FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Sunday 4/4/21
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 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. Our projections update up until tip-off to reflect current news, we have player news updates, and the FanDuel Scout app will send push notifications for pressing updates regarding your players.
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.
Let's break down today's main slate on FanDuel.
The New Orleans Pelicans are once again the epicenter of injury news in the NBA. They have been without Zion Williamson (thumb), Brandon Ingram (toe), and Lonzo Ball (hip) for multiple games, but it sounds like each of the three have a chance to return for Sunday's contest with the Houston Rockets. On the other side of that matchup, Houston point man John Wall may miss his third straight game with a knee injury as well.
The Atlanta Hawks also have some pending statuses for Sunday. Trae Young is questionable after missing Friday's game over New Orleans with a knee injury, and John Collins has been ruled out with an ankle injury already. They may also be missing Danilo Gallinari, who joined Young on the sidelines with an Achilles injury. The Golden State Warriors will face Atlanta with Stephen Curry back in the lineup, but they are not entirely out of the woods with Draymond Green still questionable with his finger ailment.
The other two games are far cleaner, as the only other major rotational injuries with the Philadelphia 76ers. George Hill is still yet to make his 76ers' debut with a thumb injury. The Orlando Magic will be missing Otto Porter due a foot injury and Michael Carter-Williams due to an illness.
Stephen Curry ($9,000): Health is a giant assumption for the former league MVP, but assuming Curry is at least in a position to play 30-plus healthy minutes, this salary is too low in a good matchup. Curry holds a 31.7% usage rate and 1.37 FanDuel points per minute -- which is pretty absurd for a guy with just average rebounding and assist totals. Curry will attack the Hawks Sunday, who have allowed the seventh-most FanDuel points per game in the league to opposing point guards. Especially with Trae Young and John Wall gigantic question marks on the health front, Curry is the smart spot to spend at point guard.
Ja Morant ($6,800): The fantasy game of the day is in Philadelphia, as Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies take on the 76ers, who are approaching full strength. Both squads are top 10 in pace, and in tournaments, the ceiling is too high with Ja Morant to ignore. Even with blowouts in two of his past five contests, Morant has still exceeded 50 FanDuel points in two other contests in that same span. Morant has always been the star in the backcourt, but he is especially targetable as Dillon Brooks has seen his minutes drop.
Lou Williams ($4,800): The Easter Bunny came early for the Hawks, who somehow managed to pluck the multiple-time Sixth Man of the Year away from the Los Angeles Clippers for Rajon Rondo, who never was a solid system fit as Trae Young's backup. With a fairly similar skill set, Williams is a much better one, and he showcased that by dropping 19 points and 8 assists in 30 minutes on Friday in a game that Young missed. Williams has a solid 21.6% usage rate with Atlanta so far and is a top value option again should Young be missing from the lineup on Sunday.
Chasson Randle ($4,000): The Magic are shorthanded, which is actually incredibly nice for daily fantasy. Six Magic players saw over 30 minutes on Saturday, despite a 46-point final margin against the Utah Jazz. Randle's salary is the most affordable of the starters, making him a solid target. Coming off an outing that saw him post 3.2 FanDuel points, he posted 32.2 FanDuel points on Thursday. A middle ground would entirely acceptable. Averaging 33.5 minutes per game in the pair of contests despite blowouts is encouraging for his floor as well.
Bogdan Bogdanovic ($7,200): While his teammate, Williams, has adjusted well to his new team, the winner of the Hawks' recent injury skid is Bogdanovic after spending much of the year out of the lineup himself. Bogdanovic has led the team the past week in both usage (25.1%) and FanDuel points per minute (1.25) when Trae Young has been off the floor, and even though his salary has surged, it still remains below what one would expect for someone in that per-minute production tier. The salary is likely too rich if both Young and Danilo Gallinari return on Sunday, but if they do not, Bogdanovic is once again Atlanta's top option and the top option at this weaker smaller forward position on Sunday.
Kevin Porter Jr. ($6,000): The Rockets have to be encouraged by what they have found in "KPJ," as the young Southern California Trojans product has returned to his groove after missing three contests with a quad injury. Porter Jr. has scored at least 29 FanDuel points in three of four games since returning, and his peripherals would indicate that floor is here to stay, as a solid 24.9% usage rate and 0.90 FanDuel points per minute is what to expect in a player at this salary. If all Hawks return, a Porter Jr. stack of Kevin and Michael Porter Jr. might be on the table alongside an Easter ham.
Other Notable Plays: Brandon Ingram ($8,000), Michael Porter Jr. ($7,200)
Aaron Gordon ($6,800): The Denver Nuggets are legitimately the best team in the NBA since the Aaron Gordon trade was made. They have the best offensive and defensive rating in the league in that span, and the athletic wing Gordon is a huge reason why. His sample is a bit ambiguous at this point, as Denver eased him into the lineup amongst a change in system and nagging injuries, but his last game was his first full game -- and his best one. He posted 44.2 FanDuel points in 38 minutes, and now in a more efficient offense, that could be a reasonable mark to expect his ceiling at considering he averaged 0.86 FanDuel points per minute in Orlando.
Chuma Okeke ($6,300): The pleasant surprise from the trade deadline offloading for Orlando is the second-year player Okeke, who has posted 31.8 minutes since the deal. He is also averaging 1.02 FanDuel points per minute in that stretch, which trails only Wendell Carter Jr. amongst starters. On a larger slate, Okeke is likely not a target in this spot as a 15.5-point underdog, but there may still be a slight upside factor with Otto Porter out for Sunday's game in Denver.
Clint Capela ($9,000): With John Collins out, Clint Capela has gone back to nuclear status. Capela is averaging 55.2 FanDuel points in his last two contests without Collins. Capela's usage story is interesting, given that he drops 0.07 FanDuel points per game on the entire season without Collins, but also sees a 0.04-point-per-minute increase when Trae Young is off the floor as well. His production this past week has run entirely opposite that trend: his 1.49 FanDuel points per minute leads the Hawks in that sample, and he sees a favorable matchup with Golden State, who allows the most offensive rebounds per game (10.7) in the NBA.
Austin Swaim is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Austin Swaim also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username ASwaim3. 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.