NBA DFS Analytics: February 21st

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Updated 5:30pm to account for Lowry injury
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- Today's main slate features 7 games, SAC is the only team on a back to back.

- As of this writing, the game with the highest over/under is MIL v SAC at 238.5 points. The game with the lowest over/under is  DET v ORL at  210.5 points.

 Need to Know:

Denver, Green, Harris, Dozier & Millsap Out: With so many high minute guys out tonight, you should be able to find some good value in the Nuggets role players. Guys like Campazzo, Barton and Morris should all see close to 30 minutes tonight and have a great chance to return value. I also think Nikola Jokic ($10,800 DK & 10,600 FD) has a really good chance to be the highest scorer tonight, and don't mind reaching for him even at such a high price. Honestly, I don't mind a "stars and scrubs" strategy tonight. Try locking in 2 (or even 3) of the big stars (Harden, Giannis, Jokic, Embiid) and then use our optimizer to fill out your lineup. 

Detroit, Delon Wright Doubtful: I’m going to operate under the assumption that Delon Wright doesn’t play, in which case this is pretty significant news. Look for either Josh Jackson ($5,800 DK and $5,100 FD) or Dennis Smith Jr. ($4,000 DK and $4,600 FD) to jump into the starting lineup and see an increase in their minutes and usage. Smith hasn’t been great this season (0/7 shooting last game), but I could see him having a breakout game against a subpar Orlando backcourt if he gets the start. Jerami Grant ($7,600 DK and $7,600 FD) also has a solid matchup versus an Orlando team that has struggled against forwards (26th in salary adjusted DvP to SF's). Look for him to be more aggressive tonight without Wright. Monitor the starting lineup and strongly consider the starting DET PG in your lineup.

Cleveland, Drummond, Love, Nance, Prince Out again: The Cavs front court is looking EXTREMELY thin again tonight. Jarrett Allen (7,100 DK and 7,400 FD) and Javale McGee (3,800 DK and 3,600 FD) should continue to step in for the Cavs, with Allen taking a significantly larger chunk of the minutes as he did against the Nuggets. I keep saying this, but Allen (+2.1) still provides great value as his salary hasn’t accurately adjusted yet to the lack of Cleveland depth at the big man position.  I mentioned 2 nights ago I thought it would be the last time this season you could get Allen for under $7,000, and it looks like I may have been correct as he went for a monster 20-10-4-1-1 game. 

Toronto, Kyle Lowry Doubtful: It’s super unlikely that Lowry plays tonight, but make sure you monitor the situation; we all know Lowry is tough as nails and could somehow find his way onto the court. If he doesn’t play, though, look for Fred VanVleet (8,200 DK and 8,000 FD) to go off tonight. He only scored 12 points last game, and he has a positive matchup versus a PHI team who hasn’t defended well against players with Fred’s player profile, so look for him to come out SUPER aggressive. Norman Powell (6,900 DK and 6,500) should also look to continue his hot streak, but his salary has adequately adjusted, so he’s not as great of a play tonight. In general, I think this is a situation to avoid in cash games, but in a GPP I think VanVleet has some nice potential for a big game and shouldn't see high ownership (projected under 20% even with Lowry out). 

Questionable/Out List: These other key players are Questionable or Out. Make sure to check the status of anyone who is questionable right before tipoff. You never definitively know either way until then.

Out Players

  • Blake Griffin (O) DET
  • Cole Anthony (O) ORL
  • Aaron Gordon (O) ORL
  • De'Angelo Russell (O) MIN
  • Mitchell Robinson (O) NYK
  • George Hill (O) OKC
  • De'Andre Hunter (O) ATL
  • Rajon Rondo (O) ATL
  • Kevin Durant (O) BKN
Questionable Players
  • Ben Simmons (P) PHI
  • Shake Milton (P) PHI
  • Tyler Johnson (Q) BKN
  • Richaun Holmes (Q) SAC
  • Harrison Barnes (Q) SAC


In this section we will spotlight a player we believe is in a plus matchup and has a positive projected +-.

Tonight's player spotlight is Ben Simmons ($9,200 DK & $9,600 FD)

The last game Simmons played, he put up 42 points, 12 assists, and 9 rebounds, easily his best fantasy performance of the season. He’s missed the last 2 Sixers games since then, so he should be fully rested and ready to go against a Raptors team that has really struggled to guard players with Simmons’ player profile. In fact, players with Simmons exact profile have been an average of $19 cheaper per point on average when playing Toronto compared to the league average. It’s unclear who will match up with Simmons, but he should look to use his size in the post against a smaller Raptors team that isn’t very good down there. He should be able to either score over Powell/Vanvleet (height advantage) or power through Siakam/Boucher (strength advantage) on the block. Most importantly, though, I think Simmons comes ready to play after missing the past 2 and having a good 5 days off of rest. He’s a big momentum player, so you better believe he’s going to follow up his last performance with a good effort today. We currently have Simmons projected to play 35.6 minutes and score just under 52 points.

Tonight's Top 10 Players, Projected Points

DraftKings Top 10

  Top 10 Players, Projected PTs
RNK Player Proj PTs
1 Nikola Jokic 63.7
2 Giannis Antetokounmpo 62.0
3 Joel Embiid 60.1
4 James Harden 56.9
5 Ben Simmons 52.0
6 Nikola Vucevic 50.2
7 Kyrie Irving 48.6
8 Trae Young 48.0
9 Clint Capela 47.1
10 Kawhi Leonard 46.7


FanDuel Top 10

  Top 10 Players, Projected PTs
RNK Player Proj PTs
1 Giannis Antetokounmpo 62.0
2 Nikola Jokic 61.1
3 Joel Embiid 60.1
4 James Harden 52.2
5 Ben Simmons 50.0
6 Nikola Vucevic 48.4
7 Kyrie Irving 47.4
8 Clint Capela 47.2
9 Kawhi Leonard 46.7
10 Trae Young 45.3

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