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Daily Preview and NBA DFS Picks for 4/16/2021

The league heard your cries. They knew you wanted more basketball. The four game slate last night, just made you hungry. They’ve responded with a ten game NBA DFS slate tonight. I’m as appreciative as you are! Don’t look now, but the playoffs are almost upon us…onward!

Playing NBA DFS can be incredibly rewarding, but it can also make your head spin. It’s our job to make sure you’re winning as much as possible! There are countless variables that can lead to a player’s individual performance, but I’ve found it’s best to focus on just a few that can lead to better predictability.

My favorite factors to track for NBA DFS targets: Matchups (Offensive/Defensive Ratings), Opportunity (expected player minutes, game pace), and Recent Form.

This is the AM VERSION of a living article that will be updated throughout the day, as news comes through the wire.


If you also play season-long fantasy as well as doing the daily dance, make sure to check out the Fantrax Fantasy Basketball Commissioner. Its features blow every other option out of the water!

NBA DFS Targets and Preview for April 16

Thunder vs. Pistons

Two teams that won’t be seeing the playoffs this year, facing off. This won’t be the best game you’ll watch all year, but that has nothing to do with DFS. These two teams are ranked 21st and 19th in defensive rating. If the defense is lacking, that means there will be plenty of scoring. The Thunder are 8th in pace in the league, so it might not be the worst strategy to load up on OKC tonight.

DFS Targets: OKC targets: Bazley, Maledon, Roby, Brown, Pokusevski (if he plays), and Svi. DET targets: Grant, Plumlee, Bey, and Hayes for value.

Clippers vs. 76ers

This should be a great game. We’re coming off the 76ers and Nets game from a couple days ago where Embiid played like the clear MVP frontrunner that many thought he was before he got hurt. Simmons is consistently great (three-point shooting be damned). The Clippers are hitting on all cylinders. Paul George has had consecutive 30+ games, and when Kawhi plays, you’re getting what you want from Kawhi. If this was the NBA Finals matchup, I wouldn’t be completely shocked. Maybe a little bit. Clips are 3rd in the league in net rating. 76ers are 5th. I like LAC in a close one.

DFS Targets: LAC targets: Kawhi, Paul George, Morris, and Jackson. PHI targets: Simmons, Embiid, and Harris.

Pelicans vs. Wizards

My Wizards! Just one game out of the 10th playoff seed. They’re going to make the playoffs. Mark my words. I’ve been trying to tell everyone I can. To be honest, I don’t think anyone will want to play them either. A backcourt of Beal and Westbrook should be much better than it currently is, and it looks like they’re hitting their stride. If you’re looking for objective analysis, you won’t get it here. Wiz by 50.

DFS Targets: NOP targets: Zion, Brandon Ingram, Marshall, and Johnson. WAS targets: Beal, Westbrook, Bertans, and Rui.

Hornets vs. Nets

Nets. Don’t overthink this one. I know the Hornets are going to be a playoff team. They might even make some noise if LaMelo gets back in time. However, I just watched the Nets’ second team almost mount a comeback against the 76ers the other night. I think KD and Kyrie can handle the Hornets. Nets.

DFS Targets: CHA targets: Graham, McDaniels, Rozier, and Bridges. BKN targets: KD, Kyrie, Brown, Griffin, and Aldridge.

Magic vs. Raptors

I just gushed about my Wizards being one game back of the 10th seed. It’s only right that I give Toronto that same courtesy. Just like the Wizards, they are much better than their record indicates. Nobody wants to face an underachieving team in the playoffs. They can hurt you. Lowry is back in the mix, and Boucher is playing out of his mind. The Magic just shipped away their best player to initiate their rebuild. These teams are going in opposite directions. Roll with the Raptors.

DFS Targets: ORL targets: Ross, Cole Anthony, Carter Jr., and MCW. TOR targets: Lowry, Boucher, Siakam, FVV (if he plays), and Trent Jr.

Grizzlies vs. Bulls

I don’t know what to make of the Grizzlies. They are 13th in net rating and 8th in defensive rating. They’re led by Ja Morant who plays well above his years, and their supporting cast is solid with Brooks and Jonas. They are extremely well balanced from a team build perspective. But somehow, I never think they’re better than anybody. All of their statistics are telling me they’re better than the Bulls, but when I match Memphis up against Zach LaVine and Vuc, I lean toward picking the Bulls. I’m going to go with my gut, instead of the numbers here. Bulls win.

DFS Targets: MEM targets: Morant, Brooks, Jonas, and Anderson. CHI targets: LaVine, Vuc, White, and Lauri.

Nuggets vs. Rockets

Nuggets. Blowout.

DFS Targets: The starters could very well play three quarters in this one, and that scares me. If you want to absorb the risk, I’d stick with Jokic, MPJ, Gordon, Wall, and KPJ.

Heat vs. Timberwolves

The Timberwolves are a different team with KAT and Russell on the floor together. A team that can actually win. Not against the Heat though. Both of these teams have had so many COVID instances and injuries that their season long statistics are essentially irrelevant. It’s best to judge them on their recent form and their roster matchups. The Heat take the edge in both of those categories. I’ll go with the Heat, here.

DFS Targets: MIA targets: Butler, Bam, Herro, and Nunn. MIN targets: KAT, Russell, and Edwards.

Trail Blazers vs. Spurs

Pop has done a hell of a job getting this roster fight for a playoff spot. Demar DeRozan is the focal point of the offense. He’s an excellent player, but I think most teams would prefer if he was their 2nd option, and ideally their third on a championship team. The Blazers are eight games above .500, and if you take away Dame (which you can’t), you have to deal with McCollum, then Nurkic, or Powell, or Kanter. This is a tough matchup for anybody, but the Spurs definitely don’t have the personnel to handle this team. Blazers.

DFS Targets: POR targets: Dame, CJ, Nurkic, Powell, and Kanter. SAS targets: DeRozan, Poeltl, Johnson, and Mills.

Knicks vs. Mavericks

I’m running out of superlatives for Luka, so I’ll just stop. He’s going to become a household name for people that don’t even watch basketball very soon. Like LeBron….or Beyonce. This is a team game, though. The Knicks are a quintessential team. Julius Randle is their best player. This would’ve been a knock a few years ago, but he’s turned himself into an All-Star. The Knicks are 3rd in the league in defense and I think that’s enough to slow everybody down, besides Luka. That’s a problem for Dallas, since they’ll need production outside of Luka to win this one. I like the Knicks.

DFS Targets: NYK targets: Randle, Barrett, Burks, Payton, and Rose. DAL targets: Doncic, Porzingis, and Richardson.

Don’t forget to check back later in the day as Bradlee will be updating his NBA DFS preview with all the info you need to turn tonight’s slate into a resounding success!

If you are reading this on make sure to head on over to FantraxHQ to check out Brad’s afternoon updates.

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