Please note the advice below is relevant for daily fantasy purposes. A player or team might be better or worse from a fantasy perspective than in real life due to matchup, price, and lots of other factors. This is important to consider when constructing a roster.
Injuries play a huge role in NBA DFS on a nightly basis and players are always candidates to rest towards the end of the regular season. Value plays on the various daily fantasy sites can arise at a moment’s notice, so always, always check the starting lineups and injury news right before tipoff.
The Full Roster contests on FanDuel include a new scoring system in which the lowest score of the nine selected players is dropped, allowing users to take more risks with a punt play or two. Then, DraftKings has brought back its late swap for NBA contests.
4/5/19 NBA DFS TOURNAMENT PICKS
Fadeaway: $15 entry, $250k guaranteed (DraftKings) – $50,000 to 1st!
Four Point Play: $4 entry, $50k guaranteed (DraftKings)
Shot: $15 entry, $200k guaranteed (FanDuel) – $50,000 to 1st!
Shot: $5.55 entry, $30k guaranteed (FanDuel)
NBA DFS Top Plays for April 5, 2019
Best Guards for April 5, 2019
Russell Westbrook vs. DET ($11.3k DraftKings, $12.0k FanDuel)
Russell Westbrook made modern NBA history by recording a 20-20-20 game against the hapless Lakers on Tuesday. With the Thunder still jockeying for playoff positioning and Paul George battling a shoulder issue, Westbrook is unlikely to slow down too much in another good matchup.
Detroit ranks 26th in DvP and allows the third-most APG (9.03) to PGs this season. Westbrook coasted a 27-point blowout win at Detroit in early December, but now the Pistons are just one game from falling out of the playoffs in the Eastern Conference. OKC needs this game with two challenging ones scheduled (vs. HOU, at MIL) to close out the season and a first-round matchup against Golden State looming if they fall into the No. 8 spot.
Goran Dragic vs. MIN ($6.3k DraftKings, $6.5k FanDuel)
After dropping 30 points in Boston Monday, Goran Dragic was held in check by the Celtics in Miami two nights later. But the fact that he played 37-plus minutes for a fourth straight game tells you all you need to know about his per-dollar upside. Miami is in a must-win situation tonight. And they’re visiting a T-Wolves team that’s 24th in defensive rating and yields the fourth-most APG (26.2) this season.
Justise Winslow posted a modest 16.7% usage rate over 22 minutes in his return from injury Wednesday, and Josh Richardson (groin) has been shut down for a couple of weeks. Dragic averages 0.10 more FP per minute (1.04) when those players are off the floor. He owns a 23.7% usage rate and 32.9% assist rate over his last four appearances. Minnesota allows the third-highest shooting percentage (44.4%) and ranks 25th in DvP against PGs. Plus, the T-Wolves are down to third-string PG Tyus Jones on the late-season depth chart.
Jamal Crawford vs. NO ($3.6k DraftKings, $4.5k FanDuel)
This game is flush with values at guard as both tanking teams have shut down several key players. Ian Clark is the best value from the Pelicans’ roster, but the issue is a bit cloudier on the Suns’ side of the ball. Usage monster Devin Booker (ankle) will not suit up again this season, joining T.J. Warren (ankle), Tyler Johnson (knee), and Kelly Oubre Jr. (thumb) on the shelf. Additionally, Deandre Ayton (ankle) will continue to sit. This creates a perfect storm for Jamal Crawford to turn back the clock and carry the offense for stretches.
The ageless wonder is still producing 13 points and 6.8 assists per 36 minutes this season. He played around 30 minutes in three straight contests before resting in Wednesday’s loss to Utah. Thus, he should be ready to go against the Pelicans’ 28th-ranked scoring defense. Crawford sees a 9.8% bump in usage rate (to 27.1%) and averages 0.18 more FP per minute when those players are all off the floor. He has the potential for 6.4x salary returns on DK tonight according to FantasyLabs. Elie Okobo, Josh Jackson, and Mikal Bridges are also worth consideration as Phoenix value plays.
Other guards to consider: Damian Lillard, Trae Young, Kyrie Irving, Donovan Mitchell, Dwyane Wade, Jamal Murray, Wayne Ellington, Trey Burke, Ian Clark, Cory Joseph, Elie Okobo
Best Forwards for April 5, 2019
Julius Randle @ PHO ($8.7k DraftKings, $9.0k FanDuel)
Deandre Ayton‘s absence locks in Julius Randle as a fantastic play in any format. We already know Anthony Davis (shoulder) will play limited minutes if he suits up at all in the final games of the season. Randle leads the Pelicans with a hefty 33.6% usage rate (5.3% increase) and averages 1.37 FP per minute when Davis and Jrue Holiday (abdomen) are off the floor. He went for 21 points, 11 rebounds, and 5 assists with a 33.3% usage rate in a meeting with the Suns three weeks ago and is likely to shoot a higher percentage if Ayton isn’t available. Richaun Holmes (ankle) is also hobbled, which leaves slender Dragan Bender to man the paint. Randle has matching 34-point, 11-rebound lines in each of the Pelicans’ last two competitive games. This contest has been assigned a close line (Phoenix +1) and hefty Over/Under (233.5).
Bobby Portis vs. SA ($6.8k DraftKings, $6.5k FanDuel)
Since the Spurs will certainly be playing to win on the road tonight, you can expect an aggressive defensive game plan geared toward containing Bradley Beal. The Wizards will need other players to step up in that case. Yet Jabari Parker (knee) is out, and Jeff Green has been a DNP-CD his last few games. That leaves Bobby Portis as the unquestioned 1B option next to Beal. Portis is coming off a 20-point, 10-rebound performance over just 22 minutes against his former team. Then, he dropped 28 points on Utah’s stingy defense last Friday. He’s averaging 19.1 points and 11.3 rebounds per 36 minutes since joining the Wizards, but his playing time has been quite inconsistent. He’s a true GPP play against LaMarcus Aldridge and the Spurs, but San Antonio does allow 114.3 PPG and 45.3 RPG on the road.
Bojan Bogdanovic vs. BOS ($6.5k DraftKings, $6.6k FanDuel)
The Pacers nearly pulled off a huge win at Boston last week thanks Bojan Bogdanovic shooting 8-for-13 from the floor for 27 points. He’ll look for a repeat act at home with home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs at stake. With Victor Oladipo (quad) unavailable, Bogdanovic has put Indy’s offense on his back. He’s averaging 22 PPG with a 27.1% usage rate since the ASB. Boston ranks 20th in DvP and allows SFs to shoot an above-average 45.6% from the floor this season, so Bogdanovic’s performance last week didn’t come from nowhere. He averages 18.8 PPG with an impressive 116 offensive rating and shoots 51.3% from the floor when the Pacers are home.
Other forwards to consider: Pascal Siakam, LaMarcus Aldridge, Danilo Gallinari, Marvin Bagley, Christian Wood, Larry Nance Jr., Josh Jackson, Maurice Harkless, Luke Kornet, Dragan Bender
Best Centers for April 5, 2019
Andre Drummond @ OKC ($9.9k DraftKings, $10.9k FanDuel)
As long as Blake Griffin (knee) is out, paying up for Andre Drummond will be a priority in Cash formats. Even in a tough matchup against Steven Adams and the Thunder, Drummond’s physicality should shine. He’s looking to build off a monster game (28 points, 19 rebounds, 3 assists, 6 STL/BLK) in another tough test at Indiana. The Detroit big man is simply unstoppable when properly motivated, and Griffin’s injury, combined with Detroit’s tenuous playoff positioning, seems to be bringing out the best in him. Drummond has 11 straight double-doubles and has pulled down 17-plus rebounds in five straight. He averages 1.46 FP per minute (0.12) increase when Griffin is off the floor and should play around the 43 minutes he saw against Indy in this key game for Detroit. Drummond has a massive ceiling of 70.5 DraftKings tonight per FantasyLabs.
Dwight Powell vs. MEM ($6.0k DraftKings, $7.1k FanDuel)
If you’re looking for an extreme value on FanDuel, Grizzlies big man Ivan Rabb can offer far more salary relief in this matchup. Yet Dwight Powell offers much more upside. He’s one of the main options for Dallas late in the season. Powell is playing 31.1 MPG since the ASB and averaging 15.3 PPG and 7.3 RPG with a stellar 142 offensive rating during that span. He might be a much bigger part of the game plan tonight if both Luka Doncic (thigh) and Jalen Brunson (load management) sit. Powell sees a 5.1% increase in usage and averages 0.14 more FPs per minute (1.13) when those players are off the floor.
Then, Trey Burke leads the Mavs with a 27.2% usage rate in that situation, and we could see a ton of pick-and-roll with those two players in a slow-paced affair against Memphis if Doncic is out. With Joakim Noah (knee) questionable and Jonas Valanciunas (ankle) out, the Grizzlies will be vulnerable down low.
Other centers to consider: Rudy Gobert, Enes Kanter, Mitchell Robinson, Ivan Rabb, Hassan Whiteside