FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Friday 6/18/21

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 two-game playoff slate, which locks at 7:30 PM Eastern.

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

Point Guard

Mike Conley ($7,500) - ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Conley is working towards a return for this pivotal Game 6, and as we saw with James Harden and the Brooklyn Nets, it's unlikely that he'll be on a restriction if he does suit up. The veteran point guard's services will desperately be needed as Donovan Mitchell is far from 100% and currently listed as a game-time decision. Conley dropped 44.2, 45.3, and 49.7 FanDuel points in three of his four healthy games in the opening round, so the potential for a great return is there. If Conley doesn't go, we can pivot to Ben Simmons ($7,800).

Reggie Jackson ($5,500) - Jackson deserves to be every bit as chalky as he'll be tonight, as his role without Kawhi Leonard in the lineup will continue to be quite heavy. In Game 5, Jackson rode 22 real-life points to 32.9 of the fantasy variety, and it was the third time in his last four games that he'd topped 25 FanDuel points. He's a no-brainer lock tonight.

Shooting Guard

Paul George ($10,600) - There's just no way I'm passing on PG13 tonight. Without Leonard in the lineup on Wednesday, George racked up 37 real-life points, 15 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals plus blocks en route to 67.7 FanDuel points. His 33.14% usage rate was the highest it's been since April. Like Jackson, I'm locking George into my lineups tonight.

Kevin Huerter ($4,200) - We're going to need some value plays in order to be able to afford tonight's studs, and numberFire's algorithm projects Huerter to be the top point-per-dollar option on the slate. The 22-year-old has recorded 23.8, 27.4, and 29.0 FanDuel points in three of the five games this series, though he's been held to fewer than 6 in the other two outings. His volatility could actually make him a solid leverage play tonight.

Small Forward

Nicolas Batum ($6,200) - Batum was one of the biggest beneficiaries of Leonard's absence in Game 5, as his 42.2 minutes were the most he'd played in any game this campaign (regular season and playoffs). The 32-year-old amassed 30.9 FanDuel points in those minutes, meaning that he's now topped 30 in three straight efforts. Batum is our algo's top-projected scorer and value at the position tonight.

Danilo Gallinari ($5,000) - Gallinari has garnered at least 20 fantasy points in six of his last nine games, including outputs of 26.1 and 34.8 in two of his last four. He's a worthwhile play at a very thin position. Bojan Bogdanovic ($5,900) is likely a much safer bet, but I'm trying to conserve salary for tonight's top dogs.

Power Forward

Marcus Morris ($6,400) - Morris is another player from the Los Angeles Clippers that's simply an easy call tonight. The 31-year-old has accrued 32-plus FanDuel points in four of his last eight outings, including 36.4 in a series-high 40.4 minutes on Wednesday. He should maintain a heavy role as one of the top secondary options behind George.

Royce O'Neale ($5,300) - After accumulating 29.9 fantasy points in Utah's Game 5 loss, O'Neale has now eclipsed 26 in five of his last seven games. The 24-year-old garnered 41.2 minutes of action on Wednesday, and he'll have an excellent shot at returning value if he continues to see that kind of playing time.


Joel Embiid ($11,200) - I mean, this is easy, right? The Philadelphia 76ers are facing elimination, and it's highly doubtful that Embiid and company will go down without a fight. The big man has surpassed 60 FanDuel points in all but one game this series, and that includes a 73.1-point performance in Game 5. Our models project Embiid to be the top scorer on tonight's slate by 5.6 fantasy points. Finding a way to fit him into your lineups is critical.