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.
4/18/19 NBA DFS TOURNAMENT PICKS
Fadeaway: $15 entry, $350k guaranteed (DraftKings)- $100K to 1st!
Spin Move: $44 entry, $25,200k guaranteed (DraftKings)- $5K to 1st!
Thurs. Shot: $7.77 entry, $60k guaranteed (FanDuel) – $10K to 1st!
Thurs. Shot Presented by Hulu: $9.99 entry, $333k guaranteed (FanDuel) – $100K to 1st!
NBA DFS Best Picks & Plays for April 18, 2019
Best DFS Guards for April 18, 2019
Stephen Curry at LAC ($9.1k DraftKings, $10.4k FanDuel)
Curry already scored over 70 DK and over 65 FD points in Game 1 of the series. He’ll be locked into an even bigger role than usual going forward with DeMarcus Cousins out the rest of the way. Curry sports a 32.1 percent usage rate and averages 1.45 DK/1.37 FD points per minute with Cousins off the floor this season. Moreover, he’s shooting a blistering 54.7 percent, including 42.4 percent from three-point range, versus the Clippers this season and postseason. Finally, it’s worth noting the Clippers are allowing a bottom-10 figure in three-point shooting to point guards (36.3), certainly relevant when considering Curry.
Jamal Murray at SA ($6.5k DraftKings, $7.6k FanDuel)
Murray did a masterful job turning lemons into lemonade during a memorable fourth quarter Tuesday. The third-year guard scored 21 of his 24 points in the final 12 minutes to spearhead Denver’s momentous comeback. Murray’s price remains especially appealing on DK after he racked up 35.5 FPs with his Game 2 performance. The Spurs also come in allowing the ninth-highest offensive efficiency rating (26.0) to PGs. Then, Murray seems to be mentally over the shooting woes that plagued him over the first game-plus of the series after going 8-for-9 from the field in the fourth period of Game 2.
Derrick White vs. DEN ($4.9k DraftKings, $5.4k FanDuel)
That said, Murray’s counterpart is very much priced to move Thursday. White averaged 25.1 DK/24.0 FD points over the first two games of the series. He has encouragingly averaged 10.5 shot attempts thus far against the Nuggets in the first-round matchup. He’s also shooting 45.6 percent against Denver over six total games this season. While the Nuggets present as a tough matchup for PGs on paper, White sports a solid 21.6 percent usage rate through the first pair of contests in the series. He should once again play an important complementary role alongside DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge in Game 3.
Best DFS Forwards for April 18, 2019
Kevin Durant at LAC ($8.4k DraftKings, $9.8k FanDuel)
Durant has been criticized for his play thus far in the series. That, along with the fact the Warriors blew a 31-point lead in Game 2 and lost DeMarcus Cousins for the rest of the season, serves to boost Durant’s candidacy. The perennial All-Star has actually drained 54.2 percent of his attempts through the first two games. However, he’s atypically put up just three shots from distance. That’s something bound to change Thursday with the Warriors looking to regain control. Durant’s efficiency versus the Clippers is nothing new, considering he’s shooting 54.0 percent against Los Angeles in six games this season. Then, Durant was a better three-point shooter outside of Oracle Arena this season (36.3 percent, compared to 34.3 percent at home). He also sports a 25.8 percent usage rate and averages 1.25 DK/1.22 FD points per minute with Cousins off the floor.
Tobias Harris at BKN ($6.1k DraftKings, $6.8k FanDuel)
Harris bounced back from an outlier Game 1 performance (seven shot attempts over 41 minutes) by posting 19 points on 12 attempts in Game 2. That led to tallies of 31.25 DK/31 FD points, making his prices Thursday especially attractive. Harris was a more proficient shooter in the road this season, where he drained an impressive 48.2 percent of his attempts. The Nets are also allowing a bottom-10 offensive efficiency rating to power forwards (25.6) along with 48.8 DK/47.1 FD points per game to the position. Those numbers only serve to enhance Harris’ appeal as a mid-tier value.
Caris LeVert vs. PHI ($5.4k DraftKings, $5.6k FanDuel)
LeVert flashed with 36.5 DK/36.8 FD points in Game 1 before logging only 20 minutes in the Game 2 blowout defeat. He was still productive over that span, posting 13 points, four rebounds, and one assist. He’s been rock-solid against the 76ers in four total games while averaging over 30 FPs in that stretch. His bench role allows him to avoid Jimmy Butler’s defense for the most part and instead gives him a crack at a 76ers’ second unit that’s just outside the bottom 10 in offensive efficiency rating allowed (44.5) to opposing benches. LeVert is capable of filling out the stat sheet, as evidenced by his averages of 18.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.5 steals versus the Sixers in the aforementioned four-game sample.
Best DFS Centers for April 18, 2019
Nikola Jokic at SA ($9.4k DraftKings, $10.7k FanDuel)
Jamal Murray’s fourth-quarter heater garnered the headlines, but Jokic was excellent in his own right in the Game 2 comeback. The big man went for 54.25 DK/51.6 FD points while nearly posting a triple-double. Jokic has compiled over 50 FPs on both sites in each of the first two games of the series. He’s averaging well over 40 FPs in six total games against San Antonio. He’s been exceedingly efficient versus the Spurs with a 61.2 percent success rate from the floor, which includes a 42.9 percent figure from three-point range. Jakob Poeltl has had trouble consistently keeping up with the floor-spacing Jokic, who’s averaging a solid 12.0 shot attempts over the first two games.
Montrezl Harrell at GS ($6.3k DraftKings, $8k FanDuel)
Harrell boasts a 21.3 percent usage rate for the series. His outstanding work in the paint was key to the momentous comeback in Game 2. The ultra-efficient Harrell drained all nine of his shot attempts in Game 2 and sports an 83.3 percent success rate from the floor over the first two games. The big man’s non-stop motor figures to keep him heavily involved once again on his Staples Center home floor. Harrell averaged nearly five more FPs per game at home this season and is posting over 30 in six total contests against the Warriors. Golden State also ranked in the bottom half of the league in offensive efficiency allowed in the paint (57.0). That’s the part of the court where Harrell has logged 74.5 percent of his 51 points in the series.
Kevon Looney at LAC ($4.1k DraftKings, $4.7k FanDuel)
Naturally, Looney’s teammate Andrew Bogut will also be popular considering Cousins’ season-ending injury. However, Looney could end up seeing close to the same amount of playing time depending on game flow and matchups. He saw a nice surge in production in Game 2 after Cousins’ injury, leading to tallies of 25.25 DK/25.0 FD points across 19 minutes. It’s worth noting he eclipsed 20 FPs on both sites in nine straight games with an allotment of at least 20 minutes back in late December/early January prior to Cousins’ debut. The Clippers’ considerable vulnerability to scoring in the paint also suits him very well. While Los Angeles is allowing the eighth-most points in the paint per game (50.9), Looney is scoring 72.0 percent of his points there in the series’ first two games.