NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks for Friday, April 16th | Nikola Jokic

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Eric MacPherson
·7 min read
NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks for Thursday, May 13th | Nikola Jokic
EMac gives his favorite NBA DFS picks for Yahoo, DraftKings + FanDuel daily fantasy basketball lineups, including Nikola Jokic | 5/13/21
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NBA DFS action on Friday, April 16, locks at 7 p.m. ET with a 10-game main slate on Yahoo, DraftKings and FanDuel. Before locking in lineups, make sure to check out Awesemo’s daily fantasy basketball picks, rankings and projections. Let’s dig into some NBA DFS picks and daily fantasy basketball, including Nikola Jokic, Chris Boucher, Russell Westbrook and more.

Don’t forget to head over to the Awesemo NBA DFS HOME PAGE for more great written daily fantasy basketball content, including the FREE Deep Dive — the most in-depth article in the industry.

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NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks, Friday, April 16th

Yahoo Play of the Day — Chris Boucher: Toronto Raptors vs. Orlando Magic

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 42.42 | DraftKings: 42.29

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 56.0% | FanDuel 19.4% | DraftKings 19.4%

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $22 | FanDuel $7,100 | DraftKings $7,100

Tonight Toronto will be without Pascal Siakam, Kyle Lowry and O.G. Anunoby, and Gary Trent Jr. is doubtful. That leaves plenty of minutes and offensive opportunities for Chris Boucher against a weak Orlando squad. Boucher has started the last eight games for the Raptors. Though the workload has not been overwhelming, he has posted 45 and 67 Yahoo fantasy points in this stretch. On average in this timeframe, he is seeing 28.5 minutes and 11.1 field-goal attempts with a 34.7-Yahoo-point average.

With Aron Baynes seemingly placed in mothballs, Khem Birch is the only other frontcourt player who could steal minutes from Boucher. They both started against the Spurs on Wednesday, so they should be able to co-exist. Birch is a fine option as well, though both players are center eligible on Yahoo, which means employing them both would require a utility spot.

Nikola Jokic: Denver Nuggets at Houston Rockets

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 54.52 | DraftKings: 57.0

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 16.4% | FanDuel 27.4% | DraftKings 27.4%

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $55 | FanDuel $10.900 | DraftKings $10.900

Sadly, Jamal Murray is out with a torn ACL. That is going to have the Nuggets offense running through Nikola Jokic even more so than it already has been. This has been an MVP-level season for Jokic, who is posting career bests in most categories. His 26.0 points per game are 10th in the NBA, his 8.8 assists are fourth and his 10.9 rebounds are eighth. Additionally, he is tacking on 2.2 combined blocks/steals while sporting a 56.4% success rate from the field, including 41.8% on 3.3 3-point attempts per game. Houston does not have an answer for him; a double-double is on lockdown, and a triple-double is very much in play. Arguably, he is the best NBA DFS pick on the slate.

Russell Westbrook: Washington Wizards vs. New Orleans Pelicans

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 54.28 | DraftKings: 55.35

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 16.0% | FanDuel 16.6% | DraftKings 25.0%

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $55 | FanDuel $11,300 | DraftKings $11,000

Tonight there are many top-shelf options to choose from. The clear priority option is Jokic, and he is closely followed by Russell Westbrook. Salary is not going to be an issue tonight, but choosing the correct megastar is going to be paramount for tournament success. Luka Doncic and Julius Randle are preferred options, but they are squaring off against each other tonight. In this same matchup at the beginning of the month, the two teams combined for just 185 points.

Zion Williamson is very intriguing against the Wizards, but the Pelicans will have Lonzo Ball available for the first time in the last four games and just the fourth time in the last 14 games. It is hard to say how this will impact Williamson, but it is one more ball handler and contributor that could potentially curb his upside.

Karl-Anthony Towns and Domantas Sabonis have difficult matchups against the Heat and Jazz, respectively. While the 76ers – Clippers game will be fun to watch, there are too many good defensive players on both sides.

That leaves Damian Lillard, who has been ceding opportunities to both C.J. McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic, or Kyrie Irving in a matchup against a thin Charlotte squad. But Kevin Durant is back and Irving is such a wild card anyway.

That is the roundabout way of going Russell Westbrook. He is averaging a triple-double this season and has actually achieved that milestone in an astound half of his outings the season. New Orleans plays fast, and this should be a spirited affair teeming with fantasy goodness.

Good Value

Oklahoma City Thunder at Detroit Pistons

This game may just be easier to list who is available. Oklahoma City will be without Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Al Horford, Aleksej Pokusevski and Mike Muscala. Detroit is missing Mason Plumlee, Cory Joseph, Jerami Grant, Wayne Ellington, Dennis Smith Jr. and Rodney McGruder.

Luguentz Dort will be back for the Thunder after getting a night off following his career-high 42 points performance in Utah on Tuesday. The salary has increased, but the minutes will be there once more. Darius Bazley, Kenrich Williams, Theo Maledon and Moses Brown are the other desirable targets. Their salaries and position eligibility vary by DFS site, so know the scoring systems.

By default, rookies Killian Hayes and Saben Lee will be running the offense. However, do not be surprised to see Frank Jackson or Josh Jackson getting just enough usage to be annoying. Isaiah Stewart is the main option outside of the guards, followed closely by Saddiq Bey. This is a revenge spot for Hamidou Diallo, who was traded from Oklahoma City for Svi Mykhailiuk. Sadly, he has not cracked the 20-minute ceiling in any of his last five games, and it is hard to trust him.

They key for this game will be to focus on those players who are in the starting lineup, as those who have the cleanest path toward 30 minutes. The risk here is that nobody on either team is seeing a heavy workload. When these squads met on April 5, they combined for 240 points in a 132-108 Detroit road victory.

With 22 teams in action, there should be better value options with higher upside than anyone involved in this game. However, there are no fewer than eight players who could flirt with 30 fantasy points at bargain salaries. This is a risk/reward situation, and fortune tends to favor the bold.

Risky Value

Jalen McDaniels: Charlotte Hornets at Brooklyn Nets

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 27.23 | DraftKings: 28.36

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 21.2% | FanDuel 4.6% | DraftKings 14.6%

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $17 | FanDuel $5,800 | DraftKings $5,200

While this is a nice matchup against Brooklyn, Jalen McDaniels is picking up a lot of traction on DraftKings for such a large slate. The Awesemo Boom/Bust tool gives him an 8.2% probability of being in the DraftKings optimal lineup. When compared with his current projected popularity, that gives him a -6.4 leverage score. He has only a 16.3% likelihood of booming, compared to a 38.1 percent chance of busting. While the minutes will be there, it is hard to see him as a tournament difference maker tonight.

Yahoo Daily Fantasy Basketball Discount Dandies

  1. Khem Birch: TOR vs. ORL – $10

  2. Hamidou Diallo: DET vs. OKC – $12

  3. Killian Hayes: DET vs. OKC – $10

Final Thoughts on the Friday, April 16th NBA DFS Slate

Tonight will be wild with 11 games all tipping off within 90 minutes of each other. Be nimble and ready for unexpected news. Keep in mind that salaries and scoring formats differ across the various fantasy sites, and a slam-dunk play on Yahoo may be a below-average NBA DFS pick on DraftKings or FanDuel.

The post NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks for Friday, April 16th | Nikola Jokic appeared first on Awesemo.com.