FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Monday 5/10/21
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.
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 six-game slate, which locks at 7:30 PM Eastern.
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 since the league's trade deadline.
Teams are sorted by their implied total.
Trae Young ($8,400) - There are a number of appealing options at the top of the point guard pool tonight, though none appeal more to me than Young. First off, the Atlanta Hawks have the slate's second-highest implied total, and we'll definitely want exposure to all those points. Second, Young's individual matchup is flat-out delicious. On the season, the Washington Wizards have allowed the second-most fantasy points to point guards, per numberFire's DvP tool. The 22-year-old has dropped at least 48.8 FanDuel points in four of his last eight games, and there's no reason he can't be in that range tonight.
Raul Neto ($4,800) - With Bradley Beal out tonight, Neto is bound to see an uptick in usage for the Wizards. The 28-year-old has managed 24.8 or more FanDuel points in four of his last six games, and the added volume should only raise his floor and ceiling. He'll be going up against an Atlanta defense that's bottom-12 against both guard positions this season.
Collin Sexton ($7,500) - As I outlined in today's studs column, I'm going to be all over Sexton tonight. Among others, the Cleveland Cavaliers will likely be without Darius Garland, Larry Nance Jr., and Taurean Prince, which means that Sexton could be in line for heavy volume. The youngster will also get a delicious matchup, as he faces an Indiana Pacers team that's allowing the fourth-most fantasy points (including the most assists) to opposing point guards over their last 15 games, while they're eighth-worst versus two-guards during that period, according to FantasyPros. Sexton has managed at least 35.8 fantasy points in seven of his last nine games, giving him a rock-solid floor here.
Khyri Thomas ($4,800) - Thomas has played two games for the Houston Rockets and in those two games he's erupted for 33.1 and 56.5 FanDuel points. Listing the players that are out for Houston would take way too much time, but that list is longer than a CVS receipt. There's no reason why the Rockets shouldn't continue to give Thomas a large role, especially after how he performed in those first two games. He's our algorithm's second-best projected value on the entire slate.
De'Anthony Melton ($3,600) - The Memphis Grizzlies will once again be without Grayson Allen tonight, which means that Melton is back on the value board. The 22-year-old would need 18 fantasy points to accrue five-times value (or 5.0 fantasy points for every $1,000 in salary), and that's a number he's topped in four of his last six efforts. Tonight's matchup certainly doesn't hurt his outlook -- the New Orleans Pelicans rank 23rd against shooting guards this campaign.
Kyle Anderson ($5,900) - There are no studs at the small forward position that I'm in a hurry to get into my lineups, so we'll instead focus on the best plays overall -- that starts with Anderson. The 27-year-old has amassed 27.5 or more FanDuel points in five of his last six games and he has eclipsed 27 in 19 of his last 23 -- that includes 14 outputs of 32 or more. That level of consistency is hard to find, especially at a salary under $6,000. A meeting with the shorthanded Pelicans is just an added bonus.
Norman Powell ($5,600) - Finding two plays to feel good about at small forward is going to be a chore, but Powell needs to be considered given his form and matchup. The 27-year-old has put up fewer than 24.9 fantasy points just once in his last eight outings, and that includes at least 35 in three of them. His matchup with Houston is titillating, as they enter tonight ranking 27th versus small forwards.
Domantas Sabonis ($10,700) - While we do have Giannis Antetokounmpo and Russell Westbrook on this slate, perhaps the most economical way of getting 70-point upside in your lineup is by rostering Sabonis. In the five games since returning from his injury, Sabonis has surpassed 67 fantasy points three times, and he has not garnered fewer than 46.6 in any of those contests. According to NBA.com, no team in the league has been worse defensively over their last 15 games than the Cavs, which makes this a great spot for the All-Star to feast.
James Johnson ($4,400) - Johnson is seemingly the "free square" on tonight's six-gamer. With the Pels likely down each of Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and Steven Adams, Johnson will likely get all he can handle as the main cog in New Orleans' frontcourt. In 30.6 minutes last night, Johnson dropped 33.6 FanDuel points on the Charlotte Hornets. He should have no trouble taking advantage of a Memphis interior that ranks second-to-last against centers over their last 30 games.
Kelly Olynyk ($8,100) - Regardless of what his matchup is, it's getting increasingly difficult to argue against rostering Olynyk. Over his last eight games, Olynyk has surpassed 45 fantasy points seven times, including at least 48.5 in five of his last six. While the Portland Trail Blazers have been one of the stingier teams against centers over the last couple of months, we should not forget that Olynyk dropped 45.1 FanDuel points on the team that's stringiest to the position (the Denver Nuggets) and 63.2 on the squad that ranks second (Philadelphia 76ers). I'd only be hesitant here if Christian Wood were active.
Willy Hernangomez ($5,800) - The other healthy regular in New Orleans' frontcourt is Hernangomez. WIlly has accumulated at least 32.5 FanDuel points in five of his last nine efforts, and that includes 34.3 and 34.7 in his last two. As I mentioned in the James Johnson blurb, the Grizzlies have just been atrocious at defending the five for quite a while now. If you don't have the cap to spend up at center, Hernangomez is likely your next-best option.