FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Friday 4/23/21

Jayson Tatum is primed for a huge night with Jaylen Brown and Kemba Walker out for the Celtics. Who else should we target on Friday's seven-game slate?

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 7:30 PM Eastern.

All injury updates are via the NBA's official injury report or numberFire's player news.

Slate Overview

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.

Team Opp Over/
Spread Implied
Rank Opp Adj.
WSH OKC 230.0 -9.5 119.75 104.7 24 114.1 23
POR MEM 233.0 -3.5 118.25 119.2 6 109.4 8
BKN BOS 230.0 -5.0 117.50 120.5 5 111.2 12
LAC HOU 222.5 -10.5 116.50 123.6 1 115.6 25
DEN GS 228.0 -2.0 115.0 122.3 2 108.3 7
MEM POR 233.0 3.5 114.75 112.0 13 121.0 29
GS DEN 228.0 2.0 113.0 106.9 22 112.8 16
BOS BKN 230.0 5.0 112.50 114.6 11 115.7 26
OKC WSH 230.0 9.5 110.25 95.9 30 112.8 15
MIA ATL 214.0 -5.0 109.50 105.9 23 113.7 21
CHA CLE 211.0 -2.0 106.50 107.8 19 113.5 19
HOU LAC 222.5 10.5 106.0 98.7 27 110.4 10
ATL MIA 214.0 5.0 104.50 116.4 9 107.6 6
CLE CHA 211.0 2.0 104.50 98.7 28 113.0 17

Point Guard


Kyrie Irving ($9,700) - Irving will be squaring off the Boston Celtics, a team he's pegged for 57.1 and 58.2 FanDuel points in two meetings this season. Kyrie has topped 51 fantasy points in 8 of his last 14 games, and he's managed at least 44.4 in 11 of those 14. Over their last 30 games, Boston has surrendered the third-most real-life points to the position, per FantasyPros, and tonight they'll be without Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown, and Robert Williams -- their defense is certain to take a hit.

Other Studs to Consider (listed in order of preference): Stephen Curry ($10,000), Russell Westbrook ($11,000), Damian Lillard ($8,700)

Value Play

Raul Neto ($3,600) - Neto dropped 34.6 FanDuel points on Wednesday while playing a season-high 36.3 minutes, and he's bound to see that kind of playing time again as the Washington Wizards will be without Rui Hachimura and Deni Avdija. The matchup for Neto and the Wizards is just delicious. The Oklahoma City Thunder rank dead last against opposing point guards over their last 30 games. Neto is our model's top-projected value on the entire slate.

Other Mid-Range and Value Options: Brandon Goodwin ($5,000), Theo Maledon ($4,600), Rajon Rondo ($3,600)

Shooting Guard


Paul George ($9,400) - George and the Los Angeles Clippers are taking on the Houston Rockets tonight, a team that ranks 27th against two-guards this season, according to numberFire's DvP tool. George has amassed 50.1, 53.7, 57.4, and 58.8 fantasy points in his last four games without Kawhi in the lineup, and Kawhi is facing a multi-game absence. PG13 is a top play at shooting guard.

Other Studs to Consider: Bradley Beal ($9,000), C.J. McCollum ($7,800)

Value Play

Marcus Smart ($6,900) - Given that Boston will be down Kemba Walker and Jaylen Brown, Smart looks like an elite play. The 27-year-old has topped 35 FanDuel points in four of his last seven efforts, and the added volume brought on by Boston's shortened rotation should allow him to do so again tonight.

Other Mid-Range and Value Options: Kevin Huerter ($5,400), Armoni Brooks ($4,200), P.J. Dozier ($3,800)

Small Forward


Bogdan Bogdanovic ($7,500) - Speaking of shortened rotations, the Atlanta Hawks currently have Trae Young, De'Andre Hunter, and Cam Reddish listed as out, while Danilo Gallinari, Clint Capela, and Tony Snell are questionable. In his last three outings without Young in the lineup, Bogdanovic has averaged 43.7 fantasy points. He should be able to feast on a Miami Heat squad that's allowing the second-most made threes to small forwards this season.

Other Studs to Consider: Jimmy Butler ($9,300), Michael Porter Jr. ($7,400)

Value Play

Lu Dort ($5,700) - Dort is currently questionable, but if he suits up, he's likely the top play at small forward. Our algorithm currently doesn't have a single player projected to return a value figure of 5.0 or better, but given his recent form, Dort could blow that out of the water. In four of his last six outings, Dort has garnered outputs of 35.1, 37.1, 45.2, and 64.9, with the latter two coming in his last two games. That upside could certainly be on display against a Washington Wizards unit that ranks 26th versus the position in 2020-21.

Other Mid-Range and Value Options: Kyle Anderson ($6,300), Joe Harris ($5,300), Kent Bazemore ($5,300)

Power Forward


Jayson Tatum ($9,500) - This might seem like a no-brainer, but I'm locking Tatum into all my lineups tonight. With Brown, Walker, Robert Williams, and Evan Fournier off the court this season, Tatum sports a 35.2% usage rate while averaging a salivating 1.42 FanDuel points per minute. That should play very well against a Brooklyn interior that's allowed the second-most fantasy points to power forwards over their last 30 contests.

Other Studs to Consider: Christian Wood ($8,000), Draymond Green ($7,400), John Collins ($7,200 - Bump if Capela is out)

Value Play

Xavier Tillman ($5,000) - The Memphis Grizzlies will once again be without Jonas Valanciunas, which means we're going to turn right back to Tillman. In the last two games with Valanciunas out, Tillman has erupted for 31.4 and 44.3 FanDuel points. He should be in that range again tonight.

Other Mid-Range and Value Options: Kevin Love ($6,300), Aaron Gordon ($5,100), Davis Bertans ($4,800)



Nikola Jokic ($11,300) - There are two things you need to know about Jokic. The first is that he put up just 42.3 FanDuel points in his last game out on Wednesday. The second is that he hasn't had many cold streaks this season. In fact, the last 12 times the Serbian has failed to reach or surpass 45 fantasy points, he's rebounded with an average of 58.1 the next game -- that includes eight performances with more than 55 and five with 61.5-plus. He'll get an excellent chance to bounce back tonight, as the Golden State Warriors have given up the third-most fantasy points to centers over their last 30 games.

Other Studs to Consider: Clint Capela ($9,300), Bam Adebayo ($8,500)

Value Play

Kelly Olynyk ($5,200) - Olynyk has squared off against a couple of really tough frontcourts in his last two games, but prior to that, he had surpassed 27 FanDuel points in 12 of his previous 13 outings, including eight outputs of 34.7-plus. A matchup against the shorthanded Clippers shouldn't be too intimidating tonight. Los Angeles has conceded the 10th-most real-life points to the five position over their last 15 matchups.

Other Mid-Range and Value Options: Tristan Thompson ($4,800), Jusuf Nurkic ($5,800)