Detroit Pistons forward Saddiq Bey
Indiana Pacers guard Terry Taylor (32) draws the offensive foul from Detroit Pistons forward Saddiq Bey (41) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Indianapolis, Sunday, April 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)


Mike Shara

Is someone cutting onions in here? There seems to be some sort of salty, watery discharge coming out of my eyes this morning thinking of it being the last day of the regular season. I’m sad because it means the end of being able to bet on all 30 NBA teams for a while. There will be lots of bets available in the playoffs, too – rest assured – but it’s kind of beautiful to be able to bet on games between teams like the Pacers and the Thunder. What? Just me? Okay then. Even without reader approval it’s been a good season for me overall in DFS. Let’s see if we can finish on a high note today with a few choice picks. Don’t just fade the entire day because there will be a lot of weird lineup stuff happening. This can in fact be a very interesting, profitable day if you stay sharp. Today more than ever, check the lineup updates before locking in. Remember I’m writing this column before noon every day. Things change as the day goes on.

PASCAL SIAKAM, Toronto, C/PF, ($10,000 on DraftKings, $10,800 on FanDuel)
Sometimes a player not getting chosen to appear in the All-Star Game is the best thing that could have happened to them. Siakam is the perfect example of this contradictory truth. He was probably the last cut from the Eastern Conference team this February and was arguably deserving of a spot, but it wasn’t an egregious oversight considering his numbers and the Raptors’ play to that point in the season. Since then, though, both he and his team have taken a big step forward. Toronto is the team no one wants to face in the first round of the playoffs and Siakam is a chief reason why. The Raps have won 14 of their last 17 and Siakam has been an absolutely unstoppable beast in that span (he’s averaged over 65 DFS points in his last three games), meriting serious All-NBA team consideration. Tonight, he’s the cheapest of the superstars available and faces a Knicks team that is short-handed, playing for nothing and couldn’t stop him on a good night. He’ll be my big-name player tonight in a lot of tournaments.

UDONIS HASLEM, C, Miami ($3,000 on DraftKings, $3,500 on FanDuel)
Yes, you are reading this correctly and no, you are not accidentally reading an article from 2013. I am indeed seriously considering a 41-year-old player who has logged a total of 63 minutes this season. Here’s why: the Heat have absolutely nothing to play for today – they have already clinched the first seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs and their injury/rest list is already big and could swell up further before tonight’s matchup vs. Orlando gets underway. Haslem is an 18-year vet who has spent his entire career with Miami. This may be the final game of his career where he could actually make an appearance and I think there’s a good chance he sees some extended minutes tonight. He is as tough, savvy and determined a player as has ever played in the league, so if he gets 20 or even 25 minutes tonight, he’ll get results, too. For that salary, it’s an intriguing option. Keep an eye on this one.

SADDIQ BEY, SF, Detroit ($5,200 on FanDuel, $6,700 on DraftKings)
This salary differential between the two platforms is just too wide to ignore. FanDuel has been undervaluing Bey for so long now it’s like he started dating their girlfriend. He hasn’t had standout games in a little while, but tonight is the last game of the season and he and his Pistons teammates have been playing hard all year. They won’t win tonight in Philly, but several of his teammates are already out and Cade Cunningham is questionable with a hip problem. If Cunningham doesn’t play, Bey is a must-roster on FD but I’m still considering him there at that price either way. He does average over 30 DFS points per game this year. That’s nothing to sneeze at at that price and the Sixers’ roster might be chaos. Speaking of which…

SHAKE MILTON, SG/PG, Philadelphia ($3,300 on DraftKings, $3,500 on FanDuel)
Last night the Sixers played their regular lineup in their game vs. Indiana with both James Harden and Joel Embiid each playing just under 40 minutes. Tonight, they’re at home again against Detroit and I’d be very surprised if Philadelphia Head Coach Doc Rivers lets his two stars see that kind of court time again just 24 hours later just before the playoffs begin. Their game vs. Detroit isn’t meaningless (the 76ers can finish anywhere from second to fourth in the East) but it’s hard to know exactly where Philly actually wants to finish, in terms of first round opponents. Ending up in third place and facing Chicago is probably ideal but it’s hard to figure how to intentionally make that happen. My guess is that young guys like Milton and Paul Reed see a notable increase in playing time tonight against a bad, short-handed Detroit defense. That’s a nice recipe for success at that cheap price. Plus, Milton has dual position eligibility, and you know how much I love that.

PATRICK WILLIAMS, PF/SF, Chicago ($4,100 on DraftKings, $4,600 on FanDuel)
So, what I am only speculating will happen to Philadelphia’s roster tonight actually is happening for the Bulls this evening. Chicago, already locked into the sixth seed in the East, also has nothing to play for in their game vs. the T-Wolves, so they’re giving their starting lineup the night off. Nikola Vucevic, DeMar DeRozan, Zach Lavine and Alex Caruso are all out tonight and Coby White is doubtful. As far as I can tell the game will still have four quarters and last 48 minutes, so several players on Chicago’s roster are going to have a serious increase in their usage tonight. Williams has started to play better since returning from injury a month ago, averaging close to 30 minutes and 25 DFS points over his last four. He, Ayo Dosunmo and Derrick Jones Jr. all look to be huge beneficiaries as far as opportunities go tonight. I’d really think hard about rostering them all.

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