What’s going on everybody. Alex here, and I am back with my DraftKings NBA Playoff Picks for April 21st, 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.
PG: Russell Westbrook: (13,900) Westbrook exploded on Wednesday night, putting up an insane stat line of 51 points, 13 assists, ten rebounds, four steals, and a block. (96.5 DK points) Even though Westbrook claims he doesn’t care about his stat line, we all know he does, and it may be hard to expect him to approach 100 DK points again, but there’s no doubt he should post another triple double and exceed value in this extremely important game at home. (Thunder -2) The Thunder need to pick up a win tonight if they want to keep their hopes of advancing alive and Westbrook should play like a man possessed again in game three.
The Thunder’s offense becomes very stagnant when he is off the floor and it really showed in game two, leaving Head Coach Billy Donovan no choice but to play Westbrook a very high 41 minutes. With even more on the line tonight, I think we see him play right around 40 minutes again, and score 70+ DK points vs this Rocket defense that has allowed the 6th most DK points to opposing PGs this season. (1.43 opponent +/-) At first it was difficult rostering Westbrook at $13,900, but with some super punts popping up after the Rajon Rondo news, it has become much easier to fit him in for this three game slate.
PG: Jerian Grant: (2,700) Bulls PG Rajon Rondo was terrific last game and played until the buzzer sounded, but now out of nowhere, news has been released that he fractured his right thumb in the win and will be out indefinitely. This is a huge blow for The Bulls and they are now expected to start Jerian Grant at PG tonight. Grant was the PG who always drew the start during the regular season when Rondo was out, and in the 13 games he missed this season, Grant averaged a solid 21.7 DK points, leading this Bulls team with a 9.0 DK point increase. He should play right around 30 minutes with Michael Carter-Williams taking over Grant’s role as the back-up PG.
He isn’t the best fantasy player (0.78 DK points per minute), but with starter like minutes vs this Celtics defense that has a current opponent +/- of 2.08 points, Grant should score 20+ DK points, making him an elite value at only $2,800. There is no question he be one of the chalk plays of the night, but there is no way you are ignoring Grant at this cheap of a price tag. Carter-Williams is definitely hard to trust, but I think he is also a very viable option at an even cheaper salary of $2,100. You have to rank Grant higher because he is the starter, but I don’t mind utilizing both players in lineups if you want squeeze in multiple studs.
PF/C: Kelly Olynyk: (4,600) Olynyk has been solid off the bench so far in the first round, scoring 27 DK points in game one and 29 DK points in game two. The minutes have remained consistent, with him playing 23 and 24 minutes in these two games. Starting PF Amir Johnson has really struggled on both ends of the floor this series, and The Celtics need Olynyk to produce off the bench if they have any hopes of coming back from this 0-2 series deficit.
The referees for some odd reason hate him and he will always be a foul trouble risk, but if he can manage to stay out of extreme foul trouble, he should play 20-25 minutes again off the bench. He basically is averaging one DK point per minute this season (0.98), and if the minutes continue as they should, he should hit fives time value with solid upside vs this Bulls defense he has played well against this season, averaging 30 DK points in his last four games vs The Bulls. His projected ownership of 5-8% (via Fantasy Labs), is very low for this small of a slate, and he is one of my favorite contrarian plays to target on Friday night.
SF: Andre Roberson: (4,900) Roberson has been excellent, averaging 35.35 DK points over the first two games of this Thunder-Rockets series. To no one’s surprise, he has stepped up defensively, snagging two steals in each game, two blocks in game one, and three blocks in game two, but he has also been more active on the glass, getting eight rebounds in both games, which is a 2.7% rebound percentage increase from his regular season average. They have wanted him on the floor as much as possible to defend James Harden, with him averaging 36 minutes a game so far in these two losses.
He has been scoring 0.98 DK points a minute so far in the playoffs, and with 35+ minutes again tonight, he should produce 25-30 DK points against this Rockets defense that is currently presenting a solid opponent +/- of 1.73 points. His new $4,900 price tag is fair, but he is still slightly underpriced if this production continues, and I think he is a viable mid-tier target in all formats tonight.
Also Consider: Michael Carter-Williams, Paul Zipser, Nene, Robin Lopez, Jae Crowder, Patrick Beverly, Derick Favors, Jermai Grant, Jamal Crawford, Marresse Speights, George Hill, and Avery Bradley.