Basketball Lineups Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Joel Bartilotta

FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Picks - Tuesday, 2/23/21

After a Monday slate with a ton of blowouts, we might be in for the same thing here. We have Brooklyn, Atlanta, Milwaukee, Denver, and Los Angeles all as monster favorites, with only nine games on the board. That could limit some minutes for some big-name players, but it's hard to overlook how good some of those matchups are, though, too. That makes things interesting, so let's go ahead and get into it!

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Point Guard

De'Aaron FoxDe'Aaron Fox FD - $7900 DK - $8000
Opponent - BKN
Proj Pts FD - 42.85 DK - 43.81

Fox has quietly been one of the best point guards in the NBA over the last month. Over his last 16 games played, Fox is averaging 44 DraftKings points per game, scoring at least 32 fantasy points in each of those. That's a heck of a run, and it's hard to understand why he's not a $9K player. The matchup only adds to his intrigue, with the Nets ranked 28th in total defense while playing at the eighth-fastest pace in the NBA. Those are two huge factors for Fox, and he should have no problem exploiting lackluster defenders like James Harden and Kyrie Irving.

Dennis Smith Jr.Dennis Smith Jr. FD - $4600 DK - $4200
Opponent - ORL
Proj Pts FD - 27.16 DK - 26.31

Saben LeeSaben Lee FD - $0 DK - $3200
Opponent - ORL

We're going to cheat a little bit and get both of these guys in here. The problem is, only one of them will probably play well. The Derrick Rose trade moved them into the rotation, while the Delon Wright injury has forced them into huge roles. Smith was the star in the first game without Wright, dropping 28 DK points despite not making a single shot. That made him highly-owned in the next slate, but Lee came in and collected 30 fantasy points across 33 minutes of play, leaving Smith with crumbs. That means at least one of these guys will be productive, and they both remain way too cheap. We bet that Smith will be the one to start, which makes him the better option.

Damian Lillard has been running the show for Portland with Jusuf Nurkic and C.J. McCollum both out.

Shooting Guard

James HardenJames Harden FD - $11000 DK - $10700
Opponent - SAC
Proj Pts FD - 51.68 DK - 55.48

There was a lot of chatter about the struggles of Harden early in the season, but you don't hear those people anymore. On the contrary, Harden has thrown his hat back in the ring for some MVP honors. Kevin Durant's absence has really forced him into the Houston role that made him a superstar, scoring at least 53 fantasy points in five-straight fixtures. He's also averaging over 60 fantasy points per game in that span, making him an elite option on every slate. All of that makes him hard to fade, but the matchup is simply stupendous. In fact, Sacramento owns the worst defensive rating in the NBA. In their two meetings this season, James is averaging 64 fantasy points per game, if you needed any more incentive.

RJ BarrettRJ Barrett FD - $5500 DK - $5500
Opponent - GS
Proj Pts FD - 28.64 DK - 29.84

Barrett has been all over the map, but it's hard to overlook someone with this much usage at such a low price. We're talking about a guy who's averaging 15 shots and 34 minutes a game. That's usually what you'd see from an $8K player, but some recent struggles have made Barrett's price plummet. He's still averaging 30 fantasy points per game, though, and that's quite the total from a sub-$6K player. That role pairs beautifully with this matchup, with the Warriors owning a 23rd OPRK against opposing SGs this season. That was certainly on display when Barrett dropped 38 DraftKings points against them about a month ago.

Fred VanVleet should see heavy usage if Kyle Lowry sits again.

Small Forward

Kawhi LeonardKawhi Leonard FD - $9800 DK - $9400
Opponent - WAS
Proj Pts FD - 50.82 DK - 51.29

Out of all the studs on this slate, Leonard is probably the best value. We say that because he's been playing at a $10,000 level all year, averaging 47 fantasy points per game. He's been even better recently, averaging 50 DK points per game across his last five fixtures. Those 50 fantasy points are likely the floor in such a tasty matchup like this. We say that because Washington ranks 29th in defensive efficiency while playing at the fastest pace in the NBA. That has led to monster fantasy performances from the opponent's best player all year, and that will surely be the case again here with Kawhi.

Will BartonWill Barton FD - $5200 DK - $5300
Opponent - POR
Proj Pts FD - 28.33 DK - 29.25

With so many injures in Denver, Barton should be asked to take on some heavy minutes. The Nuggets are currently without Gary Harris, P.J. Dozier, Paul Millsap, and JaMychal Green. That has forced Barton to play at least 34 minutes in six of his last eight games, averaging 34 minutes a night in that stretch. While he hasn't had any monster games in that range, this is a guy who can go off if he continues to play so many minutes. We're talking about a player who averaged 31 DK points in 33 minutes a night last year, and it's just a matter of time before he gets closer to that. All of that makes it hard to believe he's barely cracking $5K, especially against a 26th-ranked Portland defense.

Anthony Edwards is starting to turn his season around and could get some easy buckets against a fast-paced Bucks team.

Power Forward

Giannis AntetokounmpoGiannis Antetokounmpo FD - $11300 DK - $11000
Opponent - MIN
Proj Pts FD - 62.07 DK - 64.23

For our final stud of the night, we're going with the hottest player in the NBA. Amazingly, Giannis has scored at least 65 fantasy points in six of his last seven games, providing a 70-point average in that span. There's only a handful of players who have scored 65 fantasy points once all season, let alone do it five times in a two-week stretch. That makes him worth a shot no matter the price, and we haven't even discussed this superb matchup. Minnesota currently ranks 24th in total defense while surrendering the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing power forwards.

Richaun HolmesRichaun Holmes FD - $6400 DK - $5600
Opponent - BKN
Proj Pts FD - 30.03 DK - 29.12

This price is silly. Holmes has been a beast as the Kings starting center for over a year now, and it's insulting that he remains so cheap. We can fully expect Holmes to play 30 minutes now that he's back and fully healthy, and he's been a monster when doing that. In fact, Holmes is averaging 37 fantasy points per game in the 15 games he's played at least 30 minutes. If he does that against a team that plays this fast and has such a poor defense, 40-50 fantasy points is not out of the question at all.

Jerami Grant is averaging about 40 fantasy points per game for the season and remains too low below $8,000.


Chris BoucherChris Boucher FD - $6500 DK - $5800
Opponent - PHI
Proj Pts FD - 36.03 DK - 35.04

Boucher has had two great stretches and one terrible one, but that one bad one has lowered his price way too much. He's actually in the midst of one of his good stretches, too, averaging 32 DraftKings points per game across his last 10 outings. That's the guy we saw in the first month, and it's clear Toronto knows this is their go-to guy in the frontcourt. It's also nice that Boucher just played Philly on Monday, providing 32 fantasy points in just 25 minutes of play. He also got a start over the weekend, and if you get word of that here, Boucher is one of the best values on the board.

Robert Williams IIIRobert Williams III FD - $5000 DK - $3900
Opponent - DAL
Proj Pts FD - 26.46 DK - 24.32

This is certainly a risky play, but this guy is an animal when he gets the playing time. The reason we're comfortable recommending him here is that his playing time is creeping up, playing at least 16 minutes in three of his last four games. That might not sound like much, but it's all Williams needs to provide value. He scored at least 31 fantasy points in three of those four outings, bringing his season average to 19.2 DK points in 15.3 minutes a night. That's one of the best rates in the NBA, and a small increase in playing time could make him a heck of a value. The matchup is simply the icing on the cake, with Dallas ranked 27th in total defense while having one of the weakest frontcourts in the NBA.

We also like Daniel Theis in the Boston frontcourt after playing a season-high 39 minutes on Sunday.





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