FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Friday 8/7/20

After a 4.5-month hiatus, the 2019-20 NBA restart is officially underway.

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 Friday's five-game main slate, which locks at 4:00 PM ET. Keep in mind, the game between the Utah Jazz and San Antonio Spurs is not included on the main slate.

Point Guard

Against a leaky Brooklyn Nets defense, De'Aaron Fox ($8,000) is one of my core plays. In four bubble games, Fox has posted 54.6, 18.9, 49.1, and 57.6 points. Sure, he has a low floor, but it's rare to get that kind of upside at $8K. The Nets have allowed the third-most points to opposing point guards on the season, which makes Fox a tough play to pass on. In that same range, I'll be looking to roster Chris Paul ($7,800). Paul has averaged 44.5 points in two matchups with the Memphis Grizzlies this year, and our model is expecting a similar performance from him on Friday. The Grizzlies have allowed an average of 47.3 fantasy points to the point position in the bubble.

Kyle Lowry ($7,200) needs 36 FD points to attain 5X value. Since the restart, he's posted 57.8, 36.1, and 35.8. Out model has him scoring 38.2.

Our model likes Kemba Walker ($4,800) a ton on this slate. Walker finally surpassed 25 minutes in Tuesday's game against the Miami Heat, and if he gets run against the Toronto Raptors, he should produce. Toronto has allowed the second-most points to the point guard position since the league restarted. Shake Milton ($4,700) will be a great start in DFS until Ben Simmons returns.

D.J. Augustin ($3,900) is currently our model's preferred option if you're in need of savings.

Shooting Guard

If Caris LeVert ($7,900) is healthy, he should be well worth rostering. Since the league restarted, the Sacramento Kings have surrendered the third-most points to opposing two-guards. Levert is the primary source of offense for Brooklyn and should see a heap of usage. At a minimum salary, Alec Burks ($3,500) is numberFire's current top-projected value at shooting guard. Burks will get plenty of run while Simmons is out. He's worth considering if you want to load your lineups with studs.

What was said for Burks can be said for Josh Richardson ($4,800). Richardson doesn't even need 25 fantasy points to reach 5X value (or 5.0 points for every $1,000 in salary), and he should be able to attain it against the Orlando Magic. Our model has him surpassing 5X with ease.

If you're chasing upside, you can do worse than Jrue Holiday ($7,700). Holiday hasn't come close to a ceiling performance in the bubble, but a matchup with the Washington Wizards could cure that quickly.

Small Forward

Gordon Hayward ($5,900) consistently records 30-plus fantasy points, which is why seeing him priced at $5.9K is just weird. The matchup against the Raptors isn't fantastic, but Hayward's already dropped 33.7 or more twice on them this season. He's our model's current top-projected value at small forward. Our model also likes Brandon Ingram ($7,500). Like his teammate Holiday, Ingram hasn't had any explosive performances in the bubble, but a clash with Washington could change that. We have him projected for 40.4 points on Friday.

In the affordable price range, our model likes OG Anunoby ($4,400), Kyle Anderson ($4,300), and Harrison Barnes ($4,300).

Pascal Siakam ($7,500) is projected by numberFire to post 40.8 points, surpassing 5X value. Tobias Harris ($6,800) could see increased usage with Simmons out.

Power Forward

Jayson Tatum ($7,500) is priced down after a couple of mediocre performances, which means it's a great time to pounce. In his last five games following a sub-30 fantasy-point output, Tatum has bounced back with 38.0, 42.9, 48.4, 49.7, and 57.8. He'll face a Toronto defense that's allowed 51.2 fantasy points to power forwards since the restart, good for fourth-most. Our model has him as the third-best value at the position.

Nemanja Bjelica ($4,800) has totaled 26.3 points or more in three of his four bubble games and needs just 24 points for 5X. Luckily for him, Bjelica will face a depleted Brooklyn squad that's allowed the third-most points to the position since the league restarted. Our model has him as the second-best value at power forward.

numberFire's algorithms also like Al Horford ($4,800). Horford averages an additional 0.05 fantasy points per minute with Simmons off the court this season. Serge Ibaka ($4,900) comes in under $5K and is projected to eclipse 5X value.


Joel Embiid ($9,800). That is all.

But seriously, Embiid averages an additional 0.15 fantasy points per minute with Simmons off the court. As if he wasn't scoring enough. In his last three games with Simmons inactive, Embiid has posted 68.2, 50.3, and 78.3. He's our model's highest projected scorer across all positions, and he's priced under $10K. What are you waiting for?

If for some reason you can't pay up for the slate's biggest stud, or if you want to be contrarian, Nikola Vucevic ($7,800) or Jonas Valanciunas ($7,500) would be the guys to target.