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.
4/14/19 NBA DFS TOURNAMENT PICKS
Sunday Special: $15 entry, $333k guaranteed (DraftKings) – $100,000 to 1st!
Four Point Play: $4 entry, $50k guaranteed (DraftKings)
Shot: $9.99 entry, $333k guaranteed (FanDuel) – $100,000 to 1st!
Shot: $4.44 entry, $40k guaranteed (FanDuel)
NBA DFS Top Plays for April 14, 2019
Best Guards for April 14, 2019
Damian Lillard vs. OKC ($8.4k DraftKings, $9.7k FanDuel)
Rather than breaking the bank by paying up for Russell Westbrook on this short playoff slate, it makes sense to attack Westbrook and the Thunder (+3.5). Aside from the close line, this contest has the highest point total (225.5) and the most potential for studs like Damian Lillard. Jusuf Nurkic (leg) is certainly done for the year and C.J. McCollum (knee) is working his way back from a strain. With the Blazers going 32-9 (+8.4 PPG differential) at home, Lillard wasn’t asked to do as much. But he’s shooting 40% from 3-point range at Moda Center. He also averaged 34.8 PPG and 7.8 APG with a 33% usage rate while playing 40.1 MPG over four matchups with Westbrook and the Thunder. Lillard will be highly motivated to bounce back after a poor showing in the 2018 playoffs.
Donovan Mitchell @ HOU ($8.2k DraftKings, $9.4k FanDuel)
All eyes will be on reigning MVP James Harden when the Rockets open their playoff series tonight. But the Jazz have an elite scorer ready to respond in kind and potentially approach Harden’s production at a dramatically lower price on FanDuel. Donovan Mitchell was fabulous with averages of 26.7 PPG, 4.5 RPG, and 4.6 APG while shooting 46% from the field after the ASB. He produced 61 points and 12 assists over two trips to Houston this year and shined in the postseason as a rookie with averages of 24.4 PPG, 5.9 RPG, and 4.2 APG over 11 appearances. The Rockets (-5.5) ranked 28th in DvP against both PG and SG over the last 14 days of the season and are more likely to get into a close game than either home favorite in the Eastern Conference. Stacking studs from the later games with values in the earlier games out east could prove an effective strategy.
Eric Bledsoe vs. DET ($6.2k DraftKings, $7.6k FanDuel)
Former Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy once famously told his players to “Build a f**kin’ wall!” on the final possession of a key game. That will likely be Dwane Casey’s strategy against MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo in the first round. We’re willing to fade Giannis, but not the entire Bucks offense, which ranks second in pace and first in scoring (118.1 PPG). Eric Bledsoe is a prime mid-range option to target with Malcolm Brogdon (heel) out. Bledsoe’s playing time rose to 30.4 MPG in March. He averaged 16.4 PPG, 5 RPG, and 5.6 APG over 14 contests. Detroit allowed the third-most APG (9.03) and fifth-most FPPG (42.06) to PGs this season. Bledsoe averaged 20.5 PPG and 6.5 APG with a boost in usage rate (26.7%) over four meetings against the Pistons this year. He clearly enjoys working against below-average defenders Reggie Jackson and Ish Smith.
Other guards to consider: James Harden, Kyrie Irving, Khris Middleton, Terry Rozier, Jaylen Brown, Ish Smith
Best Forwards for April 14, 2019
Paul George @ POR ($9.2k DraftKings, $10.6k FanDuel)
It will be hard to fade both Russell Westbrook and Paul George tonight. If you expect the Thunder to be competitive, one or both superstars will post a huge line. George is clearly the more affordable option on DraftKings, and he’s at least been Westbrook’s equal in terms of usage rate. His questionable designation means little as he prepares for his postseason debut tonight.
George posted better averages (38 PPG, 10.5 RPG, 5.5 APG) over four meetings with Portland than he did against any other team this year. He dropped 32 points, 14 rebounds, and 6 assists in his last meeting with the Blazers despite shooting 1-for-9 from deep. Portland ranked 20th in 3-point defense this year and coughed up 11.7 3PTM per game over the last week of the season. He averaged more PPG (28.9) with a higher usage rate (30.4%) on the road, and Westbrook saw a corresponding 1.9% dip in usage away from OKC.
Gordon Hayward vs. IND ($5.2k DraftKings, $6.4k FanDuel)
Forward is the position at which you can save tonight. Gordon Hayward is certainly worth a look in GPP formats at this price tag. The Indiana native finally regained his groove over the final month of the season and looked extremely comfortable while dropping 21 points on 9-for-9 FG shooting when the C’s topped the Pacers last Friday to earn home-court advantage. Hayward will be asked to lead the second unit at times with Marcus Smart (oblique) out for a month. When Smart and Kyrie Irving are both off the floor, Hayward sees a 1.8% bump in usage rate and averages 0.09 more FPs (1.04) per minute. He provided double-digit points in 13 of his last 14 regular season outings and could see even more run if the Celtics (-7) dominate the injury-diminished Pacers.
Pat Connaughton vs. DET ($3.8k DraftKings, $5.4k FanDuel)
Another way to hedge against a moderate line from Giannis is to play one of his backups. Pat Connaughton is playing plenty of minutes alongside The Greek Freak with Nikola Mirotic (foot) out, but he could wind up closing this game if the Bucks (-13) run away. Connaughton is a supreme athlete who stunningly has more dunks this year than Andrew Wiggins, Blake Griffin, Donovan Mitchell, or Russell Westbrook. He’s averaging 15.5 points per 100 possessions with a 122 offensive rating and logged at least 25 minutes in 12 straight games prior to the Bucks resting every key player in their final two contests. Connaughton scored 16 points off the bench over just 21 minutes the last time he faced Detroit and can make a living scoring off back-cuts if the Pistons are too focused on containing Giannis.
Other forwards to consider: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Blake Griffin, Domantas Sabonis, Joe Ingles, Jerami Grant, Maurice Harkless, Luke Kennard
Best Centers for April 14, 2019
Andre Drummond @ MIL ($8.8k DraftKings, $10.6k FanDuel)
We’d take the Pistons (+13) to cover a lofty spread in Milwaukee tonight in part because of their advantage down low. While Blake Griffin (knee) is only a GPP option given his shaky health, Andre Drummond can be locked in as the top option at center this Sunday. Drummond took off after the ASB with averages of 17.2 PPG and 16.8 RPG while posting a 121 offensive rating. The Bucks held him in check earlier this year, but Drummond got his with 20 points, 13 rebounds, and 4 assists in a late January meeting. Since the Bucks play at the fastest pace in the NBA when they’re at home, Drummond is a virtual lock for a double-double as the man who led the league in rebounds in four consecutive seasons.
Enes Kanter vs. OKC ($6.6k DraftKings, $7.5k FanDuel)
Steven Adams is a great individual defender, but the appeal of playing Enes Kanter is a guaranteed workload in an efficient system. Portland ranked third in offensive rating and scored an above-average 51.3 PPG in the paint over the final week of the season. Kanter averaged 19.6 PPG, 12.4 RPG, and shot 61.8% from the floor to post a 126 offensive rating during that span. He averaged 1.11 FPs per minute over two meetings with OKC as a member of the Knicks. Kanter was still backing up Jusuf Nurkic when the Thunder won in Portland on March 7, but now he’s looking at 30-40 minutes of run.
Other centers to consider: Rudy Gobert, Al Horford, Steven Adams