NBA DraftKings and FanDuel DFS Primer: Saturday (4/9)
We’re officially coming to the end of the NBA regular season with just two days left. Today, we get a laid-back slate of only three games before going out with a bang on Sunday, when we’ll be tasked with attempting to tackle a massive 11-gamer. This point in the NBA season can be tricky for those playing DFS. Not all teams still have much to play for with so few games left, so more than ever, it’s super important to pay close attention to the injury reports. Even if a team elects to play their starters, that doesn’t necessarily mean they will see their usual minutes. One viable strategy is to target games that include teams still playing for seeding purposes. That’s one of the best ways to try and ensure you’re plugging guys into your lineup that will play a complete game. Just be sure you’re sifting through as much information as possible before making final lineup decisions this weekend. With that being said, let’s get into the three games we have on hand today.
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 profitable 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.
Schedule and Odds
- NOP @ MEM (-5.5) O/U: 232.5
- GSW @ SAS (+7) O/U: 222
- SAC @ LAC (-11.5) O/U: 225.5
- Ja Morant (knee) questionable
- Jarrett Culver (knee) OUT
- Killian Tillie (knee) OUT
- Klay Thompson (rest) OUT
- Draymond Green (load management) questionable
- Otto Porter Jr. (load management) questionable
- Stephen Curry (foot) OUT
- James Wiseman (knee) OUT
- Jakob Poeltl (rest) OUT
- Dejounte Murray (conditioning) OUT
- Devin Vassell (heel) OUT
- Keldon Johnson (rest) OUT
- Romeo Langford (hamstring) questionable
- Jock Landale (foot) available
- Lonnie Walker IV (back) available
- Doug McDermott (ankle) OUT
- Alex Len (back) OUT
- Domantas Sabonis (knee) OUT
- De’Aaron Fox (hand) OUT
- Richaun Holmes (personal) OUT
- Terence Davis (wrist) OUT
- Luke Kennard (hamstring) available
- Kawhi Leonard (knee) OUT
CJ McCollum (PG/SG – NOP): $8,200 DraftKings, $8,300 FanDuel
With Memphis locked into the two seed and New Orleans clinching a spot in the NBA Play-In Tournament, this is one of those games that we’ll need to pay close attention to as far as who’s in or out goes. While I expect Memphis to sit some guys, I think the Pelicans will find it in their best interest to continue letting their starters play and gain some momentum going into the play-in games. So, we’ll look to McCollum as a full go for now. Cj’s playing well, scoring 40 or more fantasy points in three of his last four games. Over his last 12, he’s averaged 24.2 points, 5.6 assists, 3.9 rebounds, and 2.7 made threes a game. In a game with the highest projected total (232.5) on the slate, I’m going to want pieces from it, and CJ McCollum is at the top of my list.
Davion Mitchell (PG/SG – SAC): $7,000 DraftKings, $7,100 FanDuel
One player’s minutes that seem to be safe regardless of the situation is the rookie point guard for the Sacramento Kings, Davion Mitchell. With De’Aaron Fox (hand) out due to injury, Mitchell has taken over the floor general duties and played exceptionally well. Over the last eight games, Mitchell averages almost 20 points a game with 19.4 but averaging an impressive 9.8 assists. During that eight-game span, he’s also averaging 40.8 minutes per game which is one of the most appealing things about playing the young guard in lineups tonight. We know his minutes are safe, and he will play many of them. Big minutes mean more opportunities to score fantasy points. With this being the second to last game of his rookie year, I expect Mitchell to go out there and give it his all, making him one of my top core plays of this small, three-game slate.
Cash Game Considerations
Tre Jones (PG – SAS): $5,400 DraftKings, $6,500 FanDuel
Tre Jones will be one of my top plays tonight, especially on DraftKings, where a ton of value is still left within his $5,400 price tag. In his last four games, he’s averaging 35.9 DK points per game on 13.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 8.5 assists. Three of the Spurs’ top scoring options have already been ruled out for tonight in Keldon Johnson (rest), Devin Vassell (heel), and Dejounte Murray (conditioning), leaving the door wide open for Tre Jones to have another impressive outing. Jones should provide one of the safest floors you’ll find tonight.
Jordan Poole (PG – GSW): $8,000 DraftKings, $7,900 FanDuel
On Thursday, Jordan Poole had 19 points, ending his impressive scoring streak of 20-plus points at 17 games. Despite the bitter-sweet moment, Poole finished the night with the second double-double of his young career and had a career-high 11 assists. Klay Thompson (rest) will be out tonight, so Poole should step in as the defacto first scoring option for the Warriors against a Spurs defense who carries an OPRK of 24th against the position. I think we’re in store for a massive night out of the Warriors’ point guard.
Paul George (SG/SF – LAC): $9,300 DraftKings, $9,000 FanDuel
George has looked excellent on both sides of the ball since returning from his injury, but we have only seen him surpass 30 minutes twice, which was expected, as Ty Lue wants to be cautious with his star. Regardless, Paul George has the all-around skill set to put up big fantasy numbers even in limited minutes. Since returning, the perennial all-star has averaged 22.5 points, 5 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and an impressive three steals. He finds himself in the GPP section because it’s a toss-up how much head coach Ty Lue elects to play any of his starters tonight. If Paul George does see close to 30 minutes, I look for him to have no problems carving up the Kings, who are arguably the worst defense in the NBA. George could quickly end as the top fantasy scorer on tonight’s slate.
Tyus Jones (PG – MEM): $6,000 DraftKings, $6,300 FanDuel
There are many viable guard options tonight despite there being only three games, so the guard position will likely have a more widespread roster percentage. Tyus Jones’ value will essentially be dependent upon whether Ja Morant (knee) suits up or not. I can’t imagine how it benefits the Grizzlies to risk playing Morant in a meaningless regular-season game with them already having their playoff seeding locked up. Therefore, I will be banking on Tyus Jones continuing to start at point guard. During his time as a starter, Jones has played exceptionally well. Not including the last game against Denver, where he only saw 23 minutes; Jones has averaged 33.4 DK points and 32.3 FD points in his previous seven games. Those numbers are good for more than five times the return on your investment at his current salary on both sites. If Jones gets the starting nod again, he’s an excellent option to fill one of your guard slots.
Isaiah Hartenstein (C/PF – LAC): $5,200 DraftKings, $5,800 FanDuel
This will be more of a DraftKings value play because he’s $600 cheaper, but center options will be sparse with just three games tonight, so he’s not a no for me on FanDuel either. Hartenstein has been sneakily good as of late, scoring 30 or more DraftKings points in six of his last eight games with an average of only 23.6 minutes on the floor. Fortunately, he’ll now face a terrible Sacramento Kings team against big men and bolster an OPRK of 29th against the center position. Hartenstein is consistently returning five times or more the return on investment, and I expect him to continue that tonight in a game he could potentially see some extra minutes in.
Lonnie Walker IV (PG/SG-SAS): $3,800 DraftKings, $4,800 FanDuel
FanDuel has accounted for the fact that Lonnie Walker should see an extended run tonight, but DraftKings has kept his price down, making him an excellent go-to value option. With the opportunity and playing time Walker should see due to Dejounte Murray (conditioning) and Devin Vassell (heel) being out, he shouldn’t have much problem paying off his $3,800 salary. There’s undoubtedly more value to open up as news rolls out, but for now, I think Lonnie Walker is one of the better value options on the slate.
- Lonnie Walker IV (PG/SG-SAS): $3,800 DraftKings, $4,800 FanDuel
- Tre Jones (PG-SAS): $5,400 DraftKings, $6,500 FanDuel
- Joshua Primo (PG – SAS): $3,500 DraftKings, $4,300 FanDuel
- Norman Powell (SG – LAC): $5,300 DraftKings, $6,600 FanDuel
- Larry Nance Jr. (PF – NOP): $3,500 DraftKings, $4,400 FanDuel
- Jaxson Hayes (PF/C – NOP): $4,900 DraftKings, $5,700 FanDuel