3 NBA FanDuel Tournament Plays to Target on 8/19/20
Welcome to playoff NBA DFS! No more crazy rotations or researching players you've never heard of. Playoffs bring tight rotations, more minutes for the stars, and a greater confidence of who will play what role for their playoff teams.
When it's time to start building DFS tournament lineups, especially for the NBA, the fundamental choice to make is whether or not to buy into the chalk plays of the slate. More than any other sport, the popular plays in the NBA are popular for a reason. Where we often get into trouble in tournaments, however, is when we begin to blindly trust a slate's chalk.
This piece will focus on tournaments looking through the lens of the projected chalk plays of that night's games. In an attempt to understand the context of the slate, we will look at contrarian plays that help you gain leverage against the competition.
With a maximum of four games per day from now until the end of the season, it will be even more important to determine where we should differentiate against the field.
Let's take a look at plays for Wednesday's FanDuel main slate (1:30 PM ET).
Seth Curry ($4,400) - Today's tournament selections have a decidedly off-the-radar feel to them as I do a little box score speculating from these team's first games to determine where we can find some contrarian value for today's contests.
It was a mild surprise when Curry vacated the starting lineup on Wednesday for Maxi Kleber, but it didn't stop Curry from putting up 33 minutes and 23 FanDuel points, achieving more than 6x value at his low price.
Bench players will typically be less popular in tournaments, but we can feel confident in Curry's minutes as the Dallas Mavericks need his instant offense to keep up with the firepower of the Los Angeles Clippers. Fortunately for Curry and the Mavericks, the Clippers allowed the fifth-most points to the shooting guard position in the bubble, according to Basketball Monster.
Matisse Thybulle ($3,900) - Thybulle's box score and FanDuel points from Monday don't jump off the page at you (20.3 FanDuel points), although he did reach greater than 5x value as he is near minimum priced on FanDuel.
However, the 33 minutes played Monday really stands out when you check he box scores, and the Philadelphia 76ers may need even more from Thybulle as they look to try and contain Jayson Tatum after his explosion in Game 1. As Justin Phan pointed out, Thybulle was the only defender who was effective in guarding Tatum during that contest.
Start Matisse Thybulle pic.twitter.com/SSuDyeCM0e
— Justin Phan (@jphanned) August 18, 2020
Thybulle did chip in with his typical rebounds, steals, and blocks, as DFS players can count on him to make up for his lack of scoring with other ancillary stats. Those points are like gold in FanDuel's scoring system.
Considering Paul Millsap played only 29 minutes, Torrey Craig played 21, and Grant played 10 minutes more than the next highest Nuggets' bench player, we can look for Grant to continue to play an expanded role as this series moves along.
Grant not only substituted in for any of the minutes that Millsap was on the bench, but he also subbed in for Craig whenever the Nuggets would roll out their big-and-long lineup that they experimented with in the early stages of the bubble.
What was most impressive about Grant's game on Monday was his aggressiveness in attacking the basket. He took almost half of his team's total free throw attempts (8 of 18), a number even more impressive when you consider he only averaged 2.8 free throw attempts per game in the regular season.
And while it doesn't help Monday's DFS players, those looking at the Wednesday slate can be encouraged that Grant was able to put up 29 FanDuel points without pulling down a single rebound, something surely to regress back to his more typical four rebounds per game (in only 26 minutes per contest).