Welcome to the NBA Rundown for DraftKings contests on Friday, February 19, 2021.
We have a nine-game slate on tap for us this evening. In this article, we will be breaking down some of our favorite plays on the slate at their positions. Please note that players on DraftKings have multi-position eligibility. Remember to always keep your eye on the news as the day progresses as NBA news changes the slate frequently.
Jamal Murray ($8,000) – Murray is simply on fire right now, shooting over 50% from the floor in his last three games and fresh off of a 35/9/6 showing in a loss to the Wizards. The Nuggets have been short-handed recently with Dozier, Harris, Barton, and Millsap all out with either injury or protocol reasons. We will need to watch the injury report up to game time, but Murray is someone who I like to target in a hot streak as he has the ability to take over a game and a slate. He did get a pretty substantial price increase here, but the minutes and usage will still be there – however, Murray also has shown he is pretty volatile, so I prefer this to stay as a tournament play.
Chris Paul ($7,700) – Paul is playing incredibly consistent basketball right now with three of his last four games at 47.5 fantasy points or higher. The one outside that range he played just 28 minutes and still managed 37 fantasy points. Paul has attempted 20 shots in two of his last four games, that’s even with Devin Booker being back to full health. The Suns face the Pelicans in a game I think Paul wants a little revenge in, as he was shut down in 25 minutes of action when they met in early February. Despite that game, the Pelicans are still allowing the most assists to opposing point guards at 10.1 a game – if we know anything about Chris Paul, it’s that even on a bad shooting night, his assist game can carry his fantasy production.
Delon Wright ($6,100) – This is never a flashy play, but the price and the minute’s Wright is getting makes him hard to avoid on a night-to-night basis. The Pistons are in the midst of a youth movement and Blake Griffin is now being indefinitely rested as they search for a trade partner. Derrick Rose already left town and Dennis Smith Jr. isn’t seeing minutes high enough to factor into Wright’s usage at all. Wright has played 35 or more minutes in three straight games while averaging 17 points, 6 assists, and six rebounds. The Pistons get the Grizzlies on Friday, a team allowing their opponents to shoot 47% from the field and 39% from three.
Fred VanVleet ($7,800) – VanVleet is fresh off of dismantling the Bucks in back-to-back games where he shot 55% from the floor on Tuesday and had another respectable game on Thursday. VanVleet has been running the point guard position with Kyle Lowry out and Lowry is also going to miss Friday’s game. The matchup with the Timberwolves here is pretty ceilingless, as the Timberwolves allow 116 points per game and opponent guards to shoot 48%. The only worry for me is this will be the third game in four nights for the Raptors and VanVleet has played big minutes (38+) in all three of them.
Desmond Bane ($3,800) – This might be a wait-and-see play, but Desmond Bane is off of the Grizzlies injury report and will play Friday. Before his injury, Bane was playing around 26 minutes a night, and was averaging near ten shots per game. This wasn’t equating to massive fantasy output, but he is averaging near 20 fantasy points per game. The kicker here is De’Anthony Melton and Dillon Brooks are both questionable for Friday night, leaving Bane in a potential spot to instantly be thrust into minutes. I would keep an eye on if his minutes are limited at all and the injury statuses here, but there is a path for Bane to have value tonight.
Jayson Tatum ($8,800) – We get a rematch of Wednesday night in which Tatum scored 35 points with six rebounds and six assists en route to a 55.5 fantasy point night. The SF position tonight is lacking a little with Kawhi as a question mark and fellow Celtic Jaylen Brown questionable. If Brown were to miss here, we are looking at massive value out of Tatum against a Hawks team he just had his way with. The Hawks are currently allowing over 47 fantasy points to the PF position nightly, while they handle the SF a bit better at 40 a night. Tatum shifts between the two, so I don’t think we need to lock him in either category here, though he carries positional eligibility for both.
Anthony Edwards ($6,000) – The price on Edwards here remains unchanged from his last two games which still gets us a little bit of value. Edwards hype trained slowed a bit on Wednesday with his worst shooting performance as a pro as he shot just 3-of-15 or 20% from the floor. Edwards still saw 39 minutes though which is an encouraging sign. Previous to that game, Edwards was shooting about near 47% over his previous five games. Everyone has a dud now and then and it feels more like an outlier of a performance. Toronto isn’t the best matchup, but it’s also not the worst as the Raptors will be down Kyle Lowry for this game which may shift the rotation a bit. Edwards is very much still in play at this price.
Saddiq Bey ($5,600) – The Pistons appear happy to give Bey a sizeable role in the offense going forward which shows in his last three games of him playing 27 or more minutes. Bey has started the last two contests, seeing 38 and 32 minutes respectively. Bey had an insane night off the bench on 2/12, where he shot 10-of-12 from the field for 30 points and 12 boards against the Celtics. In his start against New Orleans, he played 38 minutes, shooting 55% for 37 fantasy points. The price hasn’t really over-corrected to the production here and there is still some unknowns here as we don’t have a large enough data sample on his usage, but his matchup with Memphis on Friday is about as good as we can ask for as Memphis has struggled all year against the forward positions. Memphis currently allows the most fantasy points to the small forward position and the sixth most to the power forward position, so no matter where Bey plays, on paper he is in a good spot.
Power Forward / Center
Nikola Vucevic ($9,900) – The Magic are without a lot of key players right now which is forcing Vucevic into high volume FGA games. In three of his last four, Vucevic has 22 or more shot attempts and also had 10 or more rebounds. Last time he faced the Magic was last Thursday and he put up 25 points and 13 boards, along with five assists. Vuc is the offense right now for the Magic and the Warriors really don’t have the experienced size to stop him. If Draymond Green misses this game then the only actual body skilled enough to guard Vuc will be off the floor. Otherwise, Vuc has my favorite matchup on the entire slate – it just comes at a steep price and the Magic will need to keep the game close to maximize this play. I don’t think this is that highly owned due to the high price, which makes it a great tournament play for us.
Pascal Siakam ($7,700) – Pretty simple here, no Kyle Lowry means a usage boost for the big two of VanVleet and Siakam for the Raptors. On Tuesday, Siakam played 39 minutes and shot 8-of-23 – which isn’t necessarily great, but the takeaway is the shot volume here. In the end, Siakam put up 51.75 fantasy points. On Thursday night, Siakam played 38 minutes scoring 27 points on 9-of-18 shooting and 48.5 fantasy points. Neither of these performances affected the price, as Siakam sits at just $7,700 on Friday and with all things considered, that is a big discount on where he should be. The matchup with Minnesota is even better on paper than the one against Milwaukee. That being said, the same concern applies as with VanVleet – this will be the Raptors’ third game in four days.
Willy Hernangomez ($3,900) – Steven Adams is questionable for this game but I think he leans more to the doubtful side as he left Wednesday game with an injury. In that game, Hernangomez picked up 29 minutes in relief, posting 11 points and 17 rebounds. The minutes were creeping up for Hernangomez anyway, as he seems to actually be a key piece to the rotation here. If Adams misses, don’t be surprised to see Hernangomez join the starting five, or at worst be a big key rotational piece first off the bench.