Basketball Lineups Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Picks - Sunday Main Slate, 4/4/21
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I suspect we see Joel Embiid sit the second half of the back-to-back here on Sunday which would open the door for Simmons to be a pretty strong cash game option against the Grizzlies. The time without Embiid on the court hasn’t been overwhelmingly positive, fantasy-wise, for Simmons who struggled with consistency across the box score. But he is always a threat to put it together and has a decent matchup against Memphis. The price is down thanks to the recent performance which could make it seem like he’s a risky play, but I think the floor is high enough, in general, to warrant a cash game look if Embiid is out.
Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, and Zion Williamson have missed the last two games and are questionable for this one as well. Plus, it looks like Kira Lewis is going to miss the game coming off the bench. This has left the Pels very thin at the guard. Now, if all three of the aforementioned guys come back, then we aren’t firing Bledsoe here. But if New Orleans is running with a skeleton crew then he becomes almost a must-play. The fantasy output has been just okay for Bledsoe even with all the absences over the last two games, averaging 14 points, six assists, and four rebounds. It hasn’t blown you away, but there’s a chance he sees around 40 minutes in this game and that would make it worth the risk at these prices.
Nickeil Alexander-Walker FD - $6500 DK - $7000
Opponent - HOU
Proj Pts FD - 45.78 DK - 45.86
Like I said with Bledsoe, there’s a chance the Pelicans are playing incredibly shorthanded in this game and Alexander-Walker is ringing in as a very strong cash game play almost no matter who comes back for the team. He’s been taking a lot of shots with some of the other guys out of the line, jacking up an average of 18 looks over the last four games. And in that stretch, he’s been a flamethrower from behind the arc, shooting 43% from three on almost nine attempts per game. There’s a good chance he’s starting again in this game or at worst is the Pelicans’ sixth man.
Dwayne Bacon FD - $5200 DK - $5900
Opponent - DEN
Proj Pts FD - 25.7 DK - 26.24
Orlando is one of the worst teams in the league right now, having traded away almost all of their *talent* and then doubling down on that by getting every else injured. It’s been a mess for a team that’s fully in the tank. But they do need guys to run minutes because the games need to be played. That was the case with Bacon who can play the wing (kind of) and get his own shot (sort of) and played 37 minutes on Saturday even in the blowout. You have to squint to see if with these Magic guys, but there’s a little bit of value if they are going to run through blowouts.
Kevin Porter Jr. FD - $6000 DK - $6900
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 35.96 DK - 36.8
John Wall is going to miss another game here leaving the starting point guard duties, once again, in the hands of Kevin Porter Jr. He’s played 31 or more minutes in each of the last four games and in the starts at the one in each of the last two games he’s putting up 16 points, seven assists, and four rebounds. The assists numbers definitely tick up for him in this role and he averaged around eight dimes per game when Wall missed a few games before. This is a good matchup against what could be a depleted, and defensively weak Pelicans team.
James Ennis III FD - $4800 DK - $5200
Opponent - DEN
Proj Pts FD - 27.44 DK - 27.58
Like I mentioned with Bacon, someone has to play the minutes for the Magic these days and Ennis is coming off a game on Saturday in which he ran 36 minutes in the blowout loss to the Jazz. He put up a meager 12 points and five assists though I will say this is likely the low end (even for him) from what we can expect from the guy on these minutes. It doesn’t feel amazing, but the Magic have almost no one these days. That being said, keep an eye on the injury status of Otto Porter, Michael Carter-Williams, and Khem Birch who could all come back and throw the rotations off.
Christian Wood FD - $8000 DK - $8600
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 43.21 DK - 44.56
Wood is off the minutes' restrictions that were buzzing off his minutes after he returned from injury. And he’s now running an average of 35 minutes over his last three games. In that time he’s put up 19 points, nine rebounds, and almost three blocks+steals. He’ll be facing a Pelicans team ranked 28th in defensive efficiency this season and who could also be once again playing with a skeleton crew. Wood looks like a safe play on his current minutes in this matchup.
Aaron Gordon FD - $6800 DK - $6400
Opponent - ORL
Proj Pts FD - 35.95 DK - 36.74
The Nuggets training wheels came off for Gordon who played his most minutes for the team since coming over at the trade deadline. He ran 39 minutes and put up 14 points, six assists, six rebounds, three steals, and two blocks. He is the fourth option in this offense right now, but if they are going to trust him with a ton of run then he has a solid floor at these prices. And if he’s going to contribute across the stat line like he did last game then we can live with the reduction in usage.
Nikola Jokic FD - $10800 DK - $10700
Opponent - ORL
Proj Pts FD - 55.69 DK - 58.04
There is real blowout concern with this game considering the Nuggets come in at -16 home favorites against the lowly Magic. It is reasonable to worry about the Denver starters losing significant minutes as we saw with the Utah Jazz on Saturday. That being said, for a short slate with all of the potential injuries, it could be tough to just fade the fantasy floor of a guy like Jokic. Look, he’s among the very best fantasy and real players in the game right now. The price is reflective of that. And even if you are worried about the blowout, if there are tons of other cheap options on the slate we might just find ourselves paying up here regardless.
Wendell Carter Jr. FD - $6500 DK - $5800
Opponent - DEN
Proj Pts FD - 37.78 DK - 39.62
I’m not sure it’s a permanent move and could have just been an injury thing with Khem Birch sitting out on Saturday. But Carter Jr. got the start and put up a very good line against the Jazz. In 34 minutes he went for 19 points and 12 rebounds with two blocks as well. We are going to need to wait for starting lineup confirmation on this one, but WCJ’s prices don’t reflect a starting role.