FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Thursday 4/29/21
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.
Stephen Curry ($9,600) - Point guard has a lot of strong options at the top of the board, but it's Curry with the nut matchup against the Minnesota Timberwolves, who rank 30th against opposing point guards when adjusted for opponent faced. They're also 28th in adjusted defensive rating on the season. Curry, against bottom-10 point guard defenses, has averaged 49.0 FanDuel points and 1.44 FanDuel points per minute in 19 games. He has played Minnesota twice this year, resulting in 51.3 and 33.2 FanDuel points (when he shot an uncharacteristic 6 of 17 from the field).
Killian Hayes ($3,900) - The Detroit Pistons are resting a lot of veteran players tonight, and that opens the door for Hayes and the younger guys for Detroit. Without them on the court, Hayes generates 1.04 FanDuel points per minute on a 20.8% usage rate, according to RotoGrinders' CourtIQ tool. That's a boost of 2.5 percentage points on his usage rate and 0.23 FanDuel points per minute on his efficiency. The matchup with the Dallas Mavericks has a low total (214.5), but the minutes are guaranteed here.
Andrew Wiggins ($6,700) - Shooting guard is pretty barren, so we'll naturally save some salary here. Wiggins faces his former team, the Timberwolves, who are 25th against opposing shooting guards and 28th in overall adjusted defensive rating. Wiggins has put up an average of 35.5 FanDuel points in 19 games against bottom-10 shooting guard defenses (1.07 FanDuel points per minute). Wiggins has lopsided games of 47.2 and 25.1 FanDuel points against Minnesota this season but overall totaled 1.19 FanDuel points per minute against the T'Wolves.
Donte DiVincenzo ($4,800) - The Milwaukee Bucks are big favorites over the Houston Rockets, but when Milwaukee is favored by 10.0 or more, DiVincenzo has averaged 23.6 FanDuel points per game (over 18 games) with a per-minute rate of 0.90 FanDuel points. The Rockets are 29th against opposing shooting guards, too, and against bottom-10 opponents (17 games), he's averaged 24.4 FanDuel points and 0.88 FanDuel points per minute. That's right where he needs to be at $4,800.
Kevin Durant ($9,300) - I glossed over Kyrie Irving a bit to focus on Curry, though I can't stress enough that he's a great play. Given that, and given the state of small forward, I have to highlight Durant against the Indiana Pacers. Durant, over his past two games since returning, has recorded 54.2 and 44.0 FanDuel points in wildly different fashions. Against the Phoenix Suns, he was 12 of 21 from the field for 33 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, and 1 block. Against the Toronto Raptors, he had 17 points on 5-of-7 shooting but added 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks. We're still seeing 50-plus-point upside from KD at a sub-$10,000 salary.
Kevin Porter Jr. ($5,600) - Porter Jr. and the Rockets are big underdogs, but that's typical. We're projecting him for a value (FanDuel points per $1,000) of 5.60 by way of 31.5 FanDuel points over 31.3 minutes. Porter Jr.'s matchup with Milwaukee is actually solid on the wing, as the Bucks are worse against small forwards than any other position. In nine games as a double-digit underdog, Porter Jr. has averaged 36.4 FanDuel points over 33.0 minutes, good for 1.11 FanDuel points per minute.
Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,200) - Power forward is loaded and top-heavy, so we really need to think twice before chasing low-ceiling value at this position compared to others (such as small forward and shooting guard). Antetokounmpo and the Bucks are big favorites here, but that's not a huge issue, historically. In 17 games where Milwaukee has been favored by at least 10.0 points, Giannis has averaged 56.7 FanDuel points per game over 32.2 minutes (1.76 FanDuel points per minute).
Isaiah Stewart ($5,900) - Stewart, like Hayes, benefits from all the open opportunity available due to the Pistons' decision to rest the veterans. Stewart averages 1.14 FanDuel points per minute and has a 17.3% usage rate in a 260-minute sample this season, according to RotoGrinders' CourtIQ tool, without the players Detroit is listing as out. Our algorithm projects him for 29.9 FanDuel points in 31.0 minutes.
Karl-Anthony Towns ($9,700) - Towns and Nikola Jokic ($10,900) are the main center studs tonight, and so we're dealing with opportunity cost involved at the position before it drops off drastically and quickly. That matters. Jokic, though, is on a back-to-back, and Towns is facing a Golden State Warriors team that ranks 28th in rebounding rate this season and 23rd against opposing centers. In 15 games against bottom-10 center defenses, Towns averages 1.52 FanDuel points per minute and 53.0 FanDuel points per game this season. At the same salary, Jokic would obviously be the better play, but $1,200 can go a long way on a six-game slate.