What’s going on everybody. Alex here, and I am back with my DraftKings NBA sleeper picks for February 24th, 2017. Friday night’s slate is a full slate with tens games on tap. 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. 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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C: Dirk Nowitzki: (5,500) With newly acquired center Nerlens Noels not expected to make his Mavs debut tonight, Nowitizki will start at center and have a huge role offensively vs The Wolves. To get Noel, The Mavs traded away center Andrew Bogut , SF Justin Anderson, and a protected first round pick to Philly. Not only will The Mavs have to move on without those two players and they also just waived veteran PG Deron Williams. With back-up guard J.J. Barea also remaining out (calf), The Mavs are going to have to play a very tight rotation tonight vs The Wolves. In the one game this season Dallas has been in this situation with all these players out, Nowitzki was a monster scoring 41 DK points with a very high 31.9% usage rate just a few weeks ago vs The Blazers.
Tonight he should be the main player in this offense again with a decent matchup vs The Wolves who have a current opponent +/- of 1.17 points. The one on one matchup against Karl Anthony-Towns isn’t ideal, but Nowitzki has played well against him this season, averaging a great 37.6 DK points in their two meetings this year. He should play around 30 minutes tonight and with the increased usage he should score close to 30 DK points with 40 point upside. He is a strong value at $5,500 and is a fine play in all formats on Friday night.
SF: Caris LeVert: (3,700) LeVert will start tonight at SF vs The Nuggtes with Bojan Bogdanovic traded to The Wizards. This a great opportunity for the rookie out of Michigan to show this Nets coaching staff that he should be a starter for the rest of the season. It is difficult to predict his usage with PG Jeremy Lin returning, but with Bogdaonvic gone, he should play at least 25 minutes tonight in an elite matchup vs The Nuggets, who allow the 2nd most DK points to SFs this season, with an opponent +/- of 1.47 points.
Both of these teams rank in the top five in pace this season and this game should be an absolute shoot-out, with Vegas giving it an O/U game total of 234 points, which is the highest total of the night by 13.5 points. LeVert should be very active against this defense and, with a tentative projection of 25 minutes, he has a great shot of scoring 20+ DK points tonight. There is upside here depending on how his minutes are managed and, at a cheap price of $3,700, he is my favorite way of getting exposure to this Nets Nuggets game.
C: Ivica Zubac: (3,600) One of the first things Magic Johnson said after he got his new position as the president of basketball operations for The Lakers, was the that he thinks Zubac deserves more minutes. In this interview Johnson told Spectrum Sportsnet, “That big man down in the middle, I’m going to call him Big Z; [Ivica] Zubac. I think he has really established himself as a quality backup center, and I would like to see him get even more minutes.” Head Coach Luke Walton obviously heard this statement and even though Zubac won’t start, he should see a slight bump in minutes in their first game back after Johnson’s comments. This season Zubac is averaging 13 minutes per game, but tonight I am expecting him to top 20 minutes. This may not seem like much, but it would be a big boost for Zubac who is averaging just over 1.0 DK points per minute this year.
He has flourished whenever he has seen extended time off the bench, averaging 27.8 DK points in his last six games that he has logged at least 20 minutes. Also for the season he is averaging a 20.5% usage rate, but this number should go up with Lou Williams’ 30.1% usage rate gone from this second unit. This isn’t the best matchup for him with The Thunder ranking 8th vs centers, but I don’t think he will have any issues going against backup center Enes Kanter who overall is a weak individual defender. There are obviously a lot “ifs” in this situation, but if Zubac plays more he should produce value. He is a very risky play, but is worth a flier in GPPs tonight with his low expected ownership of 2-4%. (via Fantasy Labs)
Also Consdier: Randy Foye. Malcom Delaney (only if he starts for the suspended Dennis Schroder), Tim Hardaway Jr. (3.1% usage bump with Schroder off the court), Jeremy Lin (it is unclear if his minutes will be limited, but this year with Bogdanovic off the court, he sees a 2.9% usage increase, and is scoring 44.8 DK points per 36 minutes), T.J. McConnell, Kelly Olynyk (has been terrific averaging 32.75 DK points over his last four and is playing in front of his home crowd in Canada), Seth Curry/Yogi Ferrell, Gerald Henderson, T.J. Warren (his minutes should be safe with P.J. Tucker traded and this is a nice matchup with The Bulls giving up the 7th most DK points to SFs), Larry Nance Jr., and Andre Roberson.