DraftKings Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Tuesday 8/18/20
With four games to choose from on today's NBA slate, let's look at how to utilize the DFS possibilities.
Here are some of the top plays on DraftKings. As always, good luck.
Damian Lillard ($11,400) -- Lillard has recorded 48 or more fantasy points in eight of nine bubble games and 54 or more in his last four. He's scored 29 or more in seven of nine games for the Blazers and was named Bubble MVP after wheeling Portland into the eighth seed. Lillard has also dished 7 or more assists in his last four games, including a double-double in his previous two with 10 and 12 assists with 31 and 42 points.
The Lakers have a plethora of guards on their roster that have played double-digit minutes during the bubble, but none of which outside of LeBron James ($10,700) can guard him. It's wise to continue riding Lillard in fantasy and prop bets because he's playing an MVP level in the bubble. numberFire's model projects Lillard to record 34.6 points, 8.2 assists, and 4.8 rebounds in 41.4 minutes.
Kendrick Nunn ($5,600) -- Nunn was demoted to the bench for the restart and will back up Goran Dragic ($4,400), and that could be the best-case scenario for his DFS numbers. With the second-team, he's able to be a primary facilitator and scorer and raise his usage rate. Without Dragic, Jimmy Butler ($7,600), and Bam Adebayo ($7,400) on the floor, Nunn's usage rate is a team-high 31.7% and averages 1.11 fantasy points per minute opposed to 18.5% usage rate and 0.76 points per minute with them. The Pacers have one of the better defensive guard duos in Malcolm Brogdon and Victor Oladipo, so Nunn facing their second-unit is great for DFS owners.
James Harden ($11,700) -- Harden will be without Russell Westbrook for the near future, and that's music to the ears of DFS players. Harden has scored 30 or more in four of seven games and recorded three double-doubles. Harden averages 59.9 fantasy points per game on the season, and in three games versus the Thunder, he's averaged 45.8. Harden's shooting particularly poor versus the Thunder, going 32.8% from the field and 15% from three, but without Westbrook, he's going to take as many shots as he can while being the primary facilitator.
Harden has recorded at least 13 combined rebounds and assists in all seven bubble games and led the team in scoring five of those games. numberFire's model projects Harden to have 35.7 points, 7.6 assists, and 6.8 rebounds. He should be the top play of the night and every night without Westbrook.
Gary Trent Jr. ($5,200) -- Trent Jr. had another reliable performance off the bench recording 26 fantasy points for the second time in a row, marking seven of nine games hitting that total. He also surpassed his season average of 15.4 fantasy points in eight of nine games, becoming an essential asset in this Blazers' run. Trent will have the opportunity of matching up with Dion Waiters ($4,100), J.R. Smith ($3,000), and Alex Caruso ($4,300), which is a positive for him and Portland.
He's attempted at least 10 shots in six of nine games, and he's been a problem defensively racking up nine steals in his last three games, including five versus Memphis to make the playoffs. On small slates, the role players that have significant games will be the ones that separate you from placing near the top or the middle-tiers of DFS; and Trent is a difference-maker when given the minutes.
Carmelo Anthony ($5,800) -- Too many people are surprised by Melo's success in the bubble. Playing his natural small forward position creates better offensive mismatches for him compared to being a defensive liability as a power forward. Anthony has surpassed his 28.2 fantasy point average in five of nine games during the bubble and scored 20 or more points in five. While he's only recorded one double-double, Anthony has totaled seven or more boards in six of nine contests.
Matched up with Kyle Kuzma ($6,400), Anthony could make an impact scoring once again, and he will attempt to carry over his 20 points in four of his last five games versus the Lakers. numberFire's model projects Melo to record 14.5 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 1.7 assists in his first postseason game with the Blazers.
Danilo Gallinari ($6,100) -- Gallinari is well-rested for the Thunder's opening round of the playoffs after playing only nine minutes in his last contest and 25 or fewer in six of the previous seven. The rotation has been a bit funky with multiple players missing time, but they're expected to have the main lineup back, and Gallinari is one of a few key players worth a stab versus Houston. His ability to stretch the floor, 40.5% from deep on the season, will cause problems for the Rockets.
Gallinari has met Houston three times this season, and he's averaged 21.7 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 2.3 assists, for 40.7 fantasy points per game. On the season, he only averages 30.7 fantasy points, and despite him not reaching that total in the bubble, I expect him to find his rhythm tonight.
Giannis Antetokounmpo ($10,500) -- Giannis is fresh off a suspension and has had six days off since his last game. On three days of rest or more this season, he's averaging 32.5 points,14.1 rebounds, and 6.1 assists in 30.8 minutes. He's met the Magic three times this season, and every time he's put on a show. Giannis is averaging 26.3 points, 15.7 rebounds, and 7.7 assists in 32.5 minutes versus Orlando. In the bubble, he's recorded four double-doubles in six games and has shot 50% or better in five of six. numberFire's model predicts Giannis' stat line to be an impressive 29.3 points, 14.7 rebounds, and 6.2 assists in game one of the series.
Kyle Kuzma ($6,400) -- Kuzma is on a mini-hot streak as he's picked up his play over the last three games for the Lakers. His fantasy average on the season is 22.2 points per game, but over the previous three, he's recorded games of 26.25, 39.75, and 42.0 fantasy points. He scored 21 or more real points in two of those three games, and he's attempted at least 14 shots in all three. When James and Anthony Davis ($10,400) are on the floor, Kuzma is averaging 0.78 fantasy points per minute and the third-highest usage rate (19.0%) behind them. When Rajon Rondo returns to the lineup, it's unclear what will happen to Kuzma's role, but for now, back him in a few games while he remains in the lineup.
Steven Adams ($6,400) -- Adams is cleared to play after only logging six minutes in his last game. Adams went down with a leg injury earlier in the bubble, so his health is worth watching, but he's a threat to double-double versus the Rockets. In three meetings this season, Adams has averaged 7.0 points and 6.7 rebounds over 17.5 minutes per game. Adams recorded 20 or more fantasy points in the four games he did play more than six minutes, and if he exceeds 25-plus minutes against the Rockets, he could be worth a play as a slightly cheaper center.
Nikola Vucevic ($8,800) -- In three meetings versus the Bucks, he's averaged 18.7 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 4.0 assists over 30.3 minutes. Vucevic has little help around him but is much more up to par for a four-game series with Milwaukee than his teammates. Vucevic can stretch the floor and hit threes versus a Bucks team that ranked last in three-pointers allowed during the bubble (45.3). Milwaukee allows the second-most three-pointers to centers (1.39) and the most assists per game (4.07). He's connected on multiple three-pointers in six out of eight games.
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.com