Sunday, April 17, brings a featured two-game playoff slate tipping off at 6:30 pm 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 | sundayApril 17
Yahoo Play of the Day — Giannis Antetokounmpo: Milwaukee Bucks vs. chicago bulls
Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 60.01 | Draft Kings: 61.51
Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 62.6% | FanDuel 54.6% | Draft Kings 35.1%
DFS Salary: Yahoo $57 | Fan Duel $11,500 | Draft Kings $11,000
To Giannis or to not Giannis—that is the question tonight. Antetokounmpo is coming in with a median fantasy projection that is nearly 20 fantasy points higher than any other player on the two-game featured slate. What makes this decision point intriguing is that there are half a dozen other options who all have access to a 50-fantasy-point performance at a 30% to 40% discount when compared to the two-time NBA MVP.
Devin Booker, Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton all will be squaring off against the Pelicans, which is a fantasy-friendly environment. DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic will be doing their best to keep the Bulls in contention against Giannis. Then we have the New Orleans trio of Brandon Ingram, CJ McCollum and Jonas Valanciunas, who will be in the toughest matchup against the Suns but also seeing the bulk of offensive opportunities for their squad and logging as many minutes as they can handle. The verdict is that we can indeed build topnotch lineups without Antetokounmpo for the Sunday night contests.
Centers of Attention
Tonight we have a trio of players manning the post who all have a median fantasy projection within a bucket of 40 fantasy points. Just $3 separates this group on Yahoo, which in turn is keeping them all within a similar level of popularity for tournaments. Vucevic gets the slight nod, as he is the most likely to stay out of foul trouble and is a double-double waiting to happen. Next is Valanciunas, who has been a foul magnet of late but also the rare center who has an inside-out game that should give him openings against the staunch defense of Ayton. Then we have Ayton, who is only hampered by the fact that he rarely looks for his own shot and is content with putbacks, ally-oops from the guards and filling the lane on the break. If we knew he would get upwards of a dozen field goal attempts, he would be the frontrunner at the pivot position.
Yahoo Discount Dandies
Brook Lopez ($13): It looks like a double-center strategy is going to be a savvy move tonight on the two-game slate. Brook Lopez missed most of this season with a back injury. Even in 20ish minutes, Lopez is a threat for two dozen fantasy points as long as he is dialed in from distance.
Grayson Allen: ($10): The guy who took out Alex Caruso, resulting in a fractured wrist that kept the Chicago guard out of action for weeks, now faces the Bulls. It will be interesting to see if anyone hip checks him into the stands — these are the postseason subplots that keep things spicy. Grayson Allen has enough game to put up between 15 and 20 fantasy points; it just comes down to the minutes now that the Bucks are at full strength. Teammate Pat Connaughton ($10) is also at the minimum and a viable alternative to Allen.
Ayo Dosunmu ($10): Even if Ayo Dosunmu is in the starting lineup, he will take a backseat on offense to the Chicago Big Three. However, the Bulls will need him and Caruso ($15) to ratchet up the defense on the many Milwaukee offensive threats. Just being on the court for 30 or so minutes should give these guards ample opportunity to produce a fantasy performance that exceeds their current salaries.
Final Thoughts on NBA DFS Picks for the Sunday, April 17 Fantasy Basketball Slate
Tonight we will continue to see tight rotations as all four teams focus on just their starters along with a couple of key reserves. There are nearly a dozen players who have a better-than-even chance of scoring 40 or more fantasy points, which should keep tournaments interesting despite only four teams in the player pool.
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