Basketball Lineups Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Joel Bartilotta

FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Picks - Friday, 5/7/21

Every slate for the last month has been wild, and this is yet another one. You open up FanDuel or DraftKings, and you'll see just how many players have injury designations. The point guard and power forward positions are beyond obliterated, and it'll be interesting to see what sort of value pops up closer to the opening tip. With that in mind, let's get into it!

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Point Guard

Ben SimmonsBen Simmons FD - $7200 DK - $7400
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 38.8 DK - 38.49

This is a risky play with the way Ben has been struggling over the last few weeks, but his price has fallen way too far. This All-Star can play at a $9K level on any given night, which is right about where he was about a month ago. A recent slide has gotten him in this $7K range, but we can't overlook his 37-point average in this price range. He's shown some flashes of getting out of it recently, too, averaging 37 fantasy points per game across his last three outings. The reason we think he can reach that and possibly surpass it here is the matchup. New Orleans currently ranks 24th in defensive efficiency while owning a 28th OPRK against opposing point guards. In their one meeting earlier this year, Sim dropped 40 fantasy points if you needed any more incentive.

Delon WrightDelon Wright FD - $7000 DK - $6800
Opponent - SA
Proj Pts FD - 36.9 DK - 36.28

Wright has been in this article the last two games he's played, and his form in those gems shows that we're doing something right. Delon is averaging 18 points, 8.5 rebounds, 7.0 assists, 5.0 steals, and 2.5 blocks per game in those two starts. That's a truly absurd stretch, with Wright scoring at least 55 DraftKings points in both of those. This recent rise in production is no surprise when you see that Sacramento is playing without De'Aaron Fox, Tyrese Haliburton and Harrison Barnes, which is likely to be the case again here. We also don't mind that San Antonio owns a 20th OPRK against opposing PGs either.

Goran Dragic and Kendrick Nunn have been great recently, and they could be in for a big workload with Tyler Herro and Jimmy Butler nicked up.

Shooting Guard

Terry RozierTerry Rozier FD - $6200 DK - $8000
Opponent - ORL
Proj Pts FD - 39.58 DK - 41.06

The Hornets have been shorthanded all season, and that's going to be the case again here. It sounds like they'll be missing Devonte' Graham, PJ Washington, Miles Bridges, and Gordon Hayward, leaving Rozier to feast. He's been doing just that all season long, averaging 36 fantasy points per game. That makes it hard to believe that he's just $6,200 on FanDuel, one of the most criminal pricings on this slate. Orlando has been terrible against opposing guards recently, too, surrendering the fifth-most fantasy points to them this season. That's only gotten worse since they traded away their whole team at the deadline, which is awesome for a guy in such an expanded role.

Armoni Brooks (FD $3800 DK $3900)

This one feels gross, but the Rockets literally have nobody left. It all started when they traded away James Harden and PJ Tucker, but the injury bug has bitten big time since then. In fact, they should be without Kevin Porter, Christian Wood, Eric Gordon, John Wall, and Sterling Brown, which is even scarier when you see that Kelly Olynyk, Jae'Sean Tate, and Danuel House are all questionable too. That means they could literally be playing with 7-8 guys which should make some of these guys auto-plays. Brooks is one of them, scoring at least 27 DK points in four of the seven games he's played at least 26 minutes. That looks like the floor here, and he could be posting a career-high usage rate as well.

With so many Sacramento guards out, Terence Davis could be a sneaky pick off of their bench.

Small Forward

Kyle KuzmaKyle Kuzma FD - $5500 DK - $5600
Opponent - POR
Proj Pts FD - 27.02 DK - 28.28

This play wasn't even in my thoughts until we saw Anthony Davis go down on Thursday night. That means it seems like he'll be joining LeBron James and Dennis Schroder on the sidelines for this huge game. All of that leaves this Lakers offense very thin, and Kuzma should be in for a monster workload. Kuz has a 24 percent usage rate with those three guys off the floor while averaging 0.9 DK points per minute. He's actually averaging nearly 30 fantasy points per game when James and AD are out, and that should go up with Schroder out as well. The matchup against Portland is the icing on the cake, though, with the Trail Blazers ranked 29th in defensive efficiency.

Daquan JeffriesDaquan Jeffries FD - $4100 DK - $3300
Opponent - MIL
Proj Pts FD - 21.99 DK - 21.23

I'd be lying to you if I said I knew much about this kid, but that's the nature of NBA DFS right now. We mentioned earlier how the Rockets are missing most of their roster, and it'll likely force Jeffries into 35-40 minutes and a start. That's what happened in their most recent game, with DJ playing a ridiculous 41 minutes. He had a terrible fantasy game, but anytime a player this cheap is playing 40-plus minutes, you can't avoid them. He was actually productive in the two games before that anyway, scoring 43 DK points across 41 minutes in those two outings. Milwaukee isn't a great matchup, but with them ranking third in pace, the fantasy opportunities should be plentiful with this sort of workload.

Joe Ingles is the primary ball-handler in Utah right now, with Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley injured.

Power Forward

Kenyon Martin Jr.Kenyon Martin Jr. FD - $5600 DK - $4700
Opponent - MIL
Proj Pts FD - 32.83 DK - 32.8

This marks the final piece of our Rockets stack. The fact that we have to stack the Rockets says a lot about where DFS is right now, but we can't fade these guys in a role like this. We'd actually argue that the winning lineup will have at least 2-3 Houston players, simply because these guys have to do everything. Martin is actually one of the few guys left who's proven to be productive. He played 44 minutes on Wednesday and provided 50 DraftKings points in the best game of his career. He's actually played over 31 minutes seven times this year and is averaging close to 35 fantasy points per game in those outings. We already mentioned Milwaukee's blistering pace, and that only adds to Martin's intrigue with his crazy athleticism.

James JohnsonJames Johnson FD - $3500 DK - $3300
Opponent - PHI
Proj Pts FD - 25.47 DK - 24.54

Here we are with another shorthanded team! The Pelicans will definitely be missing Brandon Ingram, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, and Josh Hart but could also be without Steven Adams. The Ingram absence is the most important, though, because that's the position that JJ plays. Johnson was the one who came in when he got injured on Wednesday, dropping 20 DK points in 23 minutes of action. We have to believe he might start here and play closer to 30 minutes, and he was amazing when he did that last month. In his six starts, JJ has played at least 27 minutes in each of them while averaging nearly 30 fantasy points per game.

If you have the salary, Giannis Antetokounmpo is an easy play against a putrid Rockets defense.


Joel EmbiidJoel Embiid FD - $9600 DK - $10700
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 57.66 DK - 59.35

We've been saving our salary for some high-priced guys, so let's ride our favorite play of the day. That happens to be Embiid, with the MVP candidate scoring at least 34 DraftKings points in all but three games this year. That's a truly incredible floor, and it's backed up by an equally ridiculous 52-point average for the year. That sort of potential is terrifying for a team that's missing a bunch of players, particularly when they're already one of the worst defenses in basketball. The only real risk is blowout potential, but Embiid is guaranteed 50 DK points if he plays a full allotment of minutes.

Mo Bamba (FD $6900 DK $6100)

With Wendell Carter possibly missing this game, Bamba is one of the best plays on the board. He was already stepping up when Orlando shipped off Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon, but it's scary to think what he could do in a spot like this. The big man has 100 combined DK points over his last two games and is averaging 46 fantasy points per game as a starter this year. He's always been productive when given the minutes, and he's a near guarantee for a double-double and a few blocks in this 30-minute role. Getting to face Charlotte isn't too bad either, with the Hornets surrendering the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing centers this season.

Robert Williams has the biggest upside of any center below $6K.





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