FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Wednesday 6/2/21
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 four-game playoff slate, which locks at 7:00 PM Eastern.
Luka Doncic ($10,700) - For many, deciding between Luka and Russell Westbrook ($11,500) will likely be a key to how they build their lineups, and I'm fully in on Doncic tonight. First off, the Philadelphia 76ers have done some solid work against Russ, limiting him to just 40.0, 29.7, and 52.4 FanDuel points prior to his 67.2-point outburst in Game 4. That said, at a salary that's $800 more than anyone else on the slate, there is very little room for error for Westbrook against an elite defense. Meanwhile, Doncic has essentially had three days to rest the neck strain that plagued him in the Dallas Mavericks' Game 4 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. In the three games prior, the 22-year-old had racked up outputs of 56.9, 65.5, and 66.3 fantasy points. He can easily be in that range again tonight.
Ja Morant ($8,200) - Our model's top point-per-dollar play at point guard tonight is none other than Morant. In three of his last five "playoff" games, Ja has recorded 48.2, 58.2, and 58.3 FanDuel points, and he has yet to put up fewer than 38.1 fantasy points in this series against the Utah Jazz. The 21-year-old's usage rate has ranged from 28.0% to 37.9% in this series, and it's likely to be sky-high again as the Memphis Grizzlies face elimination.
Donovan Mitchell ($8,300) - Mitchell's minutes and production have steadily increased in each of his three games this series, and he topped out at 34.7 minutes and 49.4 FanDuel points on Monday. The volume should be there again for Mitchell tonight, and he would only need to put up 41.5 fantasy points in order to accrue five-times value (or 5.0 fantasy points for every $1,000 in salary). numberFire's algorithm has the All-Star putting up 42.6 FanDuel points tonight, making him the best value play at the position.
Seth Curry ($4,700) - The absence of Joel Embiid should trickle down to a number of Sixers players, Curry being one of them. The sharpshooter has already amassed 27.0 and 27.3 in two of the four games this series, and a number in that range would make him one of the best point-per-dollar plays on tonight's four-gamer. As a reminder, the Washington Wizards ranked 24th versus opposing two-guards this season, according to numberFire's DvP tool.
Kawhi Leonard ($10,300) - Through four games this series, Leonard is averaging 56.6 FanDuel points, including a low-water mark of 54.5. Last season, Kawhi averaged 54.6 FanDuel points in the playoffs, and that includes an average of 58.8 in six outings against Dallas. It's simply impossible to ignore the Klaw's postseason form, especially considering that he only needs 51 fantasy points to achieve our baseline value tonight.
Rui Hachimura ($5,200) - With Davis Bertans out, there will be some volume opening up offensively for Washington, and Hachimura should be one of the prime beneficiaries. In the Wizards' Game 4 victory, Hachimura played a series-high 41.5 minutes and posted 43.6 FanDuel points in the process, and the team may very well need a similar outing from him tonight if they're going to extend this series.
Tobias Harris ($8,200) - This season, no player saw a bigger boost with Embiid off the court than Harris. According to RotoGrinders, Harris' usage rate jumped by 4.2 percentage points without the big man on the floor, and he averaged an additional 0.12 FanDuel points per minute in that split. The 28-year-old has garnered 41.1, 45.1, and 51.2 fantasy points in three of the four games so far against Washington, and he could eclipse all of those with the bump in volume.
Daniel Gafford ($5,100) - With Bertans out, Gafford is another player who stands to benefit. The second-year pro has managed 29.2 and 34.8 FanDuel points in his last two games, and he got a ton of run after Bertans went down in the beginning of the third quarter on Monday. Gafford is our algo's top-projected value on the entire slate.
Dwight Howard ($5,000) - The center position tonight is a complete and utter barren wasteland, and it's impossible to feel good about any of the options. In the 21 games that Embiid missed during the regular season, Dwight Howard averaged 26.6 FanDuel points, and that includes nine efforts of 28.9-plus. Washington ranked 28th against centers during the 2020-21 campaign, so Howard is in a good spot if he gets enough minutes.