Welcome all, to the restart of the 2020 NBA regular season! JaguarLou here, taking you through some of the top NBA daily fantasy plays for Thursday, July 30. Success in NBA DFS boils down to three important aspects: skill, time played and matchup.
I’ve been to one NBA live final by FanDuel, and came in 34th place out of 100 contestants. What did I learn? Tons! But most importantly, matchups are everything. Let us get into some player picks so I can show you what I’m talking about.
Two game slate:
Utah Jazz @ New Orleans Pelicans
Los Angeles Clippers @ Los Angeles Lakers
Lonzo Ball - New Orleans Pelicans (vs. Utah) - DK: $7,400 FD: $7,900 Yahoo: $33
As we have no recent game logs to monitor player and team trends, we’re going to focus solely on the individual matchups tonight. One matchup that immediately caught my eye was Lonzo Ball against Utah’s guards. Utah’s point guards are Mike Conley, Jordan Clarkson and, obviously, Donovan Mitchell. Conley, at 6'1", used to be an amazing defender, but at 32 years old, it’s going to be tough for Conley to go right into action against a 22-year-old, 6'6" Ball. Plus, Ball hit 38.3% of his three-point shots in the 2019 season.
The other matchups in the starting lineup look bleak for the Jazz as well. Derrick Favors has always been a superb defender and is just the big body the Pelicans need to shut down/maintain a guy like Rudy Gobert. Jrue Holiday’s defense really improved at the start of this season, and we all know what he is capable of on the offensive end of the court. Finally, Brandon Ingram is a nightmare for any defender, and Joe Ingles will have his hands full to say the least. In DFS, this means two things: 1. invest in the New Orleans Pelicans for your lineups tonight, and 2. Jordan Clarkson could be the play of the night. Read on to see why...
Other options: Reggie Jackson DK: $4,600 FD: $3,800 Yahoo: $10
Jordan Clarkson - Utah Jazz - (@ New Orleans) - DK: $4,200 FD: $4,300 Yahoo: $15
What happens when any team Jordan Clarkson has ever been on goes down big? Clarkson comes off the bench and attempts as many shots as possible, and thrives in isolation (if you want to call it that). The best way to describe it is: he just does his thing. That is what I see happening tonight. After eight minutes of the Pelicans playing dominant basketball, Jordan Clarkson will, “do his thing”. Daily-fantasy-wise, this is a great thing. Mr. Jordan Clarkson is my GPP play of the day. His matchups will include Ball, Holiday, J.J. Reddick and possibly Nickeil Alexander-Walker. The Pelicans are -138 favorites with a 224.5 under/over.
Jrue Holiday - New Orleans Pelicans (vs. Utah) - DK: $8,600 FD: $8,300 Yahoo: $37
As I mentioned above, I do think investing in the New Orleans Pelicans is the prudent play, and this definitely includes Jrue Holiday. Holiday played one game against the Utah Jazz this season and scored 28 points with four assists and four steals. Holiday is worth his salary on all three sites, and you can pair him with Ball. Ball is a great distributor, and there are more than enough shots to go around. Holiday will likely be highly-rostered and is chalk worth eating.
Other option: Donovan Mitchell - Utah Jazz (@ New Orleans) - DK: $7,000 FD: $7,200 Yahoo: $31
Paul George - Los Angeles Clippers (@ LA Lakers) - DK: $3,500 FD: $4,100 Yahoo: $10
Mr. George is a must-play. With Montrezl Harrell out tonight, as well as Lou Williams, the offense needs to come from somewhere, so look for George and Kawhi Leonard to take control. Both players will carry this team tonight. Against the Lakers, George averaged 37 minutes, 24.0 PPG, 5.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists over two games played. His salary is way too low for what his upside could be. Start your lineups by locking in Paul George and Kawhi Leonard; you will not regret it.
Danny Green - Los Angeles Lakers (vs. LA Clippers) - DK: $3,500 FD: $4,100 Yahoo: $10
Somebody must guard Kawhi Leonard, and it will be Danny Green. Green is a solid defender, and in the right matchup, he can rack up rebounds, assists, blocks and steals. I believe this could be that kind of matchup. In the 2019-20 season, Green faced the Clippers three times and averaged 28.7 minutes, 11.3 PPG and 4.7 rebounds. He will be needed tonight, and I do expect the minutes to be there. The Lakers are favored at -174 with a 215.5 under/over.
Zion Williamson - New Orleans Pelicans (vs. Utah) - DK: $7,500 FD: $7,100 Yahoo: $37
If Zion plays, he becomes one of my top GPP plays, however, there are problems. How many minutes does he get? Is he going to be at his normal level of involvement? There is also a potential blow-out scenario. Having said that, Zion Williamson’s GTD tag will keep him under-rostered. So, for GPP purposes, Zion is in play.
Other option: Marcus Morris - Los Angeles Clippers (@ LA Lakers) - DK: $4,700 FD: $4,200 Yahoo: $13
Derrick Favors - New Orleans Pelicans - DK: $5,800 FD: $3,800 Yahoo: $16
Favors is a tricky player. Most of the time his minutes are limited to 20-25 just because he’s an aging (29-year-old) big man. With that said, in a matchup where he is needed, he can rack up some serious fantasy points. Favors faces off against Gobert, and in two games against Utah this season, averaged 32.5 minutes, 15.0 points, 11.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocks. Favors is a top play for me today against his prior team from 2010-19. The Jazz are underdogs at +114 with a 224.5 under/over.
Other option: JaVale McGee - Los Angeles Lakers - DK: $5,800 FD: $3,800 Yahoo: $16
Rudy Gobert - Utah Jazz - DK: $7,100 FD: $8,200 Yahoo: $31
Some will call Gobert a cash play, but I call it a pivot. If Gobert goes highly-rostered I would be surprised. He faced New Orleans twice this season, and as I mentioned above about Derrick Favors: “In two games against Utah this season, Favors averaged 32.5 minutes, 15.0 points, 11.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocks.” Well, in these same two games, Gobert averaged, 13.0 points, 2.5 assists and most importantly, five personal fouls per game. I do not like Gobert tonight, but am very curious what his roster percentage will be.
Other pivot option: Dwight Howard
LeBron James - LA Lakers (vs. LA Clippers) - DK: $10,700 FD: $11,400 Yahoo: $51
There are too many variables that I do not know, making this too risky of a play for me. How is his groin? Is he on a minutes limit? Is Anthony Davis playing? If you are asking me to invest a good portion of my salary in a superstar tonight, give me Kawhi Leonard and Paul George over LeBron James…and do not look back.