NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks: Look to Wunderkind Victor Wembanyama Tonight! (February 2)

Friday wraps up the workweek with a nine-game featured slate locking at 7 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 Victory Wembanyama, Draymond Green and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander — as well as the key injury stories to monitor.

NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today: Friday, February 2

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NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks

Victor Wembanyama: San Antonio Spurs vs. New Orleans Pelicans

Stokastic’s Fantasy Point Projections
DraftKings: 51.26 | FanDuel: 51.94
Stokastic’s Rostership Projections
DraftKings: 10.6% | FanDuel: 3.9%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $9,300 | FanDuel: $10,500

San Antonio does play again tomorrow, hosting the Cleveland Cavaliers, which will mark the sixth game in nine days for the team. However, that is tomorrow’s challenge, and tonight we should be looking to rookie Victor Wembanyama as a top tournament option who is likely to end up with a reasonable 15% representation across the featured tournaments on DraftKings and FanDuel.

The key thing that has changed is that the 19-year-old is now being allowed to play 30 minutes per game.

In the last four games, beginning with last Friday, Wembanyama has averaged 29.8 minutes and 17.3 field goal attempts, with a 46.4% conversion rate. This has culminated in 22.3 points, 10.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.8 steals and 3.0 blocks. In DFS terms, he has averaged just over 50 fantasy points per game in this stretch or 1.7 fantasy points per minute.

Zion Williamson (foot) is questionable, having missed the last game and two of the last four. If he plays tonight, this is a fine matchup for him against the Spurs. Larry Nance Jr. is dealing with ankle soreness, though even if he plays, the oft-injured legacy player rarely tops 20 minutes of run. That keeps things secure for Jonas Valanciunas. The Lithuanian tallied 15 points and 15 rebounds in mid-December against Wembanyama in just 23 minutes.

Herb Jones missed the last game with a sore adductor, and if he is out, that is more minutes and opportunities for Brandon Ingram, Naji Marshall and Trey Murphy III. This trio would also get a boost if Nance were out. CJ McCollum is averaging 32.0 minutes, 19.1 points, 4.2 rebounds and 4.7 assists, each of which are his lowest figures in three years. He is posting a career-best 58.0% effective field goal rate, so this all could be noise and he could snap out of these doldrums at any time.

Rounding things out for the Spurs, Tre Jones and Devin Vassell both look good on DraftKings, but they are best left for the evening sub-slate on FanDuel. Zach Collins (ankle) and Keldon Johnson (cut elbow) are questionable, and with San Antonio 8-point home dogs, it would seem that someone is likely to sit.

Draymond Green: Golden State Warriors at Memphis Grizzlies

Stokastic’s Fantasy Point Projections
DraftKings: 37.4 | FanDuel: 37.18
Stokastic’s Rostership Projections
DraftKings: 25.2% | FanDuel: 26.0%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $6,300 | FanDuel: $6,900

Memphis has been feisty over the last three games, despite running a rotation loaded with G League-caliber talent. While the Grizzlies have lost the last three games, they were all close: 116-110 in Indiana, 103-94 against Sacramento and then last night they gave the visiting Cavaliers all they could handle before Cleveland closed out a 108-101 win.

While this is a back-to-back for Memphis, this is only the second game since last Sunday and the next game is this Sunday.

Draymond Green is today’s core building block, particularly since he can be employed as a power forward across the most popular DFS sites. In his four games since serving his second suspension of the season, the soon-to-be 34-year-old is averaging just over 1.1 fantasy points per minute, and he moved back into his starting role after a pair of appearances off the bench.

Two games ago, Green dropped a near triple-double on the Lakers, just missing the milestone by 2 points. He crested over 50 fantasy points in that game, reminding everyone what he is capable of doing. Yes, that was in double overtime and he played 46 minutes, but that does not diminish his 1.1 fantasy points per minute. Golden State is favored by 7.5 points in Memphis tonight, but if the Grizzlies youngsters remain fired up, they could push the Warriors well into the final frame.

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NBA DFS Picks: Key Games

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Charlotte Hornets

While the Thunder are 15.5-point favorites in Oklahoma City tonight, they will be without Jalen Williams (aka the good fantasy Williams) and Isaiah Joe. That, along with the matchup, has Shai Gilgeous-Alexander with the highest median fantasy point projection on both DraftKings (56.93) and FanDuel (57.54) tonight. He is going to be on at least one-third of all tournament rosters, which actually feels a little bit light.

The absence of Williams means around 15 field goal attempts will be dispersed throughout the rotation, with Josh Giddey, Chet Holmgren and Luguentz Dort being the most likely beneficiaries. Holmgren is always a strong tournament option with his multi-block upside, and he has four or more in nearly one-quarter of his appearances. Anything less than a double-double and a couple of blocks against the anemic Charlotte frontcourt will be considered a disappointment.

Giddey is a neutral tournament option, but Dort is picking up traction in the early going. He is projected to be on just over 40% of all DFS lineups at this time, though expect that to slide back a little as more value options are revealed throughout the day.

If LaMelo Ball remains out for a fourth consecutive game, expect big minutes again for Miles Bridges, Brandon Miller, Nick Richards, PJ Washington and Cody Martin. The latter two are looking good on DraftKings as tournament differentiation options, with Richards joining them on FanDuel. Bridges and Miller have the best projections, but the salary algorithms have rendered them as just slightly above-average plays from a median baseline perspective.

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Today’s Top Sports Betting Pick

This is a very winnable game for the Clippers, who are currently 11.5-point road favorites in Detroit. Paul George got the night off on Wednesday, when Los Angeles crushed the Wizards in Washington 125-108. It would not be a surprise to see Kawhi Leonard randomly pop up on the injury report this afternoon, but at this time everyone except Ivica Zubac is expected to play.

The Clippers are 23-5 over the last 28 games, and that has mostly to do with James Harden accepting his role as the primary facilitator for George and Leonard, with Russell Westbrook moving to the bench and seeing only 20-ish minutes per game outside of mop-up duty.

Tonight we can look to the under on Harden’s 19.5 points prop, which is currently available at odds of -105.

Per the true odds of -116 (how OddsShopper measures the potential expected ROI of a given wager), this opportunity has a steady 5% expected ROI as a function of the inefficient line.

NBA Bet Pro currently has The Beard projected for 35.9 minutes and 19.64 points. That median projection nearly spot on with the 19.5 threshold, but keep in mind a range of outcomes is far different than one specific projection.

It is crucial to take advantage of OddsShopper to look at all the available lines since that can easily be worth another 2% to 3% for your ROI, even on perfectly neutral bets, based on how the different books value things. To demonstrate this very concept, look at the odds above — you can see that Pinnacle, a sharp book, is at -136, which is well below the best offerings. Be a savvy shopper!

In the last 14 games with both Leonard and George playing, Harden is averaging 15.9 points per game, with four games (28.6%) of 20 or more points, one of 19 and the remaining nine at or below 16 points. The hope is that the Clippers push out to an early lead and hand the game over to Westbrook and the rest of the secondary options for a significant chunk of time.

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 BetMGM– new users, use this link to receive $158 in Bonus Bets when you bet $5 ahead of Super Bowl 58! Full details here.

Eric MacPherson
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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