Tonight should be a wild one, with four of the six games boasting 230-plus projected totals and one above 240 points — and you can find all of the best betting odds and lines using Awesemo’s OddsShopper tool. There is no shortage of NBA DFS picks to choose with all the injuries and “resting” going on, so let’s highlight some of the key decision points for DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo lineups. Detroit and Dallas are squaring off while missing several key players. Plus, tonight Brooklyn and Indiana are in a similar situation with that lofty 243 projected point total. Let’s see what else we can uncover.
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NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks, Thursday, April 29th
Yahoo Play of the Day — Willy Hernangomez: New Orleans Pelicans at Oklahoma City Thunder
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 32.68 | DraftKings: 32.83
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 49.0% | FanDuel 19.4% | DraftKings 29.4%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $11 | FanDuel $4,900 | DraftKings $4,100
This is a nice matchup for Willy Hernangomez, who should see 28 to 30 minutes with Steven Adams (toe) listed as doubtful. Hernangomez has had increased minutes over the last week with Adams working his way through turf toe, which is an injury that basically only time can heal. The short-handed Thunder do not have much in the way of interior stoppers, and with Hernangomez already topping 34 Yahoo fantasy points in two of his last four games, he brings upside in this matchup,
Stephen Curry: Golden State Warriors at Minnesota Timberwolves
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 50.8 | DraftKings: 54.93
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 20.4% | FanDuel 39.6% | DraftKings 31.0%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $50 | FanDuel $9,600 | DraftKings $10,300
There will be a plethora of fantasy goodness in this matchup between the Warriors and Timberwolves. Over its last 15 games, Minnesota is allowing the fifth-most points with 116.8 per 100 possessions, which would basically rival the Kings for the worst mark on the season. In this timeframe, both the Timberwolves and the Warriors are playing at top-seven paces with 102-plus possessions per 48 minutes.
In his last 14 games, Curry has scored fewer than 32 points once and more than 40 points four times. He and Bradley Beal have been going back and forth for the scoring title over the last two weeks, and this is a matchup where Curry can take the lead. During this stretch, Curry is averaging 15 3-point attempts per game with a 47.2% success rate. Anything below 50 fantasy points in this matchup is going to be a disappointment.
Kevin Durant: Brooklyn Nets at Indiana Pacers
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 48.26 | DraftKings: 50.63
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 31.8% | FanDuel 34% | DraftKings 37.4%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $43 | FanDuel $,9300 | DraftKings $8,500
Kevin Durant has played 28 and 33 minutes as he has been working his way back from a bruised thigh. In these games he is averaging 14 field-goal attempts, 25 points, eight rebounds, four assists and 3.5 combined blocks/steals. Kyrie Irving has been ruled out with a groin injury, which is going to open up essentially unlimited field-goal opportunities. While it does not make sense to project Durant for more than 33 to 35 minutes, there is a high probability that he will see between 20 and 25 field-goal attempts. This, along with his strong peripherals, will provide a reasonable path to 50-plus fantasy points and make Durant a solid NBA DFS pick tonight.
Detroit Pistons vs. Dallas Mavericks
Once again, the Pistons will be resting Mason Plumlee, Jerami Grant, Wayne Ellington and Cory Joseph. Dennis Smith Jr. will be out for the next 10 days with a knee injury, and it has now been a full month since Rodney McGruder last saw the court. Fortunately, the shakeouts of playing time are pretty clear. Awesemo is projecting Saddiq Bey, Isaiah Stewart, Killian Hayes and Josh Jackson to see 28 to 31 minutes. Their salaries and position eligibility vary across the different DFS sites, but they are the first priorities.
After that quartet, the only other Detroit player that is popping in the projections is Frank Jackson. He should see 24 to 26 minutes backing up Hayes as the primary facilitator, along with some additional run at shooting guard. Sekou Doumbouya has seen uneven playing time, so he is hard to trust, though he does seem to have more upside than midseason acquisition Hamidou Diallo, who has yet to top 26 minutes with Detroit, even though they are unabashedly tanking right now.
Isaiah Stewart: Detroit Pistons vs. Dallas Mavericks
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 29.33 | DraftKings: 29.4
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 37.8% | FanDuel 32.0% | DraftKings 15.0%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $20 | FanDuel $5,900 | DraftKings $6,000
Today Stewart provides a nice example of how salaries, scoring formats and position eligibility can make a player great on one DFS site while being a risk on another. With his power forward eligibility on FanDuel, Stewart is one of the best plays on the slate with Grant and Plumlee sitting out. However, it is an entirely different story on DraftKings where, even though he can be rostered as a center or in the utility spot, he is a risky option at just $100 more.
The Awesemo Boom/Bust tool gives Stewart just a 5.5% chance of being in the DraftKings optimal lineup, even with just six games on the slate. Comparing that with his projected popularity of 15.0% gives him a -9.0% leverage score. There is only a 9.5% probability of Stewart exceeds his boom score of 40 DraftKings points versus a 52.9% likelihood of him missing his bust threshold of 30 DraftKings points. In 28 games since the All-Star Break, Stewart has surpassed 30 fantasy points just four times. He reached 40 fantasy points each of those times, but that demonstrates the uncertainty that comes with rolling him out in tournaments.
Yahoo Daily Fantasy Basketball Discount Dandies
- Facundo Campazzo: DEN vs. TOR – $11
- Ty Jerome: OKC vs. NOP – $10
- Jaden McDaniels: MIN vs. GSW – $10
Final Thoughts on the Thursday, April 29th NBA DFS Slate
Tonight there are three teams on the second legs of back-to-backs and two teams on the first. This will likely lead to late-breaking news that needs to be monitored tonight. 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.
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