NBA DFS Analytics: February 27th


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Lineup Optimizer, Datasheet & Links


- Today's main slate features 7 games, IND, OKC, & UTA are on a back to back.

- As of this writing, the game with the highest over/under is WAS v MIN at 237 points. The game with the lowest over/under is IND v NY at 218 points.

Need to Know:

Kyrie Irving, KD Out: I had already expected Harden ($11,000 DK & $10,900 FD) to be one of the highest owned players on this slate, but this just seals the deal. With Kyrie and KD out tonight, we should see a retro James Harden performance. He is almost such a sure thing that you just have to grab him, even knowing he’ll probably see around 50% ownership tonight. Another beneficiary of the Irving injury is Landry Shamet ($3,500 DK & $4,700 FD). Shamet is incredibly strong on DK, even where I again expect him to see high ownership. I like grabbing these two guys on DK, but be sure to fill out the rest of your lineup with low owned players. A final player to look at from this game could be Joe Harris ($5,600 DK & $4,800 FD). I don’t expect his ownership to see as much of a spike as the other two I mentioned, and he should benefit from the Mavericks being forced to key in on Harden tonight. 

Tobias Harris Out: This is pretty large news as well. Keep an eye out on who starts for Philly; that’s likely the player that will return the most value. I also like the other Philly starters though. Embiid, Curry, Simmons, and Green should all see an increase in their shots and usage without the offensive production of Harris. I especially like Seth Curry ($5,400 DK and $4,700 FD) out of these guys, because he’s in a positive matchup against a CLE team that has struggled to defend 3 point specialists like Curry.

Malik Beasley Out: It’ll be interesting to see who starts in Beasley’s place for the Wolves tonight. Whoever it is will get the biggest value boost, so make sure you stay tuned for that info. No matter what the starting lineup is, both Nowell ($3,700 DK and FD) and Mclaughlin ($3,900 DK and $3,800 FD) look like strong plays. They’re both in very positive matchups against a Washington team that gives up a ton of points, plays at a high pace, and is terrible at guarding wing players. Jarrett Culver ($3,000 DK and $3,700 FD) is back from injury and will likely be limited to 15 minutes or less; keep an eye on the starting lineup, but I doubt he’s a strong play tonight.

Elfrid Payton Doubtful: If you read our newsletter two days ago, you saw that we had Derrick Rose projected for a big performance due to Payton’s absence, and he delivered. Rose ($5,300 DK and $5,700 FD) will probably get the start again and is also in a positive matchup against IND who isn’t great at guarding players with Rose’s player profile. His ownership will be way down from where it was a few nights ago, and although his price is up a bit, I still don’t hate him as a GPP look.

White, Vassell, Johnson, Gay all Out, Aldridge Questionable: All of Spurs guys listed “out” were out last game as well, so this isn’t huge news. Aldridge sitting would open up increased minutes for Trey Lyles ($3,800 DK and $4,000 FD), who would be a great play if that happens. We have him projected to cost $160/point (really cheap) and the Pelicans are awful at guarding players with Lyles’ player profile.

Mike Conley Out: Mike Conley being out probably helps out Joe Ingles ($5,100 DK and $4,500 FD) the most, who I bet gets the start in his place. Jordan Clarkson ($5,800 DK and $5,500 FD), even though he probably won’t get the start for Conley, will also almost certainly see increased usage and shot attempts.


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!

Russell Westbrook ($9,900 DK and $9,400 FD) 

Russell Westbrook is a really strong play tonight for a number of reasons:

1) Pace: Washington plays at the fastest pace in the league and Minnisota plays at the 4th fastest, so it’s safe to say this is going to be a track meet with a lot of shot attempts. This means a lot of rebounds and a lot of transition buckets (both great for Westbrook).

2) Matchup: Minnesota is the worst in the league at defending players with Russell Westbrook’s player profile. This is likely because they have Ricky Rubio guarding  most point guards; Rubio will have an incredibly difficult time stopping Westbrook from getting to the rim. Also, these two WENT AT each other during the playoffs a few years back (OKC vs. Utah) and we all know Russell Westbrook holds a grudge, so I expect him to come out aggressive against Rubio.

3) Scoring: Both teams are in the bottom 4 in the league in opponent points allowed per game, so this has a good chance of being the highest scoring game of the night.

4) No Beasley: Malik Beasley, who is an excellent defender, would likely have seen some time defending Westbrook. With Beasley out, Westbrook should have an even easier matchup than he was already projected for.

5) Irving Out: You might be confused why Kyrie Irving being out matters for Russell Westbrook, but it does. With Irving out, Harden should see ridiculously high ownership tonight. Both Harden and Westbrook fill the PG position (on DK) and are expensive tonight. It’s going to be tough for DFS users to fit both these guys in their lineups tonight. I think this drives Westbrooks ownership down to a level where if he does have that huge game, you’re in a great spot.


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 +- (Value)

Why we use a dynamic approach to calculating projected +-

  Top 10 Players, Projected + - (Value)
RNK Player Proj +-
1 James Harden +7.6
2 Joel Embiid +6.7
3 Jaylen Nowell +5.1
4 Nicolas Claxton +3.3
5 Russell Westbrook +3.2
6 Jamal Murray +1.7
7 Steven Adams +1.7
8 Bradley Beal +1.2
9 Bruce Brown +1.1
10 Zion Williamson +0.4


DraftKings Top 10 Projected Points

  Top 10 Players, Projected PTs  
RNK Player Proj PTs
1 James Harden 64.5
2 Joel Embiid 60.3
3 Nikola Jokic 56.3
4 Russell Westbrook 55.0
5 Luka Doncic 54.7
6 Domantas Sabonis 52.0
7 Bradley Beal 49.8
8 Nikola Vucevic 49.4
9 Jamal Murray 48.5
10 Zion Williamson 47.6


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

  • Andre Drummond
  • Larry Nance
  • Taureen Prince
  • Ish Smith
  • Hamidou Diallo
  • Gary Harris
  • Paul Millsap
  • Mitchell Robinson
  • Kevin Durant

Questionable Players

  • Cedi Osman (Q)

  • Davis Bertans (Q)
  • PJ Dozier (Q)
  • Kristaps Porzingis (P)

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See you tomorrow ~2 hours before tipoff!