Welcome back everyone. Alex here, and I am back with my DraftKings NBA picks for April 3rd, 2018. Monday night’s slate is a huge one, with 13 games on tap. Be sure to follow all of the injury news tonight, all the way up until the 7:00PM EST lock, to see if any new injury news comes up. As always if any of these picks help you win or if you need any advice, let me know on Twitter. @Hunta512.
C: Nikola Jokic: (9,800)
Yes, his scores have been inflated by back to back overtimes games, but Jokic has been a stud fantasy producer over his last three, averaging 1.5 DK PPM, compared to his 1.3 DK PPM average for the season. In these contests, he has seen a 28.6% usage rate, which is a big difference from his 24.3% average usage this year. The Nuggets are playing their hearts out right now trying to sneak into the playoffs and their hopes of doing so are very much alive, as they are only one game behind The Pelicans for the eight seed in The West and are winners of two straight, while New Orleans has dropped four in a row. He is averaging 38.3 regulation minutes per game in these past three and he should approach 40 minutes tonight, in this tilt vs The Pacers, that is expected to be very tight throughout. (-3.5 DEN)
Not only is the game going to be a competitive affair, but this matchup is great for him, as The Pacers have struggled with opposing centers all season and are currently rating as a high opponent +/- of 4.15 points. Additionally, he will be at home, where he is averaging a large 5.8 more DK PPG this season. With only one week left in the season, every single game matters for The Nuggets and they will continue to rely on Jokic heavily tonight. I am expecting a 50+ DK point performance with massive upside and he is the player I will be building around for this 13 game slate.
PF/C: Ersan Iylasova: (5,600)
With starting center Joel Embiid out the last two games, Sova has been great, averaging 36.8 DK PPG. The main big who usually steps up in Embiids absence is Dario Saric, but he missed their last game with an elbow injury and he will sit out another contest on Tuesday night. Ilyasova drew the start at PF in his place on Sunday and he will get another start tonight vs The Nets. He played 27 minutes on Sunday, but The Sixers won this game by 17 points. If tonight’s game stays somewhat close, which it should, with the spread being a spread of 7.5 points, Ilyasova should see roughly 30 minutes of action in this great matchup vs The Nets, who have allowed the 6th most DK points to PFs and are the 6th fastest team in the league this season.
His usage goes up 3.0% when both Saric and Embiid are off the court and is scoring 0.9 DK PPM. Combine this with a projection of 30 minutes and this plus matchup, and Ilyasova should return at least five times value, with 35-40 DK point upside if he is effective on the glass vs this Nets team that is allowing the most total rebounds per game this season.
SG/SF: Danuel House: (3,000)
Nothing is official, but with The Suns playing for absolutely nothing right now, they will likely be without SG Devin Booker (questionable, hand), PG Elfird Payton (questionable, knee), center Alex Len (questionable, ankle), SF Jared Dudley (questionable, ankle) and SF T.J. Warren (doubtful, knee) all again tonight. With all of these players out, House has been effective in his first two games with The Suns, averaging 25.75 DK PPG. In a rather competitive game vs The Warriors on Sunday (107-117), House logged 34 minutes and scored 32.5 DK points, including this very impressive dunk during the second quarter. For those who have no idea who is, he played at Texas A&M in college and signed a two way deal with The Suns back in December and has been playing down in The G league, until The Suns just recently called him up. He is an athletic and active player who is trying to find himself a contract in this league and with The Suns’ season essentially over, he should continue to see higher minutes while this team remains thin.
He is averaging 0.87 DK PPM in these first two games and assuming at least some of those Suns players, if not all of them miss tonight’s game vs The Kings, House should log around 30 minutes and easily exceed five times value, considering his bare minimum price. The matchup isn’t great by the numbers (0.6 opponent +/-), but this Kings team is also a squad that is currently playing for nothing. Either way, there really isn’t a matchup in The NBA that is going to hold me back from taking a chance on a player who is going to see this kind of minutes and cost only $3,000. We might not know The Suns situation before lock, with this game being at 10:00 PM EST, but I am willing to take my chances with House, as the reward clearly outweighs the risk.
PF/C: Kyle O’Quinn: (5,100)
After missing three games with a hip injury, O’Quinn returned and was put right into the starting five on Saturday night, with Enes Kanter (back) out. He wasn’t limited in anyway, playing 32 minutes and scoring 32.25 DK points in the loss to The Pistons. Kanter is listed as doubtful and isn’t expected to play tonight, which will keep O’Quinn as The Knicks starting center vs The Magic. This is going to be the fifth game that Kanter, PF Kristapas Porzingis (knee), and center Joakim Noah (away from the team) have missed together this season and in the prior four, including Saturday, O’Quinn is averaging 33 DK PPG. Tonight, he is in an awesome spot vs The Magic, who have allowed the 6th most DK points to centers this season. (2.92 opponent +/-)
He scored an effective 1.24 DK PPM in the first four games that all these bigs missed and with 30-35 minutes of action, O’Quinn should smash value vs this soft Magic defense. His PF/C eligibility makes him a very friendly option, that I feel confident with in all formats for Tuesday’s slate. Oh, and its worth mentioning that starting SF Michael Beasley is questionable with an illness. If he is out, O’Quinn’s usage would be solidified, making him an even stronger option.
Ben Simmons: 58.75 DK PPG in these past two without Embiid. He should thrive vs this Nets defense and he has a nice Vegas prop score of 48.45 fantasy points. (via Fantasy Labs)
Marco Bellinelli: 27.8 DK PPG and 29 MPG in these last two without Embiid.
Robert Covington: Price is fair, but he has upside without Saric and Embiid, as we saw Sunday, with a 50.75 DK point game vs The Hornets.
Sean Kilpatrick: Minutes have gone up to 24.6 MPG in these last two. He has topped 20 DK points in each game and the minutes should stay the same with Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, Paul Zipser, and Antonio Blakeney all remaining out.
Trey Burke: 50.75 DK points in 38 minutes vs The Pistons on Saturday and is averaging 40.8 DK PPG in his last two. Tonight, he gets the best matchup he could ask for, going against The Magic, who are sitting at a very high 6.11 opponent +/-. He would see a sizable usage increase if Beasley sat.
Tyler Ulis: If Booker and Payton are out again. He is averaging 35.6 DK PPG and 38.3 MPG in these past three without the two starting guards.
Marquese Chriss: Only if Alex Len is out. The price has risen, but he has been very good averaging 37.75 DK PPG in these past three with both Len and Warren out. Also, the matchup is strong vs The Kings, who are a 2.55 opponent +/-.
John Wall: 42.25 Dk points in 33 minutes in his first game back. The Wizards could still get the five seed and he should see 30+ again in this up tempo matchup vs The Rockets, who may still be without Chris Paul, further adding to this matchup.
Jamal Murray: Like with Jokic, his minutes have been high, at 37.17 regualtion minutes per game over the last three. The price tag is fair, but he is a viable option given The Nuggets situation.
Terry Rozier: Suffered an ankle injury at the end of Saturday’s win over The Raptors, but claims he is fine and will play tonight vs The Bucks. This is a big game as The Celtics are still alive for the one seed in The East. This is a solid price for him, with him averaging 37.4 DK PPG in his last nine with Kyrie Irving out. UPDATE: Rozier and Shane Larkin (illness) have both been ruled out. There is no true PG left on this roster. Kadeem Allen could potentially start and is viable at only $3,000, but the floor and upside is very low. All of the remaining players in the starting five will handle the ball more and I think all are viable, especially Horford and Marcus Morris. Horford is a natural playmaker and they should run the offense through him and Morris is a gunner, who should see his already high usage rise with Rozier out of this offense.
Al Horford: Very tough player to predict right now, but this game is a big one for him and The Celtics. Plus, he is in an excellent spot vs The Bucks, who are a 3.96 opponent +/- and he is averaging 42.2 DK PPG vs them in three contests this season.