Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

James Davis

FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Picks - Thursday, 4/8/21

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Point Guard

De'Aaron FoxDe'Aaron Fox FD - $9300 DK - $9300
Opponent - DET
Proj Pts FD - 47.73 DK - 48.36

Until we get a few pieces of key news, point guard is looking fairly grim tonight. Fox himself is not exactly an exciting play. It's basically a league average match-up wth Detroit, and he's not cheap for his production. It's basically just a war of attrition at the top end of the position. Several of the best guys have terrible match-ups, Luka is on the second half of a back to back in a bad match-up, and other guys are over-priced. So, fairly priced in a decent match-up winds up creeping to the top.

Théo MaledonThéo Maledon FD - $5400 DK - $5300
Opponent - CLE
Proj Pts FD - 27.42 DK - 28.59
Tomas SatoranskyTomas Satoransky FD - $5700 DK - $5200
Opponent - TOR
Proj Pts FD - 28.58 DK - 29.18

I almost included Malachi Flynn in this group as well, but I basically feel the same way about all of these middling-tier point guards. I'm not going to be thrilled to see any of them show up in lineups, but I wouldn't scrap my lineup and start over if any of them showed up in our line-up optimizer. Satoransky has Coby White nipping at his heels, and Flynn can lose minutes off the bench. That's why I'd actually prioritize Maledon here. His minutes have been all over the place thanks to OKC characteristically being involved in several blowouts, but when the Thunder keep things close he plays 35+ minutes with 30+ FanDuel points of production. Given that Cleveland is favored by just two here, I think Maledon will be a nice boost to his fantasy owners.

Keep an eye on Mike Conley's status. As of this writing, there is no word that he'll sit, but given that he sat the last time the Jazz played a back to back there's reason to believe he'll sit here as well. If he does, consider Jordan Clarkson. Clarkson had 9 assists in just 20 minutes off the bench in the Jazz's blowout of Orlando, and could be in line for a huge night at an affordable price.

Shooting Guard

Donovan MitchellDonovan Mitchell FD - $7800 DK - $8600
Opponent - POR
Proj Pts FD - 41.8 DK - 44.04

Mitchell is one of my favorite plays on the slate tonight. If Conley sits, his FanDuel price is insulting. If Conley plays, Mitchell is merely good. Portland has played a slow pace this season, but they also have the second-worst defensive efficiency in the league. Mitchell is fairly priced for an average match-up, so getting the match-up boost with a potential usage boost from Conley's absence is looking great here.

Tyrese HaliburtonTyrese Haliburton FD - $6000 DK - $6500
Opponent - DET
Proj Pts FD - 31.7 DK - 32.02
I think tonight is shaping up to be one of the lower scoring nights in recent memory unless some serious surprise value pops up. When nights like these come around, mid-range value like Haliburton really rises to the top. The Kings have the second highest implied total on this slate as of this writing, and Haliburton has been providing rock-solid across the board contributions recently. He's not dependent on any one stat, chipping in 4 defense stats last game and 11 assists the game before that. No matter how he gets there, the result is often the same: a 30+ FanDuel point performance.

Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk is way too cheap on FanDuel, and has to be in cash game consideration there.

Small Forward

Patrick WilliamsPatrick Williams FD - $4500 DK - $4500
Opponent - TOR
Proj Pts FD - 26.63 DK - 27.08

Now here's some good old fashioned value. The Bulls' young banger hasn't been effected by Markkanen's return, playing 30+ minutes and averaging 25+ FanDuel points a game over his last five contests. There's no line in this game, but given that Toronto is missing Lowry and VanVleet, this one should stay close enough for Williams to get his minutes en route to a solid fantasy performance.

Kenrich WilliamsKenrich Williams FD - $4900 DK - $5200
Opponent - CLE
Proj Pts FD - 29.02 DK - 29.11

Like Maledon above, we haven't really seen what Williams is capable of out of the starting line-up recently. He's averaged just under a fantasy point per minute in his last six games, and should be in line for 30 minutes of action if this one stays tight. Cleveland's also sporting the 7th worst defense this season, which should help a guy like Williams who has a difficult time creating his own shot.

Update: Giannis has been declared doubtful, If he's out, Khris Middleton will be the best small forward play on the board.

Also considered: Joe Ingles, who started the last time Conley sat.

Power Forward

Dean WadeDean Wade FD - $4500 DK - $4600
Opponent - OKC
Proj Pts FD - 26.71 DK - 27.33

D-Wade at just $4,500?? Sorry, when we're this late in the NBA season tired jokes will have to suffice. For real, though - Wade has been playing 31-37 minute rotations, and while the production isn't always there, one has to assume that won't be an issue against a putrid OKC team. On a tough slate like this one we take our $4,500 players who should play 35 minutes and don't ask too many questions.

Jerami GrantJerami Grant FD - $6800 DK - $7000
Opponent - SAC
Proj Pts FD - 36.1 DK - 36.61

People will look at Grant's minutes and get understandably freaked out, but me? I'm freaked in. The truth of the matter is that Grant is playing pretty well recently in spite of his team getting run out of the gym with alarming frequency. Like he shot 11-18 with 5 boards and 4 assists in just under 30 minutes against Denver, so I'm not sure we can exactly pin that blowout on him. The Pistons are just 4.5 point dogs here, and at these prices I'll happily take their highest volume shooter against a Kings team that's ranked dead last in defense this season.

UPDATE: Jerami Grant has since been declared doubtful for this game.

Aleksej Pokuševski is also on my radar here.


Moses BrownMoses Brown FD - $5100 DK - $6600
Opponent - CLE
Proj Pts FD - 34.61 DK - 35.01

You can basically swap in Maledon and Williams' write-ups for Brown's, with the caveat that Brown is sometimes fine even when he doesn't get his minutes. The one outstanding factor here is Jarrett Allen. If he plays, I'll temper my enthusiasm for Brown. If he sits, it's open season.

Richaun HolmesRichaun Holmes FD - $6500 DK - $7600
Opponent - DET
Proj Pts FD - 38.47 DK - 38.3

Center is naturally the one position with a bunch of awesome plays, considering that you can only choose one of them (on FanDuel at least). Holmes certainly qualifies here, averaging better than 5x+ points per dollar on these prices even before we consider that he has a nice match-up here. Minutes issues have plagued Holmes recently, but nothing about this match-up leads me to believe that he will play fewer than his 33-minute rotation. Holmes is a great play in all formats.

Andre Drummon could be the steal of the slate, or a trap. It's pretty much impossible to know unless we receive minutes guidance. That being said, he's awfully cheap for what he's capable of, and the upside is off the charts if he plays 30 minutes.





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