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๐Ÿ€ NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks for Monday, February 22nd | LeBron James

Eric MacPherson

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EMac gives his favorite NBA DFS picks for Yahoo + DraftKings + FanDuel daily fantasy basketball lineups including LeBron James | Monday 2/22

NBA DFS action on Monday, Feb. 22, locks at 8:00 p.m. EST with a six-game main slate on Yahoo, DraftKings and FanDuel. SuperDraft is locking at 8:30 p.m. EST with five games. Before you lock in your lineups on Yahoo, DraftKings, FanDuel and SuperDraft, make sure to check out Awesemoโ€™s daily fantasy basketball picks, rankings and projections. Letโ€™s dig into some daily fantasy basketball picks, including LeBron James, John Wall and more.

Don’t forget to head over to the Awesemo NBA DFS HOME PAGE for more great written daily fantasy basketball content, including the FREE Deep Dive — the most in-depth article in the industry.

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NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks, Monday, February 22nd

Yahoo Play of the Day – John Wall: Houston Rockets vs. Chicago Bulls

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 42.69 | DraftKings: 44.93
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 25.4% | FanDuel 20.3% | DraftKings 32.5%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $36 | FanDuel $8,500 | DraftKings $8,000

There is a strong chance that Victor Oladipo will miss a fourth straight game with his foot and ankle injuries. Additionally, DeMarcus Cousins is dealing with a sore heel, and he just learned that he will not be in the long-term plans of the Rockets who will look to find a trade partner when Christian Wood returns early in March.

In his last five games, four of which were sans Oladipo, John Wall has been an excellent fantasy producer. In these games he is averaging 34.3 minutes and 21.2 field-goal attempts. This has culminated in 25.0 points, 3.6 rebounds, 7.0 assists and 1.6 combined blocks/steals for just over 40 fantasy points per appearance. The Bulls are not exactly a staunch group of defenders, making Wall an excellent option on Monday.

LeBron James: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Washington Wizards

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 57.69 | DraftKings: 62.37
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 48.8% | FanDuel 50.7% | DraftKings 38.6%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $48 | FanDuel $10,400 | DraftKings $10,400

The Lakers lost a heartbreaker 94-92 against the Heat on Saturday. Considering they are without Anthony Davis and Dennis Schroder, that was not a bad effort in the 2020 Finals rematch. Somehow the Wizards are on a four game winning streak despite allowing 112.3 points in these tilts. This is a testament to how good their offense has been and by no means a pass for their atrocious defense.

LeBron James is going to be a triple-double threat every game without Davis, and he has missed that milestone by 1 rebound in each of the last two games. This season James is averaging 48.1 Yahoo/FanDuel fantasy points per game and 50.1 DraftKings fantasy points. Anything less than that is going to be a significant disappointment in the Monday nightcap.

Luka Doncic: Dallas Mavericks vs. Memphis Grizzlies

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 55.89 | DraftKings: 59.45
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 23.0% | FanDuel 25.9% | DraftKings 20.5%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $54 | FanDuel $11,200 | DraftKings $11,400

In the DFS and fantasy sports world, we typically do not worry about the win-loss record and standings for the real-life teams. However, it is sometimes helpful to be aware of how things are playing out. Dallas is sitting with a 13-15 record, and they are 10th in the Western Conference. The surprising part is that both San Antonio (16-11) and Golden State (16-15) are ahead of them in the standings. This does not even consider a Chris Paul-led Phoenix (19-10) squad that has the fourth-best record in the conference.

The Mavericks have turned things around and are 5-2 in their last seven games. In this stretch, Luka Doncic has been sublime with his performances. During this span he is averaging just shy of 37 minutes and 22 field-goal attempts per game. This has culminated with 34.3 points, 7.7 rebounds, 9.6 assists and 1.6 combined blocks/steals. Even better, he and teammate Kristaps Porzingis have reestablished the ability to coexist on the court, which was so helpful from a fantasy perspective last season. In this stretch, Doncic is averaging 1.53 Yahoo fantasy points per minute, while Porzingis is not far behind ad 1.46 Yahoo fantasy points per minute. Both are fine options tonight, but clearly Doncic is the crown jewel of the pair.

Good Value

Bam Adebayo: Miami Heat at Oklahoma City Thunder

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 42.46 | DraftKings: 43.08
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 21.4% | FanDuel 22.6% | DraftKings 10.1%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $36 | FanDuel $8,900 | DraftKings $8,800

Once again with Goran Dragic on the shelf, we have seen Bam Adebayo lean into his role as a non-traditional offensive facilitator. Over his last half dozen games without Dragic, Adebayo has averaged 35.2 minutes, 17.8 points, 10.3 rebounds, 7.3 assists and 2.0 combined blocks/steals, culminating in mid-40s for fantasy points depending on the scoring system of your preferred DFS site. These figures all match or exceed his season averages, and we are getting a fair salary across the board.

It looks like there is a strong chance that Al Horford will be getting the night off. That means that the Thunder will attempt to slow down Adebayo with the likes of Darius Bazley, Isaiah Roby and Mike Muscala which just doesn’t seem fair for the hometown team.

Ja Morant: Memphis Grizzlies at Dallas Mavericks

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 36.91 | DraftKings: 39.23
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 10.6% | FanDuel 18.3% | DraftKings 16.0%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $32 | FanDuel $7,200 | DraftKings $7,500

Yes, Monday’s recommended value plays are not exactly discount dandies. This is completely intentional since we have a dozen teams in action and are still waiting on a variety of injury news along with multiple teams on the front end of back-t0-backs or in some phase of three games in four nights. The cheapies are likely to appear throughout the day, so the focus of this article is to make sure we have some priority targets when we have that salary cap flexibility in our hands.

In their last 10 games, Dallas has been incredibly porous on defense. They are ceding 122.4 points per 100 possessions, which is behind only Cleveland (125.6) in this timeframe. Memphis will be without Dillon Brooks tonight, and this is an excellent matchup for Ja Morant with a 231.0 projected point total. In his last half dozen tilts, Morant has surpassed 39 or more Yahoo fantasy points in four appearances. Checking in as a mid-tier value option, there is a chance he will be overlooked by the masses as more discount dandies become available to facilitate a stars-and-scrubs roster construction strategy.

Risky Value

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Washington Wizards

How is it possible that a Lakers squad missing both Anthony Davis and Dennis Schroder is so unappealing from a fantasy perspective outside of LeBron James? Part of the challenge is that coach Frank Vogel does not care about the wishes and desires of fantasy gamers. Clearly he is more interested in his job, which of course is to position the Lakers to defend their NBA Championship.

Looking at the ancillary Lakers, they are not particularly bad plays, though none really stand out as great, or even good plays. Two or even three of these guys should have solid to outstanding performances against the Wizards, but your guess is as good as mine when it comes to identifying those with any level of certainty. Let’s take a look at what we have before us.

NBA WOWY shows that Kyle Kuzma typically will be in line for 0.86 fantasy points per minute regardless of the various on-court combinations. He will see a boost in production with his increased minutes, but at this stage of his career, he mostly gets by with points and a few rebounds. He will be best utilized on Yahoo at $18 and FanDuel at $5,700.

Montrezl Harrell will still come off the bench, but he is facing the likes of Davis Bertans, Rui Hachimura, Robin Lopez and Moritz Wagner, who have “led” Washington to a bottom-five showing in most rebounding categories. A double-double is in play even in marginal minutes, which makes his preferred site DraftKings for $5,800.

Alex Caruso is probably the safest option since he will need to be on the floor most of the time when LeBron gets a break as the only other true ball handler. Monday’s salaries have him in the mix on the main DFS sites. The risk for him is his uncertain role in closing lineups where he could lose out to the next two players.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is never exciting, but he does start and often sees fourth quarter run. Sadly, at this point in his career, he is averaging just 0.60 fantasy points per minute. If his shot is falling and he picks up a couple of steals, he can easily outpace his salary. The limiter is, of course, seeing much more than 25 fantasy points, a threshold he has exceed just twice in 27 games this year and five times in 69 games last season.

Game log watchers may be excited by Wesley Matthews’ performance on Saturday, but that is just fool’s gold. While he had 27 fantasy points at a ridiculously minimum salary, that was just the fourth time he has reached that mark in his last 91 regular-season games.

Second-year guard Talen Horton-Tucker is interesting, and he does have a path to upside via extended mop-up duty and as arguably the third-best facilitator on the roster. However, tonight also will mark just his 34th career NBA game, and he can easily get lost in the mix with a silly foul or decision. That leaves Markieff Morris going against his former team, but please note he has notched just 3 fantasy points combined in his last two outings, spanning 28 minutes of court time.

ย Yahoo Daily Fantasy Basketball Discount Dandies

  1. Jalen Brunson: DAL vs. MEM – $12
  2. Alex Caruso and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope: LAL vs. WAS – $10
  3. Maxi Kleber and Dorian Finney-Smith: DAL vs. MEM – $10

SuperDraft Daily Fantasy Basketball Picks

  1. Russell Westbrook: WAS at LAL – 1.35x multiplier
  2. Jonas Valanciunas: MEM at DAL – 1.50x multiplier
  3. Kristaps Porzingis: DAL vs. MEM – 1.45x multiplier

Final Thoughts on the Monday, Feb. 22 NBA DFS Slate

Today the six games are tipping off within a two-hour window. While we should have most of the key injury news by first tip-off, four of the games are still beginning one hour later. Things are always subject to change in today’s NBA so be sure to keep tabs for any late breaking information. 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 support@awesemo.com.

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