NBA DraftKings & FanDuel DFS Primer: April 12

FantasyPros breaks down the top DraftKings and FanDuel daily fantasy players for the NBA's 15-game slate on Friday.

Miami’s Jimmy Butler has scored at least 50 DraftKings fantasy points in two of his last three games.

If you’re looking for chaos, this is the slate for you. This is the final Friday in the regular season, with all 30 teams in action. That makes it one of the most convoluted slates of the season, but we’ll try our best to sort some things out. My next article will cover our first postseason games, and we obviously can’t wait until then! Let’s dive into our top NBA DFS picks for today’s slate of games.

Core Plays

Jimmy Butler (SF/PF – MIA): $8,400 DraftKings, $8,500 FanDuel

Playoff Jimmy always comes to play when the lights are bright and we’re finally getting to meaningful games as Miami needs this one to avoid the Play-In Tournament. Butler scored at least 50 DraftKings points in two of his last three games. We saw him average close to that in last year’s playoffs, and he shouldn’t have any issues here since Toronto ranks 29th in total defense since the All-Star break while surrendering the most fantasy points to opposing forwards.

DeMar DeRozan (SF/PF – CHI): $8,100 DraftKings, $8,900 FanDuel

DeRozan has been rolling recently. With Zach LaVine and Lonzo Ball out, DeRozan has become this team’s primary playmaker. That’s led to the All-Star scoring at least 38 DraftKings points in 10 straight games while posting a 46-point average in that span. He’s also coming off a 62-point masterpiece in his most recent outing and should have success against a Washington team that ranks 28th in defensive efficiency and last in points allowed.

Daniel Gafford (C – DAL): $6,000 DraftKings, $6,600 FanDuel

Gafford is just too cheap right now. The big man is averaging 32 DraftKings points per game since becoming a Mavs starter but he should have an even higher floor with Dereck Lively out. That’s led to DG scoring at least 42 fantasy points twice over the last week, and we don’t want to fade him against Detroit. They rank 27th in total defense while posting a 26th OPRK against opposing centers.

Cash Game Considerations

Luka Doncic (PG – DAL): $12,900 DraftKings, $12,900 FanDuel

We just talked about how Detroit’s defense has been, but we would use Luka against anyone. This guy is unstoppable, leading the NBA with 66 DraftKings points per game. He’s got an average north of 70 DK points over the last two months and could be asked to do even more since Kyrie is expected to miss this game. We didn’t even mention that Doncic dropped 80 DK points the last time he played Detroit.

Nikola Jokic (C – DEN): $12,300 DraftKings, $12,600 FanDuel

The Joker is right there with Luka in terms of consistency, averaging 61 DraftKings points per game. He’s also got one of the highest floors in fantasy, surpassing 50 DK points on a nightly basis. All of that makes it impossible to fade him against San Antonio, who sit 22nd in defensive efficiency and 25th in points allowed. Joker played the Spurs last week and laughed his way to another 77 fantasy points!

Anthony Edwards (SF – MIN): $9,500 DraftKings, $9,300 FanDuel

Edwards is trying to keep his team alive for the top seed in the West, carrying them over the last month. The All-Star has scored at least 40 DraftKings points in 12 of his last 16 outings, generating a 46-point average in that span. Some might be scared to use him since Karl-Anthony Towns is returning, but we love the amazing matchup with Atlanta. The Hawks rank 26th in defensive efficiency and 27th in points allowed.

GPP Targets

Bobby Portis (PF/C – MIL): $6,900 DraftKings, $7,400 FanDuel

It sounds like Milwaukee will be without Dame and Giannis, likely making Portis the focal point of their offense. With those two out, BP could play 35-40 minutes and take 20 shots while leading the team in rebounding. If you look at the two games where Portis started, he scored 43 and 55 DraftKings points. We’re expecting similar things here, making him one of the best GPP plays on the board.

Trey Jemison (C – MEM): $5,100 DraftKings, $5,800 FanDuel

Memphis has been without most of its rotation throughout the second half of the season, forcing Jemison into the starting lineup. Any starting center is a good option, with Jemison scoring at least 31 DraftKings points in three of his last four games. There are not enough bodies to take away minutes from Trey, and he should be locked into 30-40 minutes no matter what. This isn’t a bad matchup, either, with LA posting a 19th OPRK against opposing big men.

Luke Kornet (PF/C – BOS): $4,300 DraftKings, $4,900 FanDuel

With all the Boston players expected to sit, Kornet could start at center and play 30-35 minutes. He’s scored at least 28 fantasy points in all five starts this year, averaging 35 DraftKings points per game in this expanded role. That’s an absurd average from a sub-$5K player, and many of those were with just a few starters sitting. We anticipate all five of them being out here, making Kornet an easy play against a Charlotte team that sits 29th in defensive efficiency ratings.

Value Plays

Payton Pritchard (PG/SG – BOS): $5,400 DraftKings, $5,500 FanDuel

If all of these Boston starters sit, Pritchard will be the value play that everyone uses. We saw this guy collect 16 points, four rebounds, and six assists in a reserve role on Thursday, and that’s the stat-stuffing this point guard can provide. PP has scored at least 34 DK points in all three starts this year, scoring at least 38 fantasy points in two of those. That’s hard to overlook against anyone, especially one of the worst defenses in the NBA.

Patrick Beverley (PG/SG – MIL): $5,000 DraftKings, $6,100 FanDuel

We just mentioned how Lillard and Antetokounmpo will be out here, and that doesn’t leave much left in this rotation. Pat Bev has been starting anyway, scoring at least 36 DraftKings points in three of his last four fixtures. That’s one of the best stretches of his career, but he could be asked to do even more if more regulars sit.

Patrick Baldwin (PF/C – WAS): $3,900 DraftKings, $5,700 FanDuel

This $3,900 price tag on DK is laughable. Washington is resting half their rotation here, leaving Baldwin to play 38 and 33 minutes in his two most recent outings. He’s also got 34 and 42 DK points in those games, and he’s one of the safest bets to provide 7X value at this dirt-cheap price tag. As long as Kuzma and Bagley are out, Baldwin needs to be in your lineup.

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