What’s up everybody. Alex here, and I am back with my DraftKings NBA sleeper picks for March 16th, 2017. Tonight we get a decent sized slate with six games to attack. Be sure to follow all the injury news up until the 7:00 PM EST lock tonight, 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: Chris Paul: (8,800) It is not clear if Paul is back to being fully healthy, but Clippers Head Coach Doc Rivers has elected to rest center Deandre Jordan and PF Blake Griffin (neither player made the trip to Denver) and not Paul tonight vs The Nuggets. Unless some other news comes up and he is also ruled out, Paul should handle a very big workload tonight with the two big men out. There has only been 57 minutes this season that Paul has been on the floor without Jordan and Griffin, but over the past two seasons, when the two bigs are on the bench, Paul has posted a high 30.9% usage rate in a sample size of 219 minutes. Assuming he will not be limited and he plays his normal minutes, he should have great success tonight in a gorgeous matchup vs The Nuggets who have struggled all season vs PGs, giving up the 2nd most DK points to the position, with a high current opponent +/- of 4.51 points, which is the 2nd best matchup for any player in action tonight, based on opponent +/-.
Also with this Clipper team shorthanded, this is expected to be a competitive, but still high scoring game, with its four-point spread, and high O/U game total of 220.5 points. He should also see a slight boost playing up in pace with The Nuggets being the 8th fastest team this year compared to this Clippers team that plays at the 17th fastest, which is a two possession increase according to Fantasy Labs. With 30-35 minutes of playing time, I am expecting 40-45 DK points with huge upside out of Paul. As I said above, if no news breaks that he will be rested or limited tonight, Paul will be a building block for me in both cash games and GPPs.
PF/C: Marreesse Speights: (3,300) I know he will be the chalk play tonight, but realistically, how do you not roster Speights tonight with both Jordan and Griffin out. He never starts, but with this frontcourt so depleted, he should draw the start at center tonight vs The Nuggets. There has been no full contests this season that The Clippers have been without both big men, but when they are off the court, Speights sees a 25% usage rate, a 16.9% rebound percentage, and is scoring 40.03 DK points per 36 minutes. It’s hard to expect him to play 36 minutes, but with a tentative projection of 25 minutes, he should still crush value, with the 1.11 DK points per minute he is averaging this season.
Like I said earlier Speights has never played a full game without Griffin and Jordan, but a player who has, is former Clipper backup center Cole Aldrich. Last season in the five games that both players were out, Aldrich was terrific, averaging 38.6 DK points in 29.6 minutes a game. Speights has a great chance to put up similar numbers tonight vs this Nuggets defense that allows the 10th most DK points to centers, with a current opponent 2.28 points. At this price, barring any injuries or foul trouble, Speights should easily return five times value with 30-35 point upside, and is core play for me in all formats.
SG/SF: Joe Ingles: (3,900) Ingles is expected to draw the start tonight at SG with Rodney Hood ruled out with a sore right knee. Hood is a fragile player, already missing 19 games this season, and in those games, Ingles has been solid in his absence, averaging 22.9 DK points in 30.3 minutes a game. With back up PG Shelvin Mack (ankle) and PF Derick Favors (knee) also confirmed out, Ingles should start and play 30+ minutes tonight vs The Cavs.
This is a very appealing matchup for him with this Cavs defense allowing 4th most DK points to SGs this year, with a 2.41 point current opponent +/- vs starting SGs. He isn’t the most exciting play, but with a starting role, he should score 20+ DK points tonight. At only $3,900, he is a safe cheap value that can be used as either a SG or SF, that may get overlooked, with his low expected ownership of 5-8%. (via Fantasy Labs)
PF: Juan Hernangomez: (3,900) The Nuggets will get PF Kenneth Faried back tonight (back), but they will be without SFs Danilo Gallinari (groin) and Wilson Chandler (knee) vs The Clippers. It isn’t official yet, but with these two forwards out, Hernangomez is the most likely candidate to start at SF tonight. This is going to be the fourth game this season that both players have missed, and in the prior three, Herenangomez has stepped up, averaging 26.4 DK points in a high 38.1 minutes per game. If he starts he should easily play 30+ minutes, but even if he came off the bench, he would still likely play 25-30 minutes.
With this kind of role, he should score 20+ DK points, with him averaging 0.82 DK points per minute so far this season. The matchup definitely could be better with The Clippers currently presenting a -1.87 point opponent +/-, but the overall game environment (220.5 point O/U) and the playing time he should see, will help him meet value tonight. I am expecting 20-25 DK points from him and he is a nice play in all formats on Thursday night.
Also Consider: Will Barton, Joe Johnson/Alec Burks, Brandon Bass, Austin Rivers, Kenneth Faried, Trevor Booker, Gary Harris, Tim Hardaway Jr., Lance Thomas (better if he is starting), Kyle O’Quinn, and Jamal Murray.