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FanDuel DFS NBA Strategy Advice: Friday (8/21)

Aug 21, 2020

Today’s slate — as with all others since the start of the playoffs — features four games, the first of which tips off at 1:30 p.m. EST. The Toronto Raptors will take on the Brooklyn Nets in the early game, and the Los Angeles Clippers play the Dallas Mavericks have the last spot. Today’s slate has no shortage of stars, and it could provide some interesting value plays with players such as Gordon Hayward sidelined for an extended period of time. As always, keep up to date with all the injury and lineup news throughout the day.

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Point Guard

vs. DEN $5,800 ⭐⭐ HIGH
Reggie Jackson (LAC) @ DAL $3,500 ⭐⭐ LOW

Mike Conley has finally returned to the bubble after a three-game absence, and he is listed as probable for today’s game. If Conley does line up and start, he’s got a lot of potential — particularly with how well he’s played in the bubble. Conley topped 31-plus points four times in six games, and he topped 40-plus once over the same time span. Prior to the playoffs and his absence, Conley was playing well over 30 minutes per game and had finally hit his stride. Reggie Jackson is likely to start for the Clippers with Patrick Beverley doubtful for today’s contest. While Jackson’s ceiling is limited, he could easily reach value with the number of minutes available for him today — Jackson played 26 minutes in the last contest and totaled 16.3 FanDuel points.

Shooting Guard

Marcus Smart (BOS) @ PHI $5,500 ⭐⭐ MEDIUM
vs. TOR $5,100 MEDIUM

Marcus Smart has entered the starting lineup with Gordon Hayward sidelined for the next four weeks due to injury. Smart’s last two contests haven’t resulted in great finishes, but he’s played in 31 and 29 minutes in the last two, and he always carries a ton of defensive potential. Of the playoff teams, the Philadelphia 76ers rank second-worst in defensive rating. The Raptors are not a defense you typically want to target, but Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot has been playing lights out, particularly on the offensive end. In his last four games, Luwawu-Cabarrot has totaled 24, 19, 26, and 17 real-life points. His FanDuel totals were 32.4, 28.1, 36.4, and 19.4.

Small Forward

vs. DEN $5,700 ⭐⭐ MEDIUM
Jaylen Brown (BOS) @ PHI $7,000 ⭐⭐ LOW

Joe Ingles is a relatively boring player, but he’s incredibly consistent — he’s scored 34 and 28.4 FanDuel points in the first two playoff contests against the Denver Nuggets. If Conley suits up, Ingles will see less time on the ball, but the Nuggets still do rank dead-last among the playoff teams in defensive rating. Jaylen Brown is one of the more pricey players on this list, but with good reason — his usage rate is only going to increase with Hayward sidelined. Brown has played very well since the beginning of the bubble and has 49.2 and 30.5-point performances in the first two playoff games against the 76ers. Brown has a solid floor and a pretty good ceiling, too.

Power Forward

Paul Millsap (DEN) @ UTA $4,500 ⭐⭐ MEDIUM
vs. BOS $5,200 ⭐⭐⭐ MEDIUM

Paul Millsap struggled in his last contest, but he’s been solid over his last five. While Millsap’s minutes have been concerningly inconsistent, the playoff games between the Nuggets and Jazz have been incredibly back-and-forth and high-scoring, which is exactly the environment you want to target. Al Horford had a miserable performance in his last contest, totaling only 9.4 FanDuel points. Don’t be too alarmed, though, Horford has gotten a good number of minutes in the two playoff contests and has proven he can provide decent value whether he starts or comes off the bench. The 76ers need a spark in the worst way, and Horford’s price is very reasonable.


Jarrett Allen (BKN) vs. TOR $7,400 ⭐⭐ MEDIUM
Ivica Zubac (LAC) @ DAL $4,400 ⭐⭐ LOW

The Nets are down 2-0 against the Raptors, but it’s not because of Jarrett Allen’s play — Allen has totaled 40-plus in four of his last five games and is coming off a 43.5-point performance in his last game. Allen’s combination of scoring, rebounding, and defensive ability allows him to fill up stat sheets with relative ease. Ivica Zubac didn’t have a strong performance in his most recent game, but he has otherwise been a solid producer for the Clippers — he’s topped 30-plus points in four of his last eight. His price tag is low, and that helps to minimize the risk almost entirely.

5 Studs Worth Their Salary

  • Joel Embiid (PHI) $10,100: Embiid has topped 50-plus points in both playoff contests. With how badly the 76ers are struggling, they’ll need to rely on Embiid and his offensive ability more than ever.
  • Jaylen Brown (BOS) $7,000: Brown has quietly played very well in the bubble, and he now has an elevated ceiling with Hayward sidelined. Look for the young and budding star to be even more involved offensively.
  • Luka Doncic (DAL) $10,500: The first two playoff games have proven just how good Doncic is — he’s totaled 70 points throughout them. The young star is as safe of a bet as you can get, as foul trouble is the only thing that’s slowed him down since the playoffs tipped off.
  • Fred VanVleet (TOR) $7,900: Arguably, VanVleet has been the Raptors’ most important player throughout two playoff games — he’s totaled 56.9 and 46 FanDuel points, and he’s played in 38 and 43 minutes in those contests. Feel free to ride the wave while FVV’s price is still affordable.
  • Kawhi Leonard (LAC) $9,700: This series has been one of the most fun in the first round. Leonard has performed well in both contests, topping 50 FanDuel points in both. We’re still waiting to see if he can take it to another level, though, with Paul George struggling mightily.

5 Notable Players to Fade

  • Paul George (LAC) $7,900: Paul George has performed miserably in his first two playoff contests. While he may flip the switch at any point in time, I wouldn’t be the one to take the risk. One positive is his price tag — it’s dropped considerably.
  • Donovan Mitchell (UTH) $8,200: It’s tough to list Mitchell here because of how good he’s been in the playoffs, but Conley’s return should leave him off the ball far more often, and that should bring down his scoring totals.
  • Montrezl Harrell (LAC) $4,700: This price tag feels dirt cheap for Harrell, but he has yet to knock the rust off from his extended bubble absence. Let Harrell first prove he’s back to himself before you take the chance.
  • Jordan Clarkson (UTH) $5,400: The return of Mike Conley will surely limit Clarkson’s minutes to some degree. Expect every ball-handler and scorer’s usage rates to drop with the starting point guard back on the court.
  • Marc Gasol (TOR) $4,200: Gasol has not been good since the bubble tipped off, particularly in his last five games, as he’s reached value only once. Gasol has not performed well against Allen and the Nets, either.

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Sosa Kremenjas is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Sosa, check out his archive and follow him @QBsMVP.