NBA daily fantasy: February 23 picks
Just one of the 10 teams in action on Tuesday, the Trail Blazers, is over .500. That may not result in the most important day of the regular season from a real-life standpoint, but it could create an awfully exciting night in the fantasy world. Three of the most attractive defenses to attack—the Kings, Nuggets and 76ers—are in action, with the first two playing each other in Denver. A couple of bad defenses and an over/under well north of 200 make that the fantasy game of the night.
PG: John Wall ($9,800) vs. NO: Wall had one of his worst games of the season his last time out, scoring 12 points while dishing out just four assists in Saturday’s loss to the Heat. It was Washington’s third game in as many days, however, so we’re willing to give the star point guard a pass. He has had a couple of much needed days off in a row, and should thrive in a matchup with the Pelicans. The over/under on for this game is 213, suggesting a style that is rather conducive to Wall’s skill set.
SG: Victor Oladipo ($6,800) @ PHI: Oladipo has come out of All-Star Weekend with a bang, scoring at least 40 fantasy points in both of Orlando’s games since the league turned the page to the second half of the season. Shooting guard is the one position against which the 76ers do not rank in the bottom-third of the league, but the overall environment should still be a good one for Oladipo. Despite Orlando’s strong defense, this game features a 209 over/under, and the Magic are favored by 5.5. The heightened pace should result in more opportunities for the third-year player out of Indiana.
SF: Danilo Gallinari ($7,100) vs. SAC: Here’s our first investment in the game of the night. These two teams just met last Friday, with Sacramento winning 116–110. In that game, Gallinari had 27 real points and 36.6 fantasy points. Not only has Sacramento allowed the eighth-most fantasy points per game to small forwards, it is also the only team in the league to surrender more than 10 three-point makes per game. That’s an ideal opponent for a player like Gallinari.
PF: Derrick Favors ($7,400) vs. HOU: Favors is in a groove right now, scoring at least 34 fantasy points in six of his last eight games. During that time, he has averaged 34.3 points per game with three double doubles, and two six-assist performances. Utah plays at a deliberate pace, but they’ll be forced to speed it up a bit by Houston, and that’s good news for any fantasy owners invested in the Jazz. The Rockets have allowed the most points per game to power forwards this season.
C: Marcin Gortat ($7,100) vs. NO: It’s admittedly dangerous to fade DeMarcus Cousins, but Gortat is a double double machine at a savings of nearly $4,000. The big man now has 28 double doubles in 48 games, including six in his last seven. Over that span, he’s averaging 15.9 points, 11.1 rebounds, 1.6 blocks and 34.6 fantasy points. The Pelicans, meanwhile, give up the second-most fantasy points per game to centers.