NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks for Thursday, April 1st | Kyrie Irving

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Eric MacPherson
·7 min read
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EMac gives his favorite NBA DFS picks for Yahoo + DraftKings + FanDuel daily fantasy basketball lineups Kyrie Irving | Thursday 4/1/21
EMac gives his favorite NBA DFS picks for Yahoo + DraftKings + FanDuel daily fantasy basketball lineups Kyrie Irving | Thursday 4/1/21

NBA DFS action on Thursday, April 1, locks at 7 p.m. ET with a seven-game main slate on Yahoo, DraftKings and FanDuel. Before you lock in your lineups, make sure to check out Awesemo’s daily fantasy basketball picks, rankings and projections. Let’s dig into some NBA DFS and daily fantasy basketball picks, including Kyrie Irving, Russell Westbrook and more.

Don’t forget to head over to the Awesemo NBA DFS HOME PAGE for more great written daily fantasy basketball content, including the FREE Deep Dive — the most in-depth article in the industry.

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NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks, Thursday, April 1st

Yahoo Play of the Day — Kyrie Irving: Brooklyn Nets vs. Charlotte Hornets

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 53.33 | DraftKings: 55.16

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 58.2% | FanDuel 39.4% | DraftKings 35.3%

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $41 | FanDuel $10,000 | DraftKings $9800

Last night James Harden left the game with a hamstring injury with 4:47 remaining in the third quarter. In an interesting twist, the Nets were actually down by double digits at that point to Harden’s former squad. Houston, being prone to self-destruction and without John Wall, promptly allowed Brooklyn to go on a 12-0 run to even the game. Then it outdid itself down the stretch, allowing the Nets, led by Kyrie Irving, Bruce Brown and Nicholas Claxton, to post a 22-2 run in the back half of the final frame and ultimately win 120-108.

While the status of Harden is unclear, it would make sense to keep him out of action tonight since the next Brooklyn game is on Sunday. The Nets are already without Kevin Durant for potentially another week, so why risk injury to a second superstar? Assuming Harden is out, gamers will naturally flock to Irving. Playing Irving either way with his favorable $41 salary on Yahoo is totally viable.

NBA WOWY shows that when both Harden and Durant are off the court, Irving averages 1.57 Yahoo fantasy points per minute. This is up from his already solid 1.39 Yahoo fantasy points per minute on the full season. Keep in mind that Irving’s recent absence was not injury related, so he should be somewhat fresh late in the compressed season.

Russell Westbrook: Washington Wizards at Detroit Pistons

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 55.08 | DraftKings: 58.5

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 24.2% | FanDuel 23.8% | DraftKings 20.9%

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $53 | FanDuel $11,300 | DraftKings $11,000

There is a decent chance that Bradley Beal will miss a third straight game with his hip injury. While Washington is fading out of contention for the play-in tournament, it is not going to make it if Beal has another flare-up with this injury. This is a winnable game for the Wizards, even without their All-Star, and they are favored by a bucket in Detroit. Russell Westbrook and Rui Hachimura have a decent chance at leading their team to victory, but there is essentially no shot of the Wizards beating Dallas on Saturday without a healthy Beal.

Westbrook has triple-doubles in three straight games, and his 17 triple-doubles this year both lead the league and are the most by any player in Washington franchise history. Through 39 games Westbrook is averaging 21.8 points, 10.3 rebounds, 10.6 assists and 1.7 combined blocks/steals. Every night he is a threat for 50-plus fantasy points regardless of Beal’s status.

Clint Capela: Atlanta Hawks at San Antonio Spurs

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 24.36 | DraftKings: 24.7

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 10.2% | FanDuel 0.5% | DraftKings 27.5%

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $15 | FanDuel $5,800 | DraftKings $4,600

John Collins is out tonight with an ankle injury, so Clint Capela should play in the 33- to 34-minute range. Collins has not missed any games this year, but his loss means there will be more rebounding chances for Capela. Capela is leading the league with 14.1 rebounds per game, and his 29 double-doubles in 41 games rank ninth. The matchup against Jakob Poeltl is a favorable one, which makes Capela an excellent NBA DFS pick in all formats.

Good Value

Isaiah Hartenstein: Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Philadelphia 76ers

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 26.33 | DraftKings: 25.89

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 26.6% | FanDuel 40.5% | DraftKings 41.9%

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $11 | FanDuel $4,000 | DraftKings $3,700

Cleveland is going to be without Jarrett Allen, who is in the concussion protocol, and Larry Nance Jr., who is out with a non-COVID illness. While Kevin Love is listed as questionable, his calf issue has curtailed his efforts to only a pair of appearances totaling just a dozen minutes since the end of December. The biggest risk with Isaiah Hartenstein is his proclivity to collect fouls quickly. Philadelphia will be without Joel Embiid for at least one more game, so this does help Hartenstein. For his career across 82 games, he has a per-36 foul rate of 7.4.

In his debut for the Cavs against Utah, Hartenstein picked up two fouls in the first minute of the game and was banished to the bench until the end of the first quarter. He then managed to play around six penalty-free minutes crossing over into the second quarter. He started the second half with 10 minutes avoiding further fouls and then played the final nine minutes of the game, picking up just one more. The 14 rebounds were nice, the 4 points a little disappointing and the seven assists were unexpected and represent a full third of his season-long total for that category. This narrative is just to enable us to set appropriate expectations for Hartenstein.

Risky Value

Luke Kennard: Los Angeles Clippers vs. Denver Nuggets

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 22.02 | DraftKings: 23.28

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 26.0% | FanDuel 15.8% | DraftKings 35.1%

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $10 | FanDuel $4,700 | DraftKings $4,200

Paul George is out again with his foot injury, and Serge Ibaka is still at least a week away from his return. Guards Rajon Rondo and Patrick Beverley also remain unavailable. This means that Luke Kennard will return to a prominent role in the rotation. The salary on DraftKings and Yahoo will be very enticing to most gamers, but understand the potential risk in a difficult matchup against the Nuggets.

The Awesemo Boom/Bust tool shows there is an 18.7% chance of Kennard appearing in the optimal DraftKings lineup. With his current popularity, that gives him a -16.4 leverage score, which indicates that he is more popular than his probable level of production merits. There is only a 14.8% chance of him exceeding his boom score (5x salary + 10) of 31.0 DraftKings points. Conversely, there is a 37.5% likelihood of Kennard failing to reach his bust threshold (5x salary) or 21.0 DraftKings points. While his discounted salary cap figure will allow for more exciting players, keep in mind that Kennard is unlikely to have a major direct positive impact on fantasy scores.

Yahoo Daily Fantasy Basketball Discount Dandies

  1. Bruce Brown: BKN vs. CHA – $10

  2. Cory Joseph and Saben Lee: DET vs. WAS – $11

  3. Isaiah Hartenstein: CLE vs. PHI – $10

Final Thoughts on Thursday, April 1st NBA DFS Slate

Tonight the first six games tip off within 90 minutes of lock. The nightcap is the featured TNT game between the Nuggets and Clippers. Four teams are on the second game of back-to-backs, and four others play tomorrow, so watch for news. 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.

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