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NBA DFS Picks & Lineup Optimizer Building Blocks Today | Thursday, February 24

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. 24, returns to regular season NBA action with a seven-game main-slate 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 Building Blocks Today | Thursday, Feb. 24

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

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 58.04 | DraftKings: 61.77
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 23.8% | FanDuel 38.0% | DraftKings 23.1%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $56 | FanDuel $11,400 | DraftKings $12,500

Hopefully everyone had fun during the NBA All-Star Break and is now ready for a wild sprint to the finish of the regular season. Most teams have 22 to 25 games remaining, and with the playoff picture still unsettled, particularly with teams figuring out whether or not to begin tanking in earnest, there should be a plethora of value options for the rest of the season.

While Nikola Jokic did compete in the All-Star Game, he only played about a quarter and a half and had a chance to relax over the last three days. Currently Denver is 2.5 games above the play-in cut-off, and they are only 1.5 games behind Utah in securing first-round homecourt advantage. Even with 14 teams in action tonight, no other player has a median projection within a dozen points of Jokic. The Nuggets play again on Saturday against the Kings, so each of these teams will host a game over the next 72 hours.

Trae Young: Atlanta Hawks at Chicago Bulls

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 46.94 | DraftKings: 50.74
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 26.2% | FanDuel 20.1% | DraftKings 21.9%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $40 | FanDuel $9,800 | DraftKings $9,900

Chicago is still without Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso, who are two of their better defenders. John Collins is doubtful for Atlanta, having missed the last three games with a heel injury. That means Trae Young should have a heavy load on offense once again, and a 20-point, 10-assist performance seems all but locked in. Across his final seven games heading into the break, Young averaged 33.4 minutes and 19.3 field goal attempts, including 7.3 from beyond the arc. This culminated in 26.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, 10.1 assists and 0.8 combined blocks and steals. While the lack of rebounds keeps Young out of the dominating tier of fantasy options, it also keeps his salary at an affordable level, particularly on Yahoo.

The Thursday NBA player props market for Clint Capela against Chicago is one to consider, as Awesemo has him projected for just over 12.6 rebounds. Currently his NBA player prop bet today for rebounds is over/under 10.5, and that is a mark he should exceed nearly 71% of the time in this matchup. Capela has nine or more rebounds seven times in his last eight games, including four with 11 or more. Collins is out, so he should see an extra opportunity here and there, which will help bolster his production

Cleveland Cavaliers at Detroit Pistons

Caris LeVert may miss the next 10 days with a sprained foot, and despite appearing in the All-Star Game festivities, Darius Garland has been ruled out for tonight with a back injury that plagued him heading into the break. This vaults Rajon Rondo and Brandon Goodwin into the mix as two of the better value options. It is unlikely that they will share the court much tonight, so it is not appealing to employ them both on the same roster; whoever is starting likely has the edge in the minutes split. Lauri Markkanen will be taking the court for the first time in over a month after missing time with an ankle injury. While Markkanen is a neutral play, rookie Evan Mobley and veteran Kevin Love are above-average options since they are fully healthy and will be needed to help fill the scoring void left by Garland and LeVert. Jarrett Allen is in play, though there are better point-per-dollar options available at the center position tonight.

Golden State Warriors at Portland Trail Blazers

This should be a fun one, as the Trail Blazers have been frisky despite being without Damian Lillard and trading away C.J. McCollum, Norman Powell and Robert Covington. Golden State is still without Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala and James Wiseman. Gary Payton II has moved into the starting lineup, and he should be a nice value option in all formats. Stephen Curry can pour in points with the best of them, and he is coming off a record 16 made 3-pointers in the All-Star Game. Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole are neutral options on the main slate, but they are core plays in the two-game late-night action.

Jusuf Nurkic (foot) is out for the next five weeks, and Eric Bledsoe is not ready to make his Portland debut. That means big minutes and extra opportunities for Josh Hart, Anfernee Simons and Justise Winslow, who are all above-average options on all slates, even against the solid defense of the Warriors. C.J. Elleby has been a sneaky option who gets more than his fair share of rebounds but is questionable on offense. Not having Nurkic in the mix should boost his numbers. Trendon Watford and newcomer Drew Eubanks are wild cards, though they will likely be on the court for 24 to 26 minutes as the Nurkic replacements.

Final Thoughts on NBA DFS picks for the Thursday, Feb. 24 Fantasy Basketball Slate

Tonight the first five games tip off in the first hour, and then there is a two-hour wait until the 10 p.m. ET nightcap doubleheader. 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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