What’s up everybody. Alex here, and I am back with my DraftKings NBA picks for April 7th, 2017. Tonight we get a full slate with nine games on tap. Be sure to follow all the injury news up until the 7:30 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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PG: Russell Westbrook: (14,000) Westbrook’s current price tag might be at one of the highest points of the season, but with so much value popping up, he seems like a must play tonight in this perfect matchup vs The Suns. He has absolutely feasted against this defense, averaging 86.8 DK points in their first three meetings of the season. By the numbers, it doesn’t get much better for Westbrook, with The Suns playing at the second fastest pace in the league and allowing the most DK points to opposing PGs this season. (3.15 opponent +/-) Even with The Thunder most likely locked into the six seed in The West, Westbrook is still playing very heavy minutes, averaging 37.1 minutes over the last two weeks, when not including Tuesday’s 31 point blowout victory over The Bucks.
The Thunder are also one of the best teams to target on Friday night, with their high implied team total of 118.5 points, in this game that has an O/U game total of 227.5 points. Assuming his minutes aren’t limited, Westbrook should eat this defense alive, with him averaging 80.8 DK points in the three games this season, The Thunder have an implied team total of 115 points or more, in a game with an O/U game total of at least 220 points. There is some logic of fading him in GPPs, just to be contrarian, but in cash games, Westbrook is the player I will be building around on Friday night.
C: Dewayne Dedmon: (3,000) The Spurs have accepted that they will not being catching The Warriors for one seed, and have decided to rest Kawahi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Pau Gasol, Danny Green, Manu Ginobli all tonight, with Dejounte Murray also out with a groin injury. There obviously have been no games that all these players have missed this season, but in a sample size of 99 minutes with all of them off the court, Dedmon is scoring 1.05 DK points per minute, and 37.84 DK points per 36 minutes.
Now I don’t expect Dedmon to play 36 minutes, but with all these players out, he and David Lee are the only two players capable of playing center, which should lead him to play 25-30 minutes with a starting role. The matchup isn’t ideal vs a slow Mavs team, that has an opponent +/- of – 0.16 points, but no matter the matchup he should still return value at his $3,000 price. There is no question he will be a very chalk play, but at this price, he is one of the strongest overall values of this nine game slate.
C: Enes Kanter: (4,400) Kanter has struggled recently, averaging 17.8 DK points over his last four games, but tonight he is in a terrific spot to rebound, vs The Suns, who have a high current opponent +/- of 2.65 points. We all know he is a productive player, averaging 1.2 DK points per minute this season, he just sometimes lets difficult matchups, like The Grizzlies on Wednesday, slow him down. But so far this season he has been great vs weak defenses like The Suns, averaging 27.9 DK points in the 15 games he has faced an opponent +/- of at least 2.0 points.
His price has slowly been dropping over the last few weeks, bringing him all the way down to a very affordable $4,400. At this price he only needs 22 DK points to hit value, which is definitely something he should definitely be able to accomplish vs this defense. There is no question there are safer values tonight, but at this cheap price and in this matchup, Kanter is the perfect GPP target, that should be very low owned. (5-8% projected ownership via Fantasy Labs)
PG: Emmanuel Mudiay: (3,800) Mudiay should see a bigger role off the bench tonight, with PG Jameer Nelson (calf) and SG Will Barton (foot) both ruled out. Nelson played in Wednesday night’s loss to The Rockets, but in the two previous games with both him and Barton out, Mudiay stepped up, averaging 31.25 DK points in 30.5 minutes a game. Rookie Jamal Murray is expected to start again, but Mudiay is the better value with similar playing time at a lower cost.
Tonight is a must win situation as The Nuggets chase The Blazers for the eight seed in The West and Mudiay should log 25-30 minutes off the bench vs a Pelicans team (1.66 opponent +/-), he just scored 26 DK points against Wednesday night. With starter like minutes off the bench, he should put up 25+ DK points, with him averaging 0.9 DK points per minute this year when both Nelson and Barton have been off the floor. He would also, for sure, see a bump in usage if SF Wilson Chandler was also ruled out. (currently questionable, illness) This time of the year, it is smart to have exposure to teams who have something to play for, and Mudiay at only $3,800, is a very nice value that can be used in all formats tonight.
Also Consider: Justin Holiday (24.25 DK points in 32.9 minutes last night. His matchup is ugly vs The Grizzlies, but with SF Carmelo Anthony listed as doubtful, he should play similar minutes tonight), Patty Mills, Jonathon Simmons, Kyle Anderson, David Lee, Davis Bertans, Jamal Murray, Boban Marjanovic, Nene, Doug McDermott (Andre Roberson), Gary Harris, Yogi Ferrell (Seth Curry is out again), Malcolm Delaney (if he starts for Dennis Schroder, who is listed as doubtful with a sprained right foot), Ersan Ilyasova (Paul Mislap is out) and Taurean Prince (Tim Hardaway Jr. Thabo Sefolosha, Milsap, and Kent Bazemore are all out).