FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Sunday 4/25/21
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.
Even on a four-game slate, there is plenty of activity with injuries. The Sacramento Kings will be missing De'Aaron Fox for at least the next 10 days due to COVID-19 protocols, but they do get some positive news with Richaun Holmes returning on Sunday. The Indiana Pacers will also possibly be down a star, as Domantas Sabonis missed the front end of the back-to-back on Saturday, and he is questionable for Sunday's game.
The Atlanta Hawks already have a tough task versus the Milwaukee Bucks, but it will get even tougher as they will be without Trae Young (ankle). They may also be missing Clint Capela, who is questionable with a back injury.
A few question marks are also in Orlando with the Orlando Magic, who might be without Wendell Carter Jr. (ankle), Terrence Ross (back), and James Ennis (calf) -- all of whom are listed as questionable.
Malcolm Brogdon ($8,200): If Domantas Sabonis is absent again on this small slate, all things Indiana immediately jump to the top of the priority list. Brogdon and teammate Caris LeVert did much of the heavy lifting once again in Saturday's win, going for 43.6 and 45.9 FanDuel points, respectively. In the past week, Brogdon has outshined his backcourt mate in both FanDuel points per minute (1.37) and usage (30.9%). Stacking both is entirely viable, but if you use just one of them, Brogdon is the higher-priority target of the two.
Darius Garland ($7,300): No team is in a better pace-up spot than the Cleveland Cavaliers, who get the fastest-paced team in the league, the Washington Wizards. That alone brings most of their starters into play on a smaller slate, but Garland especially so considering his recent form. Garland's lowest FanDuel point total in his past six games is 35.3, which gives him a high floor in a great matchup. Garland is all the way up to a 28.1% usage rate in the past week, so the ball will be in his hands quite a bit against a Washington squad that has surrendered the fourth-most FanDuel points per game to opposing floor generals.
Bradley Beal ($9,200): Beal has now scored at least 29 real-world points in seven straight games, which is far closer to the torrid pace he demonstrated around the All-Star Break than his 26.1 point per game average in March. Over the past two weeks, Beal (33.4%) has overtaken ball-dominant teammate Russell Westbrook (29.6%) in usage. So while Westbrook will still have a higher ceiling due to his assist and rebound totals, Beal, at a salary that is much easier to swallow, is still a very appealing play.
Kevin Huerter ($5,700): With Cam Reddish and Trae Young out, Huerter's role stabilizes to an incredibly useful place. Huerter leads all Hawks starters in minutes with those two off the floor (511.3), so a key contributing factor to Huerter's low floor is gone. When on the court, Huerter sees a usage bump of 2.8 percentage points without the two, and that increases even more -- 3.6 percentage points -- with Capela gone, as well. Atlanta sees a significant pace increase versus the Bucks, who are the third-fastest paced team in the league. Huerter is an interesting pivot away from the high-salaried options at the shooting guard spot.
Other Notable Plays: Caris LeVert ($8,300), Gary Harris ($4,100)
Khris Middleton ($8,000): The weakest position on the slate is small forward, so while he's not the top per-dollar star on the slate by any means, Middleton can still be a building block. Given the state of the position, Middleton may not be as popular as he should be coming off a season-low 7.9 FanDuel-point performance against the Philadelphia 76ers, but Milwaukee had already dismantled Philadelphia before Middleton could sneak out of an 0-for-6 start. Middleton has exceeded 40 FanDuel points in four of his past seven games, and the Bucks are just 6.0-point favorites today, lowering the blowout risk.
Mychal Mulder ($3,500): If you need a punt play on this slate, Mulder is probably as good as it is going to get at the minimum salary. Mulder started for the Golden State Warriors Friday after Kent Bazemore was ruled out, and he played 22 minutes inside the Warriors' high-paced offense. While Mulder is unlikely to post 14 real-world points again, it will also be impossible to accrue fewer than zero rebounds and zero assists if he sees as many minutes. The strongest way to approach small forward may be to stack Middleton with Buddy Hield and go from there, but Mulder at least has a chance to hit value -- 5.0 points per $1,000 -- at the minimum salary.
Other Notable Plays: Buddy Hield ($6,500), Justin Holiday ($4,100)
Draymond Green ($7,200): Nobody on Earth knows as well as fantasy basketball players that guys can impact the game without scoring, but Green takes it to an extreme level. Green posted just 2 points alongside 19 assists and 12 rebounds on Friday. The knock on Green's early-season fantasy output was less about his solid 1.02 FanDuel points per minute and more about the unwillingness of Golden State to use their veteran player for big minutes. Now in a playoff push, Green has averaged 33.5 minutes per game in April, and those concerns are long gone. His scoring comes almost entirely from around the rim, and no team in the NBA gives up more points in the paint per game (53.5) than the Kings.
Davis Bertans ($4,600): With Rui Hachimura still out, Bertans has had every opportunity to grab a stable role at the power forward spot and has not been able to lock one down. Still, at this salary, his 26.7 minutes in the past three games without Hachimura are passable. Bertans could be a mismatch for a Cleveland team that has allowed the seventh-most FanDuel points per game to opposing power forwards. Doug McDermott played only 24 minutes last time out on an Indiana team decimated by injuries, so he may not be 100% healthy at this point. That pushes me to Bertans as the value target at power forward.
Other Notable Plays: Giannis Antetokounmpo ($10,900), Doug McDermott ($4,000)
Jarrett Allen ($6,100): Averaging 1.07 FanDuel points per minute with an incredibly realistic path to 30 minutes at center, Allen is a nice options today, especially with his salary creeping too low. After all, Allen has gone for at least 35 FanDuel points six times in the last 35 days, and that puts real upside into his stock at a center position where he stands as the highest-salaried good option due to injuries or potential minutes restrictions. Allen's popularity may be enormous, but it is hard to turn down a stable player against the very best matchup for a center, as the Wizards' putrid defense has allowed the most FanDuel points per game to opposing fives.
Other Notable Plays: Mohamed Bamba ($5,500; if Carter does not play)
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.