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NBA DFS Primer: Sunday (4/3)

by Evan Ritter | @Ev_Ritt3 | Featured Writer
Apr 3, 2022
Karl-Anthony Towns

Karl-Anthony Towns is the top Core Play tonight.

Saturday was a great day of basketball. Even though it was a smaller NBA slate, we got some close games. First, the Nets and Hawks produced the top two optimal plays of the night in Kevin Durant (SF, PF – BKN) and Trae Young (PG – ATL). The Duke vs. North Carolina game was phenomenal and will go down in the books as one to remember. The Tar Heels managed to get hot late, subsequently ending Coach K’s storybook finish to what was indeed an illustrious career. Then the night was capped off by a Western Conference showdown between the Utah Jazz and Golden State Warriors that didn’t disappoint as the Warriors were able to pull out a come from behind victory, narrowing the Jazz 111 to 107. Let’s hope we’re in store for another fantastic day of hoops as Sunday brings us an eight-game DFS slate in the association. There’s a lot to break down, so let’s go ahead and get to it.

The Primer is a first look article filled with all the information you’ll need to help get your lineups rolling. We’ll begin with the schedule and odds to highlight which game environments stand out. We follow that up with the injury report, an essential part of any DFS player’s daily process. Next, we shed light on some of our top plays of the slate, including core building blocks, GPP candidates, cash game considerations, and salary relief targets. In conclusion, we’ll always wrap up with our advantageous pricing segment, which uncovers price discrepancies between FanDuel and DraftKings.

So without further ado, let’s dive into another edition of the NBA DFS Primer brought to you by FantasyPros.

View the best player prop bets for tonight’s slate with our NBA Prop Bet Cheat Sheet >>

Schedule and Odds

  • PHI @ CLE (+4.5) O/U: 224.5
  • NYK @ ORL (+4.5) O/U: 215.5
  • MIN @ HOU (+12.5) O/U: 243.5
  • PHO @ OKC (+15) O/U: 225
  • POR @ SAS (-14) O/U: 230
  • MIA @ TOR (-3) O/U: 213.5
  • GSW @ SAC (+6.5) O/U: 224.5
  • NOP @ LAC (-2.5) O/U: 223.5

Injury Report

Check out our consensus game odds as well as the odds from each sportsbook at BettingPros >>

Core Plays

Karl-Anthony Towns (C – MIN): $9,600 DraftKings, $8,700 FanDuel

The Rockets have the worst defense in the NBA, and now with Christian Wood (hamstring) out of the lineup, they lose any chance of protecting the rim. They carry an OPRK of 30th, and big men have destroyed them in the paint all season long. KAT is the next big man in line to take advantage of the Rocket’s defensive struggles, and I expect him to do just that. Towns is coming off scoring 32 points with nine rebounds against the Denver Nuggets and Nikola Jokic (C – DEN). If he can put that performance up against the front runner for MVP, can you imagine what he will do to rookie Alperen Sengun (C – HOU) down tonight? There’s blowout risk, but if this game turns out to be a lopsided affair like expected, I’ll bank on KAT being a huge reason.

Jordan Poole (PG – GSW): $8,100 DraftKings, $8,200 FanDuel

Man has Jordan Poole been fun to watch lately. The young point guard has benefited from learning from teammate Stephen Curry because he displays a lot of Curry’s tendencies when looking at game film. Poole and the Warriors will be going up against the lowly Sacramento Kings tonight, so another excellent performance should be in store. He’s coming off two back to back 30 point games and has scored at least 20 or more in 16 consecutive. During that span, he’s averaging 26.6 points, 5.1 assists, 4.1 rebounds, 0.9 steals, and 4.5 threes a game. The Warriors are on a back-to-back, so we may see Klay Thompson take the night off for rest purposes. As a result, Poole’s usage rate jumps from 25.5% to 31% with both splash brothers off the court. Even if Klay suits up, Poole still bolsters a 29.9% usage rate, so expect the emerging star to keep it rolling tonight as he attempts to push his streak to 17 games of 20 points or more.

Cash Game Considerations

Joel Embiid (C – PHI): $11,800 DraftKings, $11,200 FanDuel

Embiid is in an excellent spot tonight as he’s virtually matchup proof. The big man and the Sixers will be facing off against the Cleveland Cavaliers, who have been hit hard by the injury bug this season, and it’s recently continued. Jarret Allen (finger) has missed 13 consecutive games and is unlikely to suit up tonight, with Evan Mobley (ankle) not expected to go against Philly either. Those two players made Clevelands’ defense one of the best in the league all season, especially in the interior. With both of them out of the lineup, big men have been able to have their way down low against the Cavs. As a result, they’re getting killed on the glass and can’t get a stop in the paint. Embiid has now logged seven straight double-doubles with his 29 points and 14 boards yesterday against the Hornets coming in just three quarters as Doc Rivers gave his MVP candidate the fourth quarter off due to a sizable 76er lead. Embiid has clarified how much winning MVP means to him, so I expect him to go after it against this undermanned Cavs team. It should be a long night for Moses Brown (C – CLE) and the Cavaliers.

Jalen Green (PG, SG – HOU): $7,500 DraftKings, $6,700 FanDuel

The Rockets are another team that has been hit by injuries, thrusting rookie Jalen Green into big minutes lately, and he’s taken full advantage. Green has scored 30 or more points in three consecutive games while playing 37 or more minutes. Over the last ten games, Green is averaging 21.8 points, 2.6 assists, and 4.3 rebounds while shooting an efficient 42% from behind the arc. He’s scored 40 or more DK points in his last four, so it’s clear the young Rocket guard is in a groove right now, and I’ll continue to ride him while he’s hot.

GPP Targets

Chris Paul (PG – PHX): $8,200 DraftKings, $8,000 FanDuel

Devin Booker (rest) and Deandre Ayton (rest) have been ruled out already for Sunday’s contest against the Oklahoma City Thunder, so it should be the Chris Paul show tonight. Paul gets a usage bump with both starters off the floor and gets extra shot attempts up. At a 15 point spread, Vegas expects the Suns to win this game handily, even with a large part of their offensive production on the bench. If the Suns cover a double-digit spread, even against a depleted team like the Thunder, Chris Paul will have to have an excellent outing. I expect Paul to carve this OKC defense up, scoring and assisting the rock with ease. It should be a big night for CP3 and company.

Damian Jones (C – SAC): $6,600 DraftKings, $5,500 FanDuel

Damian Jones has not only stepped in for the injured Domantas Sabonis (PF, C – IND) (knee) but he’s played tremendously well. Jones is coming off back-to-back stellar performances, scoring 50 plus fantasy points in both. Granted, they were both against the aforementioned Houston Rockets and their lack of defensive presence in the paint, but Jones still played above expectations. That’s also a big reason he finds himself in the GPP section because there’s still the unknown factor of whether or not he can play like that against a team other than the Rockets. At a reasonable price point, though, especially on FanDuel, I’m willing to take some shots and most likely will come in over the field on the Kings, new starting center. While they’re nowhere near as bad as the Rockets’ interior defense, the Warriors and Kevon Looney (PF, C – GSW) don’t exactly intimidate their opposing big men. We saw Rudy Gobert (C – UTA) go for 14 points and 20 rebounds last night against Golden State. While Damian Jones isn’t Rudy Gobert, especially on the defensive end, he is a capable scorer and rebounder. So I’m willing to take my chances in large-field tournaments on Damian Jones having another big night.

Value Plays

JaVale McGee (C – PHX): $3,800 DraftKings, $3,600 FanDuel

I already discussed the Suns using this projected lopsided affair as an opportunity to rest a few of their starters-two players of note being Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton. With Ayton sitting, Javale McGee will likely find himself in the starting five tonight. When Javale has gotten opportunities before, he has stepped up and played well. In the game on Friday against Memphis, where he saw 22 minutes, he ended with eight points and 12 rebounds, resulting in 27.5 DK points and 28.4 FD points. Even if he replicates that production tonight at his current salary, it would be suitable for seven times the return on investment. Therefore, McGee is an excellent value option because even if the Suns blow out the Thunder as expected, McGee’s minutes should be secure.

Markelle Fultz (PG – ORL): $4,600 DrafKings, $5,700 FanDuel

I wouldn’t take any chance on Fultz with my FanDuel lineups, but I think there’s still some value left in his DraftKings salary. The minute restriction is also hard to ignore, but Fultz has maintained steady production even with it. In his past four games, he’s averaged 30.9 DraftKings points in only 20 minutes per game. At $4,600, that’s more than six times his value, and if the Magic were to let his minutes creep up to 25 or more for the remainder of the season, Fultz could blow this price tag out of the water. In doing my research for Fultz tonight and reading some articles, I have found some discussion about how it would be beneficial for the Magic to let him loose for multiple reasons. That’s yet to be seen, but Fultz has proven he can get it done even if his minutes continue to be capped. I’ll have some exposure to the young guard on DraftKings tonight.

NOTE: These are just a couple of value plays that stand out from a first look standpoint. There are indeed more that will open up as more information and news becomes available throughout the day.

Advantageous Pricing

View optimal lineups, waiver and trade suggestions, and league analysis >>

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Evan Ritter is a featured writer for FantasyPros. For more from Evan, check out his archive and follow him on Twitter.

DFS, DraftKings, FanDuel, Featured, NBA