NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks for Sunday, April 18th | Paul George

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Eric MacPherson
·6 min read
The NBA Yahoo Cup Post Up Presented by BetMGM | Round 19
Eric Lindquist brings you his NBA DFS picks for Round 19 of the Yahoo Cup for Yahoo Daily Fantasy Basketball on Friday, 4/23/21 | Paul George
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NBA DFS action on Sunday, April 18, locks at 7 p.m. ET with a five-game main slate on Yahoo, DraftKings and FanDuel. Before locking in lineups, make sure to check out Awesemo’s daily fantasy basketball picks, rankings and projections. Let’s dig into some NBA DFS picks and daily fantasy basketball, including Paul George, C.J. McCollum 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.

NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks, Sunday, April 18th

Yahoo Play of the Day — Paul George: Los Angeles Clippers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 42.63 | DraftKings: 44.48

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 36.0% | FanDuel 31.6% | DraftKings 26.6%

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $41 | FanDuel $9,800 | DraftKings $9,300

Kawhi Leonard has missed the last four games with a foot injury, and he is questionable tonight. Paul George has played in just three of the last five games. However, he is averaging 38 minutes and a nearly a 38% usage rate in the three games he did play, all without Leonard. The $41 salary on Yahoo is too good to pass up, even with the Clippers’ notorious and egregious handling of injury news. The speculation is that there is no need for Leonard to play tonight; of course, one could say the same thing about George. Be sure to have a contingency plan just in case something unexpected happens tonight. Jarred Vanderbilt is just $11 and provides a second player from this game when paired with George. Gamers could also swap George with Anthony Edwards and perhaps upgrade from Vanderbilt to Marcus Morris or Reggie Jackson.

Kevin Porter Jr.: Houston Rockets at Orlando Magic

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 35.76 | DraftKings: 38.11

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 32.2% | FanDuel 35.2% | DraftKings 29.6%

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $24 | FanDuel $6,500 | DraftKings $6,600

John Wall is out with an Achilles injury, so that means Kevin Porter Jr. will be running the Rockets offense tonight. NBA WOWY shows that in the 187 minutes that Porter and Wall have played together, Porter had posted a paltry 0.68 Yahoo fantasy points per minute, a 19.7% usage rate and a 15.4% assist rate. In 413 minutes without Wall, Porter is averaging 1.04 Yahoo fantasy points per minute on a 27.1% usage rate, and his 38.1% assist rate more than doubles. Orlando is in the middle of a rebuild, and defense is not a priority. They have won just one of their last eight games and are ceding an average of 120.1 points in regulation.

C.J. McCollum: Portland Trail Blazers at Charlotte Hornets

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 42.15 | DraftKings: 44.07

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 36.6% | FanDuel 43.2% | DraftKings 22.8%

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $35 | FanDuel $7,900 | DraftKings $8,700

Damian Lillard is out of commission with a strained hamstring, which means the Trail Blazers will be leaning on C.J. McCollum in his stead. This season McCollum has played in two games without Lillard, averaging 36.9 minutes and 26.0 field-goal attempts. This has culminated in 25.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 1.5 combined blocks/steals for 41.3 Yahoo fantasy points. Charlotte is in the midst of a four-game losing streak, during which they have had the fifth-worst defensive efficiency in the league. This is a cherry matchup for the Blazers, and they are 4-point road favorites, even without Lillard. Anfernee Simons should also see increased minutes, making him a nice value option.

Good Value

Toronto Raptors vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

Tonight the Raptors will be without Pascal Siakam, Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, O.G. Anunoby and Jalen Harris. This means heavy minutes for Gary Trent Jr., Malachi Smith, Khem Birch and Chris Boucher. While coach Nick Nurse is not going to run them into the ground, they should all have a very secure 30 to 35 minutes.

On the other side of the game is the Thunder, who are quite short-handed as well. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Al Horford have not played in what feels like months. Mike Muscala has an ankle injury, and even deep reserves Gabriel Deck and Josh Hall are out. Luguentz Dort has stepped up, playing 34.5 minutes on average in the last two games and taking an astounding 51 field-goal attempts. He is dealing with a hip injury, but if he is in the starting lineup, make sure he is on some rosters as well. Aleksej Pokusevski is on track to return from the arm injury that cost him the last three games. While he is a risky option, he is a nice differentiation play for tournaments. Finally, look to Theo Maledon, Moses Brown, Isaiah Roby and Ty Jerome as mix-and=match options to sprinkle across lineups for variation.

Risky Value

De’Aaron Fox: Sacramento Kings at Dallas Mavericks

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 42.85 | DraftKings: 44.37

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 11.4% | FanDuel 26.8% | DraftKings 11.8%

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $47 | FanDuel $9,700 | DraftKings $9,800

Tonight De’Aaron Fox is picking up quite a bit of traction on FanDuel, and he projects to be one of the 10 most popular players. With his increasing salary, it is becoming more and more difficult for him to provide upside. Awesemo’s Boom/Bust tool gives Fox a 17% chance of being in the FanDuel optimal lineup tonight. When compared with his projected popularity of 26.8%, that gives him a leverage score of -9.8.

There is only a 12.8% probability of Fox exceeding his boom score of 58.5 FanDuel points. Conversely, there is a 53.4% likelihood of him falling below his bust score of 48.5 FanDuel points. Over their last 10 games, Dallas is playing at the league’s slowest pace and has the ninth-best defensive efficiency rating, allowing 109.8 points per 100 possessions. It seems like a savvy strategy to fade Fox tonight.

Yahoo Daily Fantasy Basketball Discount Dandies

  1. Khem Birch: TOR vs. OKC – $11

  2. Delon Wright: SAC at DAL – $10

  3. James Ennis: ORL at HOU- $10

Final Thoughts on the Sunday, April 18th NBA DFS Slate

This is the time of the year to expect the unexpected with injury news. Also 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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