3 NBA FanDuel Tournament Plays to Target on 8/21/20
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 Friday's FanDuel main slate (1:30 PM ET).
Jamal Murray ($7,500) - Lost in the fact of how bad the Denver Nuggets defense has been in the restart (121.7 defensive rating, worst in Orlando) is how good the offense has had to be to keep pace in these games where Denver has allowed 123.3 points per game to their opponents.
In the eight Orlando seeding games, the Nuggets put up the fifth-best offensive rating, the best assist ratio, the third-best offensive rebound rate, and the fifth-highest effective field goal percentage. We know that this high-powered Nuggets' offense is run through primarily two players - Murray and Nikola Jokic.
Murray is putting the pedal to the metal in the playoffs, leading the Nuggets to 120 points per game in their two contests and checking in with the fifth-highest offensive rating among all guards in the postseason.
Murray is averaging 41.5 FanDuel points in all his games against the Utah Jazz this season and as long as the horrid Denver defense continues, so should the solid games from Murray.
Garrett Temple ($4,900) - With Joe Harris out for this game for the Brooklyn Nets, we should see heavy ownership on Caris LeVert who will command even more ball-handling and scoring than he has to this point. A low-cost pivot to LeVert should be Temple, who will take on more of a scoring role in addition to his typical strong defensive play.
Harris leaves behind almost 30 minutes of court time and 21% usage that will need to be soaked up by his teammates and LeVvert simply can't consume all of it. Temple should be the other beneficiary as his minutes will now be solidified in the mid- to upper-thirties and he should be able to top 20% usage after being under than number in his last five games.
Despite the low usage, Temple has scored more than 31 FanDuel points in three of his last four games, averaging more than eight fantasy points more in Orlando than he did in the regular season.
Jarrett Allen ($7,400) - Most DFS players today will be making the Nikola Jokic-Joel Embiid coin flip today, but those who wish to pay down at the position can continue to rely on Allen, who is consistently providing excellent value for his price tag.
Despite averaging 39 FanDuel points per game in the bubble, Allen's price has risen only $700 the past three weeks, providing an easy path to 6X value, something he has accomplished in five of his last seven games. Allen's usage remains at only around 18% during the restart, but he ranks third among all centers in rebound rate and fourth in assist ratio, higher than even Jokic.
And while all of these secondary stats are useful for analysis, for Allen it comes down to the simplest stat of all: minutes. Allen's minutes per game in the regular season hovered around 26.5 per night, but that has shot up to more than 37 minutes per game in the bubble. With a solid 1.1 fantasy points per minute on the season, as long as the minutes continue to pile up, so will the stats.