Friday, Feb. 21 has a healthy nine-game slate as we get back into the NBA swing. Before you lock in your NBA DFS lineups and NBA DFS picks on DraftKings, FanDuel, Yahoo and FantasyDraft, make sure to check out Awesemo’s NBA DFS rankings and projections. Let’s dig into some NBA DFS Picks, including Bradley Beal, Malik Beasley, C.J. McCollum and more.
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Prime Time Players
Bradley Beal: Washington Wizards vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
DraftKings $9,400, FanDuel $9,200, Yahoo $46; Ownership Rating (preliminary run): DraftKings 11.1%, FanDuel 17.6% Yahoo 10.2%
First off, this recommendation has more of a tournament lean. The foundational plays on most sites should focus on C.J. McCollum, Hassan Whiteside, Carmelo Anthony and value plays Anfernee Simons and Gary Trent Jr., though I would probably limit myself to one of that discount duo per lineup. Damian Lillard is out and the DFS sites have not adjusted to this very dated news. That leaves 20.4 field goal attempts and nearly 30 points that will be spread out among the remaining healthy Blazers.
Do you know what Bradley Beal has done since he last played nine days ago? He has thought about being denied an All-Star Game invitation. That should give him ample motivation to show out tonight and of course, the break from playing also will help him be back to full strength.
Setting aside the manufactured narrative, this is a nice situation where we can roll Beal out in tournaments at a fraction of the popularity of the other secondary stars. The four different projection sources I have looked at have Beal coming in between fourth and seventh for raw fantasy points with a range between 46.5 and 51.2 fantasy points.
So what does this all mean?
We know he is likely to play around 34-36 minutes in this matchup as his days of seeing near 40 minutes have been curtailed after he missed five games with an injury. Looking at his last seven, we see that he has averaged 35.8 minutes per game and he has topped 35 minutes in just three of those. The key is the 1.42 fantasy points per minute, and of course how many minutes you feel confident in allocating for his baseline.
Cleveland has allowed 117.7 points per 100 possessions over their last 10 games, which is the worst in the league. They are in the middle of the pack from a pace perspective in that time frame and this game has a lofty 236.0 projected point total. Yes, Andre Drummond is now in the fold, but it is not like he is going to dramatically change things for Cleveland as Detroit has been abysmal on defense the last two seasons with Drummond in action.
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Malik Beasley: Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Boston Celtics
DraftKings $5,400, FanDuel $5,400, Yahoo $16; Ownership Rating (preliminary run): DraftKings 16.9%, FanDuel 18.6% Yahoo 34.6%
In his three games with the Timberwolves, Malik Beasley has been in the starting lineup and he has taken 25, 12 and 19 field goal attempts. Andrew Wiggins is out of town and Karl-Anthony Towns is sidelined for the foreseeable future. That means Beasley and D’Angelo Russell will get to take as many shots as they want.
It is not the easiest matchup tonight against the Boston Celtics who have the fourth-best defensive efficiency over the last 10 games, allowing 107.6 points per 100 possessions. However, the game is in Minnesota and Beasley should be able to make up for efficiency with volume at his current price point.
Yahoo Fantasy Discount Dandies
Naz Reid MIN vs. BOS – $10
Dennis Smith Jr. NYK vs. IND – $10
Moritz Wagner WAS vs. CLE – $12
NBA DFS Picks: SuperDraft
C.J. McCollum: Portland Trailblazers vs. New Orleans Pelicans – 1.55x multiplier
Zion Williamson: New Orleans Pelicans at Portland Trailblazers – 1.55x multiplier
James Johnson: Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Boston Celtics – 1.95x multiplier
Our standout SuperDraft recommendations for today are a pair of players squaring off in Portland. We have C.J. McCollum who gets a boost of nearly 20% in his fantasy production when Damian Lillard is off the court. His assist rate increases from 13.2% to 26.8% and his usage from 22.8% to 32.6%. Zion Williamson posted the best game of his career when these two foes squared off in New Orleans just before the All-Star Break and he acquitted himself well in the paint against Hassan Whiteside. If you are looking for some differentiation, then James Johnson is your guy with a 1.95x multiplier. Keep in mind that blocks and steals are worth three fantasy points so in his case, they are nearly double that.
This should be an exciting night of basketball. Do not get too attached to your “currently winning” amounts with two 10:30 p.m. EST games, including the Pelicans at Portland, which will feature some of the most popular players on the slate.
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