Basketball Lineups Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Joel Bartilotta

FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Picks - Thursday, 4/1/21

Many eyes will be fixated on baseball for Opening Day, but we NBA guys are ready to keep grinding. Wednesday's slate went really well for us, and we're going to look to build off that momentum here. We have seven games making up this ledger which is the ideal amount for the player pool. We have a handful of teams playing the second half of a back-to-back set, though, and that'll be something to monitor as we get closer to the first tip.

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Point Guard

Russell WestbrookRussell Westbrook FD - $11300 DK - $11000
Opponent - DET
Proj Pts FD - 54.55 DK - 57.72

It's honestly crazy how good this guy has been recently. He's now the highest-priced player in DFS, and he's earned every bit of it. Over his last 22 games, Russ is averaging 23.6 points, 11.2 rebounds, 11.8 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. Those absurd averages are even more ridiculous recently, with Westbrook combining 57 points, 29 rebounds, and 35 assists over the last two games. That's a good month for a lot of players, and his volume should continue to be massive if Bradley Beal is out again. All of that makes him worth it, no matter the price, but this matchup isn't too bad either. Detroit currently ranks 15th in defensive efficiency, and they're a lot worse at PG with Delon Wright being traded to Sacramento.

Michael Carter-WilliamsMichael Carter-Williams FD - $5300 DK - $5900
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 29.07 DK - 29.48

Orlando decided to trade away their whole roster at the trade deadline, and it's forced MCW into the role that made him a Rookie of the Year in Philly. They're now without Evan Fournier, Nikola Vucevic, Aaron Gordon, Markelle Fultz, and Cole Anthony, leaving Carter-Williams to feast. He was actually nicked up in the first two games without those guys but collecting eight points, seven rebounds, nine assists, and three steals on Tuesday shows the sort of upside he has. MCW has proven to be able to stuff the stat sheet at ease when given the opportunity, and this is undoubtedly his biggest chance since his Philly days. The matchup with New Orleans is brilliant, too, with the Pelicans sitting 28th in defensive efficiency.

With James Harden possibly out, Kyrie Irving could be running things in Brooklyn.

Shooting Guard

Devonte' GrahamDevonte' Graham FD - $5600 DK - $6400
Opponent - BKN
Proj Pts FD - 29.94 DK - 31.73

Graham has been a regular in these articles over the last two weeks, and it's easy to see why. LaMelo Ball was a dynamic player for the Hornets but now that he's out for the next month or so, Graham has recaptured the starting shooting guard job in Charlotte. He was a Most Improved Player candidate in this role last season, averaging 33 DraftKings points per game. That's essentially the guy we've seen since Ball's injury, scoring at least 30 fantasy points in four-straight, while averaging nearly 35 DK points per game in that span. The matchup only adds to Graham's intrigue, with Brooklyn ranked 24th in defensive efficiency this year.

Luke KennardLuke Kennard FD - $4700 DK - $4200
Opponent - DEN
Proj Pts FD - 24.72 DK - 26.06

It sounds crazy that we're recommending a guy that was out of the rotation two weeks ago, but that's the nature of the NBA at times. Now that Patrick Beverley and Paul Geroge are nicked up while Lou Williams is in Atlanta, Luke has carved out a nice little role. In fact, he's actually started the last two games without all of those guys, scoring at least 27 fantasy points in both of them. That's an unheard-of total from a sub-$5K player, and this is a guy who's shown flashes of that brilliance in the past. Denver isn't too bad of a matchup either, with the Nuggets ranked 19th in defensive rating.

Hamidou Diallo has been a pleasant surprise in Detroit, and if he keeps playing big minutes, he remains way too cheap.

Small Forward

Gordon HaywardGordon Hayward FD - $7000 DK - $7900
Opponent - BKN
Proj Pts FD - 41 DK - 42.12

We already talked about how Ball's absence has made Graham a better fantasy option, so that's obviously the same case for the Hornets' best player. Hayward is just that and he's currently leading the team with nearly 40 DraftKings points per game which is already a massive total from a sub-$8K player. What's really becoming evident is that he will stay in the game no matter what, with Gordo playing at least 39 minutes in three-straight games. That's allowed him to drop at least 47 DK points in two of five games since Ball went down, and that's really all you can ask for. The matchup with Brooklyn is great, too, surrendering the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing SFs this year.

Bogdan BogdanovicBogdan Bogdanovic FD - $4200 DK - $5400
Opponent - SA
Proj Pts FD - 27.92 DK - 29.15

Kevin Huerter has been ineffective for about two weeks now, and it's forced Bogdan into the starting lineup. What's also helped Bogey's value is that De'Andre Hunter is nicked up again, leaving this wing rotation extremely thin. We love that for a guy this talented, with Bogdanovic collecting 46 fantasy points across 37 minutes in a start on Tuesday. That's the guy we saw in Sacramento, and it's clear these DFS sites don't realize he has an expanded role when you look at these price tags. Facing San Antonio is stupendous, too, with the Spurs owning a 19th OPRK against opposing shooting guards this season. The $4,200 price tag on FanDuel is even more peculiar, and he's a must-use over there.

Rui Hachimura has regularly played 35-40 minutes a night and is in the best stretch of his career right now.

Power Forward

Tobias HarrisTobias Harris FD - $8300 DK - $8700
Opponent - CLE
Proj Pts FD - 41.67 DK - 41.91

Toby is another guy who's been in this article a ton recently, and it's really no surprise when you see that he's in the best stretch of his career too. It's easy to understand why, though, with Harris stepping up in the absence of Joel Embiid. With the MVP candidate off the floor, Harris is posting a 28 percent usage rate while averaging over 1.2 DK points per minute. That has allowed him to score at least 33 fantasy points in 11 of his last 12 games while averaging 42 DraftKings points per game in that span. The best part of this play might be the matchup, with Cleveland ranked bottom-five in defensive efficiency ratings since the opening month of the season. In their last meeting, Harris dropped 41 fantasy points on them despite playing a meager 28 minutes.

Isaiah HartensteinIsaiah Hartenstein FD - $4000 DK - $3700
Opponent - PHI
Proj Pts FD - 26.36 DK - 25.15

This is obviously our riskiest pick of the day, but this dude can be a monster if Jarrett Allen is out again. He showed just that on Tuesday, tallying five points, 14 rebounds, and seven assists en route to 35 DraftKings points. That's obviously a career-best mark, and it's clear that Nikola Jokic taught him some things in Denver. That makes it hard to believe that he's only $4K on both sites, and it's not like anyone else is there to compete with him, considering Andre Drummond is in LA, and Kevin Love is in the training room yet again. Philly is a tough matchup, but it's not as tough as the numbers would tell you with Embiid out of the lineup.

Jerami Grant's price has been dropping but a gem on Wednesday shows the sort of upside he presents.


Nikola JokicNikola Jokic FD - $11000 DK - $10600
Opponent - LAC
Proj Pts FD - 57.16 DK - 59.58

Jokic is always one of the safest plays on the board. He's currently leading the NBA with 60 DraftKings points per game, scoring at least 41 fantasy points in all but one game this year. That's a truly ridiculous floor, and it has Joker as the odds-on favorite for MVP with less than two months remaining. Those sort of numbers make him worth it no matter the price, and it's not like the Clippers are a tough matchup with the center position being their weakest spot on the roster. In their one meeting this year, Jokic fell one rebound shy of a triple-double, and he absolutely shredded them in last year's playoffs as well.

James WisemanJames Wiseman FD - $4000 DK - $5200
Opponent - MIA
Proj Pts FD - 26.92 DK - 26.86

What the heck is this FanDuel price? Wiseman has been named the starter for the remainder of the season, and he's proven to play at a $6,000 level when given the playing time. That's certainly been the case recently, with the top-pick playing at least 26 minutes in five-straight games. We're talking about a guy who averages nearly 1.1 DK points per minute, equating to a 30-point average if he continues to play these 26-30 minutes a night. That makes it hard to understand this pricing, especially with James dropping at least 25 fantasy points in each of his last two games. Facing Miami is not an easy matchup by any means, but they do currently own an 18th OPRK against opposing centers this year.

Dwight Howard got a rare start on Tuesday and is definitely in play if that's the case again here.


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