What’s going on guys. Alex here, and I am back with my DraftKings NBA picks for December 7th, 2017. Thursday night’s slate is a smaller slate with only four games to target . Be sure to follow all of the injury news tonight, all the way up until the 8:00PM 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.
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PG: Russell Westbrook: (12,000) Tuesday night, Westbrook put up numbers like he did in his MVP season last year, tallying his seventh triple double of the season, resulting in 77.25 DK points in the win over The Jazz. Tonight, we should see a similar outburst, with Thunder starting SF Paul George out of the lineup with a right calf contusion. In the 126 minutes Russ has played without George this season, he is posting an absurd 43.1% usage rate, which is a team high 10.5% increase from his usual usage this season. He is seeing a 14.9 DK point differential in these minutes, while scoring 63.05 DK point per 36 minutes.
In addition to this insane usage, Westbrook will be playing against The Nets who play at the third fastest pace in The NBA, compared to The Thunder, who are the 18th fastest team. This is a 3.1 possession increase for him and The Thunder and when Westbrook has seen a possession increase of at least 3.0, he has seen 7.35 DK point +/- and is averaging 62.75 DK points a game. Also, as you would have expected, this Nets team is a positive matchup for PGs, currently sitting at 1.73 opponent +/-. He is averaging 65.8 DK points in his last four meetings with The Nets and I am expecting 65-70 DK points from him again tonight. Even though his price has jumped $1,000 since Tuesday, Westbrook is an extremely difficult player to fade for this smaller slate.
SF/PF: Carmelo Anthony: (6,500) Melo has been a tough player to predict since joining The Thunder, but I think he is worth a shot tonight, with George and now SF Jermai Grant (hip) both out. The sample size isn’t that large, but in the 71 minutes Anthony has played without these two forwards this season, he leads this team with an 8.8% usage increase, a 16 DK point differential, and is scoring 49.71 DK points per 36 minutes of action. With both of these forwards out, The Thunder should play a tighter rotation and it is hard not seeing Anthony play 35+ minutes tonight.
He is scoring 1.38 DK points per minute in this situation and with a projection of 35 minutes, Anthony should easily exceed five times value at his current price, especially vs this Nets defense, that allows the third most DK points to SFs this season. (4.73 opponent +/-) At $6,500, Anthony is a very strong value that is viable in both cash games and GPPs.
C: Tyson Chandler: (4,500) Chandler took the night off on Tuesday for rest and he should be fresh and not limited tonight, with no game tomorrow. Before getting rested, the veteran was playing very well, averaging 40 DK points a game in his previous two starts. In these two competitive games, he logged 28 and then 37 minutes, which was a nice bump from the 23 he was averaging the four games before this stretch.
Tonight’s tilt vs The Wizards should stay close enough that he should approach 30 minutes, with The Wizards only favored by 7.5 points. He is averaging 0.9 DK points per minute this season and with 25-30 minutes, Chandler should score 25-30 DK points in this average matchup. (0.9 opponent +/-) Coming off some rest and in an island game situation, Chandler looks like one of the better buys at the center position tonight.
SF/PF: T.J. Warren: (6,500) With SG Devin Booker out with a groin strain, there is a huge chunk of usage to go around to the rest of this Suns team. Booker is the leader of this team and this season he is averaging a team high 30.1% usage rate. If you take Booker out of the picture along with PG Eric Bledsoe who got traded to The Bucks, Warren sees a 2.4% usage rate, and is scoring 33.57 DK points per 36 minutes. Along with these two out, he also benefits from Chandler being back. When Chandler is healthy and not limited in a rest situation, he usually starts at center for The Suns over newly acquired Greg Monroe.
In the minutes Warren has played alongside Monroe he is averaging a 23.2% usage rate, compared to the 26.4% rate he has seen when plays next to the low usage Chandler. When we add all this up, it looks likely that Warren will lead this Suns’ team in usage tonight. He should play roughly 35 minutes and score 35-40 DK points vs this Wizards defense. (2.96 opponent +/-) Lastly, it is worth noting that this game is at home in Phoenix, where Warren is averaging 4.2 more DK points than when he is on the road. His $6,500 salary is fair, but Warren seems like a necessary risk in all formats on Thursday night.
Also Consider: Josh Jackson (will start for Booker, 1.7% usage increase with Booker and Bledsoe off the court), Tyler Ulis/Mike James (both players see sizable usage bumps in this situation), J.J. Redick (has topped 30 DK points in three straight games and The Lakers are allowing 12.7 three pointers made over their last three games, which is the third highest mark in the league), Andre Roberson (should play a ton with George and Grant out), Otto Porter Jr., DeMarre Carroll/Rondae Hollis Jefferson (both should play more with Trevor Booker traded to Philly), Tyler Zeller/Jarrett Allen (same goes for these two as The Nets front court becomes much thinner with Booker done in BKN. Zeller seems like the better play as the starter and they will need his size vs Steven Adams. He should play around 25 minutes and scores 0.88 DK points per minute), Alec Burks (if Hood is out again), Steve Adams (37.75 DK points over his last three games and the matchup is great vs The Nets, who are currently a 6.27 opponent +/-), and Spencer Dinwiddie (1.9% usage bump with Booker off the court).