Thursday features a four-game main slate starting at 7:00 p.m. ET.
Let’s dive into some of the top plays on the slate using the FantasyLabs tools and metrics.
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Note: Projections and Leverages Scores/Ratings may change throughout the day after this article is posted. The NBA DFS landscape changes quickly.
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NBA DFS Point Guard Picks
The Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving experience hasn’t gone as planned, with the team posting a 1-4 record when both start. Their only victory over that span is against the Spurs, who have lost 16 of their last 17 games. That said, Doncic has the highest ceiling of any player on both DraftKings and FanDuel in our NBA Models. He is averaging a league- and career-high 33.2 points per game while shooting over 50% from the field.
This matchup between the Mavericks and 76ers may turn into a slugfest. Both teams rank in the bottom five in Pace this season and rank first and second in isolation possessions. Despite the slow play, Doncic has been fantastic all season long. In addition to his elite scoring, Doncic also ranks second in the league in usage rate with 37.9%. Raw points mean a little more on small slates, which makes Doncic a superior play.
Value is a little tough to come by on Thursday, but Delon Wright is the best value point guard option. He has started the last two games as Monte Morris continues to nurse a back injury. Wright has recorded a positive Plus/Minus in four of his previous five games on FanDuel, averaging 26.5 FanDuel points per game over that span. He’s projected to play another 28 minutes with Morris sidelined again on Thursday.
The Wizards and Raptors game features the lowest total on the slate at 223 points, and the Wizards are 2.5-point home underdogs. However, being a point guard against the Raptors has been a good situation. They are allowing 26.1 assists per game, tied for the fifth-highest mark in the league. Morris has shown double-digit assist upside already this month while scoring double-digit points in four of his last six games.
James Harden has continued to see his salary decrease on DraftKings, and his $9,500 comes with an 86% Bargain Rating. This is the second leg of a back-to-back as Joel Embiid sat out last night due to a foot issue. If Embiid is out once again, it will be impossible to ignore Harden and his team-high +5.6% usage rate differential with Embiid off the floor this season. It is not an ideal matchup against the Mavericks, but prioritize Harden on DraftKings.
NBA DFS Shooting Guard Picks
Jordan Poole still has the edge over Klay Thompson in our ceiling projections on both sites, despite being -$700 cheaper on FanDuel. The Warriors will be playing without Stephen Curry and Andrew Wiggins again, which significantly boosts Poole and Thompson. However, Poole gets the advantage in our tools as he’s seen a team-high +4.6% usage bump in 970 minutes with both Curry and Wiggins off the floor.
The Warriors will host the Clippers in their fourth home game in a row and are 3.5-point home underdogs. In his fourth year in the league, Poole is averaging a career-high 20.8 points and 4.6 assists per game. His field goal percentage has been lacking, but Poole can get it cooking in a hurry. The Clippers surprisingly rank outside the top 10 this year in points allowed and Defensive Rating, making this a decent matchup.
Rookie of the year candidate Bennedict Mathurin has been fantastic recently, averaging 16.7 points per game over his last seven games. He has recorded a positive Plus/Minus and six of those seven and could potentially be playing without Tyrese Haliburton, who is questionable. Priced around $5,000 on both DraftKings and FanDuel, Mathurin is one of the best values on the slate and would look even better if Haliburton ruled out.
The Pacers have won back-to-back road games and now get a cupcake matchup against the Spurs, who rank dead last in Defensive Rating (119.6) while allowing a league-high 122.4 points per game. They are the only team allowing opponents to shoot over 50% from the field. The Pacers have a slate-high 121.25-point implied team total, and this game also has the highest total at 238 points. Expect a flurry of points in this matchup.
Kyrie Irving has point guard and shooting guard eligibility on both sites, but he’s most valuable at shooting guard. He has taken a bit of a backseat to Doncic since joining the Mavericks, but they haven’t been successful. Irving is averaging nearly seven assists and 24.7 points per game in his seven games with the Mavericks but hasn’t had that ceiling game alongside Doncic yet. However, with a 27.2% usage rate, Irving can pop off in any game. He is projected for very low ownership on a small slate, which makes him an intriguing contrarian pay-up option.
NBA DFS Small Forward Picks
The Clippers have lost three consecutive games, and many will look to make Russell Westbrook the scapegoat. However, they have a great chance to bounce back tonight against the Warriors as road favorites. Kawhi Leonard has been playing hefty minutes for the entire month of February, and he’s racked up at least 38.6 minutes in three straight games.
The Warriors’ shoddy defense has been a big topic of discussion this season. It doesn’t help that they lead the league in Pace (102.8) entering tonight’s games, but they have allowed 117.9 points per game, which is tied for the sixth-most in the league. Prioritize Leonard on DraftKings, where he is $700 cheaper than FanDuel and matches eight Pro Trends. He is playing too many minutes to go under the radar in tournaments.
Buddy Hield is another Pacers’ value option worth considering. He has the second-highest projected Plus/Minus on both DraftKings and FanDuel behind teammate Myles Turner. Priced under $6,000 on both sites, Hield looks like a great value. In his first full season with the Pacers, Hield is averaging 17.3 points per game while shooting 42.6% from behind the arc.
Not only do the Spurs have an abysmal defense in general, but they also get torched from the perimeter. They are allowing a league-worst 3-point percentage of 39.5%. Hield has attempted double-digit 3-point attempts in six of his last eight games, so it will be bombs away for the veteran sharpshooter. Hield’s peripherals will also rise if Haliburton is ruled out, making him an even better play at this mid-range price tag.
Paul George is cheaper than Kawhi Leonard on both sites by a considerable amount, which is why he is drawing more projected ownership. George leads the team with 23.5 points per game and has played great in their last three games. He also nearly had a double-double in their last matchup against the Warriors with 20 points and eight rebounds. Simply put, George can stuff the stat sheet and is underpriced in this spot.
NBA DFS Power Forward Picks
The Raptors and Wizards matchup features four of this slate’s five most expensive power forwards. Pascal Siakam is the highest-priced option of the bunch, but it is deserving as he has scored 20+ points in eight-straight games. Over that span, Siakam is averaging 28.3 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 5.1 assists per game. He hasn’t shot the ball particularly well since returning from the All-Star break, but he has led the team in scoring each game.
These two teams make up the ninth and tenth seeds in the Eastern Conference standings, and they will play a two-game series today and Saturday. It is time for Siakam to take his game to the next level coming down the stretch. He is averaging a career-high in points and assists, but his efficiency has been lacking. However, the Wizards rank 20th in Defensive Rating and allow 90 field goal attempts per game, giving Siakam plenty of opportunity to shine.
Anthony Lamb started for the Warriors in their last game and could draw another one again on Thursday. He has played 20+ minutes in five consecutive games and recorded a positive Plus/Minus in each contest. Priced at $3,200 on DraftKings, Lamb leads the position in projected Plus/Minus and has a 90% Bargain Rating. The third-year pro can accumulate fantasy points in various ways and is a cheap way to pay for the studs.
After missing their last two games due to a knee injury, Kristaps Porzingis is not on the injury report for this matchup against the Raptors. Getting Porzingis back provides a massive boost to the Wizards, as he is averaging a career-high 22.8 points per game while shooting 48.7% from the field. He also leads the team in rebounds and blocks, which will be beneficial against the smaller Raptors frontcourt. Porzingis hasn’t been given a salary under $9,000 on DraftKings in nearly a month, so make sure to prioritize him on that site.
NBA DFS Center Picks
It seems as though Joel Embiid sitting out last night may have been precautionary, but make sure to monitor our news dashboard the closer we get to lock. Right behind Luka Doncic, Embiid is averaging a career-high 33 points per game while shooting 53.2% from the field. Even with the addition of James Harden, Embiid has a 37% usage rate while attempting a career-high 20.6 field goal attempts per game.
If Embiid can play, this is a great matchup to pay up for him. The Mavericks rank 29th in Rebounding Percentage (47.5%) while also allowing 59.3 points per game in the paint in their last three games. A slate-breaking performance is certainly on the table for Embiid, who has put up over 60 DraftKings points in five of his previous seven games. He is another stud who looks much better on DraftKings than FanDuel tonight.
Charles Bassey is a bit risky with Devin Vassell and Tre Jones healthy again, but he has the second-highest projected Plus/Minus at the center position tonight on both DraftKings and FanDuel. Over the last five games, Bassey has averaged 23.3 DraftKings points per game while averaging 1.4 DraftKings points per minute. During that time, Bassey has displayed the ability for double-digit points and double-digit rebounds.
Over the last three games, the Pacers have allowed 60 points per game in the paint, which ranks as the third-most in the league. They also rank 28th in Rebounding Percentage, allowing 45.7 rebounds per game. This is an excellent spot for Bassey as long as he continues to see around 18 minutes, which he is projected for tonight. The center-only eligibility is a downfall, but it is hard to deny the amount of upside he brings at such a low price tag.
Myles Turner has a massive ceiling whenever he touches the floor, and this matchup is a great spot for an explosion game. With Haliburton questionable, Turner could see a boost in his production. Turner is averaging nearly three more field goal attempts per game in nine games without Haliburton this season. The Spurs also allow a league-high 56 points per game in the paint and rank 20th in Rebounding Percentage. Turner also brings massive block upside to the table, giving him a ceiling that few players in his price range can match.