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Building Blocks: NBA DFS Picks, Values, Studs and Fades on August 22 | DraftKings + FanDuel

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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 Saturday’s slate.

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NBA DFS Picks: Values + Fades for August 22nd

Value Pick: Hassan Whiteside

DraftKings $4,600, FanDuel $5,100, Yahoo $17

In the last couple of games, Portland played Whiteside alongside Jusuf Nurkic. This is great news for Whiteside’s upside and his price remains cheap across all sites. While this doesn’t mean he will play 30 minutes, he doesn’t need to. In the regular season, Whiteside averaged slight over 40 DraftKings points in 29.6 minutes per game. So far, he’s averaging 23.7 minutes per game in this series which is more than enough playing time at his per minute fantasy output.

Box score watchers could look at Whiteside’s last game and get scared off since he only played 22 minutes. Keep the game script in mind. Due to a blowout, he didn’t play down the stretch of the game. When down big, the Blazers tried to get shooting on the floor and, in the fourth quarter, the end of the benches played in a 30-point game. I expect Whiteside to play around 26 minutes in this game as long as the score is competitive. It is nice to know that he didn’t garner much ownership last slate, so I expect he will go under rostered again today.


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 Stud Pick: James Harden

DraftKings $11,600, FanDuel $11,700, Yahoo $55

Oddly, Harden is yet to go off in the playoffs. This is strange for a couple of reason. First off, Russell Westbrook is out and Harden almost always puts up monster games when Russ isn’t in the lineup. Second, the Rockets actually won the first two games of this series comfortably even without Westbrook and without getting a ton out of Harden. Houston is winning games with defense which is something we don’t often see.

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Despite the results of the first couple games of the series, the numbers tell us that Harden should put up big fantasy games more often than not without Westbrook. I think Houston won the first two games of the series comfortably enough that Harden was able to keep his foot off of the gas pedal. Since the spread for Game 3 is only 2.5-points, I expect a close game today. For the season, Harden has a 42.7% usage rating and scores 65.24 DraftKings points per 36 minutes with Westbrook off the floor.

Fade Pick: Nikola Vucevic

DraftKings $9,100, FanDuel $8,500, Yahoo $38

Make no mistake, Vucevic is playing out of his mind against the Bucks. If not for him, Orlando would not stand a chance in these games. As is, the Magic don’t stand much of a chance to win. Despite coming out ahead in Game 1, Orlando got trounced in the second game of the series and it looks like the rest of the games should closer resemble Game 2 than Game 1.

Since the Bucks are favored by 12 points today, I worry about the possibility of a blowout. They won by 15 last game and it’s not ridiculous to think a victory by 20 or more points will happen today. If this is the case, starters could sit out the fourth quarter. In the first two games of the series, Vooch shot an unsustainable 59.6% from the field. With efficiency regression and a potential blowout on the horizon, I think he has more downside than upside.


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Greg is a former stand up comedian who quit telling jokes to pursue a career in the world of DFS. He started playing fantasy sports in 6th grade when Greg and his friends would skip classes to meet in the bathroom for 20 team fantasy basketball drafts. Considering his current career path, it was the best education he could have asked for.

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