FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Tuesday 5/11/21

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 11-game slate, which locks at 7:00 PM Eastern.

All injury updates are via the NBA's official injury report or numberFire's player news.

Slate Overview

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 since the league's trade deadline.

Teams are sorted by their implied total.

Team Opp Over/
Spread Implied
Rank Opp Adj.
MIL ORL 232.5 -14.0 123.25 119.1 6 121.0 27
PHI IND 232.5 -6.5 119.50 111.3 18 113.9 17
BKN CHI 232.5 -5.5 119.0 115.4 11 112.5 15
MIN DET 227.5 -7.5 117.50 109.4 20 114.2 18
SAC OKC 224.0 -10.5 117.25 112.5 15 124.1 29
PHX GS 229.5 -5.0 117.25 123.8 1 109.8 9
DAL MEM 227.5 -2.0 114.75 117.0 9 112.4 14
LAC TOR 216.0 -12.0 114.0 118.6 7 110.5 11
CHI BKN 232.5 5.5 113.50 107.5 22 114.4 21
MIA BOS 224.5 -2.0 113.25 118.0 8 111.0 12
IND PHI 232.5 6.5 113.0 111.0 19 102.8 4
MEM DAL 227.5 2.0 112.75 116.1 10 110.3 10
GS PHX 229.5 5.0 112.25 112.5 14 115.3 23
DEN CHA 217.5 -5.5 111.50 120.0 4 111.8 13
BOS MIA 224.5 2.0 111.25 114.0 12 114.4 20
DET MIN 227.5 7.5 110.0 102.5 26 118.5 25
LAL NY 213.5 -5.5 109.50 99.9 27 102.1 1
ORL MIL 232.5 14.0 109.25 94.3 29 114.5 22
OKC SAC 224.0 10.5 106.75 85.2 30 119.2 26
CHA DEN 217.5 5.5 106.0 103.2 24 109.3 7
NY LAL 213.5 5.5 104.0 113.6 13 102.2 2
TOR LAC 216.0 12.0 102.0 108.3 21 107.7 5

Point Guard


Stephen Curry ($10,300) - As I outlined in today's studs column, the game environment here is perfect for Curry to go off yet again. The over/under in this matchup is a healthy 229.5, which is fourth-highest on the slate, and the five-point spread implies that a close game should be at hand. Curry has amassed 49-plus FanDuel points in 16 of his last 22 outings, and he's had fewer than 42.5 just twice during that stretch. Our algorithm has the two-time MVP projected as the top scorer at the position.

Other Studs to Consider (listed in order of preference): Kyrie Irving ($10,200), Chris Paul ($8,100), Luka Doncic ($10,300)

Value Play

Malachi Flynn ($5,000) - This one is relatively straightforward -- due to tanking rest and injuries, the Toronto Raptors will be without Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam, Rodney Hood, Aron Baynes, and (perhaps) Chris Boucher. That means Flynn should see heavy minutes and usage against the Los Angeles Clippers, regardless of the score. In the 14 games that he's played 24 or more minutes this season, Flynn has averaged 32.5 FanDuel points. He's numberFire's second-best projected value at point guard.

Other Mid-Range and Value Options: Jalen Harris ($4,200), Cole Anthony ($5,200), Ben Simmons ($6,700)

Shooting Guard


D'Angelo Russell ($7,600) - Despite the fact that it's against the offensively challenged Detroit Pistons, the Minnesota Timberwolves' matchup tonight has an over/under of 227.5, which means someone like Russell could wind up being a top play at the two-guard spot. Russell's had at least 37.9 fantasy points in 6 of his last 10 outings, including performances of 45.2 and 45.8 in two of his last three. He should be able to add another crooked number against a Detroit defense that ranks fourth-worst versus shooting guards over their last 15 games.

Other Studs to Consider: Devin Booker ($7,700), Paul George ($8,200), Caris LeVert ($9,200)

Value Play

Gary Trent Jr. ($4,900) - We're going to be turning to the Raptors for value early and often tonight, and Trent has the potential to be the slate's top value play. Over his last 12 games with more than 20 minutes of action, Trent has exceeded 27 FanDuel points eight times, including fantasy performances of 32.1, 32.3, 39.4, 40.5, 47.5, and 60.4. He could feast tonight as the focal point of Toronto's offense.

Other Mid-Range and Value Options: Yuta Watanabe ($3,500), Dillon Brooks ($4,800), Josh Jackson ($4,500)

Small Forward


Michael Porter Jr. ($7,100) - Porter Jr. hasn't had a salary this low since the calendar turned to April, and we should be taking advantage of that discount while it lasts. The 22-year-old has racked up at least 38.9 FanDuel points in 8 of his last 10 efforts, and he would only need 35.5 to achieve our baseline value tonight. During that 10-game stretch, MPJ has produced FanDuel outputs of 42.5, 43.1, 44.7. 46.4, and 57.2 points, which gives him an elite ceiling at his salary range. He'll also benefit from a delicious matchup tonight, as the Charlotte Hornets rank 28th against small forwards this season, per numberFire's DvP tool.

Other Studs to Consider: Kevin Durant ($10,600), Jimmy Butler ($9,500), Kawhi Leonard ($8,400)

Value Play

Kent Bazemore ($4,700) - A matchup with the Suns is far from ideal, but our model has Bazemore as one of the top value plays on tonight's slate. Over his last eight games, Bazemore has put up 28.8 or more fantasy points five times, as he continues to see a larger role with Kelly Oubre out. numberFire's algo has him dropping 29.3 fantasy points in 31.8 minutes of action.

Other Mid-Range and Value Options: Kyle Anderson ($5,800), Saddiq Bey ($6,000), Stanley Johnson ($3,500),

Power Forward


Domantas Sabonis ($10,200) - Once again, Sabonis will be the stud I'm targeting at power forward. The big man was featured in this spot last night and he rewarded us by finishing as the slate's top scorer, and he's now averaging 63.7 FanDuel points in the six games since returning from injury. The Philadelphia 76ers do sport one of the league's best defenses, especially when it comes to the interior, but they've been leaking a bit of late, as they have ceded the fourth-most fantasy points to power forwards over their last 15 games, according to FantasyPros.

Other Studs to Consider: Jayson Tatum ($9,700), Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,200), Draymond Green ($7,700)

Value Play

Xavier Tillman ($3,600) - With Jaren Jackson Jr. out tonight for the Memphis Grizzlies and Jonas Valanciunas doubtful, Tillman is suddenly a damn-near must-start. In eight appearances without Valanciunas on the court this campaign, Tillman has averaged 29.4 fantasy points, including a low-water mark of 23.5. He's a set-and-forget option, even on a slate as large as this one. A matchup against the Kristaps Porzingis-less Dallas Mavericks is not one we have to fear.

Other Mid-Range and Value Options: Brandon Clarke ($4,500), Aaron Gordon ($3,900), Isaiah Stewart ($6,200)



Joel Embiid ($9,700) - Embiid is questionable with an illness tonight, but if he does suit up, he'll be in a titillating spot. Over their last 30 games, the Pacers have surrendered an average of 63.3 FanDuel points per game to opposing centers, 1.2 more than the next-closest team. During that stretch, Indiana ranks 29th in real-life points, 30th in rebounds, and bottom-10 in steals plus blocks allowed to the position. Embiid hasn't been his dominant self over his last nine games, though he has accumulated 51.4 and 60.1 FanDuel points in two of his last three contests.

Other Studs to Consider: Nikola Jokic ($11,000), Nikola Vucevic ($9,800), Bam Adebayo ($7,900)

Value Play

Moses Brown ($4,900) - Rostering anyone on the Oklahoma City Thunder can be deemed "risky" but Brown could end up being the best bang-for-your-buck if you want to save some cap at center. The 21-year-old has faced the Sacramento Kings -- the team he's matched up with tonight -- twice in his last four outings, and he's erupted for 32.4 and 37.8 FanDuel points in those contests. That shouldn't come as a surprise, considering that Sacramento ranks 24th against the five position this season.

Other Mid-Range and Value Options: Richaun Holmes ($6,200), Dwight Howard ($5,300), Khem Birch ($5,900)