• Welcome back, It is Friday, April 5 and we have a massive 13-game slate to sort through for tonight’s DFS card. The season is coming to an end and we are seeing some players rest, get shut down and even get new opportunity. Basically, there is a ton of volatility in DFS at the moment and you will either take advantage of it or get taken advantage of. Targeting the teams with something to play for is ideal, we want secured minutes and usage tonight and we have 13 games to pick from. We don’t need to get cute here unless you are trotting out multiple lineups in a mass-GPP.

    Before we dive into some plays, here are a few notes:

    The studs are always in play and offer a security blanket with raw points on nights we see this volatility. James Harden, Russell Westbrook and Paul George are all in play, but I am leaning more towards a balanced approach.

    The Golden State Warriors’ studs will be a complete fade for me.

    Lakers are in play. I did not mention any in the picks portion because we are going to want some news. As of now I feel it is safe to assume Kyle Kuzma will miss another game. The only priced up options I have any interest in would be Rajon Rondo and JaVale McGee. It’s not a great matchup, but it is better than the Warriors and they both saw their minutes decreased slightly during the blowout. Lou Williams would be my favorite play on the Clippers’ side of the ball. If you are playing the game theory that it does blow out then we could look at Robert Williams again. Alex Caruso is in play regardless, but it starting to reach a point in salary where it saps some of the value out. You’ll hear me say violative a whole lot today and the two most volitive teams in the NBA are playing tonight being the Lakers and Knicks.

     

    Point Guard

     Goran Dragic vs. Timberwolves $6,100 – I mentioned wanting to target players with something to play for, well the Heat are playing for their playoff lives and Dragic has now played massive minutes in four games straight. We’ve seen the ceiling twice over the past four games, making Dragic a sold tournament play, but a little more risky in cash.

    Reggie Jackson vs. Thunder $5,700 – I am really looking for Blake Griffin to sit out again if I am targeting Jackson. With Griffin off of the floor Jackson sees an uptick in usage of 5.6 percent, bringing it to 30.1 percent. That is massive and he also gets a matchup against his former team, who struggles against opposing point guards.

    Trey Burke vs. Grizzlies $4,600 – Most of the Dallas players are questionable at this point due the load management, but if we see Jalen Brunson and Luke Doncic sit out we need to look at Burke. He would immediately become one of the better values on the slate and draws a matchup against a no longer scary Memphis defense. In fact, the Grizzlies defense has been straight trash. We need to monitor the news.

    Shooting Guard

     Luka Doncic vs. Grizzlies $9,200 – I mentioned Burke a moment ago if Brunson or Doncic were to sit, but if Doncic plays he becomes a top option on the slate. He always possesses a massive ceiling and if he plays I think it is safe to assume at least 32 minutes form him. The Mavs have nothing to play for, but Doncic still wants to prove why he deserves rookie of the year.

     Delon Wright vs. Mavs $6,500 – Mike Conley is doubtful again and that means we could look at Wright again despite the price tag. The Mavs may be without their starting backcourt tonight and that would only benefit the athletic Wright. The Grizzlies are beginning to get cute with their lineup, so I only feel comfortable with the few players we know have guaranteed minutes.

     Jamal Crawford vs. Pelicans $3,600 – You are going to see me talk a whole lot about this game throughout the article. With Devin Booker being ruled out for the season we are going to see a ton of usage and minutes get distributed and Crawford just so happens to play the same position that Booker did. Now, his minutes are not safe, but if Crawford plays he should see close the 30 minutes and will not be afraid to shoot. We have a 13 games to pick from tonight and I would not knock anyone if they did not want to risk their lineups with Crawford and opt for more appealing options on the Suns. Another cheap option could be Jimmer Fredette who played 21 minutes in the last game. Neither player is afraid to shoot and there will be plenty of shots to go around.

    Small Forward

     Aaron Gordon vs. Hawks $7,400 – The Magic are another team fighting to get into playoffs and I think we could expect heavy minutes from all of their starters if this game stays close. Gordon is a player who thrives in up-tempo games. We’d love for his price to be closer to $7,000, but this matchup has my mouth watering for some of these Magic players and Gordon and a center we will get to are my favorite options.

     Josh Jackson vs. Pelicans $5,900 – Jackson will be the chalk of the night, but for good reason. Devin Booker (ankle) has been ruled out for the remainder of the season and this has now become Josh Jackson’s team. We’ve seen some pretty big games from Jackson when Booker has missed games earlier in the season. This is going to be one of my favorite games to target and most of my love comes from the Suns’ side of the ball.

    DeAndre’ Bembry vs. Magic $4,900 – I am targeting this game, but I am less in love with the Hawks due to how stout the Magic defense has been. Kevin Huerter and Kent Bazemore have  been ruled out and that is going to open the door for some wing minutes. Bembry’s price feels a little high, but if I were to land on him as one of my last positions filled I wouldn’t be mad. I could see playing Trae Young and or John Collins in this spot, but mostly in smaller game stacks.

    Power Forward

     Christian Wood vs. Suns $6,500 – Wood burned a lot of people on Wednesday, but that doesn’t change the fact that he is a point per minute monster. He only played 20 minutes in the last one and that was with Anthony Davis sitting out. I think that at this point it is safe to assume Davis will sit again. The only worry we have with Wood is his minutes. We want him playing at least 26 minutes if we are paying this price tag, but we just do not know. Still, the matchup could not get any better and Wood is worth a look in tournaments.

    Richaun Holmes vs. Pelicans $6,200 – I was high on Holmes during Wednesday’s slate and that was in a matchup versus the Jazz and it payed off. The Pelicans play big and the Suns are going to need size once again. He played a whopping 38 minutes in the last game and Holmes is a fantastic point per minute producer. This is a game with a high total and includes two teams who play at an above-average pace. Holmes will be one of the first bodies I put into my core lineup.

    Ivan Rabb vs. Mavericks $5,300 – Rabb may be in line for big minutes again if the recently signed Tyler Zeller is not available to play after signing with the Grizzlies for the rest of the season this morning. Rabb got a massive price increase, sapping a lot of the value away from him, but the matchup is good and we’ve seen a decent ceiling from him before. I like him more cash than I do tournaments, but he is viable in both.

    Center

     Andre Drummond vs. Thunder $9,900 – Drummond has been of the most consistent players all season long and has hit another gear with Blake Griffin sitting out. Drummond is averaged 59 DK points over his last five games and while this matchup is not the best on paper I still think Drummond warrants a strong look for his ability to break a slate.

    Nikola Vucevic vs. Hawks $9,600 – We have two fantastic options to spend up on at center tonight. Vucevic draws a matchup against one of the worst defenses and the Magic enter must-win mode. I expect big minutes from Vucevic if this game stays close and he has smashed the Hawks already this season with an average of 53 DK points in three games. If I had to choose at the moment I think I would rather play Vucevic over Drummond, but it’s close.

    Honorable Mention

    Donovan Mitchell vs. Kings $8,400 – It’s always a toss up for me when it comes to Mitchell and Rudy Gobert. If it’s a good matchup for one it tends to be just as good for the other. Ricky Rubio is currently being listed as questionable and as you could tell by my center picks I am leaning towards going in the opposite direction of Gobert. Not saying he is a bad play, he is in a great spot, I just like Drummond without Blake and Vucevic against the Hawks slightly more.

    Elfrid Payton vs. Suns $7,100 – This is a fantastic matchup for Payton against his former team. Everything is there for him, but the minutes. The minutes have been down over the last few games and if I knew he was going to play more than 30 minutes he would be a lock. He’s a bit risky, but with this matchup I am going to have a few shares in some GPP’s.

    As always you can find me on Twitter @MikeApotria with any questions or comments. Good luck!

Fantasy News

  • Kyle Lowry - G - Toronto Raptors

    Kyle Lowry went for 25 points (6-of-11 FGs, 10-of-10 FTs), five rebounds, six assists, three 3-pointers and just one turnover in 34 minutes in Tuesday's 120-102 win over the Bucks.

    Lowry was feeling it and getting wherever he wanted most of the night. He's had a couple huge games in this series now and the Raptors will likely need another one if they're going to pull out a series win. Their next shot at the Bucks will come in Thursday night's Game 5 in Milwaukee.

  • Serge Ibaka - F/C - Toronto Raptors

    Serge Ibaka double-doubled with 17 points (7-of-12 FGs, 3-of-3 FTs) and 13 rebounds in 24 minutes on Tuesday as the Raptors evened the series with a Game 4 home victory over the Bucks.

    Ibaka provided some energy with some early dunks in traffic. This was his best game of the series by far, and it'll be interesting to see how the Bucks try to slow the Raptor's big men in Game 5 on Thursday.

  • Marc Gasol - C - Toronto Raptors

    Marc Gasol had a great all-around performance with 17 points (6-of-11 FGs, 2-of-2 FTs), five rebounds, seven assists, one steal, two blocks, three treys, zero turnovers and some excellent defense over 31 minutes in Tuesday's win over the Bucks.

    Gasol looked great out there, making life in the lane tough for Giannis Antetokounmpo and causing Bucks turnovers on the perimeter. That's two straight quality performances from Gasol after two duds to begin the series. We'll see if he can keep it up as the Raptors return to Milwaukee on Thursday night.

  • Kawhi Leonard - F - Toronto Raptors

    Kawhi Leonard toughed out 19 points on 13 shots in Tuesday's Game 4 win over the Bucks, adding seven rebounds, one assist, four steals, two blocks and a three in 34 minutes.

    Leonard looked stiff and cautious for much of this game, though he still hit 6-of-13 from the field and 6-of-8 from the charity stripe. Kawhi said that he feels good in response to a question about fatigue and his apparent leg injury. He has until Thursday night to recover a bit, but the Raptors will need as much of him as they can get as the series returns to Milwaukee.

    Source: Josh Lewenberg on Twitter

  • Norman Powell - F/G - Toronto Raptors

    Norman Powell scored 18 points with four threes, five rebounds, three assists and a steal in a big Game 4 victory over the Bucks on Tuesday.

    Powell got big minutes again (32) and had it going early. His final line of 6-for-18 from the field (4-for-13 from deep) looks pretty inefficient, but Powell was a major factor in building tonight's big lead. With Kawhi Leonard hobbling a bit, the Raptors may need to continue leaning on Powell more than usual.

  • Malcolm Brogdon - G - Milwaukee Bucks

    Malcolm Brogdon shot just 2-for-11 from the field for four points in Tuesday's Game 4 road loss to the Raptors, adding just five rebounds and three assists in his 28 minutes.

    Brogdon missed his only free throw attempt and all three of his shots from distance. It wouldn't have been so deflating if George Hill (five points on 1-for-2 shooting in 27 minutes) and Eric Bledsoe (five points on 2-for-7 shooting in 20 minutes) had produced, but the whole backcourt had a tough time getting going tonight.

  • Fred VanVleet - G - Toronto Raptors

    Fred VanVleet was nearly perfect in Tuesday's Game 4 win over Bucks as he hit 5-of-6 from the field including all three of his triples for 13 points in 25 minutes.

    Coming off of a 1-for-11 performance in Game 3, this was huge for the Raptors. VanVleet also had six assists, one rebound and one steal on the night. He'll look to keep it rolling in Milwaukee on Thursday.

  • Khris Middleton - F - Milwaukee Bucks

    Khris Middleton was on fire in Tuesday's 120-102 Game 4 loss on Tuesday in Toronto, shooting 11-for-15 from the field on his way to a game-high 30 points in 36 minutes.

    Middleton drained 4-of-7 threes, 4-of-5 free throws, had six boards and seven assists with zero turnovers as well. The Bucks will need some supporting cast members to step up once again in Thursday's Game 4 back in Milwaukee. This series could easily go the distance, giving the Warriors an extra seven days of rest for the Finals.

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo - F - Milwaukee Bucks

    Giannis Antetokounmpo double-doubled with 25 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, a steal, three blocks and one 3-pointer in 34 minutes, but it was not enough in Tuesday's Game 4 loss to the Raptors.

    Giannis hit 9-of-17 from the field but just 6-of-10 from the line in a minus 19 performance. He came out aggressive with some first quarter driving dunks, but the Raptors have been able to slow him down in the lane over the last couple of games. His next shot at them comes on Thursday in Milwaukee.

  • Eric Bledsoe - G - Milwaukee Bucks

    Eric Bledsoe was nearly invisible in Tuesday's Game 4, going for just five points (2-of-7 FGs, 1-of-2 FTs), three rebounds and two assists in 20 minutes.

    Bledsoe has been pretty abysmal in this series and it seems to be getting worse. George Hill and Malcolm Brogdon played more than him in this game (27 and 28 minutes, respectively) and there's a good chance that could continue with Bledsoe not being much of a threat on offense lately. Though, Hill and Brogdon did combine for just nine points in this game too.