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NBA DFS DraftKings.com & FanDuel.com Lineups & Picks for April 15, 2018

For the 4/15/18 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.

4/15/18 NBA DFS TOURNAMENT PICKS

Big Jam: $10 entry, $450k guaranteed (DraftKings) – $100,000 to 1st!
Four Point Play: $4 entry, $70k guaranteed (DraftKings)
Wow Shot: $7.77 entry, $350k guaranteed (FanDuel) – $100,000 to 1st!
Click here for FantasyDraft NBA DFS Contests – $4 free entry!

PLAYERS RULED OUT
Kyrie Irving (knee)
Marcus Smart (thumb)
Daniel Theis (knee)
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (shoulder)

INJURY NEWS TO MONITOR
Ryan Anderson (ankle)
Ricky Rubio (hamstring)
Clint Capela (hand)
Eric Gordon (ankle)
Corey Brewer (knee)

NBA DFS Playoff Slate Breakdown for April 15, 2018

Milwaukee Bucks (+4) at Boston Celtics (Over/Under – 201.5)

Despite the relatively low Over/Under, this is a good game to target on Sunday’s slate. The Celtics took their foot off the gas down the stretch, but should resume as normal of a rotation as they can with Kyrie Irving (knee) and Marcus Smart (thumb) unavailable.

Jaylen Brown ($5.6k, $5.9k) comes into the postseason with plenty of momentum, averaging 20.8 PPG over his last five appearances, including a 24-point game with a full line at Milwaukee. Brown is sporting a 27.6 percent usage rate during that span.

While he was quiet down the stretch, Terry Rozier ($7.2k, $7.2k) is a gamer with increased upside in a playoff home game. Marcus Morris ($5.3k, $5.4k) is a good GPP option as a likely candidate to lead the Celtics offense down the stretch should they struggle to find scoring options with Kyrie shelved.

Shane Larkin ($3.5k, $3.6k) also seems to have earned the trust of Celtics HC Brad Stevens, logging 20-plus minutes in his last six appearances of the regular season. Larkin averages 10.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.6 assists per 36 minutes this year and is worth considering as a punt play.

Milwaukee has been extremely vulnerable against opposing centers this season and has allowed Al Horford ($6.0k, $7.4k) to average 18.8 PPG, 7.3 RPG and 5.3 APG over four meetings this year. He’s worth a look with the potential to provide 3x salary if the Celtics run their offense through the big man.

However, Horford has been outplayed at times by Greg Monroe ($4.9k, $6.0k), who could produce 4.5x salary returns if given a decent amount of run against his former team.

Giannis Antetokounmpo ($10.2k, $11.0k) is another player that throttled down towards the end of the regular season, but he’s a clear-cut candidate to blow up for one of the biggest lines on this slate. Giannis has been an impossible matchup for the Celtics, averaging 33.5 PPG, 10.8 RPG and 5 APG over four meetings with Boston this year.

Eric Bledsoe ($7.1k, $8.6k) ended the season on a hot run, but is less appealing in a matchup against Boston’s stingy PG defense. Khris Middleton ($6.8k, $8.2k) has been a tougher cover for the Celtics and is a more reliable Cash play on DK with a .466% FG shooting this season.

Jabari Parker ($5.5k, $5.8k) is capable of providing 4x salary with a potential double double by burning the smaller Celtics down low.

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Indiana Pacers (+6.5) at Cleveland Cavs (Over/Under – 212.5)

Victor Oladipo ($8.6k, $9.5k) averaged 25 PPG on 44 percent FG shooting over four meetings with the Cavs this season, but could face a different animal tonight in the form of a motivated LeBron James.

We’ve seen LeBron James ($11.5k, $12.1k) not only carry his team offensively, but also shut down the opposition’s top weapon to completely control playoff series and he should make a statement in Game 1. James averaged 32.8 PPG, 9.1 RPG, 7.8 APG and 3.2 STL/BLK per game in the playoffs last season.

Working in tandem with LeBron should be Kevin Love ($7.6k, $8.1k), who averaged 16 PPG and 11 RPG over four meetings with Indiana despite shooting 29.2 percent from 3-point range in those contests. He’s averaged 18.4 PPG and shooting 57 percent from downtown over his last five appearances.

Jeff Green ($4.5k, $4.6k) is a boom-bust option with the potential to provide 8x salary returns if he can get cooking. George Hill ($4.6k, $4.0k) is another candidate to step up for the Cavs as a veteran with plenty of playoff experience.

If Oladipo struggles, look to the Pacers supporting cast. Domantas Sabonis ($4.8k, $5.5k) averages 0.9 FP/minute, giving him the potential to hit 6x return salary returns in a plus matchup.

Bojan Bogdanovic ($4.7k, $4.8k) has similar appeal against a Cavs team that gave up the third-most 3PTM (11.7) per game and ranked 29th in defensive rating this season.

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Utah Jazz (+3.5) at Oklahoma City Thunder (Over/Under – 206)

This is one of the weaker games to target on a 4-game slate with two elite defenses squaring off.

Russell Westbrook ($11.2k, $11.9k) managed to average 22.8 PPG, 11.3 RPG and 10 APG over four meetings with Utah this season but he’ll need to produce 55-60 FPs to meet value at that lofty price tag and will have to contend with “The Stifle Tower” down low.

Speaking of Rudy Gobert ($7.0k, $8.5k), the Stifle Tower is a quality option in a low-scoring affair because of his ability to pile up blocks and rebounds. OKC’s Steven Adams ($5.7k, $6.3k) is another quality Cash play in a potential slugfest.

Paul George ($7.7k, $7.9k) caught fire for 40 points in the Thunder’s last game of the regular season and has GPP appeal against a Jazz team that ranked 17th in opponents 3-point shooting percentage (.365%) this season.

Ricky Rubio ($5.9k, $5.7k) is another player that throttled down towards the end of the regular season but could provide 3.5x salary returns if he’s given full run in Game 1.

Donovan Mitchell ($7.4k, $7.8k) averaged 20.7 PPG on 53.3 percent FG shooting over three meetings with OKC this season and will have plenty to prove after he assumedly lost out on Rookie of the Year honors to Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons.

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Minnesota Wolves (+11.5) at Houston Rockets (Over/Under – 217)

Despite the fact that Minnesota is a sizable underdog, this is the best game to target tonight with the highest Over/Under. Houston coincidentally beat the Wolves by 18 points in three meetings before edging the Wolves, 129-120, March 18.

Karl-Anthony Towns ($9.6k, $10.5k) was huge with 20 points and 18 rebounds in that contest and he’s one of several Wolves who seemed to grow up a bit with team MVP Jimmy Butler ($7.8k, $8.7k) on the shelf for a couple months.

After dropping 31 points over 41 minutes in a play-in game for Minnesota on Wednesday, Butler is poised for a big performance in Game 1 and he makes for a fantastic play in any format with the potential for 8x salary returns since he’s playing on ample rest.

Jeff Teague ($6.5k, $7.3k) is another solid mid-tier option as a Minnesota guard brimming with confidence following Butler’s absence. But Taj Gibson ($5.0k, $5.5k) could serve as the best value in this fast-paced contest due to his ability to guard multiple positions and rebound.

James Harden ($11.1k, $11.7k) is neck-and-neck with LeBron James for the right of best play on this slate and arguably has more upside since the Wolves ranked 27th in defensive rating this season and gave up 108.8 PPG on the road. However, Harden didn’t necessarily post eye-popping numbers (27.3 PPG, 10 APG) over four meetings with Minnesota and Butler’s defensive presence as well as his lackluster performance in the postseason last year makes him more of a tournament play.

Chris Paul ($8.1k, $9.0k) has been biding his time towards the end of the regular season, but could blow up in this spot if Minnesota sells out to stop Harden. CP3 averages 24.5 points and 9.6 assists per 36 minutes in the playoffs last year and could torch a Wolves team that gave up the sixth-most PPG (22.63) and fifth-most APG (9.0) to opposing PGs this season.

With Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (shoulder) out for the series, Ryan Anderson ($4.0k, $3.6k) will be asked to play a bigger role. He’s an upside value with the potential to provide 6x salary returns should he get hot from the perimeter. But Anderson (ankle) is also questionable and if he sits, expect much more playing time from solid Cash play Trevor Ariza ($4.6k, $4.7k) and low-upside specialist P.J. Tucker ($4.5k, $4.5k).

Gerald Green ($4.4k, $4.6k) should maintain a role for Houston with Eric Gordon ($5.0k, $5.9k) likely dealing with rust or still struggling a bit due to his foot/ankle woes. Green averages 19.3 points and attempts 11.5 3-pointers per 36 minutes this year, so he could exceed value if Anderson is inactive and the Rockets need him to hoist from deep.

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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.