FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Saturday 4/10/21
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.
The league was probably hoping for a better health situation in a national-TV game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets. LA will still be missing LeBron James and Anthony Davis, but they may also be down Kyle Kuzma, who is questionable with a calf injury. As for the Nets, they have Kevin Durant back in the fold but will be missing James Harden once again as Harden sits with a hamstring injury.
The shakiest game of the in terms of injury news is between the Toronto Raptors and Cleveland Cavaliers. Toronto guard Fred VanVleet will miss his fourth straight game with a hip injury, and Kyle Lowry is also questionable with a foot injury. As for Cleveland, they will once again be down their starting frontcourt, as Jarrett Allen (concussion) and Larry Nance Jr. (illness) will not play.
Around the rest of the Association, John Wall could sit again for the tanking -- excuse me, struggling -- Houston Rockets for rest purposes. Jordan Clarkson is in doubt for the Utah Jazz with his ankle injury. Both starting centers in the Portland Trail Blazers-Detroit Pistons contest could be out, as Jusuf Nurkic is already out for rest purposes, and Mason Plumlee is questionable with concussion-like symptoms. Detroit's Jerami Grant has also been ruled out leading into the contest due to a knee injury.
Chris Paul ($8,800): On the surface, this salary feels too high for CP3, but a further examination might prove him to be well worth it. Paul has scored at least 45 FanDuel points in three of his past four contests, and that has been in an overall productivity surge that has seen Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton get salary increases, as well. All three are still in consideration against the terrible D of the Washington Wizards, but none more so than a point guard like Paul, as Washington has ceded the fourth-most FanDuel points per game to opposing floor generals. The only question becomes if the Wizards can hang around long enough in the contest as a 12.0-point underdog, but it will help that Russell Westbrook probably won't rest.
Ben Simmons ($7,400): In what is opposite of almost every star relationship in the NBA, Simmons is a more productive player when Joel Embiid is in the lineup. Simmons has averaged 1.08 FanDuel points per minute in the four games since Embiid returned, logging an average of 32 minutes per game in that time, which thrusts him right into consideration at this salary. Simmons has a naturally high ceiling because of his ability to collect peripherals stats, which includes both assists (0.17 per minute the past week) and rebounds (0.20), and that helps him overcome his 21.3% usage rate. With minimal value at point guard on this slate (as of Saturday morning), picking the right two floor generals to spend salary on will be crucial.
Bradley Beal ($8,200): The salary here is notably low for Beal, who was in the $11,000 area not that long ago, but the drop is justified given his recent production. Without any major roster shifts, it was bizarre to see Beal go from 31.3 real-world points per game on 22.3 shots in February all the way to just 26.1 points per game on 18.5 shots per game in March. Still, the upside is gigantic here for Beal given that he has scored more than 30 points on 24 occasions this season, and his usage still at a healthy 30.1% for Washington across past two weeks. While his role has diminished slightly amongst injuries and Westbrook's ascension, Beal's salary feels too low for the upside even in a tough matchup with the Phoenix Suns.
Collin Sexton ($7,400): In a lost season for Cavaliers, it has to be encouraging that their former top pick is playing so well. With plenty of injuries and turmoil for the Cavs, Sexton has remained the one constant, and that extends to his FanDuel production of late. In the past five games, Sexton has scored no fewer than 31.6 FanDuel points in any of them. His 29.9% usage the past two weeks in far and away tops on the team, with Darius Garland the next-highest starter (25.6%). Cleveland gets someone their own size against the equally anemic Raptors, which means Sexton also carries less blowout risk than normal as just a 3.0-point underdog. It's also a nice matchup as Toronto quietly has the 11th-worst defensive rating (111.9) in the league.
Buddy Hield ($6,000): Hield leads a less-than-glamorous small forward position in the wake of injuries, and it's largely because of his upside. Hield has scored more than 35 FanDuel points six times since March 1st, and that alone keeps him interesting. At 20.8% usage, which is shockingly ahead of the usage clips for Tyrese Haliburton and Richaun Holmes, Hield also has a larger role in the offense than just a catch-and-shoot threat. This recommendation, however, has more to do with the scarcity at small forward than full-fledged confidence in Hield, as the Jazz are top-five in nearly every defensive category. But the Sacramento Kings could hang around slightly better than expected if Jordan Clarkson does indeed miss the game for Utah.
Saddiq Bey ($5,400): With Jerami Grant out for Detroit, Bey is the top overall small forward target on the slate. The Pistons' rotation is a mess, which makes it easy to see how the Villanova Wildcats' rookie fell out of favor, but Bey led all Pistons with 35 minutes in Thursday's contest sans Grant. Bey's 17.5% usage on Thursday was not ideal, but he is an efficient scorer who has averaged 0.58 real-world points per minute the past three games without heavy usage. As a natural replacement for Grant in terms of both size and ability, Bey could lead Detroit in minutes on Saturday as one of its top scoring options, which definitely makes him worth a look at a weaker position.
Christian Wood ($7,800): NBA DFS enthusiasts can often times find must-see television between two bad teams, and that is the case with the Rockets and Golden State Warriors on Saturday. They are both top-five teams in terms of pace, and this game holds a 227.0-point over/under. That will make it a fantasy target in many spots. Even with John Wall perhaps returning for Houston, Wood appears to be the top option in the game -- on a point-per-dollar basis -- at first glance. Golden State has struggled mightily to defend big men, as they have allowed the eighth-most FanDuel points per game to opposing small forwards and the most rebounds per game (48.0) in the league. Wood actually benefits from Wall being on the court, as Wood has seen a 0.9-percentage-point usage bump and 0.08 FanDuel-point-per-minute increase the last two weeks when playing alongside Wall.
Royce O'Neale ($4,000): Sexy is never going to be in the conversation when rostering O'Neale, but on a slate without much high-upside value, he might just do. Jordan Clarkson may miss this contest, which would make an already short Utah rotation even shorter. Clarkson's absence would provide complete role stability for O'Neale, who has exceeded 30 minutes in five of his past six games. O'Neale provides very little offensively besides catching and shooting three-pointers, but that makes him incredibly interesting in this matchup against Sacramento. The Kings have the worst defensive rating (117.6) and worst opponent three-point percentage (37.2%) of any team in the league, and those wide open looks could be all O'Neale needs to realize upside at such a small salary.
Enes Kanter ($5,000): Prohibitive, consensus center chalk takes a lot of buzz out of an NBA slate, but that is what is in store for Saturday. With Jusuf Nurkic resting, Enes Kanter should start and return to the role that saw him average 31.2 minutes per game back in February while Nurkic was still recovering from injury. Kanter averages 1.11 FanDuel points per game without Nurkic on the court (although the two have not shared a minute together this season). It's hard to find a reason to fade Kanter in tournaments, as the struggling Pistons have shown little resistance to centers this season, giving up the ninth-most FanDuel points per game to opposing fives.
Other Notable Plays: Montrezl Harrell ($6,600), Richaun Holmes ($6,500)
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.