NBA DFS Picks: FanDuel Plays and Strategy for Saturday, April 20

NBA DFS Picks: FanDuel Plays and Strategy for Saturday, April 20

This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.

After an exciting Play-In Tournament, we're set for the official start of the playoffs Saturday. There's a four-game all-day slate on tap, and thankfully, we have a very light injury report. The four matchups also involve teams that know each other very well, which is often a good recipe for hotly contested, wire-to-wire battles. 

Slate Overview

For the latest spreads and over/unders, visit RotoWire's NBA Odds page. There, you can also find player props, futures, picks articles and sportsbook bonus codes

Listed spreads/totals are from FanDuel Sportsbook and current as of Saturday, April 20 @ 12:00 a.m. ET:    

Orlando Magic at Cleveland Cavaliers (-4.5) (O/U: 207.5)
Phoenix Suns at Minnesota Timberwolves (-2) (O/U: 215.0)
Philadelphia 76ers at New York Knicks (-3) (O/U: 209.0)
Los Angeles Lakers at Denver Nuggets (-7) (O/U: 224.0)

As already alluded to, we have the potential for a quartet of very tight games Saturday, ones that should see the front-line players on each squad play heavy minutes. Projected totals point toward mostly defensive-centric battles, but given the talent that will be taking the floor, there should still be plenty of robust, fantasy-friendly individual performances.

Injury Situations to Monitor   

For all the latest updates, visit RotoWire's NBA Injury News page and our comprehensive NBA Injury Report.

Joel Embiid, PHI (knee): QUESTIONABLE

Although Embiid carries a questionable tag, he played 38 minutes against the Heat on Wednesday and is expected to suit up and handle a normal workload Saturday. Paul Reed would be in line to handle any center minutes that don't go to Embiid.

Other notable injuries:

Anthony Davis, LAL (back): PROBABLE
LeBron James, LAL (ankle): PROBABLE

Elite Players

We have five players with five-figure salaries on Saturday's slate – Nikola Jokic ($12,100), Joel Embiid ($11,700), Anthony Davis ($11,200), LeBron James ($10,600) and Jalen Brunson ($10,000).

Jokic has had plenty of time to rest the lingering hip soreness that he finished the regular season with, and he essentially boasted a 50-plus FD-point floor over the last month of the campaign. He also scored at least 56.1 FD points in each of the three games against the Lakers.

As mentioned above, Embiid proved capable of handling plenty of minutes in the Play-In win over the Heat, and he totaled 52.5 FD points across 36 minutes in his one meeting with the Knicks this season.

Davis eclipsed 70 FD points in three of the last 10 games of the season, but it's worth noting that while he tallied 67.3 FD points in one of his meetings with the Nuggets this season, he posted a much more modest 36.6 and 42.2 FD points in the other two meetings.

LeBron averaged 63.6 FD points in the last four games of the regular season while shooting 53.7 percent, and he generated a pair of 50.3 FD-point tallies against Denver this season. 

Brunson set new career highs in points, assists and made threes per contest during the regular season, and he closed the campaign averaging 56.5 FD points over the last seven games.

Expected Chalk

Other likely chalk plays include:

Donovan Mitchell, CLE ($9,900)

Mitchell's upside and the fact he eclipsed 54 FD points in his last two regular-season games should keep him very popular Friday. 

Devin Booker, PHO ($9,600)

Booker has name value and a ceiling well north of 50 FD points, which help keep him highly rostered at his salary. 

Anthony Edwards, MIN ($9,300)

Edwards had a quiet finish to the regular season, but he scored 66.7 FD points as recently as April 9 and eclipsed 50 FD points on 19 occasions overall during the campaign. 

Paolo Banchero, ORL ($8,900)

Banchero scored 51.5 and 46.7 FD points in the last two games of the regular season, and he posted one tally of 53.7 FD points against the Cavaliers this season.

Rudy Gobert, MIN ($8,200)

Gobert averaged 50.7 FD points over the last five games of the regular season, even with Karl-Anthony Towns being available for the last two contests in that span. 

Key Values  

Kelly Oubre, PHI at NYK ($6,200)

Oubre has averaged 35.5 FD points over his last nine games, including Wednesday's Play-In victory over the Heat. The veteran wing has shot a solid 46.6 percent over that span, averaging a solid 14.6 shot attempts per game in the process. Oubre also played well against the Knicks in four encounters this season, averaging 16.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.3 steals per contest. New York also allowed 36.7 percent three-point shooting to small forwards during the regular season, along with 40.7 FD points per contest to the position in the last seven games.

Grayson Allen, PHO at MIN ($5,800) 

Allen took a major step forward across the board this season, earning himself a lucrative extension. The sharpshooting wing was more locked in than ever with his shot, recording a 49.9 percent success rate from the floor, including a career-best 46.1 percent from behind the arc. Allen also posted tallies of 34.7 and 39.1 FD points in two of three games versus Minnesota, shooting a blistering 55.9 percent, including 62.5 percent from distance, overall in the series. With a sub-$6K salary and a ceiling north of 40 FD points, Allen is a very viable tournament play despite the fact the T-Wolves were typically tough on small forwards all season. 

Max Strus, CLE vs. ORL ($5,500)

Strus was somewhat of a poor man's Allen in the Eastern Conference this season, enjoying a breakout season in his own right, albeit with slightly less stellar numbers. The veteran wing nevertheless did flash some surprising upside at times, eclipsing 30 FD points on 25 occasions. Two of those performances happened to come against the Magic, which conceded 33.8 and 34 FD points to Strus in a pair of meetings. Strus shot 47.2 percent overall against Orlando in three games, and the Magic did yield 37.3 percent shooting from behind the arc to small forwards on the season. 

ALSO CONSIDER: Mike Conley, MIN vs. PHO ($6,000); OG Anunoby, NYK vs. PHI ($5,700)

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Juan Carlos Blanco plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: jcblanco22, FanDuel: jc_blanco22, DraftPot: jc_blanco22, FantasyDraft: jc_blanco22, OwnThePlay: jcblanco22.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Juan Carlos Blanco
Winner of the FSWA 2016 Newcomer of the Year Award, Juan Carlos Blanco has been playing fantasy sports for over 20 years and covers NBA, MLB, NFL, CFL and Arena Football for Rotowire.com, including serving as the beat writer for teams in multiple sports. He has previously written for KFFL.com and remains an avid season-long and daily fantasy player in multiple sports as well.
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