Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 2/22/18
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After a long and boring All-Star Break, the NBA welcomes us back with a solid 6-game slate. Every game is relevant and no one game stands out above the rest. We kick point guard off with Kemba Walker, who'll face off with the Brooklyn Nets at home in Charlotte. With a 215 over/under and 7 point spread, Vegas expects the game to be close and relatively high-scoring. Kemba was dominating pre-ASB and put up 40+ fantasy points in 3 of the last 4. He now sees the greatest match-up in all of the league, vs the Brooklyn Nets. They rank dead last against PG's on the year and it has most to do with the lackluster defense of Spencer Dinwiddie and Jarrett Allen. The Nets play at a top 5 PACE and the Hornets have no issue matching them. His price is still fair on both sites and you're needing just about 40 in cash games. He's an elite play in both cash games and tournaments. Welcome back to the NBA!
Hey, Russell Westbrook is on this slate and you can absolutely play him. He is $12k, but you know you can get 70 fantasy points on any night. However, it's not so easy to pay up here. Stephen Curry and Kemba Walker have similar upside, are much cheaper, and are both in phenomenal match-ups. Curry is slightly more expensive than Kemba, even though he hasn't been as good. The minutes are constant and we know who Steph Curry is. He was running a little slow and likely looking forward to some ASB rest. He got it and will be out there tonight against a Clippers squad that ranks 28th against the position. Rivers is a fun offensive guy, but he plays no defense. Curry is going to do damage here and you can count on 40+ fantasy points. I do slightly prefer Kemba, but will have plenty of exposure to both. Let's get a little cheaper next.
Prior to the All-Star Break, Austin Rivers was clearly healthy. He saw 35 minutes in 3 straight games and didn't miss a beat with his shot. He put up 24+ fantasy points in 3 of the last 4 games and now sees a phenomenal match-up against the Warriors. They aren't the worst on paper, but they play the 3rd fastest in the NBA and they are worse against PG's than anywhere else. Rivers is still very cheap around the industry and we know exactly what to expect minutes-wise. He'll shoot 15+ times and they'll need his scoring punch to keep it anywhere close in this match-up. He's safe in all formats and can be trusted for 25+ fantasy points. There isn't much in this price range and Rivers is very solid.
Zach LaVine FD - $7100 DK - $7000
Opponent - PHI
Proj Pts FD - 33.41 DK - 34.62
LaVine does, however, guarantee you 35 fantasy points with the upside for 60. If you think this game stays close and you want excessive exposure, go ahead. It could very well be close and end up with a 230 total. The Sixers don't play any wing defense and both of these guys will have success when given the opportunity.
Bradley Beal FD - $9500 DK - $9400
Opponent - CLE
Proj Pts FD - 43.58 DK - 44.82
Say what you want about Bradley Beal, he’s one of the leagues best scorers. He’s obviously hushed when John Wall is in the lineup, but would be putting up 25+ a night all year long if he was out of town. He’s showing his true colors as the temporary leader of this offense and has put up 45+ fantasy points in 4 of the last 6 games. He hit 65 as a ceiling in one. We can all admit the price is a bit much and you do need a big game. I just don’t think it’s very out of the question against an eastern conference foe like the Cavs. They rank 22nd against SG’s and LeBron will be occupied with Porter, so the opportunity is most definitely there for Beal to keep the Wizards in the game by himself. Don’t be afraid to pay more than you ever have for Beal, who some may argue hasn’t entered his prime yet.
LeBron James FD - $11600 DK - $11800
Opponent - WAS
Proj Pts FD - 55.49 DK - 56.89
There are two ways to pay up at small forward and be happy with yourself. Kevin Durant against the Clippers will put up 50 fantasy points on most nights. He's $1k cheaper than LeBron and I have no problem if you want to go that route. Personally, I'm all over LeBron here. Aside from him riding this wave of joy, the match-up is perfect and the slate fits. We know LBJ likes to get up against other solid eastern conference teams and the Wizards are a team he's always played very hard. Otto Porter Jr. is a great defender, though the DvP disagrees. You're also looking at LeBron, who can put up 70 fantasy points against Kawhi if he wanted to. Porter Jr. and the Wizards lackluster interior defense is nothing at all to be worried about. LeBron and the Cavs will continue riding the wave into this game and he'll continue having the ball in his hands all game long. He's playing big minutes and controlling the offense 100% of the time. The price is high, but not high enough to make me go anywhere else.
Justin Jackson FD - $4200 DK - $3900
Opponent - OKC
Proj Pts FD - 15.8 DK - 16.26
I love Justin Jackson tonight as a way to gain an edge. Not only has he recently picked up an excess of minutes, but there’s a legitimate reason behind it. Dave Joerger has already announced that he will be giving his younger players minutes and this is going to turn into a showcase half for Jackson. He got up to 30 and 34 minutes in the 2 games before the break and is still just over $4k. You’re only looking for 20 fantasy points in cash games and that’s a lock if he’s given ample opportunity. No Sacramento King volatile youngster is a lock, but I could very well end up with 100% Jackson as a way to stand out from the field. The Thunder play right into the hands of Jackson, who prefers to play fast and in the open court. He’s safe for 20 FP with easy upside for 40 if his minutes are stretched out. He’s a guy I’m comfortable with in all formats.
Ben Simmons FD - $9000 DK - $9000
Opponent - CHI
Proj Pts FD - 43.81 DK - 43.08
Ben Simmons is an interesting DFS character. We all know the beast he is every time he takes the court, but the upside isn't necessarily there. He does get to 60 FP every once in a while, but you're more so looking for Simmons in cash games. He's always above that 40 mark and will almost always make you happy in conservative contests. He controls the entire 76ers flow and is locked into his usage more than anyone, including Embiid. The Bulls are an underwhelming defense by every measure and it doesn't really matter who sticks to Simmons. At the 4, Portis and Markkanen are way too immobile. At the 2 and 3, Holiday and LaVine are too small. He'll see a nice mismatch either way and you know the 32+ minutes will be there, assuming it's not an early blowout. His price is sitting at $9k on both sites and it's not a horrible deal in any format. I'll personally stick to cash games, but it's not crazy in tournaments if you have prior exposure to this game. Simmons is as safe as you'll find on this slate.
Frank Kaminsky FD - $3600 DK - $4300
Opponent - BKN
Proj Pts FD - 17.78 DK - 18.16
Prior to the All-Star Break, Kaminsky played 22,25, and 29 minutes. He put up 15, 20, and 30 fantasy points. He's always been productive when on the floor and it just comes down to how many minutes he can get to. He's certainly healthy at this point and you can count on at least 25+ minutes. This match-up against the Nets is amazing, as they rank 2nd worst in the league against PF's. Quincy Acy is a damn good rebounder, but it's the only thing he does above average on the basketball court. Kaminsky is far too cheap on both sites and only needs you about 20 in cash games to make you more than happy. Power forward is one of the weaker positions on the slate and Kaminsky gives you a very comfortable way to pay down. He'll be on most, if not all, of my teams. In cash games, you'll find him and Kemba everywhere, along with the guy we'll talk about at the next position.
Dwight Howard FD - $9000 DK - $8400
Opponent - BKN
Proj Pts FD - 44.29 DK - 45.5
It's not tough to see why you have to love Dwight Howard tonight. The obvious elephant in the room is the pitiful Nets defense. Big surprise, they rank dead last against centers. The 2nd worst team allows 36 FP per game, opposed to the 39 from the Nets. They are simply atrocious against every position and play at a very fast PACE. Howard has been exceptional over the last couple months and is being allowed to stretch close to 40 minutes in close games. The Hornets are only 7 point favorites, so Vegas expects both sets of starters to be in there 'till the buzzer. Howard is still rather affordable on both sites for his recent production and I don't think it's crazy to expect 45+ fantasy points. He is a lock for close to 2 FP per minute against this defense and has bonkers upside if he has a marquee game. Howard has easy 20/20 potential tonight and I will have him in almost every single lineup of mine. Let's touch on a savings options just in case.
Marcin Gortat FD - $5000 DK - $5000
Opponent - CLE
Proj Pts FD - 27.23 DK - 27.1
It appears that Marcin Gortat is back to his normal self. His minutes have still been a bit inconsistent and weird, but the production is flowing at over 1 FP per minute over the last 20. The Wizards have a big match-up tonight with the Cavs and you can be sure that the starters will be stretched. Especially with them coming off of the All-Star Break. We know the Cavs are pitiful against big men and Gortat will have no problem putting up an easy double-double in 28+ minutes. Vegas assumes this game is going to be close and it's hard to disagree when these 2 teams face off in what seems like 2-3 nailbiters a season. Gortat is by no means sexy, but we know what to expect and the price is very fair. Good luck tonight and feel free to comment below with any questions!
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- LeBron James, Isaiah Thomas: (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)