NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks: Play-In Tournament Finale! (April 19)

Friday brings the last chance Play-In Tournament games, with the high-stakes action tipping off at 7:00 p.m. ET on 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. Let’s dig into the NBA DFS picks and core plays like Bam Adebayo, Domantas Sabonis, and a variety of Bulls, Kings, Pelicans and Heat as recommended options.

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NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today: Friday, April 19

NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks

Bam Adebayo: Heat vs. Bulls

Stokastic’s Fantasy Point Projections
DraftKings: 43.03 | FanDuel: 42.23
Stokastic’s Rostership Projections
DraftKings: 17.5% | FanDuel: 46.2%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $8,700 | FanDuel: $8,500

Injuries loom large tonight as both of the home teams attempt to stave off elimination without their best player. For New Orleans, that means Zion Williamson and for Miami that is Jimmy Butler.

Not only is Butler out for the Heat, but so is mid-season acquisition Terry Rozier, who was supposed to be the backcourt piece that pushed the team into the latter stages of the postseason.

There will be a lot of heavy lifting for both Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro as they step into a gaping offensive void left by their injured counterparts. Both will see an uptick in usage, field goal attempts and, of course, minutes. Miami is favored by a bucket, so by no means is all hope lost. But it will be an uphill climb to keep the season rolling along.

Delon Wright is an excellent discount dandy, and while he does not pile up a lot of points, his defense will be needed and he should be good for a couple of steals, which are his calling card. Caleb Martin will also need to reprise his playoff production that came out of nowhere last year but kept him in the mix as a key defender of multiple positions who could also get hot from long distance.

Rookie Jaime Jaquez Jr. is harder to trust since coach Erik Spoelstra could elect to go with a veteran over him, but he will at least have the opportunity to play his way into more minutes. Jaquez was a four-year starter at UCLA, earning All-Pac-12 honors three times and finishing his senior season as the conference Player of the Year. Having 134 games under his belt prior to joining the Association was a big help in him contributing off the bat.

Nikola Jovic and Haywood Highsmith will be in play as well, with this being the duo most likely competing against Jaquez for minutes. Kevin Love was mostly out of the picture, but he will be back tonight as Spoelstra needs his experience. Expect a 15-minute floor but the opportunity to see another 8 to 10 minutes depending on the game flow.

Duncan Robinson did not play in the first game, but he will be needed for offense and floor spacing tonight, so even as a reserve, he should approach 22 to 24 minutes as one of the Butler fill-ins.

Chicago rocked the Hawks, embarrassing Atlanta 131-116 on Wednesday. The Bulls tightened things up with basically a 7.5-player rotation, and that was with starter Alex Caruso (foot) getting dinged up and seeing a scant 17 minutes. Looking to the reserves, Andre Drummond got most of the minutes when Nikola Vucevic was off the court, so something in the 10- to 12-minute range is his projection tonight. Javonte Green was the main fill-in for Caruso, and that led to him jumping up to 22.8 minutes, which was more than expected.

Jevon Carter saw just under two minutes to start the second quarter, while Torrey Craig only got 6.7 minutes that came in one turn at the beginning of the fourth quarter. These appear to be the losers of the shortened rotation, while Dalen Terry had nearly 15 minutes, including two of mop-up duty.

Caruso is questionable, so we will need to see if he remains with the first five. If so, he is a wild card option, as it will be hard to trust his health in this win-or-go-home game. He is a gritty player, but his style leads to a myriad of maladies, which is not good if he is already at less-than-full capacity.

DeMar DeRozan, Nikola Vucevic and Coby White are the big three tonight, with Ayo Dosunmu getting an honorable mention. He would likely be a 40-minute man if Caruso were a no-go and is projected with a 35-minute baseline, with the expectation of Caruso playing low-30s minutes.

Domantas Sabonis: Kings at Pelicans

Stokastic’s Fantasy Point Projections
DraftKings: 57.93 | FanDuel: 54.33
Stokastic’s Rostership Projections
DraftKings: 55.8% | FanDuel: 51.4%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $9,500 | FanDuel: $10,400

The Rebound King projects with the highest median fantasy point total tonight, and it is not even close. Domantas Sabonis led the league in rebounds for a second consecutive season, topping last year’s 12.3 with a career-best 13.7 boards. The 27-year-old also had a personal-best 8.2 assists, leading the team for the second time, and he was tops in the league with 26 triple-doubles and 77 double-doubles while playing all 82 games.


De’Aaron Fox has been an outstanding counterpoint to Sabonis, leading the team in scoring each of the last two campaigns, posting a career-best 26.6 points per game this season and winning the steals title with 2.0 per game. Kevin Huerter and Malik Monk being out likely caps the overall upside for Sacramento, but that does not matter tonight.

Keegan Murray has been an excellent third option on offense, and his proclivity from behind the arc helps space the floor for the rest of the team. Young Keon Ellis and steady graybeard Harrison Barnes round out the starting five, and both are reasonable DFS plays across the various sites tonight.

Things get tricky with the bench as Davion Mitchell and Trey Lyles are the only reserves guaranteed to see the court, backing up the guards and frontcourt, respectively. Expect 15 to 20 minutes for each, though it will likely be foul trouble to one of the starters that is a requirement to open the door for anything more.

CJ McCollum is going to have a heavy load to carry with Zion sidelined and Brandon Ingram still working back from a lengthy layoff. Even if Ingram sees something in the neighborhood of 30 minutes again, it is hard to be excited by “Slender Man” in the DFS world. It has been reported ad nauseum over the last 72 hours, but it is funny that New Orleans did win each of the five matchups against Sacramento this season. Even without Williamson, the Pellies are still 1-point favorites at home.

Trey Murphy III and to a lesser extent Herb Jones are going to need to step up and help the offense. Jones is the better fantasy point-per-dollar play, though Murphy has the better chance to produce something in the mid-30s or better for his fantasy production.

Jonas Valanciunas had a -13 while on the court, which made his 20 minutes seem a little high. Of course, Larry Nance Jr. is always in danger of losing a body part, so in the grand scheme, him getting “only” 28 minutes on the other half of the center rotation is about right. It is hard to get overly excited by either player on sites where they are center-only, with Adebayo, Vucevic and, of course, Sabonis all better fantasy selections, even considering salary.

Jose Alvarado is basically a younger version of Wright in the first game, but like his fellow steal artist, he can make noise with a couple of thefts and a few buckets at his current salary. Dyson Daniels is the only other New Orleans player we should expect to see on the court, though with Zion out, the team could give Cody Zeller a few minutes with a larger frontcourt look in the early portion of the game, but anything more than a handful of minutes is fairly improbable.

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Today’s Top Sports Betting Pick

Bam Adebayo is a top DFS option, but we can also look at the under on his 11.5 rebounds prop, which is currently -108 on SuperBook.

By using OddsShopper to do the heavy lifting when researching favorable bets, we can quickly spot inefficient lines like this one, and having accounts at multiple sportsbooks allows us to pivot to the best number quickly.

Per the true odds of -122 (how OddsShopper measures the potential expected ROI of a given wager), this opportunity has an intriguing 4.6% positive expected ROI as a function of the inefficient line.

NBA Bet Pro currently has Adebayo projected for 33.3 minutes and 9.88 rebounds, which is under the 11.5 threshold. Of course, this is a median projection and does not account for variable outcomes, though the 55% probability for Adebayo failing to corral a dozen caroms is a good indicator for the success of this wager.

Ideally this will be a slower and more methodical game plan, with Adebayo expending energy on defense and looking to score more. Well, anything that leads to fewer rebound opportunities or being distracted even a little by the extra responsibilities could help him fail to reach tonight’s milestone. Adebayo did have 12 rebounds in 31 minutes on Wednesday, so this figure is easily in his wheelhouse, especially considering his 11.6 rebounds per 36 minutes this season — but it is likely to be a nip-and-tuck affair getting to that level of production.

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Final Thoughts on NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today

Get all the latest news and updates for NBA DFS picks tonight on the Stokastic NBA Live Before Lock Show starting at 6 p.m. ET on YouTube, breaking down all of the key elements for today’s slate. Brought to you by Sleeper – new users, use this link to receive a $500 first deposit match! Full details here.

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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