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DraftKings NBA DFS Strategy: Friday (4/16)

Apr 16, 2021

Fred VanVleet should soak up all the usage as the only established player taking the court against Orlando.

Happy Friday, everyone! We have another big Friday slate featuring 10 matchups to choose from. Let’s get right to it.

Check out today’s NBA Tip-Off from DraftKings >>

Most Value Per Dollar 

The last month of the NBA regular season is always chaotic with so many players nursing injuries and teams either prepping for the playoffs or draft the lottery. The Raptors and Thunder are two teams vying more for the latter and will be holding out some of their top contributors tonight. We also have Zach LaVine entering the league’s health and safety protocol, opening up value in Chicago. As usual, it’s vital to keep up with all the NBA news of the day leading up to tipoff, especially this time of the season. You should also monitor point spreads and expected point totals over at BettingPros to find the best matchups.

Fred VanVleet (TOR) $7,900:
Toronto is rolling out a skeleton crew Friday with Pascal Siakam, Kyle Lowry, OG Anunoby, and Gary Trent all likely to sit. This leaves VanVleet to soak up all the usage as the only established player taking the court against Orlando, who gives up the fourth-most DK points to point guards and second-most to shooting guards. Just make sure to confirm his status before tip-off, as Toronto could decide to hold him out as well at the last minute.

Moses Brown (OKC) $6,100:
The Thunder are another team playing it safe with a handful of usual starters sitting out again. Brown has averaged nearly 39 DK points over his last two games and should have no problem dominating down low tonight against a Detroit team that will be without its starting center, Mason Plumlee

Darius Bazley (OKC) $5,600:
Sticking with the Thunder, Bazley is another player set to get plenty of work in the frontcourt against Detroit, a team giving up the sixth-most DK points to power forwards on the season. It’s tough to ignore the dud he put up on Tuesday, but he averaged nearly 34 DK points in his other two games this week, making him worth the risk at just $5,600.

Tomas Satoransky (CHI) $5,500:
With Zach LaVine sidelined due to health and safety protocol for a while, Satoransky becomes a huge value in Chicago’s backcourt. He’s currently listed as probable with a sore back, but he’s expected to play, and chip in more offensively as the Bulls will be missing LaVine’s 27.5 points/game and 31% usage rate.

Luguentz Dort (OKC) $5,300:
Back to the Thunder, where Lu Dort is fresh off a massive 65 DK point outing on Tuesday night. He got Wednesday off to rest but is back tonight, and while I’m not predicting another 60+ DK point outing, he can easily get to at least 6x value on his bargain salary.

Isaiah Stewart (DET) $4,400:
I’ve already mentioned three players from Oklahoma City, but there’s value to be had on their opponent’s roster tonight as well. The last time Mason Plumlee sat out, Stewart put up 42 DK points. That would be near 10x value based on his salary for tonight’s contest.

Khem Birch (TOR) $3,800:
Back in Toronto, Birch is fresh off his first start as a Raptor and has put up 27 DK points in each of his last two games. I’m not sure why his salary hasn’t adjusted more, but I’m taking advantage of it tonight, especially with the added revenge game narrative against his former team.

Monte Morris (DEN) $3,700:
Morris looks to be Denver’s starting point guard the rest of the season after Jamal Murray’s unfortunate knee injury. He only put up 18 DK points last time out, which isn’t terrible given his discounted salary, but I’d expect more tonight against a terrible defensive team in Houston. 

Killian Hayes (DET) $3,500:
The Pistons rookie should start and get all the work he can handle tonight with Dennis Smith Jr. and Cory Joseph both missing from the Detroit backcourt. The Thunder have given up the most DK points to point guards over their last seven games, so you can expect solid value out of Hayes at such a low salary. 

Paul Watson (TOR) $3,000:
With the plethora of starters sitting out for Toronto tonight, there’s a handful of lesser-known players viable for the Raptors tonight. I’m taking my shot with Watson, who just returned from a health and safety protocol absence. He put up 24 DK points in his last game before the absence, and that type of performance could be in store again tonight at his absolute minimum salary.

Check out our NBA Prop Bet Cheat Sheet for the top bets of the day >>

Studs Worth Their Salary

  • Russell Westbrook (WAS) $11,000: Westbrook is on a historic streak, and with all the value on this slate, there’s no reason to avoid him, even as the highest-priced player on the night
  • Nikola Jokic (DEN) $10,900: Jokic has topped 50 DK in seven straight games, and I don’t see that streak ending tonight. He also comes with a massive ceiling against a poor Rockets team.
  • Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN) $10,700: Towns has been even better than Jokic lately, averaging 59 DK points over his last ten games. He was off for personal reasons earlier in the week but will be back and ready to go tonight against Miami.
  • Damian Lillard (POR) $$9,500: Lillard has been hot and cold by his standards lately, but he’s coming off a 50 DK point performance last time out. I expect him to keep that momentum rolling tonight against a mediocre Spurs team.
  • Bradley Beal (WAS) $8,900: Beal is starting to look better after his long injury layoff. His $8,900 salary is a bargain compared to what it was earlier in the season. He makes a great pivot play to get leverage on the field if you decide to fade Westbrook tonight.

Notable Players to Fade

  • Luka Doncic (DAL) $10,800: Doncic is always a tough player to fade, but I’m willing to do so tonight against the Knicks. New York plays at the slowest pace in the NBA and has the third-best defensive rating, so I’ll spend up elsewhere.
  • Ja Morant (MEM) $7,100: Morant has only topped 35 DK points in two of his last eight games. He’s too volatile to trust on a slate this large.
  • Kevin Porter Jr. (HOU) $6,800: Porter has been fantastic when John Wall is out of the lineup, but, as of this writing, Wall isn’t on the injury report for tonight. Porter will play third fiddle behind Wall and Christian Wood, so I’m staying away.

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Aaron Larson is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Aaron, check out his archive and follow him @aalarson.