FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Monday 4/12/21
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 7:30 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 ($9,500) - In today's studs column I outlined why De'Aaron Fox stands out as a rock-solid target. First off, point guard is loaded, so Fox shouldn't see too high a roster percentage. Second, he'll face the New Orleans Pelicans, a defense that ranks 26th against opposing point guards, per numberFire's DvP tool. According to numberFire's Matchup Heatmap, this matchup between the Pels and Sacramento Kings has an over/under of 235 as of writing, which is tied for the highest on the slate. This bout also features two of the three worst teams in defensive efficiency. In two efforts against this squad, Fox has dropped 57.8 and 77.3 FanDuel points, and he can easily add a third gaudy total tonight.
Jordan Poole ($4,400) - In two games he's played without Kelly Oubre in the lineup, Pool has posted 35.2 and 37.1 FanDuel points. In fact, in 277.6 minutes with Oubre off the court this season, Poole has averaged 1.02 FanDuel points per minute, per RotoGrinders. At his salary, he would only need to play 21.2 minutes in order to return five-times value at that rate. Our algorithm has him projected for 23.1 minutes of action tonight.
Donovan Mitchell ($9,000) - If Fox is a rock-solid target tonight, Donovan Mitchell is a no-brainer play. Mitchell has recorded 49, 54.1, and 57.9 fantasy points in his last three contests, which means he has now surpassed 46 in 9 of his last 13 outings. Given that the Utah Jazz will be without both Mike Conley and Jordan Clarkson for a delicious matchup with the Washington Wizards tonight, Mitchell becomes damn-near impossible to fade. According to RotoGrinders, the All-Star utilizes 35.4% of his team's possessions while averaging 1.35 FanDuel points per minute when Conley and Clarkson are not on the court. That'll play well against a defense that ranks dead last against the position over their last 15 games, per FantasyPros.
Joe Ingles ($5,500) - With Clarkson out for Utah the last two games, Ingles has racked up 32.6 and 34 FanDuel points, and tonight, Clarkson will be joined on the sidelines by Mike Conley. In 10 games with Conley out of the lineup this season, Ingles has averaged 31.7 FanDuel points -- that average is upped to 35.8 in his last four. Washington is a bottom-four defense against both guard positions this campaign.
Brandon Ingram ($8,000) - The stud range at small forward is razor-thin tonight, and Ingram stands out as the lone option worthy of strong consideration. Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart are out tonight for the Pelicans, which means Ingram should not suffer from a shortage of volume. Sactown ranks 25th versus small forwards this season.
Naji Marshall ($4,100) - Two small forwards from the Pelicans? Sure, why not. In Hart's stead, Marshall has stepped up and offered more-than-adequate production, putting up 24.5-plus FanDuel points in four of his last six games. With the Kings giving up the sixth-most fantasy points to the position per 48 minutes, rostering both Marshall and Ingram is certainly in play.
Zion Williamson ($10,000) - In his last two games, Zion Williamson has erupted for 57.25 and 68.25 FanDuel points, which makes it 9 times in his last 11 contests that he's managed 46 or more. Zion's outlook is improved by the absence of Lonzo Ball, as his usage rate jumps by 3.3 percentage points and he averages an additional 0.10 FanDuel points per minute with Ball off the court this season. Sacramento isn't great at limiting most positions (understatement of the century), and power forward is no exception, as they rank 26th against the position.
Royce O'Neale ($4,200) - The trickle-down effect of Clarkson and Conley not playing should reach O'Neal as well, especially in a matchup like this. On Saturday, the veteran posted 32.3 FanDuel points in 35.2 minutes of action, his best fantasy output in nearly two months. Tonight, he'd only need 21 fantasy points to accrue five-times value at his salary.
Nikola Jokic ($10,800) - Center is stacked from top to bottom tonight, but Jokic gets the best matchup of the bunch. The Serbian will go up against the Golden State Warriors, a team allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing centers over their last 30 games. The Warriors also recently lost rookie center James Wiseman to an injury. Fantasy's leading scorer has amassed 55.1-plus FanDuel points in 32 of his 53 games this campaign.
Andre Drummond ($6,500) - In his last two games, Drummond has garnered 36.2 and 36.9 FanDuel points, while not reaching 27 minutes in either contest. He could easily see a heavier workload tonight against a New York Knicks squad that ranks 22nd versus opposing fives this season. numberFire's algorithm projects Drummond to be the second-best point-per-dollar play at the position.