NBA premium

NBA Daily Fantasy Helper: Tuesday 4/17/18

Coming off a 42-minute workload in Game 1, Damian Lillard should have no trouble producing in a fantasy-friendly matchup against the Pelicans. Who else should you target in daily fantasy basketball tonight?

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 ton of other great resources to help give you an edge.

We'll also be coming at you with this 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 three-game slate.

Best of the Best

Anthony Davis ($12,700): It's hard not to like Davis' huge upside on a short playoff slate, especially when there's some solid value making it easier to afford him. No player has shown the kind of ceiling that Brow has, particularly in the latter part of this season. Since the All-Star break, he has five of the six highest single-game fantasy scores. Nobody else has topped 81 FanDuel points in a game in that time, but Davis has hit 96 twice. His playoffs got off to a big start, racking up 68.3 fantasy points in Game 1, which gives him an average of 64.0 per game over his last five. Unsurprisingly, numberFire's models project him for the day's highest fantasy score.

Damian Lillard ($9,800): On the other side of that Trail Blazers-Pelicans matchup, Dame played a huge 42.1 minutes in Game 1, getting up a team-high 23 field goal attempts while also posting a 26.4% assist rate and grabbing seven boards. He closed out the regular season playing at least 35 minutes in nine of his final 10 games (including at least 38 in five of those), averaging 46.8 FanDuel points in 37.4 minutes per game in that stretch. He still notched a reasonable 42.9 FanDuel points despite going cold from the field in Game 1 (shooting a .348 effective field goal percentage, compared to his .519 season average). His increased postseason workload, along with a matchup against a Pelicans team that has allowed above-average fantasy production at the point, provides him a terrific floor to go with an outstanding ceiling if his shot is falling in Game 2.

Mid-Range Options

DeMar DeRozan ($7,400): DeRozan's 35 minutes in Game 1 weren't a huge number by any stretch, but they did represent a bump from the 33.9 per game he averaged in the regular season. Combining that increase with a 27.7% usage rate that led Toronto starters resulted in him getting up a team-high 17 field goal attempts. He only shot 35.3% from the field in that one, which is likely to improve moving forward (he shot 45.6% on the season and has shot 44.8% over his career). His price-tag is down because he saw a reduced workload late in the regular season, and it remains low thanks to that quiet shooting night in Game 1. That leaves him under-priced relative to the fantasy value he offers when he's converting shots at his usual rate.

John Henson ($5,500): Many Milwaukee Bucks players had inflated numbers thanks to an overtime loss in Game 1, but Henson played only 13 seconds after regulation, so that's not the case here. His 37.2 minutes played in that contest were the most he has played all season, and whether his increased role is intended to last for as long as the Bucks are in the playoffs or just for this series against Boston, that workload puts him in an incredibly promising spot in Game 2. The 15 regular season games in which he played at least 30 minutes saw Henson average 10.9 points, 9.1 boards, 1.6 blocks and 1.6 assists per game, giving him an average of 29.8 FanDuel points, which crushes value at today's price-tag. Averaging 0.93 FanDuel points per minute on the season, his low salary isn't going to last much longer.

Basement Ballers

Marcin Gortat ($4,300): Gortat's 28.5 minutes in Game 1 were a slight bump from the 25.3 he averaged in the regular season, and with the way he has produced this year, that gives him a very interesting ceiling relative to his price-point. His role and production have been hugely inconsistent this season, playing fewer than 20 minutes on 17 occasions, but also 30-plus 16 times. Seven-times value on tonight's salary is 30.1 FanDuel points, which he topped 19 times in the regular season. His volatility has put him in a unique position all season, never offering any kind of a floor but having a terrific ceiling on a very consistent basis. His increased minutes in Game 1 are a good sign that we can expect him to show off that ceiling more often in the postseason.

Mike Scott ($3,500): In the playoffs we usually have to look for thin value wherever we can get it (especially if we're trying to pay up for a guy like Anthony Davis), but Scott is a rare slam-dunk value. The Wizards went with a very thin rotation in Game 1, with only six players seeing at least 17 minutes of action. Scott played nearly 27, but he remains priced down at the minimum. An increased role isn't new, as he played 20-plus minutes in each of his final seven regular seasons games, but 27 minutes is more than he played in any of those contests. He's a reasonably efficient fantasy producer for a guy priced this low -- averaging 0.79 FanDuel points per minute on the year, and getting this kind of run at minimum-salary makes him a tough fade tonight.

Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. 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.

To read all premium content, upgrade to a Premium account with numberFire

If you're not a Premium subscriber, it takes just a few seconds to sign up. You'll get access to all of our insider information, game projections, handicapping advice, DFS tools, advanced statistics, and more.

Log In Go Premium