Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Picks - Sunday, 2/21/21
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The Nets are still without Kevin Durant for the foreseeable future leaving more usage and on-ball time for Kyrie Irving. He struggled last game in this situation, going just 7-17 from the field and 0-5 from three. But in general, this is going to be a good situation for him and the price has stayed relatively in check. The Clippers are getting healthier which means they can be a problem on defense, especially for guards/ wings, but Irving’s price is still too low considering Durant is out of the lineup.
Dennis Smith should draw the start for the injured Delon Wright in this game. Detroit is now really thin at the on-ball guard position with Wright out, Killian Hayes injured and Derrick Rose traded away. That leaves Smith as one of the few true point guard types on the roster. He’s shown fits and spurts fantasy-wise since coming over from New York in the trade which probably still makes him a little risky, especially on FanDuel. But if he’s in the starting lineup then it’s worth the risk at near-the-minimum on DraftKings where he’s simply coming too cheap.
James Harden FD - $10800 DK - $10600
Opponent - LAC
Proj Pts FD - 57.26 DK - 61.89
Harden has been nothing short of amazing since coming over in the trade to the Nets. Once again, it almost doesn’t matter who he is playing with, the fantasy scoring just gets done. Over the last three games with Kevin Durant on the shelf, he’s averaging 30 points, 12 assists, and eight rebounds per game while running bit minutes. The floor is just so high considering he scores fantasy points in almost any way imaginable. The price has climbed for sure, but he plays a ton of minutes and the Nets have been a good team even without Durant on the floor.
Josh Jackson FD - $5100 DK - $5800
Opponent - ORL
Proj Pts FD - 28.62 DK - 28.93
Much like I said for Dennis Smith, the Pistons are really thin at the guard position and we could see a lot of minutes from Josh Jackson here off the bench. He could act as something like their backup point guard in this matchup and has shown the ability to score when given the run. In about 27 minutes per game over the last month, he’s averaging 16 points and seven assists, shooting almost 40% from three. He’s even added in about two steals+blocks in that stretch as well. Even off the bench, I think the minutes tick up near at 30 considering the Pistons’ injury issues in the backcourt.
Michael Porter Jr. FD - $5700 DK - $5900
Opponent - ATL
Proj Pts FD - 35.83 DK - 35.59
The Nuggets have been hit hard by injuries this season and that doesn’t change here on Sunday. They’ll still be without Gary Harris while Paul Millsap and JaMychal Green are out in the frontcourt. That should leave a lot of minutes on the wing for Porter Jr. who we know, when the situation is right, can dial up the shot attempts. Last game, in 33 minutes he put up 16 shots and finished with 22 points and seven assists. The offensive production hasn’t come in the same volume that we saw in the bubble over the summer, but the price is still in check here as well. I think he’s a fine play considering the context around the Nuggets’ injury issues.
Khris Middleton FD - $7200 DK - $7800
Opponent - SAC
Proj Pts FD - 43.63 DK - 45.34 Small forward is nothing to write home about, especially on FanDuel which could leave us in a tricky spot unless some value opens up throughout the day. Middleton has really struggled of late, dropping his price in the short term. He’s shooting only 22% from three over his last four games and averaging just 17 points per game in that stretch. The shot attempts have mostly been there, but they just aren’t falling. For me, that’s the perfect time to buy on a guy. Player’s tend to regress to their historical means and this is just a run-bad stretch for Middleton. I’m really only worried about the blowout, not the recent performance.
Julius Randle FD - $8800 DK - $9400
Opponent - MIN
Proj Pts FD - 48.31 DK - 52.13
Statistically, Randle is having an amazing season for the Knicks and is a big reason this group is even hovering around the .500 mark. He’s very safe on the minutes, running 37+ when the games stay close. For the season, he’s averaged 23 points and 11 rebounds per game while also putting up a career-high 5.5 assists. That’s just fantastic output and on Sunday will face a bottom-third defensive team in the Timberwolves. Randle’s sub-$9K FanDuel price is particularly attractive here.
Jerami Grant FD - $7600 DK - $7600
Opponent - ORL
Proj Pts FD - 44.4 DK - 44.8
The Pistons are without Delon Wright and Blake Griffin for this game and Jerami Grant should once again push close to 40 minutes if the game stays close. He’s taken 20 or more shots in each of the last two games and over the last two weeks if averaging almost eight three-point attempts per game. You’d like to see the rebound numbers trend higher, especially considering his size, but that just hasn’t always been in his bag. Still, this is a good matchup against the Magic and the Pistons have taken a lot of shots out of the lineup because of injuries and trades.
Hassan Whiteside FD - $5800 DK - $4900
Opponent - MIL
Proj Pts FD - 36.13 DK - 35.99
This play is contingent solely on whether he gets the start again in place of Richaun Holmes. The latter got close to playing on Saturday and could get back into the lineup today. If that’s the case, of course, Whiteside becomes *almost* a non-factor at these prices. But if he’s in the starting unit there is, once again, tremendous upside on his per-minute fantasy scoring. We’ve seen him put up 50+ fantasy points in limited minutes before and on Saturday he went for 12 points and seven rebounds in just 16 minutes because of foul trouble. We’ll have to monitor this closely leading into lineup lock.
Nikola Vucevic FD - $9700 DK - $10300
Opponent - DET
Proj Pts FD - 55.65 DK - 58.11
If Whiteside isn’t an option, we might find ourselves paying up at the position. Vucevic wouldn’t be a terrible option in that respect. He’ll play a ton of minutes for the Magic if the game stays close, running 38 and 39 respectively in the last two. And he’s put up 20 or more shots in six of his last nine games. The offensive output can come in big ways and he’s also averaging 14 rebounds per game in that stretch. On a big slate, it might not look that sexy but Vuce is a good option at center even at these prices.