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Fantasy Basketball Cheat Sheet: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Lineup Strategy for April 19

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

Here are some plays that jump out on DraftKings at each position for Monday’s nine-game NBA slate, along with some strategies unique to this slate.


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Point Guard

Worth Paying Up For: Russell Westbrook, Washington Wizards vs. Oklahoma City Thunder ($11,000)

Revenge! I kid, but Westbrook will be playing against the team that drafted him in 2008 and where he spent the first 11 years of his career. Westbrook has been on quite the tear recently, as he’s gone for at least 50 DKFP in each of the past 14 games, with seven above 60 and a 94.50 DKFP explosion against the Pacers. Now he faces a Thunder team that is eighth in offensive pace and 24th in defensive efficiency. They are also one of the best matchups for opposing point guards as they boost the FPPM by 23.13% above league average.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Frank Jackson, Detroit Pistons vs. Cleveland Cavaliers ($3,200)

The Pistons have already listed seven players out for this game, with four from the backcourt. He may or may not start, but he should still see playing time in the mid-20s. Over the past five games, he’s played 21, 23, 18, 24 and 27 minutes, contributing 27.5, 21.75, 1.25, 24.75 and 24.5 DKFP. He’s priced near the bare minimum, so he should exceed his salary expectations with a chance for more.


Shooting Guard

Worth Paying Up For: Jordan Clarkson, Utah Jazz at Los Angeles Lakers ($6,400)

Right before I clicked submit on this piece, Luguentz Dort (hip) was ruled out. Whew! I had him as the option here. I’m pivoting to Clarkson because Donovan Mitchell (ankle) remains out. On Saturday with Mitchell out, Clarkson attempted 27 shots with 15 coming from beyond the arc and scored 42.75 DKFP. Mike Conley ($7,000) did not play in that contest and is probable for today, so the usage should decrease some for Clarkson. With that said, he’s going to be heavily involved. Mitchell had missed three games prior to Saturday. In those contests, Clarkson put up 44.75, 28 and 36.25 DKFP. The usage rate was 33.5%, 28.1%, and 39.6%.

Best Bang For Your Buck: PJ Dozier, Denver Nuggets vs. Memphis Grizzlies ($3,600)

Since Jamal Murray went down with an injury, Dozier has played 28 and 24 minutes. He’s attempted 14 and 10 shot attempts and contributed 18.5 and 30.5 DKFP. The usage rate has been a healthy 27.5% and 17.9%. Those two games were blowouts, so the minutes and playing time may have been elevated as a result, but the floor will likely be in the low-20s.


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Small Forward

Worth Paying Up For: DeMar DeRozan, San Antonio Spurs at Indiana Pacers ($8,000)

It’s a pace-up spot for DeRozan, as the Pacers are surprisingly sixth in offensive pace this season. While Indiana is 13th in defensive efficiency, they are generous to the small forward position, boosting the FPPM by 5.59% above league average. Over the past five games, DeRozan has scored at least 40 DKFP in four games with 50.5 DKFP in two of those.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Aleksej Pokusevski, Oklahoma City Thunder at Washington Wizards ($5,500)

Pokusevski is averaging 0.83 DKFP per minute. The roller coaster ride is an exciting one, depending on your perspective because he is a true unicorn who can contribute in so many ways. The shooting efficiency can be vomit-inducing at times, though. On the season he is at 33%, but there have been plenty of games in which that number has been in the 20s. With that said, he can do it all. On the season, he has a high of six blocks, two steals, five assists, 10 rebounds, seven 3-pointers and 25 points in a game. Not all in the same one. That would be insane, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility of happening. His season-high for DKFP is 48. Now he gets one of the juiciest matchups for fantasy, as the Wizards play at the fastest pace and are 22nd in defensive efficiency.



Power Forward

Worth Paying Up For: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks vs. Phoenix Suns ($10,600)

This is not a smash spot for Giannis, as the Suns are 25th in pace and fifth in defensive efficiency. With that said, it’s tough fading him in any scenario. He averages 1.64 DKFP per minute on the season, and he scores in so many ways. DraftKings Sportsbook has the Bucks favored by 2.5 points, so the game should be a competitive one with Giannis getting his full allotment of minutes. He’s gone for at least 70 DKFP nine times this season which is unmatched at the position. I do like Jayson Tatum ($10,000) and Domantas Sabonis ($9,400), but they are priced only $600 and $1,200 below Giannis.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Trevor Ariza, Miami Heat vs. Houston Rockets ($5,200)

Ariza has been playing since 2005, so it’s impressive that he’s still a productive player and a significant part of a rotation. When Miami is healthy he plays around 24 minutes per game, but Victor Oladipo (knee) has missed 10 of the past 14 games. During that span, Ariza has played over 30 minutes four times with the two most recent games featuring 37 and 35 minutes. He contributed 41.75 and 28.75 DKFP in those games. Oladipo has been ruled out for tonight, so there’s a good chance he gets over 30 minutes again. The Rockets play at the fifth-fastest pace and boost the FPPM to power forwards by 4.27% above league average.


Center

Worth Paying Up For: Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets vs. Memphis Grizzlies ($11,000)

Jokic is averaging 1.6 DKFP per minute on the season. Like Giannis, he does it all and can provide fantasy goodies in a variety of ways. Over the past eight games, he’s scored at least 50 DKFP in every game with two of those over 60. He’s coming off a 65.5-DKFP performance despite playing only 27 minutes due to a blowout. The Grizzlies are one of the best matchups for centers as they boost the FPPM by 8.99% above league average. Jokic faced the Grizzlies on March 12, and he put up 62.75 DKFP in that contest.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Daniel Gafford, Washington Wizards vs. Oklahoma City Thunder ($4,000)

Since arriving in Washington, D.C., Gafford has played five games. He only played 17, 18 and 16 minutes in the first three, but contributed 22.25, 21.5 and 18.5 DKFP. On Friday, he played 26 minutes in an overtime game and put up 33.75 DKFP. The following night, he played 16 minutes and put up 26 DKFP, but the significant aspect of that game was that he started the second half because Alex Len ($3,300) suffered an ankle injury and could not play. Len is questionable for today, so Gafford could receive the bulk of the center minutes. Even if Len plays, Gafford should see around 20 minutes and could feast regardless because he’s averaging 1.41 DKFP per minute. The floor/upside combo looks appealing at $4,000.


Overall Lineup Strategy

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There are three clear players to build around today — Giannis, Jokic and Westbrook. There are pros and cons to each. Giannis has the toughest matchup but he is the likeliest to get the full allotment of minutes, as the WAS/OKC and DEN/MEM games have some blowout risk. There’s plenty of value and more will likely open up later, so keep up with the news, as it could become feasible to fit two of those three studs in the same lineup. The SA/IND game is a sneaky one as the spread is tight at one point with the O/U at 230.5.

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