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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Targets, Values for February 24

Garion Thorne gives his top studs and value plays at each position for Thursday’s fantasy basketball slate on DraftKings.

Long time, no see. Well, I guess it’s only been a week, but you get what I mean. Despite the festivities of All-Star Weekend, despite the presence of the Daytona 500, despite the freakin’ Olympics, it was a pretty boring stretch for live sports without the NBA. I’m very glad to have it back, and we all return to the swing of things with a seven-game slate on Thursday.

Let’s dive in and go position-by-position.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA $600K Return From Break Special [$150K to 1st]


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POINT GUARD

Stud

Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks at Chicago Bulls, $9,900 - These are early lines, but Thursday’s matchup between the Hawks and the Bulls has easily the second-highest total of the slate on DraftKings Sportsbook. It makes sense, particularly when factoring in how terrible Chicago’s defense has looked in recent weeks. Across their past 15 games, the Bulls are surrendering 116.4 points per 100 possessions. In that same span, the team is also conceding 20.8 opponent assists per 36 minutes — the worst mark in the Eastern Conference. Needless to say, Young, who has exceeded 50.0 DKFP in six of his last nine starts, can exploit this environment.

Value

Aaron Holiday, Phoenix Suns at Oklahoma City Thunder, $3,700 - There’s no question Holiday is going to be a popular play with Chris Paul (thumb) unavailable. Heck, in the Suns’ final game before the All-Star break — a contest where Paul was limited to just 19.5 minutes — Holiday logged 20.0 minutes off the bench, finishing with nine points, six assists and 23.25 DKFP. While Cam Payne ($4,200; wrist) appears ready to return from injury and could be the man who gets first crack at the starting lineup, I’d expect Holiday’s locked into 25-plus minutes on Thursday. That’s more than enough.


SHOOTING GUARD

Stud

Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns at Oklahoma City Thunder, $8,800 - With the aforementioned Paul sidelined, there’s a chance Booker is about to go nuclear. The All-Star was already thriving since Jan. 14, posting a 33.1% usage rate and averaging 1.26 DKFP per minute. However, in the 376 possessions during that 18 game stretch where Paul was off the floor, Booker increased those figures to 38.3% and 1.40 DKFP, respectively. We know Booker can score, but when his assist rate stars hovering around 30%, that’s when he’s truly reached his fantasy ceiling.

Value

Cam Thomas, Brooklyn Nets vs. Boston Celtics, $5,800 - With Kevin Durant (knee) and Kyrie Irving (personal) likely out once again for Thursday’s contest with the Celtics, you’re going to want to use one of the three Nets’ assets in this tier. To me, of Thomas, Seth Curry ($6,000) and Patty Mills ($5,300), the rookie is by far the most appealing. To wit, with Irving and James Harden off the floor in the month of February, Thomas leads Brooklyn with a 30.0% usage rate. He’s also averaging 1.13 DKFP per minute, which is a better mark than both Curry and Mills. Obviously, Thomas was more viable when his price tag was below $5K, yet I’m still willing to use the young guard in lineups.


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SMALL FORWARD

Stud

Josh Hart, Portland Trail Blazers vs. Golden State Warriors, $7,200 - Hart was always a solid fantasy asset, with his ability to rack up secondary statistics like rebounds and steals. However, things have gone to another level since his trade to Portland. Hart’s averaging an eye-popping 24.0 points in his first three games with the Blazers, all while seeing his usage rate spike to 23.4%. For context, the forward’s 16.8% usage rate this season with the Pelicans was already on track to be Hart’s new career-high. As always, volume is king in DFS, and Hart is extremely viable in his new role, logging over 36.0 minutes per contest.

Value

Jaden McDaniels, Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Memphis Grizzlies, $3,600 - This game has all the makings of a track meet, which is why it’s so appealing to get a piece of this contest at such a value. Now, McDaniels’ role has fluctuated all season long, but it seems the sophomore is settling into a nice groove the past month. Going back to Jan. 27, McDaniels is averaging the fourth-most minutes per game on the team (28.7), all while posting a 65.5% true shooting rate. In fact, McDaniels has logged at least 30.0 minutes in four of his last five appearances, which bodes well for his upside on Thursday in a high-scoring matchup.


POWER FORWARD

Stud

DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls vs. Atlanta Hawks, $10,700 - We might have finally reached the tipping point when it comes to DeRozan’s salary. Still, it’s hard to argue with the recent results. In 10 games in the month of February, the veteran is averaging 38.9 minutes and 35.8 points per contest with a massive 35.0% usage rate. He’s also scored at least 35 points in seven consecutive starts. DeRozan isn’t the stud I’m most looking to build my lineups around on Thursday, but if you can make him fit, why wouldn’t you?

Value

Jonathan Kuminga, Golden State Warriors at Portland Trail Blazers, $4,500 - As crazy as it would’ve sounded four months ago, Kuminga is about as safe a value play as we have on Thursday’s slate. The rookie has logged 20-plus minutes in eight straight games, and he’s managed to exceed 25.0 DKFP on six of those occasions. He’s also scored double-digit points in every contest he’s played so far in February. Maybe he’s more valuable in a 50/50 setting than a GPP, but either way, Kuminga is viable.


CENTER

Stud

Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets at Sacramento Kings, $12,500 - There’s a reason the Kings have surrendered the second-most DKFP per game to opposing centers so far this season. First and foremost, Sacramento pairs the league’s second-worst defensive rating (114.3) with the seventh-worst rebounding rate (48.9%). On top of that, the Kings are conceding the fourth-most made field goals inside the restricted area per contest (18.4). Basically, it’s an opposing big man’s dream matchup. Jokic, who is averaging an insane 1.76 DKFP per minute in 2021-22, should be able to take advantage in a big way.

Value

LaMarcus Aldridge, Brooklyn Nets vs. Boston Celtics, $4,800 - Aldridge was able to log 28.2 minutes in the Nets’ final contest before the All-Star break. After a week off, and with the team still missing so many key pieces, I wouldn’t be surprised if the veteran is asked to play over 30.0 minutes on Thursday. Considering Aldridge is averaging 1.08 DKFP per minute for the season, he’d have little trouble reaching value in such a scenario.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA $600K Return From Break Special [$150K to 1st]


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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and customer (my username is theglt13) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.


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