Last night’s picks were decent. I hope they helped you win some cash.
Tonight’s list won’t be quite as expansive. There are fewer teams on the court tonight.
Just a couple caveats before we begin.
Some of the value plays are dependent on playing time and/or starters who might not play. Always — ALWAYS — check starting lineups and rotation reports made available before tipoff. Playing time changes at the drop of a hat in the NBA and if you’re not on top of it you lose.
NBA DFS top plays for Saturday, Feb. 28
Value plays: Tony Parker, $4,800 and Langston Galloway, $5,200 — Galloway is most helpful in cash game formats, but he’s been consistently decent since the All-Star break. Parker’s price has plummeted, but he scored 19 real points and 30.75 fantasy points in his last game. He also gets to face Phoenix, which has allowed the third-most fantasy points per game to point guards. San Antonio rotations are weird, so make sure Parker isn’t getting a random night off before rosters lock.
Mid-priced plays: Reggie Jackson, $6,100 and Brandon Knight, $6,200 — Jackson and Knight had pedestrian games last night out — at least for their salaries — but like I said the other day, each day is independent of the last. You have to learn to learn fast and forget fast. If that make sense. Jackson and Knight are probably both $7,000 players getting 30-35 minutes a game and each of them have plus matchups tonight.
High-priced plays: John Wall, $8,600 and Ricky Rubio, $7,300 — Wall is capable of 50 points on any given night. He has a bad matchup, but he should probably be priced higher than $8,600. Rubio has scored 41 or more fantasy points in four of five games and the off game was 33.75 points. In two of those games, Rubio was 2-for-9 from the floor which means he’s putting up some excellent other statistics — the kind that say he’s going to triple double. His opponent tonight, Memphis, allowed the fourth-most fantasy points per game to opposing point guards in the last three weeks.
Value plays: Markel Brown, $3,800, Henry Walker, $3,500 and Kentavius Caldwell-Pope, $4,400 — Markel Brown has probably earned usage and minutes even after Jarrett Jack returns to full power. In 45 minutes Feb. 23, he scored 39.75 fantasy points. He’s scored 10, 8 and 14 real points in the last three games, with at least 30 minutes in each contest. For now, Walker has seen 31 and 33 minutes in the last two games and has scored 25 fantasy points in each game. You’ll want to check the news before tip though because he’s only recently come on the scene and his playing time could change. Caldwell-Pope has been on my watch list since before the All-Star break because of his potential when he got 30 minutes in a game. He’s been over 30 minutes in each of the last three and has averaged 38.17 fantasy points per game over the stretch.
Mid-priced plays: Kevin Martin, $6,600, Khris Middleton, $6,400, Joe Johnson, $5,900 — These guys should look familiar. If it feels like they’ve been in my columns all week, it should. They have been consistently good. Shooting guard is one of the deepest positions today so I’m ending up with two of them in a lot of my lineups.
High-priced plays: Eric Bledsoe, $8,200 and Monta Ellis, $7,200 — Normally I wouldn’t recommend an SG $1,000 more expensive than Ellis unless it was James Harden. But it’s hard to argue with what Bledsoe has done since the trade deadline opened opportunities for him. He’s averaged 48.88 fantasy points per contest in the last three. Only Harden, LeBron James and Russell Westbrook are averaging more points per game in the last week. Ellis is great and I have him in a lineup or two, but if I’m spending up on the position, I’m finding a way to get Bledsoe.
Value plays: Otto Porter, $3,000 — Porter is shooting just 43 percent from the floor in his last four games. So there is some risk, but he is getting minutes, scoring points and was a former top-3 draft pick. It doesn’t take much to reach value at minimum price.
Mid-priced plays: P.J. Tucker, $5,600 and Andrew Wiggins, $6,400 — Tucker came down to earth last game after scoring 31 or more fantasy points for three in a row. Or did he? Tucker hasn’t made a three pointer in three straight games. The previous three games he shot 8-for-16 from beyond the arc. His minutes have increased and once he finds that outside shot again (he’s made 62 threes this season) he could be in for some tournament-winning fantasy points. Wiggins doesn’t profile quite as highly as Tucker on my ceiling/floor chart, but he’s still the second-best SF today and he gets a Grizzlies defense that has allowed the third-most fantasy points per game to small forwards in the last three weeks.
High-priced plays: Kawhi Leonard, $7,000, and Gordon Hayward, $7,900 — Leonard hasn’t double-doubled in 10 games, but then again neither has Hayward who costs $900 more. They’re both 30-40 minute players who should score 40 fantasy points. Neither has a particularly great matchup.
Value plays: Andrea Bargnani, $3,800, and Louis Amundson, $3,200 — We can’t be confident about either one of these players, but their recent performance, minutes and price make them players we have to consider. Amundson scored 44 fantasy points his last time out on the heels of 26- and 22-point performances. Bargnani scored 52 fantasy points in his last game to follow up a 30-point game and two over 20 points. Again, monitor the news before lineups lock.
Mid-priced plays: Tim Duncan, $6,900 and Dirk Nowitzki, $6,300 — I think of both of these guys as 30-point guys with double-double potential. That makes them slightly overpriced. Duncan, however, scored 30 points and 59 fantasy points on Feb. 11, so that makes me think we shouldn’t write off either player at this price.
High-priced plays: Greg Monroe, $7,900, Derrick Favors, $7,400, Paul Millsap, $7,800, Zach Randolph, $7,700 — Monroe, Favors and Randolph all fit the max ceiling/floor profile tonight. Randolph is a bit overpriced for his recent production, but he does get a good matchup against the Timberwolves. Favors has the best matchup of the night for PFs. Millsap and Monroe each have 50-point games in their last 10. Monroe has posted three consecutive triple-doubles.
Value plays: Marcin Gortat, $5,200 and Alex Len, $5,400 — There are some guys in play who are cheaper — Mason Plumlee and Jonas Valanciunas — but I can’t recommend starting anyone less expensive than Gortat or Len. I mean, OK, I have Valanciunas in one lineup, but I don’t feel good about it.
Mid-priced plays: Rudy Gobert, $6,500, Brook Lopez, $6,400 and Nikola Pekovic, $6,000 — Gobert and Lopez have excellent matchups. When I think of Gobert I think of 40-point potential. I don’t think that about Lopez, but he has as many 40-point games (2) in his last 10 as Gobert. Pekovic, for the second day in a row, scored perfect in the ceiling/floor department. We consider him a step down from Gobert and Lopez, but he’s averaging 35.95 fantasy points per game in his last five and has scored a 44-point game and two 38-point games in his last 10.
High-priced plays: Hassan Whiteside, $7,800, Andre Drummond, $7,800, Al Horford, $7,400, Marc Gasol, $7,300 — Any time Whiteside is in play I feel like I have to consider starting two centers. Whiteside is 15 points, 15 rebounds and 5 blocks (and foul trouble) waiting to happen. He gets the Hawks tonight. They’ve allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing centers in the last three weeks. Drummond has scored 44 points or more in three of his last four games. His matchup isn’t great, but that consistency is worth the price. Horford and Gasol both meet the max ceiling/floor profile and neither one of them have good matchups. I feel like Horford should be worth a few hundred more than Gasol though. That either makes him a decent value at that price or Gasol a real bad value at his price. I might not start either of them tonight.
Good luck tonight and every night.