FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Monday 4/5/21
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 seven-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.
De'Aaron Fox ($9,300) - As I outlined in today's studs column, I want as much exposure to the matchup between the Minnesota Timberwolves and Sacramento Kings as I can muster, and that starts with the explosive Fox. Per numberFire's matchup heatmap, this contest has an over/under of 235.5, which is eight points higher than any other match tonight. These squads rank 30th and 27th in defensive efficiency, according to NBA.com, and they're both inside the top-five in pace among the teams suiting up tonight -- so the high projected total adds up. On the season, no team has ceded more fantasy points to point guards than Minnesota, according to numberFire's DvP tool. Prior to a recent three-game slump, Fox had recorded 47.1 or more FanDuel points in five straight and in 9 of his previous 12 outings.
Jordan McLaughlin ($4,600) - This one isn't rocket science -- Ricky Rubio, Malik Beasley, and Jaylen Nowell are all doubtful for Minnesota for their titillating matchup with the Kings. In 2020-21, Sacramento ranks 23rd against point guards, which certainly bodes well for McLaughlin, who should see a rather sizable workload. Without Rubio in the lineup on Saturday, McLaughlin dropped 39.7 FanDuel points in 41.7 minutes -- and that's a more-than-realistic outcome tonight. numberFire's algorithm projects McLaughlin to be the third-best value play on the entire slate.
Anthony Edwards ($7,400) - As is the case with McLaughlin, the 2020 first overall pick should benefit from a shortened rotation tonight. Though it didn't result in a monster fantasy performance, Edwards played a season-high 41.3 minutes on Saturday, and that kind of workload will play a lot better against the Kings than it did versus the Philadelphia 76ers. In his last 14 games, Edwards has eclipsed 40 FanDuel points seven times, and he's only totaled fewer than 35.1 on four occasions. Unless Fred VanVleet is able to go, numberFire's models project Edwards to be the best point-per-dollar play among two-guards with a salary above $5,800.
Josh Jackson ($4,400) - In addition to all the players they dealt at the deadline, the Detroit Pistons will be without Mason Plumlee, Wayne Ellington, and Rodney McGruder for tonight's matchup with the tanking Oklahoma City Thunder. OKC has been atrocious against just about every position, but that's been particularly the case for shooting guards. Over their last 15 games, the Thunder rank second-to-last against the position, according to FantasyPros. Jackson's posted at least 23.1 fantasy points in 24 of his 44 outings this season, and that includes 15 outputs of 29.7-plus.
OG Anunoby ($7,000) - The Toronto Raptors will definitely be without the services of Kyle Lowry, and they could also be sans Fred VanVleet. That's a boon for Anunoby, who has been a highly consistent fantasy contributor throughout his last eight games. During that stretch, he has never put up fewer than 31.5 fantasy points, and he's exceeded 35 six times. Of course, a matchup with the Washington Wizards also helps matters -- they rank 21st against small forwards this campaign.
Other Stud to Consider: RJ Barrett ($6,800)
Saddiq Bey ($4,400) - The Thunder enter tonight having surrendered the most fantasy points to opposing small forwards, which means Saddiq Bey is in an excellent spot to provide value. Bey's been hit-or-miss of late, but with the Pistons being shorthanded and the quality of this matchup, he should be in for a big performance. Not too long ago, Bey went through a seven-game stretch where he topped 26 fantasy points five times, including outings of 35.2 and 51.4.
Pascal Siakam ($8,700) - Yep, this matchup with the Wizards is certainly one we want to attack -- this time with Pascal Siakiam. The volatile producer has amassed more than 50 fantasy points in three of his last six games, and in contests against teams that are bottom-12 in pace, he's averaging 44.7 FanDuel points per game -- the Wizards play faster than any team in the league. FVV being declared out would be the icing on the cake here. In a limited sample size (78.5 minutes) with VanVleet, Lowry, and Norman Powell off the court, Siakam is averaging 1.39 FanDuel points per minute, per RotoGrinders.
Isaiah Stewart ($3,700) - Like McLaughlin, Isaiah Stewart is almost a "free square" on tonight's seven-game slate. Detroit will be without Mason Plumlee, which means Stewart will man the center position for them. Stewart only needs 18.5 FanDuel points to return five-times value tonight, and that's a number he's trumped 13 times in his last 18 games.
Karl-Anthony Towns ($11,000) - Karl-Anthony Towns is averaging 57.8 FanDuel points over his last six games, and he hasn't dropped below 50.4 during that stretch. In fact, Towns has amassed at least 53 fantasy points in 8 of his last 13 games. Tonight, he'll square off against a Kings' defense that's been the eighth-most generous to opposing centers over their last 15 games. numberFire's algorithm projects KAT to accrue 55 FanDuel points tonight, which is good for second-most on the entire slate and 15.8 more than any other player at the five position.
Chris Boucher ($5,000) - And yet another player from the Raptors gets to be featured in this column -- this time it's Chris Boucher. The 28-year-old is dripping with upside, as evidenced by his 22 games with 32 or more FanDuel points, including 11 with more than 40. Washington doesn't do much of that whole "defense" thing against any position, but they're particularly bad against fives -- only two teams have been worse against centers this season.