NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks: Dejounte Murray and Trae Young! (February 23)

Friday winds down the work week with NBA action tipping off at 7:30 p.m. ET on DraftKings and FanDuel. There are several options in the player pool worth analyzing to find the top NBA DFS building blocks and NBA DFS picks. Let’s dig into the NBA DFS picks and core plays like Dejounte Murray, Trae Young and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Subscribe today for access to our industry-leading resources, including our lineup generator (available for NFL, NBA, MLB and PGA), our DFS simulation tools (available for NFL, NBA, MLB, PGA and MMA) and our industry-leading projections for every sport.

NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today: Friday, February 23

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NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks

Dejounte Murray: Atlanta Hawks vs. Toronto Raptors

Stokastic’s Fantasy Point Projections
DraftKings: 42.42 | FanDuel: 41.14
Stokastic’s Rostership Projections
DraftKings: 33.3% | FanDuel: 15.4%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $7.500 | FanDuel: $8.200

While this is not as sexy as yesterday’s Luka Doncic recommendation, Dejounte Murray really stands out on DraftKings. Things are diverging on the two main sites today, with DraftKings offering two featured slates, breaking the action into the before and after 10 p.m. ET tip times. FanDuel has elected to include all 10 games for their featured tournaments.

With a median fantasy point projection in the low-40s, Murray is one of the best point-per-dollar plays on DraftKings, though he is more neutral on the blue site. Clearly the FanDuel salary algorithm is taking into account just how bad the Toronto defense has been since trading away O.G. Anunoby and Pascal Siakam while also considering the Raptors had a home game last night and took a long trip to Atlanta after the game.

Over the last 15 games, Toronto has allowed 119.3 points per 100 possessions, which is the fourth-worst defensive efficiency rating during this timeframe. While Murray’s rebounding has fallen since his days in San Antonio, when he was one of the best rebounding guards in the league, he may be called upon to showcase that skill with Onyeka Okongwu out with an injury and Clint Capela on a minutes limit after missing the last three weeks with an adductor strain.

The Hawks are one of the few teams that did not play last night, so Trae Young got an extra day off after the All-Star Break, and he is also someone to consider in tournaments on both sites. RJ Barrett is questionable on the back-to-back, and if he sits, that will give more usage and offensive opportunities to Scottie Barnes and Immanuel Quickley, with the latter looking like one of the better FanDuel options, even with Barrett currently in the projections.

Jakob Poeltl is one of many centers who are appealing tonight, but he really stands out on FanDuel as the most popular center-only option despite there being 20 teams in the player pool.

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Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Washington Wizards

Stokastic’s Fantasy Point Projections
DraftKings: 56.73 | FanDuel: 57.63
Stokastic’s Rostership Projections
DraftKings: 11.0% | FanDuel: 12.3%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $10,900 | FanDuel: $11,400

In a fun twist, Shai-Gilgeous Alexander has the highest median fantasy projection of every player in action on FanDuel, and he is surpassed only by Giannis Antetokounmpo and Nikola Jokic on DraftKings, essentially for the double-double and triple-double bonus points.

Gilgeous-Alexander is currently behind Jokic in the NBA MVP race, so it is no fluke that he is keeping this company. Even better, he is taking on a Washington squad that was just decimated by Jokic in Denver last night.

On an interesting note, Jokic dropped a 21-point, 19-rebound, 15-assist triple-double on the Wizards last night, going 10-for-10 from the field. That means he joins LeBron James and Russell Westbrook in notching a triple-double against every opposing team that he has faced in his career.

Gilgeous-Alexander is no stranger to triple-doubles, and he has cleared that threshold seven times this season. This year he has added another 8% fantasy production boost onto last year’s breakout campaign, and anything less than 50 fantasy points tonight should be considered a disappointment.

Chet Holmgren is also an interesting DFS option since he will be dealing with a weak Washington frontcourt manned by Marvin Bagley III, Eugene Omoruyi and Richaun Holmes. Last night the Wizards basically gave up on trying to guard Jokic, playing their “true centers” Bagley and Holmes a grand total of 21 combined minutes. Omoruyi saw 11, while the rest of the time the Wizards ran five-out, with Kyle Kuzma and Bilal Coulibaly allegedly covering the position.

The other thing that changed last night with Washington was Jordan Poole being moved out of the starting rotation. He still had 30 minutes off the bench, which was a tick above his season average of 29.2 minutes. While he was the first reserve in the game, this could lead to some shorter nights if he is annoying interim coach Brian Keefe with his typical nonchalant defense and mental miscues. Tyus Jones looks to be the main beneficiary of fewer minutes alongside the ball-dominant Poole, especially with Delon Wright accepting a buyout of his contract and journeyman Landry Shamet likely to crumble if he plays more than 15 minutes a night.

For DraftKings on the six-game first slate, Kyle Kuzma and Deni Avdija are worthy of consideration with the shallower player pool. Oklahoma has been mediocre on defense over the last three weeks, slipping from a hot first half.

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NBA DFS Picks: Key Games

Miami Heat at New Orleans Pelicans

Jimmy Butler is back with the team after attending to a personal matter, and there is a chance that Tyler Herro will sit with a foot issue. Keep in mind that Terry Rozier and Josh Richardson are each out for another week, so it will be up to Butler and Bam Adebayo to continue carrying the Heat offense. If Herro is out, then Duncan Robinson will become a strong option across the DFS sites, while rookie Jaime Jaquez Jr. could collect some interest for the evening sub-slates if Miami is running shorthanded.

This is a back-to-back for the Pelicans, who bested the visiting Houston Rockets last night, even though Brandon Ingram was out with an illness. Ingram is questionable again tonight, and if he is out, it will bring both Zion Williamson and CJ McCollum into the mix for tournaments despite taking on the still-effective Miami defense. Williamson does miss some back-to-back games, so if he is out, then additional usage and opportunities will trickle to Jonas Valanciunas, Herbert Jones and Trey Murphy III.

Today’s Top Sports Betting Pick

Kevin Durant is, of course, a future Hall of Famer, and he still is one of the most efficient scorers in the league. However, we can still target against him in the sports wagering market with the under on his 7.5 rebound prop, which is currently available at odds of +115 on ESPN BET and +110 Hard Rock.

This is a good example that demonstrates the power of letting OddsShopper do the heavy lifting when researching favorable bets.

The next-best odds at the most popular books are in the +105 range, with several books posting a -102 line or worse,

Per the true odds of -129 (how OddsShopper measures the potential expected ROI of a given wager), this opportunity has an outstanding 13.1% positive expected ROI as a function of the inefficient line.

NBA Bet Pro currently has Durant projected for 36.6 minutes and 7.07 rebounds. That median projection is below the 7.5 target, but keep in mind a range of outcomes is far different than one specific projection.

The 35-year-old is averaging 6.6 rebounds this season, and while that is great considering his age and, of course, missing the 2019-20 season with a ruptured Achilles, it is not an overly robust number. Durant played 40.3 minutes last night as the Suns lost in Dallas by 10 points. Tonight Phoenix is in Houston, and the Rockets have been the fifth-best rebounding team in the league over the last month.

In his last 19 games, Durant has eight or more rebounds eight (42.1%) times, with exactly eight three times and seven twice. Grab the plus money while it is still available for this wager.

Final Thoughts on NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today

Check out the Stokastic NBA Deeper Dive and Live Before Lock Shows starting at 5:30 p.m. ET on YouTube, breaking down all of the key elements for today’s slate. Brought to you by PrizePicks – new users, use this link to receive a $100 first deposit match AND – ONE FREE MONTH of OddsShopper Premium! Full details here.

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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