Welcome back everybody. Alex here, and I am back with my DraftKings NBA picks for April 16th, 2017. Sunday’s slate is a small slate with only four games on tap . Even though we mostly know everything at this point, be sure to still follow all the injury news up until the 1:00 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: Russell Westbrook: (13,800) It is very hard deciding whether to roster James Harden or Russell Westbrook on Sunday, and even though he is $1,800 more, I think Westbrook is the better play, with the struggles Harden has shown vs The Thunder this season. In the four games the two MVP candidates have faced each other this year, Westbrook is averaging a great 65.8 DK points compared to Harden’s 50.7 DK point average, which is very low for him when considering he is averaging 60.4 DK points a game this season. All four of these games were competitive and it is rather clear that The Thunder know how to somewhat contain Harden and that The Rockets have a much more difficult time trying to stop Westbrook.
Now I am not saying Harden won’t have a good game, this is just a glaring stat that is making me lean towards playing Westbrook in DFS. He will be ready and on a mission in this game to show the world he is this year’s MVP and I am excepting 70+ DK points from Westbrook, with this Rockets defense allowing the 7th most DK points to PGs this season. (1.32 opponent +/-) Westbrook isn’t the easiest player to fit in at this salary, but I think he is the best stud to build around for Sunday’ slate.
PG: Rajon Rondo: (6,000) Rondo isn’t 100% right now as he deals with a “significant” wrist injury, but he lives for the playoffs and it would surprise me if he didn’t play heavy minutes in game one, regardless of his injury. The bad blood between Rondo and The Celtics is long gone now, but I know for a fact he is excited about taking on his former team. It’s just the type of player he is and there is no doubt he will be doing everything he can to have a big game in The TD Garden on National TV.
He has always rose to the occasion when taking on The Celtics since they traded him, with him averaging 33.3 DK points in the seven games that he has faced Boston over the last three seasons. If you have been following The NBA closely for the last ten years or so, you know “national TV Rondo” is a real thing, and I am expecting him to score 30-35 DK points with great upside, with this Celtics defense currently presenting an opponent +/- of 2.05 points vs starting PGs. In my opinion he is underpriced right now at $6,000, and is a player I will be targeting in both cash games and GPPs.
C: Marcin Gortat: (4,100) Gortat’s minutes were lower in the last month and a half of the season, but he should have to play closer to 30 minutes in the first few games of this series, with backup center Ian Mahinmi out. (calf) Mahinmi was hurt the whole beginning of the season until the beginning February and in the first 51 games that he missed, Gortat played 34.6 minutes a game compared to the 25.5 minutes, he has been averaging since Mahinmi made since his season debut.
With higher minutes, Gortat should return at least five times value (0.9 DK points per minute), even with this being a difficult matchup for him against The Hawks, who have allowed the 3rd fewest DK points to centers this season. Hawks center Dwight Howard is still a good defender at his age, but Gortat has had no issues against his former teammate this year, averaging 27.9 DK points in their first four matchups this season. He is simply too cheap at $4,100 and is one of the best overall values of this four game slate.
SF: Andre Roberson: (4,000) As I said above, James Harden has had a tough time vs The Thunder this season, and one of the main reasons for this has been Roberson’s defense. He is The Thunders best wing defender and will be the player who guards Harden the most in this series. Barring foul trouble, he should play 35+ minutes and score 20+ DK points vs this defense he is averaging 27.1 DK points against this year.
He was limited in the final two games of the year, but before that he was on a nice run, averaging 24.5 DK points in his previous seven games. There isn’t much upside for such a low usage player (10.1% usage rate this season), but at his price, he is a solid value play just based on the minutes he should log in this important game.
Also Consider: Tim Hardaway Jr., Clint Capela, Nene, Al-Farouq Aminu, Steven Adams, Andre Iguodala, Kelly Olynyk, Jae Crowder (averaging 33.3 DK points over his last four games), Dwyane Wade, Taj Gibson, Zaza Pachulia, Mike Muscala, and Patrick Beverly.