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 rotations can always shift in the postseason. 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.
4/29/19 NBA DFS TOURNAMENT PICKS
Fadeaway: $15 entry, $400k guaranteed (DraftKings) – $100,000 to 1st!
Four Point Play: $4 entry, $70k guaranteed (DraftKings)
Shot: $9.99 entry, $300k guaranteed (FanDuel) – $100,000 to 1st!
Shot: $4.44 entry, $85k guaranteed (FanDuel)
NBA DFS Top Plays for April 29, 2019
Three Up for April 29, 2019
Nikola Jokic vs. DEN ($10.0k DraftKings, $11.3k FanDuel)
Since Nikola Jokic is effectively the same price as he was ahead of Game 7, he remains close to a must play as the most expensive option tonight. Jokic cracked the Spurs stingy interior defense and will now face a Blazers team that allowed the third-most APG (4.22) and ninth-most FPPG (46.72) to centers over the last month of the season after losing Jusuf Nurkic (leg).
Jokic dropped 40 points, 10 rebounds, and 8 assists on an absurd 141 offensive rating the last time Denver hosted Portland with Nurkic active. Now Enes Kanter (shoulder) is hobbled, leaving a combination of slow-footed Meyers Leonard and inexperienced Zach Collins to try and contain The Joker. Jokic increased his aggressiveness with a 29.9% usage rate over the final four games of the first round and saw a 3.2% increase in usage (29.2%) along with a higher offensive rating (124) at home this year.
Kawhi Leonard vs. PHI ($9.0k DraftKings, $9.7k FanDuel)
While Kawhi Leonard sees a reasonable price correction on DraftKings after his 45-point outburst in Game 1, he’s still a locked-in option in most formats. The Sixers had no answers for Leonard, or Pascal Siakam, who could have a bigger game tonight if he capitalizes on Kawhi double teams by cutting to the cup for easy hoops. Leonard posted a 37.7% usage rate, Siakam had a 27.6% usage rate, and no other Toronto starter topped 15% in Game 1. Kawhi should remain the Raptors main source of offense against a Sixers team that allowed the most FPPG (42.21) to SFs this year and is yielding 110.9 PPG this postseason.
Maurice Harkless at DEN ($4.5k DraftKings, $5.4k FanDuel)
Of the value options on the board tonight, Denver’s Gary Harris and Portland’s Maurice Harkless stand out as the most reliable plays. Both elite defenders are likely to see 30-40 minutes of run in a fast-paced Game 1. Harkless is a bit foul-prone, but should have an easier time staying on the floor in Denver after dealing with Paul George last series. He’s averaging 10.2 PPG, 5.2 RPG, and 2.38 STL/BLK per game over his last 24 appearances dating back to March 1. Harkless also posted a 21.8% defensive rebounding rate in Portland’s first-round wins over the Thunder. Denver ranked 25th in DvP and allowed the second-most SPG (1.89) to SFs this season.
Three Down for April 29, 2019
Joel Embiid at TOR ($9.4k DraftKings, $11.0k FanDuel)
Health concerns aside, Joel Embiid simply doesn’t match up well against a stout Raptors front line that became that much stronger by adding Marc Gasol at the trade deadline. Embiid only made one shot when Gasol was his primary defender on Saturday and came up well short of value with 16 points on 5-for-18 FG shooting overall. Toronto ranked fourth in DvP against centers this season and allowed the fewest FPPG (35.77) to the position over the final 14 days thanks to the efforts of Gasol and Serge Ibaka. Embiid is clearly hampered by a sore knee and is only a longshot GPP option at a still lofty price tag.
Damian Lillard at DEN ($9.2k DraftKings, $10.0k FanDuel)
Damian Lillard dazzled in a 5-game series against Russell Westbrook and the Thunder, so he should be a popular play in the first round of the conference semifinals. Yet Lillard’s production was much more modest over the first four games of the first round and he could cool off considerably on the road tonight. Denver allowed the fourth-fewest PPG (103.6) at home this season and has given up just 95.5 PPG at home in the postseason. Lillard shot 11-for-35 (31.4%) from the field and 2-for-16 from 3 in two trips to Denver this season.
Ben Simmons at TOR ($7.7k DraftKings, $9.4k FanDuel)
We’re fading the road teams tonight and putting faith in the stellar defensive track record of both home teams. Toronto had little trouble containing Ben Simmons in Game 1, allowing the one-dimensional scorer to log 14 points on drives, but holding him to only 3 assists in a great team effort. Simmons could see more individual defense from Kawhi Leonard tonight, who forced the lefty into a whopping 24 turnovers over three regular season meetings this year. Simmons averaged 3.82 TOs per game on the road this season and has struggled to meet value in all but one game this postseason (when Embiid was inactive in Game 3 vs. Brooklyn).