Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA picks for 4/5/19
Now’s your chance to get DFSR PRO, which will give you access to our NBA optimizer and our new player lab! Get started for free by clicking the button below.
First time with NBA? Be sure to read our free NBA Ebooks on building lineups, general strategy and more. We've got you completely covered.
It's been a nightmare season for the Pelicans but Elfrid Payton has been a huge bright spot for them. What's really made him special is the fact that everyone on this roster is injured, with Anthony Davis, Frank Jackson, Jrue Holiday and E'Twaun Moore expected to miss this game. Not only does that guarantee minutes for Payton, but it also guarantees heavy usage. It shows in his fantasy production, with Payton averaging 36 DK points per game across his last 11 outings. His upside has been incredible too, with Payton scoring at least 51 fantasy points five times in that stretch. The matchup is simply the icing on the cake, with Phoenix ranking 29th in defensive efficiency while allowing the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing PG's this season. That's evident by the fact that Payton is averaging 47 DK points per game in two meetings with the Suns this season.
With Dennis Smith Jr. now out of the picture, Mudiay is the starting point guard for the Knicks. It's clear they want to ride him to the finish line too, with Mudiay averaging 30 DK points per game across 33 minutes of action in his last 11 games. Where that's really evident is in his usage, with Mudiay leading this roster with a 26 percent usage rate. Any player with that sort of usage and minutes workload is worth a shot, especially against a Houston defense who allows the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing point guards.
With Mike Conley expected to miss this game, Dorsey becomes one of the best value plays on the board. Since capturing the starting shooting guard job two weeks ago, Dorsey has scored at least 16 DK points in all seven starts he's made. His production without Conley is brilliant though, with Dorsey averaging 32 DK points per game in those four fixtures. That's unbelievable production from a player in the $4,000-range and he should continue to see monster minutes and usage in Conley's absence. Not to mention, he faces a Dallas defense who owns a 26th OPRK against shooting guards this season according to DraftKings.
Damyean Dotson FD - $4700 DK - $5600
Opponent - HOU
Proj Pts FD - 27.74 DK - 28.51
Dotson has become the Knicks best scorer this season and he's tough to fade in the $5,000-range. His role is hard to overlook, with Dotson averaging 13 shots and 32.4 minutes per game across his last 22 outings. His fantasy production has been nice too, with Dotson averaging 25 DK points per game in that span. That's all you can ask for from someone in this price range, as he's actually scored at least 32 fantasy points seven times in his last 14 games. Houston is not a matchup to fear either, as he'll likely be matched up with the defensively-inept James Harden.
Jordan McRae is a per-minute monster and could be a huge value in the $4,000-range if any of the premier Wizards players sit.
Mario Hezonja FD - $4100 DK - $4700
Opponent - HOU
Proj Pts FD - 24.65 DK - 24.78
Hezonja's volatility makes him a tough sell but his most recent game is hard to overlook. In fact, Hezonja collected 29 points, nine rebounds, five assists and two steals en route to 50.4 DK points against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday. That sort of performance shows the talent that this guy possesses and he should continue to see a lot of touches on this dismantled roster. He took a season-high 22 shots in that game and posted a ridiculous 34 percent usage rate, as that's hopefully a sign of things to come. Hezonja is certainly a risky bet but he's a perfect player for FanDuel, considering you can drop your lowest score.
Royce O'Neale FD - $3500 DK - $3700
Opponent - SAC
Proj Pts FD - 25.64 DK - 25.84
With Ricky Rubio looking unlikely to suit up here, O'Neale should see yet another start. While he's not a huge producer, this is a guy who sees too many minutes to fade. In his last 10 starts, O'Neale is averaging 36 minutes per game. That's unheard of from a player who's approaching a minimum price and that alone makes him worth a shot. While he's only averaging about 0.7 DK points per minute this season, that would still give him a projection of 25 DK points in 35 minutes of action. That's actually 6X value at this dirt-cheap price tag and he should succeed against a Kings team who ranks third in pace and 29th in total defense.
Richaun Holmes FD - $6900 DK - $6200
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 40.86 DK - 38.55
With DeAndre Ayton out, Holmes becomes one of the best options on the board. His per-minute numbers speak for themselves, with Holmes averaging 18.6 DK points across 16 minutes per game this season. That's about 1.3 DK points per minute and that's fantastic from a guy who we project to play to 30 minutes. Holmes actually played 38 minutes in the Suns most recent game and if he does that again against this defense, he might be the best per-dollar play on the board. In fact, New Orleans currently sits 28th in total defense while playing at the second-fastest pace in the league. In addition, they allow the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing power forwards this season.
Josh Jackson FD - $5500 DK - $5900
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 32.37 DK - 32.46
Devin Booker has been ruled out for the final three games and that should give Jackson primary ball-handling duties. It's not just Booker though, as Phoenix is expected to be without Tyler Johnson, DeAndre Ayton, Kelly Oubre and T.J. Warren too. With this lackluster roster, Jackson is leading the team with a 29 percent usage rate while averaging 1.1 DK points per minute. In the last 13 games without Booker, Jackson is averaging nearly 33 DK points per game. That sort of production is huge from a guy who could be looking at 40 minutes of action here against a Pelicans defense who owns a 30th OPRK against SF's according to DraftKings.
If you hate the Suns like most people, Ivan Rabb pops up highly in our projections with Jonas Valaciunas sitting out. Julius Randle is also a tough fade against the Suns with so many injuries for the Pelicans.
Karl-Anthony Towns FD - $10700 DK - $10300
Opponent - MIA
Proj Pts FD - 55.25 DK - 57.07
Towns is one of the best high-end options on the board, as he's simply developed into one of the best players in fantasy basketball. In fact, Towns is averaging 52.4 DK points per game across his last 30 outings. His upside has just been incredible in that span too, scoring at least 55 DK points 16 times in that stretch while reaching 70 fantasy points on five different occasions in that span. There are only a couple other players in the league who can say that and it's clear he's running the show with Jeff Teague and Derrick Rose sidelined. His last game against Miami is hard to fade too, as he accumulated 34 points, 18 rebounds, seven assists, three steals and six blocks en route to a season-best 86.5 DK points.
Nikola Vucevic FD - $9500 DK - $9600
Opponent - ATL
Proj Pts FD - 49.27 DK - 50.17
Vucevic is in the same boat as Towns, as he's simply been too good to fade. What really makes him intriguing is the fact that Orlando is fighting for their playoff lives. That should make Vucevic a guarantee for 40 minutes of action, which becomes particularly enticing in a matchup like this. Not only does Atlanta play at the fastest pace in the league, they also rank dead-last in total defense. That's crystal clear by the fact that Vucevic is averaging 53.5 DK points per game in three outings against the Hawks this season. Don't fade a guy in a must-win game who's averaging nearly 50 DK points per game against a superior matchup.
- Karl-Anthony Towns, Joffrey Lauvergne: (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)