Basketball Lineups Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Joel Bartilotta

FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Picks - Wednesday, 4/28/21

Tuesday's article went pretty well, but it's a good indicator of how crazy things are in the NBA right now. While we got a few gems, a few of the picks didn't work out for unforeseen reasons. Those variables are becoming more common by the day with the season winding down to an end, and it's becoming tougher to predict who will even play at this point with so many teams tanking. Injuries have also caused mayhem on the league, and it's crazy to click on the player pool and see half the guys with injury designations.

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Point Guard

Ja MorantJa Morant FD - $8100 DK - $8200
Opponent - POR
Proj Pts FD - 38.92 DK - 40.43

This 21-year-old is truly one of the most talented players in the NBA, and he's in the best stretch of his career right now. The former Murray State standout has scored at least 37 DraftKings points in five straight games, providing nearly 55 fantasy points per game in that span. That's easily one of the best stretches in the league, and it makes it hard to believe that Morant remains around $8K on both sites. The best part of this play is the matchup, though, with Portland ranked 29th in defensive efficiency while surrendering the most fantasy points in the league to opposing PGs. Ja is averaging an absurd 54.4 DK points per game in their two meetings this season if you needed any more incentive.

Goran DragicGoran Dragic FD - $5000 DK - $5400
Opponent - SA
Proj Pts FD - 29.52 DK - 31.19

Dragic has been all over the map this season, but with Kendrick Nunn, Tyler Herro, and Victor Oladipo all nicked up, he could be looking at another monster night. All three of those guys sat out on Monday, and Dragic tallied eight points, six rebounds, seven assists, and three steals en route to 32 DraftKings points. That's a stellar total from a dude sitting around $5K, and he's proven to be that sort of player when given the opportunity in the past. He actually had at least 39 fantasy points in two of his previous three games before that, and it's hard to overlook an upside like that from such a cheap player. We also don't mind that San Antonio owns a 20th OPRK against opposing PGs either.

Damian Lillard has plummeted to $8,100 on FanDuel and can definitely be a beast over there at that price.

Shooting Guard

Marcus SmartMarcus Smart FD - $6500 DK - $6700
Opponent - CHA
Proj Pts FD - 34.65 DK - 34.53

The Celtics have been bombarded by injuries recently, but it's allowed Smart to have one of the best stretches of his career. Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker are both nicked up, leading to Smart scoring at least 28 DraftKings points in 10-straight games. That floor is astounding from a sub-$7K player, especially when you see that he's averaging close to 40 fantasy points per game in that span. It's really no surprise to see that boost in production with Kemba and Tatum both dealing with aches, and he's going to have to continue to stuff the stat sheet as long as those guys remain out. It's not too bad of a matchup either, with Charlotte ranked 19th in defensive efficiency ratings.

P.J. DozierP.J. Dozier FD - $4800 DK - $5400
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 25.82 DK - 25.85

Talk about a shorthanded backcourt! The Nuggets lost Jamal Murray to an ACL tear a few weeks back and have gone on to lose Will Barton and Monte Morris over the last two weeks. That has left this backcourt and rotation extremely thin, forcing Dozier into two straight starts and a 29-minute average over his last six outings. That's plenty from a guy this talented, with Dozier averaging over 30 DraftKings points per game in that span. He's always been productive when given the minutes, and with all of these guys out, he should be a near guarantee for 30 minutes a night. New Orleans is a spectacular matchup, too, with the Pelicans ranked 26th in points allowed and 27th in defensive efficiency.

Tyrese Haliburton should continue to run things in Sacramento with De'Aaron Fox sidelined.

Small Forward

Jaylen BrownJaylen Brown FD - $8100 DK - $8500
Opponent - CHA
Proj Pts FD - 43.92 DK - 45.18

We just mentioned how shorthanded the Celtics are, and it certainly allowed Brown to go off on Tuesday. The breakout small forward had 39 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, and four steals in that gem on Tuesday, playing 38 minutes and attempting 26 shots. That's a good indicator of how high his usage will be with all of these guys out, and it's really no surprise to see a guy with a 40-point average post a ridiculous stat line like that. We just discussed that Charlotte is a solid matchup, but we adore the fact that they surrender the most fantasy points in the NBA to opposing small forwards as well. That was certainly the case when he dropped 37 fantasy points against them last week.

Joe InglesJoe Ingles FD - $6100 DK - $6700
Opponent - SAC
Proj Pts FD - 32.77 DK - 34.97

It sounds like Utah will be without Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley here, leaving Ingles as the primary ball-handler. He's been relegated to bench duties a lot this year, but he's been amazing when given the keys to the car. In fact, Jingles has a 32-point average in his 19 starts this year, and he had his best game of the season, the one game those two guys sat. He actually accrued 20 points, three rebounds, 14 assists, and three steals in that majestic performance, showing how well he can distribute the ball. That's crazy to think about in a matchup like this, with the Kings owning the worst defensive rating in the NBA.

Both Bogdanovic brothers (Bojan and Bogdan) could be in great spots to succeed.

Power Forward

Julius RandleJulius Randle FD - $9900 DK - $10300
Opponent - CHI
Proj Pts FD - 47.86 DK - 51.69

It was really tricky to pick a power forward on this slate so let's go with a reliable guy like Randle. What's really amazing about Julius is his floor, scoring at least 32 DraftKings points in 58 of his 61 games this season. That has led to his ridiculous 49-point average for the year, and it's easy to understand why when you look at his role. We're talking about a player who's posting a usage rate north of 25 percent while playing 38 minutes a night. That's one of the highest minute totals in the NBA, and we definitely don't expect Chicago to slow him down. In their two meetings this year, Randle is generating a 50-point average against this 17th-ranked defense.

Daniel GaffordDaniel Gafford FD - $5200 DK - $4300
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 28.1 DK - 25.9

This is the definition of a GPP play, but Gafford could prove to be a tournament-winning sort of guy. We say that because of his per-minute averages, averaging 16 DK points per game in 13.6 minutes a night for the season. Those 14 minutes are concerning on the surface, but he's actually got a 20-minute average over his last seven games played. That's still not a ton, but he's providing over 30 fantasy points per game in that span. Getting 30 DraftKings points from someone this cheap is hard to overlook, and it'd be amazing to see what sort of line he could post in 30 minutes. The Lakers aren't necessarily worrisome either because it should allow him to play extra minutes against that big frontcourt.

With so many players missing for Atlanta, John Collins is definitely in play.


Nikola JokicNikola Jokic FD - $11100 DK - $11000
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 59.77 DK - 62.19

If you had to bet who the highest-scoring player on the slate would be, you'd have to say Jokic. With Murray, Barton, and Morris off the floor, Jokic posts a usage rate north of 30 percent while averaging a pristine 1.7 DK points per minute. To put that into perspective, that'd be 59.5 DK points in 35 minutes of play. What a surprise, Joker has a 59-point average for the season! That's easily the highest average in the NBA, and it's scary to think that his usage will only rise with so many ball-handlers out of the lineup. We discussed how putrid the Pelicans defense was earlier, and that's crystal clear when you see that Jokic is averaging 65 fantasy points per game in their two meetings this year.

Nerlens NoelNerlens Noel FD - $5100 DK - $4400
Opponent - CHI
Proj Pts FD - 27.63 DK - 24.61

This $4,400 price tag on DraftKings is downright silly. Noel has been playing like a $6K player for a few weeks not, and he's going to continue to play big minutes with Mitchell Robinson sidelined. Over the last three weeks, Noel is averaging over 30 fantasy points per game. That's hard to find from a $4,400 player, especially when you consider this matchup. Chicago currently ranks 17th in total defense while surrendering the third-most fantasy points to opposing centers. They also got much bigger at the trade deadline, which should guarantee Noel 30 minutes.

Andre Drummond is starting to find his groove in Los Angeles and remains a good value around $8K.


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