Basketball Lineups Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Picks - Wednesday, 4/7/21
Tuesday's slate was not my best showing, but it was an unusual slate. There have been so many wacky things going on in the NBA recently that it's hard to know what to expect. That has me totally checked in for this Wednesday slate, though, and I love these recommendations. With that said, there are many teams in the second half of a back-to-back set, and that's something that needs to be monitored. Those teams include Atlanta, Boston, never, Indiana, Memphis, and New Orleans.
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The Hornets have been one of the biggest surprises this season, but the final month could be rough for them. We say that because Gordon Hayward, LaMelo Ball, and Malik Monk are all expected to miss significant time. That's a ton of usage, scoring, and ball-handling out of the lineup, leaving Rozier to feast. Scary Terry has a usage rate of 30 percent with those guys off the floor while averaging over 1.2 DK points per minute. We love that for a guy who's in the midst of a breakout season, averaging nearly 35 DraftKings points per game. This matchup is fantastic, too, with Oklahoma City owning a 27th OPRK against opposing point guards this season.
The injury bug has really struck this New Orleans team badly, with Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and Nickeil Alexander-Walker all nicked up. That's three of the main ball-handlers on this team, leaving Ball as one of the only guys left. While he was hurt himself last week, he's been brilliant in his two games since returning. In fact, Ball's got at least 52 DK points in both of those, despite struggling with his shot. His stat-stuffing ability has allowed him to thrive without his shot falling, and a near triple-double on Tuesday is a good indicator of how much he's doing right now. He was actually playing well before all these injuries, too, averaging 37 fantasy points per game across his last 15 outings. We obviously don't mind that he faces a 25th-ranked Brooklyn defense, either.
Russell Westbrook is a near guarantee for a triple-double and is hard to fade the way he's balling out.
While this FanDuel price is definitely appropriate, this DraftKings one is not. The simple fact is, LeVert is the focal point of the offense, with Malcolm Brogdon and Domantas Sabonis both sidelined. In the last two games without those guys, Caris has combined for 46 points, 10 rebounds, 14 assists, three steals, and two blocks. That equates to a 45-point average on DK, which is obviously a great total from a $7,100 player. The most encouraging thing is that he's handling the ball regularly, flirting with a 30 percent usage rate in that span. We certainly aren't worried about him facing a 27th-ranked T'Wolves defense, either.
Devonte' Graham FD - $6500 DK - $6900
Opponent - OKC
Proj Pts FD - 31.93 DK - 33.53
We already discussed how Charlotte is without Ball and Hayward, which has put Graham into the same role that made him a Most Improved Player of the Year candidate last season. He actually averaged 33 fantasy points per game in this role last year and has a 31-point average over his last seven games. That means he's right where he left off, and his minutes and usage should be on the uptick with those guys all out. All of that makes him hard to fade below $7K, and facing a G-League roster like the Thunder only adds to his value. Not to mention, they surrender the third-most fantasy points to opposing SGs as well.
Eric Bledsoe has been much better recently and should continue to produce with so many Pelicans nicked up.
Jaylen Brown FD - $7700 DK - $7800
Opponent - NY
Proj Pts FD - 40.72 DK - 41.92
This is one of those situations where we're guessing, but we believe it's safe to say Kemba Walker will sit here. If that's the case, JB is one of the best plays on the board south of $8K. With him out this season, Brown is averaging nearly 45 DraftKings points per game. That's really no surprise when you see his 32 percent usage rate and 1.3-point per minute average with Kemba sidelined. That's a heck of a rate, and it makes our 41-point projection all the less surprising. Facing New York can be tough for some, but he dropped 40 fantasy points on them in their one meeting earlier this season.
Kenrich Williams FD - $4900 DK - $5100
Opponent - CHA
Proj Pts FD - 30.74 DK - 30.85
We discussed how Charlotte and New Orleans are shorthanded, but this Oklahoma City roster is a joke right now. It sounds like they could be without Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Isaiah Roby, Darius Bazley, Al Horford, and Luguentz Dort. That was essentially their rotation two months ago, forcing guys like Williams into huge roles. That means he should be guaranteed to play 25-30 minutes which is really encouraging, with Kenrich averaging 26.2 DK points per game in the 11 outings he's played at least 26 minutes. If you get that from a $5K player, you're in a great spot. The matchup isn't half bad either, with the Hornets surrendering the second-most fantasy points to opposing SFs.
If John Wall is out again, don't forget about Kevin Porter Jr.
Christian Wood FD - $7700 DK - $8600
Opponent - DAL
Proj Pts FD - 45.25 DK - 46.8
Wood just had one of his worst games of the season on Monday but dropping 23 raw points is a good indicator of just how good he's been. What's really impressive is his floor, scoring at least 25 DraftKings points every game this year. That's something you rarely see, and it's led to the 40-point average that's made him a MIP candidate. All of the injuries and absences in Houston are huge for him and allow him to run the offense out of the post. The best part of this play is the matchup, though, with Dallas ranked 17th in defensive efficiency. They also have one of the worst center rotations in the NBA, which was on full display when Wood dropped 23 points and seven rebounds on them in a "down" game earlier in the year.
James Johnson FD - $6400 DK - $5500
Opponent - BKN
Proj Pts FD - 30.3 DK - 29.06
Johnson has been a regular in these articles ever since he entered this rotation and recent results show that we're doing something right. We already mentioned all of the injuries in New Orleans, and it's forced JJ into a 30-minute role as a starter. That increased role is huge, and it's led to him averaging 31 fantasy points per game in that span. That's the guy we saw in the past when he was a key part of Memphis and Miami's rotations, and he should continue to provide value as long as the Pelicans remain shorthanded. The matchup against Brooklyn is brilliant, too, with the Nets ranked 25th in defensive efficiency.
If Zion Williamson plays again, he's hard to fade the way he's performing.
Nikola Jokic FD - $10200 DK - $10600
Opponent - SA
Proj Pts FD - 57.71 DK - 60.1
We've stacked this article full of value plays, so let's offer up the best stud on the board. That happens to be the MVP frontrunner, with Jokic playing some of the best basketball we've ever seen. That's really evident by his league-leading 59 DraftKings points per game, scoring at least 40 fantasy points in all but two games this season. That obscene floor is impossible to avoid, and it makes him even more worthy with so many question marks on this slate. The matchup against San Antonio might look scary on the surface, but he collected 35 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists in this matchup earlier this season.
Moses Brown FD - $6200 DK - $6700
Opponent - CHA
Proj Pts FD - 34.98 DK - 35.45
We've already discussed all of the injuries in Oklahoma City, and it's turned Brown into a fantasy beast. Most of those guys actually play in the frontcourt, allowing Brown to control the boards. In his nine games as the regular starter, Moses is averaging 11.7 points, 12.7 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game. That comes out to a 32-point average, making it hard to believe he remains below $7K on both sites. The icing on the cake here is the matchup, though, with Charlotte ranked 17th in total defense. They're also missing two of their best offensive weapons, and that should lead to more rebounds and blocks for Brown as well.
Robert Williams was terrible on Tuesday because of some foul trouble but he's a per-minute stud and remains too cheap.