Wednesday’s slate lived up to its insane billing, as the Pacers and Clippers super value got there in spectacular fashion. Hopefully you were on board with those two teams, as there was no way around avoiding the chalk even on a 12-gamer. Fortunately, we’ve got a much more manageable day of basketball with only six games on tap for this evening. So let’s get right down to it and find a few NBA DFS picks and strategies that can help take us to the top 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 22
When Value Can’t Be Found, Spread It Around
Let me preface today’s analysis by saying that, as of right now, this is one of the more grotesque slates in recent memory. Every spend-up option looks appropriately priced. There’s no team value to target yet, as even if Giannis Antetokounmpo doesn’t play, the rest of the Bucks price tags have been inflated to reflect his possible absence. There’s no glaring individual value either, besides maybe Daniel Theis on DraftKings or Naji Marshall on FanDuel.
And to top it off, all six totals for tonight’s games have already been released, and they look far from fantasy friendly. See for yourself below with the help of Awesemo’s OddsShopper, the best place to quickly find the best lines for your bets:
Again, there are some brutally bad basketball games for fantasy purposes tonight, with only three games sporting totals above 220, and zero eclipsing 227. This means that that the quality of value from yesterday’s 12-game slate will most likely be non-existent today, making it far more viable to spread out exposures despite the smaller six-game slate.
That might seem counterintuitive, as larger slates give you far more players and teams to roster. But since median projections for the best plays in almost every price range will be separated by a much smaller gap than yesterday, rostering the likes of some true wild cards such as Dario Saric or Jabari Parker to sneak an upside is far more permissible. Track Awesemo’s NBA DFS ownership projections like crazy today, as avoiding bad chalk and finding leverage against the field will be exponentially more important than normal.
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Welcome Back, A.D.!
It’s difficult to feel bad for the defending champion Lakers, but it’s tough not to considering how hard the injury bug bit them this season. LeBron James last appeared in a game March 20 where he sustained a severe ankle sprain, while Anthony Davis has missed a string of 30 consecutive games dating back to Feb. 14 with a serious calf issue. While the extra rest surely helps Davis and James considering the short turnaround from bubble to the start of the season, it’s never good when it’s at the expense of injury.
But word has it that Davis will be suiting up in a limited 15-minute capacity tonight, which is great news for any true fan of the sport. Is he remotely playable at $9,400 on DraftKings and $9,600 on FanDuel? Absolutely not. But even in limited minutes, his impact on the fantasy profiles of Kyle Kuzma and Dennis Schroder could be severe.
Andre Drummond, however, makes for an interesting topic of conversation. He and Davis have yet to play a minute together this season, but you don’t need rates to understand that the more court time these two share, the worse it is for Drummond’s box score. At $7,300 on DraftKings and $6,900 on FanDuel, he could still ball out for a ceiling at his remarkable 1.45 fantasy points per minute this season. But tread lightly, because if he’s going to be popular, this could easily become a stay-away spot.
Final Thoughts for Your NBA DFS Lineups
- It was mentioned earlier that there is no team that stands out above the rest to target, but that would certainly change should Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown be ruled out. There would be no Celtics player off limits to roster in the event that both join Robert Williams on the sidelines.
- Let’s hope P.J. Washington keeps coming off the bench, because it will continue to keep his ownership suppressed. After averaging 34.5 minutes and 35.4 DraftKings points per minute his past two games, sign me up for more at only $5,900.
- Joel Embiid said he would play on the second half of the 76ers’ back-to-back, although Doc Rivers might have something to say about that decision. What is annoying about him, however, is he tends not to let his intentions known until right before lock. That’s why if nothing changes in the moments leading up to the Bucks – Sixers tip-off at 7 p.m. EST, have a Dwight Howard plan in place.
- Just play Zion Williamson.
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