FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Tuesday 9/1/20

Donovan Mitchell has been a force in the postseason and should be a staple on today's slate. Who else should we roster?

The NBA playoffs keeps churning on, as the Conference Semis are underway.

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 5:30 PM ET.

Point Guard

Let's see. Who shall we start with? That's right... how about the guy who has scored 142 real-life points over his last three games. Jamal Murray ($9,400) has posted totals of 76.7, 66.6, and 60.0 FanDuel points over his last three against the Utah Jazz. Murray also recorded 55.5 fantasy points in Game 1 and 50.4 against Utah in a regular match. Seeing as though he'll need just 47.0 fantasy points to achieve 5X (or 5.0 fantasy points for every $1,000 in salary), Murray will be a core play to start our lineups.

Kemba Walker ($7,800) looks to be back to full strength, and with that comes his highest salary since January. Kemba posted 47.6 and 49.8 fantasy points in the final two games against the Philadelphia 76ers on 35.4 minutes per contest, and he recorded 37.6 FanDuel points in 32 minutes in the Game 1 "blowout". He needs 39.0 for 5X tonight, and that's more than surpassable if he can get closer to 35 minutes of playing time.

Kyle Lowry ($7,500) will likely be the least rostered of the three, which makes him an intriguing option. Lowry had a "poor" performance in Game 1, but still managed 34.2 fantasy points -- he posted 36.4, 43.3, and 41.5 in the first three games against the Brooklyn Nets.

Shooting Guard

Donovan Mitchell ($8,500) seems underpriced for a player with his ceiling. Mitchell's had three games this series with at least 62.3 fantasy points, and he posted 43.2 in one of the other three contests -- he needs 42.5 for 5X tonight. Mitchell's lowest usage rate in the last three games has been 32.5% -- fade him at your own risk. He's our model's top-projected value at shooting guard.

Our model is a big fan of Marcus Smart ($5,700). Smart recorded 32.2 fantasy points in Game 1, his second game with 32-plus in his last three contests. However, it's worth noting that he reached that total by hitting five of nine from downtown -- a likely unrepeatable feat. Still, the 28.5 he needs for 5X is certainly attainable.

Fred VanVleet ($7,600) had an absolutely miserable shooting performance in Game 1 (3-of-16 from the field), but that should correct itself in Game 2. He still posted 44.8 FanDuel points in that contest on the back of six steals -- that probably won't happen again, but his scoring should improve. FVV's teammate, Norman Powell ($5,500), is a salary-saver with potential low rostership worth considering. Powell's been an all-or-nothing guy, with performances of 37.2 and 44.5 FanDuel points sprinkled in-between games of 7.6, 17.8, and 10.2. If you want to differentiate your lineup with some upside, Powell's worth a look.

Small Forward

Jaylen Brown ($6,300) hasn't exactly lit things up with Gordon Hayward out, but you just get the feeling that a big one is right around the corner. Brown dropped 49.2 fantasy points in the first game against the Sixers, though he hasn't topped 30.9 since. That could lead to a depressed rostership (but unlikely to be too depressed, given the slate), which means we should pounce. Brown is numberFire's best-projected value at small forward.

After Brown, you're going to having the option of paying down for one of Jerami Grant ($5,100), Joe Ingles ($5,000), or OG Anunoby ($5,200). Anunoby is my preference since he appears to be the safest of the three. OG has posted a minimum of 21.5 in every game this postseason, scoring between 24.4 and 27.5 in four of those five contests. He needs 26.0 for 5X tonight, which he can get to, but don't expect him to beat that by much.

I have a hard time getting to Pascal Siakam ($8,200) at his salary. Siakam would need 41.0 fantasy points to reach 5X -- something he hasn't done in any of his three matchups with the Boston Celtics this season. However, he did manage to total 44.1 and 46.2 fantasy points in the final two games against Brooklyn, so make of that what you will.

Power Forward

The power forward position starts and ends with Jayson Tatum ($9,000). Tatum didn't do much in Game 1 (just 33.8 fantasy points), but a more competitive contest in Game 2 should lead to a much bigger performance. In three of the four games against the Nets, Tatum posted 46.5, 57.1, and 60.0 FanDuel points -- that's the impressive upside he possesses. Tatum has only averaged 34.5 fantasy points in five games against the Toronto Raptors this season, so that is something to keep in the back of your mind.

Tatum's teammate, Daniel Theis ($5,300), is projected to surpass 5X by our models. Theis pegged the Raptors for 37.5 fantasy points in Game 1 -- he also posted 30.7 FanDuel points in his lone other bubble match against Toronto.

Serge Ibaka ($6,500) is a player that piques my interest. Ibaka totaled at least 36.9 fantasy points in three of the four games against Brooklyn -- he saw usage rates of 27.8% or higher in each of those three contests. On the cheaper end, our model likes Royce O'Neale ($4,600) to exceed 5X.


How you constructed your lineups should dictate who your roster at center because no one player comes across as a "must" play. Nikola Jokic ($9,800) has posted between 44.4 and 50.5 fantasy points in five of the six games this series, but that doesn't leave a lot of wiggle room at a $9.8K salary. You can chase the upside and hope that he has a monster performance in him for Game 7, but that's a risk, given the talent available at other positions. However, some exposure isn't a bad idea.

Rudy Gobert ($7,300) is our model's top-projected value at center. Gobert could see somewhat lower rostership due to not topping 31.7 fantasy points in any of his last three, but he did average 41.2 in the three games prior. Gobert has had four 40-plus fantasy points games against Denver this season.

Our models also have Marc Gasol ($4,500) surpassing 5X. I'm a bit more skeptical -- Gasol has topped 19.3 fantasy points just once in his last six games. Robert Williams ($3,800) recorded 27.0 fantasy points in Game 1, though that could've been because of the blowout and two players -- Brown and Theis -- in foul trouble.