Skip to main content

FanDuel DFS NBA Strategy Advice: Thursday (9/17)

by Vaughn Dalzell | @VaughnDalzell | Featured Writer
Sep 17, 2020

Jae Crowder has quietly produced for Miami, scoring at a high rate.

The NBA has a one-game slate for Thursday’s action in Orlando. There are plenty of FanDuel contests to enter tonight, so let’s take a look at some lineup possibilities with value plays, studs, fades, and more!

Create FanDuel lineups using our DFS Lineup Optimizer tool >>

Value Plays: Point Guard

Goran Dragic (MIA) BOS $10,500 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Kemba Walker (BOS) MIA $11,500 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Brad Wanamaker (BOS) MIA $8,500 ⭐⭐ High

Goran Dragic recorded 19.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 4.4 assists in 35.4 minutes per game over the semifinals and started off the Eastern Conference Finals versus the Celtics with 29 points, seven rebounds, and four assists. His 45.4 fantasy points were the most of the postseason for him, which is surprising because he’s had numerous outstanding games since taking over as the starting point guard.

Kemba Walker is my number two selection at point guard tonight behind Dragic. Walker posted 31.6 fantasy points for back-to-back 30-point efforts and 9-of-12 total games in the playoffs. Walker is a safe pick for 30 fantasy points nightly, but Dragic has had a more considerable impact on his team and has been just as productive.

Brad Wanamaker is a deep pick if you’re trying to stack your team, but you most likely won’t win much cash with him in your lineup. He recorded 38.6 fantasy points in Game 1, 14.2 points more than his previous postseason career-high, thanks to 11 points, six assists, five steals, three rebounds in 24 minutes. It’s unlikely he has an all-around game like that or plays 24 minutes, but he’s the next best option outside Dragic and Walker at point guard.

Shooting Guard

Jimmy Butler (MIA) BOS $14,500 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Marcus Smart (BOS) MIA $10,000 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Tyler Herro (MIA) BOS $9,500 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium

Jimmy Butler averaged 23.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 4.4 assists over 36.6 minutes versus the Bucks in the semifinals and picked up right where he left off with 20 points, five rebounds, and five assists in Game 1. Butler had multiple clutch buckets for the Heat, and in Game 2, I’d expect him to score more and get to the charity stripe more than seven times.

Marcus Smart blacked out from beyond the arc once again, hitting six-of-13 three-pointers (46.2%) for the Celtics. He scored a postseason-high of 26 points but only 28.1 fantasy points because of three rebounds and one assist. Smart will likely regress in scoring, but his rebound and assist totals should increase in Game 2.

Tyler Herro set postseason career-highs in minutes played (40), fantasy points (36.7), rebounds (11), and assists (9) during Game 1 of the ECF. Herro has scored double-digit points in all 11 playoff games this season and 17 games overall. He’s played at least 30 minutes in eight of his last 10 games and should continue to do so after his near triple-double of 12 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists.

Small Forward

Jaylen Brown (BOS) MIA $13,500 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Jae Crowder (MIA) BOS $9,500 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Gordon Hayward (BOS) MIA $7,000 High

Jaylen Brown posted 28.0 fantasy points in Game 1, a disappointing number considering he recorded 39 or more fantasy points in five-of-six before that. He’s set for a comeback game in this matchup, especially if Smart sees a regression in Game 2. There’s never really a risk in taking a player like Brown on a one-game slate, but Jae Crowder could be a safer pick, as weird as that sounds.

Crowder has quietly produced for Miami, scoring at a high rate. The Miami forward scored 22 points and 36.5 fantasy points in 39 minutes, all postseason-highs. He’s playing some of his best basketball right now, and Miami is 9-1 in the postseason, so he’s absolutely worth a selection until he has back-to-back poor performances. He scored 16 or more in five-straight games for the Heat.

Gordon Hayward may come back this week/weekend, and there’s also a chance he doesn’t play at all in the semifinals. He’s missed practically the entire Celtics’ playoff run, and if they go down 0-2 without him tonight, they may think of rushing him back. Whether or not he plays tonight or in Games 3 or 4, he’s not worth selecting over a hot guard or forward like Crowder or Herro.

Power Forward

Jayson Tatum (BOS) MIA $15,000 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Bam Adebayo (MIA) BOS $15,000 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Daniel Theis (BOS) MIA $9,000 ⭐⭐⭐ High

Jayson Tatum went off in Game 1 of the ECF, recording 30 points, 14 rebounds, five assists, three steals, and two blocks for 66.3 fantasy points. He’s posted 65 or more fantasy points in two of his last three games and recorded a double-double in five straight. He’s arguably the top play tonight.

Bam Adebayo posted 18 points, nine assists, and six rebounds in Game 1 for 44.7 fantasy points, his seventh game of 39 or more fantasy points in 10 postseason games. He’s double-doubled in five of his 10 playoff games this year and dished out at least four assists in seven of those games. He’s the best big on the one-game slate.

Daniel Theis fouled out of Game 1, finishing with four points, four rebounds, and three assists in 35 minutes. He may not be worth selecting in many games of this series despite his increasing role as the postseason has gone on. His role will be interesting once forward Gordon Hawayrd comes back, cutting into Theis potential points and rebounds.


Robert Williams (BOS) MIA $6,500 ⭐⭐ High
Kelly Olynyk (MIA) BOS $7,000 High
Tacko Fall (BOS) MIA $6,000 High

None of these centers are worth having on a one-game slate as the lineups allow you to mix and match any position. The only center worth considering if you were to select one, is Robert Williams. He has played more minutes than Kelly Olynyk or Tacko Fall lately and posted higher point and rebound averages over the previous series and Game 1 of the ECF.

5 Studs Worth Their Salary

  • Jayson Tatum (BOS), $16,000: Tatum has double-doubled in five-straight games and recorded 30 points and 14 rebounds in Game 1 versus Miami.
  • Goran Dragic (MIA), $10,500: Dragic exploded for another stellar postseason effort for the Heat with 29 points, seven rebounds, and four assists in Game 1.
  • Bam Adebayo (MIA) $15,000: Adebayo totaled 44 or more fantasy points in five of his last seven postseason games.
  • Marcus Smart (BOS) $10,000: Smart recorded a postseason high 26 points on seven made three-pointers in Game 1 versus the Heat’s No. 1 postseason ranked three-point defense.
  • Jae Crowder (MIA) $9,500: Crowder has scored 16 or more points in five-straight games and totaled 29 or more fantasy points.

5 Notable Players to Fade

  • Gordon Hayward (BOS), $7,000: Even if Hayward does suit up for Game 2, he shouldn’t play more than 25 minutes in his return.
  • Duncan Robinson (MIA) $8,000: Robinson scored six points and 12.9 fantasy points in Game 1. He’s had four games under 20 fantasy points in his last six playoff games.
  • Kendrick Nunn (MIA) $6,500: Nunn played 13 minutes in Game 1 and 21 minutes in Game 5 versus the Bucks, but only managed 21.6 fantasy points combined.
  • Robert Williams (BOS) $6,500: Williams, similar to Nunn, played 29 total minutes in the past two games, only managing 20.0 fantasy points.
  • Daniel Theis (BOS) $9,000: Theis fouled out in Game 1 and was no match for Adebayo. On a one-game slate, the only big worth having is Adebayo.

Create FanDuel lineups using our DFS Lineup Optimizer tool >>

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.

Vaughn Dalzell is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Vaughn, check out his archive or follow him @VaughnDalzell.

What's your take? Leave a comment

Build winning DFS lineups

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