I could certainly get used to these back-to-back nine-game slates. But it certainly crunches those of us in the fantasy sports industry for time, so let’s get right into it. This is your Slate Starter for Wednesday, bringing you NBA DFS picks and strategy to jump start your process over on DraftKings and FanDuel.
Be sure to check out the Slate Starter podcast, featuring yours truly and Rynpak, to get the first look at NBA DFS lineups for today’s slate!
NBA DFS Slate Starter: Picks & Strategy | Feb. 24
Help Me Help You
One of the best things about writing this article is that I’ve been given the freedom to write about whatever I want. Ironically, one of the hardest things about writing this article is I’ve been given the freedom to write about whatever I want. While it’s certainly an honor to talk about whichever player, situation or strategy feels most relevant at the given moment, sometimes it’s nice to just be told what to talk about. At least I’ve added a predictable sort of structure to the Slate Starter as time has gone on: Two major sections, bullet points on the slate to finish, then off to bed. That’s undoubtedly helped me as the writer, and you as the reader know what to expect from this piece of content.
That being said, I’m a helper. I want to help people get better at anything/everything I believe I’m even semi-competent at. I believe NBA DFS falls into that category, so I genuinely want to know: What in particular would you like me to address in this article before/during/after the All-Star break? Do you want another Fantasy Cruncher late-swap tutorial? A deep dive into some top NBA DFS pros and their various choices on a slate? A 1,000-word essay on why Luke Walton is the worst? Just let me know by hitting me up in the Premium Slack or @EricLindquist on Twitter.
Plus, I’m a big believer that you teach what you need to learn yourself. I’d love to keep honing my craft throughout the All-Star break, so your general thoughts and prompts combined with my desire to type a million words about anything basketball-related could certainly be symbiotic. So fire up your questions, and let’s keep getting better together.
Spur of the Moment
Wednesday’s slate is perhaps the most straight-forward one we’ve had in quite some time. The reason is the return of the San Antonio Spurs.
Despite not taking the court since Valentine’s Day due to COVID protocols, the Spurs will still be severely short-handed. We have seen multiple times this season — specifically with the Heat, 76ers and Thunder — how valuable it can be to target depleted rosters that narrowly have the eight players required for a game to go. And by my count, there are only 10 potential bodies that could be available for Greg Popovich’s team tomorrow:
LaMarcus Aldridge is questionable with his lingering hip issue, so it’s more than likely nine. Still, that’s a major piece of news that we have waiting in the wings. That is not because I’d want to roster the veteran who I’m assuming would be on a minutes limit, but because he could ding the value of Jakob Poeltl, Drew Eubanks, Trey Lyles and Luka Samanic enough to render them all a little less useful.
So while we will have to wait and see how the Spurs frontcourt situation shakes out, there is no waiting necessary for the rest of this roster. Dejounte Murray will be the obvious go-to guy on this roster, while I expect Lonnie Walker to garner the most ownership at just $3,700 on DraftKings and the stone minimum on FanDuel. I’m expecting a lot of three-guard lineups with those two plus Patty Mills, as Keita Bates-Diop is the only true small forward that would be available for this game. I wouldn’t be shocked if he were inserted in the starting lineup, but recalling his Timberwolves days, certainly not a super-intriguing fantasy point per minute guy.
Did I mention the matchup? Of all the teams you’d want to be short-handed against, the 12-19 Thunder have to be near the top of the list. They are 13th in the West, have next-to-no talent aside from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and old man Al Horford and rank ninth in team possessions per game. While I expect them to open as maybe 1- or 2-point favorites, I still peg this game to be close and above average in pace, making for a fantastic fantasy environment for the copious amount of Spurs value.
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Final Thoughts for Your NBA DFS Lineups
- I have substantially more bullet points than normal to make up for the first heading not really relating to the slate. But seriously, let me know if there’s something specific you’d like me to discuss more in-depth in this space. Please and thank you.
- While all the Spurs stick out as the easiest of plug-and-play pieces, the Rockets could also provide us with even more. Victor Oladipo and Eric Gordon are both questionable, so that could really drive up the stars-and-scrubs nature of this already stars-and-scrubs slate. John Wall would again be mega-chalk, while David Nwaba and Sterling Brown would stand out as phenomenal values.
- Tuesday’s center slate was first class; Wednesday’s is second rate. I could be talked into shots on a bunch of plays at multiple price ranges, but Wendell Carter is the only one I’m banging the drum for at the moment.
- Point guard, on the other hand, is out of its mind. It’ll be very difficult trying to trim down my player pool at that position tomorrow.
- We’re back to Nick Nurse refusing to give Chris Boucher the run he deserves. I’m really over trying to figure this whole thing out and trying to accept that they must just hate him.
- Saben Lee Chalk Day on DraftKings, take 2. In his last two outings, Lee has averaged 31 minutes and 32.4 DraftKings points. Despite coming off the bench, he has received the lion’s share of point guard minutes for the Pistons. As much as I’d like to go to Dennis Smith Jr. to be contrarian, it’s hard not to still side with Saben and his $400 discount ($3,800).
- If Tyler Herro and Goran Dragic continue to be out, ride this Kendrick Nunn heater into the sunset. Even if Herro gets okayed, I’ll be still willing to take some shots at his $5,600 tag over on FanDuel.
- Just play Brandon Ingram.
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