FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Tuesday 9/22/20

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 one-game slate between the Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Lakers, which locks at 9:00 pm.

MVP Considerations

Once again, there are four players in tonight's game that have a ceiling projection higher than 45, per our model. They are Anthony Davis ($15,500), LeBron James ($16,000), Nikola Jokic ($15,000), and Jamal Murray ($13000). Davis and James have marks of 66.0 and 64.3, respectively, while Jokic and Murray are at 57.6 and 46.3.

In the last two games, James and Davis have flip-flopped as the two highest-rostered players in the MVP slot, with LeBron beating out Davis 40.7% to 27% on Friday, while Davis commanded a 48.7% to 29.8% lead on Sunday's slate. While AD managed the highest score in Game 1, it was actually Jokic who totaled a whopping 121.4 points in the MVP slot on Sunday. What that means is that all three should see a nice chunk of the rostership in that spot tonight.

Which of the three should we look to roster? Well, I'd lean towards the King. LeBron comes in with the highest salary and has been the lowest scorer of the three so far in the series -- all that could result in a smaller roster percentage at MVP. James has also been relatively quiet in the series, which for him usually means that a blowup performance is in short order. Again, this is the guy who's had five performances of at least 62.4 FanDuel points this postseason (that equates to 124.8 in the MVP slot).

You could sprinkle some Jamal Murray in the other two slots, but fading either of the other two is a huge risk. AD hasn't had a ceiling game in any of his last six, so he'd be my preferred fade of the two.

Utility Considerations

This is where we'll differentiate our lineups, so we need to find value.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($7,500) has played at least 28 minutes in seven of his last eight, and he's scored 26.7 and 18.9 in two games this series. At his salary, he's an excellent option to get you to all the studs in your other spots. Meanwhile, Rajon Rondo ($11,000) is going to cost you a pretty penny, though he's essentially the only other player with 40-point upside. Rondo's posted 27.7 and 19.3 in the first two games of this series, but he did have performances of 41.1, 36.9, and 35.0 in the last round.

Danny Green ($9,000) is another player under $10.0K that we have to consider. Green's got his defined role for the Lakers -- it's just a question of whether he can hit shots and record some defensive stats. He's done the latter in each of the first two games, posted 3 and 4 steals plus blocks, resulting in outings of 24.5 and 29.5 FanDuel points. That'll play at utility. In that same range, we have to look toward Michael Porter Jr. ($9,500) for upside. MPJ posted 33.0 FanDuel points in Game 1, and that's the upside we'd be chasing.

Finally, rostering Alex Caruso ($8,000) could also help you get to the studs. Caruso's posted 30.6, 18.4, 16.4, and 22.4 in his last four, and he's had at least 22.4 in 5 of his last 10 efforts.