Basketball Lineups Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Picks - Tuesday, 5/11/21
This slate is going to be wild. We have the Toronto Raptors, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Detroit Pistons all taking the floor. If you've been following the NBA closely, you know that means this slate is going to be chaotic. These teams are impossible to predict from night to night, but we're fortunate that they've announced a handful of players that will be sitting. That's actually going to be a major theme in this article, so let's go ahead and get into it!
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Let's kick things off with the Pistons! We really don't know what to expect from this team from night to night, but they've already ruled out Jerami Grant, Cory Joseph, Mason Plumlee, and Hamido Diallo for this game. That means Hayes should handle the ball on every possession and play somewhere between 30-40 minutes. He actually got a somewhat rare start in their most recent game, collecting 21 points, seven rebounds, and eight assists across 38 minutes of action. That's hard to overlook from a guy sitting around $5K, especially with Minnesota ranked 28th in total defense while surrendering the second-most fantasy points to opposing PGs.
The Raptors have also treated us with an injury report, and it's definitely in Flynn's favor. They've already ruled out Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, and Pascal Siakam, leaving Flynn with the starting point guard job. At the beginning of April, he actually had the same role, averaging 32 DraftKings points per game in a 10-game stretch in that expanded role. That's a pretty ridiculous total from a $5K player, and it could be even better here with all that usage and production out of the lineup. It's also going to guarantee him 30-plus minutes no matter what this game looks like, so blowout potential is not really a concern either.
Ben Simmons has dropped to around $7K on both sites and could be a huge value at that price.
Hardaway has always been a much better player when Kristaps Porzingis sits because it makes him the number-two option on this offense. That has led to THJ scoring at least 29 DK points in six straight games, providing a 35-point average in that span. That's actually one of the best stretches of his career, and it's really no surprise when you see that he's taking 17 shots a game in that stretch too. Any sharpshooter taking that many shots is hard to overlook in this $6K price range, and it's not like Memphis is a scary matchup. In fact, the Grizzlies own a 19th OPRK against opposing SGs this season.
Gary Trent Jr. FD - $4900 DK - $6000
Opponent - LAC
Proj Pts FD - 30.01 DK - 31.1
Deandre Bembry FD - $3600 DK - $3700
Opponent - LAC
Proj Pts FD - 21.86 DK - 21.33
We just mentioned all of the players missing for Toronto, and it puts both of these guys in play. We actually expect all three of these guys to make up the point guard, shooting guard, and small forward spots, and they could each being looking at monster workloads with so many key players missing. That's about all of the fantasy production from this team, and these three guys will be happy to get an expanded workload to prove that they can play.
With those four guys off the floor, Trent is the one who benefits most. He's leading the club with a 30 percent usage rate with those guys sidelined, averaging 1.24 DK points per minute in that time. We could see him playing 40 minutes here, and that'd equate to 50 fantasy points at that rate. Bembry isn't a bad option either, averaging over 22 DK points per game in the 13 outings he's played at least 24 minutes. We expect that to be the floor here and 22 fantasy points from a sub-$4K player is fantastic.
Don't forget about Yuta Watanabe getting an increased role in that game too.
Kevin Durant FD - $10600 DK - $9900
Opponent - CHI
Proj Pts FD - 53.12 DK - 54.61
It's amazing how good KD has been in his return to action. The skinny scorer has been taking over this offense with James Harden sidelined, posting a 34 percent usage rate with him off the floor. That has led to some pristine production, averaging 54 fantasy points per game across his last six outings. That's the MVP we saw in his Golden State/Oklahoma City days, making it hard to believe he's below $10K on DraftKings. It's not like anyone on Chicago will slow him down either, with the Bulls sitting 16th in total defense this year.
Michael Porter Jr. FD - $7100 DK - $8500
Opponent - CHA
Proj Pts FD - 38.94 DK - 39.89
As someone who watches the Nuggets regularly, I'm honestly shocked with how good this kid has been for the last two months. The 22-year-old has scored at least 25 DK points in 38 straight games, scoring at least 30 fantasy points in 36 of those. That's an unbelievable floor from a $7,100 player on FanDuel, especially when you see that he's flirting with a 40-point average in that span. That's the young stud we've been waiting to see, and it's only going to get better with Will Barton, Jamal Murray, Monte Morris, and PJ Dozier all sidelined. Charlotte is far from scary, too, with Porter dropping 48 DK points in their one matchup earlier this year.
Isaiah Stewart FD - $6200 DK - $6400
Opponent - MIN
Proj Pts FD - 33.09 DK - 31.76
Knowing when to use Stewart can be a tough cookie to crack, but with Plumlee already ruled out, we know he's a good play here. Stewart has actually started in 13 games for Plumlee, averaging 34 DraftKings points per game in 29 minutes a night. That actually includes three duds, with Isaiah scoring at least 38 fantasy points in five of those. That's a stupendous ceiling from a guy sitting around $6K, and this matchup might be the best part of this play. Karl-Anthony Towns is one of the worst defensive centers in the NBA, which is no surprise when you see that Minnesota ranks 28th in defensive efficiency ratings.
Jarred Vanderbilt FD - $5200 DK - $4600
Opponent - DET
Proj Pts FD - 32.01 DK - 30.47
Picking Vanderbilt can be a frustrating endeavor, but it's hard to overlook how good this guy has been when given the opportunity. He's started the last two games, averaging 34 DK points per game across 29 minutes a night in that span. He's proven to be a per-minute monster all year, though, averaging 30 DK points per game in the 18 games he's played at least 22 minutes. We fully expect him to reach that 22-minute threshold here, and it should lead to a productive game against a G-League-looking roster. In addition, Detroit owns a 28th OPRK against opposing power forwards this season as well.
Moritz Wagner has been playing big minutes for a rebuilding Magic team and remains a good value around $5K.
Joel Embiid FD - $9700 DK - $10100
Opponent - IND
Proj Pts FD - 56.73 DK - 58.52
We've been using some cheaper guys, so let's ride Embiid as one of our studs. He's been just that all season, scoring at least 34 DraftKings points in all but three games this year. That has led to his 52-point average for the season, one of the best totals you'll see from a guy sitting around $10,000. There are actually four guys on DK who are more expensive, but none of them are above 50 DK points per game. Getting to face the Pacers is pretty awesome, too, with Indiana ranked Top-10 in pace and Bottom-5 in total defense over the last month. Not to mention, Indiana surrenders the most fantasy points in the NBA to opposing centers. If Embiid does sit because of an illness, don't forget about Dwight Howard and Tobias Harris.
Nerlens Noel FD - $4600 DK - $4400
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 27.29 DK - 24.5
This is some of the most mind-boggling pricing on this slate. Noel had one dud last week where he got injured in the first half but has been amazing aside from that. In fact, Noel is averaging 27.2 DK points per game across his last 13 outings despite that stinker, which means this average should be closer to 30. Facing Los Angeles is a tough task, but it does mean that Noel needs to play big minutes to oppose guys like Andre Drummond, Anthony Davis, and Montrezl Harrell. That makes this $4,500 price tag truly shocking, flirting with an 8X average in that stretch.
If you have the salary, Nikola Jokic is obviously a great play.