For the first slate following Thursday’s NBA trade deadline, there are five games on the calendar tonight, and below are some of my favorite NBA daily fantasy picks for both FanDuel and DraftKings based on Awesemo’s grades and values.
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Point Guard Jordan Poole
DraftKings Grades: B, Values: B
FanDuel Grades: B, Values: B
Tonight, there are only 10 teams competing, and six of these clubs rank inside the top 10 in defensive rating this season. Without question the worst defense in action is the Kings, who rank dead last in both defensive efficiency and rating this year by a wide margin. Additionally, they are playing their second game in two nights after grinding out a hard-fought victory against the Hawks on Wednesday. When Sacramento has been on the second leg of a back-to-back this season, its defense has yielded 120.4 points per game.
The Warriors will pay them a visit tonight, and Poole remains reasonably priced for his role without Stephen Curry (out, tailbone). As the replacement starter for Curry in these past three games, Poole has scored 34 DraftKings points and had a team-high 36.9 minutes per game. Ever since being called up from G-League at the beginning of the month, Poole has garnered a 26.1% usage rate and scored 1.03 DraftKings point per minute when Curry has been off the floor. Poole has a ceiling well over 40 fantasy points against the defensively challenged Kings tonight and is a tough value to avoid.
Projected NBA DFS ownership projection: DraftKings 33.7%, FanDuel 29.5%
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Center Dwight Howard
DraftKings Grades: B, Values: A
FanDuel Grades: B, Values: A
The news of Tony Bradley being traded to Oklahoma City in a three-team deal unlocks Howard tonight. Bradley has been starting in place of the injured Joel Embiid (out, knee), and with him shipped out of town, Howard should join the 76ers’ first unit tonight. With Embiid on the shelf and Vincent Poirier also being dealt this afternoon, Howard is the only true center left for Philadelphia. Our projections here at Awesemo have Howard slated for 32.6 minutes tonight against the Lakers, who will be without both Anthony Davis (calf) and LeBron James (ankle).
In the past two games with its stars watching from home, Los Angeles’ defense has ranked 10th worst in the NBA while allowing the third-most points in the paint per game. Even at 35 years old, Howard is supplying 1.18 DraftKings points per minute this season, and he has amassed 34.2 DraftKings points per game when he has eclipsed 25 minutes in a 76ers uniform. A double-double is in the cards for Howard tonight, and he is a free square for this five-game slate.
Projected NBA DFS ownership projection: DraftKings 22.5%, FanDuel 18.0%
Lines, Odds, and Sportsbook data are current as of 04/22/2021 08:11 PM ET
Center Ivica Zubac
DraftKings Grades: B, Values: A
FanDuel Grades: B, Values: A
With Serge Ibaka (back) still sidelined last night, Zubac posted 30.5 DraftKings points against the Spurs. In the past five games with Ibaka missing, Zubac has topped 30 DraftKings points in four of five starts. Furthermore, he seen at least 30 minutes in three of these games, including 32 minutes in Wednesday’s win against San Antonio. With Ibaka not with the team, Zubac should exceed the 30-minute threshold again tonight in rematch with the Spurs, which is more than enough time for him to beat his $5,600 price tag on both sites.
For 2020-21, Zubac is producing right over 1 DraftKings point per minute. In the 11 career games he has received 30 minutes or more, he is generating 34.9 DraftKings points per game.
Projected NBA DFS ownership projection: DraftKings 20.8%, FanDuel 15.5%
Small Forward Kawhi Leonard
DraftKings Grades: A, Values: B
FanDuel Grades: A, Values: B
With a plethora of big names out due to injury, Leonard is a standing out as the best high-end value on DraftKings at only $8,800. If we exclude the 27-point blowout win against the Hornets this past Saturday, Leonard is averaging 47.4 DraftKings points per game with Patrick Beverley (knee) and Ibaka (back) sidelined these past two weeks. Tonight’s date with the Spurs will be his second game in two nights, but after being the poster boy for “load management” the last few seasons, Leonard has played in both contests of the Clippers’ two most recent back-to-back sets, contributing 51.9 DraftKings points per game.
Plus, Leonard always steps up when facing his original team, recording 48 DraftKings points per game in his eight matchups with the Spurs since leaving the team three years ago. With no obvious spends above $10,000 on either site tonight, balanced builds headlined by Leonard are one of my preferred routes for roster construction.
Projected NBA DFS ownership projection: DraftKings 21.7%, FanDuel 17.7%
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