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NBA DFS Picks and Fantasy Basketball Building Blocks for Today, Friday | 4/1/22

Eric MacPherson



The best NBA DFS picks today for Yahoo, DraftKings & FanDuel daily fantasy basketball cash game lineups | Luka Doncic NBA Tonight 5/20/22

Friday, April 1, wraps up the work week with an 11-game main slate tipping off at 7 p.m. ET on DraftKings and FanDuel, while Yahoo is providing an extra half hour before their main contests lock at 7:30 p.m. ET. Let’s look at the player pool and discuss the top NBA DFS picks today for DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo lineups. As always, you can head over to the Awesemo NBA DFS & Fantasy Basketball home page for all the fantasy basketball content you need for any given slate.

NBA DFS Picks: Fantasy Basketball Building Blocks Today | Friday, April 1

Yahoo Play of the Day — Dejounte Murray: San Antonio Spurs vs. Portland Trail Blazers

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 52.34 | DraftKings: 54.07
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 21.2% | FanDuel 25.5% | DraftKings 11.6%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $50 | FanDuel $10,800 | DraftKings $11,400

Last night the Lakers lost their fourth consecutive game, and they have won only five times in their last 22 games. This has allowed the Spurs to edge them out for the final slot in the Play-In Tournament. While San Antonio is favored by over a dozen points tonight, the game still has to be played and the motley crew playing out the string for Portland has at least been plucky.

Dejounte Murray is setting career highs in most statistical categories this season as he is finally healthy and also the featured option in the San Antonio offense. Over his last 15 games he is averaging 36.2 minutes, 25.7 points, 8.7 rebounds, 8.9 assists, 1.9 steals and 0.4 blocks. The fifth-year guard is a threat for 50 fantasy points every time he takes that court, and anything less than that should be considered a failure.

LeBron James: Los Angeles Lakers vs. New Orleans Pelicans

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 55.29 | DraftKings: 57.31
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 2.8% | FanDuel 5.6% | DraftKings 5.1%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $54 | FanDuel $11,000 | DraftKings $10,900

This is where the rubber meets the road for the Lakers. LeBron James (ankle) has strategically sat out the last two games and should be ready to go tonight in a must-win game against New Orleans. Los Angeles has slipped out of the Play-In Tournament, though that is only because San Antonio has the tiebreaker. James is also looking for second-career scoring title with his first coming back in the 2007-08 season when he was a 23-year-old youngster. Across his last 10 games, LeBron is averaging 39.0 minutes, 36 points, nine rebounds, 6.4 assists, 0.3 steals and 1.5 blocks. Among the main superstars available tonight, James is looking like he is overlooked with single-digit popularity.

Memphis Grizzles vs. Phoenix Suns

The Grizzlies are resting their starting lineup en masse with a matchup against the top team in the league. Ja Morant (knee) may not return until the final weekend of the regular season and Killian Tillie (knee) is out for an eighth consecutive game. While not yet officially announced, it sounds like Desmond Bane, Tyus Jones, Steven Adams and Jaren Jackson Jr. will be joining them on the sideline to rest and recover from various maladies. This moves Brandon Clarke, Dillon Brooks and De’Anthony Melton to the top of the value list as well as making them core plays, despite a 22-team player pool. Kyle Anderson, Xavier Tillman, Jarrett Culver, John Konchar and Ziaire Williams are neutral options who are most appealing across the DFS sites at close to minimum salaries, however, it is hard to envision more than one or two exceeding 25 fantasy points.

It will be interesting to see how much the Suns starters play in this game as they have already clinched the best record in the league. It is hard to pay full freight for Chris Paul, Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton in a mostly meaningless game. On the flipside, JaVale McGee is back after missing the last two games with a non-COVID related illness and Cameron Johnson (quad) has been cleared to play for the first time in nearly a month. McGee will likely see 18 to 20 minutes while Johnson should be in the 22 to 26 range. If Phoenix elects to rest some key players, minutes could become available for Torrey Craig, Landry Shamet and Bismack Biyombo. This is a situation to monitor leading up to tipoff.

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Detroit Pistons

Oklahoma City is electing to roll with an eight-man rotation after shutting down most NBA caliber players for the remainder of the season. Isaiah Roby and Theo Maledon stand out as the best options, even with their salaries starting to rise across the industry. Aleksej Pokusevski, Aaron Wiggins and Lindy Waters III make up the next tier of Thunder options. On the mid-evening slate, undrafted rookies Olivier Sarr and Vit Krejci are extreme punt options. Sarr would be more prominent if he were at any position other than center, though he flashed 30-fantasy-point upside in just over 26 minutes of action against Atlanta. In the event that Roby were to sit, or if Sarr somehow finds his way into the starting lineup, the Frenchman would become a tremendous under the radar selection.

Look to Roby in this matchup against the Pistons in the NBA player prop market. Currently, he has a 14.5 over/under on his points prop, and the Awesemo NBA player projections have him for 18.5 points, which gives him a 71% probability of surpassing the over. Roby has been solid in his last four games as the co-offensive force for the Thunder. In these games he is averaging 19.3 points in a healthy 32.5 minutes.

Detroit somehow upset Philadelphia last night without Jerami Grant (calf), who is done for the season. Marvin Bagley III (hip) was dinged up, so it would not be a shock to see him get a rest day. Kelly Olynyk is an outstanding discount dandy on sites where he has power forward eligibility, as he is a garbage-time specialist and it looks like there will be 48 minutes of that tonight. It would not be a surprise to see Cade Cunningham, Saddiq Bey, Corey Joseph or Isaiah Stewart get the night off, which of course would create additional opportunities for the dregs of this roster.

Sacramento Kings at Houston Rockets

Lather, rinse, repeat. Here is yet another matchup between two squads who are looking to increase their lottery odds. Rookie Davion Mitchell has been stellar in the absence of De’Aaron Fox (hand) and with Tyrese Haliburton traded to the Pacers. Even in non-overtime games, Mitchell is seeing upwards of 37 minutes; once more he should approach 40 fantasy points in a sublime situation. In his last start Wednesday, Damian Jones was not a popular play — so naturally he had a career-best 56 fantasy points. This is yet another solid matchup, though the center position is loaded tonight. Harrison Barnes, Trey Lyles and Donte DiVincenzo can be sprinkled in across tournament lineups for those building out 20 or more entries.

Houston has officially ended the season for Christian Wood, Dennis Schroder and Eric Gordon. Rookie Alperen Sengun missed the last game with a leg issue, though if he returns tonight as a starter, he is a top-tier selection who easily could flirt with 40 fantasy points in his standard 24 to 26 minutes. Kevin Porter Jr. is going to be in the mix for a second straight triple-double, and we know that Jalen Green is going to be launching long-range shots all night.

Final Thoughts on NBA DFS picks for the Friday, April 1 Fantasy Basketball Slate

Friday brings an expansive 11-game slate with games tipping off at six different start times. Five of the matchups take place during the 8 o’clock hour, which means news will need to be monitored after lock. Tonight will facilitate an extreme stars-and-scrubs roster construction. Be cognizant of popularity surging for just a handful of players; this tends to create a lot of lineup overlap, which is something that can easily be avoided with so many teams in action.

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 [email protected].

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