What’s up everyone. Alex here, and I am back with my DraftKings NBA picks for March 27th, 2018. Tonight, we get back to a full slate with eight games on tap. 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: Chris Paul: (8,100) Paul will return tonight after missing two games with a sore hamstring, but The Rockets will be without SG James Harden. (rest) Paul instantly becomes the focal point of this Rockets offense. In the eight previous games CP3 has been active for with The Beard sitting, he has seen a 4.4% usage bump and a large 12.7% assist percentage increase, leading him to scoring 46.97 DK PPG. Even with Harden out of the lineup, The Rockets are still heavy home favorites over the tanking Bulls. (-14 HOU) This is concerning, but Paul should still be able to meet five times value at this discounted price tag, that doesn’t in any way reflect the role he will have tonight.
He is scoring 1.54 DK PPM this season when Harden has been off the floor, which is a team high 0.3 DK PPM bump from his average and with a modest projection of only 30 minutes, Paul should have no issues topping 40 DK points vs this Bulls’ defense that ranks dead last in efficiency by a wide margin over their last three games. (3.61 opponent +/-) He has already dominated this defense once this season without Harden, scoring 52 DK points in a win back in January. At the moment, he is the strongest value on DraftKings via his Vegas props, with an implied fantasy score of 48.15 points. Paul is extremely underpriced at $8,100 and is a core play for me on Tuesday night.
PG: Quinn Cook: (5,900) His salary keeps rising, but Cook is still a strong value at $5,900. PF Draymond Green will be back with the team, but I don’t think this is any reason to stop attacking Cook. PG Steph Curry (knee), SG Klay Thompson (hand), SF Kevin Durant (ribs), and SF Omri Cassipi (ankle) will all still be out, which will keep Cooks minutes high as The Warriors’ starting PG. If we don’t count the 12 minutes he played vs The Spurs, Cook has been great without Green these last three games, averaging 34.9 DK PPG, which includes a game with Curry back, but he was even better in the prior two with Green healthy and starting, averaging 43.5 DK PPG.
Given SF Patrick McCaw was out in these two games, which elevated Cook’s minutes slightly, but he has still seen an average of 34.5 MPG in these past three with McCaw back. With KD, Curry, Thompson, and Cassipi off the court this year, Cook is producing 0.95 DK PPM. He should log roughly 35 minutes tonight and I think he will top 30 DK points for the sixth straight game, even though this matchup vs The Pacers isn’t ideal. (0.84 opponent +/-) He just showed us on Sunday night that he can handle a tough matchup, scoring 38 DK points in the loss to The Jazz. He remains a fine target at this price and is someone I feel comfortable with in both cash games and GPPs. UPDATE: After being listed as probable, Green is now doubtful to play as he is still dealing with an illness. This further helps Cook’s minutes and rates making him an even better play than before. Also, Kevin Looney and Jordan Bell become viable plays with Green remaining out. I prefer whoever starts. Looney started the last game and scored 22.75 DK points in a difficult matchup vs The Jazz.
PF/C: Kelly Olynyk: (6,700) This is the highest Olynyk has been priced this season, but he is playing great basketball right now and he should see an even bigger workload tonight with both centers, Hassan Whiteside (hip) and Bam Adebayo (ankle) out. Even as a bench player with a healthy Adebayo starting for Whiteside, Olynyk has been excellent in these last six games, averaging 39.3 DK PPG. He has been playing roughly 30 minutes off the bench, but tonight with these two out, he should start at center and have to play 35+, barring really bad foul trouble. His matchup tonight is perfect for him, going against The Cavs, who tend to play small ball, which benefits Olynyk, as he isn’t a natural center.
He will be mostly matched up with Kevin Love, who has never been known for his defense and this matchup is currently rating as a 3.99 opponent +/- for starting centers. He has been scoring an awesome 1.4 DK PPM in his last four games and when you combine this strong matchup along with the higher minutes he should see, Olynyk should out produce his current salary, with excellent upside if he can put up a double double, which is certainly possible vs this Cavs defense that still ranks as the second worst unit in The NBA.
SG/SF: Gerald Green: (4,700) In these last two games with Paul sitting out with the hamstring injury, Green has been a spark off the bench, averaging 32.5 DK PPG and 32.3 MPG. His role should been very similar tonight with Paul back and Harden out. Green’s minutes are slightly inflated because of blowouts in these two games, but blowout or not, I think Green should see around 30 minutes again tonight vs The Bulls.
He scores an efficient 0.95 DK PPM with Harden off the floor this season and vs this defense that is last in The NBA over their last three games and an opponent +/- of 3.99 points, Green has a great chance of getting us five to six times value once again. We can’t expect another 40+ DK point outing, but 25-30 DK points is a fair expectation and Green is a value play that shouldn’t be ignored on Tuesday night.
Also Consider: Nick Young (will be lower owned after his bad game of 16.25 DK points on Sunday, but I think we need to give him a pass on this given he was playing The Jazz. The matchup isn’t miles better vs The Pacers, but it is a better matchup overall and he is still going to approach 40 minutes even with Green back. He should be able to manage 25+ DK points in this spot), Fred VanVleet (averaging 29.7 DK PPG in his last four games and the matchup is very nice for guards, sitting at a 3.64 opponent +/-), Jamal Murray (has played over 30 minutes in six of his last seven and has scored 38.8 DK PPG in his past four), Buddy Hield (saw a very high 39% usage rate Sunday vs The Celtics. It won’t be this high again, but it will be over 25%. He is scoring 37.6 DK PPG in his last six and is playing The Mavs, who are the 8th worst defense in their last three games), Pascal Siakam (20+ DK points in four straight games), Jrue Holiday/Ian Clark (if Rondo is out. Both were frustrating last game, but if Rondo sits their minutes and rates will be higher. This matchup is tough vs The Blazers, but this is an important game for The Pelicans and they will be lower owned after Saturday), Rajon Rondo (if he plays), Al-Farouq Aminu (sub par game of 24.75 points vs The Thunder Sunday, but was on a tear before this, scoring 40+ DK points in their straight games. This is the perfect spot for him to get back on track vs The Pelicans, who are a notable 3.9 possession increase and a 5.56 opponent +/- for Aminu), Dennis Smith Jr. (scored 36.25 DK points in 32.5 minutes in his first game back from the sprained ankle. He has a decent Vegas prop score of 31.25 fantasy points), Damian Lillard (elite spot vs The Pelicans, who are a high current opponent +/- of 5.38 points), LaMarcus Aldridge (been unreal, averaging 56 DK PPG in his last five. His opponent, The Wizards are very weak inside and he scored 50.3 DK points on them just last week. Every game matters for The Spurs right now and he should be relied on heavily in this matchup), James Johnson (will likely see close to 35 minutes with Bam now out as well. He scores 1.03 DK PPM without Whiteside, Adebayo, and Dion Waiters this season. The matchup is just an added bonus, with The Cavs presenting a very high opponent +/- of 6.18 points, which is one of the best on the board tonight), and Sean Kilpatrick. (very risky, but he just signed a three year deal with them and with Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine, Paul Zipser, and Antonio Blakeney all hurt, he should be thrown right into this rotation. He is a player who always commands high usage and if he sees 20-25 minutes, with room for more if The Bulls get blown out, I think Kilpatrick has a decent chance of scoring over 20 DK points, which would be an awesome return considering he is a bare minimum $3,000)