Basketball Lineups Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Chris Durell

DFS NBA Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - Saturday 2/25

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Tyrese HaliburtonTyrese Haliburton FD - $8800 DK - $9400
Opponent - ORL
Proj Pts FD - 46.33 DK - 49.36

Looking at the top of the salary on Saturday, there are a lot of tough matchups for the top guys which has me drifting toward a more balanced build for this slate. It starts with Haliburton who picked up where he left off right before the break dropping a double-double on 22 points and 14 rebounds in an OT loss to the Celtics on Thursday. It was the second time he had posted 56 or more fantasy points in his last three games and while there has been some up and downs at these prices, this is a great spot in a game with a 230+ total and one of just two games where both defence's rank in the bottom half.

Jordan ClarksonJordan Clarkson FD - $6900 DK - $7300
Opponent - SA
Proj Pts FD - 38.13 DK - 42.71
Talen Horton-TuckerTalen Horton-Tucker FD - $5900 DK - $5500
Opponent - SA
Proj Pts FD - 37.9 DK - 39.98

Speaking of great spots, the late game between the Spurs and Jazz is the prime spot on this slate with a 241.5 total with the teams ranking 30th and 26th in defensive efficiency respectively. Let's start on the Utah side where Collin Sexton remains out of the lineup adding a ton of value to the guard position. Clarkson has been consistent all season and even better in the short term dropping 20+ points in seven of his last eight games while averaging 19 shots a game and with the addition of 4.6 rebounds and 4.3 assists in that time, is averaging just shy of 35 fantasy points.

As for Horton-Tucker, he is coming off his second start of the season and while he went just 2 of 11 shooting for nine points, he added seven rebounds, six assists, and three combined steals+blocks for over 31 fantasy points. He is primed for another start tonight and if the shooting gets back to normal, he has a high floor for cash and lots of upside for GPP's at this sub $6K price tag on both sites. Both guards are in great spots against the Spurs league-worst defence and are in play in all formats.

Malaki BranhamMalaki Branham FD - $5700 DK - $5200
Opponent - UTA
Proj Pts FD - 25.83 DK - 28.37

We have some more mid-tier value in this game as we look at the Spurs situation which has both Devin Vassell and Tre Jones still out of the lineup. There is a chance Jones returns tonight but is likely on a limit if that happens so Branham is most definitely still in play here. The rookie started to get his feet wet in February entering the starting lineup for the Spurs and has looked good playing over 32 minutes a game and while he is shooting dependant, is averaging 18.7 points and over 30 fantasy points a game. That price is on the rise but the matchup stands out as the Jazz are not only 26th in defensive efficiency but have also given up the second most fantasy points to guards. Fire up Branham as a top value in all formats.

Small Forward

Lauri MarkkanenLauri Markkanen FD - $8600 DK - $9300
Opponent - SA
Proj Pts FD - 48.72 DK - 52.71

It is going to be really hard to get away from this fantasy-friendly game with a monster 241.5 total and Lauri Markkanen is front and center. He came out of the break firing against the Thunder making 15 of 28 shots for a whopping 43 points and his 23 double-double of the season as he added 10 rebounds, as well. He has been on a terrific stretch averaging just shy of 50 fantasy points a game over his last four and now gets an elite matchup against the Jazz 26th ranked defence. Markkanen is a building block and core play for me in all formats.

Power Forward/Center

Jaren Jackson Jr.Jaren Jackson Jr. FD - $8500 DK - $7700
Opponent - DEN
Proj Pts FD - 38.14 DK - 37.43

It is tough to get away from the top two games on this slate but if you are pivoting, Jackson makes a lot of sense as one of the most consistent PTS/$ producers over the last two months. While the minutes(28.9) and usage(12.8 shots per game) don't jump off the page when looking for a safe floor, JJJ is averaging 17.8 points during that 23-game stretch but where he really provides value is on the defensive end with an average of 7.3 rebounds and a whopping 3.5 blocks per game and even more impressive is the fact he has four or more blocks in seven of his last eight games. It is closer on FanDuel where the price has adjusted more rapidly but he is still sub $8K on DraftKings and in play in all formats.

Walker KesslerWalker Kessler FD - $7400 DK - $6300
Opponent - SA
Proj Pts FD - 40.6 DK - 40.02
Zach CollinsZach Collins FD - $6800 DK - $6200
Opponent - UTA
Proj Pts FD - 36.54 DK - 39.44

How could we not end this article with another trip to the Spurs and Jazz matchup? Both centers in this game stand out in our PTS/$ projections tonight and for me, it comes down to what site you are playing. On FanDuel, I default to Collins who comes $600 cheaper and of the two, has received much more usage lately with double-digit shot attempts in four of his last five games. He also enters the night with double-doubles in two straight and is averaging 15.2 points and 9.0 rebounds for 36.1 fantasy points per game over his last five. For Kessler, what he lacks in shot volume he has more than made up for on the boards with 14 or more in three of his last four games. Despite a complete dud against the Hawks in early February, he is still averaging a double-double on 11.2 points and 10.9 rebounds for over 34 fantasy points over his last 10 games. If this game stays close, both big men could end being terrific PTS/$ plays on this slate.






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