FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Tuesday 8/25/20
It's here. The NBA playoffs are finally upon us.
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 -- and that's especially the case now.
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 take a look at who you should target on Tuesday's two-game slate, which locks at 6:30 PM ET.
Chasing points isn't ideal, but Jamal Murray ($7,800) has now had performances of 55.5 and 76.7 FanDuel points in two of his four games this series -- not sure how you can fade him on a two-game slate. Murray isn't too expensive, either, as he'd need just 39 points to achieve 5X value (or 5.0 fantasy points for every $1,000 in salary. Sign me up.
Mike Conley ($6,500) has posted 36.0 and 39.2 fantasy points in the two games he's played this series, which makes him an easy play on this slate. Conley needs 32.5 FanDuel points fo 5X, and he's exceeded that in each of his last five healthy games and in all four of his matchups with the Denver Nuggets this season.
Trey Burke ($4,400) has had 30.6 and 36.5 in two of the last three games of this series. He's an excellent salary-saving option.
This one doesn't need much thought -- Luka Doncic ($11,000) is playing out of his mind and is well-deserving of the chalkiness that's headed his way. Luka pegged the Los Angeles Clippers for 84.9 fantasy points in Game 4 -- how do you pass on that upside? Fade him at your own risk, especially with Kristaps out.
One way to start a non-Luka contrarian lineup is by rostering Donovan Mitchell ($8,500), though Mitchell's roster percentage won't be much lower. At $8.5K, Mitchell needs 42.5 FanDuel points to equal 5X value -- he's dropped 76.3, 43.2, and 62.3 in three of his four games this series. If you want to actually be contrarian, you can look towards Paul George ($7,500). PG13 has been dreadful over the last three games, shooting a putrid 21.3% from the field (10 for 47) -- that means that he's not going to be on many rosters. Though, at a price point of $7.5K, he'd need 37.5 for 5X. 37.5 would be a series high for George, though it's certainly attainable.
Whichever of those three studs (using that word generously with George right now) you pay up for, you can pair them with Lou Williams ($6,200). Lou dropped 49.3 fantasy points in Game 4, and the Clippers could well be without Patrick Beverley (doubtful) tonight. You can also choose to pay down to Jordan Clarkson ($5,100), who has recorded at least 24.6 fantasy points in every game of the series.
Before we get to the one stud at the position, let's talk about the two options of the Dallas Mavericks -- Tim Hardaway Jr. ($5,600) and Dorian Finney-Smith ($5,200). Hardaway Jr. needs 28 FanDuel points to achieve 5X -- he's exceeded that in three of the four games this series. He totaled 26.9 in the only one where he failed to reach 28. He's the safer option. With Porzingis out, Finney-Smith is the one I want, though you can easily justify rostering them both.
Kawhi Leonard ($10,400) is averaging 57.4 FanDuel points this series and has yet to score below 50.0. An uptick in usage could be headed this way with the series as tight as it is, which gives Leonard one of the best floor/ceiling combinations on the small slate.
The power forward position is a barren wasteland on this slate, but at least you don't have to worry about paying up for anyone. Maxi Kleber ($4,900) is the obvious play with Kristaps out, and he's bound to see high rostership.
Marcus Morris ($5,300) is quite a viable play. Rostership could be down a bit on Morris after his 21-point performance in Game 4, but he was still on the court for 35.1 minutes in that one. In the three previous contests, Morris posted 38.7, 31.6, and 38.1 FanDuel points.
If you want to differentiate a bit, you could start with Paul Millsap ($5,000). Millsap has displayed a low floor this series, but he did manage 35.4 fantasy points in Game 4. It's worth noting, however, that both Jerami Grant and Michael Porter Jr. were in foul trouble. A real contrarian play would be Royce O'Neale ($4,600). O'Neale has averaged 32.9 minutes per game in this series, though he has scored 17.6 or fewer in three of the four games. However, in Game 2, O'Neale posted 38.4 fantasy points with Rudy Gobert in foul trouble.
If you're loading up on studs elsewhere, I'd look toward Ivica Zubac ($4,600) at the center position. Plus-minus isn't everything, but in Game 4, Zubac was a +9 while Montrezl Harrell was at -19. That could lead to playing time closer to what Zubac totaled in Games 1 and 3, where he posted FanDuel scores of 29.5 and 25.2. Both of those outings would've exceeded 5X at tonight's salary.
If you're looking to differentiate with your studs, Nikola Jokic ($9,200) is an intriguing option. Jokic needs 47.5 fantasy points for 5X tonight, and he's been well beneath that in each of his last two. The Serbian has yet to have a blow-up performance in this series, and the Nuggets need one from him in the worst way. If you're doing multiple lineups, be sure to include Jokic in some.