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NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks for Thursday, April 8th | De’Aaron Fox

Eric MacPherson



NBA FanDuel Lineup PIcks from Josh Engleman's ConTENders and NBA simulations and projections featuring De'Aaron Fox

NBA DFS action on Thursday, April 8, locks at 7 p.m. ET with a solid 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 picks and daily fantasy basketball, including De’Aaron Fox, Donovan Mitchell 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 8th

Yahoo Play of the Day — De’Aaron Fox: Sacramento Kings vs. Detroit Pistons

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 44.14 | DraftKings: 44.88
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 23.0% | FanDuel 29.4% | DraftKings 14.2%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $42 | FanDuel $9,300 | DraftKings $9,300

Today there are 14 teams in action, and with several on back-to-backs and potential early injury news, this is going to be a stars-and-scrubs night for certain. Sacramento is at risk of sliding out of play-in contention, and it simply must stop its four-game losing streak tonight. Detroit is going to be without the services of Jerami Grant and Rodney McGruder, which will serve to weaken an already shaky defense.

The acquisition of Delon Wright seemed to have somewhat suppressed the heavy run that De’Aaron Fox had been receiving, but he has played 37-plus minutes in each of his last two games. Fox is having the best season of his career, setting career highs in several categories. He is averaging 34.8 minutes per game, 24.6 points, 7.1 assists and nearly 42 Yahoo fantasy points.

Those numbers are even better in his last 16 games, with 36.2 minutes, 28.6 points, 6.5 assists and 2.2 combined blocks/steals for nearly 47 Yahoo fantasy points per game. Fox is at a substantial 15 to 20% salary discount, and he should be one of the core NBA DFS picks on Thursday.

Donovan Mitchell: Utah Jazz vs. Portland Trail Blazers

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 37.43 | DraftKings: 39.77
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 24.4% | FanDuel 41.4% | DraftKings 21.6%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $38 | FanDuel $7,800 | DraftKings $8,600

The Jazz lost a tough one last night in Phoenix 117-113, and they also dropped one in Dallas on Monday 111-103. Though this is their third game in four nights, they are back at home and in a great matchup against the Trail Blazers. Over its last 15 games, Portland has the third-worst defensive efficiency in the league, allowing 117.2 points per 100 possessions.

Since this is a back-to-back, Mike Conley is unlikely to play, as he has not taken the floor on consecutive nights since early February. This season, in the 10 games Mitchell has played without Conley, he is averaging 33.5 minutes and 21.1 field-goal attempts, including nearly a 42% success rate on 9.1 attempts from beyond the arc. This has translated into 29.3 points, 4.4 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 1.6 combined blocks/steals for just over 46 fantasy points per game. The vaunted DFS 50-burger is definitely on the menu tonight.

Good Value

Milwaukee Bucks at Dallas Mavericks

Currently Giannis Antetokounmpo is doubtful to play with a sore knee. This has kept him out of the last two games, and he has been on the sideline in four of his last nine. Milwaukee is within three games of the Nets and 76ers, with the next closest Eastern Conference teams six games behind. The Bucks can afford to keep an eye on the postseason, and they will only go as far as Giannis can take them.

The players to target whenever Giannis is out start with Khris Middleton. When he shares the court with Antetokounmpo, he averages a respectable 1.03 Yahoo fantasy points per minute. With Giannis off the court, that figure leaps to 1.30 Yahoo fantasy points per minute. Jrue Holiday goes from 1.01 Yahoo fantasy points per minute to 1.37. That 30% increase in efficiency is not even close to being accounted for in today’s DFS salaries. Bobby Portis will likely draw the start, and he is a solid per-minute producer when he gets run. Finally, Donte DiVincenzo, Pat Connaughton and Brook Lopez are all main-slate options, though their salaries vary on the different DFS sites.

Luka Doncic should play in this back-to-back set, but Kristaps Porzingis has not played on consecutive nights in the last two months. If Doncic plays, he is a tremendous NBA DFS pick, though he logged 37.5 minutes in last night’s loss to the Rockets in Houston. The next Dallas game is on Sunday against the Spurs, so that leads one to believe Doncic will take the court tonight.

There are a lot of moving parts with the Mavericks, who currently are listing several players as questionable. Willie Cauley-Stein has missed the last 11 games while in the health and safety protocol. Trey Burke has missed the last two games with a calf injury, and Maxi Kleber has been out with a sore leg in two of the last three games. Keep an eye on the news, as this is going to be crucial in order to have a successful night in tournaments.

Risky Value

Toronto Raptors vs. Chicago Bulls

The Raptors have been dealing with illness and injuries all season. Tonight they will be without Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, Rodney Hood, Paul Harris and Patrick McCaw. They also dealt Norman Powell and Terence Davis at the trade deadline. Toronto has topped 104 points in just one of their last four games and did acquire Gary Trent Jr., who has been performing well with his new team. The main reason to point this out is that Toronto traditionally has kept most of its rotation together for the last four seasons. It is now without several key contributors, and that could limit its overall effectiveness.

Pascal Siakam is going to be getting most of the offensive opportunities, along with Trent. DeAndre’ Bembry has been starting in place of VanVleet and is a solid contributor, and Malachi Flynn has been getting a lot of run off the bench. It is important to realize that the DFS salary algorithms now have had several games to make adjustments, and their current salaries are not as forgiving as they were earlier in the week. These Raptors are not bad plays, but they are by no means priority targets on Thursday night.

 Yahoo Daily Fantasy Basketball Discount Dandies

  1. Taurean Prince: CLE at OKC – $11
  2. Kevin Huerter: ATL vs. MEM – $10
  3. Isaiah Hartenstein: CLE at OKC – $13

Final Thoughts on the Thursday, April 8th NBA DFS Slate

Tonight there are three games tipping off in the first 30 minutes, then there are three games starting at 10 p.m. ET. Be on the lookout for late-breaking news, and 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

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