What’s going on everybody. Alex here, and I am back with my DraftKings NBA picks for February 8th, 2018. Thursday night, we get a decent sized slate with six 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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C: Dwght Howard: (8,300) Howard disappointed last game, with only 30.25 DK points vs The Nuggets, but this was due to his limited minutes in the blowout loss. He only saw 28 minutes in this game, but this was rare, with him averaging 34.5 MPG in the prior 12 contests. He was playing some of his best basketball of the season during this time, averaging 44.5 DK PPG. Tonight, he is in a good spot to bounce back, taking on The Blazers, who have are a current opponent +/- of 3.74 points and have allowed the second most total rebounds per game over their last three.
In The Hornets first matchup vs The Blazers this season, Howard scored 40.3 DK points in 33.6 minutes. With this game having a small spread of only four points in favor of The Blazers, Howard’s playing time isn’t much of a concern and should get right back on track tonight in this spot. He is a steal at $8,300, when you consider he was priced over $9,000 for more most of last week and I think Howard is one of the better high end spends of Thursday night.
SF/PF: Michael Beasley: (6,300) It is very unfortunate, but with PF Kirstapas Porzingis done for the year with a torn ACL, Beasley should be a great fantasy option for the rest of the season. Not only is Porzingis out of the picture, but starting center Enes Kanter (mouth) is out tonight and The Knicks just dealt backup center Willie Hernangomez to The Hornets. They received center Johnny O’Bryant in the deal and two second round picks, but they waived O’Bryant before he even got to New York. So, without Porzingis, Beasley is The Knicks starting PF going forward and he should log close to 30 minutes tonight vs The Raptors. There hasn’t been any games without these three this season, but there has been two full games that The Knicks have played without Porzi and Hernangomez and in those two contests, Beasley thrived as a starter, averaging 35.6 DK PPG, while seeing 32.6 MPG and a team high 33.9% usage rate. He scored 1.09 DK PPM in these two games and he is scoring an elite 1.24 DK PPM with all three of these of these Knicks’ big men off the court this season, which is an excellent 44.8 DK points per 36 minutes of action.
His matchup is ugly vs The Raptors (-0.34 opponent +/-), who are the 3rd best rated defense this season, but the minutes and usage outweigh any matchup he will see. DraftKings was quick to adjust his price to life without Porzingis, but he is still slightly too cheap at $6,300. The main worry here is that this game could get out of hand, with The Knicks as 13.5 point underdogs, but The Knicks are rather thin in their front court at the moment and I think we see Beasley log starter like minutes even if this game is over by the fourth quarter. Either way, he could easily get value in limited minutes with the usage he should handle and is a player I will be using in both cash games and GPPs.
PF/C: Kyle O’Quinn: (4,400) O’Quinn also is in line to see a much bigger role for The Knicks. Trading away Hernangomez and not keeping O’Bryant was a very strange move considering you just lost their All Star PF, but it instantly puts O’Quinn in as The Knicks starting center, with Kanter also out. He didn’t do much in the two full games without Porzingis and Hernangomez earlier this season, scoring 19 DK PPG, but he is just too strong of a fantasy player (1.15 DK PPM) to ignore in this current situation. He is essentially the only true healthy center left on this roster and you have to think he plays at least 25 minutes tonight, regardless of what happens in this game, which is more than enough time for him to out produce his current price tag.
Furthermore, he is the only player on this team that really has any shot of matching up with Jonas Valancuinas physically. In 20-25 minutes of work, O’Quinn has a great chance of meeting five times value, in this decent matchup vs The Raptors (2.36 opponent +/-), with a rather high ceiling, if he ends up playing in the 30s. His price went up, but it didn’t go up enough and O’Quinn is the best point per dollar value of this six game slate.
PG/SG: Josh Hart: (5,500) Hart has been a stud as a starter in these last three games with PG Lonzo Ball out with a knee injury, notching three straight double doubles and averaging 38.3 DK PPG. His minutes were lower in the first few games without Ball, but in these past three starts, he is playing more than anyone on the team, averaging 35 MPG. Now, his role is going to be even bigger tonight, with Ball still out and with the breaking news that The Lakers just dealt PG Jordan Clarkson and PF Larry Nance Jr. to The Cavs for PG Isaiah Thomas and PF Channing Frye.
Thomas shouldn’t be with the team tonight and Hart should have to log close to 40 minutes vs The Thunder. His rates should climb even higher tonight, with Clarkson and Nance gone, and in all the time he has seen without these two plus Ball, Hart has seen a nice 7.2 DK point increase this season. He is averaging 1.11 DK PPM over his last three games and in 35-40 minutes, Hart should score 30+ DK points, with upside vs this Thunder defense that has struggled since losing SG Andre Roberson. (2.41 opponent +/-)
Also Consider: Brook Lopez (should have to play more with Nance traded and the usage should be up without Clarkson. It is also worth keeping an eye on Julius Randle, as he has been a name brought up frequently in trade rumors. If he was also dealt, Lopez would have to play close to 30 mins), Julius Randle (if he isn’t dealt, he will be the primary big man for The Lakers tonight and his usage will be higher than usual), Kyrie Irving (simply too cheap at $7,900. Before the blowout loss on Tuesday to The Raptors, he topped 40 DK points in six straight games and his usage would rise if Jaylen Brown was out. His usage goes up 1.5% with Smart and Brown off the court), Brandon Ingram (usage and minutes will rise after this trade), Raymond Felton (would likely start if Westbrook sat this one out, making him a great punt vs this Lakers defense that is a 3.67 opponent +/-), Shelvin Mack (bigger role off the bench recently, averaging 24.24 DK PPG in his past five), Greg Monroe (sneaky play if he suits up tonight for The Celtics. It is his first game, but starting center Aaron Baynes has been struggling and Monroe wouldn’t need much time to get value at this cheap $4,300 salary), Terry Rozier (if he started with Brown out), Draymond Green (better if KD is out. Is averaging 36 DK PPG in all the games Durant has sat this season), and Jerami Grant. (if Melo sits. 29.5 DK points in 35 minutes after Anthony left last game. He would most likely start in Melos place)
*Please note that I am posting this before the trade deadline at 3:00 PM EST today. Many moves could happen and change the whole landscape of tonight’s NBA DFS slate. If any trade happens that I believe creates or effects a DFS situation for tonight, I will try to tweet about it before roster lock. @Hunta512