NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks for Thursday, February 4th | 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 for Thursday 2/4
EMac gives his favorite NBA DFS picks for Yahoo + DraftKings + FanDuel daily fantasy basketball lineups including LeBron James for Thursday 2/4

NBA DFS action on Thursday, Feb. 4, locks at 7:30 p.m. EST with a frisky five-game main slate. Before you lock in your lineups on DraftKings, FanDuel, Yahoo and SuperDraft, make sure to check out Awesemo’s daily fantasy basketball rankings and projections. Let’s dig into some daily fantasy basketball picks, including LeBron James, John Wall, Nikola Jokic 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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Awesemo’s NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks

Yahoo Play of the Day – John Wall: Houston Rockets at Memphis Grizzlies

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 36.43 | DraftKings: 36.82

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 29.8% | FanDuel 23.7% | DraftKings 31.4%

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $30 | FanDuel $7,500 | DraftKings $6,900

Houston is on a back-to-back, so John Wall will play tonight after sitting Wednesday and Victor Oladipo will be resting in his place. Memphis has won seven of their last eight wrapped around their two-week quarantine period. Tuesday was the loss against the Pacers in Indianapolis where they were torched 134-116. Looking at the full-season defensive efficiency rating for the Grizzlies, they are actually allowing just 105.5 points per 100 possessions, which is the fifth best in the league. However, in their four games since returning from the layoffs and without Jonas Valanciunas, that figure jumps to 111.6, which would be the fourth worst in the league. This is a nice salary for Wall, who should be a core option on Thursday with a reasonable expectation of 30-32 minutes.

Nikola Jokic: Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles Lakers

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 36.43 | DraftKings: 36.82

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo <5.0% | FanDuel 15.8% | DraftKings 8.0%

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $55 | FanDuel $11,000 | DraftKings $11,000

There are so many questions marks early in the day with Damian Lillard dinged up and Joel Embiid and Trae Young on a back-to-backs. And if you watched the last Mavericks game, you would have heard the Dallas announcers speculating that Luka Doncic is playing hurt. These question marks should sort themselves out as we get closer to lock, but that won’t change Nikola Jokic being a phenomenal play.

Yes, the Lakers have an excellent defense, but so do the Jazz, and Jokic just dropped 74.9 Yahoo fantasy points on them Sunday afternoon. Denver has received a bit of a break after Monday’s game against Detroit was postponed. Jokic is ninth in the league with 26.8 points per game, sixth with 11.8 rebounds, fourth with 8.6 assists and second with five triple-doubles. Gamers are going to blanche at earmarking this much of their salary cap to one player in a difficult matchup, which makes Jokic a tremendous tournament option.

LeBron James: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Denver Nuggets

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 45.11 | DraftKings: 47.73

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 6.6% | FanDuel 14.6% | DraftKings 13.9%

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $49 | FanDuel $10,700 | DraftKings $10,000

Over his last eight games, LeBron James has topped 35.6 minutes in seven of them. During this stretch he is averaging 26.7 points, 71 rebounds, 7.3 assists and 1.8 combined blocks/steals for 47.8 Yahoo fantasy points per game. The Lakers do not have any back-to-backs for the rest of February, and they have some easier games over the next week. It would not be a surprise to see a marquee “litmus test” game against these two Western Conference contenders. Anthony Davis is absolutely in play if you prefer him over LeBron.

Good Value

Jordan Clarkson: Utah Jazz at Atlanta Hawks

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 32.05 | DraftKings: 32.35

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 53.8% | FanDuel 52.5% | DraftKings 50.1%

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $14| FanDuel $4,300 | DraftKings $4,500

Tonight is the first leg of a back-to-back as the Jazz embark on a three-game road trip, culminating in a 1:00 p.m. ET Super Bowl Sunday game against the Pacers in Indianapolis. Friday’s game is in Charlotte against the Hornets. Atlanta is coming off a heartbreaker last night, losing to Dallas 122-116. Utah is favored by 7.5 points, and while it is challenging to predict game flow, it would make sense that Jordan Clarkson would see steady run in the final frame with veteran Mike Conley and/or Donovan Mitchell getting a bit of a break leading into tomorrow.

Clarkson is reasonably priced across the board, and we know he has 30-fantasy-point upside. Atlanta is in the middle of the pack from a pace and defensive efficiency perspective, making this a nice matchup for the Jazz.

Juan Toscano-Anderson: Golden State Warriors at Dallas Mavericks

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 22.55 | DraftKings: 22.415

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 19.0% | FanDuel 6.9% | DraftKings 29.4%

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $10| FanDuel $4,900 | DraftKings $3,500

On Tuesday the Warriors’ Kevon Looney suffered an ankle sprain that will keep him out for at least the next week. They had already lost James Wiseman to a wrist injury, so that is leaving them thin in their frontcourt. Tonight will be just the 22nd NBA appearance for Juan Toscano-Anderson. The 27-year-old forward spent four years at Marquette, bounded around a bit playing in Mexico and Venezuela before finally getting 75 games in the G-League for the Santa Cruz Warriors for a season-plus before getting the call up to the big club.

This background is important for us to understand that Toscano-Anderson is not an up-and-coming young stud. Instead he is a perfectly competent back-of-the-rotation wing who can be called on in emergencies like tonight. Thus far in his career he is averaging 0.8 fantasy points per minute in his limited court time. That is a reasonable proxy for his projection tonight, and the key becomes how many minutes we think he will see. Currently the Awesemo projections have him with 29 minutes.

Risky Value

Eric Paschall: Golden State Warriors at Dallas Mavericks

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 20.38 | DraftKings: 21.24

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 17.2% | FanDuel 4.3% | DraftKings 6.5%

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $10 | FanDuel $4,500 | DraftKings $4,500

The last half dozen games for Eric Paschall have been somewhat concerning, with his fantasy production in a dramatic nosedive. In these games he is averaging 13.5 minutes with 8.0 Yahoo fantasy points. That works out to a measly 0.6 fantasy points per minute. For his career he is in the 0.85 range. This could be just a funk or a shooting slump, as he is making only 35% of his field-goal attempts in this stretch while posting a 49.4% success rate for his career. Depending on your risk tolerance, Paschall is a direct leverage play against his teammate Toscano-Anderson when comparing their current levels of popularity.

Yahoo Daily Fantasy Basketball Discount Dandies

  1. Jakob Poeltl: SAS vs. MIN – $10

  2. Jae’Sean Tate: HOU at OKC – $10

  3. Danuel House: HOU at OKC – $10

SuperDraft Daily Fantasy Basketball Picks

  1. Xavier Tillman: MEM vs. HOU – 1.95x multiplier

  2. Stephen Curry: GSW at DAL – 1.15x multiplier

  3. Kyle Anderson: MEM vs. HOU – 1.70x multiplier

Final Thoughts on the Thursday, Feb. 4 NBA DFS Slate

The last three days we have had nine-, six- and 10-game slates. Tonight we have five games, so there will be a lot more overlap in the player pool. We will also be digging a little deeper into teams rotations and key backups to fill out our rosters. 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 option on DraftKings or FanDuel.

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