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Jonas Valanciunas
Daily Games

NBA GPP Plays: Saturday 4/17

by Louis Cangiano
Updated On: April 17, 2021, 9:29 pm ET

Point Guard

Russell Westbrook - Washington Wizards (vs. Detroit Pistons)

Westbrook has faced the Detroit Pistons twice so far this season. In these matchups, he’s averaging 17.5 points, 11.0 assists, and 15.5 rebounds per game over an average of 35 minutes per game. Westbrook has shot 41.7% from the field, attempting an average of 18 shots per game against Detroit so far this season. It’s hard to really quantify how much this matters because the Pistons lineup has changed a lot this year. What we can measure is Westbrook’s recent hot streak, reaching at least 68.5 DK points over each of his last three outings. He has been playing tons of minutes, which does worry me because he will need a rest eventually. The best thing about rostering Westbrook is that he has a perfect hedge play. If you ever don’t like Westbrook in an advantageous spot then invest in Bradley Beal. Beal will go off if Russell Westbrook does not. Pointsbet.com has Washington favored by - 4 points with a 226 O/U. The Wizards money line is at -186. I do expect this game to stay close. Make sure to invest in exposure to both sides of this matchup. If you want Westbrook or Beal to perform well, the game needs to stay close in order for 4th quarter playing time. Over his last three games, Westbrook has a triple-double in two of three (with the third game just one assist shy). Can we expect another triple-double tonight? I actually think so. Lock in Russell Westbrook at hopefully reasonable roster percentages. 

Other PG Option: Cory Joseph - Detroit Pistons (vs. Washington Wizards) 

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Shooting Guard

Desmond Bane - Memphis Grizzlies (vs. Milwaukee Bucks)

The NBC Sports Edge NBA Optimizer loves Desmond Bane tonight. He’s currently projected for 30.7 fantasy points on DraftKings at a salary of $3,600. D'Anthony Melton, Justise Winslow, and Brandon Clarke are all doubtful for tonight’s matchup with the Milwaukee Bucks. Whether he’s starting or not, Bane is a crucial part of this roster and at his current salary, he becomes a must-play on tonight’s small five-game slate. The Bucks will still be without DiVincenzo tonight but otherwise, they are relatively healthy (compared to the rest of the league). Bane is shooting 45 % from the field over his last seven games. He is simply a logical play tonight at his current salary. His ceiling might not be massive but his floor has been high enough to justify rostering him. Bane has averaged 21.0 fantasy points per game over 21.2 minutes per game over his last seven outings. He’s way too cheap. The Grizzlies are + 8-point underdogs with a 237.5 O/U Courtesy of Pointsbet.com. 

Other SG Option: Darius Garland - Cleveland Cavaliers (vs. Chicago Bulls)

Small Forward

DeMar DeRozan is OUT

DeMar DeRozan - San Antonio Spurs (vs. Phoenix Suns)

The theme of tonight‘s article is “recent success”. Russell Westbrook has been killing it as of late, lock him in. DeMar DeRozan has a similar situation going on. The Spurs veteran small forward has played an average of 33.4 minutes per game over his last six games. In these outings, he has an average of 41.3 fantasy points per game while shooting 50% from the field. Over his last five games, his worst game (in terms of DFS production) was a 30 fantasy points effort against the Orlando Magic. Other than that, he has consistently hovered around the 40-50 fantasy point mark as of late. What impresses me is his high field-goal percentage. He took 25 shots in two of his five most recent outings but has yet to shoot under 44% from the field over his last five. The Phoenix Suns are going to be a tough matchup for the San Antonio Spurs and they will need DeRozan to be a major part of this offense in order for them to compete. Both teams are as healthy as can be. The Phoenix Suns are favored by - 9.5 points with a 227 O/U Courtesy of Pointsbet.com.

Other SF Options: Kelly Oubre - Golden State Warriors (vs. Boston Celtics) & Isaac Okoro - Cleveland Cavaliers (vs. Chicago Bulls)

Power Forward

Draymond Green - Golden State Warriors (vs. Boston Celtics)

Note: Jaylen Brown is now questionable (illness)

Over his last three games, Draymond Green has been on fire. Most recently, he totaled 37 fantasy points against Cleveland. The night before, he totaled 61 fantasy points with a triple-double against the Oklahoma City Thunder, and lastly, he had 45.25 DraftKings points in 37 minutes against the Denver Nuggets on April 12. Kelly Oubre is questionable for tonight‘s game with a wrist injury. If Oubre sits, Green becomes a must play at $7,300 on Draftkings, and $7,400 on Fanduel. Green also has a great price on YahooFantasy at $33. If Oubre is confirmed out before lock, expect Draymond Green to be a popular play on a small five-game slate. If you want to fade Green, I’d recommend shifting towards his matchups in Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart, and Jaylen Brown or Golden State‘s remaining power forward, Juan Toscano-Anderson. Depending on your narrative, either strategy is viable.

Other PF Option: Garrett Temple - Chicago Bulls (vs. Cleveland Cavaliers)


Jonas Valanciunas - Memphis Grizzlies (vs. Milwaukee Bucks)

Valanciunas is another player that I believe is priced way too low. Memphis’s big man has a salary of $7,900 on DraftKings tonight. He has an average of 46.4 DK points over his last seven games (and an average of 31.2 minutes played per game). Valanciunas is shooting 69% from the field over his last seven games. Valanciunas has faced Milwaukee one time this season. In this game, he played 27 minutes shooting 37.5% from the field totaling 13 points, 12 rebounds, and no assists. I think Memphis will lean on Valanciunas more tonight than they did in their first matchup against Milwaukee (which was on March 4th, 2021). In this game, they lost by one point, 112 to 111. For the record, the top scorers in this game were Giannis with 26 points and Ja Morant with 35. I think the Grizzlies will recognize the importance of Valanciunas’ success against Brook Lopez tonight, who gathered five personal fouls against Valanciunas in their last matchup. Lopez or Valanciunas will reach value tonight. My bet is on Memphis’ Jonas Valanciunas

Other C Option: Brook Lopez - Milwaukee Bucks (vs. Memphis Grizzlies)

Bargain Bin

PG Cory Joseph

SG Desmond Bane

SF Garrett Temple

PF Isaac Okoro

C Brook Lopez

If you haven’t already, make sure to check out our Top NBA DFS Plays for April 17, 2021, by Renne Miller.

Louis Cangiano

Louis Cangiano has been an avid DFS player since his freshman year of college at the University of Rhode Island. Now a 3x live finalist, Louis is currently a full-time Daily Fantasy Player, having previously provided content at: DFSArmy, TheQuantEdge, EliteFantasy and SiriusXM Radio, specializing in MLB and NBA GPP plays. You can find Louis on Twitter @JaguarDFS.