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Fantasy Basketball Cheat Sheet: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Lineup Strategy for April 16

Alex Hunter gives his top lineup advice at each position for Friday’s fantasy basketball slate on DraftKings, which starts at 7:00 p.m. ET.

On the menu for Friday night is a huge 10-game NBA slate, and below are some players I will be targeting at each position on DraftKings.


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Point Guard

Worth Paying Up For: Russell Westbrook, Washington Wizards vs. New Orleans Pelicans, $11,000

Even as the highest priced player on the board, Westbrook is one of the top values of this full slate. The former MVP has recorded an absurd ten triple-doubles in his past 11 starts, and has topped 60 DKFP in six of his last seven. After destroying the Kings and their league-worst defense for 69.25 DKFP on Wednesday, Westbrook is back home in another spectacular matchup against the Pelicans.

The point guard has presented some huge home/away splits as a Wizard, with a notable 7.6 more DKFP per game when playing at home in the nation’s capital. With both Washington and New Orleans ranking in the bottom-five in defensive efficiency, this tilt sports a colossal 242.5 point O/U game total on DraftKings Sportsbook. Eight times Westbrook has competed in a total above 240 points this season, and the triple-double machine is averaging 63.5 DKFP per game for these shootouts.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Malachi Flynn, Toronto Raptors vs. Orlando Magic, $6,200

Fred VanVleet may be returning, but the Raptors are going to be without Kyle Lowry (rest), Pascal Siakam (rest) and OG Anunoby (rest), and will likely be without Gary Trent Jr. (doubtful, ankle) and DeAndre’ Bembry (doubtful, hamstring). Flynn should start alongside VanVleet in the backcourt and see heavy playing time with his club so shorthanded. The rookie has recorded over 30 DKFP in six of his past eight, and amassed a 27% usage rate this season when all of Lowry, Siakam, Trent Jr., Anunoby and Bembry have been off the floor.

After trading away their top three players at the trade deadline, the Magic rank 26th in defensive rating over their last ten games, and Flynn should be able to beat his $6,200 salary with the large role on Friday.


Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA $325K Shootaround [$100K to 1st]


Shooting Guard

Worth Paying Up For: Fred VanVleet, Toronto Raptors vs. Orlando Magic, $7,900

Assuming VanVleet (hip) isn’t under a minutes restriction, the combo-guard is going to be an excellent target on Friday night. Considering the circumstances, the borderline All-Star should lead his team in usage vs. the Magic. The sample is very small, but when Lowry, Bembry, Siakam, Trent and Anunoby have been off the floor in 2020-21, VanVleet’s usage rate has leaped by 12.2 percentage points to a team-high 36.5%.

Even before the massive overhaul of their roster at the trade deadline, the Magic had serious issues stopping VanVleet, with him averaging 48.6 DKFP per game in a pair of meetings against the club. Luckily, with a 7:30 p.m. ET tip off, this is one of the earlier games of the night, so we should have clarity on if the guard will be limited or not, and if it is all systems go for VanVleet, he should easily supply over five-times value.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Frank Jackson, Detroit Pistons vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, $3,000

Just like the Raptors, the Pistons’ injury report is filled with key players. All of Jerami Grant (rest), Mason Plumlee (rest), Cory Joseph (rest), Wayne Ellington (rest), Dennis Smith Jr. (knee) and Rodney McGruder (elbow) will be out for this matchup with the Thunder. Jackson likely won’t start, but he is going to have to see at least 20 minutes for this G-League like roster.

The third-year guard out Duke is chipping in with 0.77 DKFP per minute this season and 20.6 DKFP per game when his playing time has eclipsed the 20-minute mark. With the defensively inept Thunder in town, who rank dead last in defensive rating across their ten, Jackson is a serviceable punt at his bare minimum price tag.


Small Forward

Worth Paying Up For: Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat at Minnesota Timberwolves, $9,200

Back-to-back blowouts have resulted in less than 40 DKFP for Butler, but he should get back on track Friday night when he pays his former team a visit. Before these last two embarrassing losses for Miami, Butler was contributing 46 DKFP per game in his previous five, and in addition to the revenge factor, this is a premier matchup with Minnesota ranking 26th in defensive efficiency.

Paying up at small forward is never a common route in DFS this season, and Butler is a great high-end pivot that could really make a difference in GPPs.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Saddiq Bey, Detroit Pistons vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, $4,800

Given how thin they are tonight, along with this top notch matchup against the Thunder, many Pistons are rating as strong value plays. At $4,800, Bey is certainly one of the top options of the group, considering his recent play. In his last five, the rookie has amassed 29.1 DKFP per game, including a 38.25 DKFP performance against the Clippers, which was also a contest that Grant sat out.

In the six games the forward has been inactive for this season, Bey has produced 24.5 DKFP per game, and anything less than 30 DKFP would be a disappointment tonight in this rare situation.


Power Forward

Worth Paying Up For: Michael Porter Jr., Denver Nuggets at Houston Rockets, $7,400

His salary is creeping up, but Porter is still underpriced at $7,400. At this current price point, the forward needs 37 DKFP to meet five-times value. In his past 20, Porter has generated 38 DKFP per game. Additionally, with Jamal Murray suffering a season-ending knee injury Monday night, we should start to see Porter take on a larger offensive role. Whenever the 22-year-old has been on the floor sans Murray and Gary Harris (traded to Orlando) this season, his usage rate has seen a solid 2.4 percentage point bump.

The Rockets have been a complete disaster on defense, ranking 2nd to last in defensive rating in their last ten, and Porter has 40 fantasy point upside tonight.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Davis Bertans, Washington Wizards vs. New Orleans Pelicans, $4,000

He is not cash-game worthy, but Bertans is a sneaky dart to consider for large tournaments. The sharp shooter is finally starting to find his groove, knocking down multiple threes in six straight tilts. Bertans’ minutes have been up to 23.2 per game during this stretch, and he has cracked 20 DKFP in four of these six contests.

Enter in a matchup with a Pelicans defense that has allowed a league-high 15 made three pointers per game in 2020-21, and Bertans is a punt that could really surprise this evening.


Center

Worth Paying Up For: Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets at Houston Rockets, $10,900

In his first game since Murray went down for the season, Jokic cruised to a 56 DKFP triple-double in Wednesday’s blowout win over the Heat. The center is the current favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook to win the MVP (-160), and I expect him to run away with this award with Murray injured. In all the time Jokic has been on the floor without Murray and Harris this season, Jokic’s usage rate has risen to 34.8% and his assist rate has skyrocketed to a tremendous 51.8%.

The 26-year-old has a legitimate chance of averaging a triple-double for the rest of the season, and Jokic is a lock to reach the 3.0 DKFP triple-double bonus in this prime matchup against the Rockets. In his lone start against Houston this season, the Joker went nuts for a 72.5 DKFP triple-double.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Isaiah Stewart, Detroit Pistons vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, $4,400

Stewart is a free square tonight as the Pistons’ starting center. Mason Plumlee has missed a pair of contests over the last few weeks, and Stewart has been exceptional taking his place with the first unit, first scoring 29 DKFP against the Thunder, then 42.25 DKFP vs. the Kings. In that matchup with Oklahoma City, Detroit ran away with a huge 34-point win, and Stewart did all his damage in only 21.4 minutes of work.

But, in that date with Sacramento, which was a tight game throughout, the rookie logged a career-high 32.5 minutes. With the Pistons down many more key players than just Plumlee on Friday, this should be competitive affair against this weak Thunder team, and Stewart should handle north of 30 minutes in this appetizing spot. Oklahoma City has surrendered the 3rd most DKFP per game to opposing centers across their past ten, and Stewart is a strong bet to collect his fifth double-double of the season.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA $325K Shootaround [$100K to 1st]


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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Hunta512) 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 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.


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