FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Friday 9/4/20

The NBA playoffs keep 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 Friday's two-game slate, which locks at 6:30 PM ET.

Point Guard

The Milwaukee Bucks don't seem to have an answer for Goran Dragic ($7,200). In the first two games, Dragic has posted 42.7 and 39.0 fantasy points, respectively, producing good value for those who rostered him. Dragic has now recorded 39.0 or more FanDuel points in four of his six games this postseason, and he needs just 36.0 to achieve 5X value tonight (or 5.0 fantasy points for every $1,000 in salary). Keep riding the hot hand.

Our model's top-projected value at point guard is Russell Westbrook ($8,500). Russ should be without a minutes limit in this one and comes in at his cheapest salary this season. In two games against the Los Angeles Lakers in 2019-20, Westbrook has dropped 60.3 and 53.1 fantasy points -- consider that his upside.

Eric Bledsoe ($5,600) posted 24.4 fantasy points in his first game of the series, and he could look to be more aggressive with the Bucks having their backs up against it. Bled would 28.0 for 5X. He's out model's second-best projected value at point guard.

Shooting Guard

Khris Middleton ($7,500) is once again our model's best-projected value at shooting guard. Middleton has posted 44.7 and 39.2 fantasy points in the first two games of the series, and he needs 37.5 for 5X. I expect Middleton a high-volume game for each of the Bucks' stars as they look to avoid a 0-3 hole. Our model agrees, projecting Middleton to post 38.9 fantasy points.

James Harden ($11,000) has posted under 50.0 fantasy points in each of his last three and in two of his three matchups with the Lakers this season. However, our models project Harden to score 54.7 on FanDuel, missing 5X by 0.3 fantasy points.

Jimmy Butler ($8,700) has continued to alternate productive fantasy performances with underwhelming ones, and he's coming off a dud. Our models project Butler for 44.5, surpassing 5X.

Andre Iguodala is questionable for tonight's contest, which leaves room for a potential value play in Miami's rotation. Tyler Herro ($5,400) was probably worth a look anyway, but his ceiling could increase. Herro posted 29.0 fantasy points in Game 2, his second contest with 29.0 or more in three games.

Small Forward

We haven't touched on any Lakers player yet, but that ends now. LeBron James ($10,800) is probably the core play on tonight's slate. LeBron posted at least 62.4 fantasy points in three of the five games against the Portland Trail Blazers, despite the fact that two of the games were blowouts. The Lakers have an implied total of 115.3, the highest on the slate, and LBJ is sure to take advantage.

However, our model's top-projected value is not LeBron -- it's Giannis Antetokounmpo ($10,600). After back-to-back "duds," Giannis is at his second-lowest salary of the season. Giannis needs 53.0 fantasy points to reach 5X, and he hasn't recorded under 53.0 in four consecutive games since November -- he's failed to top that in three straight coming into tonight. Our model has Giannis dropped 62.6 fantasy points tonight, making him the best value on the entire slate.

Jae Crowder ($5,000) is a player who stands to benefit if Iguodala can't go tonight. Crowder scored 32.2 fantasy points in Game 2, his third contest with 27.1 or more in five games. He needs 25.0 to achieve 5X tonight.

Power Forward

Robert Covington ($6,800) is my core play at power forward. In the last three games of the series against the Thunder, Covington dropped 42.9, 47.0, and 54.0 FanDuel points. He'd need just 34.0 tonight in order to reach 5X.

After posting 67.2 and 61.8 in his final two games of the series against the Blazers, Anthony Davis ($11,200) comes in with the highest salary on tonight's slate. AD had a 70.1-fantasy point performance against the Rockets in February, and his upside is probably higher than that. I'd consider Davis just due to the lack of depth at power forward on the slate, but the other studs could prove to be better bang for your buck.

I'd consider pivoting from AD to Bam Adebayo ($8,000). Adebayo managed just 31.3 fantasy points in Game 2, but he did post at last 45.4 in three of the previous five.


Brook Lopez ($5,700) seems like the only viable play at center, and he's likely to see enormous rostership. Lopez has posted 33.2 and 29.4 in the first two games of the series against Miami, and he needs 28.5 for 5X tonight. He's our model's second-highest projected value on the slate.

P.J. Tucker ($5,100) recorded 32.2 and 30.8 FanDuel points in the final two games of the series against OKC, which makes him a potential play, though the Lakers are a far, far worse matchup. No team allowed fewer fantasy points to opposing centers this season than the Lakers.