NBA DFS Picks: Yahoo Plays and Strategy for Sunday, April 30
This is one of the most unique slates of the season. While we only have two games, both are critical in their respective series. The Warriors and Kings are closing out the first round in a Game 7 while the Heat and Knicks are kicking off the Eastern Conference semis. Imagine telling someone that either the Knicks or Heat would be in the Eastern Finals! That's what we love about the playoffs, so, let's dive into this card.
De'Aaron Fox, SAC vs. GSW ($37)
We've mentioned this numerous times, but Fox facing Golden State is the perfect recipe. He's one of the quickest players in the NBA while Golden State plays at the fastest pace. They're also surrendering the second-most fantasy points to opposing PGs, with Fox producing at least 45 Yahoo points in eight of his nine meetings with the Warriors this year. That's right on par with his season average, but we expect it to be his floor Sunday considering he's projected to log 45 minutes and take 25 shots.
Gabe Vincent, MIA at NYK ($10)
It would be easy to recommend Stephen Curry along with Fox, but we want to find value plays to pair with studs. Vincent is just that at the minimum salary, having taking on more responsibility with Tyler Herro and Victor Oladipo injured. This expanded role has allowed him to score at least 22 Yahoo points in four of his last five appearances. More importantly, Gabe played 41 minutes in Miami's most recent outing and averaged 27 Y! when he received at least 30 minutes during the regular season. That's all you need from such an affordable player, and we saw him drop 34 fantasy points against the Knicks less than a month ago.
Guard to Avoid
Immanuel Quickley, NYK vs. MIA ($17)
Quickley was one of the frontrunners for Sixth Man of the Year, which is ironic because most of his production came in a starting role. In the five where he came off the bench in the Cleveland series, he only averaged 14 Yahoo points. IQ has also posted a 22-point average in 65 games coming off the bench in the regular season and he's losing minutes the deeper we get into the playoffs. Not to mention, Miami sported a Top-5 defense in every metric and surrendered the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing guards.
Jimmy Butler, MIA at NYK ($44)
It's physically impossible to fade Playoff Jimmy right now. He's the best player with at least 61 Yahoo points three times against Milwaukee in the first-round upset. He's always been an elite postseason performer averaging 23.2 points, 6.5 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 1.8 steals across his last 82 playoff games. That dates all the way back to 2014, but it's clear Butler is more motivated than ever by his 57-point average against the Bucks. The Knicks aren't a scary matchup since they allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to SFs. That's evident by the fact Jimmy has managed at least 54 Y! from two of their last three meetings.
Josh Hart, NYK vs. MIA ($19)
Hart was one of the sneakiest additions at the trade deadline, and he's truly developed into a Tom Thibodeau favorite. And if you know anything about the head coach, he loves to go with his favorites. He actually inserted Hart into the starting lineup the last two games, where he saw 40 and 47 minutes. He would be impossible to avoid if he continues at this rate and he averaged nearly 30 Yahoo points during the season. Miami is one of the toughest matchups around, but Hart's stat-stuffing ways don't change anything in a challenging matchup since he produced at least 27 fantasy points in four of five regular-season matchups.
Forward to Avoid
Julius Randle, NYK vs. MIA ($30)
Randle suffered an ankle injury in the Game 5 clincher, but the All-Star was struggling mightily before that. The big man didn't score more than 31 fantasy points in any of the final four games against the Cavs. That's one of the worst stretches Randle has experienced in the last three years, but it looks worse when you see his 23-point average across his last six outings. That would make him an easy fade if he were fully healthy, but he could be limited with that ankle issue.
Mitchell Robinson, NYK vs. MIA ($22)
Mitch-Rob's minutes can drive us nuts at times, but Thibs is going to keep him on the floor. He received at least 27 minutes in all but one outing against Cleveland while scoring at least 28 Y! points in three straight. Robinson played at least 30 minutes in 24 games during the regular season, where he averaged over 35 Yahoo points. That would be his floor if Randle is limited or has to sit, which means he's significantly undervalued.
Kevon Looney, GSW at SAC ($21)
Everybody talks about Curry, Klay Thompson, Jordan Poole and Draymond Green in Golden State, but Looney represents one of their most valuable pieces. The big man has been gobbling up rebounds like Hungry Hungry Hippos by averaging 17.3 boards the last four games. Looney's also registered at least 36 Yahoo points in three of those while compiling a 38-point average. That ridiculous run is no surprise when considering the matchup with Sacramento sitting 26th in both points allowed and defensive efficiency during the regular season.
Center to Avoid
I've never done this before, but all four starting centers on this slate are worth playing. We mentioned our two favorite per-dollar plays, but Bam Adebayo and Domantas Sabonis are also excellent options. You have to shell out more for them, and we believe Robinson and Loon are better values. We'd go as far as to say that you need to use your center slot and utility to squeeze in a second center because all four should do well Sunday.