***UPDATED CORE FOUR @ 5:59PM ET***
Ben Simmons, Tobias Harris, and Seth Curry have been ruled out for the 76ers. Joel Embiid becomes a strong center play this evening. The starting lineup consists of Milton, Korkmaz, Green, Thybulle, and Embiid. All are viable options this evening, though none move into the core four.
Richaun Holmes will not play. As noted below, Whiteside is in play on FD and we can bump up Barnes with this news.
The Pacers have ruled out Doug McDermott, Goga Bitadze, and Jeremy Lamb. Brogdon gets a boost and becomes a strong play, while Sumner and Brissett become strong value options this evening. LeVert is a viable GPP option, though not someone I am prioritizing.
Paul George and Reggie Jackson have been ruled out for tonight’s game. We already know Kawhi Leonard and Patrick Beverley are out, leaving the Clippers with the following players available for tonight: Terance Mann, Luke Kennard, Marcus Morris, Nicolas Batum, Ivica Zubac, Yogi Ferrell, Amir Coffey, Patrick Patterson, DeMarcus Cousins, and Daniel Oturu. This is now another team you can go to for value. My favorite Clippers play tonight is Marcus Morris who sees and solid seven percent usage bump when those players out tonight are off the court. He also sees a four percent increase in assist rate and a three percent increase in rebounding rate. Other players to consider from this Clippers team are Zubac, Mann, Batum, Cousins, and Kennard.
Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo are available to play tonight for Miami. Both become viable options tonight and this takes Ariza off the table and bumps down Nunn.
What’s up #elitemafia. Happy Wednesday! Today I’ll be breaking down tonight’s massive 12-game slate.
Not a ton of news to work with so far in the day, but we did get word that Kevin Durant is sitting this evening. In addition, Nic Claxton, JaKarr Sampson, Alec Burks, and Danilo Gallinari have all been ruled out. It was also reported that Joel Embiid and Seth Curry both popped up on the injury report and they are now considered questionable for tonight’s game against the Suns. Outside of that, there is still plenty of pending news that will dictate how we approach this slate.
I will be in the live chat tonight from 6:00PM to 7:00PM discussing news and any changes that we need to take note of, so make sure to stop on by and get all of your questions answered prior to lock.
Remember, the NBA differs from all other sports because one piece of news can change the entire look of a slate. Monitoring news throughout the day and keeping an eye on starting lineups is a key part of the daily process for those playing NBA DFS.
For the purpose of this article, I’ll be using FanDuel positions as they are less flexible than they are on DraftKings, but you should have plenty of options at each position to build on DK as well given the roster flexibility and multi-position eligibility of many players on their site.
Players are listed in order of preference by position.
Let’s jump right into it!
Top Projected Total
- Kings 121.75
- Warriors 120.25
- Pacers 119.75
- Jazz 118.5
- Wizards 118.25
- Jazz -11.5
- Mavericks -10.5
- Pacers -9
- Kings -4.5
- Raptors -4
Position By Position
- Russell Westbrook/Stephen Curry (1A/1B)
- Kyrie Irving
- Delon Wright (prefer if Fox sits)
- Malcolm Brogdon
- Ja Morant (GPP)
- Ricky Rubio (GPP)
- Edmond Sumner
- Bradley Beal
- Bruce Brown
Paul GeorgeRULED OUT
- Andrew Wiggins (GPP)
- DeMar DeRozan
- Caris LeVert (GPP)
- Buddy Hield
- Anthony Edwards (GPP)
- Joe Harris/Landry Shamet
- R.J. Barrett
- Michael Porter (GPP)
- Oshae Brissett (if starting)
Luguentz Dort (FD GPP only/check status)RULED OUT
- Kristaps Porzingis
- Harrison Barnes (FD)
- Aleksej Pokusevski
- Davis Bertans
- Darius Bazley (GPP)
- Precious Achiuwa (if starting)
- Trevor Ariza (FD)/Jaden McDaniel (GPP/DK)
- Nikola Vucevic (too cheap on FD)
- Karl-Anthony Towns
- Hassan Whiteside
- Nikola Jokic
- DeAndre Jordan
Key News To Watch
- Troy Brown – doubtful
- Luguentz Dort – questionable
- Jeremy Lamb – questionable
- Doug McDermott – questionable
- Goga Bitadze – questionable
- Ben Simmons – questionable
- Joel Embiid – questionable
- Tobias Harris – questionable
- Damion Lee – questionable
- Rodney Hood – questionable
- Ersan Ilyasova – questionable
- Tony Snell – TBD
- DeAndre Hunter – TBD
- Dennis Smith Jr. – doubtful
- Tim Hardaway – probable
- Jimmy Butler – questionable
- Bam Adebayo – questionable
- Tyler Herro – questionable
- Dewayne Dedmon – questionable
- Dillon Brooks – questionable
- Jaren Jackson – questionable
- Damian Lillard – probable
- Jaylen Nowell – questionable
- De’Aaron Fox – TBD
- Richaun Holmes – questionable
- The 76ers currently have Tobias Harris, Joel Embiid, Seth Curry, and Ben Simmons listed as questionable. This was not a game on my radar to begin with, but if these three are all out, that will open up plenty of usage and potentially some value for the 76ers. When those four are off the court, Shake Milton is the primary beneficiary from a usage standpoint, as he gets a 9.5 percent usage bump, followed by Furkan Kormaz (5.1%), Tyrese Maxey (3.9%), and Danny Green (2.8%). News will really determine how we approach this Philly team who faces the Suns who rank fourth in defense efficiency for the season and play slow. Luckily, this game tips off at 7pm so we should have all the news in before lock. I will be updating the article throughout the afternoon heading into lock and will also be in chat from 6PM-7PM ET, so make sure to check back here or pop in chat to see how this news pans out and how we can go about this Philly team.
- The Heat have multiple key players in question for tonight’s game against the Spurs, with Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro, and Bam Adebayo all considered questionable. Dewayne Dedmon is also listed as questionable, while Victor Oladipo remains out. Keeping an eye on the statuses of these players is important tonight, as having some of them out will open up some things for this Miami team. We saw on Monday the Heat ran a 10-man rotation with some of their key players missing, though only eight of the players played at least 19 minutes and only Kendrick Nunn played over 30 minutes. It is worth noting that they blew the Rockets out, which caused some players to sit some time in the fourth quarter. The Heat’s starting lineup was as follows on Monday: Nunn (38.6 mins), Duncan Robinson (28.6 mins), Andre Iguodala (28.4 mins), Trevor Ariza (29.7 mins), and Precious Achiuwa (29 mins). Depending on news here, we can consider a few Heat players in tonight’s matchup against San Antonio. The Spurs enter this game as a middling defense, ranked 17th in defense efficiency for the season and 16th in their last 10 games. If Butler, Herro, Adebayo, and Dedmon sit tonight, I would rank the Heat players as follows: Nunn, Goran Dragic, Ariza, Achiuwa, and Robinson. Though it will be very dependent on the starting lineup they decide to run out here.
- The Nets will be without James Harden and Kevin Durant tonight. This means that Kyrie Irving is in a great spot for another big game. We saw last night what he is capable of doing with both of these players off the court, scoring 32 points with eight dimes, two rebounds, and a steal. When both Durant and Harden are off the court, Irving gets a four percent usage bump, as well as a 13.4 percent increase in assist rate, and averages nearly seven more DK points per game. In addition to Irving, we can consider Bruce Brown, Joe Harris, and Landry Shamet as viable options for the Nets. Both Harris and Shamet see over a two percent usage bump with both Durant and Harden are off the court.
- The Thunder are once again missing several key players which means that we can go here for some value. Aleksej Pokusevski remains too cheap on FD where he is still under $5K, but even on DK he can be considered at his price range, especially in this matchup against this Pacers team that ranks 23rd in efficiency against the position. Darius Bazley continues to play big minutes and offers appealing upside for GPP, but given his lack of a consistent floor, he is someone I would only consider in GPP. Luguentz Dort is listed as questionable for tonight and it is something you want to monitor here. If he plays and is not on any type of minutes limit, he should play big minutes and offers appealing upside. Dort is someone I would only consider on FD as he is too pricey for my liking on DK. He too, is someone to primarily consider in GPP over cash games. Tony Bradley continues to come off the bench for OKC and his minutes fluctuate, but he is averaging over a fantasy point per minute, and this is a good matchup against a beat-up Pacers frontcourt.
- In that same OKC game, the Pacers will too be shorthanded with some notable players out and a few others questionable. We know that Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner will not play this evening, while Doug McDermott, Jeremy Lamb, and Goga Bitadze are all listed as questionable. We also got word that JaKarr Sampson will not play this evening, making this frontcourt extremely thin. Malcolm Brogdon and Caris LeVert are the two main beneficiaries of this and of the two, I prefer Brogdon, who sees an eight percent usage bump when both Sabonis and Turner are off the court. The Pacers are going to be thin at their frontcourt tonight as already noted, which should open up the door for Oshae Brissett to get another start. He was in the starting lineup last game and played 25 minutes. If he does indeed start tonight, he can be considered a viable value option against an OKC team that ranks 28th in defense efficiency against the position. Edmond Sumner is another player that could see an expanded role tonight and at his price tag, he does not need to do all that much to return value. News will be important for this team and how we approach it, so fortunately it’s a 7pm tip off for this contest, which means we should have all the news prior to lock.
Washington Wizards vs. Golden State Warriors: This contest has the second highest over/under on the slate and just a two-point spread. Both of these teams play incredibly fast, in fact, they each play at a top two pace in the NBA. This means we should see plenty of possessions for both teams, which equates to touch opportunities, and that can lead to fantasy production. Aside from playing fast, the Wizards are awful defensively, ranking 26th in defense efficiency. The Warriors on the other hand are a middling defense, ranked 14th in efficiency. The primary targets from this contest for me are Russell Westbrook and Stephen Curry. I have them as 1A (Westbrook) and 1B (Curry). What sets them apart for me is that fact that Westbrook is far more consistent with the peripheral stats than Curry is. However, Curry has scored at least 32 real points in 11 consecutive games and has attempted no less than 20 shots in nine straight games. Westbrook has now triple-doubled in all but two games in the month of April and continues to play at an elite level. Ideally, you can roster both of them tonight and enjoy the back and forth between the two. Other pieces from this game that you can consider are Bradley Beal, Davis Bertans, and Andrew Wiggins. You can also make the case for Draymond Green, but he would be someone I would consider more in game stack situations and in GPP only.
Sacramento Kings vs. Minnesota Timberwolves: This game has the highest total on the slate, with the Kings favored by 4.5 points. We have important news pending here, as De’Aaron Fox’s status is up in the air for this one after he tweaked his ankle in last night’s game. If he plays with no limitations, he will be an incredible play and one that will likely be under owned. This is an incredible matchup for Fox against a bad Timberwolves defense, one that ranks 28th in efficiency against the position. If he sits, Delon Wright would become an incredibly strong point per dollar play this evening, as he would be in for an expanded role. We are also waiting on Richaun Holmes news for this contest. He has missed his last four games with a hamstring injury and if he sits, Hassan Whiteside becomes an option given the appealing matchup. Keep in mind, he is more appealing at his FD price. Buddy Hield and Harrison Barnes are also firmly in play for Sacramento, both will get a bump if Fox sits. Tyrese Haliburton has not played more than 29 minutes in four straight games, which is why he is not on my radar tonight, though if Fox sits, he becomes viable as well. The other player you can consider here for the Kings is Moe Harkless, though he is someone you should only be thinking of in game stack situations. From the Timberwolves side, it’s Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Edwards, and Ricky Rubio. You can also throw Jaden McDaniels in the mix on DK and only in GPP. Both of these teams are bottom two in overall defense efficiency for the season, making them a great team to target against. What I would recommend is rostering some players from this game and leaving yourself with some flexibility to make changes as news comes in for this contest, which is likely going to happen after lock. Though, this is definitely a game you want exposure to this evening.
CASH GAME CORE FOUR
DraftKings: Russell Westbrook, Karl-Anthony Towns, Luke Kennard, Oshae Brissett
FanDuel: Stephen Curry, Karl-Anthony Towns, Luke Kennard, Oshae Brissett
** Always check for updates to the core four closer to lock as it is subject to change with news**