What’s up everybody. Alex here, and I am back with my DraftKings NBA picks for October 18th, 2017. Tonight we get a full slate with 11 games on tap. Be sure to follow all of the injury news tonight, all the way up until the 7:00 PM 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: Kyrie Irving: (8,500) Irving had an impressive debut as a Celtic, putting up a line of 22 points, 10 assists, four rebounds, and three steals across 39 minutes. (53.3 DK points) Not only did he post a solid 21% usage rate with SF Gordon Hayward exiting this game very early (ankle), but he also lived up to his word about becoming more of a playmaker this season, sending out 10 assists, which was a high 41% assist percentage. Losing Hayward this early is a devastating blow for Boston and the whole team is going to have to take on bigger roles, especially Kyrie, who should see his usage approach 30% in these next couple of games.
Tonight, he and The Celtics head home to take on The Bucks. By the numbers, this is a tough matchup for Irving, as The Bucks allowed the 4th fewest DK points to opposing PGs in 2017, but with the high usage and assist percentages I am expecting, he should reach five times value against this Bucks defense that he has had success against in the past. (44.3 DKPPG vs MIL in 2017) He scored a nice 1.3 DK points per minute last night and I am expecting another 45-50 DK point performance from him on Wednesday night.
SG/SF: Jaylen Brown: (3,900) In the wake of losing Hayward, Brown also stepped up, dropping a career high 25 points, to go along with six rebounds, and two steals. (36 DK points) He started the game at SG, but the loss of Hayward forced Brown to log a whopping 40 minutes and take 23 shots on a team high 29.1% usage rate. This is only one game, but this is a massive jump from the 18.3% usage rate that he averaged last season. Even with 40 minutes last night and a night of traveling under his belt, Brown will once again start tonight vs The Bucks, and should play roughly 35 minutes.
The matchup is average (MIL allowed the 13th most DK points to SGs in 2017), but regardless of any matchup, this 20-year-old athletic freak should have no issues out producing this soft salary with this increased amount of playing time and usage. Rookie Jayson Tatum also had a productive night playing with a bigger role than expected, posting a double-double, of 14 points and ten rebounds in 37 minutes. (32.5 DK points) His usage wasn’t anything like Brown’s (16.3%), but he should also easily hit value at his $4,100 salary. Both are going to be very chalky picks, but I think it is smart to eat the chalk and lock both players in tonight.
SF/PF: Ersan Ilyasova: (4,800) With PF Paul Milsap, SG Tim Hardaway Jr., and Center Dwight Howard all gone from this Hawks team, Ilyasova and PG Dennis Schroder should soak up most of this starting unit’s usage to start the year. Ilyasova will be starting at PF alongside center Dwayne Dedmon, who is a very low usage player, averaging a 12.4% usage last year. The other starters Hawks’ starters will obviously take on bigger roles as well, but in the 86 minutes that Ilyasova played without Milsap, Howard, and Hardaway Jr. last season, he saw a high 28.5% usage rate, and scored 36.5 DK points per 36 minutes of action.
Expecting him to play 36 minutes tonight is a stretch, but with Ilyasova as a starter, he should log 25+ minutes, which is more than enough for him, as he averaged 1.02 DK points per minute last season with those three players off the floor. The one worry here is that The Hawks have the lowest team total of the slate at 96.25 points. This obviously is a concern, but in terms of a value stand point, Ilyasova is clearly underpriced, as he is averaging 28.15 DK points in the last six games he has played at least 25 minutes. At only $4,800, I don’t mind him in cash, and think he is an excellent GPP target with his low expected ownership of 2-4%. (via Fantasy Labs)
PF/C: Kelly Olynyk: (4,800) Tonight, I think it is a good strategy to pay up at guard, and to pay down at PF and center. Olynyk at $4,800 seems like a very nice bargain in his new starting role with The Heat. Last season in Boston, Olynyk didn’t start, but he was always an effective player when he was on the court, scoring 1.18 DK points per minute. It will obviously take some time for him and center Hassan Whiteside to get used to playing with each other, but in a starting role, Olynyk should play 25-30 minutes, barring bad foul trouble.
This is a very nice spot for him to have a solid outing in his Heat debut, going against a weak Magic defense, that had a high opponent +/- 4.6 points vs opposing big men last season. Playing against this soft defense, I am expecting around 25 DK points from him tonight, as he is averaging a great 26.15 DK points in the last five games he has logged 20+ minutes. Just like with Ilyasova, Olynyk is someone who will probably get overlooked tonight in their new role (2-4% projected ownership via Fantasy Labs), and is a fine value play that has solid upside, especially if he can get hot from outside.
Also Consider: Marcus Smart (strong value that could become even better if he starts for Hayward. 34.75 DK points last night 35 minutes) , Aaron Baynes, Evan Turner (better if he is confirmed starting for CJ McCollum), Vince Carter, Dwayne Dedmon, Tyler Johnson, Skal Labissere (if Zach Randolph is out) Eric Gordon (nice play if Chris Paul is out), Andrew Wiggins, Clint Capela (nice bounce back spot, should be lower owned), Rudy Gay (better if he starts for Leonard), Marquesse Chriss, James Ennis, Avery Bradley, and Jeremy Lamb.