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April 15, 2018 – NBA DFS Expert Lineup Picks – The Starting 5

Expert NBA DFS Cash Game & GPP Lineup Picks for Sunday, April 15, 2018.

Daily fantasy basketball lineup advice, picks and plays (4/15) to help you win your DFS contests.

Let’s take a closer look at some plays for tonight’s contests with our “Starting 5” picks for the day’s slate.

For the playoffs, we are going to have two articles on a daily basis. The first article will be an NBA Cheat Sheet and the other will be the Starting Five. Let us know if you have any questions about the playoff schedule for FC Insights.

In this column, we give you a play to consider at each position and then our Sixth Man, who is one key player that we believe you should spend up to roster. For the playoffs, we are going to be using FanDuel’s position eligibility and pricing as our guides.

PG – Darren Collison, IND, $5,500

I’m taking a bit of a gamble here with Collison since his minutes haven’t been into the 30s since the beginning of April (more so end of March), but it’s worth the risk in tournaments. His numbers against the Cavs this year have been excellent (34+ FDP in 3 of 4 games) and the DvP situation is certainly favorable for the price tag. This is the second highest total on the board today per Vegas, and with guards expected to do the majority of the damage for IND – plus the playoff factor driving up the MPG for starters – I have a hard time avoiding him in GPPs.

SG – Donovan Mitchell, UTA, $7,800

Mitchell is a lock for me in all formats on the Sunday slate. His price is simply too low for the minutes/usage combo we know we’re going to get from him, and his last couple performances against OKC are certainly encouraging as well (43.85 FDP average in 36.5 minutes of mid-30s usage rate% ball). The lack of an Andre Roberson for the Thunder on defense will yield Mitchell plenty of opportunity to dominate the ball for Utah, and I fully expect him to approach 40 minutes with a mid-30s usage rate. He should finish the night as one of the top ROI performers and is a must-start in all lineups if you ask me.

SF – Trevor Ariza, HOU, $4,700

Value is important to find on this slate with quite a few higher-priced guys looking awfully nice, and Ariza fits the bill for me under $5K. He continues to play 30+ minutes most nights for the Rockets, and has averaged over 25 FDP against the Timberwolves in 2 games against them this year (injured for the other 2). While the usage will not be more than the mid-teens most nights, he’ll play plenty of important minutes tonight as he helps guard Jimmy Butler and Andrew Wiggins on defense. His ability to hit 10-12 points, bring down 3-4 boards and notch a couple assists along with great contribution potential in the hustle stat categories (steals and blocks) give him a pretty nice floor/ceiling combo at a decreased price heading into the postseason.

PF – Jae Crowder, UTA, $4,400

I really like what I’ve seen from Crowder late in the year, as he’s settling into his important role off the bench for the Jazz. He will see minutes close to 30 most nights despite not being with the starting unit, and a mid-20s usage rate accompanies him as well. He scored 23+ FDP in 3 straight and 4 of his last 5 games to close out the regular season, with the one game as the outlier (4 minutes vs LAC) being injury-related. Game script lines up well with him, as he’ll likely see plenty of time to help guard Paul George – so go ahead and fire him up in all formats at this great value.

C – Al Horford, BOS, $7,400

I am actually not too crazy about the Cs on this slate, as I don’t think it’s necessary to pay up for Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert has not produced well vs OKC this year. Clint Capela is one of my favorite GPP plays in DFS (no exception tonight), but I feel Horford is a safer bet with a higher floor overall – and a bit cheaper, too. He scored 32+ FDP in back to back games to close out the regular season, and has seen 31+ minutes in 3 of his last 4 as well. He’s been elite against the Bucks this year as his style of play really lends itself nicely to the match-up (36+ FDP in all 4 games against the Bucks), and a mid-30s minute projection should yield positive results once again.

The Sixth Man

SG – James Harden, HOU, $11,700

As the usage rate leader on the slate through the regular season (36.5%), and a guy that is set to see his minutes approach the 40 mark through the postseason, it’s hard to recommend anyone else in this spot other than Harden. He continues to be one of the most well-rounded DFS contributors in the NBA (along with Russell Westbrook and LeBron James – all of whom are in play today as well) – but the SG position is a little weak in my mind so I am more than happy to recommend a pay-up strategy here. He has two games over 60 FDP against the Timberwolves this season, averaging a usage rate near 35% (close to his average) in that time. Jimmy Butler will be draped all over him, but he’s virtually match-up proof so that doesn’t bother me too much. As long as you have the salary to afford Harden, I don’t think you will regret the decision to roster him.

About Jared Kwart

Jared is an expert fantasy sports player for both DFS and season-long formats. Specializing in DFS Baseball, Football & Basketball, with tens of thousands of dollars in career DFS earnings. Active player on FanDuel, DraftKings & FantasyDraft. Annual NFBC high stakes league participant.

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