Playing NBA DFS can be incredibly rewarding, but it can also make your head spin. It’s our job to make sure you’re winning as much as possible! There are countless variables that can lead to a player’s individual performance, but I’ve found it’s best to focus on just a few that can lead to consistent predictability.
My favorite factors to track for NBA DFS targets: Matchups (Offensive/Defensive Ratings), Opportunity (expected player minutes, game pace), and Recent Form.
This is the AM VERSION of a living article that will be updated throughout the day, as news comes through the wire.
LET’S GET INTO THE SLATE!!!!
If you also play season-long fantasy as well as doing the daily dance, make sure to check out the Fantrax Fantasy Basketball Commissioner. Its features blow every other option out of the water!
NBA DFS Targets and Preview for Feb. 2
Trail Blazers vs. Wizards (-2.5)
The Wizards are my hometown team, and I still think they’re going to make the playoffs with a backcourt duo of Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook. If I show a little bit of bias, it’s not my fault. The Blazers have an offensive rating of 114.6, good enough for 6th in the league, but they are 3rd worst in the league for defensive efficiency. The Wizards 13th in offensive rating, and 2nd worst in defensive rating. Much like the game against the Nets, I think we’re in for an old fashioned shootout! The Nets are actually better defensively than the Blazers, so if the Wiz can beat the Nets, I think they can beat the Blazers too. Don’t be afraid to take out a second mortgage, and put it on the Wizards tonight.
DFS Targets: All homer takes aside, this is absolutely a game that we want to target for DFS purposes. The Wiz are first in the league in pace (104.9 possessions per 48 minutes), and the Blazers come in at 14th. We’re going to target the high usage rate guards in Russell Westbrook, Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal, and Gary Trent Jr. Robert Covington is an excellent 3 and D wing, and I could see him exceeding his value in a high scoring game. The NBA DFS value plays are likely to be on the Blazers bench in Carmelo Anthony, Anfernee Simmons, and Rodney Hood. The Wizards rotation has been too inconsistent for me to want to target any of their role players.
Raptors (-6.5) vs. Magic
The Raptors are 14th and 13th in offensive and defensive ratings, respectively. The Magic are 28th and 20th. On top of that, it looks like they may have lost Aaron Gordon to an ankle injury for a few games. I expect the Raptors to control this one from the tip.
DFS Targets: The game script for this one is interesting as the Raptors play at a much faster pace than the Magic, which makes sense considering the Magic offense goes through Nikola Vucevic. He’s the only one I’d want to target from Orlando’s side. Toronto is more interesting, as I expect Fred VanVleet, Kyle Lowry, and Norman Powell to run the show from a DFS perspective for Toronto. I love Pascal Siakam as much as the next guy, but it won’t be his easiest task guarding Vuc. I’ll fade Pascal on this slate.
Clippers (-1.5) vs. Nets
The Clippers lead the league in Net Rating as I write this article. Enter the Brooklyn Nets, a team that can score with anybody, but stop no one. There’s a reason the Clippers are 15-6, and it’s because they’re a well-rounded team. I don’t expect that 7th loss to come at the hands of the Nets tonight. I’m not saying the Nets won’t eventually get there, but they aren’t there yet.
DFS Targets: All five of the Clippers’ starting roster will be in my player pool when constructing lineups tonight. It’s not unrealistic to have exposure to a team playing a horrendous defense. The only names on the Nets that interest me are their big three: Kyrie Irving, James Harden, and Kevin Durant. The Clippers’ net rating lets me know that I don’t want to bet on the Nets rotation guys.
Grizzlies vs. Pacers (-4.5)
Memphis has a sneaky great defense with a 2nd ranked defensive rating. The problem is that their offense is middle of the pack. They’re going up against the 11th ranked offense in the Pacers, while their defense is middle of the pack. They both play at a similar pace. This game is a toss-up for me.
DFS Targets: Sometimes it’s these middling games where no team really has an edge, that you find your DFS value gems. Someone like Doug McDermott is an interesting play to me as he’s getting starter’s minutes and is a 3-point sniper, which has added value for a site like DraftKings. Malcolm Brogdon and Domantas Sabonis have been playing out of their minds, and both can give you 40-60 DFS points on any given night. Ja Morant is the only player I’d target on the Grizz, as the other players on his team are better real-life players than DFS players. Not enough consistency in the counting stats.
Pistons vs. Jazz (-12.0)
There are only 24 hours in a day. You have to sleep for some of them and you’re working for others. Hopefully some of them you’ll spend with loved ones. Regardless of your schedule, make sure you spend zero hours watching Pistons vs. Jazz. I expect the Jazz to blow Detroit out. The 3rd ranked team in net rating vs. the 23rd team in net rating, with no identity.
DFS Targets: As I’ve mentioned before, potential blowouts scare me for DFS targets. You never know if it will be a team effort blowout, and stars will sit, or if it’s a blowout because of the stars’ performance. I’ll be fading this game, despite a lot of consistent DFS players on both sides.
Celtics (-2.5) vs. Warriors
The last game of the slate. If this was a few years ago, I’d be up way past my bedtime to watch every possession. But if I’m being honest, I’m probably going to wake up to Charmed on TNT (not a bad show!). The Celtics are a top ten net rating team, while the Warriors are currently 17th. I think the Celtics win this one easily, but I don’t necessarily expect a blowout.
DFS Targets: Because I don’t expect a blowout, I’m not afraid to target Stephen Curry in this one, but he’s the only Golden State player on my radar. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are proving they can be a formidable 1a and 1b duo for Boston. Both in DFS and in real life. Make sure all three of these players are in your player pool tonight.
Don’t forget to check back later in the day as Bradlee will be updating his NBA DFS preview with all the info you need to turn tonight’s slate into a resounding success!
If you also play season-long fantasy basketball you’ll want to check out Mike Omelan’s latest Waiver Wire column for a few ideas on how to add to your squad.
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