We got our first hit of NBA DFS back yesterday, and I hope you all had a profitable night. Whether you did, or you didn’t, today is a new day! We’ve got a nice nine game slate ahead of us tonight, so let’s not waste any time and get into it!
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 25
Raptors (32-25) vs. Hornets (29-31)
Offensive Rating: 12th vs. 13th in the league
Defensive Rating: 13th vs. 23rd in the league
Net Rating: 11th vs. 19th in the league
Pace: 26th vs. 2nd in the league
Predicted Outcome: The Raptors have come into their own and are on the precipice of being a top ten team in the league. Masai is showing why he didn’t want to blow the whole thing up. They have pieces to compete. They’re going up against a Hornets team that can’t guard anybody, and can’t score at a more efficient clip than the Raptors. I’ll roll with Toronto here.
DFS Targets: The Raptors have a pace up matchup here, going against the 2nd fastest paced team in the league. I like FVV, Siakam, and Trent are the Raptors top 3 scoring options. I’ll be loading up on them, especially Trent, as he’s only $6500. Ball and Rozier are the only Hornets that I’d consider on a nine game slate. There are better matchups to be had.
Thunder (18-41) vs. Pacers (20-40)
Offensive Rating: 30th vs. 16th in the league
Defensive Rating: 8th vs. 26th in the league
Net Rating: 27th vs. 22nd in the league
Pace: 16th vs. 20th in the league
Predicted Outcome: These are two of the worst teams in the league in terms of net rating, but at least the Pacers have some new toys to play with. I expect Tyrese to get plenty loose against one of the worst defenses in the league and nobody on the offensive end to go at him and get him tired. The Thunder don’t have anybody to overcome what Tyrese can do by himself (scoring/facilitating/defending).
DFS Targets: Tyrese, Brogden, Hield, and Brissett are all in great matchups. You can count on Shai to have huge usage on OKC, without much defense to stop him. I’ll fade Giddey at $8300 now that Shai is back in the lineup to take some of his usage away…he’s overpriced based on recent performance.
Rockets (15-43) vs. Magic (13-47)
Offensive Rating: 27th vs. 28th in the league
Defensive Rating: 30th vs. 20th in the league
Net Rating: 29th vs. 28th in the league
Pace: 1st vs. 10th in the league
Predicted Outcome: Two terrible teams playing each other has absolutely nothing to do with DFS. The Magic have a better defense, so I’ll give them the edge, but this could be an entire game of solid DFS plays.
DFS Targets: We’re dealing with the fastest pace team in the league against a top ten paced team. The worst defense in the league, against a bottom tercile defensive team. Bottom line: we’re going to see some scoring in this one. On the Rockets, there aren’t any overpays. I like Dennis the Menace, Wood, KPJ, Tate, Green, Sengun, and Gordon. On the Magic, Carter Jr., Cole Anthony, Suggs, and Wagner. I’ll have heavy exposure to this game. You should too.
Spurs (23-36) vs. Wizards (27-31)
Offensive Rating: 14th vs. 22nd in the league
Defensive Rating: 18th vs. 21st in the league
Net Rating: 16th vs. 23rd in the league
Pace: 4th vs. 23rd in the league
Predicted Outcome: The Spurs should have no problem with the Wizards in this one. Both teams aren’t great, but the Wizards don’t have one player you can count on to take over when they hit a slump. The Spurs have an all-star in Murray.
DFS Targets: While the Wizards are in a pace up matchup, I can’t trust any of their players to truly get loose and get buckets. This is a completely different team without Beal. If there is anyone to roster, it’s Kyle Kuzma at $8900, but on a nine game slate, that’s pretty expensive for a high risk/high reward player. On the Spurs, Murray and Poeltl are in great spots. Murray can hit his value as long as he’s under $11000.
Heat (38-21) vs. Knicks (25-34)
Offensive Rating: 8th vs. 25th in the league
Defensive Rating: 6th vs. 16th in the league
Net Rating: 6th vs. 21st in the league
Pace: 28th vs. 29th in the league
Predicted Outcome: The Knicks can’t score and the Heat have elite defense. Simple. The Heat should win this one, rather handily.
DFS Targets: I won’t be targeting a single Knicks player in this matchup, but the Heat have a few good targets in Butler, Bam, and Lowry. I think Lowry is the best value at sub-$7000.
76ers (35-23) vs. Timberwolves (32-28)
Offensive Rating: 15th vs. 9th in the league
Defensive Rating: 11th vs. 14th in the league
Net Rating: 13th vs. 12th in the league
Pace: 27th vs. 3rd in the league
Predicted Outcome: You can’t sneeze at the Timberwolves anymore. They’re scoring and they’re playing defense. Combine that with the 3rd fastest pace in the league and the Wolves are a legitimate threat against anyone. Combine that with the fact this is going to be Embiid and Harden’s first game together, and you’ve got a team that has chemistry vs. a team that will need to find theirs. I’ll roll with the Wolves.
DFS Targets: It may be a stupid idea, but I’ll be fading both Embiid and Harden tonight. I don’t know who’ll be the alpha. I don’t know who’s usage will drop. I don’t know what the substitutions will be like and if they’ll stagger the two. If there’s anything I’ve learned about superstars playing together, it’s that these things take time. KAT, Russell, and Anthony Edwards are my targets on the Wolves. Jarred Vanderbilt is constantly underpriced relative to his upside at $4600, but he can also be a complete fantasy dud. Mix him in sparingly.
Pelicans (23-36) vs. Suns (49-10)
Offensive Rating: 23rd vs. 3rd in the league
Defensive Rating: 19th vs. 4th in the league
Net Rating: 24th vs. 1st in the league
Pace: 22nd vs. 8th in the league
Predicted Outcome: Suns. Come on.
DFS Targets: No CP3 means you can expect more usage out of Booker, Bridges, Crowder, and Ayton. But Booker is a must play for me against this defense. I won’t be jamming a bunch of Suns in my lineups because they’re in a pace down matchup, and you do have to respect the flow of the game. On the Pels, Brandon Ingram and CJ are always pretty trustworthy, but against the 4th best defense in the league, you don’t need to force them in.
Mavericks (35-24) vs. Jazz (36-22)
Offensive Rating: 17th vs. 1st in the league
Defensive Rating: 5th vs. 10th in the league
Net Rating: 8th vs. 3rd in the league
Pace: 30th vs. 19th in the league
Predicted Outcome: With Luka’s usage and slow pace, he’s brought the Mavs down to the slowest team in the league. That may or may not work to their advantage against the best offense in the league, that plays much faster. The Jazz are the better team, and they’re also at home, so I expect them to pull out the win. But I don’t feel great about it.
DFS Targets: Luka is the only Mav that I’ll be looking at. Gobert and Mitchell occupy a similar tier in my DFS totem pole for the night. I’m not happy to play any of these guys in such a defensive and slow-paced matchup.
Clippers (30-31) vs. Lakers (27-31)
Offensive Rating: 26th vs. 24th in the league
Defensive Rating: 7th vs. 17th in the league
Net Rating: 18th vs. 20th in the league
Pace: 14th vs. 5th in the league
Predicted Outcome: Hopefully you’re asleep by the time this one tips off. The Lakers are a mess and the Clippers have been destroyed by injuries. One of these teams has LeBron, so I’ll let that guide me, but don’t bet on this game. If you think you have an edge, please reach out to me and tell me your secrets.
DFS Targets: LeBron. Maybe Reggie Jackson.
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!