What’s up everybody. Alex here, and I am back with my DraftKings NBA Playoff Picks for April 20th, 2017. Tonight’s slate is a small slate with only three games on tap. 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.
SF: Kawhi Leonard: (9,300) Leonard has been outstanding so far in the first round of The Playoffs, scoring 46.75 DK points and 53.25 DK points in the two wins over The Grizzlies. SF Tony Allen’s absence has really shown in these two games, with him averaging 34.5 points a game on a ridiculous 64% shooting from the field. In DFS there is always a slight risk in playing Leonard or any of his teammates because there usually is a blowout risk with a team as dominant as The Spurs are, but tonight’s game is expected to remain close, with Vegas only favoring The Spurs by four points.
The Spurs are smart and they understand how valuable it would be if they swept this Grizzlies team in the first round. Assuming this game stays close as expected, Leonard should log 35-40 minutes and put up 45-55 DK points vs this defense that has no answer for him right now. His price is slowly creeping up to where it should be, jumping $800 since game one, but Leonard is still too cheap at only $9,300 and he is a player I will be locking into most of my lineups on Thursday night.
PF/C: Zach Randolph: (5,400) Randolph’s minutes were limited in game one due to a blow out (10.75 DK points), but he bounced back nicely in game two which was a much closer tilt, scoring 38.5 DK points in a high 36 minutes off the bench. The 36 minutes was a great sign for what kind of minutes Randolph should play in these playoffs, if the game stays tight, and he should log 30+ minutes again in game three which currently has a small spread of only four points.
Being an older bench player at 35 years old, Randolph’s minutes were hard to predict during the regular season (24.4 minutes per game), but if Randolph sees the high minutes that he should in this very important playoff game, he will have no problems exceeding value, when considering he is averaging 1.14 DK points per minute this season. The matchup is obviously not perfect vs The Spurs who have a current opponent +/- of -1.27 points, but I am not going to let this hold me back from playing him at this discounted price. At $5,400, he is arguably the strongest value of the slate and a player that is very easy to fit in with his PF and C eligibility.
SG: Lance Stephenson: (5,100) As it has been so far the whole playoffs, SG is by far the thinnest position of the night. Demar Derozan is clearly the best play, but he isn’t cheap at $8,000, and I would rather pay up at other spots, with him not meeting five times value in either of the first two games of this series. The SG punts available are very weak and even though his price has adjusted accordingly, I think Stephenson is the best value at the position. He was playing okay at the end of the regular season as he worked himself back into this Pacers rotation, averaging 19.5 DK points over the final six games, but he has looked like his old self in these first two playoff games, averaging 27.3 DK points a game off the bench.
Even though the minutes aren’t very high (26.6 minutes), he has been a big part of this offense, posting a 22.7% usage rate in these two playoff games, which is a sizable 2.4% increase from his regular season average with The Pacers. The matchup is great for him vs this Cavs team that has allowed the 6th most DK points to SGs this year, with a current opponent +/- of 2.35 points. The Pacers will be pumped and ready to go for this game and Stephenson should see 25-30 minutes off the bench and approach five times value with 30 DK point upside vs this defense. I am not over excited about paying this much for Stephenson, but given the lack of appealing options at his position, he will be the SG I will be rostering the most for this three game slate. (9-12% projected ownership via Fantasy Labs)
C: Myles Turner: (5,500) Turner has been solid so far in the playoffs, averaging 27.4 DK points, but I think we see him put up 30+ DK points tonight with this game being played at home in Indiana. He has been a different player this season when competing on his home floor, averaging 6.0 more DK points at home compared to when he is on the road.
Also even though he has been decent in these first two playoff games, DraftKings has cut his price a whole $1,000 since game one, which makes no sense when factoring in his dramatic home/away splits. The matchup is slightly difficult vs The Cavs (-0.14 opponent +/-), but either way I think we need to take advantage of Turner at this depressed price tag tonight.
Also Consider: Thon Maker, Patrick Patterson (30 minutes last game), Pau Gasol, Malcolm Brogdon, P.J. Tucker, Vince Carter, Iman Shumpert (if J.R. Smith is out) Greg Monroe, James Ennis, Tony Snell, Andrew Harrison, and Tony Parker.