DraftKings DFS NBA Strategy Advice: Thursday (8/20)
Welcome to the Thursday slate of NBA playoff games — today features a four-game main slate that runs from 1:00 p.m. EST throughout the entirety of the day. The Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers will tip-off, and the Portland Trail Blazers and the Los Angeles Lakers will conclude the night. Today’s matchups host an intriguing number of stars alongside a fair number of interesting value plays that we’ll break down below.
Value Plays: Point Guard
|Goran Dragic (MIA)||@ IND||$5,900||⭐⭐||LOW|
The Milwaukee Bucks’ defense poses a tough matchup for any player, but Fultz managed to do well in the first contest against them — he totaled 27.5 DraftKings points in 29 minutes of playing time. It sounds as if Fultz will remain in the starting lineup today, and that’s a positive, as he offers some decent upside with his cheap price tag. Dragic registered 34 minutes of playing time in the first contest against the Indiana Pacers, and he proved to have an immediate impact with his 24 real-life points and 42.5 DraftKings points. Dragic appears to be starting today, and he should be able to provide value even with the tough defense of Malcolm Brogdon.
|Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (OKC)||@ HOU||$6,300||⭐⭐⭐||MEDIUM|
|Aaron Holiday (IND)||vs. MIA||$4,000||⭐⭐||MEDIUM|
SGA could not get it going in his first contest against the Houston Rockets, but some potential upside remains — the Rockets ranked second in pace throughout the regular season. While SGA doesn’t come with a massively discounted price, he should be able to provide value relatively easily — especially if he receives 35 minutes of playing time again. Victor Oladipo got poked in the eye in the first contest and may not be a go today. If Oladipo ultimately misses the contest, it could mean Holiday’s re-entrance into the starting lineup. While Holiday hasn’t been great, he’s a cheap option at the two-guard spot if you’re looking to pay down and spend elsewhere.
|Danuel House Jr (HOU)||vs. OKC||$4,700||⭐⭐||LOW|
|James Ennis III (ORL)||@ MIL||$4,000||⭐||LOW|
House simply doesn’t possess much of a ceiling, but he’s a very steady option with incredibly steady playing time — he’s topped 31-plus minutes in five of his last six contests. In addition, House’s price has been reduced by -$1,000, heightening the intrigue there while Russell Westbrook remains sidelined. Like most of the players today, Ennis doesn’t possess a great matchup, but he has been a quietly productive player over his last seven games in which he’s topped 21-plus DraftKings points in each contest.
|Robert Covington (HOU)||vs. OKC||$6,000||⭐⭐||MEDIUM|
|Wenyen Gabriel (POR)||@ LAL||$3,300||⭐⭐||MEDIUM|
RoCo is another intriguing option on the Rockets, particularly while Westbrook remains sidelined. He didn’t perform well in the first contest as he shot 1-6 from the field, totaled only three points and 17.75 DraftKings points, but RoCo has the potential to bounce back rather quickly. Expect some potentially positive regression in his shooting splits today. It appears that Zach Collins will remain sidelined today, and if that’s the case, Gabriel could notch himself another start. His ceiling isn’t really there, but he does represent a really cheap option to pay down at this spot, and he’ll likely offer some value with such a cheap price tag.
|P.J. Tucker (HOU)||vs. OKC||$4,400||⭐⭐||LOW|
Tucker is one of the more boring plays on the list, but his boatload of minutes makes him hard to ignore — the ceiling is almost non-existent, but he routinely hovers around value. The Rockets play with Tucker at the five — that leaves a nice exploitable matchup on the table for Adams, which is why he has a 5-star matchup. In the first contest, Adams totaled 36 DraftKings points on the back of a 17-point and 12-rebound performance. Adams has the potential to be a rebounding monster throughout the series.
5 Studs Worth Their Salary
- Jimmy Butler (MIA) $7,900: Butler received 37 minutes of playing time in the first contest and totaled 48.75 DraftKings points on the back of a 15-shot performance. He simply looks to have taken it to another level, and he offers a star-studded option at a not-so-star price.
- T.J. Warren (IND) $8,100: Warren continued his insanely productive bubble play with a 45.5-point performance in the first contest against the Heat. Warren’s ceiling only increases if Oladipo is forced to miss this contest.
- James Harden (HOU) $11,700: Harden is a near must-start every time with Westbrook sidelined. His 34 minutes of playing time and 22 shot attempts nearly guarantee a decent performance at worst, and his ceiling is obviously sky-high.
- Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL) $11,300: A motivated Giannis is truly a scary thought. The Bucks are now down 1-0 to the Orlando Magic, and that was with Giannis totaling a 65.25-point performance. Imagine what he’ll do to ensure the win today.
- Damian Lillard (POR) $11,000: This slate doesn’t lack star options, that’s for sure. The bubble’s MVP continues his streak of incredible play, as he totaled 51.25 points in the first contest opposing the Lakers. Another game, another 40-plus minute performance.
5 Notable Players to Fade
- Evan Fournier (ORL) $5,100: Fournier has not shot the ball well recently. The issue with that is Fournier’s game mostly relies on his ability to score points, though he has managed a few rebounds and assists here and there over the last few contests. His matchup doesn’t ease up at any point throughout this series.
- Victor Oladipo (IND) $6,200: As I mentioned above, Oladipo may miss today’s contest with an eye injury (got poked). He only registered nine minutes of playing time in the first one due to the injury. This situation feels like one that’s best served to simply avoid.
- Dennis Schroder (OKC) $5,500: Schroder’s return to the bubble did not go smoothly — he shot 3-12 from the field and totaled only 11 DraftKings points. The positive is that he played a ton of minutes (32) and could do so again today.
- Hassan Whiteside (POR) $4,900: Whiteside had a solid performance in the first contest against the Lakers — he totaled 26 DraftKings points and actually got 26 minutes worth of playing time. The issue is that he probably won’t repeat his five-block performance again.
- Nikola Vucevic (ORL) $8,800: It was tough listing Vuce here because he absolutely torched the Bucks in their first contest (62 DraftKings points), but they’ll need to make a concerted effort to stop the Magic’s best player, and that means more attention for the Serbian big man.
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.