FanDuel DFS NBA Strategy Advice: Wednesday (4/21)
Last night’s small five-game slate served as a fantastic appetizer to the massive 12-game slate on tap for tonight. With 24 teams in action tonight, value abounds — you just need to know where to look.
Each week, I’ll be here to profile some strong value plays, studs, and duds for Wednesday’s FanDuel slate. I’ll do my best to point you in the right direction, and if you have any questions, you can hit me up on Twitter at @is_sirois. All matchup data is pulled from our defense versus position tool.
Most Value Per Dollar
Tonight’s loaded 12-game slate features a pair of games with betting totals above 235: GSW/WAS (238) and MIN/SAC (239). We’ve also got a few games with totals above 225, too: OKC/IND (229), BKN/TOR (228.5), UTA/HOU (226), MEM/LAC (227), and DEN/POR (229). With so many high-scoring contests to choose from, don’t expect me to feature many players outside of those matchups.
On the injury front, the Clippers won’t have Kawhi Leonard this week, and both Patrick Beverley and Serge Ibaka will remain out. Elsewhere, the Nuggets must continue adjusting to life without Jamal Murray, and the Pacers won’t have Domantas Sabonis or Myles Turner. For instant DFS injury insight, give @betonthegame a follow.
Below is a list of the top-10 players of the day expected to generate the most value relative to their salary, ranked in order of how much they’ll cost you.
Bam Adebayo (MIA) $7,700
Adebayo is questionable for this matchup, but this price tag is a bit low for him if he plays. The Spurs may play decent defense, and this score doesn’t have an attractive total, but our projections expect Adebayo to score at least 42.6 FanDuel (FD) points — that’s good for 5.5x value at a price this low. He went for 45.5 (5.9x value) in his last outing.
Ja Morant (MEM) $6,800
Why is Morant this cheap? Yes, I’m aware that the Clippers are a strong defense team. That still doesn’t explain why Morant, who averages 34.6 FanDuel points per game (FDPPG) — or 5.1x value against this price — is this cheap. With Jonas Valanciunas sidelined with a concussion, Morant has had to step up for Memphis. He scored 71.6 FD points in the first game that Valanciunas missed, but that matchup went into overtime and inflated Morant’s final stat line. However, he still averaged 1.59 FanDuel points per minute (FDPPM), so he would’ve had 57.3 FD points (8.5x value) on a normal 36-minute workload.
D’Angelo Russell (MIN) $6,300
Wow. Yesterday’s game between the T’Wolves and Kings got really out of hand, as two of the NBA’s fastest-paced teams (and worst defenses) faced off. The two teams combined for a whopping 254 points! Russell scored 28 of them in just 25 minutes of playing time. He ended up with 38.6 FD points (6.1x value), good for 1.54 FDPPM. If these teams play like they did last night, expect Russell to easily hit value again — especially since Sacramento surrenders the third-most FDPPG to shooting guards.
Harrison Barnes (SAC) $6,000
Like Russell, Barnes also exploded last night. He dropped 36.1 FD points through 38 minutes (6x value), so he wasn’t as efficient as Russell, but the price is what earns Barnes a spot on this list. You can trust him to get a boatload of volume for the Kings, and as long as Richaun Holmes remains out, he should lead the Kings in rebounds.
Buddy Hield (SAC) $5,800
Unlike Russell and Barnes, Hield was actually pretty unremarkable last night. He scored just 22.8 FD points (3.9x value), but the Kings didn’t give him a ton of run — he played only 28 minutes. Hield just couldn’t get hot from deep — he went three for 11 from three-point land. I suspect he’ll get things turned around tonight, especially since the T’Wolves give up the most FDPPG to small forwards.
Ivica Zubac (LAC) $5,100
Well, Ibaka and Leonard are out, so Zubac will continue to do a lot of work on the inside and off the glass. He posted a rock-solid 25.2 FD points (4.9x value) against the Trail Blazers last night, and he’ll face the Valanciunas-less Grizzlies this evening. Memphis allowed Jokic to go for 47 points, 15 rebounds, and eight assists in their first game without Val, so Zubac is in an incredibly strong spot on this slate.
Kevon Looney (GSW) $4,100
Here’s another price that I just don’t understand. James Wiseman is done for the year, and Looney has played 28 minutes per game since he went down. Although he hasn’t been a stat-sheet stuffer, he has hit 5x value against this price in three of those five games, some of which came against formidable opponents at center (Jokic, Embiid, and Allen). But Looney won’t have a strong opponent to face tonight — he’ll play the Wizards, and Washington gives up the second-most FDPPG to centers.
Reggie Bullock (NYK) $3,800
The first rule of fantasy sports is to not chase points, but Bullock has hit 5x value against this price in each of his last five games. The Knicks are pressed for depth at small forward with Alec Burks out, and Bullock has capitalized. Although we can chalk three of his big games up to poor perimeter defenses (he played the two worst perimeter defenses in three of his most recent five games), look for New York to keep riding the hot hand tonight.
PJ Dozier (DEN) $3,800
Dozier has hit 5x value in two of his last three games. He has seen an expanded role since Jamal Murray tore his ACL, but his price doesn’t reflect his newfound usage. Look for Dozier to exploit a Portland defense that’s on the wrong end of a back-to-back.
Oshae Brissett (IND) $3,800
I may have saved the best deal for last, friends. With Turner and Sabonis sidelined, the Pacers may have to feature Brissett heavily, especially if Goga Bitadze‘s sprained ankle forces him to miss time. Brissett may be listed as a small forward, but the Pacers have featured him at power forward and center, so you should feel confident about featuring him in your FanDuel lineups this evening.
Studs Worth Their Salary
- Stephen Curry (GSW) $10,200: How can you not want a piece of a red-hot Stephen Curry? He has gone for 50-plus FD points in seven of his last eight games, including a pair of back-to-back 60-plus point outings. He should easily hit value in a high-scoring battle against the Wizards, especially since they allow the fourth-most FDPPG to point guards.
- Paul George (LAC) $9,400: With Leonard sidelined, it’s time to trust George. He roasted the Blazers for 53.7 FD points last night and scored the game-winning free throw. He’ll face the Grizzlies tonight, and Memphis surrenders the most points per game to opposing small forwards, where George spends 89% of his minutes.
- Bradley Beal (WAS) $8,500: Beal’s price remains too low for his upside — and for his recent performance. He has gone for at least 5x against this price in three of his last five games. He has averaged 44.1 FDPPG (5.2x value) through that stretch, too.
- Malcolm Brogdon (IND) $7,500: The current state of Indiana’s roster points to value on Brogdon. He’ll have to pick up most of the slack with Sabonis and Turner out, and this price is too low against an opponent like Oklahoma City.
Notable Players to Fade
- Luka Doncic (DAL) $11,000: The Pistons and Mavericks are both slow-paced teams, and it’s hard to get excited about Doncic’s ceiling on this slate. You’re better off looking elsewhere at point guard.
- Trae Young (ATL) $9,500: Like Doncic’s, Young’s salary is far higher than it should be. The Knicks are the NBA’s slowest team and give up the fewest FDPPG to point guards. Yikes.
- Christian Wood (HOU) $8,000: I usually like Wood when his salary is sub-$8.5K, but the Utah Jazz give up the second-fewest FDPPG to power forwards and the 10th-fewest to centers. I’m not going to bet against Rudy Gobert tonight.
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