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Fantasy Basketball: Scouting The NBA DFS - Saturday, April 8

Dive deeper into your NBA DFS research with expert advice from Mark Morales-Smith for this Saturday slate.

Plays of the Day

Value: Although he doesn’t come as cheap as my usual value picks, I have to go with Klay Thompson in this one. Steph Curry has been ruled out, Kevin Durant is playing his first game in well over a month. They say there will be no minutes restriction, but I find it hard to believe he handles a full workload and isn’t rusty. Draymond will have to deal with Anthony Davis and possibly DeMarcus Cousins in the paint. A lot will fall on Thompson’s plate, and he can get as hot as anybody in the league.

Fade: There is no chance I’m paying $10,100 for Kevin Durant tonight. Even with Curry out the risk is just too high for me. This team now has to re-adjust to his return, and he will inevitably have some rust. Furthermore, I don’t trust he will play his usual minutes as I previously mentioned.

Games to Target

  • Miami Heat @ Washington Wizards
  • New Orleans Hornets @ Golden State Warriors

Point Guards

Two Studs

John Wall (WAS) vs. MIA FD: $10,300/DK: $9,500

Every PG that was considered for this has a fairly awful matchup, so I’m just going with the two best options. Any other year Wall would be in the MVP conversation, but this is not any other year. A bad night for him nowadays is still usually topping 35 points. He’s averaging 45.4 Fantasy PPG this season and has a double-double in five of his last nine games. In those nine games, he also has 23 steals including a six-steal game. He’s contributing all over the stat sheet this season.

Chris Paul (LAC) @ SA FD: $9,400/DK: $7,900

This is a bad matchup, but all the top PGs have bad matchups tonight. Paul has been on a role as of late posting four straight double-doubles and averaging 26.75 points per game with 12 assists. The Spurs are as good a defense as there is in the league, but his ability to contribute with assists and steals as well as points make him valuable in just about every matchup. You could go with a cheap option due to matchups. Nonetheless, CP3 still has upside even in San Antonio.

Potential Value

Shaun Livingston (GS) vs NO FD: $3,500/DK: $3,000

This is a simple explanation. Steph Curry is listed as doubtful for the game with a knee issue, and Livingston will get the start. He is an accomplished PG and can put up a solid outing. At just $3,500 his value is very high in his one against a bottom five defense against opposing PGs.

Long Shot

Shelvin Mack (UTA) @ POR FD: $3600/DK: $4,000

George Hill is sidelined with an injury and Mack is his most productive fill-in. In the past four games, he’s played at least 25 minutes in each game and topped 20 Fantasy points three times scoring double-digit points every time. We’ve seen him put up big Fantasy games early in the season. He’s a long-shot to light it up, but it’s not out of the question.

Shooting Guard

Two Studs

Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL) @ PHI FD: $10,000/DK: $9,800 as PG/SF

The Greek Freak is another guy who would be in the MVP conversation a lot of years. He’s averaging 45.8 Fantasy PPG. He’s topped 60 Fantasy points twice in the last four games topping out at 69.5 points. He’s topped that 60-point mark four times in the past nine games as well. This kid is a monster and well on his way to being one of the league’s elite. It never hurts when you are playing against the 76ers either.

Klay Thompson (GS) vs NO FD: $7,300/DK: $6,900

I have to go with Klay Thompson in this one. Steph Curry has been ruled out, Kevin Durant is playing his first game in well over a month. They say there will be no minutes restriction, but I find it hard to believe he handles a full workload and isn’t rusty. Draymond will have to deal with Anthony Davis and possibly DeMarcus Cousins in the paint. A lot will fall on Thompson’s plate, and he can get as hot as anybody in the league.

Potential Value

Josh Richardson (MIA) @ WAS FD: $4,900/DK: $5,700

When Dion Waiters is out Richardson does not play like a $4,900 option. He’s playing over 35 minutes each night and is often good for 25-to-25 Fantasy points with significant upside. Get Richardson in the lineup if you don’t want to spend big money on a SG. I’ve been impressed with him and all the Heat guards this season.

Long Shot

Rodney Hood (UTA) @ POR FD: $4,000/DK: $4,500

Hood was outstanding early in the year, but injuries completely derailed his season. However, he is starting to look like himself a bit more as of late. His minutes are up, and he’s topped 27 Fantasy points in two of his last four games, something he hadn’t done since early March. He’s still a long shot, nevertheless, maybe not as long of a shot as it may seem.

Small Forward

Two Studs

Kawhi Leonard (SA) vs LAC FD: $9,200/DK: $8,800

I believe Leonard has separated himself as a top three player in the NBA this season. He plays hard, and with his improved offense, he’s one now one of the most versatile players in the league. I already said I’m fading KD tonight and The Klaw is significantly better than Gordon Hayward. He’s a no-doubt stud on this slate coming off a rest day.

Gordon Hayward (UTA) @ POR FD: $7,800/DK: $7,200

Granted I just said Leonard is “significantly better” than Hayward. However, that is no slight. Typically he plays more than 35 minutes per game and is averaging over 34 Fantasy points per game with massive upside. He’s more than capable of leading the NBA in Fantasy points on any given night. The Blazers are a middle of the pack matchup against SFs.

Potential Value

Otto Porter (WAS) vs MIA FD: $5,100/DK: $5,100

I like Porter at this price as a value pick against any matchup. He has proven himself to be an elite three-point shooter this season. He’s fourth in the league in three-point percentage at an impressive 43.7 percent. Of all the players in the top five in three-point percentage, he contributes far more, on the whole, making him way more valuable.

Long Shot

Maurice Harkless (POR) vs WAS FD: $3,500/DK: $3,600

Harkless is a total steal at league minimum price. Sure he has his down games, but he’s about 25-to-36 minutes per game, and in three of his last five games he’s topped 20 Fantasy points, two of those times topping 32 Fantasy points. You can’t beat that upside at that price. It’s shocking his price isn’t at least a little bit higher.

Power Forward

Two Studs

Anthony Davis (NO) @ GS FD: $11,300/DK: $10,400

AD is a stud no matter what the matchup is. In this one, he faces the Warriors who don’t have a true big man to match up with him. Draymond Green is a tremendous defender but just doesn’t have the size you need against Davis. He’s averaging 50 Fantasy PPG this season and has topped his average seven of his last ten games. He posted more than 70 Fantasy points twice in March and 60 points three times.

Blake Griffin (LAC) @ SA FD: $9,200/DK: $7,800

Griffin has been on a major role lately. I like him tonight even against the Spurs. He’s topped 53 Fantasy points twice in his past four games with his low during that span being 43.4. The big man has scored more than 30 points in three straight games with solid rebounding numbers, assists, steals and limited turnovers.

Potential Value

Richard Holmes (PHI) vs MIL FD: $6,100/DK: $6,000

Holmes is playing starters minutes now that all the 76ers have become unavailable. He’s put up more than 30 Fantasy points in four of his past seven games with other games of 29 and 21. During that stretch, he has a 25 point game, two double-doubles and a three-block game.

Long Shot

Jason Smith (WAS) vs MIA FD: $4,000/DK: $4,100

Markieff Morris is dealing with an ankle injury and could very well miss another game as the Wizards are playing it safe leading up to the playoffs. Smith would start in his absence as he has the past two games. In those games, he’s averaged 23.5 minutes with Fantasy scores of 27 and 14.7. If Morris is out, Smith as decent upside as a long-shot play.


Two Studs

Rudy Gobert (UTA) @ POR FD: $9,100/DK: $8,600

If DeMarcus Cousins plays, he will be a stud, but his absence is due to an Achilles injury which forced him to sit out last night. Gobert is red-hot, and the next best option against a beat up Portland squad. In his last 11 games he’s topped 40 Fantasy points 7 times, 50 five times and has a high of 61.5 with a low of 27.5. He’s become a double-double machine while topping five blocks with regularity. Late in the year he has inched into the conversation of elite centers and will likely win Defensive Player of the Year. On top of his defensive prowess, he’s topping 20 and even 30 points with ease and pushed 20 rebounds.

Hassan Whiteside (MIA) @ WAS FD: $8,500/DK: $7,700

Whiteside has had his down times at points this year, however, has been playing very well lately. He’s had a double-double in four-straight games, and his 25 Fantasy point game on Friday broke his 20-game streak of at least 30 Fantasy points. This is a safe pick with huge upside.

Potential Value

Marcin Gortat (WAS) vs MIA FD: $4,700/DK: $4,200

Gortat has seen both his numbers and price sink late in the season. Still, his numbers at his current price give him value. In the past seven games, he’s topped 20 Fantasy points four times and has topped 21 Fantasy points in back-to-back games. We’ve seen him as recently as last month put up just under 35 Fantasy points. Gortat is still a strong player that plays big minutes most nights.

Long Shot

Alexia Ajinca (NO) @ GS FD: $3,500/DK: $3,000

This is only relevant if Cousins sits out. Boogie sat last night, and Ajinca played 28 minutes and posted 26.4 Fantasy points putting up 15 points and seven rebounds. This is simply a case of possible opportunity due to injury. Nothing more, nothing less.

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