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

Aug 17, 2020

Garrett Temple is likely slated to play a boatload of minutes for a team that lacks a scoring punch

Today’s slate officially kicks off the start of the NBA playoffs, which comes after an incredibly successful seeding tournament inside the NBA’s bubble experiment. The first day of the NBA playoffs will feature a four-game slate that tips off at 1:30 p.m. EST and will go throughout the entire day. Ensure you’re up-to-date with all injury and lineup news as lineups are being adjusted at a rapid rate.

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Point Guard

Jamal Murray (DEN) vs. UTA $6,100 MEDIUM
@ DEN $3,700 LOW

Something about listing Jamal Murray in the value plays doesn’t feel right, but it’s his reduced price tag which makes it feel like Murray could be a legit bargain. Most of his time in the bubble was ruined by way of injury, but Murray did eventually get back into the fold, appearing in the Nuggets’ last four contests while topping the 24-plus minute mark in three of them. Murray didn’t appear to have much rust and is likely to have an easier matchup as it appears Mike Conley won’t dress for the Utah Jazz today.

Emmanuel Mudiay should have an opportunity to assert himself in today’s matchup with Conley leaving the bubble. The Nuggets are not a great matchup by any means, but Mudiay could be slated for a good chunk of minutes and/or even a role in the starting five.

Shooting Guard

@ TOR $3,800 ⭐⭐ MEDIUM
Jordan Clarkson (UTA) @ DEN $4,400 ⭐⭐ MEDIUM

The Brooklyn Nets are the team that will provide the best value in terms of a per-player basis, even if the Toronto Raptors rank second in defensive rating. Garrett Temple will have a tough individual matchup, regardless of which Raptors defender is tasked with guarding him. Either way, Temple is likely slated to play a boatload of minutes for a team that lacks a scoring punch — this should provide him with ample scoring opportunities.

If Mudiay makes the value plays list, then so too does Jordan Clarkson. We don’t yet know which player will draw the start, but Clarkson definitely carries a lot of intrigue entering the playoffs — he’s purely a scoring threat that can do damage when his shot is dropping.

Small Forward

Joe Harris (BKN) @ TOR $4,800 ⭐⭐ MEDIUM
Tim Hardaway Jr. (DAL) @ LAC $5,500 ⭐⭐ MEDIUM

Joe Harris — like a few of his teammates — makes the list due to the Nets’ injury situation and his scoring ability. Harris has crossed 24-plus minutes of playing time in every game inside the bubble and has routinely hovered around value or slightly higher. The matchup today is considerably tough, but someone needs to score for the Nets, and Harris possesses the ability to do that from unlimited range. The Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Clippers matchup leads the day with the highest implied total, and by a relatively significant spread. Tim Hardaway is one of the players in that contest — he’s topped 34-plus minutes of playing time in five of his last six contests. The issue with Hardaway is his pure reliance on his scoring ability, which may be tough to perform against the individual defense of players like Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.

Power Forward

Michael Porter Jr. (DEN) vs. UTA $6,800 ⭐⭐⭐ MEDIUM
Al Horford (PHI) @ BOS $5,300 ⭐⭐⭐ MEDIUM

Welcome back to the Michael Porter Jr. show. The Jazz are not an ideal matchup as they rank 13th in defensive rating and 24th in pace, yet it wouldn’t stop me from targeting one of the hottest players in the NBA since the bubble’s kick-off. MPJ figures to continue drawing starts for the Nuggets, in addition to topping 49-plus FanDuel points in four of his last six games. It is not yet known whether Al Horford will replace Ben Simmons in the starting lineup, but he figures to be a heavily used player in the rotation either way. Horford’s cheap price tag, an abundance of playing time, and revenge game narrative are all interesting reasons to select him on today’s slate.


vs. DAL $5,100 ⭐⭐⭐ LOW
Jarrett Allen (BKN) @ TOR $7,200 ⭐⭐ MEDIUM

Ivica Zubac has quietly developed into a really solid DFS option at the five-spot during his extended run in the bubble. Zubac’s playing time was incredibly steady throughout, and it appears he’ll likely log the 24 minutes he accumulated in five straight contests. Zubac has the ability to chip in points around the rim, rebound double-digit numbers on any given night, and can even chip in as a defender in spurts. Jarrett Allen is going to have a tough matchup, regardless of which Raptors defender sticks on him, but it may not matter. Allen has chipped in offensively, has been playing an insane number of minutes recently, and can rebound, pass, and factors in heavily on the defensive end — he’s the total package.

5 Studs Worth Their Salary

  • Kyle Lowry, TOR ($7,300): While Lowry doesn’t have the greatest post-season history against the Nets, he’s likely to figure in majorly for the Raptors upon the start of the playoffs. The Nets also harbor a decent environment for DFS purposes, with their 10th-ranked pace metric.
  • Pascal Siakam, TOR ($7,400): Siakam has yet to put together a dominant performance in the bubble — and today feels like a decent time for it. The Nets like to operate at a quick pace (as do the Raptors) and they don’t really have any defenders capable of guarding Siakam, particularly not in transition.
  • Luka Doncic, DAL ($10,200): Luka is the most expensive player on the slate, and with good reason — he’s otherworldly. The defense of the Clippers are likely to swarm Luka on every possession, but the Mavericks have no choice but to rely on his offensive playmaking and scoring ability.
  • Nikola Jokic, DEN ($8,600): It doesn’t make a ton of sense, but Jokic apparently loves to play against the Jazz because he appears to almost always toast them. Joker scored 58.7 FanDuel points in his last game against Rudy Gobert and the Jazz and is offered at a discounted rate for today’s matchup.
  • Joel Embiid, PHI ($8,500): The Philadelphia 76ers have no choice but to heavily rely on the offense of Embiid, particularly with Ben Simmons sidelined. Embiid did not do well in his three final bubble games, but always carries a monstrous ceiling on any given night.

5 Notable Players to Fade

  • Kristaps Porzingis, DAL ($8,600): Porzingis was on absolute fire nearing the end of the bubble, but missed some two games at the end of the regular season due to a heel issue that has him listed as probable for today’s contest. KP is likely to get a ton of defense from Paul George and Marcus Morris, neither of which is a particularly easy matchup.
  • Jaylen Brown, BOS ($6,200): Brown is a fantastic player, but a healthy Celtics starting five (for the most part) is always tough to peg, particularly against the eighth-ranked defense of the 76ers and the individual defense of players like Josh Richardson.
  • Montrezl Harrell, LAC ($5,800): Trezz has finally re-joined the Clippers inside the bubble, though he hasn’t played a single minute since mid-March when the NBA season was suspended. I’d avoid this situation for now, as Trezz could come in rusty in his first game back.
  • Kemba Walker, BOS ($6,000): Kemba hasn’t been the same player since the bubble’s return, most likely due to the nagging injuries which kept him on a minutes restriction. It has been lifted for today’s matchup, but the defense of the 76ers don’t figure to make things any easier for a player looking to get back on track.
  • Rudy Gobert, UTA ($7,600): This contest has the lowest implied total of the night and features two of the slowest-paced teams in the NBA. While Gobert’s price tag is actually affordable, there are certainly better options at the five-spot on the slate.

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

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