game back. He's going to be worth watching from game to game, and without Ayton, he's averaging 1.03 fantasy points per minute (compared to 0.85 with him). Baynes is a low-risk play for $5,100 versus the Wizards' interior and could be a friendly DFS player over the next eight games.
Kristaps Porzingis ($8,600) -- Porzingis is one of my favorite plays and stacks for the night. With the Rockets' small-ball lineup, Porzingis could be a nightmare to their defense in and out of the paint. The 7-foot-3 Latvian star is averaging 53.9 fantasy points per game versus the Rockets and 40.3 overall on the season. He's a huge mismatch, and he's one of the best plays for big men. The Rockets allow the 11th-most fantasy points per game to centers (54.50) and the fifth-most to power forwards (50.13). That's enough to make Porzingis a lock for my DFS lineups, and he's my top play for centers. Stacking Doncic and Porzingis can be a recipe for 100 fantasy points between the two versus the Rockets.
Vaughn Dalzell is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Vaughn also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his 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.