FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Wednesday 4/21/21
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 loaded 12-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.
Stephen Curry ($10,200) - As I outlined in today's studs column, dusting off the wallet twice at point guard is certainly an advisable strategy -- and Curry's an excellent starting point. To say that Steph has been hot would be the understatement of the century. Over his last six outings, the two-time MVP is averaging 43.7 real-life points, 5.7 rebounds, and 5.0 assists while shooting 56.6% from the field, 55.1% from three (on 16.3 attempts per game!!), and 91.7% from the line. Even video games think that line is unrealistic. Curry has totaled 47 or more FanDuel points in 11 straight, and that includes 53.1-plus in five of his last six. He's unlikely to slow down tonight as he faces a Washington Wizards that ranks 29th against point guards, according to numberFire's DvP tool.
Malcolm Brogdon ($7,500) - Given the landscape of the position tonight, I feel comfortable listing Brogdon as a "value" play. In his last six games, the 28-year-old has put up 39-plus FanDuel points five times, including outputs of 43.6, 52.3, and 59.3. He'll get a beauty of a matchup, as no team in the league has allowed more fantasy points to the point guard position than the Oklahoma City Thunder over their last 30 games, per FantasyPros. Both of these teams are inside the top-six in pace, according to NBA.com, and the Indiana Pacers sport the slate's third-highest implied total, as per numberFire's Matchup Heatmap. Brogdon could easily return fantastic value tonight.
Paul George ($9,400) - Kawhi Leonard will be out for a number of games, and in his last four games with Leonard out of the lineup, George has racked up 50.1, 53.7, 57.4, and 58.8 FanDuel points. Overall, with Kawhi off the court this season, PG13 utilizes 7.3% more of his team's possessions to go with a bump of 0.14 FanDuel points per minute (1.36 in total), according to RotoGrinders. The Memphis Grizzlies come in 20th versus shooting guards this season, so there's no reason to fade George here.
(Update: George has been ruled out due to rest. Terance Mann ($4,400) and Luke Kennard ($3,600) are now top value options.)
P.J. Dozier ($3,800) - Dozier has dropped 23.5 and 31.4 FanDuel points in two of his last three games, and with Jamal Murray and Monte Morris out on Monday, he played a season-high 37.3 minutes. Murray and Morris are both out again tonight, and that kind of minutes should play well against a Portland Trail Blazers team that's ceded the second-most fantasy points to two-guards this season. numberFire's algorithm currently has Dozier projected as the third-best point-per-dollar play on the entire slate.
Anthony Edwards ($6,900) - Edwards went up against the Sacramento Kings last night and pegged them for 46.3 FanDuel points. The rookie will have the same matchup tonight at a position lacking viable options at the top. At tonight's salary -- which is the lowest it's been in over a month -- Edwards would need 34.5 fantasy points to accrue our baseline value figure of 5.0. He has topped that figure in 19 of his last 27 games, including 10 performances with more than 40.
Oshae Brissett ($3,800) - If you're hunting for value, targeting players from the Pacers -- especially their frontcourt -- is an excellent strategy. For tonight's game against OKC, the Pacers will be without Myles Turner, Domantas Sabonis, and JaKarr Sampson, while Goga Bitadze, Jeremy Lamb, and Doug McDermott are all questionable. Brissett saw his first significant action on Monday, and he garnered 23.2 FanDuel points in 24.7 minutes of action. It's certainly realistic that he sees even more playing time tonight -- and he couldn't have asked for a better matchup. Per 48 minutes, no team in the Association is more generous to small forwards than the Thunder.
Julius Randle ($10,000) - Randle is quite a bit more expensive than any other player at power forward, but he could very well be worth the spend. The big man has accumulated 42.5 or more fantasy points in eight of his last nine games, including performances of 54, 65, and 69.5 in three of his last five. He'll be matched up with an Atlanta Hawks interior that has struggled against power forwards recently. Over their last 15 games, Atlanta has conceded the fifth-most FanDuel points to the position. In two meetings with the Hawks this season, Randle has dropped 57.9 and 59.3 fantasy points.
Isaiah Stewart ($4,500) - The Detroit Pistons won't be anywhere near as shorthanded as they were on Monday when Stewart erupted for 53.2 FanDuel points in 31.5 minutes, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't look to the rookie as a potential value play. Over his last four games, Stewart has posted 26.6, 39.9, 49.7, and 53.2 FanDuel points. That 39.9-fantasy-point performance came on Saturday with Mason Plumlee, Jerami Grant, and Cory Joseph all active (they were inactive for Monday's contest). At tonight's salary, Stewart would only need 22.5 fantasy points for a 5.0 value figure.
Rudy Gobert ($8,000) - Donovan Mitchell will be out again tonight, and with Mitchell off the floor in 2020-21, Gobert is averaging a rock-solid 1.41 FanDuel points per minute. That rate should play well against a Houston Rockets squad that has given up the third-most fantasy points to opposing centers over their last 30 games.
Goga Bitadze ($5,400) - With JaKarr Sampson joining Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis on the sidelines, Bitadze could be the last man standing in their frontcourt. And I stress the word "could" because Bitadze himself is questionable. However, if he does suit up, his (likely) large role coupled with a delicious matchup should result in him being a top value play. Throughout their last 30 games, the Thunder have ceded the fifth-most fantasy points to the opposition's centers.