DraftKings NBA DFS Strategy: Wednesday (2/17)
This slate is going to be nuts. We have a ton of teams playing the second half of a back-to-back set, and that always causes chaos. Those teams include Boston, Denver, Memphis, Minnesota, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, Portland, and San Antonio. There have also been some COVID postponements and it’s a lot to take in already. That’s frustrating with so many injury question marks, but we’re going to try to calculate what these teams will look like based on coaching trends. Without further ado, let’s go ahead and get into it!
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Most Value Per Dollar
With slates this big, every position is deep. We also have a ton of players resting and so much injury news still to come. That’s means we definitely want to go with a stars and scrubs strategy. That’s pairing guaranteed superstars with high upside cheap players. The optimal lineup will surely look like that, and there should be a good combination out there with the following players.
If you’d like to see more information on how the betting landscape will be for this slate, check out BettingPros.
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.
Nerlens Noel (NYK) $4,700:
Noel hasn’t gotten the price increase he deserves. Now that Mitchell Robinson (hand) is out for the next month, Noel will continue to start and play big minutes. That’s evident by his 30-minute average in his first two starts, scoring at least 24 DraftKings in both of those. He did that despite not doing much in those games, and he should have a 25-point floor if he continues to play 30 minutes a night. We say that because he’s averaged about 1.2 DK points per minute for his career, which would equate to 36 fantasy points in 30 minutes of play.
Myles Turner (IND) $6,300:
Turner had a terrible stretch last week, but he appears to be back now. Turner’s dropped at least 29 DK points in three-straight games, averaging 35 fantasy points per game in that span. That’s nearly identical to what he did in the first month of the season, and he should have another monster night against a Minnesota team that surrenders the most fantasy points in the league to opposing centers.
Terrence Ross (ORL) $6,300:
With Evan Fournier, Aaron Gordon, Cole Anthony, and Markelle Fultz all sidelined, Ross has been one of this team’s primary playmakers. In fact, he’s got a 30.2 percent usage rate with those guys off the floor, averaging a shot every two minutes. That’s a monster role from someone priced so reasonably, and it’s led to him scoring at least 31 DK points in four-straight fixtures.
JaMychal Green (DEN) $4,700:
Talk about a team dealing with injuries. It sounds like Denver will be without Paul Millsap, Will Barton, and P.J. Dozier while Jamal Murray and Monte Morris are nicked up as well. That leaves Green as one of the only guys left, likely forcing him into a start and 35 minutes of play. This is a guy who averages 21 DK points in 20 minutes a night this season, and if he plays 35 minutes, we could be looking at 30-40 fantasy points at that rate. The matchup is spectacular, too, and we’ll discuss that later on.
T.J. McConnell (IND) $5,600:
McConnell has quietly had a really nice year for the Pacers, and a start on Monday might be a sign that his role will increase from here on out. It very well should, with T.J. scoring at least 28 DraftKings points in seven of his last eight outings. That has led to a 33-point average in that span, and he should have no problem duplicating that against a 25th-ranked T’Wolves defense.
Isaiah Roby (OKC) $4,000:
We anticipate Al Horford sitting this game in the second half of a back-to-back set, making Roby one of the best values on the board. That should allow him to start at center and garner him at least 25 minutes of playing time. Roby is averaging 29.3 fantasy points per game in the seven games he’s played at least 25 minutes. They happened to be seven of the eight starts he’s made this year, too, and that’d be a heck of a total from a $4K player.
Anfernee Simons (POR) $4,100:
It’s crazy that Simons remains this cheap. He’s established a role as the Sixth-Man in Portland and has seen his minutes grow as the season progresses. He actually got it north of 30 over the weekend, and if he does that at this $4,100 price tag, Simons is a lock. We say that because he’s scored at least 17 fantasy points in 11 of his last 13 games while averaging 22 DK points per game in those 11 outings.
Seth Curry (PHI) $4,600:
Curry said that COVID really affected him in his return, but it appears he’s over that now. He’s averaging 21 DK points per game across 32 minutes a night over his last five fixtures, playing at least 34 minutes in each of his last three games. If we get a sharpshooter like this playing at least 34 minutes while taking double-digit shots, it’s impossible to fade him at just $4,600. We also don’t mind that Houston surrenders the third-most fantasy points to opposing shooting guards.
Moritz Wagner (WAS) $3,800:
The Wizards have been desperate to find a center since Thomas Bryant went down, and the last two games would indicate that they’re going to stick with Wagner. He’s actually started both of those outings, averaging 27 fantasy points per game. We’re talking about a guy who’s scored at least 25 DK points in four of the five games he’s played at least 20 minutes, showing how productive he can be despite never playing more than 25 minutes all year. That’s a monster total from such an affordable player and if you hear that Moritz is starting, put him into your lineup!
Studs Worth Their Salary
- Nikola Jokic (DEN) $11,000: Jokic is leading the NBA with 60 DraftKings points per game and could see his role increase with so many Nuggets sidelined. We didn’t even mention that Washington plays at the fastest pace in the NBA while ranked 29th in defensive efficiency. He’s one of the most straightforward plays out there and should be the first guy in every lineup!
- Nikola Vucevic (ORL) $10,100: We already discussed all of Orlando’s injuries, and it’s made Vooch a beast. He’s leading the team with a 34 percent usage rate with all these guys off the floor. That’s awesome with Vucevic scoring at least 46 DraftKings points in 19 of his 28 games this season.
- Jaylen Brown (BOS) $7,900: With Kemba Walker and Marcus Smart likely missing this game, Brown will be the de facto point guard. With those two off the floor, Brown has a 32 percent usage rate. That’s fantastic news for a guy who’s scored at least 30 DK points in every game this season, en route to a 41-point average. We also love that Atlanta allows the most fantasy points to opposing point guards, where Brown will play a lot here.
Notable Players to Fade
- Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN) $9,300: Towns just returned from a lengthy absence, and it’s unclear if he’ll suit up here in the second half of a back-to-back set. That already makes him a worrisome selection, especially when you see that he hasn’t scored more than 46 fantasy points in any of the four games since his return. That’s terrifying at this price, and a date with a Defensive Player of the Year (Turner) candidate won’t make it any easier to accomplish.
- Al Horford (OKC) $7,000: Horford has been a beast recently, but this is a bad situation for him. We say that because this is the second half of a back-to-back set. Big Al has yet to play in both of those, and it would be hard to imagine doing that after carrying the team on his back for the last week.
- John Collins (ATL) $6,900: Collins has had down year after a breakout 2019-20 season, and it’s easy to understand why. Danilo Gallinari and Clint Capela have come in and taken away a lot of his shots and rebounds. Gallo’s most recent return is incredibly discouraging, with Collins averaging 26 DK points per game across his last three outings, while Gallinari’s minutes continue to rise
- Kemba Walker (BOS) $6,600: Walker is in the same boat as Horford. He hasn’t played in two ends of a back-to-back set yet since returning from injury, and it’d be hard to imagine him doing it here. We also don’t like that he’s been struggling with his shot even if he does play.
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.