FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Wednesday 4/7/21
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 nine-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.
Terry Rozier ($7,400) - As you could've guessed from today's studs column, Terry Rozier is a core play for me tonight. For this matchup, the Charlotte Hornets will be without LaMelo Ball, Gordon Hayward, and Malik Monk, which means Rozier's usage should be through the roof. Indeed, Rozier utilizes a team-high 33.1% of possessions with those three off the court to with an average of 1.12 FanDuel points per minute, according to RotoGrinders. He'll have a great matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder, who have surrendered the second-most fantasy points to one-guards over their last 15 games, per FantasyPros.
Malcolm Brogdon ($6,700) or T.J. McConnell ($5,600) - If Brogdon is active, we'd have to give strong consideration to rolling him out there. The Indiana Pacers will be taking on the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight, a team that ranks dead last against opposing point guards, according to numberFire's DvP tool. Brogdon's been a fairly consistent fantasy performer, amassing at least 31 FanDuel points in 36 of his 44 outings this season. That floor should couple nicely with a delicious ceiling in a matchup like this. As for McConnell, he has showcased a fantastic ceiling at times, and he's roster-worthy if Brogdon can't go.
DeMar DeRozan ($7,900) - If you choose to pay up at shooting guard, DeRozan might be the way to go. While the Denver Nuggets rank sixth against two-guards this season, they're actually just 17th against the position over their last 15 games. This season, the veteran has done an excellent job of bouncing back after underwhelming performances. In 12 games following an output of fewer than 31 FanDuel points, DeRozan has averaged 43.8 fantasy points, including more than 40 in nine of those efforts. In a bout with the Nuggets in late January, DeRozan rode a 30-point, 10-assist double-double to 45.2 FanDuel points.
Svi Mykhailiuk ($3,800) - As far as value options are concerned, Mykhailiuk might be one of the best on the board. The 23-year-old has eclipsed 20 FanDuel points in five of his last nine games, including performances of 34.6 and 34.8 in two of his last four. He's not without risk, though, as the other two outings saw him post a combined 17.2 fantasy points. The matchup is a solid one. In 2020-21, the Hornets ranks 23rd against shooting guards.
Kevin Durant ($8,800) - If you can stomach the risk of a potential minutes limit, Durant becomes a very intriguing option in tournaments. The four-time scoring champ is unlikely to be highly-rostered in his first game back, but there's no doubt that he carries tremendous upside. In his return from a three-game absence in January, KD dropped 54.2 FanDuel points in 37.7 minutes of action. A month later he played 33.3 minutes following another three-game absence. On the season, Durant is averaging 1.35 FanDuel points per minute, and at tonight's salary, he would need to see 32.5 minutes at that rate in order to return adequate value. A slate-high 120.75 implied total against a defensively-challenged New Orleans Pelicans team certainly doesn't hurt, neither does the absence of James Harden.
RJ Barrett ($6,000) - Barrett has cooled down recently, with 21.8 FanDuel points or fewer in three of his last five games, but at a position thin on value options, his upside stands out. Prior to this five-game stretch, Barrett had recorded 33.6 or more fantasy points in seven of his previous eight tries, and that includes five outputs of 37.9-plus. A matchup with the Boston Celtics shouldn't bother him too much, as evidenced by his 38.7-fantasy-point output against them at the start of the season.
Zion Williamson ($9,700) - After a brief snag following the All-Star break, Zion has rebounded into form, amassing 46 or more FanDuel points in seven of his last eight games, including 49, 52.1, and 64.5 in three of his last four. The Brooklyn Nets have surrendered the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing power forwards over their last 15 games, which certainly helps Zion's outlook. This game currently has the highest over/under on tonight's slate, at 233.0.
PJ Washington ($5,200) - numberFire's algorithm projects Washington to be the best point-per-dollar play on the entire slate. He'll be going up against an OKC team that's allowed the second-most fantasy points to power forwards throughout their last 15 contests. In his last 10 outings, Washington has exceeded 26 fantasy points five times.
Nikola Jokic ($10,200) - That's right, you can roster fantasy's leading scorer for just a hair over $10,000 -- his lowest salary since the fifth game of the season. Jokic has put up 55.1 or more in 31 of his 50 games this season, and he only needs 51 to achieve five-times value tonight. numberFire's algorithm projects Jokic to be the best point-per-dollar play among all those players with a salary above $6,700.
Moses Brown ($6,200) - Though he has underwhelmed in his last three, our algorithm likes the idea of going back to Moses Brown tonight. Prior to this three-game skid, Brown had managed 35.6 or more fantasy points five times in his previous eight outings. Brown brings home the bread with his rebounding, and the Hornets have surrendered the second-most rebounds to opposing centers this campaign.