The NBA Rundown – FanDuel & DraftKings NBA DFS Picks – April 1, 2021 (4/1/21)
In this article, we will be breaking down some of our favorite plays on the slate at their positions. Please note that players on DraftKings have multi-position eligibility and may not always match their position on FanDuel. Remember to always keep your eye on the news as the day progresses as NBA news changes the slate frequently.
Kyrie Irving – James Harden left in the second half of Wednesday’s game and did not return so his status at the time of writing this is still up in the air for Thursday, though if I had to guess early, there isn’t much reason to risk further injury so we have a strong chance that Harden sits here. Sit or not, Irving has been just as productive, averaging 55 fantasy points over his last ten days including a 60.5 fantasy point performance against the Rockets on Wednesday. We get a positive matchup against the Hornets on Thursday and no real price increase to reflect the potential Harden injury or the 60 point fantasy game. This play will likely be chalk.
Cory Joseph – Saban Lee continues to start for the Pistons with Dennis Smith Jr. injured and while DSJ is questionable for this game, whether he plays or not likely doesn’t change the minutes for Lee much here. Joseph has actually been the most productive guard for the Pistons recently, playing 28 or more minutes in three of his last four games and out-pacing Lee in all terms of production. On Wednesday, Joseph had 11 points with nine assists, making it now four straight games over 23 fantasy points and three over 29. Joseph is $300 cheaper than Lee here and the ownership keeps going to Lee as well. The matchup here doesn’t get much better as the Pistons face the Wizards and their 119 points allowed per game.
Collin Sexton – The shooting guard position is pretty murky right now with James Harden and Bradley Beal questionable and Paul George already ruled out. There is a lot of risk to this play as I think this game ends up as a blowout, but the Cavs are going to be in desperate need of someone to score as Jarrett Allen and Larry Nance have already both been ruled out of this contest. Sexton has really carried the usage load for this team, as he has seen a pretty steady diet of 30% usage games – averaging 28.8 total on the season. In four of Sexton’s last six games he has attempted 20 or more shots, with 24 or more in three of them. The Cavs lost to the Jazz by 39 points on Monday, and are going to be rolling out a similar lineup. I fear for the blowout, but Sexton still played 35 minutes against the Jazz. With a shorter-slate here, I think Sexton is worth the tournament play as if the game stays close, Sexton could reach his ceiling.
Terance Mann – Paul George has already been ruled out of this matchup and Mann should be the guard to pick up the most slack here. Over Mann’s last six games he has played 29 or more minutes in five of them, including 30 and 34 over his last two games. It has now been seven straight games of 5x value or higher on his salary, and that is with his salary increasing slate by slate. Mann even had a down-shooting game last game, hitting just 25% from the field, and still managed 28.25 fantasy points. I battled here between Mann and Hamidou Diallo, as they are both in the same pricing tier on DraftKings, but I think Mann is more guaranteed for minutes with Diallo still having a loose minutes restriction and now on a back-to-back.
Gordon Hayward – The minutes are a guarantee, but what do we get with them? Hayward is averaging 36.6 fantasy points per game, but has falled below that number in three of his last four games. Hayward broke out of this last game out against the Wizards, scoring 26 points with 11 boards and six assists. It is this inconsistent play that makes it hard to peg Hayward into our lineups on a consistent basis, but the matchup with the Nets should leave him some room. It really comes to shot volume, Hayward has 12 or more shot attempts in four of his last five, which is important as he has four games of seven or less shots in the last 10. It really is contrasting here, but it also has a lot to do with the health of some shooters. We know LaMelo Ball is out, but Malik Monk also being out moves some shot equity around. We can still expect Rozier and Graham to dominate the shots, but with a weak SF pool today, I think Hayward is a decent dart in a shallow pool.
Joe Harris – This play hinges on the similar stance to Kyrie Irving, in which we can play it despite the health and status of James Harden, but if he is ruled out it is definitely going to get a large boost with the 40% usage of Harden not on the court. Harris had one of his best fantasy performances of the season on Wednesday when he scored 28 points on 10-of-17 shooting over 37 minutes and 20% usage. Harris’ price also does not reflect this performance or the injury to Harden, so you can expect this to be another chalky play if Harden is ruled out – if Harden is in, this can still be considered for matchup though the ceiling is lowered.
Power Forward / Center
Clint Capela – The Hawks will be without John Collins for this game and while Clint Capela’s usage rate doesn’t increase a ton with no Collins on the floor, he is a 1.23 fantasy point per minute player. Capela has bounced back and forth between 28-31 minutes recently, though he did see 35 on Tuesday against the Suns. With no Collins, the minutes is the one thing I boost the most here, as size depth is a big knock on this team. Danilo Gallinari will likely eat up a lot of minutes and may see some run at the four in this one, but Capela will be the big defensive beneficiary here. The Spurs rank towards the bottom of the league when it comes to rebounding efficiency.
Steven Adams/Jaxson Hayes – This is another play that hinges on an injury, but with Zion Williamson dealing with a sprained right thumb, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him miss at least one game here. If so, we open up a decent amount of minutes at the 4/5 position and about eight more rebounds out there for the taking. Recently, Adams stat line has revolved strictly around peripheral stats, as he has only attempted four shots over his last two games, that being said, he still has played 30 minutes in each, and that is with Zion on the floor. There is some savings to be had here, but I really do not have much interest at all if Zion is active. Hayes offers a similar upside to Adams if he plays 20 minutes, but that has been hit or miss recently. If Zion is out, I expect Hayes to get there and likely is the better value at the way lower price against a Magic team right now with kind of a wonky center rotation after Vucevic left town.
Isaiah Hartenstein – The Cavs are going to be incredibly short-handed here as Jarrett Allen and Larry Nance have already been ruled out of this contests. Kevin Love is questionable, but regardless of him playing or not he likely wouldn’t see meaningful minutes. This leaves Hartenstein and Dean Wade to soak up all the PF/C minutes here for the Cavs. Hartenstein’s debut with the Cavs came on Monday, when he played 26 minutes, scoring just five points, but 14 rebounds and seven assists. The sheer necessity of Hartenstein will get him minutes and his price of just $3,700 on DraftKings is too good to ignore even in a bad matchup against the Sixers. This game has blow-out written all over it, but regardless of score someone has to be on the floor and the size for the Cavs is pretty limited right now.