NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks: One Final Hurrah! (February 15)

Thursday is the last hurrah heading into All-Star Weekend, with the action locking at 8:30 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 Stephen Curry and Giannis Antetokounmpo. We will also have to monitor the availability of several Memphis players, including John Konchar, Luke Kennard and Jaren Jackson Jr. 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: Thursday, February 15

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NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks

Stephen Curry: Golden State Warriors at Utah Jazz

Stokastic’s Fantasy Point Projections
DraftKings: 47.65 | FanDuel: 44.44
Stokastic’s Rostership Projections
DraftKings: 27.2% | FanDuel: 34.3%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $9,600 | FanDuel: $9,400

This is a back-to-back for the Warriors, who saw their five-game winning streak go down in flames after frittering away a 100-86 advantage in the early fourth quarter.

There is a little dissention in the ranks as well since Klay Thompson seemingly missed the instructions to not intentionally foul with under a minute to go. Normally we would worry about this being the fourth game in six days, but this team needs all the wins it can muster.

Stephen Curry is in the All-Star Game for the 10th time in his storied career, but he did not make the starting five. Now that the team is mostly healthy, he has been playing in the low-30s for minutes, and that is a reasonable expectation for tonight. He has been dialed in from downtown over the last four games, averaging 16.8 3-points attempts with a ridiculous 52.1% success rate.

Draymond Green continues to be productive, and given his ability to contribute across the box score, he usually has a fantasy point projection around 30 with upside to hit 40 if he gets a couple extra buckets or stocks. Rookie Brandin Podziemski has been a bright spot, and he looks like a fine differentiation play since it appears gamers are not fond of him in a reserve role. Finally we have Jonathan Kuminga, who is seeing more popularity than Podziemski but with a similarly attainable ceiling.

On the Utah side, Walker Kessler has rejoined the starting lineup, and that has elevated his minutes baseline up by 30%. This also gives him a chance to push for 30 minutes, which would likely result in a 40-fantasy point performance. He has at least three blocks in each of his last seven games and 25 total in these appearances.

Lauri Markkanen has been under 30 fantasy points each of the last three games, but he has two with 50-plus in his last six. He is a viable tournament option, though if he crests over a 30% projected rostership level, it is probably worth letting others ride out the risk of another dud. John Collins loses out with Kessler in the starting lineup, as that means he has another rebound competitor. The former Atlanta Hawk does not have the same 50-fantasy point upside as Markkanen, but he has been getting to 30 more often than The Finnisher.

Jordan Clarkson, Collin Sexton and Keyonte George are getting the majority of the backcourt run, so this trio is viable on the three-game slate.

Giannis Antetokounmpo: Milwaukee Bucks at Memphis Grizzlies

Stokastic’s Fantasy Point Projections
DraftKings: 59.06 | FanDuel: 58.11
Stokastic’s Rostership Projections
DraftKings: 23.2% | FanDuel: 31.1%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $11,800 | FanDuel: $11,700

Yes, in prior years it could be risky considering some of the superstars in the game leading up to the All-Star Break, particularly with LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo. However, things are a little different this year — not just with the All-Star Game reverting back to East vs. West and no named captains or drafts, but Antetokounmpo and the Bucks are in a precarious position, having lost six of the last nine games.

Milwaukee is still holding the third-best record in the Eastern Conference at 35-20, but it is two games behind Cleveland and eight away from Boston.

The Bucks are 11.5-point road favorites, but they dropped games in Portland and Utah and their last home game to the shorthanded Heat, and they also have a bad defense and weak coaching (yes, looking at you Glenn Rivers), so there are no certainties. Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard are solid plays tonight, and while both were named All-Star starters for the Eastern Conference, that game is not until Sunday and this regular season game is far more important to secure. In other words, unless their respective knee and ankle issues keep them out of the starting lineup, do not fret over potential lost playing time in a blowout.

Khris Middleton remains out, so that has been giving additional minutes to Jae Crowder, Bobby Portis and Pat Connaughton. Crowder has mostly been focusing on defense, taking only a dozen field goal attempts over the last three games. That makes him less appealing from a fantasy perspective, particularly with most of his recently dwindling minutes coming alongside the high-usage starters.

The Memphis injury list is lengthy with Santi Aldama (knee), Jaren Jackson Jr. (knee) and Luke Kennard (ankle) questionable, while Derrick Rose Jr. (knee) is doubtful. The Grizzlies did knock off the Houston Rockets last night 121-113, ending their losing streak at nine games. Vince Williams Jr. (35), Kennard (30) and Jackson (28) were the only starters over 22 minutes. Rose (16) is likely to sit, but it would be somewhat surprising if the others did unless they are truly hurt, as this is a home game. Of course, we do not know the true motivations of the Grizzlies as they are in tank mode, but they can still roll out their remaining ambulatory regulars and easily lose to Milwaukee.

This is the first game of the night, so as long as the regulars for both teams are in the starting lineup, this should be all systems go. John Konchar and Vince Williams Jr. should get regular run down the stretch as Memphis looks to develop the back half of the rotation. Gregory “GG” Jackson is a dart throw, as is Jordan Goodwin. Goodwin was signed to a 10-day contract to add point guard depth and also help the team not use up the NBA portion of the two-way deals for Jacob Gilyard, Scotty Pippen Jr. and Trey Jemison.

It would not be a shock for Jackson to be shut down at some point to preserve his health, but that is more likely to happen in March once the team realizes there is not going to be much to gain by bringing back Desmond Bane and Marcus Smart if they are healthy before the end of the season. If the reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year is not starting, then get him out of DFS lineups.

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Today’s Top Sports Betting Pick

Damian Lillard is going to be a DFS priority, but we can also look the under on his 24.5 points prop, which is currently available at odds of +100 on bet365.

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 -115 to -120 range, with several books posting a -129 line or worse. Be a smart shopper!

Per the true odds of -110 (how OddsShopper measures the potential expected ROI of a given wager), this opportunity has a solid 4.8% positive expected ROI as a function of the inefficient line.


NBA Bet Pro currently has Lillard projected for 35.4 minutes and 23.11 points. That median projection is below the 24.5 target, but keep in mind a range of outcomes is far different than one specific projection.

This year we are not consistently seeing “Dame Time,” as the 34-year-old guard continues to find his role in his first season away from the Portland Trail Blazers. Clearly he is doing a lot right since he was named a starter in Sunday’s All-Star Game, but 24.5 points is still a high target, even though it is one-tenth of a point below his season average.

Over the last month, Lillard has played 13 games, averaging 33.6 minutes and 17.5 field goal attempts with a 41.2% conversion rate, good for 23.1 points. In this stretch he is sinking just 31.4% of his 3-pointers while taking 7.8 per game. We have all seen him rattle off 20-plus points in a half constantly throughout his career, but he is no longer the offensive focal point when playing next to Antetokounmpo and arguably Brook Lopez as well. In this 13-game stretch, Lillard has tallied 25 or more points seven times, but in the other six, he has been at 18 or below.

Final Thoughts on NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today

Check out the Stokastic NBA Deeper Dive and Live Before Lock Shows starting at 5 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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