The NBA Rundown – FanDuel & DraftKings NBA DFS Picks – April 2, 2021 (4/2/21)
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.
Jrue Holiday – Holiday is averaging 34.6 fantasy points on the season but over his last ten days that number has jumped to 43.9. Over the last two we have seen two of Holiday’s best performances of the season, not only offensively but defensively as well. Of course, defensive stats don’t show in DFS, with steals being the closest we can get – but this is highlighted with seven steals over Holiday’s last two games. Holiday played 34 minutes against the Lakers on Wednesday, scoring 28 points with eight-rebound and six assists. It was Holiday’s highest usage game in his last twelve games, but at absolute full health after a covid scare to start the year, I think Holiday is reaching his best basketball of the year. Holiday will have a great chance to keep it rolling against the Blazers on Friday as Portland is currently allowing the most fantasy points to opposing point guards in the NBA.
Theo Maledon – The Thunder were a prime source of value on Wednesday and not much is going to change here as SGA, Dort, and Ty Jerome are all already ruled out for this game. This really leaves Maldeon as the only “true” point guard and if we dig into his game on Wednesday, it really could have been a monster. Maldeon scored 11 points with seven rebounds and six assists, but he shot just 18% from the field (3-of-16). In a hypothetical of him nearing his season average of 38% we would have been looking at a 8x+ fantasy game. There aren’t going to be any easy baskets come tonight, as the Thunder face Chris Paul and the Suns – but the necessity of Maledon’s presence keeps him in play here and despite the shooting slump, we aren’t going to get any worst than 18%.
CJ McCollum – I wanted a few game sample to see how Normal Powell’s arrival affected the volume of CJ McCollum, but I really do not think there is any drastic impact here as Powell has attempted just 16 shots combined over his last two games. McCollum has scored over 40 fantasy points in each of his last four games and over 49 in two of them. McCollum is locked into major minutes, playing 36 or more over four games in the past week and averaging 5 minutes more than his season average over the last ten days. The Bucks are a tough defensive draw, but they are susceptible to not guarding the three-point line. McCollum’s three-point volume has lessened a bit, as he hasn’t reached double-digit attempts over the last two games, but I think this matchup changes thing. Lillard will draw Jrue Holiday here who is pretty hot defensively and if it continues I think McCollum sees a general increase in production. Fred VanVleet is the chalky option here and I have no issues rostering him, it is just more deciding if you want to roster both FVV and Gary Trent, as I like both a lot on this slate. Donovan Mitchell and Zach LaVine are both questionable on this slate, so the top of the SG position may be a bit more bare than normal.
Gary Trent – Kyle Lowry is slated to miss the next 7-10 days with a foot injury so the likes of Fred VanVleet and Gary Trent should take over a majority of the shooting here – the pair combined for 39 shot attempts on Wednesday, with Trent taking 22 of them. It was a big usage bump for Trent, who saw a nearly 30% usage rate, which is 9% over his season average. Trent ended with 31 points against the Thunder on Wednesday and with plenty of guard minutes open, Trent should see 35+ at shooting guard going forward baring some strange rotation. The price here is still just $5,600/DK and $5,200/FD which should drive this to being pretty high owned on salary alone.
Kyle Kuzma – Kuzma is a drug that I can not quit, but chasing his ceiling is something that draws me in time and time again. So let’s justify it again, shall we? Kuzma against the Bucks on Wednesday put up 30.75 fantasy points but shot just 1-of-9 from three point range. Kuzma is a 38% three-point shooter on the season, so if two of those shots fall, we are looking at near 40 fantasy points against a tough Bucks team, which looks a lot better than 31. The volume is high here though, with 37 shots attempted over the last two games in games that are against a slow-paced Magic team and a long Bucks team. With Drummond out, Harrell will slot back into more minutes, but Kuzma will find himself in a better rebounding lineup – his game Wednesday his seven rebounds were the lowest output over his last five games. The big seller here is the matchup as the Lakers will travel to face the Kings and their defense that has allowed plenty of points this season, 118 per to be exact. Kuzma is in this sweet salary spot where he isn’t overly expensive, but also high enough where his ownership won’t be sky-high. The matchup here may inflate the ownership a bit here.
Aleski Pokusevski – I touched on the injuries to the Thunder earlier in the Maledon write-up, but ultimately the biggest benefactor for me is Pokusevski. The 19-year-old has played 31 or more minutes in his last four games and attempted 17 shots last game against Dallas. With SGA and Dort out, the shots are going to be there to take and Poku is one of the brightest up-and-coming stars in the NBA (in my opinion). This is a prime developmental time for Poku and the Thunder and it appears he is locked into the 30-34 minute range every night. This is not a prime matchup, but the Thunder are thrust into minutes here due to injuries and after being ruled out Wednesday due to COVID protocols, Poku will return here healthy and fresh. The Price here on DraftKings is $5,000 and is a much better ceiling play than Svi Mykhailiuk or Kenrich Williams while being cheaper than both.
Power Forward / Center
Clint Capela – Capela played heavy minutes on Thursday as the Hawks went into overtime against the Spurs, but without John Collins on the floor Capela really dominated the boards, pulling down 16 rebounds and scoring 26 points at the end of the first overtime. I won’t include stats past this point as it is going to inflated everything a bit as there is no way Capela will see over 40 minutes in this game. Regardless, with John Collins out an extended period, I am going to be grabbing Capela ownership as much as I can until the price re-inflates to the over $9,000 price point that he sat at earlier in the year. We will have to wait and see who the Pelicans trot out there as Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram both missed Thursday’s contest with an injury. Steven Adams and Jaxson Hayes split the center duties and while Adams is a strong defender, 20 minutes isn’t going to be enough of him to make a DFS impact. The worry here is if Capela is limited after a double-OT game on a back-to-back.
Montrezl Harrell – The Andre Drummond experiment lasted an entire 14-minutes before he was injured and now out for a few games. The injuries for the Lakers have been noted a bunch at this point but the addition of Drummond didn’t really push many minutes away from Harrell, though he did only play 26 last game against Milwaukee which was a low over the last eight games. Harrell should stretch back to the low 30’s and has a great matchup against the Kings who are allowing the sixth-most fantasy points to center this season.
Jaden McDaniels – McDaniels has now started the last five games for the Wolves and posted strong numbers, averaging 12.4 points and 4.6 rebounds as a starter – more importantly, there hasn’t been any funny business with his minutes allocation as he has played 29 or more in all of his started and 36 or more over his last three games. McDaniels is attempting double-digit field goal attempts and converting at a 51% clip as a starter. The price here still has not eclipsed $5,000 despite 91.x and 6.9x value in his last two games. The Grizzlies pose no real intimidating threat here, though they rank in the better half for fantasy points allowed to power forwards. Ultimately, this is a pricing play, as we rarely get 36+ minutes under $5,000.