FanDuel DFS NBA Strategy Advice: Nuggets at Lakers (9/18)
Today’s slate will feature a game 1 matchup between the Denver Nuggets and the Los Angeles Lakers, the two franchises to reach the Western Conference Finals. The game currently has an implied total of 211 points, with the Lakers holding a strong seven-point cushion over the visiting Nuggets. Ensure you’re up-to-date with injury statuses and lineup news.
Nikola Jokic (DEN): $16,000
Jokic likely carries the largest ceiling on this slate, but his inconsistencies could also end your night before it even begins. Still, the big man from Serbia has played 38-plus minutes in his last five games and has totaled 71.9 and 62.3 FanDuel points in his last two contests. Jokic has cemented himself as one of the league’s best players and has routinely double-doubled in the playoffs, pulling down boards at an absurd rate.
LeBron James (LAL): $15,500
Bron is the next option at the MVP or Star spots on FanDuel, though he likely has a slightly lower ceiling than Jokic. Still, Bron is probably the safer play as he’s eclipsed 52-plus FanDuel points in all but one of his last eight games. The Washed King does not appear to be slowing down anytime soon and would make a great bet on FanDuel at the top spot.
Anthony Davis (LAL): $15,000
AD is one of the best players in the sport but hasn’t reached his potential ceiling in the last few contests, nearly since the first round of the playoffs against the Portland Trail Blazers. While AD pulled down a bunch of 50-point performances against the Houston Rockets, he has the ceiling to take it a step further and to operate in the same stratosphere as someone like Jokic. Davis is coming off a very bad 29.2-point performance in his last game and could be a slight contrarian pivot to the Bron/Jokic lineups.
Jamal Murray (DEN): $13,000
There may not be a bigger breakout star throughout these playoffs than the Canadian. Murray is coming off a 40-point (real-life points) performance in a Game 7 that knocked out the Los Angeles Clippers. The young star at the point hasn’t really reached his ceiling since the first round of the playoffs against the Utah Jazz, but his matchups were admittedly tough against the Clips who have a strong rotation of defenders at the point. Expect Murray to put the team on his back early and often.
Rajon Rondo (LAL): $11,000
Rondo is currently listed as questionable for this contest due to a back injury, but he could very well end up playing and if he does, he’s certainly an intriguing selection in this series. Rondo’s injury kept him sidelined for most of the playoffs, but he returned to the court against the Houston Rockets and immediately paid dividends by stringing together strong contest performances. Rondo topped 35-plus FanDuel points in three out of five playoff games thus far and always carries a strong assist upside.
Gary Harris (DEN): $10,500
Like Rondo, Harris missed a lot of time throughout the bubble and some of the playoffs but has settled in relatively nicely for the Nuggets. While his minutes have been a bit sporadic, so too have his performances, but Harris has shown the ability to pack a scoring punch in addition to his strong defensive game in which he’s totaled five steals over his last two games. Harris is a risky option at this spot, but he can certainly take advantage of the lack of attention he’ll receive in this series.
Kyle Kuzma (LAL): $10,000
Kuz is another interesting option who’s struggled to hit a consistent level, though he is coming off a decent 26.8-point outing in only 26 minutes of playing time against the Rockets. Kuz’s sixth-man role is always something to keep in the back of your mind, but he’s shown the ability to lead the second-team offense with his varied scoring package. He doesn’t offer much else, though.
Paul Millsap (DEN): $9,000
The veteran’s performances have not been tremendously positive over the last six contests as he’s eclipsed the 20-point mark only one single time (27.7 FanDuel points). The issue is his inconsistent minutes and his lack of real-life scoring, which have both capped Millsap’s ceiling at a lower level. Still, Millsap wouldn’t be a bad contrarian option if you expect him to get more run throughout this series.
Michael Porter Jr. (DEN): $9,000
MPJ is the true wildcard in this series because he too lacks consistency but also carries a ceiling that’s rather tremendous. MPJ is coming off a miserable 9.4-point contest in his last game, but has topped 22-plus points four times in the past five games otherwise and has always been a volume scorer and shooter. Nailing down which MPJ shows up is going to prove tough as it has throughout the entirety of the playoffs, but he could very well be the key to deciding whether you cash or not.
Jerami Grant (DEN): $8,500
Like Millsap, Grant has not strung together many impressive performances as of late. His best game came in Game 2 versus the Clippers when he totaled 34.4 FanDuel points, but he has otherwise struggled to top even 20-plus points as he’s only done it once outside of that during the same series. Grant is getting a ton of run, though, as he’s topped 30-plus minutes of playing time in five of his last six games.
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