FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Sunday 5/30/21
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.
Some stars may be forced to play through battle scars on Sunday. Luka Doncic is the highest-salaries player in the FanDuel player pool, but Doncic is listed questionable due to a neck issue. With a chance for the Dallas Mavericks to go up 3-1 in the series, conventional wisdom would suggest Doncic plays, but stranger things have happened.
Kemba Walker is continuing to fight through the knee injury that has plagued him all season, and he is listed questionable for Game 4 as a result. Boston Celtics teammate Robert Williams will likely not be as fortunate, as Williams is expected to miss Sunday's contest with his lingering ankle issue.
The only other question marks on the slate reside in the Los Angeles Lakers-Phoenix Suns game. Chris Paul is questionable with his shoulder injury. Anthony Davis is listed as questionable with a knee injury, but he said himself that he cannot foresee a scenario in which he does not play. Another Lakers starter is in jeopardy, as well, with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope questionable after hurting his knee in Game 3.
Trae Young ($8,800): Young's team-high 33.2% usage rate in this series has been the big reason the Atlanta Hawks find themselves ahead 2-1, and his usage is unlikely to change soon. He had an off night shooting in Game 3 but surpassed 30 points in each of the first two contests of the series and has added 10.3 assists along the way. The 5.0-point spread -- in addition to plenty of value options in the game -- makes this contest between Atlanta and the New York Knicks an interesting stacking option in tournaments.
Reggie Jackson ($4,900): The Los Angeles Clippers have badly needed a third option in this series with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George wavering late in games, and it might be Jackson. Jackson has now eclipsed 30 minutes in each of the past two games with at least 23 FanDuel points in both, and considering his deep burial in the pecking order offensively, his 19.6% usage is not too shabby. With 30-minute upside, Jackson is the one no-brainer place to save salary at the spot on this slate.
Devin Booker ($7,800): Booker's reliance on scoring for his fantasy production -- 0.75 of his 1.09 FanDuel points per minute come from his buckets -- has left him a frustrating, oversalaried option in many respects this season, but there is no denial of his role now with Chris Paul banged up. Booker's 31.6% usage is far and away the best among Phoenix starters -- with Deandre Ayton second at 17.6% -- and that raises both his floor and ceiling. Booker has no shortage of floor time, either, averaging 43 minutes per game in the series. He is the cornerstone option at the shooting guard spot in all formats.
Tim Hardaway Jr. ($5,400): While Doncic is likely to play, if Luka is limited in any capacity, Hardaway should be able to capitalize. Hardaway is averaging 20.3 real-world points per game across this three-game series, and at 36.7 minutes per game, it appears all Hardaway needed to overcome his inconsistent regular season was a truly stable role. His 65.8% shooting from three-point range cannot possibly continue, but his 20.3% usage and 13.7 shots per game in this series is still enough to pay off at this salary.
Joe Harris ($4,700): Small forward is the best opportunity on the slate to save salary. There are four legitimate options who will see in excess of 30 minutes in the four contests on Sunday, and that does not include Kentavious Caldwell-Pope if he is able to go. Harris is the most likely to deliver scoring upside, just as he displayed in a 25-point, 43.2-FanDuel point performance in Game 2, but his floor is not nearly the same level of secure since he is the fourth option in the Brooklyn Nets' offense. At a projection of 27.6 FanDuel points, per our model, Harris is one of the best value plays on the slate.
De'Andre Hunter ($4,600): I am high on Hunter. As mentioned earlier, the Knicks-Hawks contest has some sneaky stacking appeal, and Hunter provides more scoring upside than perceived. Hunter averaged 18.7 points per game in 32.3 minutes per game in his last full month of January, but he has been on the shelf recently due to a knee injury. Physically, Hunter appears to be healthy after seeing more than 30 minutes in back-to-back starts, and it should be only a matter of time before he starts scoring like he was earlier this season.
Julius Randle ($8,900): Whether it is a mark of the Atlanta game-plan or him just pressing too hard, Randle has been dreadful in this series, shooting 23.6% from the field. However, he should pick it up at some point. Randle's regular season marks were a 29.4% usage rate and 37.6 minutes per game. In the playoffs, his role is essentially unchanged at a 27.7% usage and 35.7 minutes per game. That makes this salary fairly low for Randle, who produced 1.20 FanDuel points per minute in the regular season.
Kristaps Porzingis ($6,900): The Mavs' center has been tremendously popular in each of his three games so far in the playoffs, and he has delivered two duds sandwiched around 39.8 FanDuel points in Game 2. Even without the results, Porzingis still offers a nice floor/ceiling combination. He carries a 19.6% usage rate in a 30-minute role, and this game has the tightest spread of the slate. His rebounding should pick up, too, ae has grabbed fewer than five rebounds in each game this series despite averaging 10.28 rebounds per 36 minutes during the regular season.
Clint Capela ($8,000): The thinking is that Tristan Thompson should be a highly popular plug at center in all formats with Robert Williams set to miss Game 4, but Capela is worth a look in tournaments. Capela has not quite been able to take advantage of competing positives in this series. The Knicks struggled with centers this season, allowing the eighth-most FanDuel points per game, and that is evident with at least 12 rebounds in each game for Capela. But in Capela's only game with multiple blocks, he scored just four real-world points. His ceiling is easy to project if all factors go his way, but a 10.8% usage in the series lowers his floor.
Others to Consider: Tristan Thompson ($5,900)
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.