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NBA DFS Picks & Lineup Optimizer Building Blocks Today | Saturday, February 26

Eric MacPherson



The best NBA DFS picks today for Yahoo, DraftKings & FanDuel daily fantasy basketball cash game lineups | Jaylen Brown NBA Tonight 5/21/22

Saturday, Feb. 26, rolls out a solid six-game main-slate tipping off at 7:30 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 Building Blocks Today | Saturday, Feb. 26

Yahoo Play of the Day — Nikola Jokic: Denver Nuggets vs. Sacramento Kings

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 56.57 | DraftKings: 60.08
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 26.6% | FanDuel 28.1% | DraftKings 24.1%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $56 | FanDuel $11,500 | DraftKings $12,000

Nikola Jokic has an apex-level salary on Saturday, however, he also projects for the most fantasy points on the slate. Fellow NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo is right behind him, and it is hard to go wrong with playing either superstar. Jokic ultimately gets the nod for his consistency, matchup and if he is not logging heavy minutes the Nuggets are sunk. Giannis also has a good matchup, but he is surrounded with several other high-caliber players while Denver is missing Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. Only once in his last 18 games has Jokic failed to exceed 50 fantasy points. During this stretch, he is averaging 33.8 minutes and 16.8 field goal attempts with an eye-popping 57.8% success rate. This has culminated in 26.8 points, 13.4 rebounds, 9.7 assists and 2.2 combined blocks and steals. It is feasible to roster both top-shelf options and still build a solid roster, though, if selecting just one, go with Jokic.

Kyrie Irving: Brooklyn Nets at Milwaukee Bucks

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 40.96 | DraftKings: 42.23
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 20.2% | FanDuel 7.3% | DraftKings 6.3%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $39 | FanDuel $9,900 | DraftKings $9,900

Tonight the Nets are in Milwaukee, which means that Kyrie Irving will be available to play. The Yahoo fantasy basketball salary algorithm still has him with a 10-15% discount, which has him standing out as a core option tonight. Despite Brooklyn losing the last eight games Irving was available, he continues to see heavy usage. Ben Simmons is still not ready to make his debut and Kevin Durant is still out of commission. Irving should be in line for a couple dozen field goal attempts and anything less than 40 fantasy points should be considered a failure.

DeMar DeRozan: Chicago Bulls vs. Memphis Grizzlies

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 43.7 | DraftKings: 44.32
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 9.2% | FanDuel 9.5% | DraftKings 3.8%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $46 | FanDuel $10,200 | DraftKings $10,500

On Thursday, DeMar DeRozan became the seventh player in NBA history to score at least 35 points in eight consecutive games. This is two shy of Michael Jordan’s franchise record 10-game streak back in 1986. During this stretch, he has averaged 38.1 minutes and 24.3 field goal attempts with an absurd 61.9% success rate. This has resulted in 38.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 0.9 steals. Zach LaVine is expected to be available after missing three of the last four games with a sore knee, but Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso remain out. DeRozan is interesting in tournaments as his salary is in the sweet spot where gamers are likely to reach up a little higher for one of the top stars or drop down the list in search of some salary cap relief.

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Washington Wizards

The Cleveland backcourt suffered another blow with Rajon Rondo ruled out for the next two weeks to recover from a toe injury. Darius Garland is missing yet another game with back issues and recent trade acquisition Caris LeVert is on the shelf with a sprained foot. Considering Colin Sexton and Ricky Rubio were felled earlier this season, the Cavaliers have had a serious run of bad luck.

Brandon Goodwin is going to be wildly popular tonight as the lone proven point guard on the roster. Tim Frazier has been signed to a 10-day contract, though that should not impact Goodwin’s minutes at all. Evan Mobley, Jarrett Allen and Kevin Love get a great matchup against a mediocre Washington frontcourt and should feast. Lauri Markkanen is also in play as the Cavs will need his scoring tonight. Let other gamers take a chance on Cedi Osman, Isaac Okoro and Dean Wade who are perpetual fantasy teases.

The Wizards lost last night 157-153 in double overtime against the Spurs with Kyle Kuzma (46), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (43), Deni Avdija (37) and Raul Neto (36) seeing heavy minutes. Ish Smith is an intriguing discount dandy as he played just 21 minutes last night and could get extra run tonight depending on how sluggish Neto and Caldwell-Pope are after the marathon game. Washington does have an outside shot at the play-in tournament, so if this game is competitive, we should expect normal minutes from the regulars. However, if it gets out of hand it would not be a surprise at all if Kuzma does not exceed 30 minutes making him a risky option.

The Saturday NBA player props market for Allen against Washington is one to consider, as Awesemo has him projected for just over 1.9 assists. Currently his NBA player prop bet today for assists is over/under 2.5, and that is a mark he should fall below nearly 70% of the time in this matchup. In eight of his last nine games, Allen has two or fewer assists and he has three or more in just 13 of 51 appearances this season.

Final Thoughts on NBA DFS picks for the Saturday, Feb. 26 Fantasy Basketball Slate

Tonight is a compact slate with all six gams tipping off within 90 minutes. 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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