FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Sunday 8/23/20
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:
The most significant injury news on the slate pertains to Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic, as the most expensive player in the player pool, is a game-time decision with his ankle injury suffered in Game 3 on Friday. Patrick Beverley is also doubtful for the Los Angeles Clippers due to his lingering calf issue, which could once again shuffle LA's rotation.
Jamal Murray ($7,300): Surely, the Denver Nuggets do not get run off the floor again, right? With what looked like an unstoppable offense in Game 1, the Nuggets have horribly failed to stop the Utah Jazz in their series thus far, and as a result, they have the worst defensive rating in the NBA playoffs at 129.1. That has impacted the production of their starters with large, early blowouts, but the three-point spread on FanDuel Sportsbook has Game 4 on Sunday pegged to be closer. Even with the blowouts, Jamal Murray has still outproduced his price tag with 36.03 FanDuel points per game in the series so far. Given a full allotment of minutes, Murray should make good on a solid 26.6% usage rate he has seen in the playoffs, which is up 1% from his regular-season rate.
Seth Curry ($4,800): The Mavericks are the focal point of the slate, depending on the status of their star, Luka Doncic. Considering Doncic was second in the NBA in FanDuel points per minute this year, Dallas could have plenty of usage available in a must-win game. Seth Curry is the best Mavs' option at a tough point guard spot to fill Sunday, and he produced as Doncic was off the floor Friday as well, pouring in 22 points in 30 minutes. Curry likely also slides into the starting lineup if Doncic were to sit, and given his 3.4% usage increase without Luka, it would likely be as a heavy contributor.
Paul George ($7,900): The top of the heap at shooting guard is loaded, but George stands out, due for some badly-due positive regression. George even admitted that he is definitely no James Harden, but the Clippers' co-star is just simply in a shooting slump incredibly uncharacteristic of his normal play. At only 29.9% shooting, George has struggled to score, which is the explanation behind his poor 34.4 FanDuel points per game in the series. His 25.6% usage indicates his normal primary role in the offense is still intact, and if he can make more of his shots, he should see that improvement translate to FanDuel points on Sunday.
Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot ($4,700): Once Joe Harris exited the bubble, his starting role and minutes were up for grabs, but those have almost wholly been consumed by "TLC". Luwawu-Cabarrot has a more prominent role in the offense than a last-minute stand-in would normally profile for, with a 20.9% usage inside the Brooklyn Nets' offense this postseason. He continues to see heavy minutes, averaging 33.3 minutes in the series as well. He is a solid value at the deepest position on the slate.
Jaylen Brown ($6,800): The Boston Celtics will continue to search for a group effort to replace the production of Gordon Hayward. Brown is only third on the C's in usage (21.4%) without Hayward but is also a distant third-cheapest on the slate. Brown also has a solid fantasy floor due to his 0.20 rebounds per minute rate as a shooting guard. Brown also saw 41 of 48 minutes against Philadelphia, and although that was with Jayson Tatum in foul trouble, the Celtics' wing depth is questionable at best, and heavy minutes for the talented wing may be Brad Stevens' best option moving forward.
OG Anunoby ($4,700): Anunoby continues to see huge minutes in an elite, efficient offense, which will always be an upside for daily fantasy. Anunoby is averaging 34.33 minutes in this series. The solid defender has a lot of upside baked into his 1.64 steals per 36 minutes mark, and Anunoby does have at least one steal in each of the first three games of this series. He has yet to eclipse his 12.76 points per 36 minutes mark though, so a scoring uptick may be on the horizon. Anunoby takes a sizable step back to the Mavericks' small forward options if Luka misses Sunday's contest, but if Luka were to be ready to go, Anunoby is the better option.
Kristaps Porzingis ($9,000): Porzingis is a go-to cornerstone of the slate if his co-star Luka Doncic is ruled out of Sunday's game, but even if Luka were to play, the Latvian center is still an option at a weak power forward spot. His last game was more in line with his season-long average of 1.27 FanDuel points per minute, as he recorded 1.39 FanDuel points per minutes in 38 minutes in Friday's contest. Porzingis continues to have the benefit of working against the Clippers' disjointed frontcourt situation that led LA to give up the fifth-most FanDuel points to opposing power forwards. If Luka does miss this contest, Porzingis saw a 0.23 FanDuel points per minute increase in the regular season without Doncic, so he becomes a must-have option.
Marcus Morris ($5,300): Not much was expected of Morris when the Clippers signed him after a buyout from the Detroit Pistons, but Morris is an entrenched starter and has produced well beyond expectations. He is averaging 33 minutes per game and 32.8 FanDuel points per game in the three contests versus Dallas in the playoffs, and there has been no indication that the return of Montrezl Harrell will have any impact on Morris at the four spot with how well he is playing. A lot of his upside is priced out with an increase in price in the past few slates, but his floor is still solid on this small, four-game slate.
Other Notable Picks: Jayson Tatum ($8,800), Maxi Kleber ($4,000)
Jarrett Allen ($7,400): There has been some exceptional center play in the bubble, and Allen has been no exception. He is averaging 38.44 FanDuel points per game in Orlando, and that comes with realistic upside, as he has eclipsed 40 FanDuel points in five of nine games. The three more expensive centers than Allen all saw price increases from Friday's slate, and no one cheaper than Allen in the center pool has averaged more than 23 minutes per game, so the Brooklyn center still presents the best combination of security in minutes, as well as scoring upside.
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.