FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Monday 4/26/21
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.
Russell Westbrook ($11,200) - With the injury report being what it is, we could be looking at a light night for point guard studs: Luka Doncic ($11,500) is questionable, De'Aaron Fox is out, and Trae Young is out. That could leave Westbrook as the only point guard in action with a salary above $8,500, and that could lead to some opportunity cost/game theory even on a full, 11-game slate.
Westbrook's matchup against the San Antonio Spurs, who are 22nd against opposing point guards when adjusted for opponents faced, is a plus one. Westbrook played 35.7 minutes yesterday but has been playing on back-to-backs for a while now. Keep an eye on the injury news (simply vital advice no matter what when playing NBA DFS), and we could get Westbrook as the lone stud at the position in a promising matchup.
Dejounte Murray ($6,800) and Derrick White ($5,800) - If there are no/minimal studs at the position, naturally, we should look to the mid-range next. It's pretty solid today, and I'll highlight a two-for-one with the Spurs' point guard duo here.
The Washington Wizards are 29th against opposing point guards when adjusted for opponents faced, and the over/under (228.5) is tied for the highest mark of the night. The matchup is ripe for production, and Murray (1.10 FanDuel points per minute) and White (0.96) are solid producers already even before accounting for the game environment.
Paul George ($10,000) - George also has some of that Westbrook vibe as potentially the lone elite play at his position, and it further helps that Kawhi Leonard is out. Without Leonard, George has a 35.9% usage rate and averages 1.29 FanDuel points per minute on the season, via RotoGrinders' CourtIQ tool. The New Orleans Pelicans are a great matchup overall for George. I probably don't need to linger on this much longer.
Fred VanVleet ($7,300) - Our model is big on VanVleet against the Cleveland Cavaliers, projecting him for a value of 5.28 (i.e. 5.28 projected FanDuel points per $1,000 in salary; anything over 5.00 is a strong projection). The Cavaliers rank 16th in FanDuel points per minute allowed to opposing shooting guards when adjusted for opponents faced. There is some blowout risk with the Toronto Raptors favored by 10.5, but that's the only concern here at a position that is also light on studs at the top.
Jimmy Butler ($9,300) - Similar to what we see with point guard and shooting guard, there is the potential to exist only one surefire stud at small forward, and that's (obviously) Butler. Butler will face a former team of his, the Chicago Bulls, who are top-10 against opposing small forwards on the season. It's rare to target a player at an elevated salary on a team with an implied total of just 106.0 points, but Butler is such a high-floor play that it hardly matters (he has had at least 35.8 FanDuel points in 14 straight games).
Cedi Osman ($3,500) - The Return of the Cedi yesterday (after a five-game absence of coach's decisions) led to 37.2 minutes for Osman against the Wizards. He had 12 shot attempts, 2 rebounds, 5 assists, a steal, and 19 points for 29.9 FanDuel points. The bottom line here is that if we're getting minutes in the mid-30s from someone at minimum salary, it's hard to pass up.
There's risk here if the minutes shrink, but without Collin Sexton and with Cedi's performance yesterday, it's a harder case to make that they all evaporate. Without Sexton on the floor, Osman maintains a 21.1% usage rate and puts forth 0.81 FanDuel points per minute. Even at 30 minutes, he'd get up to 24.3 FanDuel points at that rate. That's more than enough at $3,500.
Kevin Love ($5,800) - Power forward is shaping up to be the weakest position of the night with few logical reasons to spend a lot of salary here (between injuries and poor matchups or overvalued players). That doesn't necessarily mean the value is appealing, though, either. Love, at least, has a good draw.
The Cleveland Cavaliers face the Toronto Raptors, who are just 25th in rebounding rate over their past 15 games. Love is projected for 30.4 FanDuel points over 28.6 minutes, good for 5.24 fantasy points per $1,000 in salary. That's a top-five value rating at the position.
Isaiah Roby ($4,100) - Roby is the top projected value at power forward, according to numberFire's algorithm. He's projected for a whopping 5.85 FanDuel points per $1,000 in salary (24.0 fantasy points in total, stemming from a projected line of 10.0 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.0 steals, and 0.8 blocks across 27.7 minutes).
Roby faces a top-10 power forward defense in the Philadelphia 76ers but maintains roughly the same rate against top-12 defenses (0.88 FanDuel points per minute) as he does overall (0.90). We can also consider Aleksej Pokusevski ($4,400) from the Oklahoma City Thunder here, too.
Others to Consider: Pascal Siakam ($9,000), Kristaps Porzingis ($8,000)/Maxi Kleber ($4,200 if either is healthy), Tobias Harris ($7,200; if healthy), Aaron Gordon ($4,900), Aleksej Pokusevski ($4,400)
Jarrett Allen ($5,700) - Center is loaded tonight, and we need only one on FanDuel, so I left it for last. That's not to say there's not an advantage by prioritizing one of the studs who project well -- Nikola Jokic ($11,400), Joel Embiid ($10,700), Karl-Anthony Towns ($9,700), Rudy Gobert ($8,100) -- but we get a lot of salary flexibility with Allen at $5,700.
When talking about Love already, I mentioned the Raptors' rebounding struggles, which will benefit Allen, as well. Allen is numberFire's top projected value at an anticipated 6.22 FanDuel points per $1,000 in salary as a result of the matchup and salary.