NBA DFS Picks: FanDuel Plays and Strategy for Sunday, April 21

NBA DFS Picks: FanDuel Plays and Strategy for Sunday, April 21

This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.

The playoff schedule rolls on with a quartet of Game 1 matchups beginning at 1:00 p.m. EDT. FanDuel also has matchups for the later games, so we'll cover all four on the main slate.

SLATE OVERVIEW

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Vegas loves IND/MIL, and we gave it high marks in our endorsements. There's also a good chance MIA/BOS could get out of hand as the Celtics don't sleep on matchups. Benches on both sides are worth considering if you favor a blowout.

INJURIES

For all the latest updates, visit RotoWire's NBA Injury News page and our comprehensive NBA Injury Report. Below are some of the most recent and relevant injuries for Sunday. Keep in mind that this is not a complete list. Use your best judgment when evaluating ongoing injury scenarios elsewhere on the slate.

MIL Giannis Antetokounmpo (calf) - DOUBTFUL

Antetokounmpo's absence is a near certainty. Though Bobby Portis ($7,100) is a bit expensive, he'll likely be the replacement in the starting lineup and could exceed 5x value.

LAC Kawhi Leonard (knee) - QUESTIONABLE

Leonard's status will probably be a game-time decision. We'll be skittish about how to evaluate the elites until we know more. But for the article, let's assume he's out and provide some pivots below.

MIA Jimmy Butler (knee) - OUT

MIA Terry Rozier (neck) - OUT

MIA Duncan Robinson (back) - QUESTIONABLE

Miami handled Chicago without Butler, but Boston will be a much tougher test. Jaime Jaquez ($5,900) was Butler's replacement and put up a 21/6/6 line against the Bulls. Tyler Herro ($8,200) led the team in scoring, yet may be a bit too expensive against the Celtics.

DAL Tim Hardaway (illness) - QUESTIONABLE

Hardaway still offers a chance to play, but Dante Exum's ($4,200) stock will rise if the former is sidelined.

ELITE PLAYERS

Three players sit at 10k or above for Sunday, and I think there's merit to making room for Luka Doncic ($12,700) against the Clippers. He hasn't faced them since November, though produced considerable success with an average of 37 points over two games. Without Leonard around, the job of guarding Doncic will likely fall to Paul George ($8,400) - whom I'd consider independent of Leonard's status. Bam Adebayo ($8,400) averaged 22.5 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.6 assists over three meetings with the Celtics this season, playing to a near statistical draw against Kristaps Porzingis ($8,900), who's $500 higher. These metrics make Adebayo the better elite center, but there are alternate big men available if we want to take a budget route.

Also consider: Jaylen Brown, BOS ($8,300)vs. MIA, James Harden, LAC ($8,100) vs. DAL, Brandon Ingram, NOP ($8,000) @ OKC

EXPECTED CHALK AND VALUE PLAYS

We'll adjust how we grade our playoff endorsements by splitting them into positional categories.

Guards

Derrick White, BOS ($7,200) vs. MIA

While I'd probably take Jrue Holiday if the Celtics and Bucks end up colliding due to a revenge element, White suits me just fine against Miami. He struggled on the road against the Heat this year, but managed 28 points against them in late October. The shorthanded nature of Miami's backcourt gives me some hope White will post a respectable number.

Aaron Wiggins, OKC ($4,200) vs. NOP

I acknowledge Wiggins isn't a solid selection, yet he's the sort of budget option we'll need if we intend to make room for someone like Doncic. Jalen Williams ($7,800) is a fine choice at this spot, but his salary is a bit high to maintain our value commitment. While we have a lot of excellent guards in the elite range, it's a good idea to go low at shooting guard.

Forwards

Pascal Siakam, IND ($7,700) @ MIL

The Bucks are vulnerable without Giannis, and I think Siakam is the perfect player to exploit the absence. Player-for-player, the Pacers are in a position to give the Bucks a surprise early-round exit - though it depends largely on Tyrese Haliburton's ability to execute. Siakam's floor may be a bit unsteady, yet he boasts explosiveness when given the opportunity. Bobby Portis has a two-inch height advantage on Siakam, but the latter holds the superior playoff record and knows how to ball out in key moments. As I said above, I wouldn't count Portis out even though his salary isn't as attractive as Siakam's.

Trey Murphy, NOP ($6,300) @ OKC

Murphy will once again take over for Zion Williamson (hamstring) while having the added bonus of eligibility at shooting guard. If his minutes remain stable, he projects a ceiling of around 40 FDFPs - and that's an incredible value at this salary.

Kevin Love, MIA ($4,300) @ BOS

Even though Love will be coming off the bench, his extensive playoff resume with flexibility at PF and C make him a worthwhile budget selection despite the other available options. Like Wiggins, Love is another player we need to afford Doncic's salary and I think the Heat will liberally use the big man as they attempt to hold off Jayson Tatum.

Also consider: Khris Middleton, MIL ($7,700) vs. MIA

Centers

Jonas Valanciunas, NOP ($5,800) @ OKC

Chet Holmgren is an imposing force for the Thunder, but Valanciunas delivered solid numbers in two of his three meetings with OKC this season. He isn't the best option, though I found myself pivoting from Adebayo a few times with Valanciunas and my next option to stay below the cap.

Ivica Zubac, LAC ($6,300) vs. DAL

Zubac has had ample time to rest and should be at full strength for Game 1. While I believe Daniel Gafford ($6,100) is an intriguing option on the other side of the ball, you aren't saving much by pivoting to a greater risk. Zubac tends to get a bit of a boost when Leonard is absent, so I'm definitely keeping him in mind if the All-Star is out.

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.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jeff Edgerton
Jeff has provided sports content for numerous sports outlets and has played fantasy sports since scores had to be tabulated via newspaper. He started working with RotoWire in 2017. Originally from South Carolina, he's a lifelong Clemson fan now enjoying the sun in Los Angeles.
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