For any slate featuring three games or fewer, we break down the night by the games rather than player position. 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.
Finally, note there are Showdown slates available with different pricing and lineup structures on both DraftKings and FanDuel. In the “Showdown” mode on DraftKings, there are six utility spots with a $50k salary cap. DraftKings has also debuted a “Captain” mode in which there are five utility spots with a CAPTAIN. This specific player receives 1.5x multiplier but also costs more if deployed in that spot.
On FanDuel, the one-game contests include an MVP spot (2x multiplier), STAR (1.5x), PRO (1.2x), and two utility spots. The Full Roster contests on FD also 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.
2/14/19 NBA DFS TOURNAMENT PICKS
Love Bug: $14 entry, $400k guaranteed (DraftKings) – $100,000 to 1st!
Four Point Play: $4 entry, $125k guaranteed (DraftKings)
Shot: $9.99 entry, $350k guaranteed (FanDuel) – $100,000 to 1st!
Slam: $55 entry, $100k guaranteed (FanDuel)
NBA DFS Game Breakdown for February 14, 2019
Charlotte Hornets (+3) at Orlando Magic (Over/Under – 216.5)
The Magic dominated a fractured New Orleans team Tuesday and were able to rest a few starters down the stretch. You can expect Orlando (26-32) to come out swinging again with Charlotte (27-29) sitting just a few games ahead of them in the Eastern Conference playoff picture.
Nikola Vucevic ($10.0k, $10.5k) is always the centerpiece of Orlando’s attack with a team-leading 27.8% usage rate. He posted a 31.6% usage rate and ridiculous 30.4% rebounding rate over 27 minutes on Tuesday and has the best floor-ceiling combination at his position against the Hornets. That’s because Charlotte ranks 20th in DvP and yields the sixth-most RPG (14.66) to centers this season.
Then, Jonathan Isaac ($5.8k, $6.8k) has continued his steady output, which is surprisingly similar to that of Aaron Gordon ($6.6k, $7.5k), but with more defense. Isaac has seen a significant increase in usage rate (19.5%) and is averaging 13.9 PPG with a 114 offensive rating over his last eight. He’s also blocked at least two shots in seven straight. Gordon is a longshot GPP play but not the most appealing option in this matchup.
Evan Fournier ($5.5k, $6.3k) is also on a heater for Orlando. He’s shooting 46.9% from the floor and is 13-for-26 from 3-point range this month. Charlotte is stingy against wing players but ranks dead last in DvP against opposing PGs over the last 14 days. Therefore, D.J. Augustin ($4.4k, $5.0k) is worth a look against his former team as a low-cost PG with modest upside.
On the Hornets side, Kemba Walker ($9.2k, $10.7k) will look to abuse Augustin, who is a subpar defender. Orlando ranks 20th in DvP against PGs over the last 14 days, and Walker is averaging 25 PPG and 6 APG despite playing just 27 MPG over two wins against the Magic this season. Should tonight’s tilt be closer, Walker could produce great returns. It’s also worth noting the Hornets have been off since Monday, and the overworked Walker is averaging an absurd 45 PPG with a 39.7% usage rate over two games when he gets three-plus days of rest.
Jeremy Lamb ($5.7k, $6.6k) follows Walker with a 22.3% usage rate. He’s a decent Cash option with averages of 16.8 PPG, 5.7 RPG, and 2 STL/BLK per game over six appearances this month. Marvin Williams ($4.6k, $5.7k) is a similar mid-tier play with a solid floor and limited upside.
The rest of the Hornets are true longshots, as the acquisition of Shelvin Mack throws a wrench in the potential of promising rookie Malik Monk. Finally, Cody Zeller ($4.8k, $5.8k) should get a ton of run as long as he avoids foul trouble while guarding Vucevic.
New York Knicks (+7) at Atlanta Hawks (Over/Under – 224)
This is a great game to target since the Hawks continue to play at a league-leading pace. They’re also coughing up the most PPG (118.4) this season while scoring 115 PPG over their last 12 contests.
The tanking Knicks offer some intriguing values. Kadeem Allen ($4.2k, $4.0k) is filling the void in a gutted backcourt with 39 points and 12 assists over his last two appearances. He owns a 33.1% assist rate over his last five appearances with the Knicks and is a great value to consider against a Hawks team that yields the most APG (27.6) this season. Allen has the highest per-dollar rating on FanDuel tonight per FantasyLabs, with the potential for 5.8x salary returns.
Dennis Smith Jr. ($6.5k, $7.8k) should still get steady run as the Knicks’ starting PG. He’ll have the benefit of facing a below-average defender in Trae Young. Atlanta gives up the 10th-most FPPG (40.24) to PGs this season, and DSJ was cruising with a 30% usage rate while logging 32 MPG over his first three appearances with the Knicks. Smith Jr. has a much safer floor-ceiling combination, but locking Allen into models for GPP lineups makes sense.
With the Knicks on the second half of a B2B set, veteran center DeAndre Jordan ($5.9k, $6.0k) could play limited minutes. He’s a great candidate to produce while he’s out there against the fast-paced Hawks, but is otherwise risky. You can bet against Jordan by using rookie center Mitchell Robinson ($4.1k, $5.4k). He is averaging 12.3 PPG, 7.8 RPG, and 2.5 BPG while shooting 77.8% from the field over his last four games. The rookie is part of the Knicks’ future plans, while Jordan is not.
Then, Noah Vonleh ($4.0k, $4.5k) is a longshot to consider in the hopes Knicks HC David Fizdale is able to “jumpstart” the PF as he indicated earlier this week. Finally, Kevin Knox ($4.9k, $5.8k) is playing 36.8 MPG with a 23.3% usage rate over six appearances this month. That said, he is a very inefficient player.
The Knicks rank 28th in defensive rating and 27th in offensive rating, which is partially why they yield the second-most RPG (48.1) this year. The Hawks’ best rebounder and inside scorer is second-year man John Collins ($7.7k, $8.2k). Collins is averaging 30 points and 15 rebounds per 100 possessions and shooting 53.7% from the floor with a 25.7% usage rate this month.
Trae Young ($8.1k, $8.4k) draws a tough matchup on paper, but the Knicks’ above-average DvP rankings against PGs and centers are largely a mirage. Young is shooting 42.6% from downtown over his last seven appearances and owns a 112 offensive rating since the start of January as he’s figuring out the NBA game. But his price tag is way up after torching the Lakers. The rookie might not be worth the money in this matchup.
The Hawks offer mid-tier values in center Dewayne Dedmon ($5.0k, $5.5k) and SF Taurean Prince ($4.9k, $5.5k). Dedmon has sneaky upside against the poor-shooting Knicks, and Prince is a solid value in his price range. You can also consider Kevin Huerter ($4.7k, $5.3k) in Cash games. He’s locked into a steady role as the Hawks’ primary wing next to Young. Huerter is listed as probable and expected to play through an ankle issue.
Oklahoma City Thunder (-3.5) at New Orleans Pelicans (Over/Under – 237)
This last game is extremely volatile. The Pelicans (+3.5) completely mailed it in during their last game, losing by 30 at home to Orlando. (At sportsbooks, take the Thunder (-3.5) at a modest spread.) As much as they talk about being professionals, it’s simply tough for the Pelicans’ supporting cast to give its best effort when their supposed leader demanded a trade and was awkwardly denied that request.
Anthony Davis ($9.0k, $11.5k) is now the cheapest he’s been on DraftKings in years. He is still a longshot GPP option with the potential to bounce back from scoring a career-low 3 points Tuesday. He averaged 34.7 PPG over three meetings with OKC last season, and the Thunder can’t really match up against Davis if he’s given the opportunity to lead his team in a bounce-back effort.
Davis erupted for 44 points and 18 boards the last time New Orleans hosted the Thunder, but we can expect a diminished role tonight. With Davis, Julius Randle, and Nikola Mirotic all out, Jrue Holiday ($8.4k, $9.0k) flirted with a triple-double in a 6-point loss at OKC. He’s averaging 12.3 APG over three meetings with the Thunder.
Despite a quiet outing in Tuesday’s blowout loss, athletic rookie Kenrich Williams ($5.4k, $6.0k) remains a solid value with a high probability he plays 30-plus minutes in this matchup. Then, E’Twaun Moore ($5.4k, $4.2k) is a value to consider on FanDuel. Both Moore and backup PG Tim Frazier ($3.8k, $4.4k) would benefit if Elfrid Payton (ankle) misses another game.
Jahlil Okafor can be faded with confidence in a tough matchup, but Julius Randle ($7.2k, $7.3k) is worth a look if you believe Davis will continue to struggle and/or get benched.
There are no secrets as to who will lead the Thunder. First, Russell Westbrook ($11.6k, $12.4k) has posted a triple-double in 10 consecutive appearances and should once again thrive against a Pels team that yields the eighth-most FPPG (40.76) to PGs this season.
Next, Paul George ($10.7k, $12.5k) is right behind James Harden in the race for MVP. He draws a fantastic matchup against a Pelicans team that coughs up the second-most 3PTM (12.2) per game and ranks 26th in opponent 3-point shooting (36.7%) this season.
Both the Thunder’s superstars are worth paying up for in Cash games despite the potential for a blowout win. Steven Adams ($6.2k, $7.0k) is another solid Cash play with the Pelicans struggling to find any consistency in the frontcourt.
Jerami Grant (ankle) is expected to sit, and Dennis Schroder (personal) may miss another game following the birth of his child. If Schroder remains out, veteran Raymond Felton ($3.4k, $3.7k) will offer a decent floor as a punt play. In that case, more offense will simply run through George (29.7% usage rate) and Westbrook (30.7% usage rate).
You can also consider Deonte Burton ($3.6k, $3.7k) as a punt play on FanDuel if Grant is indeed ruled out.
It’s worth noting the Thunder are 7-4 with a modest +29 point differential over their last 11 road games. There’s a chance this contest turns into a shootout between teams that are second (OKC) and sixth (NO) in terms of pace. Loading up on this game while others fade it due to the Pelicans disastrous Tuesday is a good way to differentiate in tournaments.