NBA DFS Analytics: February 25th

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- Today's main slate features 6 games, NO is the only team on a back to back.

- As of this writing, the game with the highest over/under is MIL v NO at 242.5 points. The game with the lowest over/under is SAC v NY at 224.5 points.

 Need to Know:

Porzingis Doubtful, Kleber Probable: With Kristaps likely still out tonight, there are big man minutes to go around for the Mavs, especially since they’re playing a Sixers team with Embiid and Howard. Although Dwight Powell ($3,000 DK and $3,500 FD) will likely get the start again, he weirdly only played 11 minutes last game and is barely even a part of the Mavs offense. Cauley Stein has also been very ineffective during Kristap’s absence. I actually like Maxi Kleber ($4,200 DK and $3,900 FD) tonight, even though he’s coming back from injury. His ownership will be extremely low, and he has a great matchup against a PHI team that hates guarding stretch bigs. I don’t see the Mavs trusting their other bigs too much, especially given how they’ve fared while Kristaps has been out.

Jeff Green, Landry Shamet both Questionable: If these guys don’t play, it’ll open up playing time for a few guys. Without Green, I see Bruce Brown ($4,600 DK and $5,000 FD), who’s coming off a career best performance, getting a lot of minutes at the big man position. The Nets like to play small and fast, and Brown could step in to some of Green’s opportunities as a small-ball big. Additionally,  Shamet being out could open up some minutes and shots for shooters like TLC ($3,900 DK and FD) and Joe Harris ($5,500 DK and $5,300 FD) who should get a lot of open threes with Harden running the point.

Elfrid Payton Doubtful: Likely without Payton tonight, the Knicks will probably  start Derrick Rose ($4,600 DK and $5,700 FD) in his place. He’s in a great matchup against a SAC team that struggles to guard players with Rose’s player profile, and SAC is bottom 10 in the league in pace and LAST in ppg allowed. Rose is extremely underpriced tonight. Truth be told, I was VERY close to making Rose our player spotlight, so do with that information what you would like!

Whiteside Out: With Whiteside out last game, Richaun Holmes ($5,700 DK & $6,400 FD) had a huge 40 point DK performance. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if we saw more of the same tonight against a Knicks team still without Mitchell Robinson. We have both Bagley and Holmes inside our top 10 DK value plays tonight.


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

To see our full results and the criteria we use to select player spotlights, check out our Player Spotlight Tracker!

Tonight's player spotlight is Nikola Vucevic ($10,000 DK & $9,900 FD)

I have to be honest, I’m relying more heavily on the eye test with this player spotlight than with many others. Solely based off of the numbers, Rose would have been the player spotlight, but I couldn’t resist talking about Vucevic tonight. He’s coming off of a mediocre performance against DET, which is huge because it should tank his ownership percentage. Before that, he had 2 MONSTER games against GS & DET. I think he bounces back from 2 nights ago against a Brooklyn team that I predict will have lots of trouble guarding him. The only true big that BKN has is Deandre Jordan, who won’t be able to handle Vucevic on the perimeter. We don’t have enough data on how BKN defends players with Nikola’s player profile, but they rank 23rd in salary adjusted DvP to the center position; I don’t see Jordan effectively guarding Vucevic on the three point line when he pops or slips off the ball screen. When BKN goes to their other “bigs”, or when they switch on a screen, Vucevic will be in an unbelievable mismatch with a crazy height advantage. He’ll be able to shoot right over the defender’s head, which is exactly the way he likes to do most of his damage. In addition to these presumed mismatches, the Nets are in the bottom 5 in the NBA in points allowed, and play at the 4th fastest pace, which should bode well for the final score of this game and therefore Nikola’s numbers. Finally, I think Vucevic should do well on the boards tonight against an undersized Brooklyn team that ranks 26th in OREBs allowed per game.

I like the idea of building a GPP lineup with Vucevic and one of the other top 4 (Giannis, Harden, Jokic, Doncic). I expect those 4 to all be heavily owned and Vucevic could be an interesting alternative to stacking 2 of them. 

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

  • Mitchell Robinson (O) NY
  • Cole Anthony (O) ORL
  • Hassan Whiteside (O) SAC
  • Ish Smith (O) WAS

Questionable Players

  • Seth Curry (P) PHI
  • Dillon Brooks (Q) MEM
  • Davis Bertans (Q) WAS
  • Jrue Holiday (D) MIL
  • Nerlens Noel (P)



If you want to see the full tables for both DraftKings and Fanduel, and see how these players fit into your optimal lineup, be sure to download the datasheet and optimizer from the links at the top of the newsletter!

DraftKings Top 10 Projected +-

  Top 10 Players, Projected + -  
RNK Player Proj PTs
1 Jamal Murray 53.2
2 Nikola Jokic 60.8
3 James Harden 61.5
4 Luka Doncic 61.9
5 Paul George 51.6
6 Derrick Rose 31.2
7 Giannis Antetokounmpo 60.4
8 Nikola Vucevic 54.5
9 Marvin Bagley III 34.3
10 Richaun Holmes 33.7


DraftKings Top 10 Projected Points

  Top 10 Players, Projected PTs
RNK Player Proj PTs
1 Luka Doncic 61.9
2 James Harden 61.5
3 Nikola Jokic 60.8
4 Giannis Antetokounmpo 60.4
5 Nikola Vucevic 54.5
6 Jamal Murray 53.2
7 Joel Embiid 52.9
8 Paul George 51.6
9 Russell Westbrook 49.0
10 Julius Randle 48.9

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