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Daily Fantasy Basketball: DraftKings Cheat Sheet- April 8th

Adam Pfiefer lists the best daily fantasy basketball picks and value plays for use on DraftKings.

Kawhi Leonard, daily fantasy basketball

The fantasy basketball season isn’t over just yet…

Teams are making final pushes for playoff seeding, while others are coasting into locked spots, which can cause some roster conflict. Stars may start seeing limited minutes, or, like tonight, may just sit out entirely. Daily fantasy players must keep track, and, once again, DraftKings is the place to get in on the daily fantasy basketball action this evening.

Details (Basketball)
-$70,000 prize pool.
– First place wins $5,000
– Only $3 to enter (FREE with first deposit)
– Top 5,400 finishing positions are paid.​
– Starts tonight at 7:00 PM EST
– Salary Cap Style Drafting. $50,000 to select 8 players
– Roster Format: 1 PG, 1 SG, 1 SF, 1 PF, 1 C, 1 G, 1 F, 1 Utility

Tonight’s Slate

CHI @ ORL

WAS @ PHI

TOR @ CHA

BOS @ DET

ATL @ BKN

IND @ NYK

CLE @ MIL

NO @ MEM

HOU @ SA

LAL @ DEN

SAC @ UTA

PHO @ DAL

MIN @ POR

Point Guard

PG

-Despite the potential return of Derrick Rose, I still like Elfrid Payton quite a bit tonight. Rose will likely play limited minutes, but regardless, Payton has been dominant as of late, averaging 12.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, nine assists and 2.4 steals over his last five games, logging 38 minutes per game during that span. He’s also getting more aggressive on the offensive end, attempting 13 shots per game over that course. The Bulls have been flat out bad against point guards this year, surrendering the fourth-most fantasy points per game to the position this year, and Payton continues to become the focal point of the Orlando offense, as he’s now vaulted inside the top-20 in total offensive touches this season.

-Many will fear the potential blowout between the Wolves and Blazers, but I’ll have some exposure to Damian Lillard in some tournaments tonight. LaMarcus Aldridge could rest in a very winnable game, but even if he doesn’t, Lillard could have another big game against one of the league’s worst defensive units. Lillard is averaging 9.6 drives to the basket per game, which is good for 10th-most in the NBA. That bodes well against a weak Minnesota interior without the services of Nikola Pekovic, who already surrender 47.9 paint points per game, the most in all of basketball. Point guards are also averaging the second-most fantasy points per game against Minnesota this season.

-As for value plays, John Wall has already been ruled out for tonight’s tilt against the 76ers, which means Ramon Sessions should draw the start at point guard. Sessions was very fantasy relevant when given starter’s minutes last year, and he gets an elite matchup against Philly, who are coughing up 23.6 assists per game on the year, good for the fourth-most in basketball. Perhaps this game is a bit closer without Wall in the lineup, too.

Shooting Guard

SG

-Whenever Kyle Lowry is out, it’s usually a wise decision to play DeMar DeRozan in your lineups. He’s coming off a huge 38-point outings, and over his last five games, is averaging 26 points, but is also providing the peripherals, adding 6.4 rebounds, 4.4 assists and a steal per game, too. With Lowry off the floor, his usage rate continues to climb towards the 30 percent mark, and tonight’s matchup is a good one, as Charlotte lacks the wing players to defend DeRozan, who torched them for 30 points the last time these two teams met. He’s one of my favorite plays of the evening, and with playoff seeding on the line, DeRozan will log huge minutes for the Raptors tonight.

James Harden is arguably the best player in fantasy, so he’s always in play. However, at $11,000 against a red hot Spurs team that has won eight straight games and will slow the pace down, I’m not as excited to plug Harden into my lineup as I normally would be. Not to mention he should see a ton of Kawhi Leonard in this contest.

-With John Wall out. Bradley Beal becomes one of my favorite options at the two-guard tonight. The usage and possessions will see an uptick, and the 76ers simply cannot defend wing players, and Beal is a talented one. On the season, Philadelphia is surrendering the third-most fantasy points (38.5), fifth-most assists (4.74), ninth-most rebounds (5.84) and sixth-most triples per game (2.7) to opposing shooting guards.

Small Forward

SF

-Over the last month, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better player in the NBA than Kawhi Leonard. During this recent stretch, he has more 20-point games than he’s accumulated over his entire career, and has now recorded at least one steal in 24 consecutive games. To start the month of April, he’s been equally impressive, averaging 20.5 points, four rebounds, 2.5 assists, and nearly 3.5 steals per game. The Spurs are so much better with him on the floor, and even on a night when LeBron James looks to be playing, Kawhi is the top small forward option. This game against the Rockets should be relatively close, San Antonio could see an uptick in pace and the current over/under is a solid 205.

-Speaking of LeBron, I have him as a stud because, well, he always is. But I also have an asterisk because Cleveland is essentially locked into the two-spot in the East and have talked about resting players to close out the season. That could certainly be the case with LeBron tonight, and Cleveland is just rolling through the opposition since the middle of January.

Rodney Hood is a very strong value option tonight against the Kings. He’s coming off a very impressive 40-point fantasy outing and is becoming a bigger piece of the puzzle in Utah. Meanwhile, the Kings are one of the worst perimeter defensive units in all of basketball, and only the Timberwolves surrender more total points per game on the season (105).

Power Forward

PF

-After a massive win over the Warriors last night, the Pelicans now hold a slim lead over the Thunder for the final playoff spot in the West. Anthony Davis is unstoppable, and always in play, even in the second part of a back-to-back against a tough Grizzlies defense. New Orleans is going to need him to play around 40 minutes per game from here on out. However, unlike many nights, you don’t have to play him, as there is plenty of value at power forward tonight…

-Like Brandan Wright, for instance. Alex Len is out again this evening, and Wright has filled in admirably over the last three starts, averaging 12.6 points, seven rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game. He’s always been a pretty good per-minute player, and now that he’s getting the minutes, he’s easily one of the top value plays of the night, facing a Dallas unit that is allowing 54.2 total rebounds per game this year, the third-most in the NBA.

-Speaking of value, Tyler Hansbrough actually looked (gulp) good on a basketball court the other night. He got the start for the injured Amir Johnson, played 36 minutes and tallied 18 points, eight rebounds, one block and two steals. Johnson has already been ruled out tonight, which means more run for Hansbrough against a banged up interior Charlotte defensive unit that also allows the fourth-most rebounds per game to the power forward position.

Center

C

-Despite the return of Greg Monroe in the Pistons starting lineup, I still think Andre Drummond could have another monster game against a putrid, undersized Celtics frontcourt. Over his last five outings, Drummond is averaging 18.4 points, 15 boards and 2.4 blocks per game and could eat up the glass tonight. Boston ranks 26th in total rebounding this season, while Drummond ranks second in the entire NBA in rebounding chances per game (19.3), converting 70 percent of those opportunities into actual rebounds. In each of his last six games against the Celtics, Drummond has grabbed at least 12 rebounds, and during the two meetings this year, is averaging a strong 22.5 points, 18 rebounds and a massive 4.5 blocks per game.

-For a value option, Mike Muscala got the start for the Hawks with Paul Millsap nursing a shoulder sprain. He played very well, scoring 16 points, adding seven rebounds, one block and four steals in 26 minutes of action, and that game was a blowout, so he could play even more minutes tonight if the Nets can keep this game closer, which I think they will. Brooklyn has been terrible against opposing power forwards all season long, coughing up the third-most fantasy points per game to the position, as well as the third-most blocks.

 

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