Saturday, April 16, brings a featured two-game playoff slate tipping off at 6:00 p.m. ET on Yahoo, DraftKings and FanDuel. Let’s look at the player pool and discuss the top NBA DFS picks today for DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo lineups. As always, you can head over to the Awesemo NBA DFS & Fantasy Basketball home page for all the fantasy basketball content you need for any given slate.
NBA DFS Picks: Fantasy Basketball Building Blocks Today | Saturday, April 16
Yahoo Play of the Day — Nikola Jokic: Denver Nuggets at Golden State Warriors
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 62.26 | DraftKings: 65.38
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 16.4% | FanDuel 32.1% | DraftKings 39.8%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $58 | FanDuel $12,000 | DraftKings $10,600
The winner of the wild card game tonight between the Nuggets and Warriors will likely be determined by be how much Stephen Curry is able to play after missing the last month of the season. Currently Golden State is favored by 5.5 points at home which would seem to indicate that Curry is likely to play close to 30 minutes. On the other hand, Nikola Jokic is going to have to carry the Nuggets in this series since it sound like Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. are not going to be even close to full-strength, if they are able to return next week.
Jokic looks like he will be winning his second consecutive NBA MVP award and he has been sublime all season. This year he led the league with 19 triple-doubles and 66 double-doubles. After Thanksgiving he missed only three games and one of those was the final day of the season. If playing only one of Jokic and Joel Embiid on this slate, take the Joker every time.
Joel Embiid: Philadelphia 76ers vs. Toronto Raptors
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 61.33 | DraftKings: 62.94
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 22.2% | FanDuel 40.9% | DraftKings 40.1%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $57 | FanDuel $11,300 | DraftKings $10,400
Embiid or Jokic, Jokic or Embiid. While it is quite possible to construct lineups including both, that also forces a path that a lot of the field will be following tonight. In three meetings with the Raptors this season, Embiid has averaged over 50 fantasy points with double-doubles in each appearance. This season he also led the league in scoring with 30.6 points per game. The Awesemo projections have Embiid a tick behind Jokic for fantasy points, but he certainly has access to a slate breaking performance.
This duo has a median projection that is nearly 20 fantasy points higher than every other option in the four-team player pool. However, this pairing also essentially eliminates the possibility of also getting to players such as James Harden, Stephen Curry, Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet.
Yahoo Discount Dandies
Matisse Thybulle ($10): Though the former University of Washington stalwart does not score many points, he does have a knack for getting blocks and steals which are worth three fantasy points each on Yahoo. The small forward position is somewhat thin tonight with Andrew Wiggins, Aaron Gordon and OG Anunoby as the only options projecting for more than 23 fantasy points. Thybulle is half a dozen points behind that benchmark, though he is also less than half of their respective salaries.
Jeff Green: ($10): Despite Aaron Gordon and Will Barton having overlapping skillsets with the fifth overall selection of the 2007 NBA Draft, Green still plays a prominent role in the Denver rotation. We should not expect a ceiling higher than 20 to 23 fantasy points, however, his baseline is in the mid-to-upper teens which is a steal at this minimum salary.
Kevon Looney ($10): Draymond Green is going to need help from Looney in order to try and harass Jokic when he operates in the high post and to battle him for rebounds under the glass. In this matchup, Looney should produce around 0.8 Yahoo fantasy points per minute and Awesemo has him earmarked for nearly 20 minutes of action.
Final Thoughts on NBA DFS Picks for the Saturday, April 16 Fantasy Basketball Slate
Keep in mind that there are going to be some heavy leverage spots with Jokic and Embiid as well as a lack of value plays. Rotations will be extremely tight as long as games are close so spotting that lottery ticket is going to be tricky.