FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Monday 3/29/21
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.
With 11 games, there is enough value to play the studs, and small forward and center in particular look deep with value plays, affecting how we should view the slate.
Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,100) - From a strict, position-level matchup standpoint, Antetokounmpo doesn't stand out tonight, as the Los Angeles Clippers are second in adjusted FanDuel points per minute allowed to opposing power forwards. Giannis averages 1.54 FanDuel points per minute against top-10 power forward defenses, down from 1.66 against teams outside the top 10, but there's enough to override that concern. We're getting the Milwaukee Bucks in a game with a 232.0-point total and a tight 2.5-point spread. Giannis is projected for 11.3 more FanDuel points than any other power forward, and so we can rely on the value to plug in Antetokounmpo tonight in order to accept the opportunity cost of missing out on a big game from him, one that no other power forward could match.
Isaiah Roby ($4,700) - Roby is projected for 32.5 minutes against the Dallas Mavericks, who are a mid-level matchup for opposing power forwards. Though Roby has had some consistent minutes, he has had some inconsistent FanDuel production. It's again not enough to avoid him because because we know that we can keep trusting the minutes: the Oklahoma City Thunder shut down Al Horford and are focused on getting their younger players bigger minutes.
Luka Doncic ($10,800) - Doncic is not on the injury report for tonight, so that bodes well for his return after missing two games. Although he would be playing in the third-lowest-totaled game of the night (220.0), the Mavericks own a top-six implied team total (115.25). Doncic averages 1.57 FanDuel points per minute against non-top-10 point guard defenses, which -- at his 35.3 projected minutes -- would net him 55.4 FanDuel points.
Saben Lee ($3,700) - Lee put up 27.5 FanDuel points (from a line of 6 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, and 1 turnover) over 24.5 minutes against the Washington Wizards on Saturday. The matchup gets a bit tougher against the Toronto Raptors tonight, yet Toronto is still a below-average point guard defense and is just 21st in adjusted defensive rating. Lee's solid per-minute rate of 0.92 FanDuel points should lead to a surpassing of his salary-implied total tonight.
James Harden ($11,300) - Without Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, Harden has been pretty classic Harden lately, with 60.9 and 72.8 FanDuel points in his past two starts. Irving is available for tonight's game, so that'll change things up a bit. In 16 games without Durant but with Harden and Irving, Harden has a 29.7% usage rate. Specifically when sharing the floor with Irving and without Durant, Harden averages 1.31 FanDuel points per minute on a 25.7% usage rate. The Brooklyn Nets have huge blowout risk as 12.0-point favorites, yet their implied total of 126.5 is a full 6.75 points higher than any other team's, and Harden is integral to the offense. If a blowout occurs, it'll be stemming from Harden's production.
Fred VanVleet ($7,400) - With 40 FanDuel points yesterday, VanVleet came through without Kyle Lowry, who seems likely to play. Lowry's return doesn't mean we need to flee from VanVleet, though. VanVleet maintains a 22.6% usage rate with Lowry (and without Norman Powell) with a solid 0.96-FanDuel-point-per-minute rate, according to RotoGrinders' CourtIQ tool. The Pistons are just a mid-level perimeter defense, and we project VanVleet for a pretty elite value rating of 5.42 FanDuel points per $1,000 in salary.
Bojan Bogdanovic ($4,100) - The value at small forward and a lack of plentiful studs in can't-miss spots can let us look more at the low-end for top salary-based plays. Bogdanovic is projected for a stellar 6.00 FanDuel points per $1,000 in salary over 31.6 minutes against the Cleveland Cavaliers. I touched on blowout risk for the Nets; it's greater with the Utah Jazz, who are 16.0-point favorites at home. But without many sure things, we should be living more in the value range at small forward regardless, and the algo loves Bojan tonight.
Justin Holiday ($3,800) - Holiday's value projection is 5.72, and his matchup is much better than what we get with Bogdanovic. The Wizards are 21st against opposing small forwards. Holiday's per-minute FanDuel-point rate is 0.65 against top-half opponents but spikes to 0.78 against bottom-half small forward defenses. At his projected minutes workload of 32.0, that's a difference between 20.8 FanDuel points and 25.0, an elite number at a $3,800 salary. That'd be a value rating of 6.58.
Moses Brown ($6,500) - Center is pretty loaded throughout the price pool, and we get Brown and Robert Williams right at $6,500, both of whom are more than justifiable plays. Our algorithm likes both but does prefer Brown (39.6 projected FanDuel points) to Williams (35.7). While Brown's matchup is right around the NBA average against Dallas, he's been a super-efficient fantasy producer since he's been given the chance in mid-March and has averaged 34.3 FanDuel points over his past eight. His full-season rate of 1.27 FanDuel points per minute is incredibly encouraging no matter the matchup, and this one isn't one to worry about. The salary jump from $5,400 to $6,500 is fair, but it's probably still too low.