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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Targets, Values for April 1

Pearce Dietrich gives his top studs and value plays at each position for Saturday’s fantasy basketball slate on DraftKings.

Dallas Mavericks v Indiana Pacers Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images

Saturday night’s NBA DFS slate consists of two games. Some basketball fans will choose to watch amateurs on Saturday night. DFS fans will follow the pros. The Dallas Mavericks open the slate at 7:30 p.m. ET on the road in Miami, and one hour later the New Orleans Pelicans host the Los Angeles Clippers.

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The Heat present an unfavorable matchup with a 110.5 Def Eff. Rating (9th) and an unfavorable 98 in Pace (28th).

The Mavericks present an appealing matchup with a 113.5 Def Eff. Rating (22nd) but an unfavorable 97.9 in Pace (29th).

The Pelicans present an unfavorable matchup with a 109.8 Def Eff. Rating (5th) and a medial 101.6 in Pace (14th).

The Clippers present an average matchup with a 111.7 Def Eff. Rating (17th) but an unfavorable 99.4 in Pace (25th).

In sum, these matchups would be avoided on virtually every slate no matter the size. The only time that players from these games would be viable is if they were the only four teams playing. They are the only teams playing.



Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks at Miami Heat, $11,700 — There are two games tonight. It’s DFS suicide to fade the best player on a small slate. Barring a radical final injury report, Doncic will likely be featured in the winning lineup even if he is not an efficient point-per-dollar pick. This should be a competitive game with each team needing wins to secure a favorable playoff position. A Heat-Mavs matchup isn’t normally a preferred target, but this is a two-game slate, and Doncic should get plenty of work in this must-win game.

Trey Murphy III, New Orleans Pelicans vs. Los Angeles Clippers, $6,000 — Last Saturday, Murphy made 10-of-12 threes and the Pelicans blew out the Clippers. It’s not likely that he will hit double-digit 3-pointers again, but he’ll take double-digit 3-point attempts. On Thursday, Murphy chucked 10 threes but he only made three in 38 minutes of action. He’s averaging around nine shots from downtown per game since becoming a starter 13 games ago. Shooters aren’t the best targets in DFS but this is a tiny slate. Also, Murphy has position eligibility at guard and forward.


Bones Hyland, Los Angeles Clippers at New Orleans Pelicans, $5,300 — Shooters are going to shoot. Most of the time, Bones doesn’t hit. The story has been different lately. With key injuries in the Clippers’ lineup, Hyland is getting minutes. More minutes means more shots for the notorious chucker. A cold Bones Hyland would be viable on this small slate, but he’s not cold. He’s been hitting. Hyland scored 37 DKFP on Mar. 23 vs. OKC, 30 DKFP vs. NOP on Mar. 25, 34 DKFP on Monday and 41 DKFP on Wednesday.



Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat vs. Dallas Mavericks, $8,500 — The Mavs are on the outside of the playoffs looking in. The Heat are in, but could easily fall into the play-in tournament. The best way to prevent this drop is to win their home games. The best way to win at home is to lean on their superstar. Butler scored 62 DKFP on Mar. 22 vs. the Knicks but has gone ice cold in his last two games and the Heat lost both contests. He needs to turn on the heat for the Heat.

Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers at New Orleans Pelicans, $10,000 — He’s a one man band. Without Paul George, Leonard is the Clippers. Last Saturday, Leonard was disappointing in a 21-point blowout loss at home to the Pelicans. On Wednesday, he took the night off, and the rest of the band showed up — the Clippers scored 141 points on the Grizzlies. That’s not the norm.


Max Strus, Miami Heat vs. Dallas Mavericks, $4,400 — On a normal slate, DFS players want nothing to do with Miami. It’s a lineup full of role players and no one ever knows who will suit up each night. There are only four teams to choose from on Saturday, so DFS players will have to take a chance on Miami. The Heat can get hot, but which Heat heats up is anyone’s guess. Strus is a shooter. When the threes fall, he easily exceeds 7x value. When they don’t they don’t. Relying on a 3-point dependent player is uncomfortable, but this isn’t a slate for the faint of heart. Also, Strus has position eligibility at guard and forward.



Bam Adebayo, Miami Heat vs. Dallas Mavericks, $7,400 — With few games, there are few studs. Adebayo hasn’t been great lately but few players on this slate possess his upside. Even fewer centers on this slate can match his potential. His game log in terms of fantasy points isn’t great. However, he is logging 35 to 40 minutes per game with a solid usage rate. The Mavs have been struggling since the Kyrie Irving ($9,200) trade, so this isn’t the worst matchup.

Jonas Valanciunas, New Orleans Pelicans vs. Los Angeles Clippers, $7,600 — He may not set the world on fire but expectations must be tempered on a two-game slate. Jo-Val has a safe floor and the key to Saturday’s two-game slate might be avoiding land mines. His last three games have been weak compared to the five-game hot streak prior. However, the last three games have not been close and his minutes have been limited.


Mason Plumlee, Los Angeles Clippers at New Orleans Pelicans, $4,400 — Value center options are in short supply on this slate. On most nights, there is always an obvious center that can exceed value. However, on most nights, there are more than four teams in action. And these teams are seriously lacking in the backup center department.

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is greenflagradio2) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.