What’s going on everybody. Alex here, and I am back with my DraftKings NBA Playoff Picks for April 18th, 2017. Tonight’s slate is a small slate with only three games to target. 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.
PG: Isaiah Thomas: (8,300) Thomas showed some unbelievable strength and courage to come out and play the way he did Sunday, after the loss of his younger sister Chyna on Saturday. In 38 minutes, Thomas dropped 33 points to go along with six rebounds, six assists, and one steal in the loss to Bulls. (50 DK points) It was a very inspiring performance and I am not taking anything away from what he did, but as expected you could tell that sorrow was affecting him, especially towards the end of the game. It was “uncertain” if he would be available to play in game two, but he has decided to stay in Boston with his team for this game and then fly out to Washington to be with his family tomorrow.
The grief and sadness will still be there with him tonight, but I think we see him have a similar or even better performance in game two with this game being a must win situation for The Celtics. He should come out and play close to 40 minutes and definitely return five times value with 50-55 DK point upside. (0.34 opponent +/-) Right now we are getting Thomas at a slight discount, and at $8,300 he is a very strong value pay that I will be deploying in all formats tonight.
PF/C: Derrick Favors: (5,300) Favors will draw the start at center tonight, with Jazz center Rudy Gobert out with a knee injury he suffered in game one. The injury happened less than a minute into the game on Saturday, and after Gobert exited, Favors had to play a bigger role, scoring 26.5 DK points across 32 minutes in the dramatic game one victory over The Clippers. He has also been dealing with a knee injury himself recently, but this is the playoffs and they will need his size against Deandre Jordan and Blake Griffin, which should result in him logging 30+ minutes.
For the season Favors’ usage has not moved much with Gobert off the court, but his rebounding percentage has seen a solid 2.1% increase. This year he is averaging 0.93 DK points per minute and even though this is a tough spot against The Clippers (9th vs centers), I think the veteran will put up 25-30 DK points with decent upside, if he can record a double-double.
PG/SG: Matthew Dellavedova: (2,800) Delly didn’t do much in game one, only producing 12.25 DK points, but he still logged high minutes playing 31.52 minutes in the win. He is never going to put up huge numbers, but, at his new cheap $2,800 salary, which is a $300 drop from Saturday, he only has to score 14 DK points to return value, which is for sure a possibility, with him averaging 18.4 DK points in the five games he has taken on The Raptors this year.
He is clearly no stud fantasy player (0.69 DK points per minute), but with this high of minutes, any player has to be considered at this price. Before Saturday, in the three previous games he played at least 30 minutes, Dellavedova was averaging a solid 23 DK points a game. Unless you want to pay up for Demar Derozan at $8,000 or Dwayne Wade at $6,200, SG is a very ugly position on Tuesday. I would rather save money by using Dellavedova to be able to pay up at other positions, especially if he ends up coming with this low projected ownership of 9-12% (via Fantasy Labs), which is a low projection given the size of this slate.
SF: Khris Middleton: (6,000) Another Buck player who played heavy minutes in game one was Middleton, who played a team high 40.78 minutes on Saturday. He was effective with these minutes, putting up a near double- double of ten points, nine assists, two rebounds and a steal. (28 DK points) The Raptors are favored by seven points tonight at home, but this game should remain close enough, that Middleton sees 35+ minutes again.
This matchup could be better with The Raptors allowing the sixth least DK points to SFs this season, but with this type of playing time, he still has a great chance of hitting five times value, when considering he is scoring 0.95 DK points per minute this season. Middleton always has the chance of having a big night, and at his mid-tier price tag, he is a safe play that I am comfortable with in both cash games and tournaments.
Also Consider: Greg Monroe, Marresse Speights, Jae Crowder, Kelly Olynyk, Boris Diaw, Joe Ingles, Malcom Brogdon, Cristiano Felicio, Cory Joesph, Serge Ibaka (if he is active), P.J. Tucker (boost if Ibaka is out), Avery Bradley, Joe Johnson, and Jonas Valancuinas (also would see a bump if Ibaka as out).