Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Picks Western Conference Play-In Games, Wednesday, 5/19/21
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Man oh man, did Stephen Curry ever have a season here. It was really something, carrying the Warriors throughout and putting them on his back for the entirety. He and Lebron have been on a collision course over the last couple of weeks of the season and now they are here with a chance to lock up the 7th seed in just one game. If there was a game for Curry to run low-40s minutes, this is the one. He dropped 46 points in a must-win over the Grizzlies on Sunday and just casually led the league in scoring shooting 42% from three on a ridiculous 12.7 attempts per game. The Lakers matchup isn’t a good one, but this is Steph we are talking about.
Murray should be good for minutes in the upper-30s in this game giving him a very high floor considering how he scores his fantasy points. He struggled in the final game of the year against the Suns, but on the season he was good for 16 points, seven rebounds, 5.4 assists and 1.5 steals in 32 minutes per game. That should increase here and because he’s not scoring dependent the risk is a little lower at this price point.
DeMar DeRozan FD - $7500 DK - $7000
Opponent - MEM
Proj Pts FD - 42.86 DK - 43.35
Like Murray, we could see DeRozan play minutes in the high-30s in this game. His pricing in the middle tier makes him an attractive play on this shorter slate. DDR didn’t shoot as much this season, taking only 15 shots per game, but was still efficient from the field at 50%. His scoring ability should be on display in this game and he’s facing a Memphis team that played the 8th-fastest pace in the league this season.
Dillon Brooks FD - $6800 DK - $5800
Opponent - SA
Proj Pts FD - 34.57 DK - 35.27
The Grizzlies will dial up the minutes on Brooks in a way they don’t do with many of their other guys, but he played 37 in two of their last five games. He’s very scoring dependent in terms of his fantasy output, but the shot volume was there over the last four games, putting up 21 or more shots in three of those. He actually struggled from three in that span relative to his season averages, but the usage is a positive sign.
Desmond Bane (FD $3700 DK $4800) is about as close as you’ll get to a punt play on this slate.
Kyle Anderson FD - $6200 DK - $5300
Opponent - SA
Proj Pts FD - 36.53 DK - 36.18
Considering their price points and how the Grizzlies used the starters when the season was really on the line, I think we can stack Memphis on this slate. Anderson should be good for 29-31 minutes in this game and does contribute across the stat line. He’s scored in double digits in each of his last five games adding in rebounds, assists and able to pile up defensive stats at times as well. I don’t think the ceiling is all that high, but the floor should be there especially at his DraftKings price.
What to do about LeBron James (FD $10000 DK $10000) here? The price is very advantageous and in most must-win games this would be an easy play against the Warriors. But he also came up a bit gimpy on the ankle in the final game of the season. That has me more than a little concerned about what to expect in this game. On the one hand, it’s Lebron and he’s superhuman. On the other hand, he’s been injured a lot this season. This will be the biggest question of the slate.
Anthony Davis FD - $11000 DK - $10200
Opponent - GS
Proj Pts FD - 52.24 DK - 52.72
Like I said with Lebron James and being banged up, the safer of the two plays in this game could be Davis who’s admittedly dealing with a shoulder issue of his own. But because it isn’t a leg issue I’m a little more bullish on AD’s chances of getting full run. And the Lakers did go all-out with him minutes a couple of times late in the season when they were really trying to win games. He played 39 or more minutes in three of his last five games, putting up some monster fantasy games in that stretch. It’s not without its risk, but if he’s good to go I think we are looking at 39+ minutes at least.
Jaren Jackson Jr. FD - $6600 DK - $5900
Opponent - SA
Proj Pts FD - 40.75 DK - 39.45
In some ways, Jaren Jackson is an easy play on this slate considering the price point. Since coming back from injury, he’s been averaging 14.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 2.7 steals+blocks on just 23.5 minutes per game. But that got dialed up to 31 minutes in the final game of the season when the Grizzlies needed to win. I think that’s the expectation for this game as well with Memphis clearly going all-out for the must-win. That makes him a pretty easy play at these prices, especially on DraftKings.
Kevon Looney FD - $3900 DK - $3800
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 20.14 DK - 20.06
The bad news first: Kevon Looney doesn’t do a whole lot from a fantasy perspective. The good news? He should play a lot in this game. With the Lakers continuing to trot out some monster lineups, Looney’s minutes appear very safe in this game. He played 31 minutes in the final game of the season, tallying 11 rebounds along with six points and four assists. We’ll take that performance on this slate at these near-punt prices.
Jonas Valanciunas FD - $8700 DK - $7600
Opponent - SA
Proj Pts FD - 46.05 DK - 47.73
I’m putting him second here because I think it might be tough to pay up for him on FanDuel. But on DraftKings, he looks good to go in the mid-$7K range. the Grizzlies ran him a lot in the final game of the season of the Warriors and he put up a monster line of 29 points and 16 rebounds. That’s probably above expectation, but this guy can fill it up when he gets the minutes. And while Jakob Poeltl offers a big body, this should still be a good spot for Jonas.
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- Stephen Curry: AP Images