After last night’s full card, there is a value-packed six-game slate for Thursday night. Many of the teams in action tonight are trying to secure a playoff spot or improve their seed with only two weeks remaining in the regular season, and it’s worth noting that only the Nuggets and Pelicans are on the second night of back-to-back, while only the Nets and Bucks have games tomorrow. Still, gamers have to be prepared for late-breaking news, so be sure to keep checking back to Awesemo’s NBA DFS projections and daily fantasy basketball rankings when making your NBA daily fantasy picks for both DraftKings and FanDuel throughout the night.
NBA Daily Fantasy Picks: Awesemo Grades | April 29
SF Kent Bazemore
DraftKings Grades: C, Values: A
FanDuel Grades: C, Values: A
The Warriors will be without Kelly Oubre (doubtful, wrist) tonight, but they will be getting Bazemore (health and safety protocols) back from a three-game absence. FanDuel left his price elevated while he was in quarantine, but DraftKings dropped Bazemore’s salary down to a near-minimum $3,900, which is extremely low for him in this situation. He has already been named a starter for Thursday night, and before his self-isolation, Bazemore erupted for a season-high 52.25 DraftKings points against the Wizards with Oubre in the lineup. This wrist injury forced Oubre to miss five games this month, and Bazemore produced 22.8 DraftKings points in 28.6 minutes per game in that time.
As the current 10th seed in the Western Conference, every game from here on out is a must-win for the Warriors, and Thursday’s date with the Timberwolves carries a huge total of 234 points and tight spread of only 4 points. With Steve Kerr using a very tight rotation in the absence of Oubre, Bazemore is guaranteed to log above 30 minutes and is a core play on DraftKings against a Wolves defense that is third-to-last in defensive efficiency. In the six games he has received at least 30 minutes this season, Bazemore has smashed value with 33.5 DraftKings points per game.
NBA DFS Ownership Projection: DraftKings 37.0%, FanDuel 17.0%
PG Stephen Curry
DraftKings Grades: A, Values: B
FanDuel Grades: A, Values: A
Curry has slowed down a little bit after his record-setting run, and the main difference has been the presence of Oubre. After tearing the league apart for 59.6 DraftKings points per game in the five that Oubre missed with the wrist injury, Curry has only produced 48.1 DraftKings points per game in these last five. Overall, Curry has posted a 36.5% usage rate when Oubre has been off the court this season, compared to only 31.3% when the two share the floor together. These are staggering splits, and with Oubre doubtful tonight, Curry should smash.
Not only is Curry’s usage going to be through the roof, Minnesota is the best possible matchup for him. Its defense has yielded the second-most DraftKings points per game to opposing point guards this season, and the Timberwolves have been putrid on the perimeter as of late. So far this month, the opposition is shooting 40.8% from beyond the arc and hitting 15.6 3-pointers per game against Minnesota. These are both league highs for the month of April, and no player on this slate has a higher ceiling than Curry.
NBA DFS Ownership Projection: DraftKings 31.0%, FanDuel 39.6%
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PF Kevin Durant
DraftKings Grades: A, Values: A
FanDuel Grades: A, Values: A
Durant saw his minutes limited increased Tuesday and finished with 45 DraftKings points across 32.3 minutes against the Raptors. He should see a similar amount of playing time tonight and be rested tomorrow against the Blazers. In addition to a near full complement of minutes, Durant’s usage is going to be godly with Kyrie Irving (groin) joining James Harden on the sidelines. Since the Nets completed the blockbuster trade for Harden, Durant has watched his usage skyrocket 8.9% to an enormous 39.6% when Harden and Irving have been off the floor. This elevates Durant to 1.6 DraftKings points per minute, and he is participating in the largest total of the night against the Pacers. At 242 points, this game’s total is the high mark of this six-game slate by 8 points, and the Pacers have been a disaster on defense this month, ranking 24th in defensive rating.
Their struggles have been a product of Myles Turner (toe) and Domantas Sabonis (back) both being sidelined, and the pair of big men will miss their sixth in a row this evening. Durant has contributed 50 DraftKings points per game in game totals of 240 points or more since joining the Nets, and this will likely be the final time of the season that Durant will be cheaper than $9,000 on DraftKings. According to Awesemo’s NBA DFS projections, Durant is a top-10 value and is easily the strongest value above $8,000 on DraftKings tonight.
NBA DFS Ownership Projection: DraftKings 37.4%, FanDuel 34.0%
SF Saddiq Bey
DraftKings Grades: C, Values: B
FanDuel Grades: C, Values: B
Unsurprisingly, the Pistons will stick to their plan of tanking as the season winds down, with all of Mason Plumlee, Cory Joseph, Jerami Grant and Wayne Ellington being rested Thursday night. Additionally, Dennis Smith (knee) and Rodney McGruder (elbow) will be unavailable due to injuries. Detroit has been in this exact scenario three times this season, and Bey has started on all three occasions, helping him score 27.25 DraftKings points per game behind a team-high 35.8 minutes per game.
Facing a Dallas defense that is 27th in rating over its last 10, Bey’s success should continue tonight, and neither of Bey’s salaries reflect the type of volume he will garner tonight. For example, the last time the Pistons were without all these players, Bey was up to $5,600 on DraftKings, and now he is only $4,900 for this evening. Take this discount into account, and Bey is rating as a top-10 forward on DraftKings tonight, via Awesemo’s NBA DFS projections.
NBA DFS Ownership Projection: DraftKings 13.8%, FanDuel 12.4%
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