NBA DraftKings & FanDuel DFS Primer: Feb 22

FantasyPros breaks down the top DraftKings and FanDuel daily fantasy players for the NBA's 12-game Thursday slate.

Indiana’s Tyrese Haliburton is averaging 21.8 points, 11.7 assists, and 3.9 rebounds this season.

All of these teams had a much-needed week off, and now it’s the stretch run of the season. We have about two months remaining, and a ton will be decided over these final weeks. I can’t wait to get into it, and we’re kicking off the stretch run with a monster card. With that in mind, let’s dive into it!

Core Plays

Tyrese Haliburton (PG – IND): $9,400 DraftKings, $9,900 FanDuel

Hali was held to 25-30 minutes after returning from a hamstring strain, but we saw the All-Star play 34 minutes in his final two games before the break. When he had that role earlier in the year, Haliburton was over $10K on both sites, averaging 52 DraftKings points per game. That should be easy to return to against Detroit, posting a 27th OPRK against opposing point guards. They also rank 28th in total defense, with Tyrese scoring at least 47 DK points in both matchups.

Lauri Markkanen (PF – UTA): $8,100 DraftKings, $8,000 FanDuel

The former All-Star averages over 41 DraftKings points per game, regularly showcasing a 50-point upside. One of those ceiling games is in play against Charlotte, posting the worst defensive rating while allowing the most fantasy points to opposing power forwards. In their one matchup, Lauri had nearly 60 DraftKings points in one of the best games of his career.

Jamal Murray (PG – DEN): $8,000 DraftKings, $8,400 FanDuel

Murray missed most of the final three games before the break, but he was balling out before that. The All-Star snub had at least 31 DraftKings points in 24 of 25 games before that injury, averaging 42 DK points per game in that span. That’s the bubble Murray that made him a $9K player in the past, and we love that against Washington. The Wizards rank 27th in total defense while surrendering the second-most fantasy points to opposing guards.

Cash Game Considerations

Luka Doncic (PG – DAL): $12,100 DraftKings, $12,600 FanDuel

Joel Embiid was the best player in fantasy before getting injured, but Doncic has taken that crown. The Slovenian leads the league with 65 DraftKings points per game while establishing a 50-point floor. That makes him a worthy option against anyone, but he’s eviscerated the Suns throughout his career. Not only does Phoenix own a 26th OPRK against opposing guards, but Doncic has been averaging over 70 DK points per game against them over the last three years.

Nikola Jokic (C – DEN): $11,600 DraftKings, $12,100 FanDuel

The Joker is no longer the best player in fantasy, but he’s still Top 3. The two-time MVP averages 60 DraftKings points per game while displaying a 50-point floor. What’s really scary is this matchup with Washington, which is allowing the most fantasy points to opposing centers. That was on full display when Jokic collected 42 points, 12 rebounds, eight assists, two steals, and two blocks en route to 79 fantasy points in their last matchup.

Devin Booker (PG/SG – PHX): $9,800 DraftKings, $9,500 FanDuel

It’s rare to find such a consistent player below $10K. The sharpshooter has scored at least 38 DraftKings points in 39 of the 44 games he’s finished. DB also has a 47-point average and is always motivated when facing one of his biggest rivals Luka Doncic. He’s got at least 61 DK points in two of his last three matchups with the Mavs, averaging 57 DK points per game in those outings. That’s no surprise since Dallas posts a 28th OPRK against opposing guards.

GPP Targets

Immanuel Quickley (PG – TOR): $6,800 DraftKings, $7,100 FanDuel

IQ has struggled with the rest of the Raptors, but this is a great spot to bounce back. The acquisition had at least 32 fantasy points in 12 of his first 14 games with the Raps, averaging 31 fantasy points per game as their starting point guard. That expanded role makes him an enticing option here because Brooklyn is one of the worst defenses over the last month. That could lead to a rare close game for both teams, which is massive since IQ has seen an enormous price drop due to the recent slump.

Tre Mann (PG/SG – CHA): $5,500 DraftKings, $6,600 FanDuel

We weren’t sure what to make of the Mann trade, but he’s been given the starting point guard gig in the absence of Ball. That’s led to Mann scoring at least 31 DraftKings points in all three starts while showcasing a 46-point gem in his most recent outing. That’s amazing for such an affordable player, but it should continue with how shorthanded this team is right now. Not to mention, Utah allows the third-most fantasy points to opposing point guards.

Marvin Bagley (C – WAS): $5,300 DraftKings, $6,600 FanDuel

Bagley saw a significant boost at the trade deadline, taking over as the starting center since the Daniel Gafford trade. This guy has been a stud in a 30-minute starting role, scoring at least 35 fantasy points in four of his last five starts. He has a double-double in all of those and should be locked into heavy minutes with how weak the rest of this frontcourt is right now.

Value Plays

Darius Garland (PG – CLE): $5,900 DraftKings, $6,500 FanDuel

Seeing Garland below $6K on DraftKings is hard to believe. He was an $8K player on both sites last year, but a return from injury has limited his upside recently. We’re not worried about that anymore because his minutes restriction was recently lifted. He also dropped 38 DK points across 31 minutes just two games ago, which is closer to the average we expect for the remainder of the season. Keep using DG until he’s above $7K on both sites!

Walker Kessler (C – UTA): $5,100 DraftKings, $7,000 FanDuel

This $5,100 price tag is laughable. Kessler deserved it when he was in a reserve role earlier in the year, but that’s not the case anymore. The big man has started in four straight games, scoring at least 35 DK points in two of those. We saw this guy average over 30 DK points per game as a starter in his rookie season, and he needs a $1K price bump in this newfound role. We didn’t even mention that Charlotte surrenders the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing centers!

Ausar Thompson (SF – DET): $5,000 DraftKings, $6,300 FanDuel

Here we are with another bump from the trade deadline. Detroit decided to clean house at the deadline, leaving Thompson with a 30-minute starting role. He was a stud with that opportunity earlier in the year, averaging 31 DK points per game in his 29 starts this year. That’s why this $5K price tag makes no sense, especially against an Indiana team that plays at the fastest pace while ranked 26th in defensive efficiency.

Advantageous Pricing