The second half of the season kicks off with a six-game slate on Thursday night. The evening is headlined by the matchup between the Rockets and the Pelicans, in which New Orleans will debut its new weapon— a frontcourt that features both Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins. Three other $10k players — James Harden, Nikola Jokic and LeBron James — will lace up.
In this article, I will be providing you with my daily fantasy basketball lineup picks for DraftKings on 2/23/17. The DFS lineup picks will range from some of the elite players to mid-priced options and value plays on DraftKings.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter @hayudi18.Editor's Note: Our industry-leading NBA DFS Lineup Optimizer/Generator tool helps you build winning DFS lineups in seconds. Try it now for free, and get an edge on your competition. Sign Up Now!
DraftKings DFS Guards
Jrue Holiday- PG, vs. HOU ($7,500)
It remains to be seen how the new-look Pelicans will function, but chances are Holiday will benefit from playing alongside a second dominant big man in DeMarcus Cousins. The 26-year-old point guard is enjoying arguably the best season of his career, averaging 16.3 points on a career-high 46.9% shooting, 4.0 rebounds, 7.5 assists and 1.6 steals through 42 games played. In his last 10 games, he has managed at least 36 Draftkings points nine times and 45 points six times. While his $7,500 price tag isn’t necessarily cheap, he has been at least as productive of late as Kyrie Irving and Damian Lillard— both of whom do much more damage to your salary cap.
Thursday night’s tilt will come against the Rockets, which essentially guarantees a fast-paced, high-scoring affair. James Harden’s defense isn’t exactly smothering, and the Pelicans have a huge mismatch down low — as they will with most teams — that should allow Holiday to rack up assists. A double-double should be in line for Holiday, who can be useful in all formats.
Klay Thompson- SG, vs. LAC ($6,700)
Thompson’s upside is clear— he surpassed 40 Draftkings points in five of his final eight games of the first half. He’s not the safest choice considering he’s the No. 3 scoring option on the Warriors, but his ability to catch fire is undeniable.
The Clippers have been surprisingly tough against point guards lately without Chris Paul — who could actually return on Thursday — but they’ve yielded over 20 points to opposing shooting guards in four of their last eight games, including 21 to Thompson on Feb. 2. If Los Angeles is able to keep Stephen Curry in check, Thompson could erupt with a big performance, making him a viable option in tournament play.
Buddy Hield- SG, vs. DEN ($3,600)
Clearly, the Kings have no postseason aspirations. Trading Cousins for a package centered around Hield indicates that they are building for the future, and the rookie shooting guard figures to be a key piece of that future. The 23-year-old is shooting just 39.2% from the floor this year (36.9% from deep), but even if he is not the most efficient shooter in his rookie season, he should get by in fantasy as a volume scorer. With Rudy Gay injured, Hield could be the No. 1 or 2 scoring option right off the bat. His tenure in Sacramento will begin with a matchup against Denver and the league’s third-worst defense— the Nuggets also allow the second-most Draftkings points to opposing shooting guards.
DraftKings DFS Forwards
Blake Griffin- PF, @ GS ($9,100)
Griffin has been playing at an elite level since returning from injury in late January. Across his last eight games, he has surpassed 50 Draftkings points six times, including 50.5 against Golden State on Jan. 2. The two powerhouses will meet again on Thursday night. The Warriors allow the third-most Draftkings points to the power forward position, and the loss of Zaza Pachulia means the two-time reigning Western Conference champs will be playing a ton of small ball— Pachulia also missed the game three weeks ago.
Chris Paul could potentially return for this game, and while he may take some shot attempts away from Griffin, he significantly improves the Clippers’ offense as a whole. Paul’s presence would also diminish the likelihood of a blowout. Griffin has been a safe, consistent producer, but also possesses the potential to hit six or even seven times value at his current price tag.
Kristaps Porzingis- PF, @ CLE ($6,800)
The first half of Porzingis’ season was plagued by inconsistency, but he remains one of the more exciting young players in the game. He surpassed 38 Draftkings points in three of his last eight games, and would take on an even larger role if either Carmelo Anthony or Derrick Rose were traded prior to Thursday’s game against the Cavaliers. The 23-year-old is averaging over 27 DK points in three meetings with the Cavs this season, but that number could increase after matching up with Channing Frye instead of Kevin Love. Love’s absence also gives Porzingis more rebound opportunities. The Knicks’ young star is a risky play on Thursday, but he has the ability to return a lot of value.
Maurice Harkless- SF, @ ORL ($4,500)
Harkless has taken his game to a new level this season, averaging 10.6 points and 4.7 rebounds in 28.9 minutes per game to date. His price has jumped up into the mid-$4k range, but he still has the potential to produce in all formats. With Al-Farouq Aminu sidelined with a knee injury, Harkless should be in line for some extra minutes. The 23-year-old posted 37.75 DK points against the Hawks on Feb. 13, when he saw the floor for 32 minutes.
He is capable of not only scoring in double figures and pulling down close to 10 rebounds, but also collecting multiple assists, blocks and steals. Harkless is a relatively cheap option who can contribute all across the board, and should have no problem hitting value against a Magic team that is lacking defensively after trading Serge Ibaka.
DraftKings DFS Centers
Andre Drummond- C, vs. CHA ($7,600)
Drummond is one of the more exciting big men in fantasy basketball, with seven double-doubles in his last 10 games— including a monster 28 and 22 showing against the Celtics on Jan. 30. The 23-year-old currently sits second in the league with 13.8 boards per game, and is sixth among centers with 14.6 points per contest. The Hornets, Detroit’s Thursday night opponents, are still without Cody Zeller and have been relying on the defensively-challenged Frank Kaminsky in the center spot. Both Rudy Gobert and DeAndre Jordan have grabbed at least 15 rebounds against Charlotte in the last two weeks, and Drummond can continue that pattern on Thursday.
Of course, this recommendation hinges on Drummond not being traded before Thursday’s 3 p.m. deadline. In the event that he is dealt, Nikola Vucevic would be my top center play, with Boban Marjanovic serving as a cheap upside option.
Willie Cauley-Stein- C, vs. DEN ($3,600)
A trade as high-profile as the one that sent Cousins to the Big Easy is bound to create several opportunities for cheap value. Darren Collison has become a hot commodity, both Hield and Tyreke Evans should take on larger workloads than when in New Orleans, and Anthony Tolliver will have a chance to cement himself in the starting lineup. Still, the guy who has the most to gain from this trade is Cauley-Stein.
The sixth overall pick from 2015 hasn’t started a game all year, averaging 5.8 points, 2.7 rebounds and 0.5 blocks to date — actually taking a step back from his rookie year — but a large uptick in minutes could mean his first real opportunity for NBA production. A well-renowned rim protector in college, Cauley-Stein will have his hands full on Thursday night with Nikola Jokic. Still, at just $3,600, he should see enough touches to hit value in the new and not-so-improved Kings rotation. Plus, he clears up some cap space to allow for any of the high-priced big men.
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