FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Wednesday 9/9/20
The NBA playoffs keep churning on, as the Conference Semis are in full gear.
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.
Let me summarize the point guard position for you -- everyone is priced up. Coming off a complete dud, I like the idea of rostering Kyle Lowry ($8,900). Lowry dropped 45.5, 53.2, and 52.7 fantasy points in the three games prior to scoring just 22.9 in Game 5. He could potentially see lower rostership, which makes him an even more intriguing play. Lowry would need 44.5 to exceed 5X value (or 5.0 fantasy points for every $1,000 in salary), and he's surpassed that in three of his last four.
Lou Williams ($5,500) is our model's top-projected value at point tonight. Lou has recorded 33.3 and 24.5 FanDuel points in his last two, and he'd need 27.5 for 5X tonight. Our model's second-best projected value at the position is Patrick Beverley ($4,800). Beverley has seen an uptick in minutes in each game of the series thus far, seeing 20.6 minutes in his most recent outing -- he posted 21.3. Beverley would need 24.0 for 5X tonight, and he has not posted a number that high in 17 games. I'd rather go for Lou.
There are a number of high-salaried options at shooting guard, but let's start with an affordable one -- Gary Harris ($5,300). In this series, Harris has seen his minutes go from 24.2 in Game 1, to 29.4 in Game 2, to 35.5 in Game 3. Game 3's minutes resulted in a fantasy output of 31.2 points. If he sees those kinds of minutes again, Harris could easily return value for DFS drafters.
Now, onto the stars. Paul George ($8,200) is finally returning value for those who roster him. In the last two games, PG13 has blown past 5X, with 44.1 and 45.8 FanDuel points, respectively. Tonight, George needs 41.0 for 5X -- that's attainable. Our models have him as the third-best value on the entire slate.
I've had Fred VanVleet ($7,900) in this section on every slate, but he's disappointed in three consecutive games, failing to reach 5X each time. FVV needs 39.5 to return 5X tonight, and he hasn't done that since Game 1. However, with the Toronto Raptors having their backs up against it, I expect him to shoulder more of the scoring load than he has in the past two. FVV could see condensed rostership, which doesn't hurt.
Our model's top-projected value is Norman Powell ($4,300), but it's worth noting that Powell didn't reach 20 minutes in any of the three games prior to the Game 5 blowout.
Let's start with the biggest name at the position, Kawhi Leonard ($10,600). Kawhi played "only" 32 minutes in the series opener against the Denver Nuggets but has since played 38.8 and 42.3 minutes, respectively. No loads will be managed in the playoffs. His fantasy outputs have steadily increased as he looks like he's headed for a "boom" performance in the very near future. That can very well happen tonight. Kawhi needs 53.0 FanDuel points to equal 5X value tonight, and he surpassed that number in four of his six games in the first round. Our model has him coming pretty darn close, projecting him to post 52.8 fantasy points.
Jaylen Brown ($7,800) comes in under $8.0K, which immediately piqued my interest. Brown would need 39.0 fantasy points for 5X, and he's outpaced that in three of the last four games of this series. In that range, our model prefers Pascal Siakam ($8,000). I'm a bit more skeptical, as Siakam would need 40.0 for 5X tonight, and he's been well below that in three of the five games this series. However, he did manage 46.6 FanDuel points in Game 2, so he is capable, despite his struggles.
In the mid-range, the two options are Jerami Grant ($5,000) and OG Anunoby ($6,000). Grant has totaled 40.3 and 42.3 minutes in his last to games, which makes him a better play in my book at that salary. Anunoby has the higher floor, but he's exceeded 30.0 fantasy points (what he needs for 5X) just twice in his last 14 games. However, it is worth noting that both of those occurrences were in this series.
A position loaded with mid-range options is going to make it very tough for me to pay up for Jayson Tatum ($9,400). Tatum has tremendous upside, but his salary reflects that more than it reflects his floor -- he's had 40.0 fantasy points or less in four of the five games this series.
We'll start of the mid-range options with Tatum's teammate, Daniel Theis ($5,600). Theis needs 28.0 FanDuel points for 5X tonight, and he's exceeded that in three of the five games this series. He has yet to post less than 22.9 in any of the five contests. On the other side, Serge Ibaka ($5,800) has showcased a high ceiling/low floor combination this postseason. Ibaka has posted 34.8 or more four times in nine tries while also recording fewer than 20.0 fantasy points thrice. In this series, he's had performances of 26.3, 34.8, and 28.4 -- he needs 29.0 for 5X.
Two Denver power forwards -- Paul Millsap ($4,900) and Michael Porter Jr. ($5,400) -- should garner consideration, though they should not be rostered together. Millsap has averaged 28.0 minutes in this series, scoring 35.8, 20.7, and 16.4 in the three games, respectively. Meanwhile, MPJ has only seen an average of 20.9 minutes of on-court time, but he has posted 25.4 and 39.5 fantasy points in his last two. Our model prefers Millsap, though I'd recommend exposure to both if you're doing multiple lineups.
If you've got the available space, pay up for Nikola Jokic ($9,900) -- he's a core play. Jokic has pegged the Los Angeles Clippers 56.6 and 54.4 FanDuel points in his last two, and yet he comes in at under $10.0K. His usage rate in Game 3 was an insane 36.7%. Jokic is our model's top-projected scorer on the entire slate.
Ivica Zubac ($4,700) is our model's top-projected value at the position. Zubac has posted 16.4, 24.8, and 8.6 fantasy points in his last three, so the upside is limited.