Jericho Sims,Rudy Gobert
New York Knicks' Jericho Sims, right, challenges Utah Jazz's Rudy Gobert as he goes to the basket during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, March 20, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

SNEAKY NBA DFS PICKS FOR APRIL 8

Mike Shara

After taking a day off from making DFS picks yesterday – well, there weren’t any NBA games scheduled – Today marks the beginning of the final weekend of the NBA regular season and also the final weekend of being able to bet on players who are playing significant minutes at the end of the season for teams that were eliminated from the playoff picture sometime before Valentine’s Day (yes, I’m looking at you Sacramento, Indiana, Detroit and OKC). It’s too bad that the element of DFS is winding down, because it can be fun and profitable to play detective a bit and figure out who’s still active in NBA outposts no one else is paying much attention to these days. With that in mind, there are a few more of those possible today, so let’s dig in.

SADDIQ BEY, SF, Detroit ($5,200 on FanDuel, $7,000 on DraftKings)
The woebegone Pistons are playing their final home game tonight against a Bucks team that currently sits in the second seed in the Eastern Conference playoff picture. If Milwaukee plays all of their key players (Giannis, Middleton etc.) tonight, I don’t think Detroit can possibly win, but I still think Bey is a really strong value play on FD despite having a bad night vs. Dallas two nights ago. If the Bucks decide to rest some of their key players tonight I’d say he was pretty close to a must-roster on FanDuel. Detroit will play their key players tonight and will play hard as they try to give their poor fans something to cheer for. The front office and coaches may want them to tank for a draft pick, but guys like Bey only have one gear and Milwaukee has defended opposing small forwards very poorly this year. His FanDuel price and the situation make for an interesting pairing tonight. Check the Bucks’ active players later today before you commit to him on DK, though.

JERICHO SIMS, PF/C, ($3,700 on DraftKings, $4,800 on FanDuel)
In a shining example of a  “Who Gives A Shit” late season turd of an NBA game, the Knicks are traveling to D.C. tonight to face the Wizards. Gross. Just gross. Despite not mattering to anyone except maybe a few of the players’ parents, there are some interesting DFS players tonight and Sims looks most interesting to me, particularly on DK where he’s much cheaper and has been given dual position versatility as well (he’s only available at center on FD). Mitchell Robinson and Julius Randle are both out again for New York tonight, meaning that the 6’9”, 250 pound rookie, a second round pick out of Texas will get another shot at extended minutes. Playing as an undersized center on Wednesday vs. Brooklyn, Sims played 35 minutes and had a double/double along with 2 assists, 3 blocks and a steal. I wouldn’t bet on a repeat performance, but I wouldn’t necessarily bet against it, either. The Knicks probably want to see what they have in him and  a young guy trying to prove himself at a cheap price is an ideal combo in my mind.

CARIS LEVERT, PG/SF/SG, ($5,600 on FanDuel, $7,200 on DraftKings)
I think he’s probably too expensive to get on DraftKings, but on FanDuel he’s a good value today, especially because he’s facing his former team in a game his current team wants badly. The Cavs have been in a little bit of a free-fall lately, dropping into the seventh seed in the East and need a win tonight to at least be at home for their play-in round game. With Jarrett Allen out and Evan Mobley questionable tonight with an ankle injury, Levert could see more minutes than he usually might. If Mobley returns, he may play a bit less, but his price on FD is still worth at least considering. If you’re shopping in the star player aisle, I also like his teammate Darius Garland at $9,400 on DK, who might see 40 minutes of playing time against Brooklyn tonight. 

KYRIE IRVING, PG/SG, Brooklyn ($9,400 on FanDuel, $10,200 on DraftKings) 
Just as I added that relatively inexpensive $9,400 recommendation for Darius Garland, I realized that Kyrie was going for that exact same price on the other format today and that might be an even better value. Any time you can roster a player as gifted and as prolific a stat-stuffer as Irving for less than five figures, it has to be something you seriously consider. Brooklyn needs to win tonight’s game as much as Cleveland does so his minutes are likely to be pretty close to unlimited. In his only other game vs. the Cavaliers this year,  he went off for over 50 DFS points in 37 minutes and I don’t think it’s remotely unlikely he might exceed both of those numbers tonight. There also aren’t a lot of other reliable stars on the slate tonight, either. 

GARY TRENT JR., SG/SF, Toronto ($5,300 on FanDuel, $5,900 on DraftKings)
The Raptors are firmly entrenched in the fifth spot in the Eastern Conference standings heading into the playoffs and are resting some of their players periodically to make sure they are ready, but Trent doesn’t appear to be one of them. Toronto is a team no one wants to face in the first round and GTJ. is a big part of it. Last night against Philly he scored 30 point s, increasing his shot volume quite a bit with Fred Vanvleet absent from the lineup. There is a good chance that Pascal Siakam rests tonight on the back-end of a back-to-back against a terrible Houston team, which would again mean increased volume and usage rates for Trent. His price on both formats against the worst defensive team in the NBA makes him as close to a chalk pick as anyone on the Raptors’ roster even if everyone plays.  `1

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