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NBA DFS Picks and Fantasy Basketball Building Blocks for Today, Wednesday | 4/20/22

Eric MacPherson



The best NBA DFS picks today for Yahoo, DraftKings & FanDuel daily fantasy basketball cash game lineups | Jimmy Butler NBA Tonight 5/18/22

Wednesday, April 20, brings another slate of first-round games, beginning at 7 p.m. ET on Yahoo, DraftKings and FanDuel. 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 | Wednesday, April 20

Yahoo Play of the Day — Jayson Tatum: Boston Celtics vs. Brooklyn Nets

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 49.37 | DraftKings: 51.77
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 29.4% | FanDuel 27.2% | DraftKings 24.6%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $43 | FanDuel $9,900 | DraftKings $9,500

Conventional wisdom would have Giannis Antetokounmpo ($57) as the Yahoo Play of the Day; however, Jayson Tatum projects for similar production at a 30% discount. In Game 1, Tatum played 45 minutes and hit a game-winning bunny as time expired, leading the Celtics to a 115-114 victory. While Tatum is not as consistent at rebounding as NBA DFS gamers would hope, the ball is in his hands on most Boston possessions, and the 24-year-old forward is a deft passer. We should not count on another eight assists tonight, but it is reasonable to project him for 15 combined rebounds and assists along with something approaching 30 points. That will be enough to get him over the 50-fantasy-point mark and make him a core building block in all formats.

Fred VanVleet: Toronto Raptors vs. Philadelphia 76ers

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 42.21 | DraftKings: 43.33
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 43.6% | FanDuel 36.1% | DraftKings 32.8%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $29 | FanDuel $7,800 | DraftKings $7,500

Tonight the 76ers will be without Matisse Thybulle, who is non-compliant with the Canadian COVID-19 vaccination policy. That takes a key defender out of the Philadelphia rotation in a crucial matchup for the Raptors, who are facing an 0-2 hole. Scottie Barnes (ankle) is doubtful, though Gary Trent Jr. (illness) is slated to be available. Fred VanVleet has had an outstanding season, which was highlighted by his first ever All-Star Game appearance. VanVleet dealt with injuries down the stretch, particularly a sore knee, which was not a surprise considering he and teammate Pascal Siakam were the top two in the league with 37.9 minutes per game. VanVleet will likely be on the floor for somewhere between 42 and 46 minutes in this must-win game. Having a healthy Trent on the perimeter will give Philadelphia another offensive threat to worry about, which should take some attention off of VanVleet.

Centers of Attention

Nikola Vucevic put up huge numbers in Game 1, as he tallied 24 points, 17 rebounds, three steals, two blocks and a steal. Unfortunately, the rest of his teammates were not able to contribute much in a 93-86 loss. In this series, Vucevic should be a threat for 20 points and 10 rebounds every game, making him a prime option at a reasonable salary.

Joel Embiid is the only other player besides Antetokounmpo who has a median fantasy projection over 55 points. Thus far we have not seen a dominant fantasy performance from Embiid, though it is lurking. He will likely be ready to author a masterpiece at some point during the next two games in Toronto as he looks to lead his team in a first-round sweep. The key, of course, will be that the Raptors actually put forth a competitive effort after rolling over in the first two tilts.

Pascal Siakam has been solid, though not spectacular so far in this season, despite seeing 40 minutes in each contest. So far he is averaging 22 points, 6.5 rebounds, six assists, and a pair of combined blocks and steals. If he remains under the radar, then he becomes a savvy tournament option.

Yahoo Discount Dandies

Brook Lopez – Milwaukee Bucks vs. Chicago Bulls ($13): It will be interesting to see if the field leans towards veteran Brook Lopez or Toronto youngster Precious Achiuwa ($13) at identical salaries on Yahoo. Both are fine options capable of producing mid-20s fantasy points, and while the preference is Lopez, if he continues to pick up traction leading towards tipoff, then Achiuwa is the perfect pivot.

Danny Green – Philadelphia 76ers at Toronto Raptors ($10): There is a clear path to veteran Danny Green seeing 35 or more minutes tonight with Thybulle not available to play. Though Green does not have a lot of fantasy upside, he is very much in play at the Yahoo minimum salary.

Marcus Smart – Boston Celtics vs. Brooklyn Nets  ($21): Though Marcus Smart is not exactly a discount dandy, he does have tremendous fantasy-point-per-dollar potential. The 2022 NBA Defensive Player of the Year was dialed in for Game 1, knocking down 8 of 17 shots, including going 4-for-9 from beyond the arc. Typically, he will always be in the mix for a half dozen assists along with a few blocks and steals, which can really add up when they come in bunches.

Final Thoughts on NBA DFS Picks for the Wednesday, April 20 Fantasy Basketball Slate

Two of the three matchups tonight have the participants separated by only a bucket. Jordan Nwora (back) is a game-time decision, and if he is available to make his series debut, that will be one more option off the bench for coach Mike Budenholzer, which would put a damper on the minutes for pretty much everyone aside from Bobby Portis.

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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