What’s up everybody. Alex here, and I am back with my DraftKings NBA picks for April 5th, 2017. Tonight we get a large slate with eight games to attack. 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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SF: LeBron James: (10,200) Tonight’s Celtics-Cavs game is arguably the most important matchup of the season for both teams. Right now the two teams are tied for first in The East, with only a few games remaining in the regular season, and if The Cavs win this game, they will own the tie breaker between the two teams, which would be huge if they ended having the same record by the end of next week. James, his whole career, has shined against The Celtics (0.71 opponent +/-), and over the last two seasons, he is averaging 55.13 DK points in his last six games vs The Celtics, including a 67.25 DK point outburst just back on March 1st.
The Cavs have always talked about managing James’ minutes as the season winds down, but with The Celtics keeping up with them in the standings, they have had no choice, but to play James heavy minutes, with him averaging 36.3 minutes a game since the beginning of last month. This game should stay competitive from start to finish (-4 Celtics), and James should approach 40 minutes tonight. In this extremely important game that should be high scoring, with its O/U game total of 219 points, James should definitely return five times value with 60+ DK point upside, particularly if he picks up another triple double, which we all know is a three point bonus in the DraftKings scoring system. NBA DFS can be very tricky this time of year and rostering LeBron with his safety and upside in a crucial game, seems like the optimal way of building lineups on Wednesday night.
SF/PF: Matt Barnes: (3,400) Barnes should play 30+ minutes tonight with SF Andre Iguodala and PF/C Draymond Green taking the night off for rest. He will most likely still come off the bench, but this may be a good thing for him to soak up all the remaining usage in the second unit with Iguodala sidelined. In the only other game that these two players were out this season, Barnes played a huge role off the bench, scoring 32 DK points in 35.4 minutes.
Also in all the minutes Barnes has played with these two on the bench since joining The Warriors, he has received a team high 6.6% usage increase, and is scoring 30.54 DK points per 36 minutes of playing time. With 25-35 minutes Barnes should easily meet value at his cheap salary and score around 25 DK points vs this young fast paced Suns team. (0.96 opponent +/-) His $3,400 price tag is terrific, but he also has SF and PF eligibility on DraftKings, making him one of the best overall punts of this slate.
C: Nene: (4,100) I know I always recommend Nene, but DraftKings just never wants to adjust his price no matter how consistently he puts up solid numbers. In four of his last five games, the veteran big man has returned at least six times value and is now averaging 23.25 DK points over his last seven contests. He is scoring just over 1.0 DK point per minute this season and he is in a prime position to put up 20+ DK points for the third straight game going against The Nuggets, who have allowed the 8th most DK points to centers this season, with a 3.03 current opponent +/- vs back up centers.
It is always difficult projecting his minutes, but with this being an island game for The Rockets, he should play 20+ minutes off the bench. Also, as usual anytime James Harden is healthy and playing for The Rockets, they have the highest implied team total of the slate at 123.75 points, in the highest scoring game of the night at 239 points. Fantasy Labs currently has him projected for an ownership for 13-16%, but it always ends up being lower just because of his age and lack of high minutes. At this price he is solid punt play if you want an extra piece of this high scoring game, that should, in my opinion come with a lower ownership.
SG: Avery Bradley: (5,900) Bradley is another player who should benefit from the significance of this Celtics Cavs game. He missed the last two games with an illness, but practiced Tuesday with no problems and should be fresh and ready to go on Wednesday night, after having the whole last week off. He was limited when he first returned from an Achilles injury, but he has been solid since his minutes restriction was lifted, averaging 27.75 DK points over his last seven games.
There is no question Bradley is The Celtics best perimeter defender, and they will need him on the floor as much as possible to guard Kyrie Irving. He has stepped up every time The Celtics have faced The Cavs this season, averaging 31.08 DK points in their first three meetings. The matchup is also excellent against this defense that has struggled mightily since The All Star Break, presenting a current opponent +/- of 2.6 points, and allowing the 3rd most DK points to opposing SGs for the season. With 35+ minutes, Bradley should top 30 DK points, and is my favorite SG value of the night.
Also Consider: Emmanuel Mudiay/Jamal Murray (if Jameer Nelson and Will Barton are out), Gary Harris (also a bump if Nelson or Barton are out), David West (better if he starts), Javale Mcgee, Yogi Ferrell (if Seth Curry, Devin Harris, or J.J. Barea are out. Would have to play a ton if all three are out), Nerlens Noel (if Nowitzki sits again), Enes Kanter, Jae Crowder, Channing Frye (should play more with Thompson out), Dorian Finney-Smith/Nicolas Brussino (if Harrison Barnes is out), Dwight Powell (if Nowitzkiis out), Mason Plumlee (if Kenneth Faried is out), and Kyle Anderson (Manu and Danny Green both are out).