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NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks for Tuesday, July 20th | Giannis Antetokounmpo

Eric MacPherson



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Tuesday, July 20, in yet another twist of the winding postseason road, Milwaukee has a chance to bring home the hardware tonight. Let’s look at the Bucks vs. Suns player pool and discuss the top NBA DFS picks for DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo lineups. Do not forget to head over to the Awesemo NBA DFS home page for more great written daily fantasy basketball content, including the FREE NBA Deep Dive — the most in-depth article in the industry.

**Be sure to check out Awesemo’s free premium content today: the NBA Showdown/Single-Game Player Projections, which will help you when making NBA DFS picks. **

NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks, Tuesday, July 20

Yahoo Play of the Day — Giannis Antetokounmpo: Milwaukee Bucks vs. Phoenix Suns

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 57.58 | DraftKings: 59.93
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 85.5% | FanDuel 78.8% | DraftKings 66.4%
    DFS Salary: Yahoo $57 | FanDuel $16,500 | DraftKings $12,600

Tonight could be the series finale, so expect the key players from each side to be the ones getting even more of the high-leverage opportunities, if that is even possible. Naturally, Giannis Antetokounmpo leads the way, as he consistently projects 15 to 20% higher from a fantasy perspective than any other player in this series. There is no particularly compelling argument for leaving Antetokounmpo off rosters tonight.

Devin Booker: Phoenix Suns at Milwaukee Bucks

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 43.2 | DraftKings: 45.89
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 45.5% | FanDuel 44.1% | DraftKings 47.6%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $33 | FanDuel $12,000 | DraftKings $10,200

For a second straight game, Devin Booker scored 40 points. He is clearly the primary scoring option for the Suns, and he had 33 of the teams 87 field-goal attempts. This is in line with Game 4 where he contributed 28 of the team’s 78 attempts. Even on the road, he still has 50-fantasy-point upside with a strong likelihood of finishing among the top three fantasy producers.

Chris Paul: Phoenix Suns at Milwaukee Bucks

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 42.19 | DraftKings: 43.63
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 60.5%| FanDuel 46.2% | DraftKings 59.0%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $32 | FanDuel $14,000 | DraftKings $8,800

Dropping the last three games must be weighing heavily on the mind of Chris Paul. This is the closest Paul has ever been to grabbing the brass ring, and the moment is slipping away. Throughout it all, Paul has continued to play his usual savvy brand of basketball, setting up his teammates, working the referees and calling his own number in tight situations. It should be more of the same tonight, and the heavy workload in a seemingly endless stream of games should be offset by the looming fact that this could be the end of the line for his opportunity to claim postseason hardware.

Deandre Ayton: Phoenix Suns at Milwaukee Bucks

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 40.11 | DraftKings: 40.55
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 55.5% | FanDuel 40.3% | DraftKings 57.2%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $30 | FanDuel $13,000 | DraftKings $8,000

In Game 5 Deandre Ayton played a career-high 44 minutes and 49 seconds. Even more impressive is that he did not miss a single second after re-entering the game with 9:31 left in the second quarter. This game is do or die for the Suns, so it makes sense that coach Monty Williams will be rolling with Ayton as long as the game is close and he has fouls to give. Similarly to Antetokounmpo, a double-double from Ayton is a near lock, though his upside resides entirely with him taking shots. In Game 5 he had 12, which was a series high. Across these games he has been very consistent, with 12, nine, 11, 10 and 10 field-goal attempts for the series.

Jrue Holiday: Milwaukee Bucks vs. Phoenix Suns

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 40.94 | DraftKings: 41.46
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 40.5% | FanDuel 35.7% | DraftKings 43.3%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $32 | FanDuel $13,500 | DraftKings $9,600

Like most of the other core options discussed in this article, Jrue Holiday is averaging right around 40 minutes per game this series. Saturday he had everything come together with 27 points, four rebounds, 13 assists, three steals and a block, culminating in 61.3 Yahoo fantasy points. While he is not likely to have the best fantasy line for a second straight game, he has tallied at least 39.9 fantasy points in each of the last four tilts. It will be the defensive stats that hold the key to his upside tonight.

Khris Middleton: Milwaukee Bucks vs. Phoenix Suns

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 40.94 | DraftKings: 43.02
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 50.5% | FanDuel 45.4% | DraftKings 43.1%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $38 | FanDuel $12,500 | DraftKings $10,400

This series has been an excellent one for Khris Middleton, who has led his team in minutes in each game. His 27.4% usage rate may seem low, but for the playoffs this second only to the 32.5% of Giannis. Middleton is going to chip in with a little of everything, filling the gaps wherever he is needed per his usual style. The key to his fantasy upside is that he is the 1B scoring option to Giannis, and in the postseason it has not even been close. Yes, Holiday has occasionally scored more points, but =those games have been nip and tuck and few and far between. Any rosters without Giannis should have both Middleton and Holiday, along with two of the three Phoenix stars.

Yahoo Daily Fantasy Basketball Discount Dandies

Milwaukee Bucks

  1. Pat Connaughton, $12: Even ticking up a dollar on his salary should not dissuade from rolling with Connaughton in Game 6. He continues to see the most minutes off the bench, and he gets the nod over Bobby Portis and Bryn Forbes because he plays passable defense. Something approaching 30 minutes with 15 to 20 Yahoo fantasy points is the median projection.
  2. Bobby Portis, $10: On a positive note, Portis saw around eight minutes alongside Brook Lopez. However, he lost out in the fourth quarter when coach Budenholzer actually turned to Brook Lopez for a crucial five-minute rotation down the 2:43 mark. Portis is a wild card who tends to look for his shot and rack up rebounds on a per-minute basis, he just is not getting the minutes because of his shoddy defense.
  3. P.J. Tucker, $10: Tucker saw his minutes decrease for the third straight game, and he played his fewest since Game 2 against Brooklyn. With dwindling minutes, a 6.1% usage rate and just 0.44 Yahoo fantasy points per minute, it is hard to go back to the well.

Phoenix Suns

  1. Cameron Johnson, $10: It should be no surprise to see Johnson as the top Phoenix discount dandy. He sees regular minutes backing up the frontcourt positions, as the Suns have elected to go small when Ayton is on the bench now that Dario Saric has been lost for the season. It all comes down to field-goal attempts, and outside of a few 3-pointers and a couple of transition attempts per game, Johnson has been content to defer to the big three. He still has the best chance to reach 20 fantasy points among the Suns reserves and is not too far behind Connaughton from the Bucks.
  2. Cameron Payne, $13: In Game 5 Payne saw just 42 seconds alongside Paul and played all the minutes Paul was on the bench. Payne had seven field-goal attempts for the fourth time this series, but he played his second-fewest minutes, and his fantasy line was boosted by four assists and a pair of steals, both series highs.
  3. Torrey Craig, $10: Once again Craig was the third and final Phoenix reserve to get playing time. Game 5 saw him receive a tick shy of nine minutes, which is the second fewest he has seen since tweaking his knee and about six fewer minutes than the other three games.

Final Thoughts on NBA DFS picks for the Tuesday, July 20 Slate

This could be the final game of the NBA season, with the Bucks trying to complete the 0-2 comeback as 5-point home favorites. Keep in mind that salaries and scoring formats differ across the various fantasy sites, and a slam-dunk play on Yahoo may be a below-average NBA DFS pick on DraftKings or FanDuel.

Eric "EMac" MacPherson won the 2007 Fantasy Baseball grand prize (trip for two to the MLB All-Star game) in the Roto format on ESPN. He won again in 2008, this time in the H2H format. As one of the early adopters of daily fantasy sports, EMac has been providing content for baseball and basketball as well as both professional and college football since 2012 for a variety of websites including DraftKings Playbook, FanVice, RotoWorld, Daily Fantasy Bootcamp, and RotoGrinders. He is well into his third decade of fantasy sports and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Follow him on Twitter @EMacDFS or contact EMac by emailing [email protected].

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