FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Sunday 6/6/21
If you're new to daily fantasy basketball -- maybe you started your DFS journey during the MLB or NFL seasons, or maybe basketball is your sport and this will be your first year giving it a shot -- you're in for a treat. 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. Our projections update up until tip-off to reflect current news, we have player news updates, and the FanDuel Scout app will send push notifications for pressing updates regarding your players.
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.
Let's break down today's main slate on FanDuel.
All eyes on this slate lie on Joel Embiid as the Philadelphia 76ers and Atlanta Hawks begin their series for a spot in the Eastern Conference Finals. Embiid is officially listed as questionable for Game 1 with what is being described as a small meniscus tear. But the rest of the Philadelphia squad is off the injury report and ready to go. Atlanta could also be down a starter, as De'Andre Hunter is questionable with a knee injury of his own.
The rotations in the do-or-die Game 7 on the slate should remain fairly similar. Serge Ibaka is unlikely to return for the Los Angeles Clippers with the back injury he has been fighting all series. On the other side, the Dallas Mavericks should have their entire rotation available, with Luka Doncic and Maxi Kleber both listed probable Sunday.
Trae Young ($9,000): Broadway's newest star now turns his talents to Broad Street. In a year that saw the Hawks turn toward a more communal offense, their offensive pecking order against the New York Knicks placed Young firmly back in control. Young was a distant first for Atlanta in the five games in both usage (34.3%) and FanDuel points per minute (1.26) in the series, and, per usual, it was his scoring leading the way, netting at least 27 in every game in the series. There is a fork in the road on the slate on whether to play Luka Doncic in a must-win game or roll with Young. I like Young as a fun pivot who will likely see a smaller draft percentage.
Reggie Jackson ($5,400): Jackson comes as the only opportunity to save salary at the point guard spot with Ben Simmons as the third starter above $8,000 on just a four-game slate. Jackson has emerged as a badly needed third scorer for the Clippers, as he dropped 25 points in 38 minutes in Game 6. His total offensive role has left him with a 22.1% usage rate and a 0.86 FanDuel points per minute, and that is totally fine considering he will probably see more than 30 minutes. He's easy to like at this salary.
Others to Consider: Luka Doncic ($11,200)
Paul George ($9,400): For a stretch in April, George scored more than 30 points in five of eight contests, and Los Angeles badly needs that return to form in a must-win eliminator. Clippers and Mavericks will be a theme of the helper, as with the urgency, both teams will likely play their stars more than 40 minutes, which does help the hefty salary increase George has seen after back-to-back games of more than 48 FanDuel points. With his scoring upside yet to be realized, George has a pretty interesting ceiling considering he has picked it up on the glass as the Clippers have played smaller -- averaging 10.2 rebounds per contest in the last five games.
Tim Hardaway Jr. ($5,500): Beggars can't be choosers on a four-game slate, and at least Hardaway is projected to see 38.1 minutes in Game 7, per our model, which is second on the Mavs behind Doncic. The roller coaster of his output -- largely based on scoring -- has been on full display this series, with two games of more than 34 FanDuel points but also two with fewer than 19. If the Clippers' gameplan becomes shutting down Luka Doncic with double teams or full-court presses, Hardaway is the most reliable secondary option Dallas has, and he should continue to get his chances if his average of 14.5 shot attempts per game in this series holds.
Nicolas Batum ($5,200): On a full slate of action, Batum's 0.75 FanDuel points per minute in this series would be a non-starter, but he has carved out a solid role in a Clippers rotation that is now iron-tight. The five Clippers' starters saw more 37 minutes in Game 6, and the highest amount of minutes for a bench player was Terance Mann with 11. That brings Batum into play at a small forward position with two great options, including Dorian Finney-Smith, to save salary alongside Kawhi Leonard, but both have an obvious path to failure due to their low usage.
Dorian Finney-Smith ($5,100): The decision alongside Leonard is worth evaluating in two spotlights. Finney-Smith has the significant advantage over Batum in court time, even with a small rotation, as Finney-Smith has seen more than 40 minutes in each of the last two games, and it could include playing the entire second half Sunday if Dallas trails in a close one. Finney-Smith is nearly entirely reliant on his defensive and rebounding stats, trailing even Batum in both usage (11.6%) and FanDuel points per minute (0.60).
Others to Consider: Kawhi Leonard ($10,600), Matisse Thybulle ($3,600)
Tobias Harris ($8,800): All season long -- unfortunately for Philly fans, there's a good-sized sample -- Harris has been the biggest beneficiary of Joel Embiid's absence, seeing a usage bump of 4.2 percentage points and a FanDuel points per minute increase of +0.12 when Embiid has been off the floor. With the significant gap in urgency between the two games on this slate, stars in the Clippers/Mavericks game will likely carry more minutes and usage, but the boost Harris gets sans Embiid helped Harris post 59.8 FanDuel points in Game 5 against the Washington Wizards. There is little reason to expect him to slow down against a Hawks squad that allowed the eighth-most FanDuel points per game to power forwards this year.
Kristaps Porzingis ($6,200): What has been immensely clear in this series is that the knee injury that caused Porzingis to miss 10 of the last 11 regular season games just simply has not gotten better. Porzingis is barely an average starter across these two teams in the series with a 16.1% usage rate, 0.81 FanDuel points per minute, and playing just 31 minutes per game --- as the other former All-Stars in this series are above 40 per night. Power forward is a weak enough spot on this small slate to consider him on the assumption he brings everything his knee has to Game 7, and he has burned enough fantasy players that he should be less popular than expected despite a healthy 40.4 FanDuel points projection from numberFire.
Others to Consider: Marcus Morris ($5,000)
Clint Capela ($7,900): Capela is far from the best per-dollar value on the slate, but opportunity cost makes him a necessity. If Embiid cannot play, the next highest minutes total amongst eligible centers was 15 by Dwight Howard. Capela at least has a consistent floor despite his microscopic 11.3% usage rate, and it largely comes from his work on the glass, where he pulled down at least 12 boards in each game of the Knicks series. And he's never a bad bet for a block or two.
Others to Consider: Joel Embiid ($9,900, if he plays)
Austin Swaim is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Austin Swaim also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username ASwaim3. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.