The NBA Rundown – FanDuel & DraftKings NBA DFS Picks – April 23, 2021 (4/23/21)
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.
Steph Curry – Curry finally showed us he was human on Wednesday as he shot just 7-of-25 from the field and just 2-of-14 from three. Despite these poor shooting numbers, Curry still managed 38.75 fantasy points. That is a pretty wild stat as Curry is displaying a 40 fantasy point floor even on 24% shooting nights. As we know, these shooting nights are not the normal and with Curry’s massive attempt numbers and shooting percentage over his previous eight he was due for a bit of a correction. Curry has gone over 59 fantasy points in five of his last seven games and over his last ten days is averaging 40.3 points per game with 5.5 assists and 5.5 rebounds. Curry has scored 30 or more points in nine of his last ten and a matchup with the Nuggets looms tonight. While the Nuggets defense has been above average, Curry’s individual matchup with a Jamal Murray-less Nuggets team is definitely improved here.
Ty Jerome – Theo Maledon is grabbing the start at point guard for the Thunder, but while he is getting about 8-9 more minutes than Ty Jerome, Jerome’s average fantasy points on the year are just 0.2 fantasy points lower than Maledon. Maledon is averaging 9.7/3.5/3.4 on the year and 21 fantasy points while Jerome is averaging 9.9/18.104.22.168 and 20.8 fantasy points. The price difference is the point I am trying to make here, as Maledon will cost you $5,200 and Jerome just $3,700. To roster Maledon here, you are essentially chasing minutes, which normally isn’t a bad thing, but Maledon is producing pretty empty minutes when compared to Jerome. This likely isn’t a highly sought-after play today, but with a matchup against the Wizards we can elevate the output a little bit here. Jerome’s minutes likely won’t change much here, but with the price being so cheap he does have an easy 5x value floor with a ceiling to go higher against a team allowing the fifth-most fantasy points to the point guard position and over 118 points per game. In this same price range if you want to chase a more chalky play, Brandon Goodwin is in play with Trae Young out.
Paul George – With Kawhi Leonard out, Paul George is usually a pretty easy plug-and-play option. His recent play makes it almost easier as George has been absolutely on fire in April, going over 50 fantasy points in six of his last seven games and over 4.5x value on his salary in all seven. George is averaging 32.2/7.4/6.2 over his last ten days and draws a squishy matchup against a Rockets team that is allowing 115 points per game and 47.2% shooting from the field – not to mention the most fantasy points to the shooting guard position on the year.
Kevin Huerter – Huerter has hit 4.5x value on his salary in ten of his last 11 games, with the one game he didn’t being a 4.3x value game. Essentially, in the eleven games the Hawks have played in April, Huerter has a floor of around 25 fantasy points and is contributing heavy minutes and multiple category usage for the Hawks. Over the last ten days, Huerter is shooting 53% from the field and is averaging 17.6/4.9/3.4 which equals out to 32.4 fantasy points. With Trae Young already being ruled out for this game and a lot of other Hawks starters being questionable, Huerter should remain locked into his heavy minutes and if a guy like Gallinari misses, Huerter should also be looking at double-digit shot attempts.
Norman Powell – To be blunt, I don’t like the Small Forward position much tonight and will be looking to save at it. Bradley Beal does have SF eligibility on DraftKings so that is something we can take advantage of, otherwise, it is filled with a bunch of question marks. Truthfully, Powell is a bit of a question mark for me too, but I do like the matchup with the Grizzlies. The Grizzlies are allowing the third-most fantasy points on the year to small forwards and Powell is shooting well over his last few games, averaging 47% and 37 minutes per game. Powell only played 34 minutes on Wednesday due to having to take a trip to the locker room, but was ultimately fine and returned to the game. Outside of that, Powell has played 38 or more minutes in his four previous games. This is more of a floor play for me, but the matchup does bring the potential of a ceiling game in play.
The Cavs – Yup, just the Cavs – because I am not entirely certain how this rotation is going to shake out going forward, but I am near certain whoever gets the majority of the minutes on Friday at the SF position should be able to at least produce value. So let’s start at the why: and that is because Tauren Prince is now out for the season. Prince leaves behind around 22 minutes per game and should open up the rotation a bit here. I really want to just say Cedi Osman is the guy, but he has grabbed a handful of DNP recently so it is worrisome to just say play Osman as there is some risk there. Osman has really been all over the place recently. He has not played since 4/14, but on 4/11 he played 29 minutes and shot 64% from the field. Dean Wade was a guy seeing a lot of minutes, but the return of Kevin Love, Larry Nance, and Jarrett Allen has really dropped his minutes into near single digits. The Cavs could also choose to give the minutes to Lamar Stevens instead of Osman. The guarentees here are Isaac Okoro should continue to see his 30-minutes, but is grading as one of the lowest usage players in the NBA right now. Cedi Osman is just $3,300 and provides us the most upside. I believe he grabs meaningful minutes in this one, but the recent DNP put a shadow of doubt in me, therefore we will need to pay attention close to lock to fully figure this one out.
Nikola Jokic – If Jokic is on the slate, then he is likely to be the slate’s highest ceiling option. Jokic has had 51 fantasy points or more in nine of his last ten games, with the only down performance coming on Wednesday against the Blazers. Over the last ten days, Jokic is averaging 29/12.4/7.8 and 60.5 fantasy points. Golden State is allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to centers on the year and with the injuries to the point guard position for Denver, a lot of the offense is falling on the current MVP favorite’s shoulders. Jokic is currently averaging 1.60 fantasy points per minute and a 29.5% usage rate on the year – but with no Murray on the court, Jokic has jumped to a 1.68 fantasy point per minute and a 33.8% usage rate.
Ivica Zubac – Zubac has scored in double-digits in seven of his last eight games and is averaging 12.5/7.9/2.1 during that stretch. Zubac is coming off of one of his better performances of the year on Wednesday when he played 33 minutes scoring 18/7/3/2 against the Grizzlies. Over the last ten days Zubac is playing at a near seven fantasy point higher average as compared to his season averages and with Kawhi out in this one, the offense’s total usage leader gets spread a little wider. Serge Ibaka is nearing return here, but won’t have any real impact right away on Zubac’s standing in the offense. The Clippers face the Rockets today in what is a great matchup for Zubac, as the Rockets are allowing the most fantasy points to centers on the season.
Davis Bertans – The Wizards were struck with a blow on Wednesday as rookie Deni Avdija was diagnosed with a hairline fracture and is now slated to miss the rest of the season. This is not high impact directly to Bertans, but it does open up some more minutes to go around in the offense. When it comes to Bertans, he simply has just been playing well of late and his price hasn’t really caught up to that. Bertans is averaging just 19.7 fantasy points per game on the season, but over his last ten days that has jumped to 27.7 fantasy points as he is averaging 16.5 points and 4.3 rebounds on 47.4% shooting. Bertans has returned 4.8 value or more in seven of his last eight games with his last three games returning 6.7x value or higher. Bertans started the second half on Wednesday after Avdija was ruled out, so its not out of the realm to see Bertans join the starting five for this one. Regardless, at just $4,300, a price he has carried for the last three games now, is just too low.