FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Monday 5/3/21
The NBA scene changes on a week-to-week, day-to-day, and -- depending on injury news -- even a minute-to-minute basis, making every slate a unique one that requires an ever-changing approach.
With so much changing so quickly, we're here with plenty of tools to help you out. We have daily projections, a matchup heat map, a lineup optimizer, and a bunch of other great resources to help give you an edge.
Daily fantasy NBA is very reliant on opportunity, so you'll need to make sure that you're up-to-date with key injuries and COVID-19 situations. Our projections update up until tip-off to reflect current news and we also have player news updates.
We'll also be coming at you with this primer every day, breaking down a few of the day's top plays at each position.
Please note: When I'm referencing a player's value figure, it is the number of fantasy points scored for every $1,000 in salary. Typically, a value figure of 5.0 (meaning, 5.0 FanDuel points for every $1,000 in salary) is the minimum baseline we'll be targeting.
Let's take a look at who you should target on tonight's eight-game slate, which locks at 7:00 PM Eastern.
This table is via Brandon Gdula's matchup sheet -- it shows the over/under for each game, as well as each team's spread and implied total. The table also includes each squad's offensive rating, adjusted for opponent, as well as opponent-adjusted defensive rating for the opposing team, including the respective league-wide ranks for each of those ratings.
Teams are sorted by their implied total.
Stephen Curry ($9,700) - As I outlined in today's studs column, I'm targeting Curry at the point guard position tonight. Curry and the Golden State Warriors will be taking on the New Orleans Pelicans in what should be an explosive matchup. According to numberFire's Matchup Heat Map, the over/under for this game is 237.5, which is second-highest on the slate. The individual matchup for Steph is fantastic -- New Orleans has given up the fourth-most fantasy points to point guards per 48 minutes this season, according to numberFire's DvP tool. Our models have Curry projected for 52.9 FanDuel points tonight, which makes him the best value play among all players with a salary above $6,300.
Frank Jackson ($4,200) - For tonight's bout with the Orlando Magic, the Detroit Pistons will be without Jerami Grant, Cory Joseph, Mason Plumlee, Dennis Smith, Wayne Ellington, and, possibly, Hamidou Diallo. That's...a lot of players. Enter Frank Jackson. Jackson has posted 22.1, 23.1, and 38.9 FanDuel points in his last three games, and he would only need 21 to achieve 5X value. He should be able to get there easily against a Magic team that ranks 26th against the position this season.
DeMar DeRozan ($8,900) - DeRozan might not be the most popular play at shooting guard tonight, but that only makes him more intriguing in tournaments. Though it might seem like a tough matchup, the Utah Jazz have actually surrendered the most fantasy points to opposing shooting guards over their last 15 games, according to FantasyPros. Over his last four games, DeRozan has been on fire, racking up three outputs of more than 50 FanDuel points, including a 61-point fantasy outing in his last game against the Boston Celtics on Friday.
Josh Jackson ($5,200) - With the aforementioned players off the court for the Pistons, Josh Jackson averages a healthy 1.08 FanDuel points per minute while leading the team with a 29.2% usage rate, according to RotoGrinders. Considering that our model has him projected for 32.8 minutes tonight, it should come as no surprise that Jackson's also our top-projected value at the position.
Oshae Brissett ($7,300) - Paying up at small forward might not be the wisest idea tonight, but if you do, Brissett should be your target. The 22-year-old has erupted for 40.3, 47.1, and 51.5 FanDuel points in his last three games, which means he's now topped 40 in four of his last six. Domantas Sabonis' return didn't eat into his value at all, Brissett still played 40 minutes and totaled 47.1 fantasy points with the All-Star in the lineup. The Indiana Pacers are still plenty banged-up. Myles Turner and JaKarr Sampson are already listed as out, while Malcolm Brogdon, Jeremy Lamb, and Goga Bitadze are all questionable.
Rui Hachimura ($3,900) - We haven't received an upside performance from Hachimura in a while, but this could be the game where that changes. The matchup between the Washington Wizards and Pacers currently sports an over/under of 246, which is 8.5 points higher than any other game on tonight's slate. Washington's implied total of 125 is four points higher than any team taking the court tonight. Indiana has struggled with small forwards recently, ranking 25th against the position over their last 15 games.
Domantas Sabonis ($9,500) - You can see the Hachimura blurb if you want my reasoning, but I'll undoubtedly be targeting the Wizards-Pacers matchup early and often tonight. In his return from a six-game absence on Saturday, Sabonis rode a triple-double to a whopping 67.8 FanDuel points in just 29.5 minutes of action. The Big Man pegged the Wizards for 58.2 fantasy points at the end of March, and a similar output is well within reach.
Isaiah Stewart ($6,300) - In his last seven outings without Mason Plumlee on the court, Stewart has averaged 38.4 fantasy points, and that includes four outputs of more than 40 FanDuel points. Tonight, he'll face a Magic interior that's been struggling mightily on the defensive end. Over their last 15 games, Orlando ranks 28th against power forwards and 26th versus centers.
Joel Embiid ($9,600) - Embiid finds himself comfortably under five figures, and while that makes sense given his recent form, it still makes him a player we want to target. The former MVP frontrunner has recorded fewer than 40 fantasy points in four of his last five contests, but he still has the upside to break a slate, especially in a matchup like the one he has tonight. On the season, the Chicago Bulls have allowed the second-most fantasy points to opposing centers.
Steven Adams ($4,700) - I'm not in favor of scraping the bottom of the barrel at center tonight, but Adams might be one exception. The reason being that Adams and the Pelicans are facing a Golden State Warriors team that ranks fifth-worst against centers over their last 30 games. Adam has eclipsed 26 fantasy points in 5 of his last 10 games, so the upside is still there for a solid return.