Daily Fantasy

NBA DraftKings & FanDuel DFS Primer: April 18

FantasyPros considers the best player values in Yahoo fantasy leagues for Tuesday's 3-game slate of NBA playoff matchups.

The Knicks prepare for Game 2 of their first-round series with the Cavaliers on Tuesday.

This is my favorite time of the season! Watching playoff basketball is like nothing else, and we have two of my favorite series happening here, so let’s go ahead and get into it!

Injury Report

As of 11:30 a.m. ET:

  • Paul George (knee) OUT
  • Josh Hart (ankle) Questionable
  • Cameron Payne (back) Questionable

Core Plays

Kawhi Leonard (SF/PF – LAC): $9,400 DraftKings, $10,300 FanDuel
Playoff Kawhi has been activated! If you didn’t catch this guy in the 2019 Finals, Leonard played like the best player in the NBA. He flashed some glimpses of that in Game 1 of this series, scoring 56 DraftKings points. That’s no surprise since he’s seeing a massive boost in usage with Paul George out, guaranteeing him 35-40 minutes and 20 shots. He’s also got at least 52 DK points in back-to-back games against Phoenix.

Julius Randle (PF/C – NYK): $8,600 DraftKings, $8,500 FanDuel
This big man averaged over 43 DK points per game in the regular season and was closer to $10K throughout the majority of the year. He’s also dominated against the Cavaliers in their two most recent meetings, averaging over 52 fantasy points per game. That’s scary since Randle could be looking at 40-45 minutes and 20-plus shots as the focal point of this Knicks offense.

Cash Game Considerations

Jayson Tatum (SF/PF – BOS): $9,800 DraftKings, $10,800 FanDuel
Tatum is the highest-priced player on the slate, and he needs to be in every cash game lineup out there. The All-Star has scored at least 35 DraftKings points in 71 of 74 games this season. He’s also leading all players on this slate with 52 DK points per game, averaging 53 fantasy points per game in his three matchups with Atlanta. That’s far from surprising since Atlanta allows the most fantasy points to opposing forwards.

Darius Garland (PG – CLE): $7,400 DraftKings, $7,300 FanDuel
Garland is an All-Star player who should never be this close to $7,000. The Cleveland guard averaged over 39 DK points per game in the regular season. That’s absurd for a player in this price range, and he should be locked into 40 minutes in this must-win game. New York also poses a 22nd OPRK against opposing point guards.

GPP Targets

Al Horford (PF/C – BOS): $5,500 DraftKings, $5,700 FanDuel
Now that we’re in the playoffs, Boston should lean on their veteran big man. That’s what we’ve seen in the past, with Horford averaging nearly 35 DraftKings points per game in his playoff career. We love that when examining his recent form, posting a 29-point average over the final month of the season. We also saw him drop 27 fantasy points across 38 minutes in Game 1. This former All-Star needs to be $7K on both sites if he’s going to play over 35 minutes.

John Collins (PF/C – ATL): $4,600 DraftKings, $5,500 FanDuel
Collins has been a $7K player for most of his career, and he’s played closer to that than this sub-$5K price tag. He averaged 27 DK points per game across his final 16 regular season outings and has a 37-point average against Boston dating back to last season. All you need is 25 fantasy points for Collins to be a good value, and that’s a safe bet when looking at prior statistics.

Value Plays

Marcus Smart (PG/SG – BOS): $5,900 DraftKings, $6,500 FanDuel
Smart has always been a stud in the postseason. This guy was held to 32 minutes a game in the regular season, but 35-40 minutes will be a regular thing from here on out. That’s made Smart a $7K player in the past, scoring 40 DK points in Game 1. He also averaged nearly 30 fantasy points per game in the regular season and should never be this cheap in that potential 40-minute role.

Ivica Zubac (C – LAC): $5,000 DraftKings, $6,100 FanDuel
Zubac has been massive for the Clippers in the second half, and he’s just $5K on DraftKings. The big man scored 31 DraftKings points in Game 1, which is right on par with his average over the final two months of the season. That’s all you can ask for from such an affordable player, and they need him to step up with George sidelined. He’s had success against this Suns defense, averaging 25 DK points per game against them.

Advantageous Pricing

Kawhi Leonard (SF/PF – LAC): $9,400 DraftKings, $10,300 FanDuel

Jayson Tatum (SF/PF – BOS): $9,800 DraftKings, $10,800 FanDuel

John Collins (PF/C – ATL): $4,600 DraftKings, $5,500 FanDuel

Ivica Zubac (C – LAC): $5,000 DraftKings, $6,100 FanDuel

Derrick White (G – BOS): $5,300 DraftKings, $6,600 FanDuel

Mitchell Robinson (PF/C – NYK): $5,400 DraftKings, $6,300 FanDuel

Devin Booker (G – PHX): $8,700 DraftKings, $9,700 FanDuel

Kevin Durant (F – PHX): $9,300 DraftKings, $10,600 FanDuel

Deandre Ayton (C – PHX): $6,200 DraftKings, $7,300 FanDuel


Joel Bartilotta is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Joel, check out his archive and follow him @Bartilottajoel.