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NBA DFS Picks & Lineup Optimizer Building Blocks Today | Thursday, February 17

Eric MacPherson



The best NBA DFS picks today for Yahoo, DraftKings & FanDuel daily fantasy basketball cash game lineups | Jayson Tatum NBA Tonight 6/2/22

Thursday, Feb. 17, brings the last regular-season action prior to the NBA All-Star break with a five-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 | Thursday, Feb. 17

Yahoo Play of the Day — Giannis Antetokounmpo: Milwaukee Bucks vs. Philadelphia 76ers

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 52.36 | DraftKings: 53.33
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 19.8% | FanDuel 31.7% | DraftKings 16.1%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $56 | FanDuel $11,500 | DraftKings $12,100

Tonight at the top of the salary list are three amazing options, and it is hard to find fault with any of them. Joel Embiid is averaging over a 40% usage rate in his last 14 games, which is just absurd. That should continue tonight with James Harden not ready to make his 76ers debut. Luka Doncic has a nice matchup against the Pelicans, and he has 60 or more fantasy points in seven of his last nine games. However, there are several intriguing center options tonight as well as a couple of discounted point guards, which leads to Giannis Antetokounmpo.

On Monday the Bucks lost to the visiting Trail Blazers as Antetokounmpo sat out with a sore knee. He returned the next night, dropping 50 points in a victory against the Pacers. This should be a fun measuring stick game, and as the lone TNT broadcast tonight, it is tipping off at 8:30 p.m. ET. Though Antetokounmpo and Embiid have not squared off this season, Giannis has tallied 60 or more fantasy points in their last three regular-season games. There is depth tonight at the power forward position on Yahoo, though none of the options even come close to having the same upside as Antetokounmpo.

Bam Adebayo: Miami Heat at Charlotte Hornets

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 39.24 | DraftKings: 40.21
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 32% | FanDuel 20.5% | DraftKings 23.7%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $35 | FanDuel $9,500 | DraftKings $8,400

Tonight Bam Adebayo is looking like an excellent fantasy option, with 50-fantasy-point upside and a point-per-dollar projection that rivals that of Embiid. The matchup against the Hornets should be a good one for Miami and Adebayo in particular. Over his last seven games he has six double-doubles while averaging 32 minutes and 16.3 field goal attempts with a 57% success rate. This has worked out to 22.9 points, 11 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 2.7 combined blocks and steals. Adebayo has notched 49 or more fantasy points in three of those games. While he does not have the 70-fantasy-point upside as the trio at the top of the player pool, he comes close to their production when accounting for salary.

Washington Wizards at Brooklyn Nets

This is a back-to-back for the Wizards, who lost to the Pacers in Indiana last night 113-108. Kristaps Porzingis (knee) is not ready for his Washington debut, though there is a chance that Daniel Gafford (COVID-19) will return after missing most of the last two weeks. Rui Hachimura tweaked his ankle on Monday and has not played since. While he is listed as questionable, it would be a surprise to see him be much of a factor. Kyle Kuzma once again is a core option, as he has become the focal point of the Washington offense. Corey Kispert, Raul Neto, Deni Avdija, Ishmael Smith and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope are all viable options, though limiting lineups to only two of this quintet seems like the savvy move.

Kyrie Irving will not be available to play since this game is in New York, and Kevin Durant and Ben Simmons are out as well. Last night James Johnson drew a spot start against the Knicks, and if he stays in the starting lineup, he is an excellent discount dandy. Seth Curry, Bruce Brown, Patty Mills, Cameron Thomas, LaMarcus Aldridge and Andre Drummond are all fine plays, though they each see their value ebb and flow depending on the DFS site of choice.

The Thursday NBA player props market for Brown against Washington is one to consider, as Awesemo has him projected for just over 10.8 points. Currently his NBA player prop bet today for points is over/under 8.5, and that is a mark he should exceed nearly 67% of the time in this matchup. In his last three games he has 9, 19 and 11 points, all while being back in the starting lineup. If he is on the court for the opening tip tonight, this is a strong prop to use as part of a parlay.

Houston Rockets at Los Angeles Clippers

This is a back-to-back for Houston after they lost a close one last night in Phoenix, where they had a 5-point lead at a couple different points in the final frame. Christian Wood and Kevin Porter Jr. were out last night, but if they are in for this game, they are worthy of consideration. If they are out, then Alperen Sengun, Jae’Sean Tate, Dennis Schroder, and even K.J. Martin and Garrison Mathews have value. The downside is that this is the last game of the night, so pay attention well after the other games on the slate.

Reggie Jackson and Marcus Morris Sr. lead the way for the Clippers, and hopefully there are no shenanigans, as they have had 48 hours since their last game. Ivica Zubac has seen an uptick in minutes with Serge Ibaka now in Milwaukee, and Terance Mann has been on a bit of a heater recently. Nicolas Batum is always a wild card since most of his upside is tied to scoring, and he is often content to let others take all the shots. Isaiah Hartenstein and Amir Coffey can be used as pivots in the event the Rockets get Wood and Porter back, which will eliminate some of the value options across the court.

Final Thoughts on NBA DFS picks for the Thursday, Feb. 17 Fantasy Basketball Slate

Tonight the first four games tip off every 30 minutes, and then there is a two-hour wait until the 10:30 p.m. ET nightcap featuring the Rockets at the Clippers. 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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