FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Thursday 9/24/20

Rajon Rondo is an excellent filler for a utility spot on Thursday's one-game slate. Who else should you look to roster?

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 Thursday'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 who have a ceiling projection higher than 45, according to our algorithm. They are Anthony Davis ($15,500), LeBron James ($16,500), Nikola Jokic ($15,000), and Jamal Murray ($13000).

I recommended rostering LeBron in the MVP slot on Tuesday's slate, and that paid off, so let's see if we can hit again.

James posted 64.5 FanDuel points in Game 3, which came out to a whopping 129.0 total in the 2X MVP slot. There's nothing wrong with going back to the King, as he's more than proven to be able to string multiple monster performances together -- however, his rostership in that slot will be enormous.

My favorite pivot for tonight is Jokic. The Serbian doesn't quite have the same name recognition as LeBron or AD, but his ceiling is just as high, if not higher. In fact, he's posted totals of 62.3, 71.9, and 60.7 in three of his last five games. Coming off a 42.5-fantasy point performance, there's a good chance Jokic sees the lowest roster percentage of the three studs in the MVP slot.

Davis managed just 30.9 points in Game 3, but he's been excellent at bouncing back from duds in the regular season and postseason. Rostering him and Jokic in the top two spots should be somewhat contrarian. Drafters might be wary of AD, given that he was rostered in the top-two slots on a slate-high 71.7% of lineups.

Meanwhile, Murray dropped 57.6 in Game 3 -- his second game with more than 50 in his last four contests. Murray hasn't done a fantastic job following up big performances since the opening round, but I'm not fading him at $13.0K.

Utility Considerations

Let's start with a couple of low-salaried options, since we'd like to fit as many studs as we can.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($7,500) comes in under $8.0K and is an excellent utility filler. KCP has played more than 25 minutes in nine straight games and has posted totals of 26.7, 18.9, and 20.1 fantasy points in the three games this series. It'll be hard to beat that at such a low salary.

Alex Caruso ($8,000) is also worthy of consideration. Caruso has played at least 22.3 minutes in seven straight and is averaging 25.3 minutes of playing time this series. He's had performances of 30.6 and 22.4 in two of his last five, so that's what we'd be looking at his salary.

Jerami Grant ($11,500) dropped 35.1 FanDuel points in Game 3, which led to a spike in salary of $3.0K and will almost certainly result in rostership that's too high. Grant had posted more than 18.5 fantasy points just once in his previous seven contests, and the 26 real-life points he totaled were 7 more than he'd scored in any of his previous 17 games. I wouldn't draft him at this salary.

Rajon Rondo ($10,000) continues to be an excellent filler. Rondo has posted at least 27.7 FanDuel points in five of his last seven contests, and despite recording 28.4 in Game 3, his salary dropped by $1.0K.

In that same range, Michael Porter Jr. ($9,500) will probably see a high draft percentage. MPJ has played 29.0, 20.0, and 21.9 minutes in the first three games of the series, resulting in 33.0, 17.8, and 22.2 fantasy points, respectively.

One guy that's likely to see very low rostership is Gary Harris ($10,500). Harris has recorded 5.4, 4.9, and 10.5 fantasy points in the three games this series, which means drafters aren't bound to be ecstatic at rostering him at that salary. However, Harris did see 32.3 minutes of action in Game 3, and he had three performances of 27.7 or more in the five games prior to this series. He's a dart throw that could pay off.