🏀 NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks for Thursday, February 18th | LeBron James

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Eric MacPherson
·7 min read
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EMac gives his favorite NBA DFS picks for Yahoo + DraftKings + FanDuel daily fantasy basketball lineups including LeBron James | Thursday 2/18
EMac gives his favorite NBA DFS picks for Yahoo + DraftKings + FanDuel daily fantasy basketball lineups including LeBron James | Thursday 2/18

NBA DFS action on Thursday, Feb. 18, locks at 7:30 p.m. EST with a succinct three-game main slate on Yahoo, DraftKings, FanDuel and SuperDraft. Before you lock in your lineups on Yahoo, DraftKings, FanDuel and SuperDraft, make sure to check out Awesemo’s daily fantasy basketball picks, rankings and projections. Let’s dig into some daily fantasy basketball picks, including LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Hassan Whiteside 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, Thursday February 18th

Yahoo Play of the Day – LeBron James: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Brooklyn Nets

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 55.95 | DraftKings: 60.42

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 40.0% | FanDuel 39.2% | DraftKings 39.3%

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $48 | FanDuel $10,500 | DraftKings $10,200

LeBron James is an easy recommendation as the best play on Yahoo tonight. Similar to the analysis from Tuesday, we know that he is averaging 1.42 Yahoo fantasy points per minute without Anthony Davis on the floor. Further using NBA WOWY, we can see that rate is 1.53 Yahoo fantasy points per minute in 1,535 regular-season minutes dating back to Davis joining the Lakers.

Tonight is a dream matchup against Brooklyn and old friends James Harden and Kyrie Irving. Over their last 15 games, the Nets are struggling on defense, allowing 119.3 points per 100 possessions. Only the Kings and Wizards are allowing more than Brooklyn’s 117.9 points per game this year.

Giannis Antetokounmpo: Milwaukee Bucks vs. Toronto Raptors

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 58.67 | DraftKings: 60.54

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 35.4% | FanDuel 49.5% | DraftKings 38.3%

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $55 | FanDuel $11,300 | DraftKings $10,900

Giannis Antetokounmpo is averaging 1.63 Yahoo fantasy points per minute this year. When Jrue Holiday is off the court, that figured improves to 1.74 Yahoo fantasy points per minute. This has been an interesting season so far for the Bucks, who currently have the ninth-best record in the league. Their offense is once again amazingly efficient, but their vaunted defense has slipped a fair amount. After leading the league in defensive rating the last two seasons, they have slipped to a middle-of-the-pack squad. This has kept a lot of games closer than they would have been in recent years.

One byproduct of Milwaukee’s slipping defense is that we are seeing Antetokounmpo average 33.6 minutes per game, which is his highest rate in three seasons. Tonight’s game has a 235.0 projected point total, with the Bucks favored by 6 points. That really is not much when we consider the heater that Fred VanVleet has been on recently from behind the arc. This should be a great game to watch, and of course it will be that much more fun if we have Giannis on our rosters.

Fred VanVleet: Toronto Raptors at Milwaukee Bucks

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 40.55 | DraftKings: 41.7

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 18.4% | FanDuel 28.3% | DraftKings 20.0%

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $36 | FanDuel $8,000 | DraftKings $7,900

2020-2021 has been a real breakout for Fred VanVleet. In his fifth season with the Raptors, VanVleet is essentially posting career highs across the board. One bonus when rolling with VanVleet is that we know he will be on the court a lot, as he is currently third in the league at 36.4 minutes per game. Backcourt mate Kyle Lowry is dealing with a sprained ankle, and he is questionable to play tonight.

Over his last 11 games, VanVleet has topped 50 fantasy points six times. This also includes a sublime performance in Orlando earlier this month when he posted a franchise record 54 points, and his 11 made 3-pointers were just one off the team record. When Lowry is off the court, he sees a 10% increase in his fantasy points per minute. VanVleet is a nice option in all formats on our short slate tonight.

Good Value

Tyrese Haliburton: Sacramento Kings vs. Miami Heat

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 32.46 | DraftKings: 32.79

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 28.2% | FanDuel 33.5% | DraftKings 22.9%

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $20 | FanDuel $5,500 | DraftKings $6,000

Richaun Holmes (knee) and Harrison Barnes (foot) will not be available for tonight’s game. While rookie Tyrese Haliburton is still likely to come off the bench, he will have ample opportunities for fantasy production. In his 25 games this season, he has started only twice. However, he is almost always assured of significant fourth quarter minutes regardless of the game situation, which bodes well for his fantasy upside. This is not going to be an easy matchup tonight against the Heat, though most of their defensive focus will likely be on De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield as the most proven options available for Sacramento.

Risky Value

Hassan Whiteside: Sacramento Kings vs. Miami Heat

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 23.6 | DraftKings: 22.97

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 27% | FanDuel 14.9% | DraftKings 30.5%

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $14 | FanDuel $6,000 | DraftKings $4,600

What a rollercoaster ride Hassan Whiteside took his supporters on Monday night when he rolled up 59.7 Yahoo fantasy points in just 24 minutes of action against Brooklyn. He was 12-for-15 from the field, with 16 rebounds and 5 blocked shots. While we cannot expect production like that again, he is averaging 1.34 Yahoo fantasy points per minute this season.

With Richaun Holmes out, it will be interesting to see who draws the start for the Kings at the pivot position. This is where the risk comes in given the disparate salaries across the various fantasy sites. On Yahoo his low salary makes this is an easy play since we can roster two centers if we choose. On DraftKings this is a similar story as well. FanDuel is where things get interesting since we can only play one center. There are no standout options, with our alternative choices essentially being Brook Lopez, Montrezl Harrell, DeAndre Jordan and Kelly Olynyk. This is where the game theory comes into play, and we can utilize the free Awesemo projected player rostered rankings to guide our decision.

One other wild card with the mercurial Whiteside is that he is going to be going against his former coach Erik Spoelstra. Whiteside’s time with the Heat was contentious at best. The coach and player were often at odds over effort, playing time and engagement. We know Whiteside still carries a grudge, but just how that will manifest in his production and focus tonight is the big question.

Yahoo Daily Fantasy Basketball Discount Dandies

  1. Brook Lopez: MIL vs. TOR – $12

  2. Bryn Forbes: MIL vs. TOR – $10

  3. Aron Baynes: TOR at MIL – $10

SuperDraft Daily Fantasy Basketball Picks

  1. LeBron James: LAL vs. BKN – 1.15x multiplier

  2. Kyrie Irving: BKN at LAL – 1.25x multiplier

  3. Hassan Whiteside: SAC vs. MIA – 1.80x multiplier

Final Thoughts on the Thursday, Feb. 18 NBA DFS Slate

Tonight there are 2 1/2 hours between the first game and the next two. There are some unknowns regarding the Sacramento, Miami and Brooklyn starting lineups, so we will want to be near our computers or mobile devices. 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.

The post 🏀 NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks for Thursday, February 18th | LeBron James appeared first on Awesemo.com.

OddsMoney LinePoint SpreadTotal Points
Sacramento
-134-1.5O 228.5
Detroit
+110+1.5U 228.5