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.
2/25/19 NBA DFS TOURNAMENT PICKS
Mini Freeze Finale: $6 entry, $500k guaranteed (DraftKings) – $100,000 to 1st!
February Freeze Finale: $100 entry, $500k guaranteed (DraftKings) – $100,000 to 1st!
Shot: $9.99 entry, $300k guaranteed (FanDuel) – $100,000 to 1st!
Shot: $7.77 entry, $80k guaranteed (FanDuel)
NBA DFS Top Plays for February 25, 2019
Best Guards for February 25, 2019
Stephen Curry @ CHA ($9.3k DraftKings, $9.6k FanDuel)
The Hornets (+7.5) might have a tough time keeping this contest close for four quarters, but if they do, pairing Steph Curry with Kemba Walker could pay off as a GPP strategy. Curry is the more reliable option for Cash games, of course, since the Warriors can dedicate ample resources toward containing Walker while the Hornets have to pick their poison with the unstoppable Warriors offense. Curry has been other-worldly on the road this season, where he’s averaging 30.1 PPG while shooting 51% from the floor and 46% from downtown to post a 129 offensive rating. This is a special arena for a PG who grew up in Charlotte. Plus, Curry will be out for redemption after narrowly falling to Joe Harris in the 3-point contest in Charlotte last weekend.
Jrue Holiday vs. PHI ($7.7k DraftKings, $9.1k FanDuel)
This is a very generous price for Jrue Holiday on DraftKings considering Anthony Davis is by no means guaranteed playing time in this game. Holiday owns a 29.1% usage rate and averages 1.34 FPs per minute when Davis is off the floor this season. He burned the Sixers for 30 points and 10 assists in November when both Davis and Nikola Mirotic (traded) were active. The Sixers are giving up the second-most FPPG (43.69) and most APG (9.77) to opposing PGs this season. Holiday is sporting a 32.1% assist rate to go along with a 27.8% usage rate over his last eight appearances.
Dion Waiters vs. PHO ($4.7k DraftKings, $5.5k FanDuel)
The Heat remain shorthanded with Goran Dragic (knee) nowhere near full speed and Justise Winslow (knee) doubtful to suit up tonight. Within Erik Spoelstra’s fickle rotations, Dion Waiters has stepped up with a 25.6% usage rate and 55 points over his last three appearances. He’s trading possessions with Dwyane Wade, but Wade might take a bit of a backseat in a matchup against the youthful Suns. Phoenix ranks 20th in DvP against SGs over the last 14 days and ranks 29th overall in defensive rating. Miami will also be without James Johnson (shoulder) and Rodney McGruder (knee), which also makes Kelly Olynyk ($3.9k, $4.6k) an appealing value to consider.
Eric Gordon vs. ATL ($4.6k DraftKings, $5.6k FanDuel)
The masses will be all over Chris Paul after his second consecutive big game. James Harden (neck) could potentially miss another game, or at least see a reduction in usage. That would give both Paul and Eric Gordon heightened responsibilities. Gordon is averaging 17.2 PPG with a 22.1% usage rate while scoring in double figures in six consecutive appearances. He sees a huge 6.9% increase to lead the Rockets with a 31.2% usage rate when Harden is off the floor. Atlanta coughs up the most PPG (118.2) and most DK PPG to opposing SGs this season, giving Gordon a very solid floor with huge potential upside should Harden sit.
Other guards to consider: Kemba Walker, Chris Paul, De’Aaron Fox, Lou Williams, Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Clarkson, Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, Tyler Johnson, Trey Burke
Best Forwards for February 25, 2019
Ben Simmons @ NO ($8.0k DraftKings, $9.0k FanDuel)
With Joel Embiid (knee) on the shelf, Ben Simmons has taken on increased scoring responsibilities in addition to his usual playmaking role. He dropped 29 points in a 130-115 loss to Portland Saturday and should have success in another high-scoring affair tonight. New Orleans coughs up the fourth-most PPG (115), second-most APG (26), and plays at the sixth-fastest pace in the league. Therefore, a triple-double is within the realm of potential outcomes for Simmons. He went for 22 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists in a meeting with the Pels earlier this season and is rocking a 28.3% usage rate over the two games Embiid has missed since the break. New Orleans is giving up 120.3 PPG over its last four contests and will continue to struggle defensively in the paint with Anthony Davis playing an inconsistent role. Simmons has the third-highest per-dollar rating of any player on DK tonight according to models on FantasyLabs.
Kevin Love @ POR ($6.9k DraftKings, $7.1k FanDuel)
All of a sudden, Kevin Love seems to be back in form after getting his body right over the ASB. He dropped 32 points with 12 rebounds over just 26 minutes in a tough matchup against Memphis Saturday. Love is still in a tempting price range on both DraftKings and FanDuel ahead of a much better matchup against the Blazers. Portland ranks 25th in opponent 3-point shooting (36.4%). Love still isn’t going to log huge minutes for a tanking team, but he’s producing 24.8 points and 15.2 rebounds per 36 minutes, his best marks since he was traded to the Cavs in 2014. His playing time should steadily increase as he gets his wind back. Love could turn in another impressive showing on the road in an attempt to keep the lackluster Cavs competitive.
Khris Middleton @ CHI ($6.3k DraftKings, $7.0k FanDuel)
With Giannis Antetokounmpo (knee) doubtful, Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe stand out as obvious Cash plays. They boast very high floors relative to their price tags on tonight’s 11-game slate. Middleton sees a huge 7.7% increase in usage rate (to 32.8%) when Giannis is off the floor this season, and Bledsoe is averaging a monstrous 1.54 FPs per minute when The Greek Freak sits. The addition of Nikola Mirotic ($5.4k, $5.4k) adds an element of unpredictability in the frontcourt. Mirotic is a boom-bust option considering his limited playing time thus far, and Ersan Ilyasova ($3.4k, $3.8k) is a solid punt play. Regardless, the Bucks’ league-leading offense should thrive against a Bulls team that is 22nd in defensive rating and yields the sixth-most 3PTM (11.9) per game. Middleton is one of the most appealing options on FanDuel with a 6.98 plus/minus rating and the potential for 5.4x salary returns per FantasyLabs.
Other forwards to consider: LeBron James, Lauri Markkanen, Tobias Harris, Kenneth Faried, Taurean Prince, Bojan Bogdanovic, Cheick Diallo, Taj Gibson
Best Centers for February 25, 2019
Jonas Valanciunas vs. LAL ($6.4k DraftKings, $7.6k FanDuel)
After missing a game for personal reasons, Jonas Valanciunas resumed his impressive performance since joining the Grizzlies with 25 points and 11 boards at Cleveland Saturday. The 7-footer is averaging 1.55 FPs per minute over three appearances with his new team and faces a Lakers defense that yields the most RPG (16.12) and second-most FPPG (49.57) to opposing centers this season. Both Valanciunas and Joakim Noah ($4.6k, $5.0k) are playing with a chip on their shoulders and dominating to the point that Grizzlies HC J.B. Bickerstaff is willing to play those veterans over young bigs Ivan Rabb and Jaren Jackson Jr. Both veterans are worth a looks as value options at center tonight against a poor defensive team.
Dwight Powell @ LAC ($4.0k DraftKings, $5.4k FanDuel)
It took Luka Doncic (ankle) and Maxi Kleber (illness) sitting for Dwight Powell to log 30 minutes Saturday. In that event, he rewarded the Mavs coaching staff with 12 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists. While Kleber could return tonight, Powell could still exceed value in a plus matchup against a Clippers team that yields the second-most PPG (21.26) to opposing centers. Powell sees a modest 1.4% increase in usage rate (to 20.3%) when Doncic is off the floor but has thrived as a pick-and-roll partner with Doncic as well. Keep an eye on Mavs injury news leading into tonight’s contest. Regardless who plays, Powell can serve as a valuable punt play with the potential for 6.7x salary returns on DK per FantasyLabs.
Other centers to consider: Julius Randle, Clint Capela, Domantas Sabonis, Boban Marjanovic