What’s going on guys. Alex here, and I am back with my DraftKings NBA picks for January 23rd, 2018. Tuesday night’s slate is a decent slate with five 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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PF/C: LaMarcus Aldridge: (8,700) Aldridge struggled his last time out (25.5 DK points vs The Pacers), but we need to forget this and go right back to the well tonight. Even if you include that down game vs The Pacers, Aldridge is averaging 43 DK PPG and a 31% usage rate in this past four games without SF Kawhi Leonard. (quad) He is in the perfect matchup to bounce back this evening, taking on The Cavs, who are the 2nd worst defense in The NBA this season and the 3rd worst over their last three games. In these past three games, this Cavs squad has been giving up a high average of 58 total rebounds a game, which is the 3rd highest mark in the league during that time. They are currently rating as a high opponent +/- of 5.1 points, which is one of the best rated matchups for a big man on Tuesday night.
Plus, The Spurs will still be without Leonard and Rudy Gay (heel), but they will also be resting center Pau Gasol and SG Manu Ginobili. In the minutes he has logged in this situation this season, Aldridge is leading this team with a 32.8% usage rate and a 17.7% rebound percentage. I am expecting similar rates tonight and with this kind of usage in this strong of a matchup, Aldridge is one of the best point per dollar plays of the night even at an elevated salary. He should put up 45+ DK points and is a building block for me on Tuesday night.
PG: Dejounte Murray: (4,600) Sunday, Spurs’ Head Coach Greg Popovich made a tough decision, but the right decision, starting Murray at PG and moving veteran Tony Parker to the bench. The second year guard out of Washington played well with the starting five, scoring 28.75 DK points in 28 minutes of action vs The Pacers. The plan is to keep Murray as a starter going forward and tonight he should see an even bigger role with The Spurs without Leonard, Gay, Gasol, and Ginobili. With these four vets off the court this season, Murray is posting a 26% usage rate, which is a team high and a 5.1% jump from his usual rate, along with a 4.1% assist percentage bump. He is scoring a nice 1.1 DK PPM and 39.2 DK points per 36 minutes when these four players are off the floor, which is 9.6 DK point differential, the highest increase for any player left on the team.
As a starter, he should log 25-30 minutes and with the increased rates, Murray should easily achieve five times value in this excellent matchup vs the struggling Cavs. As I said above, they are the 2nd worst defense in the league this season, the 3rd worst over their last three games, and are currently a 3.92 opponent +/- for opposing starting PGs. Like most starting PGs, Murray has a large six inch size advantage of Cavs’ starting PG Isaiah Thomas and not only should he exceed value, but he has a decent ceiling of 35-40 DK points with all these Spurs out. He will be a chalky option tonight, but he is a such a strong value that I recommend eating the chalk and locking Murray in all your lineups.
PF/C: Skal Labissiere: (4,400) You never know what starting five The Kings will roll out on any given night, but no matter who is in the starting five, younger players like Labissiere should see higher minutes for the rest of the season. Even though he came off the bench last night, Labissiere played starter like minutes off the bench, logging 29 minutes in the loss to The Hornets. He had a very strong game off the bench, dropping 23 points, four rebounds, two assists, and a block, while seeing a higher 27% usage rate. (32.5 DK points) Whether he starts or not, he is now averaging 28.4 MPG over The Kings’ last three games. When he sees decent playing time, he usually produces, with him averaging 0.91 DK PPM this season.
Tonight, in 25-30 minutes of work, I am expecting 25+ DK points for him going against a weak Magic defense that has struggled with opposing big men all season. (2.33 opponent +/-) There is a solid chance he returns to the starting five tonight, which would give him a chance of topping 30 minutes. We should know before roster lock with this being the first game of the night to tip off, but either way, starter or reserve, Labissiere is a strong value play that should out perform his cheap price tag in this spot.
PG: De’Aaron Fox: (5,200) Just like with Skal, Fox is one of younger players on The Kings who has benefitted from them cutting back their veterans minutes. Unlike with Labissiere, Fox’s starting role is pretty much locked in and he is playing 32 MPG over his last ten. In this time, he is averaging 26 DK PPG. His minutes should stay over 30 again tonight in a dream matchup vs The Magic, who have been awful at defending PGs this season, allowing the second most DK points to position, currently sitting at a very high opponent +/- of 6.96 points.
This is his first meeting with The Maigic this season, but I don’t see him having any issues against this very soft defense that is the 4th worst rated in the league this season. As of right now, he is a very strong value play based on his Vegas props, with the props giving him an implied DK score of 25.65 DK points. I think we 25+ DK points out him with 30-35 point upside, especially if he can notch a double double. This is a great price tag for him and Fox is a viable play in all formats for this five game slate.
Also Consider: Willie Cauley-Stein (same situation with WCS. No matter who is rested or limited he will see high minutes, as he is averaging 34.3 MPG over his last five), Buddy Hield (minutes aren’t as safe as Fox or WCS, but he has topped 28 DK points in three of his last four and this matchup is great at a 4.91 opponent +/-), Davis Bertrans (should see 25+ minutes tonight with The Spurs thin. He has struggled as of late, so there is risk, but he is very cheap and the matchup is gorgeous vs The Cavs at a 6.8 opponent +/-), Kyle Anderson (will start and is seeing a 3.7% usage bump in this situation. He is averaging 36.4 DK PPG over his last two), Evan Fournier, Bryn Forbes (if The Spurs go small and he starts), Al Horford, and Jordan Clarkson. (Ball is out again, but would be better if KCP also sat another one out. In these past two games without these two, he is averaging a whopping 55.4 DK PPG and 35.4 MPG. We most likely won’t know about KCP, which makes Clarkson risky at this higher price)