NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks: Luka Doncic Must Deliver (April 1)

Saturday’s NBA action is going toe-to-toe with the Final Four with a two-game featured slate locking at 7:30 p.m. ET on both DraftKings and FanDuel. There are several options in the player pool worth analyzing to find the top NBA DFS building blocks and NBA DFS picks for DraftKings and FanDuel lineups, including Luka Doncic.

NBA DFS Picks Today: Saturday, April 1

Shenanigans characterized last night’s card, as expected, which dramatically impacted rosters after lock. Things should be a little more sedated with only two games on the docket tonight and playoff implications surrounding both tilts.

Core Play of the Day — Luka Doncic: Dallas Mavericks-Miami Heat

It is truly wild to see Luka Doncic projected to be on just over one-third of tournament rosters tonight. He has a median fantasy projection that is a full 10 points higher than any other player in the pool and it should not be overly difficult to make him a featured part of the majority of our lineups tonight.

While Miami has a good overall defense, it isn’t as suffocating as it once was. The Heat have allowed 112.9 points in regulation over the last eight games, which slots in right around the league average. Dallas is half a game out of the play-in tournament, and though things look bleak, they are two games from being in the top half of the bracket, which would enable them to make the postseason with just one victory in two chances.

On the season, Doncic is averaging right around 1.6 fantasy points per minute, and, in 335 minutes alongside Kyrie Irving, his numbers have ticked up. Though this game is in Miami, it is essentially a pick’em and we should see Doncic on the court for the majority of the action until the final outcome becomes obvious.

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Kawhi Leonard: Los Angeles Clippers-New Orleans Pelicans

Last night, coach Tyronn Lue threw in the towel at halftime, electing not to start Kawhi Leonard coming out of the break and then pulling Russell Westbrook, Ivica Zubac and Nicolas Batum midway through the third quarter as Memphis finished up an 18-4 run. This is a wild outcome, especially considering that Los Angeles led by 20 points late in the first quarter.

After the game, Lue said he expects Leonard to play a full slate of minutes tonight, but he has tipped his hand — Lue isn’t afraid to pull the plug early if the opposition takes control. Hopefully, enough gamers were burned last night most avoid Leonard. Keep in mind that the Clippers are only 1.5 games above the play-in tournament and must do everything they can to stay out of that scrum.

The only other worry with Leonard is that the Pelicans have tightened up on defense. Over the last 10 games, New Orleans has been at the top of the leaderboard with Boston, Milwaukee, Memphis and Cleveland.

Brandon Ingram: New Orleans Pelicans-Los Angeles Clippers

Brandon Ingram is worthy of being the core building block today, however, considering he has had that honor four times in his last six games, I wanted to give the headline to someone else.

The 25-year-old is playing the best basketball of his career right now. In his last half-dozen appearances, Ingram is averaging 34.2 minutes and 20.7 field goal attempts with a 53.2% success rate. This has resulted in 30 points, 7.3 rebounds, 8.5 assists and 0.6 combined blocks and steals. From a fantasy perspective, he has produced one 50 fantasy point game, coincidentally against the Clippers, and a pair of trips to the 60 fantasy point plateau.

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Additional NBA DFS Building Blocks Pick — Sports Betting Opportunities

Buckle up Buttercup, as this recommendation is not for the faint of heart. Currently, the books have set Dwight Powell’s line for points, rebounds and assists (PRA) at 7.5. This number has bubbled to the top of the Stokastic NBA Bet Pro recommendations.

This play is risky, as Powell rarely sets foot on the court in the fourth quarter. Although he saw plenty of run early this year, Maxi Kleber is finally healthy, and Kleber is a far better offensive option and a slightly better defender.

Powell should start, though he is only “guaranteed” to play two turns in the rotation, typically in the first and third quarters — though he sometimes gets an extra one in the second quarter, depending on how he has been playing and the in-game situation.

NBA Bet Pro has the 31-year-old projected for 20.9 minutes, 6.96 points, 4.49 rebounds and 1.03 assists for 12.48 PRA. If Bam Adebayo ends up sitting, we can skip this wager as it would be a surprise if Powell ends up playing more than a dozen minutes as the Heat are likely to play small-ball.

Overall, the model gives Powell a 56% chance of recording the 8+ PRA necessary to secure the bag. The current line of -110 at BetMGM provides a decent 4% expected ROI.

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Miami Heat Scenarios

Bam Adebayo is currently questionable with a hip injury. Considering the Heat still have a chance to escape the play-in tournament, he seems likely to play if at all possible. This is the first game of the night, so we will have that news in time to make our decisions. If Adebayo is a go, he is a strong option in tournaments as gamers are often hesitant to roll with players carrying the questionable injury tag all day.

Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro would move from strong options to core plays if Adebayo is out. Kevin Love, Caleb Martin and Victor Oladipo would also receive an uptick if Adebayo sits, as they would be the most likely to fill in the minutes and offensive duties vacated by the former University of Kentucky stalwart.

Final Thoughts on NBA DFS Picks Building Blocks Today

Tonight is a succinct slate with both games tipping off within an hour of each other. Sunday we will be back to the wild, wild west action with 18 teams squaring off in the main contests.

Get ready for the slate with all of the latest analysis and information by tuning in to the Stokastic Live Before Lock show at 6:30 p.m. ET on YouTube, brought to you by Bet365.

Eric MacPherson
Eric "EMac" MacPherson won the 2007 Fantasy Baseball grand prize (trip for two to the MLB All-Star game) in the Roto format on ESPN. He won again in 2008, this time in the H2H format. As one of the early adopters of daily fantasy sports, EMac has been providing content for baseball and basketball as well as both professional and college football since 2012 for a variety of websites including DraftKings Playbook, FanVice, RotoWorld, Daily Fantasy Bootcamp, and RotoGrinders. He is well into his third decade of fantasy sports and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Follow him on Twitter @EMacDFS or contact EMac by emailing [email protected].

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