NBA First Look: Thursday, February 26th

Tonight’s slate features Cleveland at home to Golden State and Phoenix up against Oklahoma City.

Cleveland (36-22) Golden State (44-10) CLE -4 215.5 8:00 pm EST
Phoenix (29-28) Oklahoma City (32-25) PHO +5 217.0 10:30 pm EST

Golden State


Matchup Preview vs. Cleveland:
Pace of Play: 94.8 (Rank: 24)
Points Allowed Per Game: 98.7 (Rank: 12)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 22
Rebounding Differential Rank: 8


Stephen Curry (FD: $10300, DK: $9800 / MPG: 33 / Usage Rate: 28.3) – Curry has as high of a ceiling as any player on Thursday night. Granted there are only two games on tap, but it’s a scary proposition fading Curry in a primetime game against LeBron James and the Cavaliers. He is the premier play at point guard.

Klay Thompson (FD: $7100, DK: $7800 / MPG: 33 / Usage Rate: 27.7) – Thompson is in play on both sites, but is much cheaper on FanDuel. He has been inconsistent recently, but should find plenty of open shots against J.R. Smith and the Cavaliers.

Draymond Green (FD: $6900, DK: $6700 / MPG: 32 / Usage Rate: 16.3) – Green’s minutes are trending upward. He has played at least 33 minutes in six of his last eight games. He draws a favorable matchup against the Cavaliers and his price is depressed. All of the above point to a fine outing from Green.


Matchup Preview vs. Golden State:
Pace of Play: 101 (Rank: 1)
Points Allowed Per Game: 99.8 (Rank: 18)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 1
Rebounding Differential Rank: 15


LeBron James (FD: $10400, DK: $10300 / MPG: 36 / Usage Rate: 32.9) – James had an uncharacteristic nine turnovers the other night against the Pistons. He should see close to 40 minutes tonight against the Warriors, who own the best record in the NBA. If the Cavaliers can pull off the win in this one, people will really start to notice.

Kevin Love (FD: $8300, DK: $7800 / MPG: 35 / Usage Rate: 21.9) – Love has played recently, scoring at least 36 fantasy points in five of his last nine games. His price has come up on FanDuel, but he’s still sitting at a very affordable $7,800 on DraftKings. He’s the premier play at power forward, which is a tough position to fill on Thursday.

Timofey Mozgov (FD: $5800, DK: $5300 / MPG: 26 / Usage Rate: 15.5) – Mozgov continues to be a reliable fantasy option at center. He has scored at least 23 fantasy points in nine of his last ten games. While I have Alex Len ranked slightly higher, Mozgov is a strong play at center against the Warriors.

Oklahoma City

Matchup Preview vs. Phoenix:
Pace of Play: 99.3 (Rank: 2)
Points Allowed Per Game: 105.2 (Rank: 28)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 20
Rebounding Differential Rank: 25


Russell Westbrook (FD: $11000, DK: $11300 / MPG: 33 / Usage Rate: 36.1) – Kevin Durant is not expected to play, which means Westbrook should be locked into your cash game lineups. At this point, he’s a tough fade in tournaments as well. If he goes off for another 60 fantasy point outing, it’s going to be difficult to make those points up on such a short slate.

Serge Ibaka (FD: $7200, DK: $7900 / MPG: 33 / Usage Rate: 19.2) – Ibaka has been terrific with Kevin Durant out of the lineup. He has scored at least 37 fantasy points in each of his last four games. His price has come up, but he draws a favorable matchup against the Suns, who are ranked 25th in rebounding differential this season.

Enes Kanter (FD: $5800, DK: $5900 / MPG: 27 / Usage Rate: 24.9) – Kanter came back down to Earth a bit in his last start, but he is still averaging 29 fantasy points per game since joining the Thunder. He’s in play here, but I have him ranked behind both Alex Len and Timofey Mozgov.


Matchup Preview vs. Oklahoma City:
Pace of Play: 97.5 (Rank: 8)
Points Allowed Per Game: 98.5 (Rank: 11)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 9
Rebounding Differential Rank: 2


Eric Bledsoe (FD: $8400, DK: $7900 / MPG: 34 / Usage Rate: 23.7) – Bledsoe’s production has actually gone up with Brandon Knight in the lineup. Rather than having to share the floor with two other point guards, he now only has to share it with one. The best part about Bledsoe is that he is still listed as a shooting guard on both FanDuel and DraftKings.

Alex Len (FD: $5000, DK: $4900 / MPG: 21 / Usage Rate: 13.3) – Len got into early foul trouble on Wednesday night and his minutes took a big hit because of it. He still managed to score 19 fantasy points in 21 minutes though. As long as he can stay out of foul trouble, he should see closer to 30 minutes against the Thunder.

P.J. Tucker (FD: $4900, DK: $5400 / MPG: 29 / Usage Rate: 12.7) – Tucker’s hot streak continued on Wednesday night, as he put up 31 fantasy points against the Nuggets. He has now scored at least 24 fantasy points in each of his last six outings. There are very few options at small forward, making Tucker an easy play on Thursday.

About the Author

  • Derek Farnsworth (Notorious)

  • Derek Farnsworth, aka Notorious, is one of the most recognizable names and faces in all of DFS, thanks in large part to the great advice he gives on a daily basis in’s Grind Down for NBA and MLB as well as the First Look column that gives a preview of the day’s games from a DFS perspective. Before joining the RotoGrinders team, Derek received a Masters Degree from the University of Utah. When he’s not busy providing content, he’s dominating the industry as evidenced by his consistent top rankings in multiple sports. Farnsworth provides expert analysis for RotoGrinders Premium members on a daily basis during the NBA season and has also been nominated for five different Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association (FSWA) awards.


  • alisterhh

    Kyrie I am not sure about like Knight more.

  • snubh253629

    I like Knight as a sleeper over Irving to save the extra 1000

  • archiemeatpants

    T. Thompson on DK

  • jstoneski80

    You can fit the big 3 together and even Ibaka, but then you have to rely on guys like Morrow, Roberson, Barbosa to not throw up a donut. To win I am guessing one of the big 3 will have to be faded, but picking the right one will be tough, especially since both of these are “big” games.

  • DK_Ninjaaaaa

    Not loving center position tonight on DK. Probably going to punt Nick Collison at $3400 in a bunch of line ups to help pay for another stud.

    I wish Dion Waiters didnt suck. Crazy high ceiling at that price but he never gets anywhere close to it cuz he is a terrible shooter. Not sure why OKC lets him jack up 20 shots a night. I think augustin will start to absorb some of his minutes.

  • KHAZE31

    Verajao or Collsion yup deep sleepers

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