FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Monday 5/31/21
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 (FanDuel Salary: $11,000) - Westbrook is listed as questionable with an ankle injury but played through an injury tag in Game 3 of the series between the Washington Wizards and Philadelphia 76ers. With Washington's collective back against the wall, Westbrook seems like a lock to play. On Saturday, Westbrook put up 52.4 FanDuel points via a 26-point, 12-rebound, 10-assist triple-double. He's ranged all over the map in fantasy production in this series (40.0, 29.7, 52.4) but should have a massive usage rate in a win-or-go-home spot.
Ja Morant ($8,200) - Morant's high minutes have led to a floor and a ceiling in the Memphis Grizzlies' series against the Utah Jazz. He's played at least 35.9 minutes in all three games, resulting in 38.8, 58.3, and 38.1 FanDuel points thus far. In each of those games, he's put up at least 21 shot attempts. That shot volume also speaks to a floor/ceiling combination. He's rating out second-best at point guard in my model behind Westbrook and in numberFire's model, as well.
Seth Curry ($3,700) - There aren't a ton of elite plays at shooting guard, so Curry at a $3,700 salary is pretty guaranteed to be a chalky option tonight. Curry has played 32.1, 23.1, and 27.3 minutes in his three games against the Wizards with an average of 10.3 shot attempts. Curry's matchup against Washington is -- by far -- the easiest shooting guard matchup on the slate. The Wizards rank 23rd when adjusting for opponents faced since the start of April. No other team is below average against the position.
Donovan Mitchell ($8,000) - While Mitchell's likely range of outcomes can't quite rival Bradley Beal's ($9,600) ceiling, we're getting a $1,600 discount in salary and ostensibly a high floor with Mitchell, who has taken 19 and 23 shot attempts in his two games in this series. He's shooting poorly (40.5%) in those the series, so it could be a buy-low opportunity if the shots start falling.
The Four With a Role: Rui Hachimura ($4,600), Danny Green ($4,700), Bojan Bogdanovic ($5,600), Kyle Anderson ($6,900) - These are the four small forwards projected for at least 16 minutes tonight, per numberFire's algorithm, and all of them are up past 30, so we have minimal options elsewhere.
Game theory alone suggests that we can look to Kyle Anderson as the lone "high-salaried" option of the quartet. Anderson has generated 40.3, 32.7, and 40.1 FanDuel points in his three games this series.
But ultimately, it's Hachimura rating as the best value, per numberFire's model. He's shooting an efficient 59.0% from the field on just 7.3 field goal attempts but is chipping in on the glass (5.7 boards per game).
Others to Consider: Matisse Thybulle ($4,000)
Davis Bertans ($3,900) - Bertans is a cut above the rest of the position from a value standpoint, according to numberFire's projections. He's expected to return 5.63 FanDuel points per $1,000 in salary, a total of 22.0 FanDuel points. Bertans has been highly volatile (24.5 FanDuel points, 2.4, 10.0) in this series despite some solid minutes (27.9, 23.7, and 31.3). He is just 1 for 9 from three in the past two games, which isn't typical for the career 40.7% three-point shooter.
Jaren Jackson Jr. ($5,700) - Jackson's FanDuel output has been in the 20s in all three games in his series, despite the fact that the Jazz are the toughest power forward defense in the NBA since the start of April. That's a welcomed floor for someone at a reasonable salary, especially if the plan is to spend up at point guard and/or shooting guard and/or center. Game theory could point us to Tobias Harris ($7,900) and more value at those aforementioned positions, but Jackson seems set to flirt with value once again, per numberFire's algorithm (which projects him for 4.80 FanDuel points per $1,000 in salary).
The Three With a Role: Joel Embiid ($10,000), Rudy Gobert ($8,500), and Jonas Valanciunas ($8,000) - The value -- or lack of high-salaried options -- at most of the positions plus only three centers with a minutes projection of at least 15 tonight should lock Embiid into big popularity numbers, but that's okay.
Usually, the chalk is the chalk for a good reason. Embiid is fresh off of a 58.6-point FanDuel outing in this series, stemming from a 36-point, 8-rebound game. numberFire's algorithm sees Embiid as both the highest-scoring center of the night (53.7 FanDuel points) and the best value (5.27 FanDuel points per $1,000 in salary).
Others to Consider: None -- nobody else is projected for even 15.0 minutes, 4.0 FanDuel points per $1,000, or 17.0 FanDuel points