FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Saturday 8/8/20
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.
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 break down today's main slate:
Damian Lillard ($9,700): Really, this is quite an ugly slate, as the missing totals would indicate. We have multiple teams with virtually nothing to play for (the Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers, both of whom have clinched the one seed), the Jazz resting players seemingly hoping to play the injured Nuggets in Round 1, and the Dallas Mavericks close to locked into the 7 seed. This slate could become incredibly messy with surprise rest news today, so keep a sharp eye out in our player news section.
Point guard is especially chaotic, and a lot of that is due to injuries. Someone who is not messy and not injured is Dame Lillard, and he is a solid option even at a high price tag here. Every game is virtually a must-win for the Portland Trail Blazers, so Lillard will see his full allotment of minutes and effort. The Clippers are a neutral matchup for Dame, ranking 15th in FanDuel points allowed to opposing point guards, but two things play in his favor -- the Clippers will be without Patrick Beverley, who is still nursing a sore calf, and they give up plenty of three-point looks (fifth in the NBA).
Eric Bledsoe ($5,300): Really, I'd love to put Goran Dragic in here against his former team, but he is iffy at best with an ankle injury. Of all the Bucks' options, Bledsoe is actually the best one because his workload is easiest to predict. He is still working his way back from a late arrival to the bubble, so Milwaukee may actually ramp up his minutes in an effort to get their point guard ready for the postseason. He is currently projected for a healthy 27.5 minutes by numberFire, which seems about accurate, and that's accompanied by a projection for 30.6 FanDuel points against the Mavs.
Luka Doncic ($10,700): Doncic's ownership was reduced significantly with all the injuries on Thursday, but unfortunately so he was his production. Boban Marjanovic was inserted into the starting lineup, which really hurts Doncic's rebounding rate. He drops from 10.19 rebounds per 36 minutes to 7.97 with Boban on the floor, so that is something to monitor moving forward. However, against the Bucks, who hold the league's highest pace, Marjanovic likely cannot see the floor as much on Saturday. If he can rebound at his normal rate at such a high pace, Doncic is underpriced here. However, with the Mavs virtually locked into the 7 seed, Doncic is a candidate for rest, which would make this slate absolutely wild with value.
Tyler Herro ($4,500): Thursday's hero -- no pun intended -- was Herro, who stepped up huge for Miami and dropped 20 points with Dragic and Jimmy Butler out against the Bucks. It is a little unfortunate that all of Thursday's best performers -- Herro, Andre Iguodala, and Duncan Robinson -- are all listed as shooting guards, which makes it hard to attack the Heat's value players and still get to Luka Doncic. If Dragic misses again, Herro likely starts and sees the most usage in the entire backcourt. This could be a showcase for the talented first-rounder against the Phoenix Suns, who give up the seventh-most FanDuel points to opposing shooting guards.
Other Notable Picks: Paul George ($7,700), Andre Iguodala ($4,400), Duncan Robinson ($4,100)
Kawhi Leonard ($8,600): Small forward takes the cake for the worst position on the slate. Giannis Antetokounmpo and LeBron James are both nearly untouchable at their price with risk of resting, and bubble hero T.J. Warren is questionable with a sore foot against the Lakers, who have been a great defense all season. Leonard still lives at this fairly affordable price tag, and still should see his regular minutes as Los Angeles jockeys with Denver for the two-seed in the West. This is the one total on the board (as of early Saturday morning), and it is a gaudy one at 234, which means Leonard should have plenty of chances to score as LA's primary ball-handler (33.6% usage) and scorer (26.9 points per game).
Cameron Johnson ($4,500): Johnson was a questionable pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, but he has found a home replacing Kelly Oubre as Phoenix's starting power forward. Johnson is seeing a ton of minutes at 37.6 minutes, which speaks to his great play with so many other wing options for Phoenix, and he is making the most of them. The North Carolina Tar Heels' product has averaged 29.33 FanDuel points inside the Orlando bubble, which is way too many for such a small price tag here.
Bam Adebayo ($7,500): Adebayo had a rough game on Thursday, limited to 21 minutes due to foul trouble in the Heat's loss. He is in a phenomenal spot to bounce back against the Suns, who give up the fifth-most FanDuel points to opposing power forwards. Adebayo, as long as the whistle is not as tight, should be able to take advantage of the added usage without Jimmy Butler, as he sees 22.4% usage rate with the Heat's All-Star guard off the floor -- which is tremendous for a player who gets a ton of time at center and collects 10.95 rebounds per 36 minutes.
Marcus Morris ($4,300): Many league pundits believe the Clippers are the best team, and all of a sudden, the younger Morris twin is seeing plenty of time on the floor for them. Morris has seen 35 minutes in each of the last two games, and he has turned that into 28.5 and 28.8 FanDuel points into those two outings. That would be a FanDuel value score of 6.70 at this price, which puts him near the top point-per-dollar picks assuming resting stars do not open other value options.
Jusuf Nurkic ($8,500): Nurkic had an "off-night" on Thursday against Denver, totaling 22 points and 7 rebounds. He still has been tremendous inside the bubble and is now second in the league in FanDuel points per minute at 1.62, just behind Giannis and in front of Luka Doncic. The salary on Nurkic is not nearly as high as it is for those two, and Nurkic is still averaging 32 minutes a game inside the bubble to make use of the production. He is a tremendous pairing in a stack with Lillard, as both he (1.60) and Lillard (1.29) preserve their tremendous FanDuel point-per-minute markers when they play together, which is not always the case for two stars.
Austin Swaim is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Austin Swaim also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username ASwaim3. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.