What’s going on everyone. Alex here, and I am back with my DraftKings NBA picks for April 4th, 2017. Tonight we get a full slate with 11 games on tap. Be sure to follow all the injury news up until the 7:00 PM EST lock tonight, 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.
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PF/C: Demarcus Cousins: (10,300) Cousins hasn’t let playing with Anthony Davis effect his numbers recently, averaging 63.6 DK points over his last five games. His usage has actually been up in these games, with a team high 35.5% usage rate, which is a decent 1.7% jump from his average so far this season. Even though it would take a miracle, The Pelicans are technically not eliminated from the playoffs which should keep Cousins in a 35+ minute role tonight. This is a perfect spot for him to produce at least five times value at home where he is averaging a significant 6.6 more DK points a game this season, and going against a Nuggets team that has always struggled against opposing big men, with a current opponent +/- of 1.59 points. This is also arguably the best game of this huge 11 game slate to target with its tight two point spread and slate high O/U game total of 227 points.
Cousins has always taken full advantage of the situation when he is competing in a high scoring game on his home court this season, averaging 57.75 DK points in the three home games he has played in that have had a Vegas game total at least 210 points, since he joined The Pelicans. Another thing to note is that even though he has no injury listed at the moment, Anthony Davis tweaked his ankle last game and was hobbling around for most of the second half. Now it seems like there is no question he will suit up, but with Davis’s history there is always a chance he could get hurt again and exit this game early, which would be a big boost for Cousins’ already high usage. This is just pure speculation on my part, but regardless of AD’s current health, Cousins is a nice play at $10,300, that can be used confidently in cash games and GPPs.
PG: Emmanuel Mudiay: (3,900) Jamal Murray drew the start with PG Jameer Nelson (calf) and SG Will Barton (foot) out last game, but it was Mudiay who stepped up the most, scoring 17 points, nine assists, four rebounds, and a block vs The Heat on Sunday. Mudiay hasn’t even been in this rotation lately, but he was a hard player to keep off the court helping The Nuggets pick up a much needed win vs a quality opponent in The Heat, logging a high 32 minutes off the bench, compared to Murray’s 28. It is difficult to trust Mudiay after just one game, but with Nelson and Barton already ruled out for tonight’s matchup vs The Pelicans, I think Mudiay seems like the best cheap option in this situation, with Murray costing $400 more.
As I just said, Mudiay has been out of this rotation, but in the 39 minutes since The All Star Break, that he has played with Barton and Nelson off the court, he is scoring 1.02 DK points per minute vs his 0.87 DK point per minute average this season. This is clearly a very small sample size, but it shows you that Mudiay can definitely put up solid numbers when he has a decent sized usage rate. (23.1% usage last game) His matchup is also a plus tonight taking on The Pelicans who have allowed the tenth most DK points to PGs this season. We can’t expect him to play over 30 minutes again, but with around 25 minutes off the bench tonight, he should be able to score 20+ DK points in this great game environment. (227 O/U game total, -2 Pelicans)
PG: T.J. McConnell: (5,800) The upside isn’t huge for McConnell, but if Sergio Rodriguez is out again, as expected (questionable, hamstring), McConnell should return value in this terrific matchup vs The Nets, who play at the fastest pace in The NBA, giving up the second most DK points to PGs, with a current opponent +/- of 2.9 points vs starting PGs. Assuming he is out, this will be the tenth game this season that Rodriguez has missed, and in the previous nine, McConnell is averaging 30 DK points in 33.8 minutes a game.
He just recently played well against this same Nets defense with Rodriguez out, scoring 32 DK points across 35 minutes, just a week ago from today. This is also expected to be a very high scoring competitive tilt, with The Nets favored by only 1.5 points, and Vegas giving this contest an O/U game total of 222 points. He is just a hair under priced right now and is fine play in all formats in this matchup, assuming Rodriquez is out, which is something we should know about before roster lock with this being one of the first games of the night at 7:00 PM EST.
C: Nerlens Noel: (4,800) Noel should handle a bigger work load tonight with veteran Dirk Nowitzki ruled out. (Achilles) He should start at center and not only will The Mavs be without Dirk, they will also be without SF Wesley Mathews (rest) and combo guard Seth Curry. (shoulder) There is almost no data of Noel on the court with all of these players off, but in the 70 minutes, he has played without just Curry and Nowitzki, he is scoring 1.08 DK points a minute, with a 25.1% usage rate, which is a large 7.1% increase for normal rate this season.
Even when you just take Nowitzki out of the picture, Noel should approach 30 minutes tonight and score 25-30 DK points vs this Kings defense that has current opponent +/- of 1.27 vs centers. There is tremendous upside here and at $4,800, he is one the strongest values of this entire 11 game slate.
Also Consider: Joe Ingles (solid value with Hood, Neto, Hill, and Favors all out. He can be played as SG or SF), Yogi Ferrell (he should start with Curry out), Joe Johnson, Shelvin Mack, Al-Farouq Aminu, Matthew Dellavedova, Jamal Murray, Evan Fournier, Gary Harris, Skal Labissere, Ron Baker, Justin Holiday, Harrison Barnes (his rates will rise with Curry and Nowitzki out), and Branden Wright (if Gasol and Green are both out).