What’s going on guys. Alex here, and I am back with my DraftKings NBA picks for February 1st, 2018. Thursday night’s slate is a smaller slate of only five games. Be sure to follow all of the injury news tonight, all the way up until the 7:00PM 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.
If you want help with NBA research for FanDuel and DraftKings check out the best fantasy tools out there at FantasyLabs.com
C: Nikola Jokic: (8,100) Yes, he had a bad game his last time out, but he was playing on the second night of a back to back, which is a big factor for him this year (-2.35 DK +/-), vs the second best rated defense in The NBA this season, in The Spurs. His matchup tonight isn’t a huge upgrade, going against The Thunder (1.85 opponent +/-), but with no game tomorrow and two days of rest, Jokic is severely underpriced at only $8,100. At this salary, he needs to score 40.5 DK points to meet value, which is certainly possible, with him averaging 42.7 DK PPG over his last 12 games. As I just touched on, this matchup at a first glance isn’t perfect vs The Thunder, but they just lost their best wing defender Andre Roberson for the season and even though he most likely wouldn’t have matched up with Jokic individually, when he has been off the floor this year, The Thunder rank as the 25th defense in efficiency, compared to the best in The NBA with him on the floor. (via @jphanned)
Plus, this game is at home in Denver, which is good news for Jokic, who is scoring 4.4 more DK points a game on his home floor vs when on the road. Right now, he is the best value on DraftKings in terms of Vegas props, sitting a DK implied projection of 41.82 points. This game has the highest O/U game total of the night at 217 points and has a small spread of only one point in favor of The Thunder. Jokic should top 40 DK points in this strong game environment and is a primary play for me in this five game slate.
PG/SG: Wayne Selden: (4,000) Last night, The Grizzlies decided they will hold starting PG Tyreke Evans out until the trade deadline, with a deal expected to happen soon. Evans was everything in terms of ball handling for this Grizzlies offense and with him gone, along with a slew of injuries (Mario Chalmers, Jamychal Green, Chandler Parsons, Kobi Simmons, Mario Chalmers, James Ennis, Deyonta Davis, and Mike Conley), Selden saw the biggest increase in his workload, posting a team high 30.4% usage rate and scoring 39 DK points in 31 minutes vs The Pacers. Now, all of these players outside Conley, who is done for the year, are listed as questionable tonight. Maybe one or two of them suit up, but I think it is likely we see a very thing Grizzlies team again. Selden has played over 30 minutes in three straight games now and, even if they have a few more healthy bodies, he is one of the younger players on this roster, who should play 30+ going forward in this lost season.
He is definitely gaining confidence as of late, taking 10+ shots now in back to back games and with 30+ minutes, I think he gets us over 20 DK points against this Pistons team, that just sent their best wing defender, Avery Bradley, to LA, in the Blake Griffin deal. Their current opponent +/- is a scary 0.69 points, but this number shouldn’t be taken seriously with Bradley gone, until we see how this Pistons’ squad adjusts to having Griffin. This is obviously a situation to monitor, with all these Grizzlies statuses in question, but if Chalmers and Ennis are out, who are the two ball handlers of this group, I think Selden is a solid value, that can be attacked again tonight.
C: Steven Adams: (6,300) I usually don’t like targeting two centers who are facing each other in the same game, but Adams and Jokic’s price tags are just too appealing. In his last nine games, Adams has posted seven double doubles and is averaging 34.5 DK PPG and 32.4 MPG. He is scoring 1.07 DK PPM during this time and they will need his size tonight to defend Jokic, which should push him close to 35 minutes in this great game setting. (217 O/U, OKC -1)
In the five games he has played in this season that have an O/U game total of at least 215 points, with a spread no more than five points, Adams has been great, scoring 34.6 DK PPG, which is a 6.19 DK point +/-. Just like with Jokic, Adams’ Vegas props are very intriguing, with his current DK implied score being 31.18 points. He has scored 30+ DK points in three of his last four games and I think we see another 30+ performance from him on Thursday night.
SG/SF Will Barton: (5,500) After three straight games with some really low usage rates for him as a starter, Barton has seen usage go over 20% in these last two games. The usage has translated to him bouncing back as a fantasy player, with a 40.25 DK point game vs The Celtics, then a 28.25 DK point game vs The Spurs, which are two very solid performances, when you consider these are the two best rated defenses in basketball this season.
He is averaging 15.5 shots a game in these last two and assuming the usage stays up, Barton has a really good chance of producing five to six times value vs this Thunder defense that is much weaker on the wings without Roberson. (2.6 opponent +/-) Don’t get me wrong, Paul George is a good defender, but the numbers don’t lie about this being a softer unit without Roberson. (above) This is a nice price for Barton, assuming the usage continues, and he is a really nice mid-tier target that gives you another piece of this game, at a very affordable salary.
Also Consider: Khris Middleton (43.25 DK points last game, with Bledose only playing a total of two minutes. Bledsoe is out tonight and in five full games without him, Middleton is seeing a team high 9.3 DK point increase, at 43.35 DK PPG), Malcolm Brogdon (28 DK PPG in the five that Bledsoe has sat), Jarell Martin (better if Davis and Green sit another one), John Henson (they need him to guard KAT and this a 4.49 opponent +/-), LaMarcus Aldridge (after two sub-par games, LA rebounded with a 40.25 DK point game vs The Nuggets. His price has dropped to $7,700, which is simply too cheap for him), Karl-Anthony Towns (at home where we all know he is much better, taking on The Bucks, who are a high 6.11 opponent +/- for starting centers), Jamal Murray (30+ DK points in back to back games), Trey Lyles (should start again with Plumlee out, will be low owned after his down game last time out), Bradley Beal (will lead the team in usage, is at home, and is a decent spot vs The Raptors, who are 2.93 opponent +/-), Andrew Harrison/Dillon Brooks (better if The Grizzlies are very thin again), and Otto Porter Jr. (37 DK PPG in these last two without Wall, but the matchup is tough vs The Raptors, who are a 0.54 opponent +/-)