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NBA DFS Picks & Lineup Optimizer Building Blocks Today | Wednesday, February 16

Eric MacPherson



The best NBA DFS picks today for Yahoo, DraftKings & FanDuel daily fantasy basketball cash game lineups | Jayson Tatum NBA Tonight 6/8/22

Wednesday, Feb. 16, is the penultimate slate before the All-Star Break, and there is a robust 11-gamer tipping off at 7 p.m. ET. Let’s look at the player pool and discuss the top NBA DFS picks for DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo lineups. Do not forget to head over to the Awesemo NBA DFS & Fantasy Basketball home page for more great written daily fantasy basketball content.

NBA DFS Picks: DraftKings, FanDuel & Yahoo Fantasy Basketball Building Blocks Today | Wednesday, Feb. 16

Yahoo Play of the Day — DeMar DeRozan: Chicago Bulls vs. Sacramento Kings

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 47.98 | DraftKings: 48.91
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 22.0% | FanDuel 18.8% | DraftKings 13.8%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $46 | FanDuel $10,500 | DraftKings $10,400

DeMar DeRozan has been a fantasy force to be reckoned with this season, as he is putting up top-three career numbers in most statistical categories. That is not something typically seen from a 13-year veteran, and DeRozan has been recognized with his fifth All-Star nod and his first since the 2017-2018 season.

In his last 15 games, DeRozan is averaging 37.9 minutes and 21.7 field goal attempts with an eye-popping 58.3% success rate. This has led to 34 points, 5.7 rebounds, six assists and 1.3 combined blocks and steals. Every game in this stretch has resulted in at least 43 Yahoo fantasy points, and eight have been over 50 fantasy points. Zach LaVine, Alex Caruso and Lonzo Ball are still out, and tonight is a matchup with the struggling Sacramento Kings. DeRozan is not quite in the superstar level of tonight’s player pool, and he is likely to be underrepresented in tournaments with gamers flocking to Nikola Jokic, Trae Young, Stephen Curry, Karl-Anthony Towns, etc.

Trae Young: Atlanta Hawks at Orlando Magic

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 43.99 | DraftKings: 47.37
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 20.6% | FanDuel 6.1% | DraftKings 20.4%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $40 | FanDuel $10,200 | DraftKings $9,400

Over their last 10 games, the Magic are playing at the second-fastest pace in the league and have average defense. John Collins is out through the All-Star Break with a foot issue, so that means Trae Young will be the primary offensive option tonight for the Hawks. Young was stellar against the Cavaliers last night and in Boston on Sunday. In these two games without Collins, Young averaged 35.9 minutes, 35.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 9.5 assists and 1.5 steals. Atlanta is currently holding onto the final play-in slot by their fingernails, and with this being their last game before the All-Star Break, the team should go all out to secure a road victory tonight.

Julius Randle: New York Knicks vs. Brooklyn Nets

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 43.02 | DraftKings: 46.5
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 25.2% | FanDuel 4.6% | DraftKings 16.4%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $39 | FanDuel $10,400 | DraftKings $9,700

Finally, after four straight games with 50 or more fantasy points, the Yahoo salary algorithm finally gave a boost to Julius Randle. However, he is steal on Yahoo and to a lesser extent on DraftKings in tonight’s Battle for New York. Brooklyn put an end to their 11-game losing streak on Monday against Sacramento, but they are 6.5-point underdogs tonight and play again tomorrow against Washington.

Kevin Durant has no timetable for his return, and with these games being in New York, Kyrie Irving is unable to play if he still elects to remain unvaccinated for COVID-19. Ben Simmons is unlikely to play for the next week or two, which further erodes the Nets defense. The Knicks will be without R.J. Barrett and Nerlens Noel, which opens up scoring and rebounding opportunities for Randle. Brooklyn is allowing 117.3 points per 100 possessions over their last 10 games, which is the fourth-worst defensive efficiency in the league during this span.

Washington Wizards at Indiana Pacers

Bradley Beal (wrist) is out for the season, Daniel Gafford is dealing with COVID-19, and Kristaps Porzingis (knee) is not yet ready to make his Washington debut. That means another night of rolling with Kyle Kuzma as a core option is in the cards. In his last three games, Kuzma is averaging 36.9 minutes, 20 points, 9.3 rebounds, 6.3 assists and one combined block and steal for a tick shy of 40 fantasy points per game.

Corey Kispert is in play on Yahoo ($11) and DraftKings ($4,300) as long as he remains in the starting lineup. While he is mostly scoring dependent, he has been adding in a few rebounds and other stats to help bolster his fantasy floor. The other bonus is that he is not shy about firing away from the field.

Deni Avdija is the inverse when compared to Kispert, as he does not shoot nearly enough, but he does contribute across the rest of the box score. In his last game he had a career-high 15 rebounds, which is unlikely to ever be seen again. In his three games prior to that he had 13 combined rebounds, so if he starts to pick up any popularity, let the other gamers assume the risk of a mediocre performance. Ishmael Smith and Raul Neto are decent options, though if Tyus Jones gets another start in place of Ja Morant, choose the Grizzly over the Wizard every single time.

Tyrese Haliburton and Buddy Hield continue to see big minutes for their new team, and they have gamely stepped into the void left by Domantas Sabonis and Caris LeVert being traded and the injuries to Myles Turner, Malcolm Brogdon, Chris Duarte and Isaiah Jackson. Oshae Brissett and Jalen Smith are on the short list at power forward, and Lance Stephenson and Goga Bitadze begin to become intriguing around lineup 50 to 60 for the mass multi-entry crowd.

The Wednesday NBA player props market for Brissett against Washington is one to consider, as Awesemo has him projected for just over 8.1 rebounds. Currently his NBA player prop today for rebounds is over/under 6.5, and that is a mark he should exceed nearly 70% of the time in this matchup.

Final Thoughts on NBA DFS picks for the Wednesday, Feb. 16 Fantasy Basketball Slate

Tonight is a staggered slate with games tipping off at five different times and wrapping up with a late-night West Coast doubleheader at 10 p.m. ET. Keep in mind that salaries and scoring formats differ across the various fantasy sites, and a slam-dunk play on Yahoo may be a below-average NBA DFS pick on DraftKings or FanDuel.

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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