Please note the advice below is relevant for daily fantasy purposes. A player or team might be better or worse from a fantasy perspective than in real life due to matchup, price, and lots of other factors. This is important to consider when constructing a roster.
Injuries play a huge role in NBA DFS on a nightly basis. Value plays on the various daily fantasy sites can arise at a moment’s notice, so always, always check the starting lineups and injury news right before tipoff.
The Full Roster contests on FanDuel include a new scoring system in which the lowest score of the nine selected players is dropped, allowing users to take more risks with a punt play or two. Then, DraftKings has brought back its late swap for NBA contests.
2/8/19 NBA DFS TOURNAMENT PICKS
Micro-Max Finale: $4 entry, $400k guaranteed (DraftKings) – $100,000 to 1st!
Spin Move: $44 entry, $150k guaranteed (DraftKings)
Shot: $15 entry, $360k guaranteed (FanDuel) – $100,000 to 1st!
Shot: $7.77 entry, $88k guaranteed (FanDuel)
NBA DFS Top Plays for February 8, 2019
Best Guards for February 8, 2019
Zach LaVine vs. BKN ($6.9k DraftKings, $7.8k FanDuel)
The Bulls shipped forwards Jabari Parker and Bobby Portis to Washington and are apparently hoping to land Zion Williamson with the top overall pick to complement their talented backcourt. At just 23 years old, Zach LaVine is the leader of this rebuilding team. He’ll have to lead the offense tonight in a tough matchup against Brooklyn. When Parker, Portis, Justin Holiday, and Chandler Hutchison (toe) are off the floor this season, LaVine posts a 34.3% usage rate (2% increase) and averages 0.21 more FPs per minute (1.31) to lead Chicago.
While LaVine missed Thursday’s practice with an ankle injury, he’s expected to handle a full workload tonight. Still, that questionable tag will drive down his ownership. Brooklyn ranks 26th in DvP against SG over the last 14 days. The Nets funnel shots towards the rim, allowing the most 2PTM (32.1) per game. And LaVine is attempting a career-high 71.9% of his shots inside the arc.
Jamal Murray @ PHI ($6.3k DraftKings, $6.7k FanDuel)
After a six-game absence, Jamal Murray returned to action Wednesday and recorded a double-double with 17 points and 11 assists in a loss to Brooklyn. His usage remained intact despite the absence, and he’s currently sporting a 27.8% usage rate when Gary Harris (groin, questionable) is off the floor. The opposing Philadelphia and Denver combined for 236 points in a game Murray missed on Jan 26. Since then, the Sixers are coughing up the most FPPG (42.68) to opposing SGs. That’s the role Murray should often occupy with Harris banged up and Monte Morris playing extremely well at the point. Philly will incorporate Tobias Harris into a fourth-rated offense that averages 118.7 PPG at home this season. Thus, banking on the Over (230.5 points) and targeting this game in DFS contests makes sense.
Shabazz Napier vs. CHI ($4.7k DraftKings, $5.7k FanDuel)
Matchups against the length Murray and plus-sized Malik Beasley dictated Shabazz Napier take a smaller role in Wednesday’s win over Denver. Napier still produced 10 points and 11 assists off the bench. He has now met or exceeded value in six consecutive appearances. Regardless whether he starts, Napier should have another productive game tonight against a Bulls team that’s 23rd in defensive rating. He scored 18 points with a +17 plus/minus rating in a win at Chicago on Jan. 6 and has taken on a much larger role since then with a 28.2% usage rate and 26.6% assist rate over his last six. Chicago faces the sixth-most 3PTA (33.1) and allows the eight-most makes (11.8) per game. Napier is attempting 10.5 threes and draining 3.7 per 100 possessions. Note that Caris LeVert (foot) is expected to return tonight, but he’ll likely play limited minutes.
Other guards to consider: Luka Doncic, Bradley Beal, D’Angelo Russell, Dennis Smith Jr., Reggie Jackson, Dwyane Wade, Jalen Brunson, Jordan McRae
Best Forwards for February 8, 2019
Julius Randle vs. MIN ($8.0k DraftKings, $8.3k FanDuel)
Anthony Davis was not traded on Thursday and is expected to remain in the Pelicans’ starting lineup for the remainder of the 2018-19 season. However, the great Adrian Wojanowski reports the New Orleans coaching staff will reduce Davis’s minutes considerably. Julius Randle is likely to benefit most from that reduction, as well as the potential absence of Jahlil Okafor (ankle). Nikola Mirotic has been traded, and Randle averages 1.26 FPs per minute with a 27.4% usage rate when Mirotic is off the floor. He’s coming off a huge game at Chicago and has dropped a combined 55 points with 21 rebounds over his last two meetings with the T-Wolves.
Jeff Green vs. CLE ($5.3k DraftKings, $5.9k FanDuel)
For at least one more night, Jeff Green should play a key role in Washington’s offensive plans. The veteran forward has dropped 46 points with a 25% usage rate over his last two appearances and become a consistent value with Markieff Morris (neck) on the shelf. With Otto Porter Jr. traded and new acquisitions Jabari Parker and Bobby Portis unlikely to have big roles in their Wizards debuts, Green could start alongside Trevor Ariza in the frontcourt. The matchup is ideal against this Cavs team. Cleveland is coughing up the third-most FPPG (42.21) to SFs over the last 14 days and ranks dead last in defensive rating. Green is the third option for the Wizards right now and can be strongly considered along with extreme value Jordan McRae, who is 21-of-31 from the field with 46 points in limited time over his last four appearances.
Dorian Finney-Smith vs. MIL ($3.9k DraftKings, $5.0k FanDuel)
All eyes will be on Luka Doncic tonight as a premier high-priced guard and deservedly so. Doncic boasts a huge 37.5% usage rate and averages 1.52 FPs per minute when the Mavs’ traded or injured former core is off the floor. But the Bucks’ top-rated defense will also be keying in on Doncic. That should open things up for cheaper forwards such as Dorian Finney-Smith and Maxi Kleber. Finney-Smith averages 0.12 more FP per minute (0.85) and sees a 3.3% increase in usage rate (to 17.1%) when those players are off the floor. He’s not an exciting play, but he’s averaging 33.1 MPG over his last three appearances and will be locked into a big role with the athletic Bucks coming to town.
Other forwards to consider: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Ben Simmons, Lauri Markkanen, Josh Jackson, Justise Winslow, Tim Hardaway Jr., Kenrich Williams, Maxi Kleber
Best Centers for February 8, 2019
Karl-Anthony Towns @ NO ($10.0k DraftKings, $11.2k FanDuel)
Both Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid will be popular options tonight as they go H2H in Philly. And both are reliable in terms of their all-around production, but Embiid will look to incorporate another scorer in Tobias Harris and could increase his defensive efforts after allowing Jokic to drop a triple-double in a loss to Denver a couple weeks ago. If both centers disappoint in relative terms, Karl-Anthony Towns could emerge as a slightly overlooked elite option. The Wolves superstar battled Nikola Vucevic last night but is posting his best splits (29 PPG, 15.7 RPG, 4 STL/BLK per game, 130 offensive rating) when playing on zero days rest this season.
Hassan Whiteside @ SAC ($6.8k DraftKings, $8.0k FanDuel)
Hassan Whiteside had a quiet first half in Portland Tuesday, then erupted to finish with 28 points. That’s his second-highest total of the season and most points since Nov. 7, indicating a willingness to play his role that netted him 30 minutes of playing time against the Blazers. Whiteside should be a big part of the game plan tonight against a Kings team that yields the most RPG (48.1) and ranks 25th in opponent 2-point shooting (53.9%) this season. Kings center Willie-Cauley Stein has repeatedly been abused by skilled bigs and watched Whiteside compile 16 points, 24 boards, and 5 blocks in a meeting earlier this season. Whiteside was actually drafted in the second round by Sacramento in 2010, but the organization never really gave him a chance. Therefore, it makes sense for him to show some extra motivation when playing the Kings twice a year.