Basketball. Is. Back! We had to endure the All-Star break without NBA games being played, but the wait is over. While I appreciate watching KAT win a 3-point competition, and Steph Curry drop 50 in the (defenseless) All-Star Game, there’s nothing like watching the best athletes in the world compete to the best of their abilities. We’ve got a seven-game slate on tap tonight. Onward!
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 better 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!!!!
NBA DFS Targets and Preview for February 24
Cavaliers (35-23) vs. Pistons (13-45)
Offensive Rating: 21st vs. 29th in the league
Defensive Rating: 3rd vs. 25th in the league
Net Rating: 7th vs. 30th in the league
Pace: 25th vs. 12th in the league
Predicted Outcome: The Cavs are unequivocally a playoff team now, while the Pistons have the worst net rating in the league. I expect the Cavs to pull this one out, without much trouble from Detroit. The Pistons have the 29th ranked offense in the league, against a top-three defense. I can’t see a scenario where the Pistons get loose on Cleveland.
DFS Targets: The Cavs have a pace-up matchup here, so while you can expect the bigs to hit their averages, I’m looking at the Cleveland guards for low-owned DFS tournament purposes. Darius Garland (the All-Star!) is far too cheap at $7,900. Mix him in some lineups. Isaac Okoro is also a value play at $3,300. Will you be getting 40 DFS points from him? Unlikely. Can he exceed his almost minimum pricing? Yes. Especially in this matchup.
Celtics (34-26) vs. Nets (31-28)
Offensive Rating: 18th vs. 9th in the league
Defensive Rating: 2nd vs. 19th in the league
Net Rating: 4th vs. 17th in the league
Pace: 24th vs. 11th in the league
Predicted Outcome: The Celtics were one of my most hated teams just a few months ago. They went from an offense that only features Brown and Tatum, to an offense that still does that, but has the 2nd best defense in the league. That matters, folks. It’s the reason they’re now 8 games above .500 and the 4th best team in the league (according to net rating). This is a pace up matchup for the Celtics and I think you should weight Boston guards accordingly for this one. While the Nets are the better team on paper, the Celtics are the better team on the court. Roll with the C’s.
DFS Targets: You’ll need shares of Tatum and Brown for $9,700 and $8,500, respectively. Robert Williams accidentally gets 30 DFS point per game these days. Marcus Smart is underpriced at $6,200. On the Nets, Andre Drummond catches my eye at $6,300. While he’s starting games, he’s getting similar minutes to what he was getting in Philly. I expect that to increase over time.
Hawks (28-30) vs. Bulls (38-21)
Offensive Rating: 2nd vs. 5th in the league
Defensive Rating: 27th vs. 24th in the league
Net Rating: 15th vs. 14th in the league
Pace: 18th vs. 13th in the league
Predicted Outcome: Looking at net rating, these teams are incredibly evenly matched. Don’t be scared to throw a couple dollars on potential “plus overtime” juice. These two teams are top five in the league for offense, and bottom tercile in the league for defense. That’s DFS glory, my friends. It doesn’t matter who wins. Target this game.
DFS Targets: Take some shares in all the stars: Trae Young, Demar DeRozan, Zach LaVine, and John Collins (if he plays). I was being disrespectful by not putting Nikola Vucevic in that first sentence, but he’s definitely a star in terms of DFS points. At sub $7,000, Dosunmu and White make sense. Capela if you dare, but I don’t dare. Huerter, Hunter, and Gallinari could each give you 40 DFS points, or 10 DFS points on a particular night. Adjust your exposure accordingly.
Grizzlies (41-19) vs. Wolves (31-28)
Offensive Rating: 3rd vs. 11th in the league
Defensive Rating: 9th vs. 14th in the league
Net Rating: 5th vs. 12th in the league
Pace: 8th vs. 3rd in the league
Predicted Outcome: The Grizzlies are the better team. Their record says so, and so do their offensive, defensive, and net ratings. Both teams play fast, however, so you don’t need to overlook the Wolves’ offense. I’ll be favoring the Grizzlies to win this one, though.
DFS Targets: Morant, Towns, Russell, and Edwards should be in a lot of your lineups. Good matchup or bad, they are dependable fantasy assets. I don’t love Jackson going up against the Wolves’ front court. Bane could do numbers at $6,600. Pat Beverly provides solid value at $5,000, but he’s getting to the point where he needs to perform/hit his threes, in order to pay off value. He’s not getting the 30 minutes per game he used to get in LAC (he’s around 26 minutes right now).
Suns (48-10) vs. Thunder (18-40)
Offensive Rating: 4th vs. 30th in the league
Defensive Rating: 4th vs. 8th in the league
Net Rating: 1st vs. 27th in the league
Pace: 9th vs. 16th in the league
Predicted Outcome: No CP3, no problem. Suns. By plenty.
DFS Targets: No CP3 means that you can load up on Booker and Ayton. Crowder is too cheap, and Bridges is more expensive than I’d like at $5,800, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he paid off. Cam Payne is likely to be back, so be careful with him, and Elfrid Payton. On the Thunder, Giddey and Shai are the only players you need to roster.
Warriors (42-17) vs. Trail Blazers (25-34)
Offensive Rating: 13th vs. 19th in the league
Defensive Rating: 1st vs. 28th in the league
Net Rating: 2nd vs. 25th in the league
Pace: 15th vs. 17th in the league
Predicted Outcome: Look at those net ratings. Warriors. And not by a little.
DFS Targets: Nurkic is out, so expect Simons to get a TON of usage. Josh Hart and Elleby, too. Those are the only Blazers DFS targets worth your dime, and against the best defense in the league, it’s only theoretical. Steph is coming off his 50 ball, so expect a bit of coming back down to earth against actual defenses, with legitimate plays being run on offense. Don’t be afraid to fade Curry. I like Klay and Wiggins a lot at these prices. Jordan Poole has been in the news as they are floating a potential 4 year/80M contract value in his future. I’m not a narrative guy, but that’s gotta feel nice. Give him a couple shares in your lineup against the 25th ranked defense in the league.
Nuggets (33-25) vs. Kings (22-38)
Offensive Rating: 7th vs. 20th in the league
Defensive Rating: 12th vs. 29th in the league
Net Rating: 9th vs. 26th in the league
Pace: 21st vs. 7th in the league
Predicted Outcome: One of these teams has the future back-to-back MVP, Nikola Jokic. The other…does not. Roll with the team that has Jokic.
DFS Targets: Jokic. Sabonis. Fox. Barnes. That is all!
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!