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Fantasy Basketball Cheat Sheet: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Lineup Strategy for April 22

Matt LaMarca gives his top lineup advice at each position for Thursday’s fantasy basketball slate on DraftKings, which starts at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Tuesday’s NBA main slate features six games, and the action on DraftKings gets underway at 7:00 p.m. ET. Let’s dive into some of the top plays, strategies, and injuries to monitor heading into lineup lock.

Point Guard

Worth Paying Up For: Cole Anthony, Orlando Magic vs. New Orleans Pelicans ($6,400)

This is one of the most interesting slates we’ve had in a while. There aren’t a ton of studs to choose from, and there aren’t many teams in great spots. Only three teams are currently implied for more than 110.75 points, and none of those teams is implied for more than 116.5. With that in mind, focusing on the players with the most advantageous price tags seems like the best strategy.

Anthony stands out as that guy at point guard. His playing time has increased recently, and he’s responded with at least 35.75 DKFP in three straight games. The Pelicans have also been one of the worst defensive teams in basketball this season, ranking just 28th in defensive efficiency.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Killian Hayes, Detroit Pistons @ San Antonio Spurs ($4,200)

We haven’t gotten any official status on the Pistons’ players yet, but it would not be shocking if they rested some of their regulars. Guys like Jerami Grant ($6,900), Mason Plumlee ($4,900), and Cory Joseph ($5,100) have all sat on the second leg of back-to-backs recently, and they’ll be in that situation tonight vs. the Spurs.

That has allowed younger players like Hayes to flourish. He’s averaged 0.95 DKFP per minute over the past month, and he’s coming off 33.4 minutes in his last outing. That makes him way too cheap at $4,200 if the Pistons do decide to rest their veterans.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA $325K Free Throws Missed [$100K to 1st, Record Breaker]

Shooting Guard

Worth Paying Up For: Marcus Smart, Boston Celtics vs. Phoenix Suns ($6,600)

The Celtics own one of the toughest matchups on today’s slate, but they are expected to be shorthanded. Jaylen Brown is currently doubtful, and Evan Fournier and Robert Williams remain out of the lineup. That means Smart should be looking at another expanded workload, and he’s averaged 0.95 DKFP per minute over the past month.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Jalen Brunson, Dallas Mavericks vs. Los Angeles Lakers ($4,600)

Brunson has racked up at least 31.75 DKFP in back-to-back games, and he’s played at least 28.7 minutes in both contests. He’s benefitted from some unusually hot shooting – he’s shot 16-22 from the field in those contests – but he still seems underpriced given his volume of minutes. He’s averaged 0.92 DKFP per minute this season, so he should be able to return value at his current salary. He would also be one of the primary beneficiaries if the Mavericks’ rested someone like Kristaps Porzingis ($9,000), which is always possible on the second leg of a back-to-back.

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Small Forward

Worth Paying Up For: Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks vs. Los Angeles Lakers ($11,000)

Doncic has been slumping a bit, but he has started to turn things around. He’s scored at least 61.0 DKFP in each of his past three games, and he possesses one of the top ceilings every time he’s in action. His $11,000 price tag feels a bit expensive – particularly against a solid defensive team like the Lakers – but I certainly don’t blame you if you want to pay up for him given the lack of quality studs on today’s slate.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Mikal Bridges, Phoenix Suns @ Boston Celtics ($4,800)

Bridges is playing all the minutes he can handle at the moment. He’s logged at least 36.9 minutes in three of his past four games, and Bridges has averaged a solid 0.80 DKFP per minute this season. That figure has come down a bit recently, but Bridges has still scored at least 29.75 DKFP in back-to-back games.

Power Forward

Worth Paying Up For: Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans @ Orlando Magic ($9,900)

Williamson is my favorite player to pay up for on Thursday and it isn’t particularly close. He’s been a scoring machine of late, averaging 30.7 points per game over the past month, and he’s taking on a Magic squad that has been awful defensively. They’ve allowed an average of 121.5 points per 100 possessions over their past 10 games, and they’ve also limped to a 45.4% team rebound rate. Both of those numbers are among the worst marks in the league over that time frame, so Zion has tremendous upside in this matchup.

Best Bang For Your Buck: P.J. Washington, Charlotte Hornets @ Chicago Bulls ($5,900)

Washington has played in two games after returning to the lineup following a brief injury absence, and he’s stepped right back into his usual workload. He’s played at least 34 minutes in both contests, and he’s scored at least 33.75 DKFP in each. His price has come up a bit after those performances, but he still stands out as one of the better values at the position.


Worth Paying Up For: Isaiah Stewart, Detroit Pistons @ San Antonio Spurs ($5,800)

Again, I’m operating under the assumption that Plumlee and Grant will be out of the lineup tonight. As long as that is the case, Stewart is someone we should be able to rely on at $5,800. He’s averaged 1.43 DKFP per minute in three games without Grant and Plumlee this season, and he’s averaged 45.75 DKFP in those contests.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Daniel Theis, Chicago Bulls vs. Charlotte Hornets ($3,700)

Theis is coming off a disappointing performance in his last game, but he was limited to just 19.8 minutes in a loss vs. the Cavaliers. He should see a few additional minutes if tonight’s game vs. the Hornets is more competitive, and the line on DraftKings Sportsbook suggests that it should be. Theis has averaged 0.90 DKFP per minute this season, and he played more than 28.7 minutes just two games ago. He’s a prime bounce-back candidate.

Overall Lineup Strategy

We still have more than five hours until lineup lock, which might as well be a week in the NBA at the moment. We’re getting late scratches and players ruled out for rest on a seemingly nightly basis, so keeping abreast of the latest developments is even more crucial than usual.

As things currently stand, I think a balanced build around Williamson makes the most sense. Pairing him with Hayes and Stewart leaves you with an average of more than $6,000 for your remaining roster spots, which is a ton on today’s slate. You could easily throw Luka or Joel Embiid ($10,500, currently questionable) into that lineup and still have plenty of salary available to fill it out.

I’m also definitely leaning towards a two-center build at the moment. Stewart, Theis, Embiid, Tristan Thompson ($4,800), Deandre Ayton ($6,500), and Andre Drummond ($7,300) all stand out among the best plays on the slate, so pairing two of those guys together seems like a +EV strategy.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA $325K Free Throws Missed [$100K to 1st, Record Breaker]

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is mlamarca) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.

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