Saturday, April 9th, brings a nifty nine-game main slate starting 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 | Saturday, April 9th
Yahoo Play of the Day — Obi Toppin: New York Knicks at Washington Wizards
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 35.88 | DraftKings: 36.86
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 33.6% | FanDuel 17.3% | DraftKings 17.8%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $18 | FanDuel $6,500 | DraftKings $6,200
The Knickerbockers are running a threadbare rotation with Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson joining Derrick Rose, Kemba Walker, Nerlens Noel, Cam Reddish and Quentin Grimes on the sidelines. This has opened up major opportunities for Obi Toppin in the frontcourt, and the Yahoo salary algorithm has been slow to adjust. Washington is resting Kristaps Porzingis and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope tonight, while Kyle Kuzma is still out with a sore knee. This means anyone tuning into this matchup will see Toppin squaring off against Rui Hachimura, with both leaving a lot to be desired on the defensive end. RJ Barrett is in the mix as well for New York, while additional tournament plays from the Wizards include Deni Avdija and Ish Smith.
Talen Horton-Tucker: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 36.55 | DraftKings: 37.12
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 63.0% | FanDuel 61.0% | DraftKings 64.1%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $10 | FanDuel $4,000 | DraftKings $3,800
The Lakers have seen their playoff torch extinguished, and now they are not even playing for pride. LeBron James has been shut down for the season, and it would not be a surprise if Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony are not far behind. None of this trio saw the court last night as Los Angeles fell 128-112 to the Warriors in Golden State. Talen Horton-Tucker did see 37 minutes, and he authored a fine book of work, going 15 of 28 from the field for a career-high 40 points along with three rebounds, three assists and four steals. Malik Monk also played 37 minutes, and he had 24 points on 8-for-17 from the field. Look to this duo in all formats tonight against an Oklahoma City squad that is looking to lose. On the other side of the floor, Jaylen Hoard deserves a long look, as he has notched 38 or more fantasy points in three of his last four games for the Thunder. If he is starting tonight, we should expect more of the same production.
Look to Austin Reaves against Oklahoma City tonight in the NBA player prop market. Currently, he has a 2.5 over/under on his assist prop, and the Awesemo NBA player projections have him for 3.6 assists, which gives him a 70% probability of surpassing the over. If Westbrook and Avery Bradley remain out, Reaves will be a secondary facilitator behind Horton-Tucker tonight.
Brooklyn Nets vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
The Eastern Conference Play-In Tournament teams will include Brooklyn, Cleveland, Atlanta and Charlotte. However, the seeding is still wide open, as this quartet is separated by only two games in the standings and each squad has two games left on the season. Kevin Durant has posted 49 or more fantasy points in eight of his last 10 games, while half of these have been above 58 fantasy points. Kyrie Irving has cruised to 50 fantasy points in back-to-back games, and Bruce Brown Jr. has performed well now that he has a secure 26 to 28 minutes in the rotation.
Darius Garland is a core option in all formats tonight and will likely flirt with 50 fantasy points against Brooklyn. Across his last 20 games he is averaging an eye-popping 38.8 minutes with 25.4 points, 3.4 rebounds, 10.3 assists, 1.8 steals and 0.2 blocks. Caris LeVert has been hit or miss, but he too should see a healthy dose of minutes and offensive opportunities. Depending on the status of rookie Evan Mobley, Lauri Markkanen could be a great option or someone who we leave out of our player pool. If Mobley is out, Moses Brown should see a sixth straight start. He has proven to be a double-double threat, averaging 12.4 points and 11.8 rebounds in his five starts for the ailing Mobley.
Miami Heat vs. Atlanta Hawks
This is a key matchup for both teams, as Miami can still finish with the best record in the Eastern Conference, while Atlanta is pushing to land one of the top two spots in the Play-In Tournament. In a fun twist, this game is looking like a pick-’em and these teams are projected to produce 230 points tonight.
Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro and Kyle Lowry are the core four from Miami. P.J. Tucker, Caleb Martin, Gabe Vincent and Omer Yurtseven are all questionable with various maladies, so the more of this motley crew that is ruled out, the further down the rotation we can go for Miami value options.
John Collins remains out for the Hawks, which means Trae Young will again be carrying the load. Clint Capela has finally started producing, and while he never focuses on his own offense nearly as much as the fantasy world would like, he has steadily produced with 30 or more fantasy points in six of his last seven games and half have seen him with 39-plus.
Final Thoughts on NBA DFS Picks for the Friday, April 8 Fantasy Basketball Slate
Friday brings an expansive slate with games tipping off at half a dozen separate start times. This includes a lone 10:30 p.m. ET game that is an hour later than the rest of the action. Fortunately, this matchup is between the Lakers and Thunder, who are resting players in swaths, so if there is any unexpected late scratches, there will be a plethora of viable pivot options.
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