Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Picks - Saturday, 5/15/21
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The Hornets would likely like to get into the 8th seed before the season ends and they will have a chance especially with Indiana so beat up right now. LaMelo isn’t playing tons of minutes since coming back from injury, but motivation is about all we can ask for on the slate. His last two games have been a bit rough, but he does have double-double upside nearly every time he steps on the court. The Knicks are a good defense, and slow but again, few other teams are going to put their best foot forward on this slate.
Because the Suns own the tiebreaker over the Jazz, this game does mean something for Phoenix. They could still grab the #1 seed in the West if Utah were to lose on Sunday. Again, that’s about as much as we can ask for with these late-season slates which have gotten ridiculous. Paul has double-digit assists in five of his last seven games and has scored 24 or more in each of the last two. The Spurs have already decided to sit a lot of their key players for this game so there is blowout concern, but Paul should have a high enough floor at these price points.
Devin Booker FD - $7300 DK - $8500
Opponent - SA
Proj Pts FD - 45.34 DK - 47.78
Booker was a chalk option on Thursday and really struggled from the field going 5-17 and scoring *just* 18 points while turning the ball over four times. It was a disappointing performance, to say the least. But considering there is a lack of very expensive options on this one and likely a lot of punts, it’s going to make sense to run him out there against the Spurs. Like I said with Paul, stacking some Suns on this slate is going to be the play and Booker’s price on FanDuel is still way too low.
James Harden FD - $10000 DK - $10800
Opponent - CHI
Proj Pts FD - 43.57 DK - 45.46
There’s a good chance there are plenty of cheap plays on this shorter afternoon slate with some teams already planning to sit starters. Harden returned to the Brooklyn lineup on Wednesday and didn’t appear to have missed a single beat in his unjust absence. In just 26 minutes he put in 18 points while adding 11 assists and seven rebounds. It was a complete performance and took him almost no time at all. The Nets are trying to work Harden into game shape so there’s likely to be enough minutes even if this game were to turn into a blowout. And the Nets are motivated to win to hold on to the number two seed in the East.
RJ Barrett FD - $6600 DK - $6700
Opponent - CHA
Proj Pts FD - 33.87 DK - 35.25
The Knicks probably want to win this game against the Hornets to move out of the 6th seed and avoid playing one of the top three seeds in the East. Barrett has played 40 or more minutes in three of his last four games. And last time out he put in 24 points on 8-19 shooting with the Knicks short on guards. The price didn’t move all that much and I don’t mind him in the middle tier against this Hornets team. Again, I think the Knicks play it out in this game with the seeding on the line.
Evan Fournier FD - $7100 DK - $6200
Opponent - MIN
Proj Pts FD - 35.17 DK - 36.07
With Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown, and now Marcus Smart out of the lineup, Fournier has become the second banana on the Celtics behind Tatum. He took 20 shots in his 34 minutes when the Celtics lost to the Cavaliers on Thursday. The price has come way up, but not on DraftKings where he’s still a bit of a bargain considering the major uptick in usage and minutes he’s seen in the short term. The Celtics probably want to win this game to secure the 7th seed in the East and take it easy on Sunday. Fournier would be in for a lot of minutes and shots if that were the case.
Power forward is one spot we are almost definitely going to be able to save some money on this slate and that’s even without some of the injury news that’s set to come in. Let’s roll through some of the options out there to think about.
Dario Saric (FD $4300 DK $3100) got the start for the injured DeAndre Ayton on Thursday. He ended up playing 31 minutes and did go for 12 points and five rebounds. He shot poorly from the field, but the attempts were there. If starting again we’d go right back to the well, especially on DraftKings.
Thaddeus Young (FD $5000 DK $5600) got the start for the injured Daniel Theis and that could be the case again against the Nets on Saturday. Young can put up numbers even in limited minutes as shown against the Raptors on Thursday when he went for a balanced line of 10 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists in just 28 minutes. The Nets have a weak frontcourt making Young a good play if he’s in the starting lineup.
Nicolas Claxton (FD $3900 DK $3300) put up a great line on Wednesday and has been seeing more minutes of late for the Nets who might need him to play more in the playoffs. He can pile it on in limited minutes.
Goga Bitadze FD - $4500 DK - $3400
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 17.67 DK - 16.63
Sabonis left with a knee injury in Thursday’s game and I really doubt the Pacers push him in this one. At this point, they’d be best served to just save him for the play-in games and take their chances there. Bitadze stepped in and played 24 minutes in that game and was solid. He put up 10 points, six rebounds, and four assists in that one. This is a terrible matchup against the Lakers but Goga would be too cheap if he were in the starting lineup on Sunday.