NBA DFS Picks: FanDuel Lineup Plays and Strategy for Friday, April 12

NBA DFS Picks: FanDuel Lineup Plays and Strategy for Friday, April 12

This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.

We're set for a big 11-game extravaganza Friday in terms of the main slate, and there are actually 15 games overall. Even with the last four games of the night left off FanDuel's ledger, we're still naturally dealing with a massive player pool that's replete with plenty of uncertainty in terms of playing time and availability across the spectrum. 

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 Friday, April 12@ 11:30 a.m. ET:    

Orlando Magic at Philadelphia 76ers (-7.5) (O/U: 212.0)

*Chicago Bulls at Washington Wizards (-2) (O/U: 223.0)

Brooklyn Nets at *New York Knicks (-11) (O/U: 212.0)

Charlotte Hornets at *Boston Celtics (-7.5) (O/U: 218.0)

Indiana Pacers at Cleveland Cavaliers (-2.5) (O/U: 233.5)

Los Angeles Lakers (-15.5) at Memphis Grizzlies (O/U: 225.5)

Atlanta Hawks at Minnesota Timberwolves (-14) (O/U: 227.0)

Toronto Raptors at Miami Heat (-14.5) (O/U: 218.5)

Denver Nuggets (-12) at San Antonio Spurs (O/U: 222.5)

Milwaukee Bucks at Oklahoma City Thunder (-15.5) (O/U: 223.5)

*Detroit Pistons at Dallas Mavericks (-13) (O/U: 218.5)

*denotes team on second night of back-to-back set

Betting lines are becoming increasingly large at this point with many contenders being very cautious with the playing time of their starters, and some non-contending teams playing what amounts to full second units as their front-line players. However, it's worth noting when evaluating both spreads and projected totals that they're subject to more volatility than at any time during the regular season, precisely because of the time of year it is and the fact coaches on many non-contending squads tend to throw caution to the wind a bit more in terms of their approach.

Injury Situations to Monitor   

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Luka Doncic, DAL (ankle): QUESTIONABLE

If Doncic sits out, Dante Exum could draw a start at point guard.

Joel Embiid, PHI (knee injury recovery): QUESTIONABLE

If Embiid can't suit up, Paul Reed or Mo Bamba figure to get a start at center.

LeBron James, LAL (ankle): QUESTIONABLE

If James sits out, Taurean Prince is likely to get a start at small forward. 

Kyrie Irving, DAL (hamstring): OUT

In Irving's absence, Tim Hardaway and Jaden Hardy will likely handle the majority of shooting guard minutes.

Damian Lillard, MIL (groin): DOUBTFUL

In Lillard's likely absence, Patrick Beverley is likely to draw the start at point guard.

Dejounte Murray, ATL (quadriceps): QUESTIONABLE

If Murray sits out, Kobe Bufkin could draw the start at shooting guard.

Karl-Anthony Towns, MIN (knee): QUESTIONABLE

Towns is expected to return from his month-plus absence despite the questionable tag, but he could be under a minutes limit and therefore still cede plenty of playing time to Naz Reid.

Cade Cunningham, DET (knee injury management): QUESTIONABLE

If Cunningham is out, Malachi Flynn and Marcus Sasser will likely draw most of the point guard minutes.

Other notable injuries:

Nikola Jokic, DEN (hip): PROBABLE

Jamal Murray, DEN (knee): PROBABLE

Anthony Davis, LAL (head): PROBABLE

Khris Middleton, MIL (ankle): QUESTIONABLE

Bobby Portis, MIL (rest): QUESTIONABLE

Jordan Poole, WAS (illness): QUESTIONABLE

Terry Rozier, MIA (neck): QUESTIONABLE

Clint Capela, ATL (rest): QUESTIONABLE

Jaren Jackson, MEM (quadriceps): OUT

Jalen Johnson, ATL (ankle): OUT

Kyle Kuzma, WAS (ankle): OUT

Desmond Bane, MEM (back): OUT

Elite Players

We have seven players with five-figure salaries on Friday's slate – Luka Doncic ($12,900), Nikola Jokic ($12,600), Victor Wembanyama ($11,900), Anthony Davis ($11,600), Joel Embiid ($11,100), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($10,900) and LeBron James ($10,300).

If Doncic plays through his ankle issue, he would be due for even more usage than usual with Kyrie Iriving out.

If Jokic plays through his probable tag as expected, he should be in for a normal allotment of minutes in a favorable matchup against the Spurs, given Denver needs to win to ensure it holds on to the top seed.

Wembanyama should be rested after sitting out Wednesday against the Thunder and has scored at least 54.9 FD points in six straight games.

Davis is expected to play through his probable designation and has scored over 70 FD points in his last two games with a normal allotment of minutes.

If Embiid plays through his questionable tag, he'll look to build on the 72.2 FD points he scored against the Pistons on Tuesday as the Sixers continue to try and ascend to the No. 6 seed in the East.

SGA is still trying to get the Thunder into the No. 1 seed in the West and will be facing a Bucks team likely without Damian Lillard and definitely without Giannis Antetokounmpo.

If LeBron plays through his questionable designation, he'll do so with two days of rest and after having put up 59.9 FD points against the Warriors on Tuesday.

Expected Chalk

Other likely chalk plays include:

Jalen Brunson, NYK ($9,900)

Brunson is a threat for 55-60 FD points any time he's on the floor and has eclipsed 60 in two of his last three games, which should make him very popular Friday.

Anthony Edwards, MIN ($9,300)

Edwards scored 66.7 FD points two games ago, and even though he went down to 32.4 against the Nuggets on Wednesday, he'll still be trying to get Minnesota back into a tie with Denver for the top seed Friday.

DeMar DeRozan, CHI ($8,900)

DeRozan put together yet another stellar effort against the Pistons on Thursday with 62.3 FD points, and his recent floor of 40 FD points should keep him highly rostered at his salary.

Josh Giddey, OKC ($7,900)

Giddey's game has taken a big step up in recent weeks, and he comes into Friday having scored over 40 FD points in three of his last four games.

Bobby Portis, MIL ($7,400)

Portis figures to draw a start for Antetokounmpo on Friday and scored 56.3 FD points in that capacity against the Magic on Wednesday, but he does have a questionable tag due to rest that will bear monitoring.

Key Values  

Daniel Gafford, DAL vs. DET ($6,600)

There will be several Mavericks that could make for good value plays Friday, especially if Luka Doncic joins the already sidelined Kyrie Irving on the bench. While those players will be worth considering as well, Gafford is what I'd consider one of the more dependable options in terms of Dallas players you can throw into your lineup, considering he already comes in with two tallies of more than 40 FD points in his last three games and put up 34.5 against the Heat in a tough matchup Wednesday. Zooming out to the entirety of his 18-game starting stint, Gafford is averaging 32.7 FD points per contest, and he's averaging a whopping 59 FD points per 36 minutes with Irving off the floor this season. Detroit is also ranked No. 26 in offensive efficiency rating allowed to centers (35.5), furthering Gafford's already strong case.

Corey Kispert, WAS vs. CHI ($5,800) 

Kispert is another player poised to take advantage of injuries on his squad Friday. Kispert is averaging 29.2 FD points per 36 minutes with both Tyus Jones and Kyle Kuzma off the floor, and there's a possibility that duo could be joined on the bench by Jordan Poole on Friday. Kispert also checks in already putting up impressive production in recent games, as he's averaging 29.1 FD points over his last nine games while shooting 49.6 percent, including 40.8 percent from three-point range, in that span. The third-year wing has even eclipsed 41 FD points on two occasions during the sample, offering a glimpse at the considerable upside he brings to the table at his salary. 

Jake LaRavia, MEM vs. LAL ($5,700)

The Grizzlies are one of those teams that's essentially fielding a second unit as its starting five, and LaRavia has been one of the beneficiaries. He just put up 45.9 FD points on Wednesday against the Cavs on a career-high 32 points and posted 22.4 and 23 FD points in the two games prior. LaRavia is due to start again at power forward on Friday with Jaren Jackson and Santi Aldama already ruled out, and he'll face a Lakers' team giving up 48.8 percent shooting to his position, along with the third-most FD points to fours in the last 15 games (52.6). 

ALSO CONSIDER: Patrick Beverley, MIL at OKC ($6,100); Trey Jemison, MEM vs. LAL ($5,800); Tristan Vukcevic, WAS vs. CHI ($5,100); Tim Hardaway, DAL vs. DET ($4,800); Javonte Green, CHI at WAS ($4,800)

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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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, including serving as the beat writer for teams in multiple sports. He has previously written for and remains an avid season-long and daily fantasy player in multiple sports as well.
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