FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Friday 4/9/21

RJ Barrett is in a great position to produce tonight against the Memphis Grizzlies. Who else should we target on Friday's nine-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 nine-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.

Team Opp Over/
Spread Implied
Rank Opp Adj.
GS WSH 239.5 -4.5 122.0 105.5 21 114.8 25
BOS MIN 228.0 -8.5 118.25 114.5 11 117.2 27
WSH GS 239.5 4.5 117.50 104.8 25 109.3 8
PHI NO 227.5 -6.5 117.0 111.0 14 120.0 28
LAC HOU 222.5 -11.5 117.0 123.2 2 113.5 22
DEN SA 222.5 -8.5 115.50 122.5 3 111.8 13
MIL CHA 222.5 -7.5 115.0 120.4 5 112.4 15
ATL CHI 227.5 -2.0 114.75 115.9 9 112.7 19
IND ORL 223.0 -4.5 113.75 110.6 15 114.0 24
CHI ATL 227.5 2.0 112.75 110.2 17 113.6 23
NO PHI 227.5 6.5 110.50 117.8 8 102.9 2
MIN BOS 228.0 8.5 109.75 102.8 26 112.2 14
ORL IND 223.0 4.5 109.25 99.0 27 111.2 12
MEM NY 215.5 -1.5 108.50 110.2 16 104.6 4
CHA MIL 222.5 7.5 107.50 109.2 18 109.7 9
SA DEN 222.5 8.5 107.0 107.0 20 112.5 16
NY MEM 215.5 1.5 107.0 104.9 23 108.2 7
HOU LAC 222.5 11.5 105.50 98.8 28 109.7 10

Point Guard


Stephen Curry ($9,600) - In today's studs column, I outlined why Curry is a fantastic target tonight. First off, the match between the Golden State Warriors and Washington Wizards an over/under that's currently 11.5 points higher than the total for any other contest, according to numberFire's Matchup Heatmap. These teams rank first and second in the league in pace, and the Wizards struggle mightily against floor generals, sitting 29th versus point guards, according to our DvP tool

Other Studs to Consider (in order of priority): Trae Young ($8,100), Russell Westbrook ($11,200), Ben Simmons ($7,400)

Value Play

Cole Anthony ($4,700) - Anthony returned from an extended absence on Wednesday and posted 23.7 FanDuel points in 25.7 minutes of action. Prior to his injury, the rookie had racked up 26.4 or more fantasy points in 8 of his previous 12 healthy games. With a bump in minutes tonight, he could easily return excellent value. The Indiana Pacers have had a tough go of it defending point guards lately, ranking 25th against the position over their last 15 games, per FantasyPros.

Other Mid-Range and Value Options: T.J. McConnell ($6,100), Derrick Rose ($4,700), Monte Morris ($3,800)

Shooting Guard


Bradley Beal ($8,300) - Given the explosiveness of the Dubs-Wiz matchup, we'll want as much exposure to it as possible, and Beal is a high-upside way of getting a piece of the action. The league's leading scorer has surpassed 41.5 FanDuel points -- which is the number he needs for five-times value (5 points per every $1,000 in salary) -- in 28 of his 42 contests (usually with ease). Our model has Beal putting up 43.8 FanDuel points, which makes him the top-projected scorer at shooting guard and the third-best point-per-dollar play at the position.

Other Studs to Consider: Zach LaVine ($7,500), Paul George ($8,700), DeMar DeRozan ($7,600)

Value Play

Sterling Brown ($3,600) - With John Wall sitting out, Brown becomes our model's top-projected value at the two-guard position. Brown has garnered 19.8-plus fantasy points in 6 of his last 10 games, and he needs only 18 to achieve our baseline value. Our algo has him eclipsing 20.

Other Mid-Range and Value Options: Patty Mills ($3,600), Donte DiVincenzo ($5,500), P.J. Dozier ($3,700)

Small Forward


Jaylen Brown ($8,300) - Though he's not a priority for me, Brown is the only high-salaried small forward I'd consider paying up for. Brown dropped 55.5 fantasy points on Wednesday after consecutive outings with fewer than 30, and tonight he'll be taking on a Minnesota Timberwolves team that's allowed the third-most FanDuel points to the position over their last 30 games.

Other Studs to Consider: Khris Middleton ($8,000), Kawhi Leonard ($10,000)

Value Play

RJ Barrett ($6,200) - Barrett has accumulated 32.6 or more FanDuel points in 12 of his last 19 games, including 35-plus in four of his last nine. He also gets an absolutely salivating draw tonight. In 2020-21, the Memphis Grizzlies have surrendered the fourth-most fantasy points to small forwards.

Other Mid-Range and Value Options: Kevin Porter Jr. ($6,400), Kelly Oubre ($6,400), Patrick Williams ($4,500)

Power Forward


Jayson Tatum ($8,800) - For the first time in more than two seasons, Tatum has failed to reach 40 FanDuel points in four consecutive games. He'll have a great shot at breaking out of that funk tonight. In their matchup with the Wolves, the Boston Celtics possess the slate's second-highest implied total. That makes sense considering Minnesota is bottom-four in defensive efficiency and top-four in pace. They've also been generous to power forwards, allowing the eighth-most fantasy points to the position this campaign.

Other Studs to Consider: Domantas Sabonis ($9,000 - Questionable), Christian Wood ($7,800), Draymond Green ($7,500)

Value Play

Jalen McDaniels ($4,300) - McDaniels exploded in Wednesday's matchup with the Oklahoma City Thunder, posting season-highs in minutes (31.9), real-life points (21), and fantasy points (38.7). His head coach said that he expects him to play a significant role moving forward, so we should look to roster him again. The Milwaukee Bucks have been susceptible to the occasional spike performance to power forwards lately, ranking 19th against the position over their last 15 games.

Other Mid-Range and Value Options: Bobby Portis ($5,800), Jaden McDaniels ($4,800), Rudy Gay ($4,400)



Nikola Jokic ($10,100) - At some point soon, we're going to get one of those massive outings from Jokic that we've grown accustomed to seeing, and you're going to be damn glad you rostered him for just $10,100. Jokic has racked up 55.1 or more FanDuel points in 31 of his 51 games this season, and he needs just 50.5 to achieve five-times value tonight. Our model projects him to total 54.6 fantasy points, which is tops on the slate. He's also our algorithim's second-best point-per-dollar play at center.

Other Studs to Consider: Joel Embiid ($10,200), Nikola Vucevic ($9,900)

Value Play

Goga Bitadze ($4,900) - Myles Turner has already been ruled out for Indiana, which means Bitadze is in line for another heavy workload -- and that would especially be the case if Domantas Sabonis were to miss another game. Against the Wolves on Wednesday, Bitadze churned out 31.1 fantasy points in 25.4 minutes. He's numberFire's top-projected value on the entire slate.

Other Mid-Range and Value Options: Robert Williams ($6,800), James Wiseman ($4,800), Kelly Olynyk ($6,000)