I hate goodbyes, but today is it my friends. It's the final night of the NBA's regular season. The parting gift? How about a 14 game slate! Sounds great, doesn't it? It is, in many ways, but in a few ways, it isn't as beautiful as it appears on the surface, because so many teams will be resting their players. The "minefield" we've been dealing with the past two weeks lives on for one more night. As someone that prefers a double-digit slate, I'm pretty excited about tonight (even though I sounded pretty negative just a second ago) but I will say that despite there being less options to work with during NBA playoffs DFS, I'm excited to worry less about who might be sitting or scratched late and spend more time on strategy. Remember, the games don't start until 8 Eastern tonight.
As is customary with my columns, we'll take a look at Vegas lines before I get into the player selections. Unsurprisingly, many Vegas oddsmakers have shied away from posting lines, which likely has a ton to do with all the players that have announced they're sitting, and even more so to do with the uncertainty surrounding who else might sit. Of the lines that have been set, from a point total perspective (think stacks) I'm looking at the Kings at Clippers (211) and Timberwolves at Rockets (227). Due to the aforementioned uncertainty, though, I'd suggest building your stacks later in the day when we know more about who's taking the floor and who isn't. There's no worse feeling than falling in love with a stack, only to find out a player or two is sitting, and then having to blow it all up and start over.
In this article, I will be providing you with daily NBA lineup picks for FanDuel on 4/12/17. The picks will range from some of the elite players, to mid-priced options, and value plays.Editor's Note: Our industry-leading NBA DFS Lineup Optimizer/Generator tool helps you build winning DFS lineups in seconds. Try it now for free, and get an edge on your competition. Sign Up Now!
Shall we dance? Might as well, it's the final night of the regular season.
FanDuel DFS Guards
Chris Paul - PG, vs SAC ($9,400)
Nearly all of my strategy today will be focused on paying up for guys with something left to play for and padding that lineup with young stars that have been relegated to a backup role all season, but for some reason or another, will be playing a starter's allotment of minutes this evening. Paul fits the description of the former, as he and his Clippers teammates are locked into a playoff spot, but are battling for the #4 seed in the West, which would give them home-court advantage in round one. In addition this matchup being a particularly strong one for Paul, the Clippers also have the second highest projected point total of the night, sitting at 113 points as of this morning. Paul has been particularly strong of late as well, exceeding his salary based expectations in six straight games.
Also Consider: Jamal Murray - PG, at OKC ($4,600)
Josh Richardson - SG, vs WAS ($5,300)
Continuing with my theme of finding players who can exceed value and have something to play for, we land at the feet of Josh Richardson. Richardson, relative to his salary based expectations, has been on quite a streak. In the Heat's last six games, he's exceeded value very easily, and the individual game statistics reveal he's taken on a larger offensive workload in this span, as he's attempted double digit shots in five of the six games. In addition to his recent performance being promising and Heat with a playoff seed to fight for, the matchup itself is a fairly opportune one for Richardson as the Wizards' guards aren't known for their defensive prowess and the pace in which they operate will likely yield the Heat with more possessions. Richardson is projected to see roughly 35 or more minutes tonight as well, which helps create a sturdy floor.
Also Consider: JJ Redick - SG, vs SAC ($4,600)
FanDuel DFS Forwards
Larry Nance Jr - PF, at GSW ($4,600)
On a night with so much uncertainty surrounding minutes, Nance feels like one of the few certainties to play more than 25 minutes. He's also in a great spot against this Golden State team that will be resting nearly the entirety of their starting core, and he comes into this matchup on quite the upswing. Over the last 10 games, he's exceeded value nine times, by an impressive margin of 9.35 FanDuel points above his salary based expectation. An impressive statistic in this run - and one that helps to raise his floor on a regular basis - is that he's contributed more fantasy points without having to take more shots than he has averaged all year. The man plays within his role, and the minutes increase has paid dividends.
Also Consider: Gorgui Dieng - PF, at HOU ($5,700)
Jimmy Butler - SF, vs BKN ($10,200)
Butler tonight represents a unique situation. On the one hand, he's been a dominant DFS asset this season, keeping players above the cash line and helping to take down a GPP or too with his monster performances. With Wade out, he's picked up a greater offensive workload and has shined in the process. He also fits the model of sticking with guys that have something to play for, as the Bulls are battling out for seeding position in the Eastern Conference. On the other hand, the Bulls face the lowly Nets. If this were any other point in the season, I'd be drooling. But since we're at the end of the season and the Nets have nothing to play for, they've announced that a great number of their players (6+) will be sitting out tonight, which means there is potential for a blowout and Butler sitting in the second half. Because he holds the potential to pour in 50+ points and should be popular tonight, he's almost a must play in cash formats and perhaps worth a flier in tournament formats. Of all the small forwards taking the floor tonight, only two are projected for a higher Usage rate than Butler is this evening.
Also Consider: Andrew Wiggins - SF, at HOU ($8,100)
FanDuel DFS Centers
Willy Hernangomez - C, vs PHI ($5,100)
Billy G is another guy who has been given more minutes and more offensive freedom as this season has wound down, and he's certainly made the most of it. In the Knicks' last seven games, Hernangomez has exceeded value in each game, and he's done so by attempting no less than eight shot attempts per game and only once has pulled down less than eight boards. If we look at even smaller, but more recent sample, those numbers jump a few digits. I expect this trend to continue tonight, and the opportunity is there for Hernangomez to put up tournament numbers, as the Sixers allow the highest positive +/- to opposing centers of any team playing tonight at +6.12.
Also Consider: Boban Marjanovic - C, at ORL ($4,200)
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