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The NBA Slate Starter: NBA DFS Strategy for DraftKings + FanDuel | Monday, 4/19

Eric Lindquist



NBA FanDuel DFS Lineup Picks cheat sheet for daily fantasy basketball on Tuesday May 4 with Bam Adebayo based on expert projections

Welcome back to another edition of the Slate Starter! Let’s jump right into the analysis today, hopefully finding a few NBA DFS picks and strategies to take down some tournaments over on DraftKings and FanDuel.


Be sure to check out the Slate Starter podcast, featuring yours truly and Rynpak, to get the first look at the slate and make NBA DFS picks for DraftKings and FanDuel!

NBA DFS Slate Starter: Picks & Strategy | April 19

Bam Goes Boom Without Butler

Monday’s nine-gamer is yet another ridiculously stacked center slate. On DraftKings, there’s so much upside at various price ranges that it will be hard not to target two in most tournament lineups. And on FanDuel, hit at the position or pay the price (literally).

While there are many cases to be made for some many of these centers, consider prioritizing Bam Adebayo on the assumption that Jimmy Butler is out once again. On Sunday, Adebayo reminded everyone what he’s capable of when he’s the centerpiece of the offense, putting up 21 points, 15 rebounds and five assists on the way to 49.5 DraftKings points (plus a buzzer beater for good measure). With word that Butler’s ankle has been getting worse by the day, it would seem Adebayo is in line for a similar workload — and hopefully output — on Monday.

Just how important is it to have Butler out to make Adebayo a priority? Let’s go with “very,” and here’s the evidence to back that up:

831 minutes with Butler ON the court this season—24.5% usage, 23.1% assist, 14.9% rebounding, 1.15 DraftKings points per minute

873 minutes with Butler OFF the court this season— 25.6% usage, 30.0% assist, 17.3% rebounding, 1.32 DraftKings points per minute

Those are some pretty pronounced splits, especially in terms of playmaking with the 6.9% jump in the assist rate. While he might be capped minutes-wise with the recent addition of Dewayne Dedmon, who played 15 minutes in their center timeshare on Sunday, 33 minutes would still adequate enough for Adebayo to put up a massive game against former teammate Kelly Olynyk. Plus, at $8,100 on DraftKings and only $7,700 on FanDuel, that’s a steep discount from the $10,000-plus plays at the position. And with the upside he’s proven to provide without Butler in the lineup, Adebayo could be the differentiator for NBA DFS tournament lineups.

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Pistons Chalk Day, What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Regardless of slate size, there seems to be at least one team a day that ends up playing massively short-handed. That leads to value, which leads to stars-and-scrubs lineups, which leads to massive fantasy scores. However, despite eight of today’s nine games opening with totals of 219 or greater, it is actually the matchup sporting the 213.5 that has a team to roster all of the players from.

That would be the Pistons, who are down seven total bodies — at least three starters, their two best players and a partridge in a pear tree. To make matters even more interesting, no active player is priced over $5,300 on the entire team Monday. Just take a look (courtesy of Fantasy Cruncher):

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball and DFS picks for Monday April 19 on DraftKings & FanDUel

It will really come down to an ownership situation as to how much you should be playing of these guys, but it’s inevitable that there will most likely be lots of exposure no matter what other news shakes out throughout the day. At a glance, Killian Hayes and Isaiah Stewart will be the most rostered of the entire bunch (and should be). Actually, it’s probably simpler to say that aside from Tyler Cook, Jahlil Okafor and Deividas Sirvydis, gamers can roster anyone on this team in bulk and it wouldn’t be a mistake. Make sure to check the Awesemo projections early and often tomorrow, but no matter what, be prepared to have ample exposure to the team with (ironically) the lowest implied team total on the board.

Final Thoughts for Your NBA DFS Lineups

  • It should be known that it’s also Xavier Tillman Chalk Day. I would have bought presents, but pretty sure him being $3,400 on DraftKings and the minimum on FanDuel qualifies as a present in and of itself.
  • After the horrific Jamal Murray injury last week, it was a relief when Donovan Mitchell‘s X-rays came back negative on his ankle after what looked like a worse injury in the moment. While one would think that would open up Jazz value, the sites did a proper job of bumping up the salaries of everyone on the team. It will be interesting to see where ownership comes in on them at these preemptively bumped-up tags.
  • Just play P.J. Dozier.

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