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. 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 (FD) 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 (DK) has brought back its late swap for NBA contests.
4/16/19 NBA DFS TOURNAMENT PICKS
Big Jam: $10 entry, $400k guaranteed (DraftKings)- $100K to 1st!
Spin Move: $44 entry, $25,200k guaranteed (DraftKings)- $5K to 1st!
Tues. Shot: $9.99 entry, $350k guaranteed (FanDuel) – $100K to 1st!
Tues. Slam: $44 entry, $30k guaranteed (FanDuel) – $6K to 1st!
NBA DFS Best Picks & Plays for April 16, 2019
Best DFS Guards for April 16, 2019
Damian Lillard vs. OKC ($8.7k DraftKings, $9.7k FanDuel)
Lillard unsurprisingly played a major role in Portland’s Game 1 win. He racked up 46.5 DK/43.8 FD points on the strength of a 30-point effort. The All-Star guard is averaging 33.8 points per game against OKC over five total games this season. That’s good for well over 50 FPs on both sites. Those numbers make his Tuesday prices reasonable, especially considering the amount of usage he should once again see. Lillard was on the floor for a robust 39 minutes in Game 1. And with the Trail Blazers projected as narrow two-point favorites in most sportsbooks, chances are he’ll have to put in close to a full workload once again.
Jamal Murray vs. SA ($6.3k DraftKings, $7.7k FanDuel)
Murray’s DK price is especially appealing after he racked up 30.5 fantasy points in Game 1 despite 33.3 percent shooting. That figure is bound to bump up considering Murray shot 47.5 percent at Pepsi Center this past regular season. He’s also averaging over 35 FPs on both sites against the Spurs in five total games this season. Additionally, San Antonio is allowing the ninth-highest offensive efficiency rating (25.9) to point guards, factoring in Game 1 of the series. With Denver likely feeling elevated urgency following the surprising Game 1 loss, Murray’s usage should once again be through the roof.
Bryn Forbes at DEN ($4.3k DraftKings, $4.7k FanDuel)
Forbes was one of the key contributors for the Spurs in the Game 1 upset. The emerging guard totaled 22.75 DK/21 FD points on the strength of 66.7 percent shooting, including 75.0 percent from distance. However, the success versus Denver’s normally stingy shooting guard defense was nothing new. Forbes is shooting 56.1 percent overall across five games against the Nuggets this season and postseason, including 50.0 percent from three-point range. While he’s expected to continue playing a supplementary role in Game 2, he certainly has the upside to provide solid returns on very reasonable prices.
Best DFS Forwards for April 16, 2019
Paul George at POR ($9k DraftKings, $10.6k FanDuel)
There’s likely a bit of bluffing going on, but George insists his heavily scrutinized shoulder is completely pain-free. His recent shooting percentages don’t back that up. However, George’s usage is such that he has to be considered for DFS, particularly in a high-stakes game. The veteran wing managed 48.0 DK/46 FD points across 43 minutes in the Game 1 loss despite shooting just 33.3 percent. The All-Star did it with the help of 10 rebounds and six steals. He’ll undoubtedly be primed for another out-sized role with the Thunder badly needing a Game 2 win. Furthermore, it’s worth noting George is averaging over 60 FPs on both sites in five games against the Trail Blazers this season and postseason. That further cements his case against a team allowing the fifth-highest offensive efficiency rating (22.8) to small forwards.
Aaron Gordon at TOR ($6.8k DraftKings, $7.1k FanDuel)
Gordon churned out a 10-point, 10-rebound double-double in the Game 1 upset over the Raptors despite shooting just 30.0 percent, adding a trio of steals for good measure. The performance netted 34.5 DK/33.5 FD points and pushed Gordon’s seasonal averages against Toronto to just under 30 FPs on both sites. Gordon sported a solid 17.1 percent usage rate in Game 1, and that number could well creep up closer to the 21.1 percent he averaged during the regular season as the Magic look to take a commanding 2-0 lead back to Central Florida.
Al-Farouq Aminu vs. OKC ($4.8k DraftKings, $5.5k FanDuel)
The Thunder allowed above-average fantasy scoring to power forwards all season, and Aminu has exploited that weakness on multiple occasions. He did it again in Game 1 despite taking only five shots, posting 23.75 DK/25.4 FD points across 35 minutes. He’ll likely be in for a similar allotment of playing time Tuesday and could well continue to build on his average of just under 30 FPs on both sites in five games against OKC. The Thunder notably allows a bottom-five figure in shooting percentage (47.6) to power forwards, something the floor-spacing Aminu is capable of exploiting.
Best DFS Centers for April 16, 2019
Nikola Jokic vs. SA ($9.2k DraftKings, $10.6k FanDuel)
Jokic compiled 53.5 DK/47.8 FD points in the Game 1 loss, although he took only nine shots. That number is likely to rise in Game 2, considering the gravity of the game and the fact he averaged a career-high 15.1 shot attempts this season. Jokic posted a modest 15.5 percent usage rate in the opening contest, but an uptick in offensive involvement coupled with his elite rebounding and facilitating skills could lead to an even bigger return in fantasy production. It’s also worth noting Jokic has actually proven efficient when putting the ball up in five total games against the Spurs, draining 65.4 percent of his attempts, including 36.4 percent from three-point range.
Enes Kanter vs. OKC ($7k DraftKings, $7.8k FanDuel)
Kanter shrugged off a tough matchup on paper against Steven Adams in Game 1 to tally 52.0 DK/51.6 FD points across 34 minutes. The 20-point, 18-rebound double-double marked the sixth in the last seven games for the offensively proficient big man. Kanter is doing an admirable job of filling the sizable shoes of Jusuf Nurkic, and he seems like a lock for double-digit shot attempts once again as the Blazers look to take a commanding 2-0 series lead into enemy territory. Given his scoring upside and presence on the boards, Kanter looks like a bargain at his current prices.
Steven Adams at POR ($6.1k DraftKings, $6.5k FanDuel)
Having just lauded Kanter for his ability to light up the scoreboard, it must also be emphasized that he is often a defensive liability. That’s where Adams’ candidacy comes into play, particularly at his modest prices. The big Kiwi was outperformed by Kanter in Game 1 but still turned in a solid performance, compiling 17 points and nine rebounds on 14 shot attempts. He should remain similarly involved in a critical Game 2 if he remains out of foul trouble. There’s also a chance the Thunder turn in another ragged shooting performance with Paul George seemingly not at full health and Russell Westbrook always liable to go cold. That would give Adams extra opportunity on the offensive glass and an even better shot at a 5x-6x return, particularly if the game remains as close as currently projected by the oddsmakers.