What’s up everyone. Alex here, and I am back with my DraftKings NBA picks for February 24th, 2018. Saturday night’s slate is a solid slate with seven games to target. 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.
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PG: Russell Westbrook: (11,600) With plenty of value out there tonight, it makes sense to attack Westbrook in this shootout vs The Warriors. This game by far has the highest O/U game total of the slate, at 233.5 points and it is expected to stay relatively close, with a spread of 9.5 points, which is a smaller spread for a Warriors game at home in The Oracle. We all know Russ takes playing his former teammate, Kevin Durant, very personally and he should very hyped up and ready to do anything he possibly can to win this game tonight. He is nearly averaging a triple double vs them this season, at 62.4 DK PPG.
He struggled with his shot in his first game back from the break (.28% on Thursday), but I wouldn’t let this bother you at all, as he should top 60 DK points tonight playing in this fast paced positive matchup, that is currently a 3.86 opponent +/-. He is by far the top overall play of the slate and is the player I want to build around on Saturday night.
SF/PF: Nemanja Bjelica: (3,400) It is unfortunate that Jimmy Butler can’t face off against his former team tonight due to a knee injury, but Bjelica should start in his place and is in a must have value play at only $3,400. He averages 0.83 DK PPM this season and in the prior six games that Butler has missed, Bjelica has benefited the most on this Wolves team, averaging 24.5 DK PPG and 30.5 MPG, which is a team high 11.4 DK point increase.
Furthermore, this is a great matchup, as The Bulls have allowed the sixth most DK points to SFs this season. (2.29 opponent +/-) He should easily meet five times value and score 25+ DK points in this situation. He is by far the best value on the board tonight and is core play for me on Saturday night.
PG/SG: Trey Burke: (3,800) Emmanuel Mudiay got the start at point for The Knicks in their first game after The All-Star Break, but it was Burke who took advantage of the team playing their younger players more, scoring 26 points, six assists, four rebounds, a block, and a steal in a season high 30 minutes off the bench vs The Magic on Thursday night. (44.5 DK points) Even though he came off the bench, Burke saw a team high 33% usage rate in the win. Mudiay will most likely start again, but with The Knicks making a commitment to going younger for the rest of the year and after the way he played on Thursday, Burke should see close to 30 minutes again tonight vs The Celtics.
This may not be a dream matchup like he saw on Thursday vs The Magic, but The Celtics are currently a slightly above average matchup for guards. (2.13 opponent +/-) Regardless of the matchup, Burke is simply too cheap for the minutes and usage he should see this evening. For the month of February, he is averaging 1.13 DK PPM and with 25-30 minutes of action, he should have no issues smashing value. I am not expecting over 40 DK points again, but 20+ DK points is a fair projection, making Burke a very nice value play, that is viable for both cash games and GPPs.
SF/PF: James Johnson: (4,800) In the first game back from the break, Johnson came out and played 35 minutes off the bench last night vs The Pelicans, with starting PF Kelly Olynyk out with a shoulder injury. He filled up the stat sheet with 12 points, four rebounds, four assists, two blocks, and two steals in the one point loss. (30.5 DK points) Olynyk hasn’t officially been ruled out, but he is isn’t expected to suit up again tonight, which should keep Johnson in a 30+ minute role off the bench. This is going to be the fifth game this season that Olynyk has missed and in the first four, including last night, Johnson is averaging 23.9 DK PPG. He scores 0.82 DK PPM with Kelly off the court and with the minutes I am expecting, Johnson has a strong chance of returning at least five times value, even though this matchup vs The Grizzlies isn’t perfect. (1.73 opponent +/-)
He has already shown us this year that he can handle this slower match up, scoring 26.8 DK points in 31 minutes vs Memphis earlier this season. If he is going to play starter like minutes, Johnson should never be this cheap and I think he is a fine value play tonight, that might get overlooked due to this matchup not being appealing on paper. (5-8% projected ownership via Fantasy Labs)
Also Consider: Jamal Crawford (26.75 DK points in the four games he has played without Butler this season), Hassan Whiteside (43.5 DK points in 34 minutes last night vs The Pelicans. The matchup is ugly vs Marc Gasol and The Grizzlies, but the $6,700 price tag is just enticing for a player who is averaging 35.3 DK PPG this season. Miami will need his size vs Gasol and he should have to log 30+ minutes, barring bad foul trouble), Andrew Harrison (sucked last night, but the minutes should still be high if Wayne Selden sits another one out), Devin Booker (significant $600 price drop from last night. He needs 37 DK points to meet value at this salary, which is certainly possible with him averaging 38.9 DK PPG this season), Draymond Green, Emmanuel Mudiay (minutes weren’t as high as expected at 22 minutes with the starting role, but the upside is still there if he remains as a starter. He is the logical GPP pivot off Burke, who will be chalky), Alex Len (great play if Tyson Chandler is out again. He is averaging 37 DK PPG in these past two with Chandler sitting), Zach LaVine (minutes and usage will be up no matter with The Bulls going young and he is playing his former team in The Wolves. Also Butler’s absence makes this a much more appealing matchup. He scored 46.8 DK points in his first game vs The Wolves earlier this season), and Bobby Portis (I hate chasing the points, but if Robin Lopez is DNP CD again, Portis is viable for GPPs. The minutes and usage will be up, even if he comes off the bench).