Welcome back everybody. Alex here, and I am back with my DraftKings NBA sleeper picks for February 23rd, 2017. In our first night back from The All Star break we get a solid slate with six games to attack . Be sure to follow all the injury news up until the 7:00 PM EST lock tonight, to see if any new injury news comes up. Also be sure to watch all the deals that are announced before and after todays 3:00 PM EST trade deadline. As always if any of these picks help you win or if you need any advice, let me know or on Twitter. Hunta512.
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SG: Buddy Hield: (3,600) We have no idea how this Kings team is going to be with DeMarcus Cousins traded to The Pelicans, but Hield should be one of the main players on this roster for the rest of the season. Even though the Cousin’s deal seemed very lopsided to most NBA fans, The Kings got a player in Hield that they love and think very highly of. Right after Hield was acquired, Kings owner Vivek Ranadive was quoted that he thinks the rookie “has Steph Curry potential”. Obviously, I don’t agree with this statement by any means, but it clearly shows that you The Kings are very excited about starting fresh with Hield as a building block. Right now there is no word of who The Kings will start tonight, and even though it’s his first game with the team, I think there is a good chance Hield starts at SG and plays 30+ minutes vs The Nuggets.
The matchup couldn’t get much better for him in his debut vs The Nuggets who allow the 2nd most DK points to SGs this season, with an opponent +/- of 2.21 points. His usage should increase and with the higher minutes I am expecting, he has a great chance of returning value in this gorgeous matchup. Now I am not expecting Hield to go off and score 40 DK points, I just think his price doesn’t reflect the role that he should play with this Kings team that is rebuilding. Think about this way, this King’s organization needs Hield to have a decent outing tonight in order to show their fans that they didn’t completely fail with the Cousins trade. He is much safer if he starts, but is still very viable in GPPs if he comes off the bench at only $3,600.
PG/SG: E’Twaun Moore: (3,400) Moore is another player who should benefit from the Cousins to New Orleans deal. With Hield, Langston Galloway, and Tyreke Evans all headed to Sacramento, Moore is the only true SG left on this Pelican roster. Tonight he will start and play as many minutes as he can handle against The Rockets who give up the 12th most DK points to SGs this year. He isn’t going to be used much in this offense, but he should still be able to hit five times value with the heavy minutes he will log.
This season he is scoring 0.75 DK points per minute and in the last four games, he has played at least 28 minutes and he is averaging 29 DK points a night. 29 DK points is close to his ceiling, but he should be able to score 20-25 DK points in this high scoring matchup vs The Rockets, that currently has an O/U game total of 227 points. Right now it seems like he will be very highly owned, but regardless of his ownership, he is one of the safer punts of the slate that can be utilized in all formats on Thursday night.
C: Jusuf Nurkic: (4,300) Nurkic was excellent in his Trail Blazer debut scoring 13 points, seven rebounds, three steals, a block, and an assist in 21 minutes off the bench vs a very tough Jazz defense last Wednesday. (29.25 DK points) He was very efficient in the loss, going 5/5 from the field with a 23.1% usage rate, and scoring 1.4 DK points per minute. With Mason Plumlee now in Denver, Nurkic is by the far the best offensive big man left on this Blazers team. He may not start, but he should still see 20-25 minutes off the bench tonight with PF Al-Farouq Aminu ruled out. (knee)
This is a perfect matchup for him going against a Magic defense that allows the 7th most DK points to opposing centers this season, with a current opponent +/- of 4.28 points, which is the highest mark of any center in action tonight. I am expecting 20-25 DK points from him against this defense with 30 point upside if his minutes are higher than his last game. I wouldn’t target Nurkic in cash games, but I think he is a great GPP play if you want to pivot off the very popular Kousta Koufos tonight.
Also Consider: Kosta Koufos (very safe value, will be highly owned), Willie Cauley-Stein, Tyreke Evans, Brandon Jennings (if he is active and Rose gets traded), Justin Holiday (a very nice value if Jennings is out and Rose is traded), Elfrid Payton (he is starting for the injuried C.J. Watson vs Portland who give up the most DK points to PGs this year), Terrence Ross, and Juan Hernangomez/Jamal Murray (if Danilo Gallinari is out or if Wilson Chandler is traded).