What’s going on guys. Alex here, and I am back with my DraftKings NBA picks for February 5th, 2018. After a quiet Super Bowl Sunday for The NBA, we get back to a full slate, with seven games to target tonight. 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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PF: Blake Griffin: (8,500) Griffin hasn’t been affected by the move to Detroit, as he is averaging 44.4 DK PPG in his first two starts in a Pistons’ uniform. His usage has remained high at 26.6% and he has picked up nine and then ten rebounds in these past two games. (14.2% rebound percentage) Tonight, he will be taking on The Blazers, who are the easiest matchup he has faced since being traded. They allow the 11th most DK points to PFs (1.54 opponent +/-) and he has dominated them over the past two years, averaging 51.1 DK PPG in his last four meetings with The Blazers.
Also, this game will be at home in Detroit and even though this is a new home court for him, Griffin is averaging 4.1 more DK points a game in home contests vs when he is on the road this season. At a price of $8,500, he needs to score 42.5 DK points to meet five times value, which is certainly possible, with him averaging 43.2 DK PPG this season and his current Vegas prop DK projection being 41.25 points. With top play Anthony Davis playing down in pace vs a tough Jazz frontline (0.99 opponent +/-), I will be building around Griffin and Nikola Jokic, who as always, is simply too cheap at $8,700. He is averaging 47.4 DK PPG in his last eight games and is at home where he is scoring 5.6 more DK points per game.
PF: Nikola Mirotic: (5,800) He didn’t draw the start in his Pelicans’ debut, but Mirotic shined in his first game with the team, notching a double double of 18 points, 12 rebounds, while also chipping in with four steals, two assists, and a block in 35 minutes off the bench. (48 DK points) There isn’t any word that he will enter the starting lineup with Dante Cunningham moving to bench, but either way, starter or reserve, Mirotic will play heavy minutes for this team, with The Pelicans missing out on Greg Monroe as a free agent and Demarcus Cousins (Achilles) done for the year.
He scores an efficient 1.23 DK PPM this season and in 30-35 minutes, Mirotic should score 30+ DK points tonight, even though this is an ugly matchup vs The Jazz. (0.51 opponent +/-) There hasn’t been many occasions this season that he has seen over 30 minutes, but when he has, he has always smashed value, with him averaging 37.5 DK PPG in the last two contests he has logged 30 or more minutes. Without question he will be a popular option (41%+ projected ownership via Fantasy Labs), but this is the last time we will see him priced under $6,000 and he is a must have value play for this Monday night slate.
PG/SG: Zach LaVine: (6,600) For the first time since his return this season, LaVine logged 30+ minutes in a game on Saturday night. They didn’t get the win, but he played very well with the expanded playing time, scoring 21 points, nine rebounds, four assists, and one steal across 31 minutes vs The Clippers. (41.75 DK points) He saw a 27.2% usage rate in this contest and he is averaging a 25.5% usage in these first ten games since coming back from the knee injury. Starting PG Kris Dunn is still out with the concussion and LaVine will once again start at the one tonight vs The Kings. He hasn’t played since Saturday and there is no game tomorrow, so he should have no limitations and I am expecting 30+ minutes on Monday night.
This matchup isn’t perfect, but it has improved as the season has gone on, with them sitting at a current opponent +/- of 1.99 points for opposing starting PGs. His rates don’t shift much at all without Dunn and PF Nikola Mirotic (traded to NO), this is purely off the higher minutes he will see with his role growing. He is averaging 1.13 DK PPM as a Bull and I am expecting 35-40 DK points in this expected tight game. (SAC -2.5) His salary keeps rising, but he still rates as a very nice value play at $6,600, that can be used comfortably in all formats, even if the matchup isn’t the best.
PF/C: Dwight Powell: (3,700) The last two games, The Mavs have elected to start Powell over rookie Maxi Kleber. He is averaging 29.5 MPG compared to his 18.6 MPG average for the season and has produced 24.5 DK PPG vs his 16.6 DK PPG season average. He has one of his best performances of the season vs The Kings on Saturday night, scoring 17 points, to go along with nine rebounds, one assist, and one steal in 31 minutes of action. (31.25 DK points) Assuming he draws another start, which seems likely with them picking up a win on Saturday night, Powell should play 25-30 minutes vs The Clippers. He scores 0.9 DK PPM this season and with a starters role, he should easily get five times value in this strong spot, with The Clippers currently presenting an opponent +/- of 5.04 points.
In fact, in the last eight games he has logged at least 25 minutes, he is averaging 25 DK PPG. We won’t have official word of him starting with this game tipping off at 10:30 PM EST, but at this cheap of a price, Powell is worth the risk, even if we are just assuming he will remain a starter. UPDATE: Starting SF Harrison Barnes will be out with a sprained ankle. He hasn’t missed a full game this year, but when he is off the floor, Powell’s usage goes up 1.1%. Also, him being out will most likely tighten the rotation, which should help stabilize Powell’s minutes. Hard to say who will start, but I think they go smaller, with Wesley Matthews sliding to the three and Yogi Ferrell starting at the two. He isn’t the greatest value, but Ferrell would be a viable option if he starts, while J.J. Barea is also be a decent play, as he will likely see a few extra minutes off the bench.
Also Consider: Nikola Jokic (above), Bobby Portis (Lauri Markkanen will miss another game due to a personal matter. Portis is averaging 30 DK PPG off the bench the last two games and this is a nice matchup, with The Kings rating as a 3.63 opponent +/-), Jamal Murray (34 DK PPG in last four), Donovan Mitchell (really strong matchup vs The Pelicans, who are a 4.39 opponent +/-. He is averaging 43.2 DK PPG vs them this season), Dwight Howard (has slightly slowed as of late, but his Vegas prop projection is strong at 42.75 DK points and he scored 42 DK points vs them in their first matchup of the season), Domantas Sabonis (If Myles Turner is out. Sabonis is averaging 30.3 DK PPG in the 16 that Turner has sat), Jerian Grant (27 DK PPG in these last six without Dunn), Mario Hezonja (27.25 DK PPG off the bench in these past three without Aaron Gordon. Gordon will be out again and Hezonja should play 25-30 minutes), Lance Stephenson (elite value play if Victor Oladpio is out. 30.2 DK PPG in the five Dipo has been out this season), Victor Oladipo (If Collison sits. Oladipo has been a beast in the two games the PG has been out, averaging 57 DK PPG, on a 31.7% usage rate), Cory Joseph (if he starts for either Oladipo or Collison), Otto Porter Jr. (38 DK PPG in these past four without Wall), Bradley Beal (more of a GPP play at the higher price, but the upside will always be there when Wall is out. He is averaging 48 DK PPG with The All Star PG sitting the last three), Will Barton (35.4 DK PPG over last four and his usage came back up last game to 23.8 %), Wesley Matthews, and Yogi Ferrell/J.J. Barea. (above)