What’s up guys. Alex here, and I am back with my DraftKings NBA Playoff Picks for April 23rd, 2017. This playoff slate is a decent sized slate with four games to attack. 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: Chris Paul: (9,800) As expected, Paul was The Clipper who stepped up the most, after PF Blake Griffin left in the second quarter of game three (toe), leading this team with 34 points, 10 assists, seven rebounds, and two steals in 36 minutes of action. (63.25 DK points) The Clippers curse is officially real and with Griffin ruled out for the rest of the postseason, Paul should carry a huge load offensively for the remainder of the playoffs. In the game three win, Paul posted a team high 36% usage rate and scored an elite 1.63 DK points per minute. These numbers are somewhat dramatic, but we can definitely expect very high rates out him again in game four, with Paul averaging 1.48 DK points per minute on a 26.6% usage rate in the 424 total minutes he has played without Griffin this season
There’s no denying it, The Clippers in this CP3-Blake Griffin era have been a huge disappointment overall, but we can’t let this take away from how great of a NBA player Paul really is. He is an extremely smart and tough player who is going to do everything he possibly can to help this Clippers team pick up another win in game four. DraftKings obviously understands this as they have increased his price $800 dollars since Friday night, but with the expected bump in his usage, the upside is just too high to ignore even at this elevated price tag. Regardless of this being a very difficult matchup vs The Jazz (-1.51 opponent +/-), Paul should produce 50+ DK points in roughly 35-40 minutes on Sunday night.
SG: Gerald Green: (2,700) Green was inserted into the starting lineup for game three, and even though he only scored 10.25 DK points, The Celtics picked up a convincing win with the new starting five, which should keep Green as the starting SF for Sunday’s game. He played 20 minutes with a starting role and I think we can expect him to play similar minutes in game four. 20 minutes isn’t much playing time, but Green is an aggressive player, who is averaging 0.83 DK points per minute this season, and even with only 20 minutes, he still has a great chance of exceeding value at his current price.
Even when including the quiet game he had Friday night, Green is averaging 16.5 DK points in his last four games he has played at least 15 minutes, which would be a great 6.1 point per dollar return at his $2,700 salary. Almost all of the players priced under $3,000 in this post season have very limited upside, but I actually think Green has a chance of putting up 20+ DK points just with the nature of player he is. Overlooking any starter this cheap would be a mistake and I think Green needs to be considered in all formats for this slate.
PF/C: Marresse Speights: (3,900) There is no official word yet of who will start in place of Griffin, but either way with a starting role or not, Speights should have to play more minutes with the star PF out. This front court is now very thin with Speights, Deandre Jordan, and Brandon Bass being the only healthy natural big men left on this roster. The Clippers will have to resort to playing more smaller lineups, but I think we see Speights play 20+ minutes in game four, which is plenty of time for him to out produce his salary.
For the season, Speights is scoring 1.12 DK points per minute when Griffin has been off court and is averaging 21.7 DK points in the 21 games that Griffin has missed this season. With a tentative projection of 20 minutes, Speights should score 20+ DK points, even in this tough match-up vs The Jazz. (-0.91 opponent +/-) It always seems like he disappoints in these type of situations, but I think there is a lot more downside in not rostering Speights at this cheap of a price, with the upside he has as a such a productive fantasy player.
PG: Patrick Beverly: (5,500) Beverly struggled with foul trouble in all of game three, limiting him to only scoring 11.2 DK points in 25 minutes before fouling out, but I think we see him rebound in game four after how effective he was in the first two contests of this series. He was huge part of The Rockets picking up wins in games one and two, averaging 37.5 DK points in the two games.
Realistically, no one is going to stop Russell Westbrook, but Beverly is easily The Rockets best option to defend the MVP candidate, and if he can stay out of foul trouble, he should play 30-35 minutes on Sunday. His defensive stats will always give him solid upside and when he plays higher minutes he usually exceeds value, with him averaging 28.4 DK points in the last ten games he has played 30 or more minutes. Beverly is a solid value play at $5,500, and is a player I am comfortable with in all formats on Sunday.
Also Consider: Andre Roberson, Myles Turner, Nene, Joe Ingles, Jerian Grant/Michael Carter-Williams (whoever starts is the better play), Deron Williams, Paul Pierce (better if he is starting), Victor Oladipo, Jae Crowder, Marcus Smart, Luc Richard Mbah A Moute, Brandon Bass (extremely risky) , Lou Williams, Jerami Grant, Avery Bradley, Kevin Seraphin, and Thaddeus Young.