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DraftKings NBA DFS Strategy Advice: Tuesday (2/16)

Feb 16, 2021

Deandre Ayton should feast on the boards.

Sometimes we need to be honest about these slates. I hate this one! Many of the great value plays have gotten the price bump that they’ve earned, and it’s left a lot of the sub-$5K players lacking. What makes that even more frustrating is that we have so many superstars in such great spots. You can only squeeze in so many of those guys, and it becomes even more complicated when there’s not many great punt plays out there. We’ll discuss all that and more as we go on!

If you have any comments or questions, reach me on Twitter @Bartilottajoel.

Check out today’s NBA Tip-Off from DraftKings >>

Most Value Per Dollar 

Below is a list of the top-10 players of the day expected to generate the most value relative to their salary. These are ranked in order.

Injuries have made this slate a lot more interesting than it would have been otherwise. Almost every game has a spread within six points, and it should limit the blowout potential. The totals are relatively lower than usual, too, with many of them coming in around 220. Gosh, I remember when a 200 total was high and I’m not even 30 yet! That’s rare in today’s NBA, though, and all of these factors likely have the starters playing big minutes across the board.

If you’d like to see more information on how the betting landscape will be for this slate, check out BettingPros.

Deandre Ayton (PHO) $7,100:
This is a strange selection for my best value of the day, but Ayton should feast on the boards here. He’s been doing just that recently, averaging 14.9 points and 13.1 rebounds over his last 15 games played. That’s one of the best rebounding rates in the NBA, and 15-plus should be an easy proposition here. We say that because Brooklyn ranks fourth in pace and 28th in total defense while having one of the weakest frontcourts in the NBA without Kevin Durant. This is bold but I’m calling a 20-20 game for Ayton here!

JaMychal Green (DEN) $4,300:
It sounds like Denver is going to be without Paul Millsap, Will Barton, Gary Harris, and P.J. Dozier. That should force Green into the starting lineup and putting him in line for 30-35 minutes. That increase is all we can ask for from a player who’s averaging 21 DK points per game in 20 minutes a night this season. We also don’t mind that Boston owns a 23rd OPRK against opposing power forwards this season either.

Ja Morant (MEM) $7,500:
Morant continues to sit in the $7,000s on DK, and it’s just a matter of time before he gets to $8K. If you take out the game where Ja got injured, he’s averaging 36 fantasy points per game. That includes a stretch in which his minutes were limited, and he’s going to be a 40-point player sooner rather than later. We love the matchup, too, with New Orleans ranked 26th in defensive efficiency.

Luguentz Dort (OKC) $5,400:
With so many injuries in Oklahoma City, Dort has become one of their primary scorers. In the last three games without Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Theo Maledon, Dort is averaging 28 DK points per game. More importantly, he’s playing 36 minutes a night while taking 15 shots per outing. That’s all you can ask for from such an affordable player, especially against a 27th-ranked Portland defense.

Daniel Theis (BOS) $4,600:
Boston’s frontcourt has undoubtedly been their weakness this season, but Theis has been a mainstay. He’s actually scored at least 24 DK points in nine of his last 12 games, with one of those duds being an early exit due to injury. Getting 24 DK points at this price is really a nice fill-in, and he should be asked to play big minutes here. We say that because Denver sends out Nikola Jokic and Theis is the only big on this roster who’s versatile enough to cover him. Their 18th-ranked defense isn’t really worrisome either.

Al Horford (OKC) $7,000:
Can we give this guy some credit? Horford has found himself in a pretty crappy situation, but he continues to produce and lead this team to some surprising wins. The aforementioned injuries have actually forced him into a play-making role, leading the team in usage with SGA off the floor. That’s crystal clear when you see that he has at least 29 fantasy points in nine-straight games since coming off maternity leave while averaging 41 DK points per game in that span.

Kemba Walker (BOS) $6,500:
We’ve been waiting for Walker to breakout all year, and Sunday’s performance might be a sign of things to come. He provided 40 fantasy points in that gem, bringing his average to 30 DK points per game across his last six outings. More importantly, he has a usage rate north of 28 percent for the season and has played at least 29 minutes in all of those outings. The minute bump looks even more attractive against a Denver defense that has struggled all season long.

Kyle Kuzma (LAL) $7,000:
It would be hard to imagine Anthony Davis suiting up here after tweaking his Achilles on Sunday, and that should force Kuzma into a 30-minute role. In the last four games that AD has been injured, Kuzma has scored at least 30 fantasy points in all of them, providing a 33-point average in that span. That’s huge for a guy who’s really found his stroke recently, scoring at least 26 fantasy points in six-straight outings, despite playing fewer than 30 minutes a night. Not to mention, Minnesota ranks 25th in total defense.

Anfernee Simons (POR) $4,000:
With so many injuries in Portland, Simons has established a nice role for himself off the bench. He’s now scored at least 17 DK points in six-straight games, seeing his minutes get all the way up to 30 over the weekend. Those 17 fantasy points might not sound significant, but that’s a huge total from such a cheap player. They happen to be facing a 21st-ranked Thunder defense, too, which could lead to more small-ball than usual, forcing Simons into more playing time.

Jamal Murray (DEN) $7,200:
The statistics with Murray aren’t going to make you want to use him. The simple fact is, Denver has too many people out to fade Murray. He could be looking at 40 minutes and 20-plus shots, which is huge for a guy who averaged nearly 50 DK points per game in the playoffs last year. He’s also scored at least 39 fantasy points in back-to-back games, so, hopefully, he can keep that going here.

Check out our NBA Prop Bet Cheat Sheet for the top bets of the day >>

Studs Worth Their Salary

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL) $11,000: Giannis is really starting to recapture his MVP form recently. In fact, he’s got at least 62 DraftKings points in eight of his last 11 games, averaging 71 fantasy points per game across his last three outings. He’s been eating Raptor meat over the last two years, too, scoring at least 61 fantasy points in each of their last three meetings.
  • James Harden (BKN) $10,800: With Kevin Durant sitting here, Harden will be doing his usual thing. The Beard has at least 35 DK points every game this season and has his average up above 50 fantasy points. His shots and usage should be even higher here with KD out, and a 70-spot is not out of the question.
  • Nikola Jokic (DEN) $10,700: Jokic is leading the NBA with nearly 60 fantasy points per game. That makes him an easy pick on every slate, and he should have no problem exploiting a bad Boston frontcourt. His usage should be crazy high here, too, with so many Nuggets players in street clothes.
  • LeBron James (LAL) $10,100: With AD expected to miss this game, LeBron should be in full takeover mode. This season, LBJ has a 33 percent usage rate with him off the floor while averaging 1.5 DK points per minute. That’s scary when you look at his recent form, averaging 27.9 points, 8.1 rebounds and 8.7 assists over his last 11 games played.
  • Damian Lillard (POR) $9,700: C.J. McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic’s absences have opened up everything for Lillard, leading the team with a 30 percent usage rate without those two. That monster usage has led to him scoring at least 48 DK points in 11 of his last 13 games. That shouldn’t be hard to duplicate against a subpar Oklahoma City defense.

Notable Players to Fade

  • Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN) $9,300: This is a risky fade, but the big man has struggled since returning from the COVID list. He’s actually scored fewer than 46 DK points in all three games since his return, and that’s the minimum you’d need from such an expensive player. That looks even scarier when you consider that he faces the best defense in the NBA here too. With so many great high-end options mentioned in the last section, it would be silly to use KAT.
  • Chris Boucher (TOR) $6,600: Boucher has been all over the map, and I can’t trust him when he’s this pricey. We’re talking about a guy who’s scored 21 or fewer fantasy points on 10 occasions this year! He’s definitely shown serious upside, but that’s truly worrisome at such a lofty price.
  • Michael Porter Jr. (DEN) $5,800: This kid doesn’t look like he understands his role in this offense. Even with Barton and Millsap injured on Sunday, he still had just 17 fantasy points. He’s now failed to crack 26 DK points in half of his games this season, and that’s way too volatile to trust.

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Beyond our daily fantasy basketball content, be sure to check out our Daily Fantasy Basketball Tools. Our Lineup Optimizer allows you to build winning DFS lineups in seconds for Cash and GPP contests – to our DFS Cheat Sheets – that helps you get a quick read on the day’s players we’ve got you covered this fantasy basketball season.

Joel Bartilotta is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Joel, check out his archive and follow him @Bartilottajoel.

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