Welcome back everyone. Alex here, and I am back with my DraftKings NBA Playoff Picks for April 22nd, 2017. Saturday’s slate is a solid slate with four games to attack. Be sure to still follow all the injury news up until the 3:00 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: Damian Lillard: (8,300) I know The Blazers got smacked by 29 points in game two, but there is no way Lillard should have seen a $400 price drop heading back to his home court. This is a huge game for Lillard and The Blazers and they should be pumped up and ready to do everything they can to pick up this win in game three. At a price of $8,300, Lillard needs to score 41.5 DK points to return value, which is something he should easily do, with him averaging 45 DK points in home games this season.
By the numbers, this is a difficult matchup with The Warriors currently presenting an opponent +/- of -1.55 points to starting PGs, but no matter the matchup, I think Lillard will step up and have a big game in front of his home crowd. This game should remain close throughout, especially if SF Kevin Durant sits out again (-6 Warriors), and I am expecting Lillard to log close to 40 minutes and score 45-55 DK points tonight. At this discounted price, he is one of the strongest overall values of this slate, and is core play for me on Saturday night.
C: Greg Monroe: (5,500) Monroe struggled vs this Raptors team in the regular season, only averaging 17.5 DK points in their four meetings, but he has been great so far in this playoff series, averaging 33.2 DK points over the first three games. His minutes have been consistent, averaging 23.6 minutes a game. He has also has been more involved in the offense, with a 27.9% usage rate, which is a 3.3% jump from his 24.6% average during the regular season.
He has always been a very productive fantasy player, but the increase in usage has been a huge boost for him, with him averaging a terrific 1.36 DK points per minute in this series compared to the 1.11 DK points per minute that he was scoring before this series. He has been a huge factor for this Bucks team, and with them leading this series 2-1, there is no reason why this new higher usage won’t continue today in game four. With 20-25 minutes off the bench, he should meet five times value, with 30-35 DK point upside, especially with this game being being played at home, where Monroe is averaging 4.7 more DK points a game this year. His price is slowly increasing to where it should be, jumping $800 since game one, but at $5,500 he is still too cheap for the way he is currently playing.
PF/C: Mike Muscala: (2,500) Muscala has been solid so far in this Hawks-Wizards series, when considering his cheap price, with him averaging 14.25 DK points off the bench. He isn’t going to play much, but he should see around 15-20 minutes in game three, which is enough for him to return five times value at his $2,500 price, with him averaging 0.83 DK points per minute this season.
Also there is always a chance he could approach 25 minutes, if starting center Dwight Howard gets in foul trouble like we saw in game two, which pushed Muscala to logging 23 minutes off the bench in the loss. You can’t expect much out of him, but if you need a very cheap punt for this slate, Muscala is a viable option at only $2,500, that will help you fit in the high-end players you want.
PF/C: Serge Ibaka: (5,900) Ibaka was a victim of a huge blowout in game three, only scoring 10.75 DK points across 26 minutes in the 77-104 loss, but I think we see him and The Raptors bounce back today in game four. Before game three, Ibaka was playing excellent for The Raptors, putting up 44 DK points in game one and then 39.25 DK points in game two. This is an extremely important game for The Raptors, who could go down 3-1, if they lose, and I think we see a much more competitive game today, with Vegas giving this game a small spread of only two points in favor of The Bucks.
Ibaka should get back to playing high minutes and I think we see him log 35-40 minutes in this pivotal game four. If we forget about what happened in game three, Ibaka has been scoring a great 1.15 DK points per minute in this series and with the type of playing time I am expecting, he should produce 30-35 DK points with upside vs this Bucks defense, that is currently presenting a solid opponent +/- of 1.31 points. Just like with Lillard, DraftKings has cut Ibaka’s price after a blowout loss in his last game, bringing his salary to a very affordable $5,900. He is great value at this price and is a strong option in both cash games and GPPs for this four game slate.
Also Consider: Ian Clark, Marcin Gortat, Andre Iguodala (boost if Durant is out again), Patrick McCaw (if Durant is out), JaVale Mcgee, Evan Turner, James Ennis, David West, Matt Barnes (if he is active and Durant is out), Andrew Harrison, Tim Hardaway Jr., and Pau Gasol.