Basketball Lineups Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Joel Bartilotta

FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Picks - Thursday, 2/25/21

After a chaotic slate on Wednesday, things should be a little more straightforward here. We say that because New Orleans is the only team playing the second half of a back-to-back set and all of those youngsters are in plenty good shape to handle that. No B2Bs means we don't have as much injury news to worry about, making things a bit easier on us. There's a lot to get into, though, so let's kick things off with the speedster from Sacramento.

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Point Guard

De'Aaron FoxDe'Aaron Fox FD - $7700 DK - $7800
Opponent - NY
Proj Pts FD - 42.32 DK - 43.49

There are a few higher-end guys that are priced criminally, and Fox is definitely one of them. We say that because he's been one of the best point guards in the NBA this month, averaging 25.4 points, 3.4 rebounds, 8.6 assists, and 1.2 steals over his last 17 games played. That's an All-Star caliber stretch, and it certainly means he should be north of $8K. While some might be worried about the matchup against a stingy New York team, they're going to be without Elfrid Payton. He's their defensive stopper against point guards, and a matchup with Derrick Rose could allow Fox to feast.

Monte MorrisMonte Morris FD - $4700 DK - $4800
Opponent - WAS
Proj Pts FD - 25.93 DK - 26.12

With Gary Harris, Paul Millsap, JaMaychal Green, and P.J. Dozier all sidelined, Denver has chosen to go small. That has forced Morris into some big minutes, playing at least 26 minutes in eight of his last 11 games. That's all you can ask for from a guy this cheap, especially when he averaged over 26 DK points per game in the 26 outings he played at least 26 minutes last season. Look at that, we have a 26-point projection here too! The best part of this might be the matchup, though, with Washington ranked 28th in defensive efficiency while playing at the fastest pace in the NBA. They're also surrendering the second-most fantasy points to opposing guards as well.

Look for Immanuel Quickley and Derrick Rose to possibly start for Elfrid Payton.

Shooting Guard

James HardenJames Harden FD - $11200 DK - $10800
Opponent - ORL
Proj Pts FD - 52.73 DK - 56.63

Is it possible to fade this guy right now? We say no because he's a top 3 player in fantasy with the way he's balling. The Kevin Durant injury is the thing that's really opened up usage for Harden, scoring at least 53 DraftKings points in 11 of his last 13 games, averaging 57 fantasy points per game in that span. That's the stud we remember from his Houston days and him handling the ball on every possession makes him a threat for a 40-point triple-double on every slate. The matchup isn't too bad either, with Orlando owning a 23rd OPRK against opposing point guards this year. In their one meeting earlier this season, Harden tallied 32 points, 12 rebounds, 14 assists, and four steals en route to an 80-point gem!

Paul GeorgePaul George FD - $8600 DK - $8800
Opponent - MEM
Proj Pts FD - 36.45 DK - 37.99

This is one of those prices I don't understand. PG13 has been playing at a five-figure level all season long, and, weirdly, he remains below $9K on both sites. He's actually scored at least 34 fantasy points in seven-straight games, despite seeing limited minutes in a couple of those. That equates to a 44-point average in that span which is exactly on par with his season average. It's not like he has a tough matchup either. In fact, Memphis ranks 17th in total defense and 13th in pace.

If Kristaps Porzingis is out again, look for Tim Hardaway Jr to fire up shots at will.

Small Forward

RJ BarrettRJ Barrett FD - $5500 DK - $5500
Opponent - SAC
Proj Pts FD - 29.15 DK - 30.3

We've started things off with some expensive players, so let's find some value at small forward. R.J. Barrett is just that, having a semi-breakout for the Knicks. While he's been far from efficient, Barrett has been a great DFS option. It's his role that's allowed him to succeed, averaging 34 minutes and 15 shots a night. That alone makes him hard to fade at $5,500, especially when you see his 30-point fantasy average. What adds to his intrigue here is Payton's absence, giving him more ball-handling opportunities and more playing time. We haven't even discussed the best part of this play, though, with Sacramento owning the NBA's worst defensive rating. In their one meeting earlier this year, R.J. Dropped 34 fantasy points, taking 17 shots and playing 36 minutes. If we get that again, we're talking about a dude surpassing 6X value.

Josh RichardsonJosh Richardson FD - $4700 DK - $4700
Opponent - PHI
Proj Pts FD - 21.61 DK - 22.41

Richardson got off to a terrible start with his new team, but he's quietly been really good since coming off the COVID list. He's scored at least 21 fantasy points in eight of his last 10 games, averaging over 25 DK points per game in 32.3 minutes a night. That 32-minute total is the most important thing because Richardson has proven to be a $6K player in this role in the past. Philadelphia is certainly not a matchup that worries us either, owning a 26th OPRK against opposing SFs this season. If Kristaps Porzingis and Maxi Kleber are out, too, that only adds more value to J-Rich!

Evan Fournier has been running Orlando's offense recently and is definitely in play.

Power Forward

Giannis AntetokounmpoGiannis Antetokounmpo FD - $11400 DK - $11000
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 56.58 DK - 58.48

I was tempted to say that Harden is the best player in fantasy right now earlier on, but then I remembered that Giannis is that guy. This dude has unquestionably been the best plays in DFS for the last three weeks, scoring at least 63 fantasy points in 12 of his last 16 games. I'm not sure there's another player in the NBA who has 63 fantasy points in 12 games all year, let alone in a 16-game stretch. In any case, it has led to a 70-point average over his last eight outings, making him hard to fade no matter the price. The matchup is the icing on the cake, though, with New Orleans ranked 29th in defensive efficiency.

James JohnsonJames Johnson FD - $4000 DK - $3200
Opponent - PHI
Proj Pts FD - 23.83 DK - 23.01

This is a total GPP play, but JJ has proven to be a formidable option when given the minutes. What you will have to look out for is the status of Kleber and Porzingis. If both of them are out, Johnson is the best punt play on the board. We say that because if you look at the 10 games Johnson has played at least 22 minutes, he's averaging 25 fantasy points per game. That's a heck of a total from a player approaching a minimum price on both sites, making him a great pairing with guys like Giannis and Harden. The matchup isn't too shabby either, with Philly playing at the seventh-fastest pace in the NBA.

Julius Randle has been a usage monster all season and should roll right through a terrible Sacramento defense.


Richaun HolmesRichaun Holmes FD - $6400 DK - $5700
Opponent - NY
Proj Pts FD - 28.81 DK - 27.67

We really want to squeeze in Harden and Giannis, so let's go cheap at center. Holmes is actually one of the best values on the board, playing at a $7K level for most of the season. Injuries have kept his price tag low, though, and it makes no sense why. We had him in Monday's article, and he played 26 minutes, collecting 38 DK points in an absolute gem. That's what he does when he gets the playing time, averaging 36 DraftKings points per game in the 16 outings he's played at least 26 minutes. That makes this $5,700 price tag mind-boggling, particularly with Holmes big body needed against this big New York team. Not to mention, the Knicks surrender the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing centers as well, and Holmes could get some extra playing time with Hassan Whiteside already ruled out.

DeAndre JordanDeAndre Jordan FD - $5800 DK - $5600
Opponent - ORL
Proj Pts FD - 34.61 DK - 33.56

With Jarrett Allen in Cleveland and Jeff Green injured, DJ is the only center left in Brooklyn. That's forced him into at least 32 minutes in back-to-back games, averaging 36 fantasy points per game in that span. That's no surprise when you see that he averages about a fantasy-point-per-minute, and if DJ plays 30-plus, he should probably be a $7K player. Those 30 minutes look like a strong possibility with all of the absences, but it's a near guarantee opposing a guy like Nikola Vucevic.

If you have the salary, Joel Embiid and Nikola Vucevic are easy picks at this position.





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