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Fantasy Basketball Cheat Sheet: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Lineup Strategy for August 31

Julian Edlow gives his top lineup advice at each position for Monday’s fantasy basketball slate on DraftKings, which starts at 6:30 p.m. ET.

Indiana Pacers v Miami Heat - Game Four Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images

We’ve reached the stage of the postseason where we’re mixing different rounds of the playoffs, with the Heat and Bucks tipping off their second-round series before the Rockets try to close out the Thunder. Here are some plays that jump out on DraftKings on this two-game slate.

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Point Guard

Worth Paying Up For: Chris Paul, OKC vs. HOU ($8,200)

Paul was awful in Game 5 but I expect him to be ready with his back against the wall in Game 6. He has three games in the series with 42-plus DKFP and played just 30 minutes last game, so he should be fresh and motivated off a terrible shooting game.

Best Bang For Your Buck: George Hill, MIL vs. MIA ($4,200)

Eric Bledsoe ($5,900) is the only injury concern on this slate, listed as questionable due to a hamstring. If he’s ruled out, Hill immediately becomes the top value on the slate. But given how limited value options are anyway, Hill jumps out to me either way. Bledsoe could wind up being limited or just bothered by the hammy, opening up a larger role for Hill. Without many edges on this slate, we need to take more chances.

Lineup Strategy

There are a lot of PG options on this slate, so I’ll simplify things for you by adding a couple of fades. Russell Westbrook ($9,700) was clearly rusty in his return from a quad injury, scoring just 27 DKFP in 24 minutes on 3-of-13 shooting. No need to risk paying up for him at this price. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($7,100) was abysmal in Game 5 and the Rockets were clearly targeting him on defense. He might not be able to stay on the floor in this game if he isn’t locked in but will likely be a popular play at this price. Goran Dragic ($6,600) is a much safer alternative to both and averages 37 DKFP against Milwaukee this season.


Shooting Guard

Worth Paying Up For: James Harden, HOU vs. OKC ($11,300)

Harden is the highest ceiling player on the slate but the question is if we have the value to even afford him. Harden’s obviously a source of buying a bunch of DKFP, which is important on two-game slates, but he still has only exceeded 5X value in two of five games this series. A balanced approach could prove more valuable.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Dennis Schroder, OKC vs. HOU ($6,400)

Schroder was on fire prior to his ejection in Game 5, scoring 26.25 DKFP in just 21 minutes. This is a chance to wipe the slate clean and make things up to his teammates for the last game — which seemed winnable until the ejection. Schroder could have even more chances if SGA struggles to stay on the floor again.

Lineup Strategy

SG comes down to rostering or fading Harden. I just don’t think there’s enough value on this slate to surround Harden with enough trustworthy plays, even if Bledsoe is ruled out. So I’ll pay down and balance out.


Small Forward

Worth Paying Up For: Jimmy Butler, MIA vs. MIL ($8,100)

Butler is a great alternative to paying up for the top-tier plays. Butler averaged over 45 DKFP in the first three games of the first round and only had a Game 4 dud because he missed a quarter with a shoulder injury. Butler only faced the Bucks once this season but did score 38.5 DKFP in the contest. He’s a safe floor play with 50-DKFP upside.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Andre Iguodala, MIA vs. MIL ($3,500)

Miami is going to be the best source of value on this slate, providing some cheap plays that have significant roles in the rotation. Iggy will see 25 or more minutes in this series, with his defensive versatility keeping him on the floor. He’s well-rounded enough to give us 20 DKFP in those minutes if he’s playing well.

Lineup Strategy

Forward in general is a very thin position, so I’m looking to Miami for the best value here. Iggy is almost a must-play unless we get some news to change the slate.


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Power Forward

Worth Paying Up For: Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL vs. MIA ($11,400)

Giannis is a more difficult fade than Harden to me, only because the other options at PF are so lacking. Giannis has scored at least 57 DKFP in each playoff game and averaged 55 DKFP against Miami this season. I’ll roster him over Harden strictly because of his position but I could honestly see fading both in a GPP.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Jae Crowder, MIA vs. MIL ($4,500)

Crowder is just solid value like Iggy but for an extra $1,000. We can’t be too picky on this slate, though. Crowder will play at least 25 minutes if he stays out of foul trouble and can put up 20-30 DKFP.

Lineup Strategy

PF is the weakest position on the slate, which should point a lot of people toward Giannis by default. Really, going anywhere else is kind of contrarian.


Center

Worth Paying Up For: Bam Adebayo, MIA vs. MIL ($7,700)

Adebayo is a way to continue building that balanced lineup. He’s the most expensive center but is still underpriced for his versatility. He’s scored at least 43 DKFP in three of his four playoff games and averages almost 39 DKFP against the Bucks this season.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Brook Lopez, MIL vs. MIA ($5,300)

Lopez has been so solid for the Bucks and they’ll need him to create mismatches in this series. BroLo averaged about 27 DKFP in the four wins over Orlando and nearly 30 DKFP in three matchups with the Heat this season.

Lineup Strategy

It’s almost certainly a two-center slate, especially given how poor the center position is. Bam and Lopez will be popular, as will Steven Adams ($5,800), who needs to have a big game and take advantage of his mismatch for OKC to compete with Houston.


Injury Report

OUT (Opt-out players not included)

None

QUESTIONABLE

Eric Bledsoe (hamstring)

DOUBTFUL

None

PROBABLE

None


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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jedlow) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.

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