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NBA DFS DraftKings.com & FanDuel.com Lineups & Picks for April 14, 2018

For the 4/14/18 NBA DFS playoff slate, we look for the best plays in all four games for contests on DraftKings and FanDuel. The info below can also be used when crafting your strategy on FantasyDraft.

Please note the advice below is relevant for daily fantasy purposes. A player or team might be better or worse from a fantasy perspective than in real life due to matchup, price, and lots of other factors. This is important to consider when constructing a roster.

Injuries play a huge role in NBA DFS on a nightly basis. Value plays on the various daily fantasy sites can arise at a moment’s notice so always, always check the starting lineups and injury news right before tipoff.

4/14/18 NBA DFS TOURNAMENT PICKS

Playoff Tip-Off: $10 entry, $400k guaranteed (DraftKings) – $100,000 to 1st!
Windmill: $180 entry, $150k guaranteed (DraftKings)
Shot Machine: $7.77 entry, $300k guaranteed (FanDuel) – $100,000 to 1st!
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PLAYERS RULED OUT
Steph Curry (knee)
Patty McCaw (back)
Joel Embiid (eye)
Kawhi Leonard (quad)

INJURY NEWS TO MONITOR
Otto Porter (calf)
Goran Dragic (knee)
J.J. Redick (back)
Maurice Harkless (knee)
Fred VanVleet (shoulder)

NBA DFS Playoff Slate Breakdown for April 14, 2018

San Antonio Spurs (+8) at Golden State Warriors (Over/Under – 210.5)

The defending NBA champion Warriors enter the playoffs with little momentum, as HC Steve Kerr openly questioned the motivation of his team in the final weeks of the season.

But the Dubs should feed off the energy at raucous Oracle Arena and take it to a Spurs team that stood little chance in a playoffs series with Golden State last year once Kawhi Leonard went down with an injury.

Leonard (quad) is not supposed to play the entire series, leaving LaMarcus Aldridge ($9.7k, $10.2k) to carry the Spurs offense. He averaged 26.8 PPG and 11 RPG over four meetings with the Dubs this season, but Draymond Green ($7.4k, $7.0k) is an absolute gamer and should ratchet up his defensive efforts on Aldridge in the playoffs.

Patty Mills ($4.5k, $4.8k), Manu Ginobili ($3.8k, $4.4k) and Danny Green ($4.4k, $3.8k) are clutch performers with playoff experience, but can only be considered in GPP formats in a tough spot on the road. And you’ll need a monster game out of any one that you choose at their ceilings are pretty limited.

While Rudy Gay  ($4.8k, $5.5k) closed the season strong, Pau Gasol ($4.7k, $5.0k) seems like a better option in the postseason given his experience. Gasol is a 1.1 fantasy points per minute guy, so if he gets his 22-23 minutes, he’d produce about 4.5x salary with upside should he get extended run. Dejounte Murray ($5.5k, $6.3k) is purely a GPP play since Pop could go away from him at any time. That said, he did play at least 29 minutes in three of their last four games, including a 37-minute, 50 fantasy point performance.

Kevin Durant ($10.7k, $10.9k) will be free to terrorize the Spurs defense with Leonard out and remains the obvious candidate to lead the Warriors. He only averaged 23.7 PPG over three meetings with the Spurs, but shot 49.1 percent from the field and sees a 4.4 percent increase in usage rate (to 36.2 percent) when Steph Curry (knee) is off the floor this season. As far as ceilings go, Durant’s is second to only Anthony Davis on this slate.

Andre Iguodala ($4.6k, $4.0k) is another veteran who should ramp up now that it’s playoff time and he matches up well against the hybrid Spurs. He should see about 25 minutes and is the perfect ‘under the radar’ type of player to roster on these short slates.

Quinn Cook ($5.8k, $6.4k) has plenty of upside with Curry out. He’s averaged over 34 minutes per game over his last ten games, and over his last 14 games, he’s averaging 17p/5a/4r.

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Washington Wizards (+7.5) at Toronto Raptors (Over/Under – 211.5)

The Wizards split the season series with the Raptors and are actually a decent challenge for the Eastern Conference’s top seed.

With John Wall ($8.5k, $9.4k) healthy enough to play big minutes, and Bradley Beal ($7.0k, $7.9k) capable of getting hot on any given night, both players are worth deploying in any format at modest price tags.

Beal averaged 28.8 PPG on 50 percent FG shooting over four meetings with Toronto this season, and posted a 28.6 percent usage rate in road games. He’s definitely one of the best point per dollar plays on the slate. Wall coincidentally missed all four matchups with Toronto, inflating Beal’s numbers a bit, but the SG still thrives when his running mate is feeding him the ball.

Kyle Lowry ($7.3k, $6.8k) closed the regular season with a lot more momentum than Raptors backcourt mate DeMar DeRozan ($7.6k, $7.0k). Lowry struggled in meetings with the Wizards, however, and is not a recommended Cash option on Saturday.

DeRozan averaged 26.3 PPG and 4.8 APG over four meetings with Washington this year and should thrive in a plus matchup. He’s arguably the top option at SG tonight.

This game should be dominated by guards, but Serge Ibaka ($5.1k, $5.9k) is worth a look after a strong finish for Toronto. He should be a lock for 28+ minutes, and with his average of 0.9 FP/minute, Ibaka’s floor lands at about 25 fantasy points.

Fred VanVleet ($4.5k, $4.2k) should log consistent minutes off the bench and plays with poise beyond his years, so he’s a fine option in his first playoff game. He’s PG and SG eligible on DraftKings, increasing his value even more. Kelly Oubre Jr. ($4.9k, $4.4k) is a similarly appealing value on the Wizards side, and comes with Guard and Forward eligibility.

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Miami Heat (+6.5) at Philadelphia 76ers (Over/Under – 212)

The Sixers are on a 16-game win streak, which is the longest streak ever for a team heading into the playoffs.

With Joel Embiid (eye) unavailable, Ben Simmons ($9.4k, $10.0k) has taken the reigns of Philadelphia’s offense and is pushing the pace to the great benefit of players in DFS contests. With Embiid out for Game 1, Simmons will play 34-35 minutes. This is great for DFS owners as he’s averaged 1.5 FP/minute over the last month. There’s double-double, triple-double, and 55+ fantasy point upside here.

Philly led the league in pace and Miami was third in pace over the last month, so this is a sneaky game to target.

Goran Dragic ($6.5k, $6.1k) could have a big game for the Heat if they push the ball the other way. He should be lightly owned after missing the finale with a knee issue and logging a couple of duds to close out the regular season. 5x return on his salary is highly possible.

Hassan Whiteside ($7.2k, $7.0k) should be good for a double-double in limited minutes, but we’ll see if he can stay on the floor in a potential track meet. His ceiling is helped by Embiid missing.

Dwyane Wade ($4.9k, $4.4k) is likely to ramp up in the postseason and provide increased production down the stretch. He’s averaged just 20 minutes per game over his last ten, but all signs point to him getting at least a moderate bump in court time for the playoffs. James Johnson ($5.4k, $5.4k) and Kelly Olynyk ($5.7k, $5.6k) are both intriguing GPP plays against a Sixers team that likes to go small with Embiid out. Johnson just doesn’t shoot enough and rostering him means you need a double-digit rebounding game to provide any sort of upside.

Philadelphia native Wayne Ellington ($4.0k, $3.7k) is also worth a look in GPP formats after going off for 32 points in Miami’s season finale.

Dario Saric ($6.4k, $5.7k) should also benefit from Embiid’s absence after resting his various ailments during the Sixers two days off before this series. He has immense upside relative to his price tag. 40+ fantasy points is definitely within reason, so having at least some exposure in GPPs is advised.

You could try to chase the production from Markelle Fultz ($3.8k, $4.3k) but don’t expect huge returns since he’ll only see around 20 minutes of run at the most…and likely closer to 15.

Always a reliable option in the postseason, Marco Belinelli ($4.7k, $5.4k) could serve as a better option than J.J. Redick ($5.3k, $6.0k) given his ability to score on cuts to the basket as well as on long jump shots.

Miami finished seventh in defensive rating and allowed the sixth-fewest 3PTM (9.6) per game this season.

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New Orleans Pelicans (+5.5) at Portland Trailblazers (Over/Under – 217)

The final game of the night is arguably the best to target given the fact that the Pelicans led the league in pace of play this season. These teams combined for 239, 232, and 210 points in their last three meetings.

Damian Lillard ($9.2k, $9.8k) is one of the most clutch performers in the modern NBA and he draws a juicy matchup against Rajon Rondo and the Pelicans weak backcourt defense. He averaged 26.5 PPG and 7.3 APG over four meetings with New Orleans this season despite shooting an uncharacteristic 25.6 percent from 3-point range in those contests. Dame has averaged 47 fantasy points over his last 20 games.

The Blazers offer few reliable options besides Lillard, yet Jusuf Nurkic ($6.6k, $8.0k) is worth a look on DK after a strong final month of the season. Nurk went for a 39 FP/game average over his last 10 and has a pretty incredible floor/ceiling combo for his price. Al-Farouq Aminu ($4.9k, $4.8k) is an inconsistent but intriguing option in the mid-tier price range. He rarely gets up more than 9 or 10 shots in a game, so you really need a double-double for him to help a GPP lineup.

Anthony Davis ($11.3k, $12.5k) clearly has the most upside of any player on this slate and he’s a nightmarish matchup for any team. While he only averaged 24.7 PPG and 8 RPG in three meetings with Portland this year, he averages the most PPG (31.5), BPG (3) and MPG (43) of any active player when it comes to postseason play. He’ll get 36-38 minutes and will put up 20+ shots including a three pointer or two. He double-doubled in five of his last six games, so you can almost count on the DD bonus at DraftKings.

Jrue Holiday ($7.9k, $8.7k) is a very reliable Cash option and could flash more upside if Portland’s top ten defense sells out to try and stop Davis. Jrue averaged 1.18 FP/minute over the last month, upping his assists and steals along the way.

While Nikola Mirotic ($6.9k, $7.7k) is far riskier, he could also benefit from double teams on Davis by knocking down open shots. He’s an incredibly streaky shooter, so if things are not going well for him, he could certainly bury your lineup (he’s got seven games over the last month where he made 3 or fewer buckets). But when he’s on, he’s the type of guy that can win you a GPP (he posted four straight games of 59, 50, 53, and 46 fantasy points at sub $6.6k DK salary).

For value, consider E’Twaun Moore ($4.6k, $5.0k), but stick to the big guns in what should be the closer game out West tonight.

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Nate Weitzer
Nate Weitzer is a successful DFS player at DraftKings and FanDuel with numerous tournament wins in NBA and NFL contests. He's been writing about DFS for several years, specializing in NBA picks and advice while continuing to build his bankroll across the daily fantasy industry. When he's not playing DFS, Weitzer is often covering high school sports in the greater Boston area for outlets such as The Boston Globe, or playing basketball himself. Follow Nate on Twitter @Nweitzer7.