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FanDuel DFS NBA Strategy: Wednesday (12/23)

by Isaiah Sirois | @is_sirois | Featured Writer
Dec 23, 2020

The Los Angeles Lakers won the NBA Finals just 73 days ago. The NBA draft took place just over a month ago. But guess what? We’re already back in the swing of things for the 2020-21 season. I hope that you’re excited as I am!

Each week, I’ll be here to profile some strong value plays, studs, and duds for Wednesday’s FanDuel slate. I’ll do my best to point you in the right direction, and if you have any questions, you can hit me up on Twitter at @is_sirois.

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I. Value Plays

  • Luka Doncic will have his work cut out for him with Kristaps Porzingis sidelined, but he should exploit Phoenix’s vulnerable defense. He averaged 51.8 FanDuel points per game last season.
  • A high posted total? Check (it’s at 231.5). A lack of depth? Check. Bottom-five defense? Check. Fire up Ja Morant.
  • He’s a starter in a banged-up offense (see: Kevin Love). Darius Garland is a volume-based bargain play, but you’re probably better off spending up at the position.

  • I’m targeting lots of Mavs and Suns in the game with the slate’s highest posted total (237). Devin Booker is a safe play to post tons of points. He averaged 26.8 points, 6.5 assists, and 5.25 rebounds against Dallas last year.
  • As with Morant, Dillon Brooks should benefit from the injuries surrounding him. He averaged 28.8 points per game over his last 10 appearances.
  • Luguentz Dort flashed upside late last season. He finished with 4x his FanDuel price in six of his last 10 games. Now that CP3 is gone, he’ll get more run, too.

  • With Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol gone — two of Toronto’s other top-three rebounders — Pascal Siakam should have more opportunities to post boards. That’s not the end-all, be-all, but at the start of a new season, there’s some upside here.
  • The Blazers ranked 28th in defensive efficiency last year. Bojan Bogdanovic and the feasted in the preseason and will keep feasting against Portland.
  • Deandre Hunter got plenty of run in the preseason. He didn’t always do much with his minutes, but he’s not a bad volume-based upside play if you’re really looking to save money at the position.

  • The Celtics won’t have Gordon Hayward or Kemba Walker, and Jaylen Brown was better than Jayson Tatum against the Bucks last year. He posted 22 points and 4.0 rebounds against them in his one appearance; Tatum averaged 15.7 points and 6.0 rebounds across his three games. Brown is also $2.3k cheaper than Tatum.
  • Dorian Finney-Smith had a solid preseason and will get lots of run with Porzingis out.
  • Kyle Anderson is another Grizzly in an exploitable matchup. Jaren Jackson Jr’s injury opens the door for him to play more minutes, but I’d only roll with him if you’re absolutely punting this position.

  • Deandre Ayton is a great target against the Porzingis-less Mavs. He averaged 39.3 FanDuel points per game last year. He averaged 16.3 points and 8.7 rebounds against Dallas last year. Those numbers aren’t the best, but they’re also deflated by a game that Ayton fouled himself out of early.
  • If you don’t like Ayton, Dwight Powell will benefit from Porzingis’ absence more directly. He averaged 19.3 minutes per game in the preseason but certainly isn’t a risk-free play.
  • Aron Baynes will replace Marc Gasol as Toronto’s center. Gasol averaged 23.6 FanDuel points per game last year. That said, it’s always risky to start anyone making their first start on a new team.

II. Five Studs to Feature

  1. Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL) $11,500: It’s the reigning MVP and Defensive Player of the Year against a depleted Celtics roster. Don’t overthink it. He averaged 30 points and 15.3 rebounds per game against Boston last season.
  2. Luka Doncic (DAL) $11,400: As I alluded to above, I’m targeting the highest posted total on the slate (237). It helps that he averaged 30.3 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 6.0 assists per game against the Suns last year.
  3. Devin Booker (PHO) $8,400: Booker is in a high-scoring matchup. He averaged 26.8 points, 5.3 boards, and 6.5 assists per game against Dallas last year.
  4. Donovan Mitchell (UTH) $8,100: The Trail Blazers can’t play defense. The Spider averaged 31.5 points and 4.5 three-pointers when facing Portland last season.
  5. Pascal Siakam (TOR) $8,000: Siakam will get a lot of boards in the post-Ibaka, post-Gasol era. He was already averaging 7.3 boards per game last year; the departures of Ibaka (8.2) and Gasol (6.3) mean more opportunities for him to put up fantasy points.

III. Five Studs to Fade

  1. Russell Westbrook (WAS) $9,900: Don’t drop this much on Westbrook’s debut for the Wizards. He posted only 20 points against the Sixers last year, too.
  2. Jayson Tatum (BOS) $9,800: This is a ton of cap space for a player who averaged 16.5 points, 7.0 boards, and 4.5 assists against the Bucks last season. Don’t bet on him to turn things about on Opening Week.
  3. Nikola Jokic (DEN) $9,700: You can get a better deal at center. Jokic averaged a pedestrian 29.1 FanDuel points per game against the Kings last season.
  4. Zion Williamson (NOR) $7,700: Williamson has a ton of upside, but he’ll face the league’s second-best defense from last season. Don’t drop the cap space on him.
  5. LaMelo Ball (CHA) $6,100: Are you really going to spend this much for a rookie making his NBA debut?

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Isaiah Sirois is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Isaiah, check out his archive and follow him @is_sirois.

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