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NBA DFS Picks & Lineup Optimizer Building Blocks Today | Friday, February 25

Eric MacPherson



The best NBA DFS picks today for Yahoo, DraftKings & FanDuel daily fantasy basketball cash game lineups | Luka Doncic NBA Tonight 5/20/22

Friday, Feb. 25, returns to regular season NBA action with a nine-game main-slate tipping off at 7 p.m. ET. Let’s look at the player pool and discuss the top NBA DFS picks for DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo lineups. Do not forget to head over to the Awesemo NBA DFS & Fantasy Basketball home page for more great written daily fantasy basketball content.

NBA DFS Picks: DraftKings, FanDuel & Yahoo Building Blocks Today | Friday, Feb. 25

Yahoo Play of the Day — Devin Booker: Phoenix Suns vs. New Orleans Pelicans

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 46.62 | DraftKings: 48.74
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 40.0% | FanDuel 30.5% | DraftKings 26.2%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $38 | FanDuel $9,000 | DraftKings $9,200

Chris Paul is likely to be out until the playoffs with a fractured thumb. Last night Devin Booker played his first full game this season without Paul, and he was sublime. In 38.2 minutes against Oklahoma City Booker rolled up 25 points, five rebounds, 12 assists and a whopping six steals on his way to a 60-fantasy-point performance. Cameron Payne is still out with a wrist injury, so that leaves Aaron Holiday as the only other point guard seeing time for Phoenix.

In 525 minutes without Paul this season, Booker is averaging 1.25 fantasy points per minute. While this is a back-to-back for Phoenix, that actually plays into gamers’ favor since the Suns are not quite as fresh as they were last night, but this could help keep the game closer than normal. Plus, with everyone having come off the All-Star Break, there is no reason to be concerned about any minutes limits. Booker and Holiday are both solid plays until their salaries start to account for the absence of Paul. There are plenty of other ways to differentiate lineups from the rest of the field with 18 teams in the player pool.

The Friday NBA player props market for Booker against New Orleans is one to consider, as Awesemo has him projected for just over 29.8 points. Currently his NBA player prop bet today for points is over/under 26.5, and that is a mark he should exceed nearly 65% of the time in this matchup. Booker has scored 26 or more points in 14 of his last 19 games, so he is definitely live for this prop tonight.

Reggie Jackson: Los Angeles Clippers at Los Angeles Lakers

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 35.12 | DraftKings: 37.41
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 43.2% | FanDuel 24.1% | DraftKings 14.1%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $23 | FanDuel $6,900 | DraftKings $7,600

The Yahoo salary algorithm has completely given up on Reggie Jackson in tonight’s matchup. This is an excellent example of the salary differences creating different player valuations across the DFS sites. FanDuel is looking like a neutral salary for Jackson, though on DraftKings he is not much of a bargain, which is validated by his popularity being the least fervent there tonight.

In his last 10 games, Jackson is averaging 31.4 minutes and 16.8 field goal attempts. This has culminated in 17.4 points, 3.9 rebounds, 7.1 assists, and 1.2 combined blocks and steals. He is a core play on Yahoo for all slates and an excellent late-slate option on FanDuel and DraftKings.

Indiana Pacers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

It sounds like Malcolm Brogdon may return to action tonight, though it remains to be seen how much he will play having missed just over two months with an Achilles injury. There have been a couple false starts with Brogdon, having missed from Dec. 21 to Jan. 12 only to experience soreness, which kept him out for two more games before a second try on Jan. 19. It is hard to believe the Pacers are rushing him back, but it is also hard to imagine him playing more than 24 to 28 minutes unless other guidance comes to light. Chris Duarte is questionable with a toe injury but close to a return after sitting the final two games heading into the All-Star break.

The availability of these guards should not adversely impact the fantasy production for Tyrese Haliburton and Buddy Hield. They have been stellar for the Pacers since coming over from the Kings and have admirably filled the void vacated by the trades of Domantas Sabonis and Caris LeVert and the injury to Myles Turner. Isaiah Jackson (ankle) is likely to return tonight, so there could be a crowded frontcourt with Oshae Brissett, Jalen Smith, Goga Bitadze and Jackson, who are all falling below the desired point-per-minute threshold for a large slate.

Oklahoma City lost at home last night to the Suns 124-104, though only Josh Giddey (37), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (35) and Tre Mann (31) saw the court for substantial minutes. This should be a close game, so it is reasonable to continue to project the young stars for the Thunder to play in the 32- to 34-minute range. If Isaiah Roby draws a start with Mike Muscala ruled out and Derrick Favors unlikely to play on a back-to-back, he would become an intriguing discount frontcourt option.

Phoenix Suns vs. New Orleans Pelicans

In addition to Booker and Holiday as detailed above, Deandre Ayton and Cameron Johnson are fringe core options on the main slate. JaVale McGee and Jae Crowder come to prominence as fantasy selections on the late slate.

The Pelicans have seen C.J. McCollum step in and become the engine for the offense. In his five games with New Orleans, McCollum has averaged 36.6 minutes and 21.8 field goal attempts, including eight 3-point attempts. This has resulted in 28.4 points, six rebounds, 5.4 assists and 1.4 steals. Brandon Ingram seems content to be a glue guy with scoring upside and let McCollum be the tip of the spear. Jaxson Hayes is just $10 on Yahoo, where he is a steal of a deal, and a solid discount option on DraftKings and FanDuel. Jonas Valanciunas is intriguing as part of a game stack for added synergy, though there are several other more attractive point-per-dollar options at center.

Final Thoughts on NBA DFS picks for the Friday, Feb. 25 Fantasy Basketball Slate

Tonight is a staggered slate with games tipping off at five different times, culminating in a 10 p.m. ET Battle for Los Angeles between the Lakers and Clippers. Keep in mind that salaries and scoring formats differ across the various fantasy sites, and a slam-dunk play on Yahoo may be a below-average NBA DFS pick on DraftKings or FanDuel.

Eric "EMac" MacPherson won the 2007 Fantasy Baseball grand prize (trip for two to the MLB All-Star game) in the Roto format on ESPN. He won again in 2008, this time in the H2H format. As one of the early adopters of daily fantasy sports, EMac has been providing content for baseball and basketball as well as both professional and college football since 2012 for a variety of websites including DraftKings Playbook, FanVice, RotoWorld, Daily Fantasy Bootcamp, and RotoGrinders. He is well into his third decade of fantasy sports and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Follow him on Twitter @EMacDFS or contact EMac by emailing [email protected].

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