FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Sunday 8/30/20
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:
Even with all lines posted, there is still significant injury news regarding two marquee guards on the slate, with Luka Doncic questionable with his lingering ankle issue for the Dallas Mavericks, and Kyle Lowry also a game-time call for the Toronto Raptors with his ankle issues.
Jamal Murray ($8,600): There is not much more that needs to be said than "spectacular" to describe Murray's last two efforts for the Denver Nuggets. The point guard is averaging 42 minutes and a whopping 71.7 FanDuel points in the last two games, trying to save Denver's season. His production is likely here to stay due to his newfound aggressiveness, where he is averaging 28.5 shots in those two games with a team-high 28.9% usage. Now that he has taken the reins from Nikola Jokic, Murray should continue to produce heavily for the Nuggets, who face elimination on Sunday.
Kemba Walker ($7,800): Spending up on this pair of point guards who have newfound roles in their offenses may still be exploiting a small inefficiency here. Kemba opens this series against Toronto as Boston's clear number-two option behind Jayson Tatum, averaging 24.3 real-world points in the sweep against the Philadelphia 76ers. His role in the backcourt becomes significantly more pronounced with continued absence of Gordon Hayward. Walker (26.9%) was step-for-step in overall usage rate with Tatum (27.5%) in the Philly series, but Kemba comes at a significant discount from Tatum's $9,600 price tag.
Donovan Mitchell ($8,000): Mitchell presents a great deal of upside at this price, and there's not much downside. His lowest FanDuel point total in this series is 32.3 in a blowout, so his floor is high given the ceiling he's shown in this series, where "Spida" has scored more than 50 points and 60 FanDuel points in two of the five games. Surprisingly, it is not Giannis Antetokounmpo or James Harden who leads the NBA playoffs in usage -- it's Mitchell with a 37.1% mark that has not wavered all series, even with the return of Mike Conley.
Paul George ($7,800): "Playoff P" finally found his stroke, which could be bad news for the Mavericks, who are facing elimination in Game 6 on Sunday. He used a 66% shooting percentage to score 35 points in just 24 minutes in a blowout win. The Los Angeles Clippers are 10.5-point favorites today. The fact PG hit value (5x) in such little time last game is positive news, especially if the spread balloons in the event that Luka Doncic is ultimately ruled out.
Tim Hardaway Jr. ($5,400): As it stands, the positive news is that Hardaway is in a strong secondary role to Luka inside the Mavericks offense, especially with Kristaps Porzingis out (knee). The unfortunate news is that, without Porzingis, Dallas could be in serious trouble to keep the game close, which is perhaps the risk in paying $11,400 for a possibly not 100% Luka Doncic. Hardaway, though, is significantly cheaper and has averaged 0.87 FanDuel points per minute without Porzingis on the floor in this series, which means he will not need a full minutes load to get to value, especially if he continues to shoot 40% from three-point territory like he has so far in the series.
Jerami Grant ($4,800): Grant played 40 minutes against the Utah Jazz on Tuesday, and despite having only 3 FanDuel points at halftime, he still turned in a solid 22.7 FanDuel points for the game. For whatever reason, coach Michael Malone seems to trust Grant, who is averaging 33.6 minutes in the series -- third on the Nuggets behind Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic. Grant's ceiling is much higher than his average of 21.2 FanDuel points per game suggests; he just needs to be closer to his regular season shooting percentage (47.7%) than his current clip in the playoffs (39.9%).
Maxi Kleber ($5,400): In the absence of Porzingis, Maxi Kleber has stepped up for the Mavericks, and that should come as no surprise. No active Dallas player sees more of an increase in FanDuel points per 36 minutes without KP than Kleber, who averages 1.91 more FanDuel points per 36 minutes with Porzingis off the floor than he does with KP playing. Kleber also occupies most of his time at center without Porzingis, which is why he also leads the Mavericks at 0.21 rebounds per minute without the Latvian All-Star. Kleber played 28 minutes last game despite a 25-point deficit at the end of the third quarter, so the young big will likely see time even if things do get ugly for Dallas on Sunday.
Royce O'Neale ($4,600): The Jazz have a fairly thin rotation, and Royce O'Neale occupies a firm spot inside that. At 33.8 minutes per game, his upside comes from being on the floor so much against the Nuggets, who continue to struggle defensively in the postseason -- with their 127.4 defensive rating still dead last in these playoffs. He and Joe Ingles are averaging over 30 minutes against the worst defense in the postseason, which is enticing value on a slate without much of it.
Rudy Gobert ($7,300): The only two centers with defined, 30-minute roles on the slate are Gobert and Nikola Jokic ($9,300), which means the optimal strategy may involve picking whichever one you can afford. Gobert gets the tiebreaker for me, as I like his upside at his much cheaper salary. Jokic is averaging only 43.86 FanDuel points per game in this series, with his worst three efforts coming his last three, as him continues to defer to Jamal Murray. Gobert has never had a large role in the offense, but he relies on blocks and rebounds for most of his fantasy production. numberFire prefers Gobert on a point-per-dollar basis by a significant margin, projecting the French big to smash value with 42.7 FanDuel points on Sunday.
Other Notable Picks: Nikola Jokic ($9,300)
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.