FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Monday 8/3/20
After a 4.5-month hiatus, the 2019-20 NBA season has finally returned.
If you're new to daily fantasy basketball -- maybe you started your DFS journey during the MLB or NFL seasons, or maybe basketball is your sport and this will be your first year giving it a shot -- you're in for a treat. The NBA scene changes on a week-to-week, day-to-day, and -- depending on injury news -- even a minute-to-minute basis, making every slate a unique one that requires an ever-changing approach -- and that's especially the case now.
With so much changing so quickly, we're here with plenty of tools to help you out. We have daily projections, a matchup heat map, a lineup optimizer, and a bunch of other great resources to help give you an edge.
Daily fantasy NBA is very reliant on opportunity, so you'll need to make sure that you're up-to-date with key injuries. Our projections update up until tip-off to reflect current news, we have player news updates, and the FanDuel Scout app will send push notifications for pressing updates regarding your players.
We'll also be coming at you with this primer every day, breaking down a few of the day's top plays at each position.
Let's take a look at who you should target on Monday's six-game slate.
In his two bubble games, Ja Morant ($7,500) has posted 45.7 and 46.3 points, respectively. Let's go back to that well. Tonight he faces a New Orleans Pelicans defense that's second-most generous to point guards on the slate. At $7.5K, he needs just 37.5 FanDuel points for 5X value (or 5.0 FanDuel points per $1,000 in salary), and that's a number he's surpassed quite often this season. He's our model's third-highest projected value at the position.
In that price range, Ben Simmons ($8,100) is also worthy of consideration. Simmons' matchup against the San Antonio Spurs is not one to lose sleep over, but unlike Morant, he needs to eclipse 40 for 5X -- he totaled 39.6 in his bubble opener. numberFire's algorithm has him scoring 40.9, which is just enough for 5X.
In the mid-range, Dejounte Murray ($5,700) is a decent option. The Philadelphia 76ers are one of the stingier teams against opposing point guards, but Murray isn't priced high enough to worry about that. He displayed his ceiling yesterday against the Memphis Grizzlies, totaling 42.5 fantasy points -- it was the third time in five games that he'd scored more than 40. He doesn't even need to get to 30 to achieve 5X, making him a good value.
Chris Paul ($7,600) is closer to mid-range on today's slate and has intriguing upside at his price. CP3's upside isn't huge, but he's got one of the best floors in fantasy. He's scored below 30 in just 3 of his last 23 games, posting at least 39.7 in 11 of those matches. Denver is not an easy matchup, but they are banged-up. Paul's a great option if you're looking for safety from the point guard spot. If Jimmy Butler is out for tonight's contest, Goran Dragic ($5,100) is worth inserting into lineups.
Two Utah Jazz players -- Jordan Clarkson ($4,700) and Donovan Mitchell ($6,800) -- sit atop our model's best value projections at shooting guard. Clarkson is priced at a point where he needs just 23.5 points for 5X. Though he struggled in Saturday's blowout, he did score 37.5 fantasy points in his bubble opener. Utah will need performances like that from him with Bojan Bogdanovic sidelined.
For a guy who regularly records 40-plus, Mitchell is underpriced. The 23-year-old has posted 40 or more in 5 of his last 10 efforts dating back to before the hiatus, and he'll need to do so again if the Jazz are able to keep pace with the Los Angeles Lakers. The upside is worth chasing at a price under $7K.
Speaking of upside, few have more of it than Jrue Holiday ($7,600). Holiday comes in cheap and has 60-plus upside -- that alone makes him worth considering. He scored just 14.5 in a blowout to the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday, which could depress his rostership. This is a player who scored 47 or more in three of his four games prior to suspension of play. Our model has him projected for 42.8 fantasy points tonight.
With Mike Scott, Zhaire Smith, and Glenn Robinson III all out or doubtful for the Philadelphia 76ers, Josh Richardson ($4,400) could stand to benefit. Despite playing 29 minutes, JRich didn't do much in his first contest in the bubble -- he managed just 8.5 FanDuel points. That should lead to less rostership for a guy who posted 26.7 or more in five of his eight outings before the hiatus.
If Butler can't go tonight, Jae Crowder ($4,200) becomes a premium play. As a member of the Miami Heat, Crowder has posted 33.5, 34.8, 31.3, and 43.7 fantasy points in his four games without Butler in the lineup this year. At just $4.2K, that'll definitely play. Butler being out could also make Pascal Siakam ($8,000) an even better play than he already is. Including a 42.3-point performance on Saturday against the Lakers, Siakam has now posted 42-plus in three straight and five out of his last seven. numberFire's models have him surpassing 5X.
Troy Brown ($4,500) continues to get highly favorable prices. Fresh off a 49-point performance, Brown comes in priced at just $4.5K. With Bradley Beal, Davis Bertans, and Gary Payton II out, Brown will continue to see high usage. He's our model's top projected value on the entire slate. Rudy Gay ($4,700) has scored 21.4-plus in six straight, including 30 or more in two of his last four. He'll continue to be involved with LaMarcus Aldridge and Trey Lyles inactive.
Kyle Anderson ($3,900) gets the position's best matchup against a porous New Orleans offense. He's worth considering if you want to load your lineup with studs, but know that his ceiling is quite limited. I like Justin Holiday ($3,800) more in those circumstances.
Let's continue to trot Jaren Jackson Jr. ($6,400) our there while he's still priced reasonably. Jackson has posted 41.6 and 33.6 points in his two games out of the hiatus, and the Pelicans are far from a tough matchup. He still needs just 32 points for 5X -- a number he's proven quite capable of reaching.
If you're going to pay up for a stud at the position, let it be Anthony Davis ($9,600). It's rare that you can get a guy with Davis' ceiling for under $10K, but his first two bubble performances have allowed for that to happen. This matchup will be a bit easier than those were. I'll chase the enormous ceiling here. Our model projects AD to score a position-high 48.1.
Paul Millsap ($4,800) could see a lot of usage for Denver. The veteran had scored 30-plus fantasy points in three of his five games prior to the suspension of play and could get back to that today. However, the matchup with the Oklahoma City Thunder is far from a cakewalk. Millsap is our model's second-highest projected value at power forward. His teammate, Jerami Grant ($4,100), is one to consider if you're looking for even more savings.
Myles Turner ($6,500) is a core play for me tonight. Floodgates tend to open for centers when they face the Washington Wizards, and Turner should be the next in a long line of big men to pummel them. Turner needs just 32.5 for 5X, and I expect him to exceed that with ease.
If you have the cap space, splurge for Nikola Jokic ($8,900). The Thunder are generally tough defensively, but Jokic has dropped 51.9 and 62.8 fantasy points on them in two matchups this season. Best news? He's priced under $9K for the first time since the beginning of January. Take advantage.
I'm a bit wary of Joel Embiid ($9,700), but the fact that he's priced under $10K puts my mind at ease a bit. Embiid hasn't had back-to-back performances of 60-plus FanDuel points all season, though he needs just 48.5 for 5X. The Spurs are a top-eight team defending opposing centers.