2/26 NBA DFS Picks: The Wiz Kids
Today has not been a good day. I’ve experienced some golf tilt, my car wouldn’t start and now it’s snowing in Pittsburgh. I’ve been trying to think of ways to change my attitude about the day, but nothing seems to have clicked early. All of that changed when I remembered that the Sixers were playing tonight.
PG: John Wall
Does John Wall still do that odd dance thing with his bicep? If not, he’ll probably be doing it tonight. Wall has a prime matchup with the lowly Sixers in a game with a total climbing towards 215. Although Wall typically sees less ownership than the other premier point guards, I think he’ll be a popular play tonight against the Sixers. He carries a price tag just below the rising elites and has carved out the second highest usage of his career (28.8) while holding his peripheral rates steady. Over the last 10 games, the Sixers have yielded the fourth most DraftKings’ points (55.2) to opposing point guards and in a game with only an eight point spread, I expect Wall to come close to or exceed that total on his own.
SG: Jamal Crawford/JJ Redick
Crawford and Redick continue a theme of targeting consistently terrible defenses today. While the Kings provide a lot of DFS firepower on offense they aren’t much of a defensive stalwart. In fact, this season, no team has yielded more DraftKings points per game to opposing shooting guards than the Sacramento Kings. Both Redick and Crawford have seen an increased role in the offense with the absence of Blake Griffin and I’m confident they’ll see that role play out again tonight. Both of these guys fall into the “salary saver” categories and should have a great chance at eclipsing value in a game that should feature a lot of fast paced offense and little defense. Despite his complete dud, Crawford has averaged more than 30 minutes per game over his last five, averaging close to 17 points a game in that time. Redick has been playing just about the same amount of minutes, but is averaging over 20 points per game in that span. Both should be relied upon heavily tonight and make great tournament options.
SF: Matt Barnes
Barnes should typically not be the first guy you think of in this spot, but unfortunately, given the lack of depth at the position he’s at the top of the list. Not based purely on talent of course, but Barnes is playing in a repeat game against an atrocious Lakers defense that he just torched a few days ago. I’m not going to expect a complete repeat performance, but given the injury woes that the Grizzlies have sustained, Barnes is expected to play big minutes against a bad team. In each of his last three games, he’s eclipsed 30 minutes of play and played 37 last time against the Lakers. While Memphis is typically noted for their slow, methodical play, this game is carrying a total of 204 and with only a four point spread Barnes should get plenty of run. He’ll never blow you away, but per-36 he’s averaging 12.1/7.0/2.4. If he can get that, you should be pleased with his performance.
PF: Zach Randolph
I’m doubling down on the Grizzlies today. ZBo was not as great as Barnes in the last meeting against the Lakers, but I’m not going to deviate from him today. The Lakers are terrible against every single position and while ZBo doesn’t carry the same upside he once did, he still has a fairly safe floor against the Lakers. Randolphs’ rebound totals have taken a significant hit this year, and while his total rebound rate is down to 15.8%, he’s still found a way to keep his offensive game alive. Per-36 minutes, Randolph is actually averaging more shots attempts this year than last, and with no Marc Gasol on the floor he’ll be required to carry a bit more of the load offensively. At a depressed price around the industry, ZBo makes for a solid cash game play.
Gortat is the quintessential underrated DFS play. He holds a salary in an accessible range and produces on a nightly basis in an eerily consistent fashion. With that being said, you should also make note that he probably won’t “WOW” you. On the season the Polish Hammer has quietly averaged a double-double with 13.7/10.0 per game, while adding a little over a block in each contest. You also might have guessed that his matchup with the Sixers tonight could not have been any better – literally. The Sixers have been the worst team this season against opposing centers and Jahlil Okafor shouldn’t have much of an answer for Gortat off the pick and roll tonight. He’ll fit right in with the rest of the guys in this piece tonight and even let you grab John Wall to produce some balanced tournament and cash lineups. If you’re trying to decide between Gortat and another center, give the checkmark to Gortat because his nickname is the Polish Hammer.