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DraftKings DFS NBA Strategy: Friday (4/9)

Apr 9, 2021

Zach LaVine is the best value on the slate as long as he’s good to go on the second half of the back-to-back tonight.

Happy Friday, everyone! We have another exciting nine-game slate to navigate this evening. With 18 teams in action, there’s a lot to take consider, so let’s dive right in.

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

Most Value Per Dollar 

We’re reaching a tipping point of the NBA season. With the playoffs just over a month away, teams are beginning to play it safe. Those out of the playoff race don’t want to risk the future of their franchises, and those in the driver’s seat for a top seed want to head into the final stretch at full strength. This opens up lots of value as young players and backups are getting plenty of time on the court. That values section today features four strong options below $4,000 in salary. 

As usual, make sure to keep up with all the NBA news of the day leading up to tipoff. You should also monitor point spreads and expected point totals over at BettingPros to find the best matchups.

Zach LaVine (CHI) $7,800
LaVine was dealing with a nagging ankle injury, but it doesn’t appear to be bothering him lately. He put up 57 DK points last night but still saw his salary drop below $8,000. He’s arguably the best value on the slate as long as he’s good to go on the second half of the back-to-back tonight.

Kevin Porter Jr. (HOU) $7,000
With John Wall already ruled out in advance tonight, Porter becomes a strong play. Houston isn’t making any post-season plans, so they’ll continue to take a look at Porter as a possible foundational piece of their future. The matchup with the Clippers isn’t ideal, but he should see enough usage to pay of his modest salary.  

RJ Barrett (NY) $6,600
 Barrett has seen a solid 25.3% usage rate over his last two games and gets to face Memphis tonight, the team that’s allowed the most DK points to small forwards on the season. He’s about as safe of a play that you can find. 

Wendell Carter Jr. (ORL) $6,000
Carter is coming off a down game, but he averaged nearly 41 DK points in his previous three. Tonight he takes on a Pacers team without defensive stalwart Myles Turner, making it a better matchup than it looks.

Bobby Portis (MIL) $5,700
Portis has seen his DK points climb over the past three games without Giannis Antetokounmpo in the lineup. If the reigning MVP is sidelined again tonight, Portis is a great play against a Charlotte team that gives up the most DK to the power forward position.

Isaiah Thomas (NO) $4,700
 Thomas is a risky play, but if Lonzo Ball sits out to rest the sore hip that cost him seven games earlier this season, Thomas could see big usage in the New Orleans backcourt. He regularly put up big fantasy performances back in his prime and may still have a few left in the tank. 

Goga Bitadze (IND) $3,800
Bitazde just put up 30 DK points in Myles Turner’s absence Wednesday night, and it isn’t unreasonable to expect a similar performance tonight as Turner remains sidelined. At his $3,800 salary, it would take just over 30 DK points to hit a huge 8x value. 

D.J. Augustin (HOU) $3,500
I already mentioned that John Wall is out tonight for the Rockets, and Augustin is another beneficiary of his absence. At just $3,500, it would only take 21 DK points to hit 6x value, which shouldn’t be difficult for Augustin running as second-string point guard tonight. 

JaKarr Sampson (IND) $3,400
As noted earlier, Myles Turner is going to sit out tonight against Orlando. Sampson should benefit alongside Bitadze and comes at a $400 discount. He’s another candidate to put up 6x value or more at his bargain salary. 

Romeo Langford (BOS) $3,100
Langford saw 25 minutes on the court last time out in just his third game of the season. He won’t be in the starting lineup again tonight, but at near-minimum salary and facing one of the worst defensive teams in the league, it’s worth taking a shot on him in larger tournaments.

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

Studs Worth Their Salary

  • Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN) $10,900: Towns has been phenomenal lately. He’s only scored fewer than 50 DK points once over his last ten games and is averaging 60 DK points over his last four. There’s no reason he should still be priced under $11,000.
  • Nikola Jokic (DEN) $10,500: After a pair of relatively disappointing games, Jokic is back to averaging nearly 55 DK points over his last three. With the Spurs giving up the fourth most DK points to centers over the last seven games, he’s in a prime spot for a huge night.
  • Joel Embiid (PHI) $10,100: Tonight will be Emiid’s third game back after a lengthy absence as he continues to round into his usual form. He should be ready to explode against a Pelicans team with the third-worst defensive rating in the league. 
  • Trae Young (ATL): $9,200: Young is always a candidate to break the slate, and that’s no different tonight when Atlanta takes on Chicago in one of the higher projected scoring games of the night.

Notable Players to Fade

  • Russell Westbrook (WAS) $11,000: To say Westbrook has been great lately would be an understatement. Still, as the highest-priced player on the slate and the return of Bradley Beal, I’ll spend up elsewhere tonight.
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL) $10,800: The reigning MVP should be considered highly questionable to play tonight, but even if he suits up, I’ll be staying away. His recent knee pain seems to be lingering, and Milwaukee knows they’ll only go as far as a healthy Greek Freak can carry them, so they won’t be pushing him.
  • Bradley Beal (WAS) $9,300: Beal is another star with lingering injury concerns. His price tag is reasonable for a player of his caliber, but the uncertainty surrounding his hip injury is enough to keep me away.

Create DraftKings lineups using our DFS Lineup Optimizer tool >>

Beyond our daily fantasy basketball content, be sure to check out our Daily Fantasy Basketball Tools. From our Lineup Optimizer – which allows you to build winning DFS lineups in seconds for Cash and GPP contests – to our DFS Cheat Sheets – that helps you get a quick read on the day’s players – we’ve got you covered this fantasy basketball season.

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

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