FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Tuesday 8/11/20
After a 4.5-month hiatus, the 2019-20 NBA restart is officially underway.
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 five-game main slate, which locks at 4:30 PM ET. Keep in mind, the games between the Brooklyn Nets and the Orlando Magic as well as the San Antonio Spurs versus the Houston Rockets are not included in the main slate.
Injuries to be aware of: De'Aaron Fox and Richaun Holmes are OUT for the Sacramento Kings. While Al Horford and Tobias Harris are questionable for the Philadelphia 76ers, Ben Simmons, Zhaire Smith, Joel Embiid, and Josh Richardson are all listed as OUT. Jrue Holiday, Zion Williamson, and Brandon Ingram are all OUT for the New Orleans Pelicans. Luka Doncic, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dorian Finney-Smith are all questionable for the Dallas Mavericks.
Let's start with the guy who has posted 74.8 and 65.1 FanDuel points in two of his last three games, Damian Lillard ($9,900). Despite his hot streak, Lillard is still priced under five-digits, which means he doesn't even need to record 50 points for 5X value (or 5.0 fantasy points for every $1,000 in salary). Lillard has three outputs of 54.4 or more just since the league restarted, and he has posted 43.1, 52.2, and 64.2 in his three matchups with the Dallas Mavericks this season. Shake Milton ($4,500) didn't do much in his first game without Ben Simmons, but let's roll him out again against the Phoenix Suns, especially with Embiid and Richardson out, as well. Milton is one of our model's top projected values.
Eric Bledsoe ($5,700) is priced quite reasonably and draws an always-generous Washington Wizards defense. Bled has played more than 30 minutes in each of his last two and has posted 31.1, 25.0, and 32.4 fantasy points in his last three. But keep an eye on the inactives list, as the Milwaukee Bucks have nothing to play for. Cory Joseph ($3,600) is our model's top projected value with Fox out. Joseph could be a great filler if you want to load up on studs.
Is this the game Lonzo Ball ($6,700) finally has a solid output? With Holiday, Zion, and Ingram out, Ball could be worth rostering.
Bogdan Bogdanovic ($5,600) has scored 33-plus FanDuel points in three straight, and yet he's only priced at $5.6K. With Fox out, Bogdan should see plenty of usage against a Pelicans defense that was already leaky with their roster intact. Our model has Bogdanovic approaching 6X value. Alec Burks ($4,200) has scored 28.8 and 28.0 in his last two, and that was with Richardson on the court. With Richardson inactive, his ceiling increases considerably.
Luka Doncic ($10,500) is currently questionable, but he's in my lineup if he's active. Doncic has scored 56.6, 60.1, 76.0, 37.6, and 82.3 fantasy points in his five bubble games. Tough to match that kind of consistency and ceiling. Luka's exceeded 50 fantasy points in each of his three matchups with the Portland Trail Blazers this season. On the other end, Dallas has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing shooting guards since the league restarted -- that brings C.J. McCollum ($7,400) into play. C.J. has topped 40 in three of his six bubble matchups and could do so again in what should be a high-scoring affair. Our model has him exceeding 5X.
If he's active, the small forward position starts and ends with Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,000). In fact, our model projects a 17.2-fantasy-point difference between Giannis and the next highest-scoring small forward. The matchup with Washington is obviously a beauty. Giannis has topped 62 fantasy points in three of his five bubble games.
Another player who can be a great play if he's active is Tobias Harris ($7,400) . With Embiid, Simmons, and Richardson off the court, Harris sees a usage bump of 4.2 percentage points and an increase of 0.13 fantasy points per minute. There's also the possibility that Horford will be inactive, as well. Harris has scored 41.2 or more in three of his five games since the restart, and he needs just 37 for 5X.
After scoring 36.6 FD points yesterday, Tim Hardaway Jr. ($5,800) should garner consideration today, too, especially if one or a couple of Dallas' starters are inactive again. On the other end, the Mavs have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing small forwards, which makes Carmelo Anthony ($5,400) a fantastic option. Melo has dropped at least 30.4 fantasy points in four of his six bubble contests, and he needs just 27 for 5X. Our model likes Kyle Anderson ($4,400) as the best value at the position.
Like his teammate Harris, Al Horford ($6,200) is a premium play at his position if he's active. Horford should see a ton of usage with Embiid sitting, and he gets to face a Suns team that allows the third-most fantasy points to power forwards in the bubble. Nemanja Bjelica ($4,800) was an excellent fantasy asset the last time Holmes was inactive, and that could be the case again today. Bjelica faces a New Orleans team that will be without 60% of its starters.
Brandon Clarke ($5,800) is our model's highest projected value at power forward. He's fresh off a 30.8-fantasy-point performance and faces a Boston team allowing the fifth-most points to power forwards in the bubble. If Kristaps Porzingis ($8,500) is active, he should garner serious consideration in most lineups. It's rare that you can get a player with 70-point upside for under $9K. Jayson Tatum ($8,200) is a hit-or-miss stud in a solid matchup. Tatum's topped 50 fantasy points twice since the league resumed play, but he has also scored 35.4 or fewer in each of the other four.
Harry Giles ($3,600) is a bargain option worth considering with Holmes out.
Update: Ersan Ilyasova ($3,500) could be an excellent play at a minimum salary.
Without having to face Embiid, Deandre Ayton ($7,700) becomes an intriguing option. Like Tatum, Ayton brings a high ceiling with an equally low floor. Our model also really likes Jusuf Nurkic ($8,500). Nurkic has cooled down a bit since his red-hot start, but this could be another blow-up opportunity, especially if Porzingis is inactive. numberFire's algorithm has Nurkic coming close to 6X value.
Derrick Favors ($5,400) is our model's preferred option if you can't pay up for either of the above-mentioned centers. Favors should see plenty of usage with Holiday, Ingram, and Williamson out for the Pels.