Skip to main content

DraftKings DFS NBA Strategy Advice: Monday (8/17)

Aug 17, 2020

It’s August 17, and this marks the opening day for the NBA Playoffs. How crazy does that sound? In any case, it’s a beautiful time of the season and teams are as amped up as ever to get the job done and take home that coveted Larry O’Brien trophy. The first day is just as important as the last, so, let’s break it down!

If you have any comments or questions, reach me on Twitter @Bartilottajoel

Create DraftKings lineups using our DFS Lineup Optimizer tool >>

Value Plays

Point Guard

Kemba Walker (BOS) vs. BKN $6,900 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Jamal Murray (DEN) vs. UTA $6,500 ⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Shake Milton (PHI) vs. BOS $5,100 ⭐⭐ High


  • Limited minutes in the regular season bubble games has kept Kemba’s price way too affordable, as he should be ready for a full workload here.
  • Jamal Murray just dropped 54 fantasy points in his last game against Utah and should be above $7,000 with his 34 DK points per game average.
  • With Ben Simmons out, Milton should start at point guard and Philly needs him to play well.

Shooting Guard

Donovan Mitchell (UTA) vs. DEN $8,000 ⭐⭐⭐ Low
 Josh Richardson (PHI) vs. BOS $5,500 ⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Torrey Craig (DEN) vs. UTA $3,500 ⭐⭐ High


  • Mitchell’s usage and shot attempts should be huge here with Mike Conley and Bojan Bogdanovic out. We’ll go over that more later.
  • Richardson is handling the ball much more with Simmons out and Philly will need him to play at a $7,000-level if they want to advance.
  • Craig might play 25-30 minutes in this defensive series which alone could make him a value at $3,500.

Small Forward

Paul George (LAC) vs. DAL $8,100 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Dorian Finney-Smith (DAL) vs. LAC $4,900 ⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Royce O’Neale (UTA) vs. DEN $3,500 ⭐⭐⭐ Low


  • George is just too good of a player to be sitting at $8,100. He also gets to face the 26th-ranked Dallas defense.
  • Finney-Smith might be one of the best values of the day, averaging 29 DraftKings points per game across 35.2 minutes in his first six bubble games.
  • If DFS isn’t the biggest value, O’Neale surely is. Before resting a lot in the final two bubble games, O’Neale was averaging 31 fantasy points per game over his first six Orlando games.

Power Forward

Pascal Siakam (TOR) vs. BKN $7,500 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Jerami Grant (DEN) vs. UTA $4,600 ⭐⭐⭐ High
Marcus Morris (LAC) vs. DAL $4,200 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ High


  • It’s just strange to see Siakam at $7,500. This guy is a 40-point stud who faces one of the worst defenses remaining.
  • Grant may have surpassed Paul Millsap on the depth chart, averaging 32 DK points per game across 35 minutes of action in his final four games before resting in the finale.
  • Morris averaged 25 fantasy points per game across 31 minutes of action in the six bubble games he played. That’s all you can hope for from a $4,200 player.


Nikola Jokic (DEN) vs. UTA $8,700 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Jarrett Allen (BKN) vs. TOR $7,000 ⭐⭐⭐ Low
Daniel Theis (BOS) vs. PHI $5,200 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium


  • Jokic is one of the best plays of the day and we’ll go over that in the next section.
  • With DeAndre Jordan out of the picture, Allen gets all the center minutes. He’s averaging over 35 fantasy points per game in that role and should play even more against a Toronto team that plays a ton of big men.
  • This Theis price is really strange. Over his last 20 games played, Theis is averaging 28 DK points per outing and is needed to guard Embiid.

5 Studs Worth Their Salary

  • Luka Doncic (DAL) $11,000: Doncic is always one of the safest plays out there, posting a 50-point floor. He’s been unbelievable since entering Orlando too, averaging 32 points, 11 rebounds and 11.3 assists per game before resting in the finale.
  • Joel Embiid (PHI) $10,200: With Ben Simmons out of the picture, this is Embiid’s show. While Boston does have a tough defense, they are small and the center position tends to be their major weakness. That was crystal clear on December 12, when Embiid collected 38 points, 13 rebounds and six assists against them.
  • Nikola Jokic (DEN) $8,700: It’s playoff time and that means it’s time for Jokic to step his game up. He tends to do just that when he plays Utah, scoring at least 55 DraftKings points in all three of their meetings this season en route to 65 DK points per game.
  • Donovan Mitchell (UTA) $8,000: With Mike Conley missing this game, Mitchell should handle the ball on nearly every possession. That doesn’t even include Bojan Bogdanovic being injured too, forcing Mitchell to take 20-plus shots as well. DM just dropped 58.5 fantasy points on this team last week too, if you needed any more incentive.
  • Kyle Lowry (TOR) $7,900: Lowry killed this weak Nets defense all season long, averaging 45 DK points per game in three outings against them.

5 Notable Players to Fade

  • Tobias Harris (PHI) $7,800: Harris is always a better player when Joel Embiid is out but with him playing here, this price is a bit inflated.
  • Jaylen Brown (BOS) $7,400: Brown has been thriving with Kemba Walker limited, but it appears that Walker is fully ready to go now. This is also the healthiest this team has been all season long and it’ll be hard for Brown to surpass 40 DK points with everyone there.
  • Michael Porter (DEN) $7,100: Porter was brilliant in the regular season bubble games, but one has to wonder how relied upon he’ll be in the playoffs. Not to mention, Utah has one of the best defenses in the NBA.
  • Montrezl Harrell (LAC) $5,900: Harrell just returned from the bubble less than a week ago and will likely play limited minutes in his return to action.

Check out today’s NBA Sharpshooter from DraftKings >>

Beyond our daily fantasy basketball content, be sure to check out our Daily Fantasy Basketball Tools. From our Lineup Optimizer – which allows you to build winning DFS lineups in seconds for Cash and GPP contests – to our DFS Cheat Sheets – that helps you get a quick read on the day’s players – we’ve got you covered this fantasy basketball season.

Joel Bartilotta is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Joel, check out his archive and follow him @Bartilottajoel

What's your take? Leave a comment

Build winning DFS lineups

Use the FantasyPros Lineup Optimizer to build winning lineups based on expert projections.