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NBA DFS Picks: The NBA Slate Starter for DraftKings + FanDuel | August 24

Eric Lindquist

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NBA DFS Picks: 8/25/20 SuperDraft Cheatsheet with Nikola Vucevic

It had been a minute since Rick Carlisle did Rick Carlisle things to us NBA DFS folk, but the Kristaps Porzingis late scratch with zero heads up made up for lost time. Thanks, Rick. Let’s get right to it tonight. This is your Slate Starter for Monday’s main slate on DraftKings and FanDuel.


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Here We Go Again

Rejoice, my dear friends. If Miami can finish off the sweep of Indiana, we’ll finally have different NBA DFS slates for Tuesday and Wednesday. Which I am so looking forward to, considering Monday marks our eighth consecutive day of identical teams playing at near-identical times.

I went on a long rant the other day about recency bias, but as a refresher, people tend to remember what happened in the most recent game of a series when making their DFS lineups. For example, LeBron James and Anthony Davis both went off for 65-plus fantasy points in Game 3, so it’s easy to assume that as the cheapest of the $10,000-plus options on both main sites tomorrow, their performances would lead to more ownership than Saturday’s corresponding slate.

This also means we’re looking at some minuscule ownership for some of the other high-end spend-up options, in particular one Damian Lillard. As a GPP player, my brain is hard-wired to go overweight on players coming off ‘bad’ games (I put that in quotes because Lillard went 34/7/5, and it was somehow disappointing).

And yours should be too. I believe in riding the hot hand just as much as the next guy, but pay close attention to Awesemo’s ownership projections tomorrow morning, as there could be some serious leverage to be had by fading the box-score watchers.

Magic Mystery Tour

One of the ironies of playing DFS is that players from a 13.5-point underdog can still be extremely important to a slate, because the pricing deems it so. Markelle Fultz is still only $4,700 on DraftKings, which means you’re looking at the fourth straight day of Fultz mega-chalk. Evan Fournier and Terrence Ross are also in that $5,000 ballpark, which means if they ever spike 30-fantasy-point upside, you’re gonna need them.

Obviously the Aaron Gordon news hangs in the balance, but the two most intriguing options from the Magic for me are James Ennis and Gary Clark. Ennis burned everyone on Saturday with his early ejection, but I doubt that really gets anyone to get away from his 25-plus minutes at $4,400 on both sites. Clark was active on both sides of the court, and despite only attempting four shots, went for 26.5 DraftKings points at $3,600. Now he sits at $4,100, but you can’t find many plays locked in for 34-36 minutes at that price on this slate. He’d be a welcome source of salary relief.

In summary, for the 946th slate in a row, Fultz will be mega-chalk, Fournier and Ross will surely break my heart, and Ennis and Clark sounds like an expedition, which is perfect because rostering either will surely be an adventure.


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The Heat Is On

And for the 947th slate in a row, we’re looking at potential Heat chalk. Jae Crowder, Derrick Jones Jr., and Andre Iguodala are all questionable heading into Monday, and while none of them are high-usage guys (to say the least), that’s a lot of minutes to spread around.

That doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll be going to the Heat for value. In fact, at first glance, every value piece has seen their salaries bloated to near-unplayable degrees. Let’s take a look:

Tyler Herro has been the Herro Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now. He’s up to $5,500 on DraftKings and $5,000 on FanDuel, where he wouldn’t have quintupled those salaries a single time the entire series despite seeing considerably more run.

Duncan Robinson hadn’t attempted a 2-point field goal in this series until halfway through Game 3. Similar to Herro, he’s a 3-point marksman but gets fewer peripherals than you or I would get on an NBA court. In 11 bubble games, he has failed to accumulate more than three rebounds or three assists in any of them. He’ll need to score 30 real-life points to make his way into the optimal on either site.

Kelly Olynyk has failed to surpass 20 minutes or 20 fantasy points in any game this playoff series. If all of Crowder/Jones Jr./Iguodala are ruled out, he’s probably the first guy I’m going to, but it feels unlikely we get all three. Plus, at $4,000 on DraftKings, his salary has some of that presumed uptick in production baked in.

So what does this mean exactly? It’s simple: load up on Jimmy Butler, Goran Dragic, and Bam Adebayo like the last chopper out of Vietnam. All three are already solid point-per-dollar options, and if the questionable tags don’t play, Erik Spoelstra should easily run his starters 38 minutes. Keep in mind, the Heat/Pacers are the second-to-last game of the day, so make sure you have your late-swap options planned out ahead of time.

Final Thoughts for Your NBA DFS Lineups

I’m fascinated to see what ownership looks like in the morning. While I was hoping Aaron Gordon would be in on Saturday, I’m really hoping he’ll be out on Monday so we can slam in Magic value (some of the only value we have left).

Lastly, I didn’t mention him earlier, but play Malcolm Brogdon. The guy is eating up all the Indiana usage, and there’s no way that changes in tomorrow’s do-or-die spot.

Alright, that’s it for tonight. See you right back here Monday night for another Slate Starter!


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