NBA playoff action is underway and there is NBA DFS on DraftKings, FanDuel and SuperDraft. Greg Ehrenberg looks at some NBA DFS Picks to build around and fade for Thursday’s slate.
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NBA DFS Picks: Values + Fades for August 20th
Value Pick: Duncan Robinson
DraftKings $3,900, FanDuel $4,200, Yahoo $16, SuperDraft 1.75x
Robinson played just 24 minutes in the Heat’s first game of the playoffs. In Game 1, Robinson saw his minutes decreased as the Heat went with more minutes for Andre Iguodala as a veteran. I understand that Miami traded for Iggy to help in the playoffs, but his play at this point in his career is not great. Iguodala dipped as a defender this season and doesn’t offer much on offense anymore. At 36, he isn’t much of shooter, barely shooting over 30% from three across the last three seasons. Robinson brings much more to the table and shoot play well enough to take back his minutes.
Jae Crowder is questionable to play due to an ankle injury. If he’s out, Robinson is almost guaranteed to play his normal 30+ minutes. As a starter, Robinson averages 30.5 minutes and 23.09 DraftKings points per game. Prior to the shutdown, Robinson was priced at $6,000, so this current salary is much too cheap. Robinson provides too much shooting to play limited minutes again. He shot 44.6% from three and isn’t the bad defender many think. Robinson led all shooting guards in Defensive Real Plus-Minus in the regular season.
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Stud Pick: Anthony Davis
DraftKings $10,500, FanDuel $10,400, Yahoo $49, SuperDraft 1.05x
The Lakers could not buy a bucket in their Game 1 loss to the Blazers. Anthony Davis struggled as much as anybody, making just eight of his 24 shots from the field. On the positive side, he got good looks at the basket, but the shots simply didn’t go in. Going forward, I expect AD to see an uptick in efficiency. Portland covered him with a combination of Wenyen Gabriel, Carmelo Anthony and Jusuf Nurkic. None of these guys looked great guarding Davis and he scored 52.25 DraftKings points despite the poor efficiency from the field.
Not only is Davis looking at positive regression from the field, I anticipate the he will play over 40 minutes in a pivotal game for the Lakers. After losing Game 1, it stands to reason Los Angeles will push AD and LeBron James to play as many minutes as they can handle. I also consider this a positive matchup despite the Lakers only scoring 93 points on Tuesday. Of all the playoff teams, the Blazers rank last in defensive efficiency. The Lakers woes last game were due to missed open shots. Good defense was not limited them from scoring. Instead, the Lakers shot themselves in the foot.
Fade Pick: Jusuf Nurkic
DraftKings $9,200, FanDuel $7,700, Yahoo $37, SuperDraft 1.4x
For the second time this week, I think Nurkic is a weak play. Truthfully, he’s playable on FanDuel, but still not a priority. On DraftKings, I think he is an easy fade. The issue with rostering Nurk on these slates is the opportunity cost. He plays on the same day as Anthony Davis, LeBron James, Damian Lillard (obviously), James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo. At an expensive price, Nurkic limits the ability to spend up for all the stars on this slate and they all have a greater ceiling than him. I also don’t love his matchup against the Lakers. Between AD, JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard, Los Angeles has the size to matchup against Nurk that most teams don’t have. This gave him some issues in Game 1 and forced him to get into foul trouble.
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