NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks: Tightrope Time for the Phoenix Suns! (April 28)

Sunday’s NBA action gets underway at 1 p.m. ET with a four-game featured slate 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 Anthony Edwards, Bobby Portis, Khris Middleton and, of course, Luka Doncic and Joel Embiid, along with a variety of secondary players as premium targets.

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NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today: Sunday, April 28

NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks

Anthony Edwards: Timberwolves at Suns

Stokastic’s Fantasy Point Projections
DraftKings: 46.33 | FanDuel: 45.92
Stokastic’s Rostership Projections
DraftKings: 20.7% | FanDuel: 13.5%
DFS Salary
DraftKings $8,900 | FanDuel: $9,900

So much for the Phoenix “super team,” as the Suns have lost each of the first three games of this series by 25, 22 and 17 points. Even with the differential moving at a downward trajectory, things are not shining favorably in the Valley of the Sun.

The main variable in Sunday’s nightcap will be if Grayson Allen is able to return or if Royce O’Neale will stick with the first five. Kyle Anderson (hip) missed Game 2 and played just eight minutes in Game 3, so he can be skipped over — even on the two-game late slate.

O’Neale would be hard-pressed to duplicate his disaster from Friday night when he missed all five field goal attempts, including four from beyond the arc, and tallied just five rebounds, two assists and a team-worst -23 point differential in 24 minutes. Drew Eubanks did not see action in the final frame, but he still put up nine points and one rebound in 11 minutes. He is in play for the nightcap as well as the single-game contests.

Bradley Beal, Kevin Durant and Devin Booker each played over 40 minutes for the second consecutive game, and we should expect more of the same in this one, as it could be the last hurrah for the Suns. Jusuf Nurkic will do what he can while his fouls hold out, and he is the best chance Phoenix has at corralling errant shots. Minnesota has owned the glass this series, outrebounding Phoenix by 44 boards (24, -2 and 22).

Anthony Edwards has been sublime in the opening round, racking up 50-plus fantasy points in Games 1 and 3 while continuing to be underrepresented in tournaments. The Timberwolves are favored by a bucket in this road game, and if they can pull off the sweep, they will get a few extra days’ rest prior to the second round. Expect something in the 40-minute range for Edwards tonight as long as the game is close.

Karl-Anthony Towns has played right around 24 minutes each game, as the team has no reason to overwork him after he missed a month at the end of the regular season. Next round in closer games he should see 28 or so minutes and ultimately be back in the low-30s by mid-May if Minnesota is still in the mix. He is very much in play on DraftKings ($7,000), though his lack of blocks and steals penalize him on FanDuel ($7,500).

Rudy Gobert is averaging 38.4 minutes, and while he is attempting just 7.3 field goals per game, he is converting at a 73% clip and also has averaged 7.3 free-throw attempts with an 86.4% success rate. This has resulted in 17.0 points, 13.0 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 1.6 combined blocks and steals per game. He is the pivot option away from Joel Embiid for those looking at the less-traveled path.

Speaking of Embiid, he and Luka Doncic, of course, boast the two highest median fantasy point projections for the featured slate and should be considered core plays. Kawhi Leonard is clearly not 100%, and coach Tyronn Lue has said they are managing his minutes. That means more heavy lifting for Paul George and James Harden, making them better point-per-dollar plays than Jalen Brunson and Tyrese Maxey. Embiid and Doncic are only surpassed from a fantasy point-per-dollar perspective by Bobby Portis on both DraftKings and FanDuel.

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Khris Middleton: Bucks at Pacers

Stokastic’s Fantasy Point Projections
DraftKings: 44.38 | FanDuel: 42.34
Stokastic’s Rostership Projections
DraftKings: 40.3% | FanDuel: 31.7%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $7,900 | FanDuel: $8,800

Damian Lillard (Achilles) will be joining Giannis Antetokounmpo (calf) on the sidelines today, which means even more heroics will be needed from Khris Middleton, who forced overtime in Game 3 with several amazing buckets and nearly finished off the Pacers after they squandered a 19-point first quarter lead.

The absence of Lillard will put even more pressure on Patrick Beverley, who tallied 42.2 minutes on Friday, while also opening a path for Andre Jackson Jr. to see at least a dozen minutes with a chance at more.

Malik Beasley has been wildly disappointing over the last two games, totaling a mere 7 fantasy points and playing a combined 16 minutes. His lack of defense is glaring in the postseason, but coach Glenn Rivers may be forced to play him more now that his two leading scorers are on the shelf. Pat Connaughton is the better fantasy and NBA option, but he too has been disappointing and played just 18 and 13 minutes in Games 2 and 3. Jae Crowder was an afterthought, seeing one rotation in the second quarter for a paltry 2.3 minutes. It makes sense that this trio is ahead of AJ Green, but at this point who really knows what is in the mind of their overmatched coach?

Back to better news, Portis is a borderline must-play since he will be called upon both for minutes and, crazily enough, the second scoring option after Middleton. The only thing that will hold him back is foul trouble, and it pains me to even put that out in the universe. Keep in mind the journeyman reached his limit of six in Game 1, so it is not far-fetched. Brook Lopez is not for the faint of heart, and he will cost the center slot on FanDuel, which means no Embiid or Gobert as well as Ivica Zubac and Myles Turner.

Turner has been outstanding in this series, which makes sense since he doesn’t have to deal with Antetokounmpo. He should be penciled in for 40 fantasy points, with a few more in readily accessible upside if things go his way. Pascal Siakam was crucial in the first two games of this series, averaging 36.5 points, 12.0 rebounds 4.0 assists, and 1.5 combined blocks and steals for just over 60 fantasy points. He has a similar baseline as Turner but better positional eligibility, a higher ceiling and, of course, salary.

Tyrese Haliburton had a triple-double with 18 points, 10 rebounds and 16 assists in the overtime thriller, but he was only 1 of 12 from behind the 3-point line and there are far better fantasy point-per-dollar options at this position. That will keep his popularity in check, but considering that he does not need to force his offense as the commander of the overall offense, he is not recommended for those crafting fewer than 20 lineups.

Obi Toppin, Aaron Nesmith and Andrew Nembhard each have utility across the various NBA DFS sites, depending on positional need and salary cap constraints. There is no need to force this trio into any lineup, but they are all coveted “last man in” options.

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Today’s Top Sports Betting Pick

Luka Doncic is a desired DFS play, but we can also hedge out some of that risk by looking at the under on his 33.5 points prop. This is currently available on half a dozen sports books, so it should not be hard to find. Additionally, since there is significant consensus on this threshold and line, we need to understand that it is efficient for the most part.

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. Today’s tight grouping on this wager also shows how easy it would be to take a worse number such as those offered by FanDuel or Pinnacle, which would turn this wager into a disadvantage by playing it on those sites.

When looking at the true odds of -118 (how OddsShopper measures the potential expected ROI of a given wager), there is a decent 4.1% expected ROI with the current line.

NBA Bet Pro has Isaac projected for 40.8 minutes and 30.9 points That is below the threshold; however, it does not account for variable outcomes, which can be semi-quantified by the 54% win rate for the under.

Scoring 34 points in a playoff game, even for someone as dominant as Doncic, is still a lofty expectation. In the three games of this series, he has averaged 42.8 minutes and 25.7 field goal attempts with a 37.7% success rate for 29.0 points per game. Doncic has a 47.0% conversion rate from the field for his career and a 46.3% rate in his 31 postseason appearances. It would not be a stretch to have him lay down an efficient game, even on the road with the Clippers focused on stopping him. He has averaged 32.2 points per playoff outing in his career, but the pace of the game and attention of the defense make this a line that feels a little high.

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Final Thoughts on NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today

Get all the latest news and updates for NBA DFS picks today on the Stokastic NBA Live Before Lock Show at 12:00 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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