Welcome back everybody. Alex here, and I am back with my DraftKings NBA picks for April 6th, 2017. Thursday night’s slate is a solid slate with six 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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C: Brook Lopez: (7,000) Lopez saw limited minutes on Tuesday night due to a blowout (29 DK points in 23 minutes), but before this he was playing extremely well, averaging 45.3 DK points over his last five games. Tonight, he heads to Orlando to take on a Magic defense he just dominated this past Saturday, putting up 44.75 DK points in the win. Even with nothing left to play for, The Nets have still been giving Lopez higher minutes whenever the game stays competitive, with him averaging 31.8 minutes in the last five games The Nets have won or loss by less than ten points.
This Nets team is definitely playing much better right now, picking up three straight wins, but Vegas is expecting this matchup to stay very close, with The Magic only favored by 2.5 points. With 30+ minutes, he should score 35-40 DK points with 50 point upside against this defense, that has given up the 7th most DK points to centers this year, with a very high opponent +/- of 4.56 points. At $7,000, Lopez is a strong value play, and is my favorite way of getting exposure to this Nets-Magic game, that has the highest O/U game total of Thursday night, at 226 points.
PG: Michael Carter-Williams: (3,000) There is no news out there yet, but with starting PG Rajon Rondo out with a wrist injury, MCW seems like the most logical candidate to start at PG for The Bulls tonight. Rondo’s minutes were cut short last game due to injury, and it was Carter-Williams who saw the most PG minutes off the bench, playing 13 minutes compared to Jerian Grant who only logged seven minutes after Rondo got hurt. Obviously 13 minutes is nothing, but with Rondo completely out of the picture, Carter-Williams should have to play at least 25 minutes in this must win game for The Bulls. Right now, it is a very tight race at the bottom of The Eastern Conference playoff picture with The Bulls, Pacers, and Heat all having the same exact record.
Every game is a must win if The Bulls want to keep their playoff hopes alive, and with 25-30 minutes, with the potential for even more if he is the confirmed starter, Carter-Williams has a great chance of producing 20-25 DK points, going against his former team, The Sixers, who have allowed the 4th most DK points to opposing PGs this season. He obviously is a very shaky play if he doesn’t start, but with The Bulls being one of the first teams to tip off, we should have an official word before the 7:00 PM EST roster lock. Update: Grant has been named the starter over Carter-Williams. Grant is now the safer play, but MCW is still viable in GPPs with a lower expected ownership.
PF/C: Noah Vonleh: (4,000) Vonleh struggled with foul trouble in an extremely tough matchup vs The Jazz Tuesday (2.75 DK points in 21 minutes), but prior to this blowout loss, he has been the big who has benefited the most since starting center Jusuf Nurkic went down with a fractured fibula. Even though it was very ugly, I am going to forget about Tuesday night, because in the first two games The Blazers played with Nurkic sidelined, Vonleh was great, scoring 35.75 DK points vs The Suns and then 24.6 DK points vs The Wolves, who are the same team he will be taking on tonight.
Assuming he can stay out of foul trouble, he should play 25-30 minutes, and meet five times value, in this average matchup with The Wolves giving up the 15th most DK points to PFs so far this season. Just like with The Bulls, this is also a must win situation for The Blazers, who are currently the eighth seed in The West, but only leading The Nuggets by one win game. Right now, his team needs him to step up and he is one of my favorite GPP targets of this slate, that should come with a low ownership after his bad game on Tuesday. (5-8 projected ownership via Fantasy Labs)
PG/SG: Ron Baker: (4,000) Baker has been playing very high minutes ever since Derrick Rose got hurt (knee), averaging 36 minutes a night over his last four starts. The Knicks are a complete mess right now, but Baker was very effective on Tuesday, putting up 25.5 DK points in a surprise win over The Bulls. With Rose out for the rest season, Baker will remain the starting PG and should play very high minutes for the last week of the year. Tonight he gets a tough matchup vs The Wizards (-1.35 point opponent +/-), but with close to 40 minutes, he has a decent chance of scoring 20+ DK points again tonight.
The floor is very low with him averaging 0.66 DK points a minute this season, but there is just so much playing time here for him as the starting PG, that the reward outweighs the risk at his price. His PG/SG eligibility makes him a very easy option to fit in, and at $4,000, he is a solid punt play tonight if you need the extra salary cap relief.
Also Consider: Al Farouq-Aminu, Avery Bradley, T.J. McConnell, Khris Middleton, Jae Crowder, Evan Fournier, Guillermo Hernangomez/Kyle O’Quinn (if Porzingis is out), Marcin Gortat, Shawn Long, Denzel Valentine, Justin Holiday, Jerian Grant , and Myles Turner.