FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Friday 4/2/21

With a hoard of key players out for Pelicans tonight, Nickeil Alexander-Walker is a core play. Who else should we target on Friday's 10-game slate?

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 10-game slate, which locks at 7:00 PM Eastern.

All injury updates are via the NBA's official injury report or numberFire's player news.

Slate Overview

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.

RankOpp Adj.

Point Guard


Trae Young ($8,700) - As I outlined in today's studs piece, Trae Young is an excellent target. The 22-year old has produced at least 43.1 FanDuel points in five of his last six games, making it 27 times that he's surpassed 43 on the season. He'll also have a delicious matchup. In 2020-21, the New Orleans Pelicans rank 26th against opposing floor generals, according to numberFire's DvP tool. With John Collins out of the lineup, Young has a 38.6% usage rate while averaging 1.38 FanDuel points per minute, per RotoGrinders.

Other Studs to Consider (in order of preference): Luka Doncic ($10,500), Chris Paul ($7,200)

Value Play

Ja Morant ($6,800) - Ja Morant is a stud with an incredibly friendly salary. He's fresh off dropping 52.9 FanDuel points on the defensively-stingy Utah Jazz on Wednesday, and tonight he'll get the pleasure of facing a Minnesota Timberwolves team that's flat-out terrible versus point guards. This team, no team has surrendered more fantasy points to the position than Minnesota. numberFire's models project Morant for 37 FanDuel points tonight, making him the second-best point-per-dollar play at point.

Other Mid-Range and Value Options: Jordan Poole ($4,200), Eric Bledsoe ($5,200), Malcolm Brogdon ($6,600).

Shooting Guard


Fred VanVleet ($7,400) - Despite being salaried at $7,400, Fred VanVleet was Wednesday's slate's top-scorer with 58.3 FanDuel points, and yet his salary remains the same for tonight. Kyle Lowry is still out for the Toronto Raptors, so FVV should continue to feast. He'll match up against a Golden State Warriors squad that plays faster than any other team suiting up today. The Warriors have also been somewhat vulnerable to shooting guards lately, giving up the 12th-most fantasy points to the position over their last 15 games, according to FantasyPros. numberFire's algorithm projects FVV to be the best point-per-dollar play among all those with a salary above $5,200 on tonight's slate.

Other Studs to Consider: Andrew Wiggins ($7,600), Donovan Mitchell ($8,800), Devin Booker ($8,500).

Value Plays

Nickeil Alexander-Walker ($5,800) - With Lonzo Ball, Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram out again -- and Josh Hart joining them on the sidelines -- Alexander-Walker becomes one of the best value plays tonight. He dropped 46.1 fantasy points with the three starters out last night, and Hart's absence further increases his ceiling.

Svi Mykhailiuk ($3,700) - Mykhailiuk has surpassed 20 FanDuel points in four of his last six games, including an impressive 34.8 in 35.6 minutes of action on Wednesday. The matchup with the Phoenix Suns is not an easy one, but he doesn't need to do much in order to return adequate value.

Small Forward


OG Anunoby ($6,600) - Like other players in this column, Anunoby's salary doesn't scream "stud", but he more than fits that description tonight. numberFire's algorithm doesn't have a single small forward surpassing 38.2 FanDuel points tonight, and the likelihood of OG finishing as one of the top scorers at the position is quite likely. In his last seven games, the 23-year-old has garnered 37.5, 35.2, 39.7, 32.9, 31.5, 37.5, and 47.7 fantasy points. That's a rock-solid floor that comes with a sky-high ceiling now that Lowry's out.

Other Studs to Consider: Jaylen Brown ($7,700), Gordon Hayward ($7,000), Khris Middleton ($7,600)

Value Play

Bogdan Bogdanovic ($5,500) - Bogdanovic has caught fire in his last time games, exploding for 46.8 and 50.5 FanDuel points -- he's now eclipsed 34 four times in his last eight games. Tonight, he'll face a Pels defense that's allowing the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing small forwards -- and a defense that will be without a number of its top players.

Other Mid-Range and Value Options: Patrick Williams ($3,600), Kevin Porter Jr. ($6,000), Kenrich Williams ($3,600)

Power Forward


Julius Randle ($8,900) - Randle is tied for his lowest salary since February, which makes him well worthy of consideration. His matchup isn't as bad as some might think -- the Dallas Mavericks rank 15th against power forwards in 2020-21, and over their last seven games, they've allowed the 7th-most real-life points and 11th-most fantasy points to the position. The 26-year-old All-Star has totaled 41.8 or more FanDuel points in 32 of his 47 outings this season, so his floor tends to be quite high.

Other Studs to Consider: Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,000), Christian Wood ($8,000), Pascal Siakam ($8,300)

Value Play

James Johnson ($3,500) - In his Pelicans debut last night, Johnson started and pegged the Orlando Magic for 28.6 FanDuel points in 28.3 minutes. Tonight, in addition to Zion, Ingram, and Ball being out, Josh Hart will join them on the sidelines. numberFire's models project Johnson to total 29 fantasy points tonight, which makes him the best point-per-dollar play on the far.

Other Mid-Range and Value Options: Isaiah Roby ($5,500), Draymond Green ($6,600), Jaden McDaniels ($4,600)



Clint Capela ($7,800) - Capela erupted for 63.4 FanDuel points last night with John Collins out of the lineup, and at a salary under $8,000, our model loves him again tonight. The Pelicans have surrendered the 12th-most fantasy points to opposing fives over their last 15 games, and they could struggle even more on the interior with many of their top defenders inactive.

Other Studs to Consider: Moses Brown ($7,200), Jonas Valanciunas ($7,600), Nikola Vucevic ($8,800)

Value Play

Robert Williams ($6,600) - Williams missed the last game with an illness but looks as if he'll be taking the court tonight. He's had 39.8-plus fantasy points in 5 of his last 10 efforts, and he's exceeded 30 in three of the other five. In 2020-21, the Houston Rockets rank 26th against the center position.

Other Mid-Range and Value Options: Chris Boucher ($4,700), Myles Turner ($6,200)