NBA Daily Fantasy Helper: Sunday 4/9/17
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 hugely 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 handful of other awesome tools to help give you an edge.
We'll also be coming at you with a primer every day, breaking down a few of the day's top plays at each price point.
Let's take a look at who you should target on today's main slate, which starts at 5 p.m. EST and includes five games. Because of the uncertainty of player roles and minutes late in the year, make sure you're checking for breaking news as roster lock nears.
Best of the Best
Russell Westbrook (FanDuel Price: $13,500): With very few teams taking today's games seriously, there should be enough value plays available to allow you to easily fit Wesbrook into your lineup. He's one of only two players who cost more than $10,200 -- and he's $3,300 above that -- but our models project him for 29.6 points, 9.9 rebounds and 10.3 assists, which amounts to a ho hum 56 FanDuel points. With James Harden likely having his minutes monitored closely, it's hard to pass on the sure thing with Westbrook.
Karl-Anthony Towns ($10,200): Even though they have nothing to play for, the Minnesota Timberwolves have been giving Towns big minutes lately as he's averaging 35.6 minutes per game through five April contests, including three games of at least 39 minutes. The matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers -- a team last in defensive rating and sixth in pace -- is about as good as it gets, and the game has a mouth-watering 219.5-point implied total. The Wolves boast a 112.25 implied total, and we project KAT for 43.5 FanDuel points in 36.49 minutes.
Danilo Gallinari ($6,700): The Denver Nuggets don't have much of a chance to make the playoffs -- 2.4% odds, per our models -- but they do still have a chance. That means they're a team we can feel good about targeting in terms of their guys playing typical minutes. Fortunately for us, the Nugs have a monster 116.75-point implied total for their home game with the Houston Rockets. Our projections see Gallinari totaling 29.0 FanDuel points, making him one of the slate's better mid-tier plays.
D'Angelo Russell ($6,400): Russell has become a fairly consistent DFS producer, scoring at least 24 FanDuel points in eight of the last nine games for which he was active. He's been seeing good minutes, too, averaging 35.2 minutes across his last five outings. Over the past four weeks, Minnesota is giving up 45.41 FanDuel points per game to opposing point guards, and we project Russell to post 31.5 fantasy points, which amounts to 4.92 points per $1,000 in salary. If for some reason Russell sits (he did miss a game earlier this week with a "knee" issue), Tyler Ennis ($3,800) would become a premier value option.
Henry Ellenson ($3,500): As of now, which is important to stress because late-breaking inactives could drastically alter tonight's DFS landscape, Ellenson is our top value play by a significant margin. In his first career start Friday, he put together 15 points, 11 rebounds and 1 block in 26 minutes on his way to 29.2 FanDuel points. With the Pistons out of it, Ellenson is expected to continue to see good run, and his minimum salary doesn't reflect that. We project him for 25.3 FanDuel points -- an eye-popping 7.22 per $1,000 -- in 25.96 minutes tonight against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Doug McDermott ($3,500): Andre Roberson didn't play Friday, and he is listed as questionable for tonight with a knee issue. If he sits, McDermott is a great option. On Friday, Dougie played 40 minutes, and obviously a player getting that kind of run at this salary is extremely rare. He only managed 17 FanDuel points despite the 40 minutes (although he did get 10 shots), but that was still nearly 5 FanDuel points per $1,000. With the OKC-Denver game featuring a 229.5-point implied total, McDermott could be in for a much bigger game tonight if Roberson is sidelined.
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