Tuesday, April 12, brings the first games of the Play-In Tournament tipping off 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 | Tuesday, April 12
Yahoo Play of the Day — Kevin Durant: Brooklyn Nets vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 53.87 | DraftKings: 56.02
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 26% | FanDuel 43.7% | DraftKings 18.8%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $54 | FanDuel $11,400 | DraftKings $12,000
Now is the time for the Nets to show everyone how good they can be when the stakes are high. The two teams that win on Tuesday are in the first round of the playoffs. Those clubs that lose tonight will play again on Thursday against their conference partner who wins tomorrow night. The Cavaliers did get rookie Evan Mobley back from injury, which helps their defense; however, Jarrett Allen is still out with a fractured finger.
Tonight in this high-leverage matchup, it would not be a surprise to see both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving play north of 40 minutes in order to ensure a victory. In his last 11 games, Durant averaged 39.8 minutes and 21.2 field goal attempts with a 50.2% conversion rate. Even more impressive is that he averaged 40.5% on 6.7 3-point attempts in this timeframe. All told, this culminated in 31.8 points, 8.2 rebounds, 7.8 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.2 blocks. The Nets are favored by 8 points and projected to score 117.5, which is nearly 4 points above their season average.
Karl-Anthony Towns: Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Los Angeles Clippers
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 48.4 | DraftKings: 50.62
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 49.0% | FanDuel 45.9% | DraftKings 35.4%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $39 | FanDuel $9,700 | DraftKings $10,300
Tonight when building out only one or two lineups, roster strategy will be of the utmost importance. Karl-Anthony Towns has one of the five highest salaries across the DFS sites, though his median fantasy projection is 18 points higher than Andre Drummond and 20 points more than either of his Los Angeles counterparts. Towns has a polished inside-out game, which makes him a nightmare to defend without a concerted team effort. For his career, he averages 11.3 rebounds per game and is outstanding from beyond the arc with a 39.7% success rate. Over the last three seasons, he is averaging nearly six 3-point attempts per appearance. The 26-year-old forward is also an adept facilitator who can find D’Angelo Russell, Anthony Edwards and other marksmen when defenses overload their looks to stop him.
Paul George: Los Angeles Clippers at Minnesota Timberwolves
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 46.82 | DraftKings: 48.26
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 44.2% | FanDuel 48.1% | DraftKings 32.1%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $40 | FanDuel $9,600 | DraftKings $9,900
The Clippers are going to be a tough team in the playoffs if they make it out of the Play-In Tournament as expected by most pundits. The absence of Kawhi Leonard for the entire season and Paul George for a long stretch allowed their other players to get additional opportunities playing together. George was worked back in for five games down the stretch, and he looks ready for a full workload. Even though defenses tend to tighten up in the postseason, the Timberwolves have their work cut out for them after posting a 119.9 defensive efficiency rating over their last 10 games.
Look to Caris LeVert against Brooklyn tonight in the NBA player prop market. Currently, the former Net has a 3.5 over/under on his rebound prop, and the Awesemo NBA player projections have him for 4.5 rebounds, which gives him a 65% probability of surpassing the over. In seven of his last nine games, LeVert logged at least four rebounds, and he should see heavy minutes tonight in this crucial matchup.
Los Angeles Clippers at Minnesota Timberwolves
The secondary Clippers have seen their playing time fluctuate over the last fortnight as different players received days off or even in-game rest. Keep in mind that as the rotation is tightened up, players like Terance Mann, Luke Kennard and Robert Covington are likely to see just 10 to 15 minutes tonight.
Everyone will be on Reggie Jackson, though a lot of gamers are going to overlook the center split between starter Ivica Zubac and Isaiah Hartenstein being much closer to a 50-50 effort. It is likely that one will be on the court at all times to mark Towns, which means either or both could see foul trouble. Looking to the Hartenstein at a similar salary but half the popularity of Zubac is a savvy strategy based on current projections.
Marcus Morris Sr. should see 30 minutes, making him a solid option, and do not forget that Norman Powell is likely going to be the first or second player off the bench and he can put up points in a hurry. This means Nicolas Batum is even less likely to look for his shot, which makes him a major risk that is best left to other gamers.
Final Thoughts on NBA DFS Picks for the Tuesday, April 12 Fantasy Basketball Slate
Be careful tonight, as most teams are likely to dip down to just eight players in their rotations now that there is real meaning to the games. This is something that catches gamers off guard every season, so do not let it happen to you.
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