FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Wednesday 9/23/20

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 Wednesday's one-game slate between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat, which locks at 8:30pm.

MVP Considerations

Jayson Tatum (FanDuel Salary: $16,000), Jimmy Butler ($14,000), Bam Adebayo ($15,500), Kemba Walker ($11,500), Jaylen Brown ($13,000), and Gordon Hayward ($11,000) -- those are the six players with a ceiling projection of at least 40 FanDuel points. Marcus Smart ($10,000) isn't far behind at 39.44.

In Game 3, Tatum dominated rostership in the MVP spot with a 50.0% mark. Bam and Butler trailed him with marks of 23.6% and 12.0%, respectively. Those who rostered Bam in that slot reaped the rewards, as he outscored the next highest-scorer on the slate (Brown) by 7.9 FanDuel points.

Who should we look to in the 2X MVP slot? If you want to play it safe, Tatum's likely the best bet. He's dropped 65.3, 56.9, 66.3, 34.0, and 51.8 fantasy points in his last five. We can hope that Tatum's rostership is somewhat depressed with drafters flocking to Bam or Brown, though don't hold your breath on that.

My favorite contrarian pick would be Butler. Jimmy was rostered in the top slot by 12% of managers in Game 3, and he rewarded them with a dud. That'll drive his rostership down even more. Butler hasn't scored more than 37.5 FanDuel points in five straight, so to be totally scientific -- he's due. Obviously, your lineup will be a crapfest if he continues his streak of duds, but if he bursts, you'll have a differentiator.

Bam's going to see high rostership at MVP after his 59.7-fantasy-point performance in Game 3. It was his third straight with at least 44.7, and it was the second time in five games that he'd posted 54.4 or more. Bam hasn't been great at following up blow-up performances this season, but the playoffs are a whole different animal.

Tatum will be in one of my top-two spots no matter my lineup build -- after that, it's just a matter of mixing and matching. Drafters are likely to be down on Goran Dragic ($10,500) after his 14.7-point performance in Game 3, though he dealt with foul trouble and still had a 27.8% usage rate. Dragic dropped 45.4 in Game 1, so we shouldn't forget about his ceiling.

Hayward's return didn't dampen Brown's outlook at all. Brown posted a series-high 51.9 FanDuel points in 43.0 minutes of action. Like Bam, Brown hasn't been fantastic at following up big outputs, but everything is different in the postseason.

Finally, let's talk about Hayward. Though he scored just 6 real-life points, Hayward did manage 29.0 FanDuel points in 30.5 minutes in his return. With another few days of rest, Hayward could see an increase in minutes and volume. This is a guy who had 15 games with more than 40.0 FanDuel points during the regular season.

Utility Considerations

You'll want to use a number of the players we mentioned above in some of the utility spots, so we need to find some savings.

Jae Crowder ($9,500) is a good start. Crowder's posted at least 29.3 FanDuel points in six of his last seven, with the seventh being a 27.8-point performance in Game 2. The veteran did record 36.5 in Game 1, so his ceiling isn't too low, either.

Duncan Robinson ($8,500) is $1K cheaper, though he possesses both a lower floor and ceiling. Still, Robinson's posted 29.4 and 20.2 in his last two, so he's worth considering.

Daniel Theis ($8,000) is our model's top-projected value. Theis has averaged 30.2 minutes this series, though that has only resulted in outings of 16.3, 19.1, and 18.4 fantasy points. He did have two performances of 31.1 and 32.4 in the final three games against the Toronto Raptors, so he's not without a ceiling.

Brad Wanamaker ($7,500) saw 25.0 and 24.1 minutes in the first two games of the series, though that dropped to just 9.2 in Game 3. With Hayward back, Wanamaker's at risk of dropping out of the rotation. That said, he's one of the only players under $8K that has anything of a ceiling.

If you really want to throw darts, you could consider Kelly Olynyk ($6,500). Olynyk has seen 12.7 minutes in each of the last two, and he's shown the capability of posting respectable outputs in limited minutes. In the five games prior to this series, Olynyk has three outputs of 20.3 or more FanDuel points, each coming in fewer than 18.0 minutes of action.