Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 4/6/18
As the end of the week is here and the playoff picture becomes a bit more clear, we find ourselves with a daily fantasy basketball 10-game mixed slate. A couple of mouth-watering division rivals stand out, but the end of the regular season is only five days away, so let's get while the getting is good.
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The Pelicans and The Suns being the two fastest-paced teams in the NBA tonight, we know that there are going to be plenty of opportunities for Rondo to do what he does best, full-assist mode. With Ian Clark now missing at least the rest of regular season play with an ankle sprain suffered in Wednesday night's game, Rondo will start to see his minutes increase. The Pelicans are clinging to a one-game lead over the Nuggets for the all-important No. 8 spot, and the Timberwolves and Clippers are right on their heels as well. Phoenix gives up 6.4 Assists per game to point guard starters, a number that Rondo is sure to take advantage of in Friday night's action.
Tyler Ulis FD - $5600 DK - $5900
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 29.2 DK - 29.32
The other side of the coin in this game might not seem as safe on paper, but I'm not so sure. Ulis has played 36+ minutes in each of his last 5 games as a starter, and that has covered a number of different game scripts. He's also paid 5x-6x points per dollar at a minimum in each of his last 5 games in spite of some tough match-ups. Tonight he'll go up against one of the worst defenders at the position in the entire league in Rajon Rondo, and in an uptempo game he looks like a great guy to pair with Rondo for your cash game purposes.
Also considered: Trey Burke. He'll be tough to trust in a slow match-up with Miami, but the guy has averaged 22.4 points, 2.2 rebound, 8 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.6 3-pointers over the last five games.
Andrew Wiggins FD - $6400 DK - $7100
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 32.03 DK - 32.3
If Minnesota wants to stay in the playoff hunt, then they are going to need this win against the Lakers on Friday night. The combination of Teague, Wiggins and Towns can be lethal at times, however, everyone needs to take their game to the next level as they are holding on for dear life to that number eight seed in the West. Jimmy Butler should be out there again tonight, which will likely affect both Wiggins' minutes and his usage. Still, the Lakers are one of the fastest teams in the league, and since they no longer have anything to play for, I think you can confidently roll out the Wolves' starters.
Tim Hardaway Jr. FD - $6000 DK - $6400
Opponent - MIA
Proj Pts FD - 31.36 DK - 32.42
It's not exactly the name you're hoping to see for cash game purposes, but with Beasley questionable and Kanter out, Hardaway's numbers have been proven to shoot up dramatically. In those spots his usage rate climbs to 30.7%, and his peripheral numbers tick up as well. Even though the Knicks are playing for lottery balls right now, Hardaway always seems to leave it all on the court no matter what the situation is and the Knicks are happy to leave him on the court and show off their "investment." As I mentioned in the Burke writeup it's far from a great match-up, but the position is thin enough that I think you might need to stomach it.
Also considered: I suspect Jrue Holiday will get a lot of looks in a phenomenal match-up with the Suns, but I'm not sure his baseline performance is enough to justify the advanced price. You could also think about Rodney Hood on the cheapest end of the spectrum, particularly if George Hill sits again.
LeBron James FD - $11400 DK - $11500
Opponent - PHI
Proj Pts FD - 57.99 DK - 58.81
LeBron dazzled and impressed once again, saving himself for the knockout punch in the fourth quarter against the Wizards on Thursday night. He finished the electrifying comeback just one rebound short of a triple-double. All in all, he finished with 33 points, 14 assists, nine rebounds, two 3-pointers in a total of 39 minutes. The only thing that might hurt you tonight against the 76ers is that he is on the second night of a back-to-back, but with numbers over the last ten games like 30.1 points, 9.2 rebounds and 10.2 assists you have to start to doubt if he is even human. They're playing for what looks like a pretty valuable three seed here, so don't be surprised to see LeBron in beast mode once again.
Josh Jackson FD - $8000 DK - $7400
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 37 DK - 37.18
Ever since Devin Booker (hand) and T.J. Warren (knee) have been out since mid-March Jackson has taken the ball and ran with it. Over his last ten games, while playing an average of 34.9 minutes, he has managed to put up 22.1 points per game, 5.6 rebounds and 3.1 assists. After Tuesday night's dazzling performance against the Kings (28-6-2), his coach Jay Triano talked about how Jackson is "finding his way" and is "electric" in the open court. I am not sure exactly why the Suns are sticking with playing these guys big minutes given the fact that they're trying to lose and potentially risking their good young players, but who am I to look a gift horse in the mouth?
Robert Covington FD - $6800 DK - $6400
Opponent - CLE
Proj Pts FD - 30.73 DK - 30.97
Covington's shooting might not always rack up the fantasy points, but he excels at gathering rebounds and steals. He was 60% owned on a small slate his last time around and handily paid 5x points per dollar in spite of not playing his full run of minutes. It might not be a bad idea to create a mini-76ers stack for Friday night's slate, considering they're playing to extend their winning stream, gain 2 games on their playoff rival, and show that they are more than just a supporting cast for Joel Embiid.
Anthony Davis FD - $13000 DK - $12000
Opponent - PHO
Proj Pts FD - 67.24 DK - 66.86
As mentioned previously, this game is going to be one of the fastest-paced NBA games of the year. Davis showed the potential of this match-up by managing to score nearly triple-digits in the daily fantasy basketball world last time they played. As long as this isn't a blowout, and with the likes of Marquese Chriss and Alex Len being your best shots of stopping this beast, he will more than likely go off once again. The price tag is one of the highest you'll ever see on FanDuel and Draftkings, so the question you have to ask yourself, "Is it worth it?" What if you can't play him alongside LeBron? With a gun to my head I think I'd choose Davis, but with the number of good value plays (like Ulis for instance) and a totally unknown situation in Memphis I think we wind up seeing enough value to get there.
Ersan Ilyasova FD - $5200 DK - $5700
Opponent - CLE
Proj Pts FD - 28.56 DK - 29
With the current highest total of the night (224),the pace of this game should be fast and furious. Dario Saric is listed as questionable for tonight's game which should give Illysova plenty of opportunities to prove his talents. In his last five starts, he has 12.6 points, eight rebounds and 24.9 minutes per game. Recent games have suggested his true rotation is something like 29 or so minutes, and going up against a defensively challenged Cleveland front court should only help matters. I kinda love him here.
Amir Johnson FD - $4100 DK - $3900
Opponent - CLE
Proj Pts FD - 28.17 DK - 27.24
Another player who has benefited from minutes due to the unfortunate injury of Joel Embiid is Johnson. His minutes have increased to over 27 minutes in the past three games, and at $3900 on DraftKings you only need him to get you 20 fantasy points to get you 5x value. He's not a super exciting play necessarily, but the fantasy point floor he's provided in this role has been solid, and if it means helping you pay up for Davis and LeBron you should at least consider it.
Karl-Anthony Towns FD - $10000 DK - $10100
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 49.47 DK - 51.26
Towns managed to score 26 points with 13 rebounds, four assists and two 3-pointers in a game where he fouled out on Thursday. As mentioned previously, Minnesota is in a must-win situation if they want the eighth spot in the West. If I know Thibs at all, he's going to press Towns as hard as he can go for the remainder of the short season. Over the course of the past ten games, he has averaged a double-double with 25 points and 12.7 rebounds, and while Butler likely chews into some of his value, the fast paced match-up with the Lakers should more than make up for it. The price has come down a bit as well, which doesn't hurt matters. I am not sure if you can fit Towns, LeBron, and Brow, though, and if I simply had to choose I would lean toward the other two guys.
Kyle O'Quinn FD - $6800 DK - $5700
Opponent - MIA
Proj Pts FD - 33.12 DK - 31.75
O'Quinn looked solid against his former team on Tuesday night, hitting 6-of-13 shots for 13 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks. Scoring a high-ceiling of 40 DraftKings points and 41 FanDuel points, he proved that he could provide the Knicks with a much-needed morality (and performance) boost with the likes of Enes Kanter (back) and Michael Beasley (illness) unable to play. But like, $6,800 for a guy we've been terrified to play at $4,500 in the past? Man, center is really brutal tonight. Let's hope some value opens up as we get closer to lock!