The NBA is back and with it comes NBA DFS on DraftKings, FanDuel and SuperDraft. Greg Ehrenberg looks at some NBA DFS Picks to build around and fade for Saturday’s five-game slate.
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NBA Building Blocks: Picks, Values, Studs + Locks for the NBA’s Return | July 31
Value NBA DFS Picks: Jordan Clarkson
DraftKings $3,900, FanDuel $4,500, Yahoo $17, SuperDraft 1.65x
Considering the role Clarkson played on the first night of the restart, he is much too cheap across the industry. In fact, DraftKings oddly priced him down following a massive game against the Pelicans. He scored nearly 40 fantasy points and carried the Jazz’s second unit on offense. Going forward, there is reason to think Clarkson will continue to carry a massive load.
When Bojan Bogdanovic was ruled out for the rest of the season due to wrist injury, the Jazz were in trouble. A team without much depth, they needed scoring on their second unit in the restart with Joe Ingles moving into the starting lineup. This is where Clarkson comes into play. On Thursday against New Orleans, he launched 17 shots and sported a 28.5% usage rating. One thing in this game was clear. No matter how many shots Clarkson missed, he was not going to stop shooting. Following an abysmal first half, he picked up his efficiency in the second half, helping lead the Jazz to a win. The way Clarkson kept shooting even when he couldn’t buy a bucket makes me confident his usage will remain significant going forward.
Stud NBA DFS Picks: Paul George
DraftKings $7,900, FanDuel $7,700, Yahoo $32, SuperDraft 1.35x
George seems like a player who benefitted from the long layoff. Even though George wasn’t playing poorly prior to the shutdown, he wasn’t performing at the same level from a year ago. His season got off to a late start due to surgery on both of his shoulders and this prevented him from getting into a rhythm. This combined with a few other nagging injuries and a minutes restriction held PG13 back. All of these factors led to him averaging less than 30 minutes per game for the season.
While he has only played in one game, it’s hard to not buy into the small sample size. Not only did George make more than half of his field goal attempts against the Lakers, his playing time was through the roof. Despite getting into foul trouble, George played 34 minutes on Thursday. This was only the 11th time all season that he’s played 34 or more minutes. This in itself is good evidence that George is as healthy as he has been all year. With this kind of leash, PG13 has the upside to get back to being the player priced over $10K across the industry that he was last season. For today, it also helps that he plays the Pelicans who play at the second fastest pace in the league with a below-average defensive efficiency.
Fade NBA DFS Picks: Chris Paul
DraftKings $7,400, FanDuel $7,700, Yahoo $31, SuperDraft 1.3x
The Thunder are locked into a playoff spot. Without a ton to play for, it makes sense that Chris Paul might play limited minutes up until the playoffs. Even though OKC is jockeying for playoff positioning, this team seems more likely to focus on keeping CP3 healthy for the playoffs than running him into the ground to improve seeding. The reality is that seeding doesn’t matter a ton now that home court advantage is nonexistent. The Thunder have an outside chance to move into the top half of the Western Conference, but the squeeze isn’t worth the juice when everybody is playing on the same court. More reason to buy into this narrative is due to how the Thunder handled Paul at the start of the season. They eased him into minutes before playing him a full workload to ensure his health. Paul played under 30 minutes per game in October, so I would rather fade him to wait and see how Oklahoma City handles its veteran point guard.