What’s going on everybody. Alex here, and I am back with my DraftKings NBA picks for February 23rd, 2018. Tonight, we get back to a full slate with 11 games on tap. Be sure to follow all of the injury news tonight, all the way up until the 7:00PM EST lock, to see if any new injury news comes up. As always if any of these picks help you win or if you need any advice, let me know on Twitter. @Hunta512.
If you want help with NBA research for FanDuel and DraftKings check out the best fantasy tools out there at FantasyLabs.com
PF/C: Anthony Davis: (11,100) His matchup isn’t great tonight vs The Heat (1.94 opponent +/-), but Davis is simply too cheap for the way he was playing before The All-Star Break. In his last ten games, he was averaging 57.6 DK PPG, while seeing a very high 33.8% usage rate during this stretch. He was even better in his last three games, averaging a whopping 75 DK PPG. As you all know, center Demarcus Cousins is done for year with the Achilles injury, so AD should continue to dominate for the rest of the season, with him averaging an elite 1.62 DK PPM in all the time he has played without Boogie this year. Even though the matchup could be better, there are many things in Davis’s favor tonight. On top of not playing since Sunday’s All-Star game and the extreme usage he will see, this game has a small spread of only 2.5 points and it will take place at home in New Orleans, where he is averaging 2.9 more DK points per game.
It doesn’t make much sense considering he exploded for 77.25 DK points in his last start, but his price has dropped $500, bringing him down to a very reasonable $11,100. At this salary he needs to score 55.5 DK points to meet five times value, which is something he has accomplished in eight of his last ten games. He should score 55-60 DK points, with an extremely high ceiling similar to what we have seen out of him recently. There is no chance he will be this cheap in his next game and I think we need to take advantage of AD tonight in all formats at this discounted price.
C: Alex Len: (4,800) With starting center Tyson Chandler (neck) out the last game before the break, Len got the start and was very effective in a tough matchup vs Rudy Gobert and The Jazz, scoring 38.75 DK points in 38 minutes of action. Chandler is listed as doubtful for tonight and isn’t expected to play vs The Clippers, which should lead to another start for Len. He may not help them win games, but Len has will always produce fantasy wise when he is on the court, averaging 1.1 DK PPM this season. It is difficult to expect 38 minutes again, but this is a matchup they do need his size to defend Clippers center Deandre Jordan and barring really bad foul trouble (fours per 36 minutes), Len should log 25+ minutes and out produce his price tag in this positive spot, as The Clippers have allowed the 7th most DK points to centers so far this season. (5.51 opponent +/-)
He has already played well against this Clippers defense twice this year, averaging 26.3 DK PPG in only 21 minutes of work across his first two meetings vs this team. This Suns Clippers game has the highest O/U game total of the night at 229 points and a small spread of only 5.5 points. It is arguably the best game of Friday night to target and with Len at only $4,800,Len is one of the easiest ways to gain exposure to this high scoring contest.
PG/SG: Andrew Harrison: (4,300) In his last game, Harrison had a career night, scoring 28 points, to go along with three assists, two rebounds, and a steal vs The Thunder. (38.5 DK points) SG Wayne Selden (knee), SF Chandler Parsons (injury, illness, who knows with this guy), and PG Mario Chalmers (ankle) all missed this game. Tonight, The Grizzlies will still be without Selden and Parsons, and also Chalmers who is listed as questionable. Either way, if Chalmers plays or not, Harrison will continue to start and should play 30+ minutes going forward for the rest of this season. The Grizzlies have the fourth worst record in The West and with only a third of the season left, it makes complete sense for them to give their younger core players like Harrison most of the minutes, instead of an aging veteran like Chalmers.
In this past game, Harrison saw a higher 26.6% usage rate and took 16 shots, which was the most shots he has ever attempted in his career. If this was by design, Harrison should see a 20+ usage rate again tonight and log 35-40 minutes in this great matchup vs The Cavs, who are currently rating as a 4.53 opponent +/- for starting SGs. He should be able to score 25+ DK points with the amount of playing time I am expecting and in the last four games, he has seen 30+ minutes, he is averaging 35.4 DK PPG. His price has only gone up $200 since his 38.5 DK point performance before The All-Star Break and at only $4,300, Harrison remains a nice value play, that should return value in this strong matchup.
PG: Rajon Rondo: (5,800) He has been a tough player to predict this season, but before the break, Rondo had a much bigger role in the offense, helping them win three of their last five games. If we exclude his last start, when he got ejected in the second quarter due to a scuffle with Lakers PG Isaiah Thomas, Rondo was averaging 38 DK points and 29.25 regulation minutes in his prior four games. The increase in his playing time has really helped The Pelicans become a faster team, with them ranking as the fastest club in The NBA over their last three, which is a large 10.4 possession increase from their average for the year.
He is scoring 1.03 DK PPM this season as a Pelican and with roughly 30 minutes, which should happen with him not playing in over a week and this expected to be a competitive game (NO -2.5), Rondo has a great chance of scoring 35-40 DK points tonight, even if this is a tougher matchup vs The Heat. (0.31 opponent +/-) His low score in his last game and this being a large slate of 11 games should naturally keep his ownership low in most formats. (9-12% projected ownership via Fantasy Labs) I really like Rondo at this price and think he is a worthwhile risk in all formats on Friday night.
Also Consider: Brook Lopez (better for GPPs, but this matchup is great vs The Mavs who are a 4.55 opponent +/-), Will Barton (40.1 DK PPG and 41.3 MPG in his last three), Rudy Gobert (37.8 DK PPG in his last four and this is a nice matchup vs The Blazers who always have issues inside, currently rating as a 3.74 opponent +/-), Elfird Payton (45 DK PPG in his last three starts with The Suns, which includes a game with Booker back. All of his rates have elevated as a Sun and this game has the highest O/U game total of the night at 229 points), Devin Booker, Marcus Smart ($4,800 is a solid price for him assuming he plays his normal minutes. He is averaging 24.5 DK PPG this season and will for sure come with a low ownership), Hassan Whiteside (needs 35 DK points for value, which is something he has done in four of his last five games. If he sees close to 30 minutes, he should score 35-40 DK points. He is currently the best value on DK based on Vegas props, with an implied projection of 36.53 DK points), Dwight Howard (price has dropped $600 since last night. He has topped 40 DK points in three straight games now and is averaging 48.8 DK PPG in the two against The Wizards this season. This is a nice matchup, with The Wizards presenting an opponent +/- of 3.99 points and he has a Vegas prop implied score of 38.85 points, which is right around what we need out of him for value), Jrue Holiday (has really benefited from the new pace for The Pelicans, averaging 48 DK PPG in his last three starts and has a Vegas prop implied score of 37.52 points), Tobias Harris (better if Bradley or Galo are out, really solid play if both sit), Lou Williams (bump up with Bradley out), and Rudy Gay. (we don’t know how much he will play, but he hasn’t played in 15 games, so he should be fresh and ready to go, with Kawhi Leonard still out. If he starts, that is a clear sign he will play starter like minutes. $4,700 is a nice price if he is 100%, as he is averaging 23 DK PPG in the 29 he has played without Leonard)