FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Friday 9/11/20
The NBA playoffs keep churning on, as the Conference Semis are coming to a close.
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 is again a complete wastebasket. Once again, Kyle Lowry ($8,900) is the only core play. Lowry needs 44.5 FanDuel points to achieve 5X value tonight (or 5.0 fantasy points for every $1,000 in salary), and he's topped that in four of the last five games of the series.
I'd throw a dart at either Lou Williams ($5,500) or Patrick Beverley ($4,800) and hope that it sticks. Lou is our model's top-projected value at the position -- he's played at least 27.7 minutes in each of the last three, and he did have a 33.3-fantasy point performance in Game 2. Beverley has seen 20.6 and 22.8 minutes in the last two games, but he hasn't reached 24.0 fantasy points (what he needs for 5X) since February -- a span of 18 games. I'd much prefer Lou.
We're all well aware of the floor Paul George ($7,700) possesses, but there's plenty of reason to roster him on this slate. Coming off a 17.1-fantasy point performance, George could go under-rostered. PG13 also has a somewhat reasonable salary at $7.7K. He would need 38.5 to attain 5X, and he'd exceeded that number with ease in the two games prior to the Game 4 dud. George is our model's best-projected value at shooting guard.
Fred VanVleet ($7,900) was due for an explosion, and it finally came in Game 6, as he posted 52.3 fantasy points in more than 50 minutes of action. Expect huge minutes from FVV again tonight as the Toronto Raptors look to advance to the Conference Finals. His fifth 44-plus fantasy point performance of the postseason is well within reach.
Norman Powell ($5,000) and Gary Harris ($5,000) are two players in the lower range worth considering. Powell has now totaled 31.5 and 38.3 minutes in his last two contests, with the latter resulting in a 34.9-point performance. Harris will likely be on fewer rosters, which makes him the better differentiating play in my book. He's averaged 28.1 minutes per contest this series and has posted 19.0, 31.2, and 22.3 fantasy points in the last three. He'd need 25.0 for 5X.
Fresh off a 52.2-fantasy point performance, Marcus Smart ($6,400) is likely to be highly-rostered. However, Smart hadn't exceeded 29.4 FanDuel points in any of the previous four, and he'd need 32.0 for 5X at tonight's salary.
A chance to roster Kawhi Leonard ($11,000) in a game that would have his team advancing to the Conference Finals? Where do I sign? Kawhi dropped 73.7 fantasy points in Game 4, and he's entirely capable of repeating that performance in Game 5. At $11.0K, Leonard would need 55.0 FanDuel points for 5X, and he's topped that in 5 of 10 postseason games thus far.
I'd fire up Jaylen Brown ($7,800) as well. Jaylen needs 39.0 for 5X, and he's surpassed that in four of his last five.
Our model loves Jerami Grant ($4,900) despite the fact that he scored just 6.0 fantasy points in Game 4. Grant has played 40.3, 42.3, and 34.4 minutes in his last three, so the potential for him to be a value play is certainly there. You can also look to OG Anunoby ($6,000) for some value, though he's significantly more expensive. Anunoby's floor is solid, but his ceiling is not fantastic. He's topped 30.0 fantasy points (what he needs for 5X) twice in this series, and one of those was just by 0.4 points.
Daniel Theis ($5,600) is a player to roster if you want to load your lineup with studs. Theis would need 25.5 FanDuel points to reach 5X tonight, and he's topped that in four of the six games in this series. He's got a nice floor too, and he has yet to score fewer than 22.9 this series. His teammate, Jayson Tatum ($9,600), pegged the Raptors for 65.3 FanDuel points in Game 6, his second game with 50-plus fantasy points this series. At tonight's steep price, Tatum would need 48.0 for 5X -- he's been well below that in four of the six games this series. Tatum hasn't been fantastic at following up massive performances this season, so pay up for him at your own risk.
Michael Porter Jr. ($5,200) is at a salary where he's probably worth rostering. MPJ has recorded 25.4, 39.5, and 26.7 FanDuel points over his last three, with the latter coming in 33.9 minutes of action. Given his scoring ability, those kind of minutes have the potential to result in a huge fantasy output.
Depending on how you constructed your roster, you can go in one of two directions at center. The first is Nikola Jokic ($9,900). The Serbian has posted 56.6, 54.4, and 48.2 fantasy points in his last three, and he needs 49.5 for 5X tonight. If you can afford him, pay up and hope that he has at least one massive performance left in him.
The other direction you can go is rostering Ivica Zubac ($4,700), who is our model's preferred play. Zubac posted 26.8 fantasy points in Game 4, his second outing with more than 24.0 in three contests. Tonight, he'll need just 23.5 for 5X. Our model has him totaling 27.0.