NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks: Will Wagner & Banchero be Magic?! (February 24)

Saturday brings a three-game featured slate, locking at 8 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 Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero and Karl-Anthony Towns. 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, MMA and NASCAR) and our industry-leading projections for every sport.

NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today: Saturday, February 24

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NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks

Franz Wagner: Orlando Magic at Detroit Pistons

Stokastic’s Fantasy Point Projections
DraftKings: 40.67 | FanDuel: 39.55
Stokastic’s Rostership Projections
DraftKings: 63.4% | FanDuel: 50.8%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $7,300 | FanDuel: $8,000

Tonight will feature a ton of overlap with only three games on tap. That means a shallow six-team player pool, and with several of the better defenses going in each tilt, gamers will be funneled toward the same DFS options.

In turn, there will be excellent spots to gain leverage over the field, which works out well in these scenarios where fortune favors the bold. Raw points are crucial on short slates, so some “chalk” is necessary.

Orlando is the only team in action today that also will be suiting up on Sunday, so if the Magic can control the game, there is a chance the key players don’t get their full run. That would only affect Franz Wagner or Paolo Banchero, who could see closer to 30 minutes rather than their customary 33-to-35. That isn’t the end of the world, since there would also be a strong likelihood that this duo will have a large part in creating that sizable lead, so the risk would likely take the form of a lessening of the “boom” probability when it comes to fantasy production.

Over the last 10 games, Detroit is allowing 117.6 points per 100 possessions, which is in the bottom third of the league from a defensive efficiency perspective. The Pistons also play at a top-10 pace, and this matchup has the Magic with a 116.5 implied point total, which is just over five points higher than their seasonal average. Markell Fultz is out with knee soreness, which means some additional opportunities and minutes will trickle down to Jalen Suggs, Cole Anthony, veteran Gary Harris and of course Wagner and Banchero, who are adept facilitators.

In the first projection run, six of the eight most popular players on DraftKings are wearing Orlando uniforms, including Wagner, Suggs, Banchero, Anthony, Wendell Carter Jr. and Jonathan Isaac. FanDuel has Banchero, Suggs, Isaac and Wagner as the top four most popular options, with Harris sliding just inside the top 10.

Isaac feels like a potential trap since he rarely plays more than 17 minutes. It would be more comforting if we knew the team was going to give him a game off on either side of these consecutive contests as that could get him to 20 minutes if he were only playing in one. The matchup bodes well for his skillset as he could get lucky with three or four “stocks” in a short period of time, which would help him exceed his fantasy point per dollar expectation.

Harris started the last game in place of Fultz, so he will likely see a surge in his popularity if he sticks with the first five. Carter is someone who can produce fantasy goodness in a hurry, but the team has been content to keep him in the 24 to 26 minute range with everyone healthy. Anthony probably has the best path to playing mop-up duty, but he loses out in close games. The Magic are likely to make or break the slate tonight and potentially at the same time, depending on the player.

From the Pistons, Cade Cunningham just dropped 50 fantasy points on the Pacers, and he, along with Jalen Duren, are the best options to flirt with a foray into the 40 fantasy point plateau. Isaiah Stewart (suspension) is out, which should help solidify Duren’s playing time in the 30-to-32 minute range. After that, it is hard to know how things with shake out with trade deadline acquisition Quentin Grimes ready to make his Detroit debut. Ausar Thompson, Simone Fontecchio and Jaden Ivey are the best bets to see 26-to-28 minutes and each could outproduce their nominal salaries. Finally, Evan Fournier is the veteran presence, replacing Bojan Bogdanovic, but it would be a surprise to see him with more than 16-to-18 minutes now that Grimes is available. Fournier could play himself into more minutes if he is putting the biscuit in the basket against the team where he truly established himself as an NBA contributor, but that is a tenuous path at best.

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Karl-Anthony Towns: Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Brooklyn Nets

Stokastic’s Fantasy Point Projections
DraftKings: 39.43 | FanDuel: 37.29
Stokastic’s Rostership Projections
DraftKings: 27.6% | FanDuel: 27.6%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $7,900 | FanDuel: $8,200

Minnesota fell 112-107 last night to the visiting Milwaukee Bucks, and, as of publication, had not released an injury report. There is a chance that Mike Conley gets the night off, but the 36-year-old did start both sides of the last back-to-back heading into the All-Star Break.

Rudy Gobert may have a sore leg or ankle, but that is not yet official. If either player is out tonight, there will be additional value options from the Timberwolves.

Under the assumption that everyone is suiting up, Karl-Anthony Towns looks like the best option from a fantasy point-per-dollar perspective and would become the premiere “pay-up” option if Gobert is out. While KAT is the second option on offense, he was an All-Star, and his scoring and rebounding have each improved over last season, as he and the Stifle Tower have learned to co-exist on offense. Only Towns’ assists are down — otherwise, he continues to be a steady contributor with a fantasy baseline approaching 40 points, along with another dozen of attainable upside if things go his way.

Anthony Edwards is of course the primary offensive option, and the fourth-year guard made his second All-Star Game appearance last Sunday, including his first as a starter. He has seen a slight uptick in his scoring and assists, which have led to a career-high 42 fantasy points per game. In a couple of years, he is likely to contend for the NBA scoring title, and his upside is still untapped.

Kyle Anderson would see a bump if either Conley or Gobert were to miss as he is a chameleon on the court and able to fill in with whatever the team needs, be it as a secondary facilitator or backing up the frontcourt.

Outside of Mikal Bridges, it is hard to get excited about anyone from the Nets, as Minnesota has been one of the top defensive teams all season, while Brooklyn is embroiled in turmoil once again. Coach Jacque Vaughn was terminated and Kevin Ollie promoted as the interim leader. We have yet to see how the rotations and playing time will shake out, which makes this the least appealing situation among the six squads taking the court tonight.

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Today’s Top Sports Betting Pick

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 -140 range, which is a good reminder that having accounts on several sites is a savvy strategy.

Jonathan Isaac is someone to target against in the sports wagering market with the under on his 13.5 points + rebounds + assists prop (PRA), which is currently available at odds of -130 on Hard Rock.

Per the true odds of -130 (how OddsShopper measures the potential expected ROI of a given wager), this opportunity has a nice 5.9% positive expected ROI as a function of the inefficient line.

NBA Bet Pro currently has Isaac projected for 18.1 minutes, 7.11 points, 4.54 rebounds and 0.67 assists for a 12.32 PRA. That median projection is below the 13.5 target, but keep in mind a range of outcomes is far different than one specific projection.

While Isaac is an interesting DFS option, that is more based on his salary, the thin player pool and his ability to get blocks and steals. None of these impact his PRA or this recommended wager. Over his last 12 games, the oft-injured defensive specialist is averaging 11.75 PRA per game in just under 18 minutes of action. This wager is likely to go down to the wire, but if the Magic are in control of this game, it would not be a surprise for Isaac to see his last rotation skipped, in order to keep him ambulatory for Sunday’s game.


Final Thoughts on NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today

Check out the Stokastic NBA Live Before Lock Show starting at 7:00 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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