Happy Halloween everyone! Alex here, and I am back with my DraftKings NBA picks for October 31st, 2017. Tonight’s slate is a smaller slate with only four games. 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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C: Andre Drummond: (8,200) After two lackluster games to open the season, Drummond has topped 40 DK points in five straight games. A combination of foul trouble and different rotations held him to only 24.3 minutes in those first two games, but Head Coach Stan Van Gundy has let him off the leash since, with Drummond averaging 35.7 minutes a game over his last five. There has never been any questions about him being a good fantasy player, and if he continues to see this high of playing time, he should continue to put up numbers, as he is averaging 1.37 DK points per minute this season.
Tonight he couldn’t be in a better position to crush value once again, going against one of the worst defenses in the league, The Lakers. To no surprise, they have been terrible at defending centers, with a very high opponent +/- of 10.83 points. He also should see a boost playing against this Lakers team that is one of the fastest teams in The NBA. (3.7 possession increase) On top of all of this, Drummond has dominated The Lakers over the last few seasons, averaging 45 DK points a game over his last six meetings with LA. His price is at a season high, but he is still too cheap when considering the minutes he has been playing and this dream matchup. He is a core play for me in all formats on Tuesday night.
SG/SF: Stanley Johnson: (4,300) Just like with Drummond, Johnson’s minutes have been very high as of late. His minutes were up and down through the first couple of games, but he is now averaging 36 minutes over his last three. The numbers haven’t been eye popping, but he has been solid with the uptick in playing time, averaging 24.8 DK points during this stretch, which is 0.7 DK points per minute.
The Lakers have been a decent matchup for SFs (0.18 opponent +/-) and he should also benefit from the big jump in pace. We just saw how a fast paced game can affect his production on Sunday, with him having his best game of the season, at 29 DK points vs The Warriors, who rank inside the top ten in pace, just like The Lakers. Johnson’s salary is also up based on this matchup, but he is still a nice value play that should be able to meet five times value at only $4,200.
C: John Henson: (4,100) With back up center Greg Monroe out with a calf injury, Henson flourished with a bigger role off the bench, posting a near double double of 12 points, nine rebounds, three assists, three blocks, and two steals across 28 minutes on Sunday. (36.25 DK points) In this game, he saw a 20.4% usage rate and a 20.9% rebound percentage, which are both solid increases from his season averages. Monroe is expected two miss the next two weeks, and Henson should see 20+ minutes again tonight vs The Thunder. On Sunday, he scored an elite 1.28 DK points per minute.
It is hard to expect this kind of production again, but Henson has always been a solid fantasy player when he gets decent playing time, as he is scoring 0.92 DK points per minute over the last two seasons. In 20-30 minutes, he should easily out produce his price tag against this Thunder defense that is currently presenting an opponent +/- of 6.24 points to back up centers. Bucks Head Coach Jason Kidd’s rotations are always tough to predict, but at this price, Henson seems like a worthwhile risk for this small slate.
PG: Tyler Ulis: (4,000) Tonight’s Suns-Nets game has the highest total of the night, at 231 points, which is the highest of the slate by a large 20.5 points. Ever since starting PG Eric Bledsoe hasn’t been with the team, the minutes have been very spread out, but Ulis has been playing well in his absence, averaging 23.3 DK points a game off the bench over his last three games. The minutes aren’t high, but he has seen a steady 22.7 minutes a game. He is currently seeing a solid 20.5% usage rate with the second unit and is scoring 0.89 DK points per minute.
He should see around 20 minutes again tonight going against this Nets team that has been one of the worst teams at defending PGs. (7.6 opponent +/-) His ceiling isn’t high with this kind of role, but in this elite game environment, he should be able to put up 20+ DK points. PG Mike James might be the starter, but Ulis has been the slightly better fantasy player, and is the better value at a cheaper price. At only $4,000, Ulis is a fine way to get a piece of this high total, that may get overlooked, simply because he is a bench player. (9-12% projected ownership via Fantasy Labs)
Also Consider: Al Jefferson (better if Sabonis out, would likely start), Domantas Sabonis (if active), Thaddeus Young, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson(nice value that would get even better if Demarre Carroll was out again), Bogdan Bogdanovic (if he starts for Temple), Caris LeVert (would also see a bump if Carroll is out), Tyson Chandler, Skal Labiserre/Willie Cauley-Stein (If Zach Randolph is out), Bojan Bogdanovic, Josh Jackson, Steve Adams, Larry Nance Jr., and Avery Bradley.