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NBA DFS Building Blocks for DraftKings & FanDuel with Joel Embiid, Wednesday, 2/26/20

Eric MacPherson



Wednesday, Feb. 26 (2/26/20) brings us to the halfway point of the work week with a nine-game main slate. Before you lock in your NBA DFS lineups and NBA DFS picks on DraftKings, FanDuel, Yahoo and SuperDraft, make sure to check out Awesemo’s NBA DFS rankings and projections. Let’s dig into some NBA DFS Picks, including Joel Embiid, Jakob Poeltl and more.

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Prime Time Players

Joel Embiid: Philadelphia 76ers at Cleveland Cavaliers

DraftKings $10,500, FanDuel $10,300, Yahoo $45; Ownership Rating (preliminary run): DraftKings <10.0%, FanDuel <10.0% Yahoo 13.6%

We know that Ben Simmons is now out indefinitely with a back issue. That means that now is the perfect time for the 76ers to figure out what kind of a team they can be with just Joel Embiid as the offensive focal point. It is almost a certainty that his popularity will grow to the 25% range as we draw towards lock, but with Jakob Poeltl as a tremendous value option and 18 teams in the player pool, it should not crest over that by too much.

Without Ben Simmons on the court, Embiid sees an increase of 0.15 fantasy points to 1.65 per minute. Looking at his advanced metrics, we see an increase from 28.6% to 35.2% in usage, 17.5% to 20.3% in rebounding and a 15.7% to 23.3% increase in assist rate.

But wait, Philadelphia is a 6.5-point favorite in Cleveland

Josh Engleman has made us all aware of just how bad the 76ers are on the road. They are currently fifth in the Eastern Conference with a 36-22 record. At home, they are 27-2, while on the road, they are 9-20, which is about the same winning percentage as the Pistons’ overall record.

They have lost their last six games on the road: at Milwaukee, at Milwaukee, at Miami, at Boston, at Atlanta and at Toronto. To be fair, all of those teams outside of Atlanta are playoff teams. Their two road victories since the beginning of January were beating the Knicks by three and the Nets by six. Cleveland has won three of their last four games, including two of three since the break under interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff.

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This game has a decent chance of staying close enough that we could see 34-ish minutes from Embiid, which would be a steal at today’s price tag

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Good Value

Jakob Poeltl: San Antonio Spurs vs. Dallas Mavericks

DraftKings $3,500, FanDuel $4,000, Yahoo $10; Ownership Rating (preliminary run): DraftKings 84.7%, FanDuel 60.2% Yahoo 73.4%

LaMarcus Aldridge is going to be out tonight with a shoulder injury. While there is some question as to who is going to start between Jakob Poeltl and Rudy Gay, both should see an increase in opportunities. Poeltl has played alongside Aldridge for only 105.7 minutes as compared to 851.9 minutes without him. So essentially, Poeltl is not playing with Aldridge all that often, but his rates without him are about a fantasy point per minute.

The last two times that Poeltl received a start when Aldridge was out, he averaged 10.0 points and 10.5 rebounds. A double-double is a reasonable expectation if we are projecting 25-30 minutes for the former Toronto Raptors.

Risky Value

Josh Jackson: Memphis Grizzlies at Houston Rockets

DraftKings $4,500, FanDuel $3,500, Yahoo $10; Ownership Rating (preliminary run): DraftKings <5.0%, FanDuel 26.4% Yahoo 14.2%

Well, let’s all say hello to the King of Spring, Josh Jackson. If you have been playing DFS NBA, you will know from his Phoenix days how Jackson has been a bit of a fantasy darling when he gets meaningless run. The thing about Memphis is that they need quality minutes to hang onto the No. 8 seed. Jackson is very similar to Chicago’s Coby White in that he is heavily scoring-dependent for his fantasy success. His current price is attractive when you consider that he should be good for about a fantasy point per minute. Just keep in mind if his shot is not falling, that production could nearly be cut in half.

Yahoo Fantasy NBA DFS Discount Dandies

Josh Richardson: PHI at CLE – $14

Gorgui Dieng: MEM at HOU – $11

Rudy Gay: SAS vs. DAL – $10

NBA DFS Picks: SuperDraft

Jakob Poeltl: San Antonio Spurs vs. Dallas Mavericks – 1.80x multiplier

Rudy Gobert: Utah Jazz vs. Boston Celtics – 1.30x multiplier

D’Angelo Russell: Minnesota Timberwolves at Miami Heat – 1.35x multiplier

Our standout SuperDraft recommendations for today include Jakob Poeltl who was detailed above and coming in with a hefty 80% modifier. Rudy Gobert provides a direct pivot and while he has been disappointing of late, he should see a more traditional matchup in his favor tonight against the Celtics who are on a back-to-back. Finally, we have D’Angelo Russell who is in a tough road matchup against Miami, but he should also approach 20 field goal attempts and he will not get much attention from the content that is geared towards the salary sites, so he should be a nice differentiation play.

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Final Thoughts

With 18 teams in action, there is the potential for a lot of late-breaking news.

Be sure to tune into the Deeper Dive and Live Before Lock shows beginning at 5 p.m. EST for all of your up-to-date information and analysis.

Looking for more NBA DFS picks content? We’ve got loads of articles, data, cheatsheets and more on the Awesemo NBA home page, just click HERE

Eric "EMac" MacPherson won the 2007 Fantasy Baseball grand prize (trip for two to the MLB All-Star game) in the Roto format on ESPN. He won again in 2008, this time in the H2H format. As one of the early adopters of daily fantasy sports, EMac has been providing content for baseball and basketball as well as both professional and college football since 2012 for a variety of websites including DraftKings Playbook, FanVice, RotoWorld, Daily Fantasy Bootcamp, and RotoGrinders. He is well into his third decade of fantasy sports and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Follow him on Twitter @EMacDFS or contact EMac by emailing [email protected].

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