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NBA DFS Breakdown (Sunday, Sept. 6): LeBron or Giannis at SF?

nba-dfs-march 20-2021

The NBA Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each day’s slate using the FantasyLabs Tools and metrics to highlight notable players.

Sunday features a two-game slate starting at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Point Guard

Stud

The only two players priced above $5,200 on FanDuel today are Russell Westbrook ($9,000) and Goran Dragic ($7,200). Of the two, Westbrook’s ceiling is obviously much higher even with the price difference, mostly because of his role: In Game 1 against the Lakers, he posted an absurd 44.3% usage rate across 32 minutes of action. Dragic, meanwhile, has been an incredible DFS value, hitting expectations in literally every game in the bubble, but his range of outcomes is much smaller. He’s a worthy play in cash games, but Westbrook is probably the guy for tournaments if you want to pay up.

Value

Eric Bledsoe has the highest Projected Plus/Minus value on FanDuel today at $5,200. He’s been pretty disappointing as a fantasy asset, both in terms of his volume and efficiency. But if there were ever a time for the Bucks to just roll out the starters for extended minutes, it has to be today, down 3-0 against the Heat.

Fast Break

Rajon Rondo is a bit overpriced on FanDuel at $4,700, but he’s definitely intriguing close to the minimum at DraftKings at $3,300. He’s probable to play today, and in his first game back, he played nearly 25 minutes. He’s not going to score a ton, but he does have the potential to rack up stats in a variety of categories, and he doesn’t have to do much to pay off that salary.


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Shooting Guard

Stud

The two highest-priced players at the SG position on FanDuel are James Harden ($11,100) and Jimmy Butler ($8,800). The former obviously has the highest ceiling on the entire slate, but that price tag can be tough to fit in cash games. He’s actually missed value in each of his last four games despite putting up 40 fantasy points in each — that shows just how productive he has to be at this triple-digit price tag.

Butler is the better-projected value today, but he has been pretty hit or miss as a fantasy asset. In his last four games, he’s gone for 48.4, 32.6, 53.8 and 17.6 fantasy points. In a potential close-out game, I’d expect him to be dialed in, but there is a bit of risk in cash games.

Value

Khris Middleton is a little cheaper at $7,500, and he might be the preferred target. In fact, he owns the highest Projected Plus/Minus value at the position at FanDuel today. Despite the Bucks’ struggles, he’s been a nice fantasy asset, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him and Giannis really try to take over today’s game.

Fast Break

If you want to build a stars-and-scrubs lineup, you could do worse than Donte DiVincenzo, who is just $3,300 on DraftKings. He got up over 20 minutes last game, and he could be a bigger part of the rotation today and moving forward if the Bucks can force more games. He probably won’t do much, but that price tag doesn’t require him to.

Small Forward

Stud

LeBron James or Giannis Antetokounmpo? Given how the NBA has structured games, this has been the question on these slates. Lately, it’s been LeBron, although he did struggle in Game 1 against the Rockets, scoring just 42.1 fantasy points — 7.5 below what he’d need to hit value. Betting on a bounce-back game always seems like a solid option when it comes to The King, though.

Giannis is a more challenging buy, at least on the surface. He’s technically questionable with an ankle injury, although he’s said it doesn’t really bother him. In a must-win game with the Bucks’ season on the line, it seems there’s almost no chance he’d actually miss this game. Of course, buying a limited player is always scary at this price tag, but I think the more likely outcome is that he comes out with a vengeance and dominates. I have no problem buying that scenario.

Value

The guy with the highest Projected Plus/Minus at the position on FanDuel today is Jae Crowder, who actually projects as the second-best value on the entire slate right now. He’s not the highest-usage guy, but he’s been playing large minutes in this Bucks series, and FanDuel has been entirely too slow to adjust his salary as a result. I wouldn’t overthink it too much in cash games today: Crowder and your choice of LeBron/Giannis should work just fine.

Fast Break

If you want to pivot in tournaments, the options on FanDuel are essentially Eric Gordon or Danuel House — or Robert Covington, who has SF/PF dual eligibility on DraftKings. Of the Houston guys, Gordon’s ceiling is much higher given his projected minutes and usage, and ceiling is all that matters in GPPs.

Power Forward

Stud

The highest-priced player on the slate isn’t Giannis, LeBron or Harden. It’s Anthony Davis, who has been a fantasy beast lately, scoring over 50 fantasy points in six of his last seven games. He’s been playing huge minutes, and while his usage doesn’t rival those other stars’, he’s been incredibly efficient from the field. Further, he’s racked up statistics in a variety of categories, which really raises his floor. I like Davis a lot today: It might be hard to play him given the positional scarcity at SF, but he’s definitely worthy of rostering in all formats.

Value

Potentially driving down AD’s ownership even more is Bam Adebayo, who is probably the best raw play at the position today. He’s underpriced at $8,200 and has really taken a leap forward this year and especially in the playoffs. He has a 20-20 game within his range of outcomes, which highlights just how cheap he is compared to his ceiling.

Fast Break

Covington and Kyle Kuzma are the guys to look at if you’re trying to pivot or just build a more stars-and-scrubs lineup. The former has the better role but is priced as such; the latter has been an awful fantasy asset lately and has a lot of downside but could surprise in tournaments at low ownership.

Center

Stud & Value

The center position is pretty slim pickings today, especially at FanDuel, where AD isn’t eligible at the position. Brook Lopez is actually the highest-priced option at $5,800, and he’s really the only safe option. He has the highest Projected Plus/Minus on the entire slate, across all positions, and the other players at center all have negative values. In cash games, he’s the easiest guy to lock in, and I’d probably do the same in tournaments, too.

Fast Break

No one else is really a value, and three of the five options — JaVale McGeeKelly Olynyk and Dwight Howard  are all projected to play fewer than 15 minutes. PJ Tucker is projected for 37.8 minutes, but he also has a single-digit usage rate. He’s managed to exceed expectations despite that, thanks to high rebound and steal rates, and he’ll need to rack up those stats again to hit value.