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FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Picks - Wednesday, 4/19/23
These NBA Playoffs have been phenomenal. The first few days were amazing, but Tuesday's slate was full of blowouts. What's interesting about this Wednesday card is that we have almost every superstar on the injury report. That's rare at this time of the year, but it feels like we could be without Giannis Antetokounmpo and Ja Morant. That would be massive for this DFS card, so let's kick things off with someone benefiting from one of those absences.
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This is one of the best two-way players in the NBA, and he always brings it when Milwaukee is in the postseason. That was on full display in Game 1, with Holiday dropping 53 DraftKings points, despite shooting 6-of-18 from the field. The massive game is no surprise with the boost in usage, averaging nearly 50 fantasy points per game when Antetokounmpo has been sidelined this year. Jrue is also carrying over some stellar form, scoring at least 53 fantasy points in three straight outings. Facing Miami usually concerns us, but Holiday has at least 45 DK points in three of their five meetings this year. If Giannis is out, Holiday needs to be in every lineup out there!
People might forget this, but Murray was one of the best playoff players before his ACL tear. In 34 career playoff games, Murray is averaging 24.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 5.9 assists, and 1.0 steals per game. That's the fantastic form we've seen from Murray for a month, averaging 40 DK points per game over his final 34 games. What's made Murray so magnificent in the postseason is his role, playing 38 minutes a night while attempting 19 shots a game. That sort of role would make anyone a great option, and we haven't even discussed this matchup. Minnesota owns a 27th OPRK against opposing PGs, with Murray amassing 42 and 50 DK points in their two most recent meetings.
With Giannis being ruled doubtful for this game, Money Middleton should be running the show for Milwaukee. With the former MVP off the floor, Middleton is maintaining a 34 percent usage rate. He's also averaging 45 DraftKings points per game in those outings dating back to last season, regularly playing 35-40 minutes and taking 20-25 shots a game. He also does a ton of ball handling in these circumstances, and the rumor is that Mid's minute restriction is a thing of the past. We saw Khris collect 49 fantasy points without Giannis in Game 1, and that will be a regular thing if Antetokounmpo cannot go.
Max Strus FD - $4900 DK - $5500
Opponent - MIL
Proj Pts FD - 16.63 DK - 16.57
This is a risky pick, but it will be tough to fade Strus in this expanded role. He was already playing 30 minutes before Tyler Herro's injury, but that should guarantee him 35 minutes and 15-20 shots. This guy has played over 30 minutes in nearly 40 games this season and is averaging just shy of 30 fantasy points per game in those outings. That's all you need from a player in this price range, and Miami needs his shot-making out there to keep up with this Milwaukee team. That's been evident all season, with Strus playing at least 38 minutes in three of his five meetings with Milwaukee. As long as this guy plays 30 minutes and takes double-digit shots, he's a great pairing with all of the studs we're about to mention!
LeBron James FD - $10800 DK - $9900
Opponent - MEM
Proj Pts FD - 53.9 DK - 55.68
The small forward position is a nightmare, so let's get the most reliable player over the last 20 years. That's King James, who's scored at least 31 DraftKings points in every game this year. He's also scored at least 36 fantasy points in all but two outings, scoring 53 or more fantasy points in his last three fixtures. Those were all de facto playoff games, and it's clear King James is ready to add to his legacy in another playoff run. Memphis is a tough matchup for most players, but LeBron is averaging nearly 60 DraftKings points per game against them over their last five matchups. It's a playoff game, so King James is a safe play if you want to pay up for him!
Kyle Anderson FD - $6200 DK - $5900
Opponent - DEN
Proj Pts FD - 25.93 DK - 25.23
Anderson doesn't have the role we saw at the end of the regular season, but he's too reliable to be sitting around $6,000. The versatile forward is doing a ton of playmaking for this team, averaging 35 DraftKings points per game across his last 26 outings. That's usually what you see from a player above $7,000, and they need to lean on him more with many of these Minnesota studs struggling. Denver can be a disastrous matchup for some players, but KA had at least 43 DK points in two of their three regular-season meetings. All he needs is 60 percent of that to be a good value, and he's only of the only cheap players worth mentioning at this difficult position.
Anthony Davis FD - $11900 DK - $10100
Opponent - MEM
Proj Pts FD - 58.99 DK - 59.14
It's fun watching Davis play in meaningful games because this superstar takes his game to another level in the postseason. The big man finished with 22 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, three steals, and seven blocks in Game 1, en route to 62 DK points. The 22 points and 11 rebounds are his floor, with AD scoring at least 50 fantasy points in eight of his last nine games. He's also mauled Memphis throughout the year, scoring at least 61 fantasy points in all three of their matchups. That's on par with his career average in the playoffs, and you know Los Angeles wants to ride this guy to another deep postseason run.
Karl-Anthony Towns FD - $9200 DK - $7500
Opponent - DEN
Proj Pts FD - 45.39 DK - 47.06
I'm not sure I've ever seen Towns at just $7,500 on DraftKings. He's earned it with some lackluster play recently, but this guy is way too good to be this cheap. The All-Star averaged over 41 DK points per game in the regular season, regularly flashing a 70-point ceiling. We have to assume this stud will see 35-40 minutes and 20 shots in this must-win game, and Towns can be a five-figure player in that sort of role. He also destroyed Denver before that ugly Game 1 showing, scoring at least 49 DK points in each of their previous three meetings. All you need is 35-40 DK points for Towns to be a good value, and that should be his floor as long as this game stays relatively close.
Nikola Jokic FD - $12100 DK - $10900
Opponent - MIN
Proj Pts FD - 57.2 DK - 60.16
You might look at the last few weeks and think Jokic is a silly pay-up option, but this is still the best cash game player in fantasy. The big man was limited over the closing weeks because Denvr had things locked up with a month left in the season. He was also held to just 42 fantasy points in Game 1 because the Nuggets smashed the Timberwolves. While that could happen again, it doesn't really matter because Joker can be a monster in a limited role. He averaged over 61 DK points per game before the final month and had a ridiculous 50-point floor. He's also throttled the T'Wolves, scoring at least 63 DK points in four of their previous six meetings before that Game 1 stinker. You cant fit in all of these stars, but Jokic is the best bet for most fantasy points on this slate.
Brook Lopez FD - $7200 DK - $6200
Opponent - MIA
Proj Pts FD - 37.8 DK - 36.53
Bro-Lo fell just short of Defensive Player of the Year honors, but this former All-Star has a bounce-back season in Milwaukee. The big man averaged over 32 DraftKings points per game in the regular season and would be impossible to avoid if Giannis is out. That would make Bro-Lo one of the focal points of the offense, averaging nearly 40 fantasy points per game when Antetokounmpo was sidelined. That makes it hard to believe that he's in this $6,500 price range on both sites because he should be an $8K player if Giannis has to sit. Miami is a challenging matchup, but it doesn't really matter if Lopez gets the 35 minutes and 15 shots we're anticipating.