FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Tuesday 5/4/21
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 seven-game slate, which locks at 7:00 PM Eastern.
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.
Teams are sorted by their implied total.
Stephen Curry ($9,700) – In this same matchup against the New Orleans Pelicans, Curry was covered here last night as a stud to target, and he rewarded us by dropping 56.8 FanDuel points. On the season, the Pels have ceded the fourth-most fantasy points per 48 minutes to opposing point guards, and the Chef was able to take advantage. Lonzo Ball is questionable tonight for New Orleans, and that certainly doesn’t hurt Curry’s outlook.
LaMelo Ball ($6,200) – I had LaMelo listed as a target in today’s studs column, but the fact is, the rookie is a stud and core value play all wrapped into one. Ball and the Charlotte Hornets will take on the downward-spiraling Detroit Pistons, who have surrendered the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing point guards, according to numberFire’s DvP tool. Our algorithm has LaMelo projected for 38.3 FanDuel points tonight, which makes him the top value play at the point position.
Fred VanVleet ($7,100) – As I mentioned in the studs piece, FVV is the ultimate tournament play. In his last four games he’s recorded 55.5, 26, 23.7, and 53.7 FanDuel points (in that order), which means you just don’t know what you’re going to get. However, given that the Toronto Raptors will likely be down OG Anunoby, Gary Trent, Chris Boucher, and Paul Watson tonight, we should expect VanVleet to produce in bunches. The Los Angeles Clippers enter the game ranking 10th in defensive efficiency, and in 17 matchups versus teams that are among the top-10 on that side of the ball this season (per NBA.com), FVV has averaged 43.6 FanDuel points.
Torrey Craig ($3,600) – Craig has entered the starting lineup for the Phoenix Suns recently in place of Jae Crowder, and that’s resulted in outputs of 25.7, 38.8, and 40.5 FanDuel points in three of his last five games, with the latter coming in his most recent outing on Sunday. Now, Craig has been limited to just 8.7 and 14.1 fantasy points in the other two games during that stretch, but tonight’s matchup should allow for a blowup performance, especially if Cameron Payne is out, as well. Craig will be facing the Cleveland Cavaliers, who have been the third-most generous team to the position over their last 15 games, according to FantasyPros. numberFire’s algorithm projects Craig to be the top-point-per-dollar play tonight.
Buddy Hield ($7,000) – Hield has been a solid, yet unspectacular fantasy performer of late, but we could get some fireworks from him tonight. The 28-year-old has posted 37.7-plus FanDuel points in four of his last six games, and he’ll look to put up even more than that against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The tanking Thunder haven’t done much to slow down wings lately, as they rank 27th against shooting guards and 26th versus small forwards over their last 15 games. As an added bonus, the Kings will be sans Tyrese Haliburton and De’Aaron Fox for this one, and Harrison Barnes is listed as doubtful.
Caleb Martin ($3,500) – the sample size is tiny, but with Gordon Hayward, Devonte’ Graham, Miles Bridges, PJ Washington, and Cody Martin off the court this season, Caleb averages an additional 0.22 FanDuel points per minute, bringing his total to 0.91. At that rate, he would only have to play 19.2 minutes in order to achieve 5X value at the minimum salary. Our models have him amassing 24.1 FanDuel points, making him the second-best value play on the entire slate.
Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,400) – Over his last five outings, Giannis has averaged 63.5 FanDuel points per contest, including a 75.6-fantasy-point eruption against these very same Brooklyn Nets just two days ago. As of writing, this matchup between the Nets and Milwaukee Bucks has an over/under that’s 7.5 points higher than any other game tonight, and we’ll certainly want exposure here. Given his form, it’s impossible to ignore the two-time MVP. In 10 games against squads that are bottom-seven in defensive efficiency, Antetokounmpo has averaged a whopping 64.6 FanDuel points, including 62.6-plus in all but two of them. numberFire’s 57.7-FanDuel-point projection for the Greek Freak tonight is 5.4 points higher than any other player.
Jalen McDaniels ($3,800) – That’s right — another player from the Charlotte Hornets. Given the state of their roster, it makes sense that we should target the Hornets for value tonight. The absences of Washington and Bridges, in particular, should leave room for McDaniels to see huge minutes at forward for the Hornets. In early April, McDaniels had a stretch of six games where he produced 21.6, 22.6, 23.9, 31.1, 38.7, and 41.7 FanDuel points, and he should have a similar ceiling tonight. The Pistons rank 29th against power forwards this season.
Bam Adebayo ($8,300) – Adebayo has topped 43 fantasy points in six of his last eight contests, and he’s now managed 40 or more in 35 of his 58 games this season. He’ll be going up against a Dallas Mavericks interior that’s likely to be without the Kristaps Porzingis manning the paint, and that definitely improves Bam’s outlook. Our models project Adebayo to be the top scoring center tonight.
Other Studs to Consider: Jarrett Allen ($7,000)
Richaun Holmes ($6,600) – There isn’t really a “low-salaried” center that I’d recommend rostering tonight, but Holmes could provide plenty of bang for your buck. As I outlined above, the Kings are extremely shorthanded right now, which could lead to the 27-year-old taking on more than usual. Holmes has racked up more than 35 FanDuel points in 15 of his last 22 efforts. Meanwhile, the Thunder have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to the position over their last 30 games.