FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Wednesday 9/2/20

Jimmy Butler was a beast in Game 1. Is he a core play on today's two-game slate?

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 Wednesday's two-game slate, which locks at 6:30 PM ET.

Point Guard

The point guard position is far from loaded, as is to be expected on a two-game slate. Chris Paul ($8,200) is our model's top-projected value at the position. CP3 posted 49.9 FanDuel points in an elimination game in Game 6, his fourth game with at least 42.7 fantasy points in six tries this postseason. Whether the Oklahoma City Thunder win or lose, don't expect Paul to go down without a fight. He's an anchor at the position.

Game 1's loss made it pretty evident that the Milwaukee Bucks need the services of Eric Bledsoe ($5,900). The Miami Heat kept taking advantage of George Hill's aging legs, with the Deer looking like they desperately needed Bled's energy and defensive prowess. Should he return tonight, you can get him at a friendly price under $6.0K. Bledsoe posted 31.1 fantasy points in Milwaukee's lone bubble game against Miami in just 23.1 minutes of action.

Whether or not Bledsoe can go, Goran Dragic ($6,800) is still going to be an extremely popular play. Dragic dropped 42.7 FanDuel points in Game 1, his third 40-plus fantasy point performance in his last five contests. However, if you're a believer in trends, Dragic is averaging just 25.1 fantasy points in eight tries following a performance of 40 or more, totaling under 30 in six of those contests. Additionally, Bledsoe's return would certainly be a hindrance on his ability to roam free on the perimeter.

If you want to be contrarian, you can look toward Russell Westbrook ($8,800). Russ said he'd be on a minutes limit for Game 7, but if he's playing well, I have a hard time seeing the Houston Rockets sending him to the bench. Westbrook hasn't done much of anything since returning, which should keep his rostership low.

Shooting Guard

Shooting guard is probably the deepest position on the slate, which means hitting here will be absolutely vital.

Jimmy Butler ($9,000) was a monster in Game 1, posting 40 real-life points en route to a 53.8-fantasy point performance. It was the third time in his last five outings that Butler had posted at least 49.6 fantasy points -- one of the two instances where he didn't was in Game 4 against the Indiana Pacers in a blowout victory. Butler finds himself at his highest price since January, but the upside's there.

Back-to-back underwhelming performances could depress the rostership of James Harden ($11,400). Harden's floor is certainly lower with Westbrook back in the fold, but his ceiling is still as high as any player on the slate -- he posted 60.4 and 70.1 FanDuel points in Games 3 and 4, respectively.

Khris Middleton ($7,500) had a huge first half in Game 1, which resulted in him posting 44.7 fantasy points on a $6.8K salary. Middleton looks to be in a groove, though his salary lowers the upside a bit.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($7,100) is our model's top-projected value. SGA will almost certainly see lower rostership after posting just 9.6 and 20.4 fantasy points in his last two, but he averaged 46.0 in the three games prior. Swinging for the fences here is not the worst idea. His teammate, Dennis Schroder ($6,000), had two strong performances in Games 3 and 4 before trailing off in the last two. He's got a solid ceiling if you don't want to roster two studs here.

Duncan Robinson ($4,500) is the only bargain player I'd consider here. Robinson's rostership should be down after a 9.7-fantasy point effort in Game 1, though he still totaled 26.3 minutes in that one. He could be a great filler if he gets hot from downtown.

Small Forward

In the last 11 games this season where Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,500) has failed to reach 50.0 fantasy points, he's bounced back to the tune of a 58.1-fantasy point average. He totaled under 50.4 in just one of those contests and at least 57.8 in eight of them. At tonight's price, Giannis needs 57.5 to reach 5X value (or 5.0 fantasy points for every $1,000 in salary), which is definitely attainable. Our model has the Greek Freak totaling 63.0 FanDuel points, making him the highest scorer and second-best value on the slate.

Despite a terrible shooting night, Eric Gordon ($6,000) still managed 27.8 fantasy points in Game 6. That came after posting at least 31.6 in each of the previous four. Gordon doesn't have tremendous upside, but he's one of the safer plays at the position.

Jae Crowder ($4,700) was on the court for 34.9 minutes in Game 1, though he managed just 15.8 FanDuel points. In the eight previous games in which he'd played at least 30 minutes for the Heat, Crowder averaged 30.8 fantasy points. He'd only need 23.5 to reach 5X. If you want extreme savings, Darius Bazley ($3,600) might interest you. Bazley has posted 27.9 and 22.3 fantasy points in his last two, and he needs just 18.0 for 5X.

Danilo Gallinari ($5,800) has staggered his usable fantasy performances. Game 6 was the third time Gallinari had totaled more than 30 fantasy points, but he followed up the first two with outings of 22.5 and 13.6 fantasy points. Nevertheless, he's our model's second-highest projected value at small forward.

Power Forward

Robert Covington ($6,300) is likely going to see astronomical rostership, as he should. After not doing much in the first four games of the series, Covington has posted 42.9 and 47.0 fantasy points in his last two. That's impossible to beat at the thinnest position on the slate.

Bam Adebayo ($8,000) pegged the Bucks for 45.4 fantasy points in the series opener, his third 45-plus fantasy point performance in his last five contests. Bam will be highly rostered, given that there are not many options to pivot to.

If you're feeling lucky, you might consider Marvin Williams ($3,800). Williams seems to have a regular role with the Bucks now, and he had the best plus/minus of any of the eight Milwaukee players that played at least 15 minutes in Game 1 -- that could earn him more playing time in Game 2. Marvin posted 23.4 fantasy points in the final game against the Orlando Magic, which is probably his ceiling on any given night.


Brook Lopez ($5,700) recorded 33.2 fantasy points in Game 1, and did so despite only managing one board. Brook needs 28.5 for 5X tonight, and he's topped that in three of his last five.

Our model has Steven Adams ($5,500) as the top-projected value at center, but Adams has exceeded 24.7 fantasy points just once since Game 1, and that was an unspectacular 28.8 points in Game 5. I'd rather pivot to P.J. Tucker ($4,800) than roster Adams. Tucker posted a series-high 32.2 fantasy points in Game 6.