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! I’ve found it’s best to focus on just a few games 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.
We have 11 games on this slate, but only nine of which will be included in the main slate on Saturday. I’ll focus on those nine in this piece.
LET’S GET INTO THE SLATE!!!!
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NBA DFS Targets and Preview for Feb. 6
Bulls (-1.5) vs. Magic
Bulls/Magic is going to be a fight between two bottom tercile teams. Both teams have negative net ratings at the time of this writing, but DFS isn’t about watching good matchups. DFS is about choosing the right players who will outperform. Both teams are bad, but the Bulls are 3rd in the league in pace right now, and I believe that can propel them forward to get the win against the Magic. The Aaron Gordon injury also does the Magic no favors, as they need to get used to new rotations. I don’t expect a blowout, so let’s get to the targets.
DFS Targets: I’ll be focusing on what a team does particularly well, and crafting my player pool around that. Bulls are going to have a lot of possessions, which means to favor their guards. I like Coby White and Zach LaVine. Further, Orlando runs through Vuc. He would be in my player pool and is also the reason I don’t like Lauri Markkanen (my crystal ball sees foul trouble in his future). Looks like he’s going to be out, anyway. However, as a rule, I don’t take the bait of taking guys after their career highs. Too much salary bump. Denzel Valentine may also be close to minimum price, so put him in your player pool. Thaddeus Young’s usage is too low for me to want to take a swing. Same with Patrick Williams, even though he played great last night.
Nets vs. 76ers (-4.5)
Oh, baby!! This will be a fun one. My heart skipped several beats a couple nights ago when Joel Embiid left the game with a knee issue, but it obviously wasn’t too serious since he came back and played well. The Nets are coming off of a win vs. the Clippers, and have shown they can beat great teams, and lose to bad ones. The Net ratings would signify that the Nets will win this one, but they are both top 7 teams in the league. I think the Nets offense might be too much for the 76ers to guard, even without KD. They both have similar pace stats, though, so I wouldn’t put any money up on either side. Just enjoy this game.
DFS Targets: On the Nets, put Kyrie, Harden, and Harris in your player pool. Put the whole 76ers starting five in your player pool. The stars in Simmons and Embiid will get theirs, but Curry, Green, and Harris can all overachieve vs. their salaries on any given day. Shake Milton is interesting as well, from a value perspective. Embiid is questionable even as I write this update, so be careful.
Raptors (-3.5) vs. Hawks
Raptors and Hawks is a matchup with similar net ratings, but the Raptors have the edge. Fred VanVleet is coming off of a career-high performance, and I think they are ready to start their playoff push, so they can coast through the rest of the year like they are normally able to. Further, you’d think a team with Trae Young would be better than 20th in pace, but the Collins/Capela frontcourt is really slowing things down for them. I like the Raptors with a fair amount of confidence.
DFS Targets: Fred VanVleet will be someone I skip over in my player pool tonight. I’m not big on taking guys coming off their career highs, because their pricing goes up on all NBA DFS sites as a result. I’m not saying he won’t have a good game, but on a nine-game slate, we can find better value. Put Lowry, Siakam, Powell, and Boucher in the pool. Boucher is interesting because he’s been able to stay out of foul trouble with limited minutes, but is a high PPM guy and will be banging around with Collins/Capela. Speaking of that frontcourt, put them both in your player pool along with Trae (assuming he plays…I’ll check back in later).
Bucks (-10.5) vs. Cavaliers
We’re talking about the #1 net rating in the league vs. the #25. I’m expecting a blowout here in favor of the Bucks. I wouldn’t overthink this one.
DFS Targets: As a rule, I don’t target blowout games on big slates like this (can you tell I’ve been burned before?). I wouldn’t advise you to target this game either.
Spurs (-1.0) vs. Rockets
My man John Wall just recently said he thinks he’s the franchise player, now that Harden is gone. I love the confidence. You all know I’m a Wizards homer, so I love to see Wall doing well. They just lost Christian Wood for some time, but they replace him with Boogie Cousins. Depending on who you ask, that might be an upgrade. Rockets are 8th in the league in net rating, vs. the Spurs 17th. Further, they are 4th in pace. I expect Houston to take this one, in a fun matchup.
DFS Targets: On Houston, we like Wall (still questionable…be careful), Cousins, Gordon, and Oladipo. With the Spurs, lets target Keldon Johnson, L.A., Demar, and Murray. Patty Mills is someone I’d like specifically on Draftkings, with their 3-point bonus.
Timberwolves vs. Thunder (-1.5)
Two of the three worst teams in terms of net rating in the league. BUT SHAI IS BACK!!! Let’s take a look.
DFS Targets: Both teams might be bad, but they are both top-10 in pace. That means we could have some scoring in our midst. Let’s target Beasley, Reid, Rubio, and Edwards on the T-Wolves. The Thunder are a bit more tricky with the injuries and low usage rates, but I love Shai, Bazley, and Diallo, and Roby (if he plays). I don’t usually target big guys are fast-paced teams, but someone is going to have to score and rebound for these bad/depleted teams. They’re worth your investment.
Warriors vs. Mavericks (-4.0)
Dare I say we need to start looking at GSW as a threat again. If Kelly Oubre is going to start playing like someone who can get you 40 in any given night, we’ve got an interesting squad in The Bay. Warriors are 15th in net rating, with Dallas at 22nd. I expect the Warriors to take this win, especially with the #2 pace in the league. I don’t think we should overthink things and look at star power, or anything like that. Follow the numbers.
DFS Targets: We want Steph, Wiggins, and Juan Toscano-Anderson. I like Oubre a lot, but I tend not to roll with guys after career games. I’m not going for the salary increase pump fake. You shouldn’t either. On the Mavs, we want Luka and The Unicorn, but let’s leave it at that. The Mavs aren’t anywhere close to the consistent team I expected them to be this year.
Grizzlies vs. Pelicans (-1.5)
I always fun to watch Ja Morant vs. Zion Williamson. Also, it’s important to remember why both of those players were selected #1 and #2 in the draft. The teams that took them are terrible. But, I’m not expecting a blowout, so let’s get into the targets.
DFS Targets: We’ve got two 15 teams in pace, so I’m not scared of the bigs in this one. I like the starting fives of both teams in my player pool, with the exception of Brandon Clarke. He’s got a tough individual matchup vs. Zion and I could see him getting in foul trouble. Coaches keep rotations small with both of these teams, and everyone is capable of having high usage days. We just want to identify players who are most likely to outperform, not act like we know exactly who it will be.
Pistons vs. Lakers (-13.0)
DFS Targets: I’m not going to target this game in my player pool. Lakers starters might only play 3 quarters. Detroit for that matter as well. We have other games to target. Don’t worry about this one.
If you play season-long fantasy basketball in addition to NBA DFS, 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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