Players of the NBA shocked everyone on Wednesday, boycotting their games. Ironically, the silence and lack of basketball on television was loud in its impact, dominating headlines around the world. After long meetings and debates, basketball is back today, with NBA DFS along with it. Make no mistake, the return of basketball does not mean the end of our discussion about the social climate and need for change. Rather, players understand the NBA playoffs and the bubble gives them the biggest platform to speak out, and they will do just that.
Now, back to our fantasy world of DFS.
In NBA DFS, setting your lineup is both an art and a science. You are balancing each player’s monetary value with your internal projection for them on a given day, hoping they do not let you down in a number of different ways. In a way, you are subconsciously determining a given player’s potential to blow up or possibly bust, but we actually have a specific resource that values boom/bust probability for every player on both DraftKings and FanDuel, using our own algorithm.
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The Awesemo Boom vs. Bust Tool, Explained
When playing cash games, the bust potential is vital, as the risk of a high bust potential for a player would often outweigh the reward. The boom potential really comes to play when entering GPPs. Obviously, you need the majority of your players to vastly outperform their value for you to rank in the high money at the end of the night. For the purposes of Awesemo’s boom/bust tool, a player’s value is defined as 5x pts/$1,000 on both DraftKings and FanDuel. A player must score 10 points above their value to “boom.” Not meeting value is considered a “bust.” Let’s take a look at some of the more popular boom/bust candidates for Saturday, Aug. 29.
*All candidates were written up in the morning, so boom/bust percentages may change throughout the day.
NBA DFS Boom Candidates
Giannis Antetokounmpo vs. Magic: DraftKings: PF, $11,300, 35.4% Boom | FanDuel: SF, $11,300, 44.8% Boom
This feels like a statement game for the “Greek Freak.” We all know about the shooting that occurred in Kenosha, WI, which is not far from Milwaukee. This hit close to home for the Bucks, and it sparked them being the first team to boycott. Giannis Antetokounmpo has a lot of built up emotion that may come out against the Magic tonight. It also seems like the perfect time to show everyone he is the back-to-back MVP, eliminating the Magic by himself.
C.J. McCollum vs. Lakers: DraftKings: PG/SG, $8,100, 23.2% Boom | FanDuel: SG, $7,200, 48.2% Boom
It’s shaping up to be a big game for C.J. McCollum tonight, in this possible elimination game. Damian Lillard will be out for Portland tonight. With him, Trevor Ariza, Rodney Hood and Zach Collins off the floor this season, McCollum sees nice boosts for NBA DFS and leads the way with a 34.4% usage rate. He also averages 1.17 DraftKings points and 1.12 FanDuel points per minute. If the game can manage to stay somewhat within reach, McCollum should have a big game.
Nikola Vucevic vs. Bucks: DraftKings: C, $9,200, 24.8% Boom | FanDuel: C, $8,600, 48.4% Boom
Nikola Vucevic crushed last game, totaling 31 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. Despite this big performance, his salary hasn’t really moved. With their backs up against the wall, the Magic should come out aggressive, which means running things through their big man early on. When Vucevic is on and he’s aggressive, there are few people that can stop him. Brook Lopez is not one of these few people.
NBA DFS Picks: Bust Candidates
Eric Gordon vs Thunder: DraftKings: SG/SF, $6,100, 86.8% Bust | FanDuel: SF, $5,800, 74.8% Bust
Eric Gordon has seen increased minutes and usage this postseason. However, Russell Westbrook returns to the lineup today, which will make it much tougher for Gordon to hit value. When James Harden and Westbrook are both on the floor this season, Gordon sees nearly a five percent usage drop. Simply, Houston relies on his offense less when they have two superstars.
Kyle Kuzma vs Blazers: DraftKings: SF/PF, $5,300, 74.7% Bust | FanDuel: PF, $5,500, 71.7% Bust
Over the past three games, Kuzma has averaged just 22 minutes, and he hasn’t played more than 23. This has occurred over very different game scripts, which is interesting. Whether the game has been a blowout or competitive, Kuzma has played a limited role off the bench, which should continue tonight. This really limits his upside.
Eric Bledsoe vs Magic: DraftKings: PG, $5,800, 56.9% Bust | FanDuel: PG, $6,400, 58.5% Bust
At the time of writing, the Magic-Bucks game has the largest spread of the day. While we mentioned Giannis above, he is very capable of filling the stat sheet with a limited amount of time. Eric Bledsoe, on the other hand, cannot. This raises the likelihood of being a NBA DFS bust today.
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CJ McCollum U26.5 Points +106 (DraftKings)
The Blazers opened the playoffs with an impressive win against the #1 seed, but unfortunately all it did was wake up the Lakers. Since then LA has responded with three straight wins including blowouts in games 2 & 4. Now we get an elimination game that has the Blazers waving the white flag as Damian Lillard is out with a knee sprain. Even the few extra days between games was not enough to get Dame back and now the Lakers are poised to end this series in 5. This spread has ballooned to -13.5 and its hard to imagine the Blazers staying close in this spot.
With Lillard out CJ McCollum will be the focal point of the offense which means more volume, but I do not think that automatically means more scoring. The O/U on points for McCollum sits at a healthy 26.5 and its shaded to the over, so we get plus money if we go with the under here. If this game is a blowout he will be watching from the bench in the 4th and he should be the priority for the Lakers defense. McCollum has not been super aggressive with just 14 FT’s attempted through four games and he is just 10-28 from three-point range. Both of those will have to increase here if McCollum is going over this total, and with the under sitting at +106 that’s a good enough price for me to take a position.
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