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NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks for Wednesday, April 28th | Julius Randle

Eric MacPherson

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EMac gives his favorite NBA DFS picks for Yahoo, DraftKings + FanDuel daily fantasy basketball lineups, including Julius Randle | 5/13/21

Tonight should be a fun one with 20 teams in action. There is no shortage of NBA DFS picks to choose from with a player pool this large, so let’s highlight some of the key decision points for DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo lineups. Utah is short-handed in a cherry matchup against a woeful Sacramento defense. Plus, tonight we get to see the irresistible force of the speedy Wizards matchup against the immovable object, which is the Lakers’ defense. Let’s see what else we can uncover.

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NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks, Wednesday, April 28th

Yahoo Play of the Day — Jordan Clarkson: Utah Jazz at Sacramento Kings

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 42.74 | DraftKings: 46.2
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 64.6% | FanDuel 54.4% | DraftKings 42.4%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $20 | FanDuel $6,300 | DraftKings $6,900

There is not much to consider with Jordan Clarkson today. Donovan Mitchell is likely out through the weekend, and Mike Conley has been ruled out with a sore hamstring. This should give Clarkson the opportunity to approach 20 field-goal attempts. Sacramento has the worst defensive efficiency in the league, and targeting them all season has been a savvy strategy. Even though the Jazz lost both games in a home-and-home series with the Timberwolves, they are still favored by 8.5 points on the road against the Kings tonight. Joe Ingles and Rudy Gobert are also borderline core plays.

Julius Randle: New York Knicks vs. Chicago Bulls

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 44.49 | DraftKings: 47.51
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 9.2% | FanDuel 16.4% | DraftKings 8.6%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $46 | FanDuel $9,900 | DraftKings $10,300

After two tricky matchups against the Suns and Raptors, Julius Randle has some less-than-appealing box scores. However, while his field-goal attempts were down, he still saw 17 in both games, along with 38-plus minutes. Tonight’s matchup against the Bulls should prove to be much more fantasy friendly. In his two prior meetings with Chicago, Randle has been stellar with 38.5 minutes, 25 points, 8.5 rebounds, 6.5 assists and two steals. These figures are right in line with his full-season averages.

New York needs to keep banking wins if it wants to stay ahead of Atlanta and host a first-round playoff series in Madison Square Garden. In their last 10 games, the Bulls have been in the middle of the pack from a pace and defensive perspective. This should help boost the Knicks fantasy prospects across the board. Randle provides a very steady floor with 50-plus fantasy-point upside in this matchup.

Nikola Jokic: Denver Nuggets vs. New Orleans Pelicans

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 54.11 | DraftKings: 56.64
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 16.8% | FanDuel 21.2% | DraftKings 26.8%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $55 | FanDuel $11,100 | DraftKings $11,000

Denver is without Monte Morris and Will Barton for at least the next 10 days. Additionally, Jamal Murray has been lost for the season with a torn ACL. Once again, Nikola Jokic is going to be asked to shoulder the Nuggets offense. NBA WOWY shows that Jokic is averaging 1.62 Yahoo fantasy points per minute without Murray on the floor.

Jokic is on the short list for MVP consideration, setting career highs across the board. His 26.2 points per game rank 10th, his 11 rebounds are ninth and his 8.7 assists are sixth. On top of this, he is shooting 56.7% from the field, 40.9% behind the arc and 85.8% from the charity stripe. There should be enough NBA DFS value picks that Jokic can be a priority in all formats tonight.

Good Value

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Orlando Magic

Collin Sexton (concussion) is out once again, and he is joined by Isaiah Hartenstein (concussion) and Matthew Dellavedova (neck). This opens up all the minutes and usage that Darius Garland can handle against the short-handed Magic. In his last six games, Garland is averaging 36.1 minutes and 17.7 field-goal attempts. This has culminated in 23 points, 2.5 rebounds, 7.8 assists and 1.7 combined blocks/steals for just over 40 fantasy points per game.

Jarrett Allen is capable of posting a monster performance in this matchup, though he is best left for tournaments given his inconsistent production. It needs to be noted that Larry Nance Jr. is out with a fractured thumb suffered on Sunday, and depending on how embarrassed Kevin Love is by his recent lackadaisical performance, he could be a tournament dart throw in the off chance he is inspired by all the grief he received on social media.

Cedi Osman went from not playing for nearly two weeks to back-to-back 37-plus minutes with all the injuries. Though his salary continues to tick up, he is still a viable option. However, he is very dependent on scoring for his fantasy production.

Risky Value

Russell Westbrook: Washington Wizards vs. Los Angeles Lakers

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 51.2 | DraftKings: 54.31
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 3.6% | FanDuel 16.6% | DraftKings 16.0%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $56 | FanDuel $11,100 | DraftKings $11,100

Just to be clear, Russell Westbrook is not a bad play. However, when earmarking this much salary for one player, who is in a difficult matchup, gamers need to consider all outcomes. Even without Anthony Davis for 30 games and LeBron James missing nearly as many, the Lakers still have posted one of the best defensive efficiency ratings in the league. In their other meeting, Westbrook dropped 60 fantasy points on the Lakers in 44.2 minutes, so the upside is there.

The Awesemo Boom/Bust tool gives Westbrook a 9% probability of being in the DraftKings optimal lineup. When comparing that to his 16% projected popularity, that gives him a -7 leverage score. At his lofty $11,100 salary, he has a bust threshold of 55.5 DraftKings points. There is a 54.5% likelihood of him falling short of that mark tonight. Conversely, there is just a 14.1% chance of him exceeding his boom score of 65.5 DraftKings points.

Yahoo Daily Fantasy Basketball Discount Dandies

  1. Facundo Campazzo: DEN vs. NOP – $10
  2. Lou Williams: ATL at PHI – $10
  3. Gary Harris: ORL at CLE – $10

Final Thoughts on the Wednesday, April 28th NBA DFS Slate

Tonight there are 10 games with staggered tip-offs. This will likely lead to late-breaking news that needs to be monitored tonight. Keep in mind that salaries and scoring formats differ across the various fantasy sites, and a slam-dunk play on Yahoo may be a below-average NBA DFS pick on DraftKings or FanDuel.

Eric "EMac" MacPherson won the 2007 Fantasy Baseball grand prize (trip for two to the MLB All-Star game) in the Roto format on ESPN. He won again in 2008, this time in the H2H format. As one of the early adopters of daily fantasy sports, EMac has been providing content for baseball and basketball as well as both professional and college football since 2012 for a variety of websites including DraftKings Playbook, FanVice, RotoWorld, Daily Fantasy Bootcamp, and RotoGrinders. He is well into his third decade of fantasy sports and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Follow him on Twitter @EMacDFS or contact EMac by emailing support@awesemo.com.

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