Basketball Lineups Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Picks - Sunday, 4/23/23
This could be an exciting slate! We have four games to talk about, and all of them are Game 4s in their respective series. Only one of them is an elimination game, so to say these are "swing games" would be a massive understatement. Our favorite series of the opening round has been the Warriors-Kings matchup, so, let's kick things off with the two point guards from that epic battle!
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Nobody needs to be told just how amazing Chef Curry is, but this guy is different in the postseason. In 131 playoff games, Curry is averaging 26.7 points, 5.4 rebounds, 6.2 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. That's not far off of his year-long averages, posting a 50-point average in the regular season. The slight uptick in shot attempts and minutes makes Curry even more enticing because he could be looking at 40 minutes in this must-win game. Sacramento is a spectacular matchup too, with the Kings ranked 26th in both points allowed and defensive efficiency in the regular season. That's on full display when you see that Curry has at least 41 fantasy points in all six of their matchups this year.
Fox can go off against anyone, but this couldn't be a better matchup. De'Aaron is considered the fastest player in the NBA, which is scary since Golden State plays at the fastest pace in the league. That means more opportunities to provide fantasy value, and Fox has been fantastic whenever he sees them. He's scored at least 53 DraftKings points in all three games of this series, scoring at least 47 DK points in five of six meetings with the Warriors this year. This first-time All-Star also provided a 43-point average in the regular season, and it's clear that he's well on his way to superstardom. Not to mention, Golden State surrendered the second-most fantasy points to opposing PGs in the regular season.
Anthony Edwards FD - $10300 DK - $8600
Opponent - DEN
Proj Pts FD - 39.41 DK - 40.18
It's pretty wild that this kid is carrying a team in the postseason. This 21-year-old seems to be the only Minnesota player who can do anything on the offensive end, scoring 60 and 62 DK points in the two most recent games of this series. That makes the $8,600 price tag on DraftKings laughable because ANT is averaging 23 shots and 43 minutes a night in that span. That usage could be his floor in this elimination game because the T'Wolves know they have to lean on this kid to carry them. Getting 45 minutes and 25 shots sounds absurd, but that's what we could be looking at for Edwards in this spot.
Malik Monk FD - $5600 DK - $5500
Opponent - GS
Proj Pts FD - 26.07 DK - 27.38
Monk is the sort of player who's only usable in certain situations, but this matchup with Golden State is great. The Warriors love to play a ton of small-ball, and it's forcing Monk into a prominent role off Sacramento's bench. In six matchups with the Warriors this year, Monk has scored at least 33 DraftKings points in four of those. He's also scored 39 or more fantasy points in three of those, and that sort of upside is unbelievable from a player in this price range. The Warriors have really struggled against opposing ball-handlers, too, posting a 29th OPRK against opposing guards.
Michael Porter Jr. FD - $7700 DK - $6500
Opponent - MIN
Proj Pts FD - 29.16 DK - 30.66
Porter has been a volatile player at times this year, but he's been feeling it over the last month. The 24-year-old has scored at least 24 DraftKings points in 13 of his last 15 games. MPJ has also scored at least 37 fantasy points in seven of those, averaging 38 DK points per game in this series. This youngster has always been great when he can stay on the floor, and as long as he's playing 30-35 minutes and taking double-digit shots, he can be one of the best options at a weak SF position. Facing Minnesota is magnificent, too, with the Timberwolves ranked 20th in total defense in the regular season.
Caris LeVert FD - $5700 DK - $5100
Opponent - NY
Proj Pts FD - 28.67 DK - 29.27
This is risky, but we have to trust what we've seen in the last two games. LeVert got a rare start in Game 3 and has played 35 and 40 minutes in the last two games of this series. Whenever LeVert starts or plays 30 minutes, he's played at a $7K level. He's started 31 games this year, averaging 31 DK points per game in that expanded role. He's also played at least 32 minutes in 35 games, generating a 30-point average in those outings. That has us believing LeVert will land between 30-35 fantasy points in this neefound role, which is absurd for such an affordable player. The matchup is wonderful, too, with the Knicks allowing the third-most fantasy points to opposing SFs this year.
Julius Randle FD - $7900 DK - $7700
Opponent - CLE
Proj Pts FD - 40.21 DK - 42.41
Randle has been bad in this series, but it's bizarre to see the All-Star below $8,000 on both sites. This guy crept closer to $10,000 in the regular season, and we have to assume his role will be even higher in the playoffs. That means Randle should play 40 minutes regularly and be looking at 20 shots and a 30 percent usage rate. That sort of role allowed Randle to register a 46-point average in the regular season, and that output would be outstanding from a sub-$8K player. He's had success against the Cavs this year despite the subpar series, averaging 38 DK points per game in six outings against them.
Al Horford FD - $5700 DK - $5500
Opponent - ATL
Proj Pts FD - 29.58 DK - 30.15
Big Al has always been a better player in the postseason. The former All-star is averaging 13.2 points, 8.2 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 0.8 steals, and 1.2 blocks in 150 career playoff games. That equates to nearly 35 fantasy points per game, which isn't far off of what we've seen from Horford recently. The big man has scored at least 27 DK points in four of his last five games while totaling a 28-point average over the last month. That should be easy to duplicate against Atlanta, with the Hawks ranked 22nd in defensive efficiency and 24th in points allowed during the regular season. It's tough to find such a reliable player below $6,000 with this sort of role and opportunity!
Nikola Jokic FD - $10900 DK - $10600
Opponent - MIN
Proj Pts FD - 58.79 DK - 61.79
If you want to fade Jokic, good luck! This two-time reigning MVP was the best player in fantasy through the first four months of the year, and his numbers only plummeted because Denver had things locked up with a month left in the season. This stud was averaging 62 DK points per game before that slight fall-off, establishing a 50-point floor. Luka Doncic and Joel Embiid were the only players who could keep up with Jokic, and we've seen Nikola maul Minnesota over the last two years. In fact, Jokic is averaging 62 DraftKings points per game in his last 10 meetings with Minnesota since the start of last year.
Kevon Looney FD - $6000 DK - $5800
Opponent - SAC
Proj Pts FD - 32.89 DK - 32.35
Looney only scored four points in Game 3, but he was arguably the most valuable player on the floor. The big man collected 20 rebounds and nine assists in that career night and is taking on a more prominent offensive workload in these playoffs. Loon is averaging 31 DK points per game across his last 18 outings, scoring at least 26 fantasy points in six of his seven meetings with Sacramento this season. That's all you need from a $6K player, and we haven't even seen Loon score raw points. The subpar defensive statistics from Sacramento make Loon all the more intriguing, and it would be shocking if he didn't bring down double-digit rebounds.
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- Stephen Curry: AP Images