Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
DFS NBA Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - Play-In Games Tuesday 4/12/22
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Point Guard / Shooting Guard
The Cavaliers might be incentivized to play Darius Garland all 48 minutes in this game, or at least a number very close to that. They will need every bit of his scoring to make it past the Nets and secure a spot as the seventh seed in the playoffs. He ran 41 against them just four days ago, scoring 31 points on 12-24 shooting. The issue in that game was that he really didn’t do much else, not tallying a rebound and recording only three assists. But the lack of those other stats does feel more like an outlier than anything else. There are a few different big money plays on this slate, but Garland is coming just a tick below that top group in terms of pricing. But he has as much upside as anyone else going.
The Clippers got a little wonky with their minutes down the stretch of the season, resting guys all over the place and playing odd rotations when it became clear that the play-in game was in their destiny. But this game will see the end of that and I think we can expect a heavy workload from Reggie Jackson. Though Paul George returning to the lineup full-time clearly cuts into the usage rates for Jackson, the latter was still able to find plenty of opportunity in the offense, getting up 19 and 24 shots respectively when the two played a full game’s worth of minutes just a week or so ago. The price is just too cheap on FanDuel especially.
Patrick Beverley FD - $5500 DK - $5200
Opponent - LAC
Proj Pts FD - 31.47 DK - 33.07
Though the minutes have been a bit weird for these two over the last week or so, one would have to think this is the game they just play near-max minutes in a borderline must-win game for the Timberwolves. After some up and down performances in March, Russell leveled things off over the home stretch, averaging 21 points and eight assists through the last three games of the season. We should see minutes in the high 30s (at least) for Russell and the mid-tier pricing does help on this smaller slate of games.
And then there is Beverley who is coming cheap on a slate that is likely to be devoid of any punt plays. All four teams are coming into this game healthy meaning finding anything in the way of major savings is going to be all but impossible, at least when trying to project for safety. Beverley was ejected in his last games of the season, doing Beverley-like shenanigans to get the boot. But one has to think he’s on his best behavior in this one. From a fantasy perspective, he’s able to contribute enough across the stat line to warrant the pricing here. Given enough minutes, he seems to do enough across all five categories to stay safe in cash game formats. In fact, it’s that versatility that has me wanting to play him more than some other guards in his price tier.
Kevin Durant FD - $11400 DK - $12000
Opponent - CLE
Proj Pts FD - 54.44 DK - 58.22
He’s almost prohibitively expensive considering this is just a two-game slate without much of anything in the way of punt plays, but if there was a guy who was going to play 44+ minutes on Tuesday then you’d have to think Durant would be the guy. This is a totally winnable game for the Nets and they’d love to just seal the 7th seed at home and call it a day. Durant dropped 36 points, five rebounds, and five assists on these guys two games ago and then followed that up with a triple-double of 20 points, 16 assists, and 10 rebounds against the Pacers on Sunday. He’s on a different level and when the going gets tough the Nets will need him. Again, the price makes it tougher but he’s the highest projected play on the slate for a reason.
Caris LeVert FD - $5400 DK - $6900
Opponent - BKN
Proj Pts FD - 34.66 DK - 37.24
Levert struggled against the Nets last Friday but part of that was due to foul trouble that buzzed off some of his minutes. With the Cavs desperate to find non-Darius Garland ways to score, one would think there are a lot of minutes available for Levert here against his former team. The price on FanDuel hasn’t moved enough though he’s probably too expensive on DraftKings to really consider. He can push towards 20 points if the minutes are there and has typically been able to add just enough rebounds and assists to hit value at these price points.
Power Forward/ Center
Karl-Anthony Towns FD - $9700 DK - $10300
Opponent - LAC
Proj Pts FD - 51.08 DK - 54.7
Towns struggled in his three games against the Clippers this season which definitely gives me at least a little pause with this pick. Though it’s a smaller sample size, Los Angeles does have some bigger bodies to throw his way which can cause him issues. But one has to think the minutes push up to 40 in this game and this is a guy who averaged 25 points, 10 rebounds, and 3.6 assists on the season in just 33 minutes per game. He went to a slightly higher level down the homestretch of the season when the Timberwolves were really trying to win games to get out of the play-in. I love the FanDuel pricing especially here.
Nicolas Batum FD - $3900 DK - $4300
Opponent - MIN
Proj Pts FD - 22.05 DK - 22.44M
Marcus Morris Sr. FD - $5100 DK - $5500
Opponent - MIN
Proj Pts FD - 25.62 DK - 28.26
As with Beverley, we are going to have to try to find even just a little bit of savings on this slate in order to play as many superstar types as possible. Power forward is a pretty weak position so this might be the spot to do it. Both Batum and Morris will be in the starting lineup for the Clippers in this one, though with Robert Covington and Norman Powell available for LA it’s unclear who will be closing. That being said, mid-to-high 20s minutes for the starters might be enough to justify the price points on these guys and they are coming cheap enough that it’s hard to imagine they kill you. Morris needs to score in order to hit value, something that becomes tougher with Paul George around. And Batum needs to get after it on the defensive end. Again, I’m not enamored here, but considering the position is weak, this is where we can save to spend up on the guards and wings.