Yahoo NBA Expert Picks: Wednesday, February 14th

Each day when there are two or more NBA games, our daily fantasy basketball experts will provide their top plays for Yahoo. These picks will help you find the best values and top overall plays to build a foundation for all types of contests. Our top-ranked experts will also provide the reasons for their picks, so you can make informed decisions when setting your lineups.

Wednesday, February 14th

Point Guard

Russell Westbrook at Memphis Grizzlies: $60
Spencer Dinwiddie vs Indiana Pacers: $28
Rajon Rondo vs Los Angeles Lakers: $20

With a slate this huge tonight one of the first things we always want to do is start to narrow things down and you have to even eliminate some good plays because there is just way too much out there to target and you don’t ever want to spread yourself too thin. So immediately we want to see which stars at the top we want and at the top of that list for me is almost always going to be Westbrook. He struggled last night and with this being the last game before break I expect to see him on a mission to go into break with a bang. On top of that Memphis has looked like one of the worst teams in the league but at least it is on the road with a close spread so maybe we can get a upside showing tonight. He is clearly my top guy tonight right there with AD and I am going to lock him in across the board because of the leverage I think it gives me off the people that try to play everyone. After that the next guy for me is clearly Rondo who is in the highest total of the night and has actually looked much better of late. It has always been about minutes for Rondo since coming to New Orleans and with Jameer out of town he has settled in to that 30 minute mark which is all we need at this price point. You need exposure to this game so this is a great place to start. Dinwiddie has been awesome all year long as he is going through his first run as a starting point in this league and definitely making the most of it. On a slate this big he is going to be a low owned guy to target in tournaments.

Shooting Guard

Donovan Mitchell vs Phoenix Suns: $32
Zach LaVine vs Toronto Raptors: $30
Reggie Bullock vs Atlanta Hawks: $12

This is a perfect example of where to cross some guys off to narrow down the slate a little bit. A lot of people are going to like Harden and Oladipo tonight who are both clearly in nice spots but I don’t feel the need to go either direction. Especially with Harden because I think Houston blows this team out big time to go into the break and on a slate this huge there is no reason to go a direction of a blowout when there are other guys you like at the top. Sure he has a safe floor but so do the other guys and I would rather go with Westbrook. Mitchell is clearly the top guy for me tonight at the spot because of how good he has looked. With it being the last games before the break I think all of these teams want to get a win to leave on a good note and the Jazz have a nice long win streak that they aren’t going to lose against a team like Phoenix. Mitchell is priced way too low for a guy that could literally get us 60 tonight and I will be loading up on him against this swiss cheese defense. LaVine is another guy that I absolutely love tonight but he is a little more complicated because of how tough the matchup is. He is talented enough to overcome any matchup but at the same price as Mitchell he is the tournament pivot off of him and there is no reason to do it in cash games or if you are only playing one team. I love both guys so much that there really isn’t any reason to go cheap but if for some reason you want to or something changes then go ahead and play Bullock. He has actually been very consistent and a guy I am starting to trust which is weird because I have always hated his game a lot. Mitchell is my guy tonight though as he has the same upside as the stars but at a much cheaper rate.

Small Forward

Joe Ingles vs Phoenix Suns: $19
Royce O’Neale vs Phoenix Suns: $10

Maybe the easiest play of the entire night for me and a very weird lock button is going to be Royce tonight. He is coming off a major stinker game but still played 38 minutes and gets the same nut matchup tonight that should give him plenty of upside. I love spots like this the absolute most in NBA DFS when a guy is super chalky and then they come back in the same spot or even better and people don’t want to play him because of that sour taste in their mouths. Well I will be clicking the lock button big time tonight and I love everything about it. He is going to play 30+ minutes no matter what happens in the game and in a game like this that could get ugly that is a huge edge to have. Just close your eyes and click the lock button and enjoy life. Ingles is the more expensive play in the same game but also in play as well. Ingles has looked amazing the last few games with Rubio out as he is asked to make some of those plays Rubio was making. Both guys are awesome plays as I want as much Utah as I can get tonight which is super weird to say.

Power Forward

Julius Randle at New Orleans Pelicans: $31
Kyle Kuzma at New Orleans Pelicans: $20
Ersan Ilyasova at Detroit Pistons: $11

Definitely want some Lakers exposure in this huge total and I want to get it from some of these bigs and both are in play for me. Kuzma hit a little bit of a rookie wall for a few weeks there but after trading away some of the big traffic he is right back in the good mix and I love the spot tonight. Randle went to Kentucky just like AD did so they have that little side rivalry where they always want to show each other how good they are and impress Coach Cal. Randle has looked amazing lately like we have always expected him to take off so it is good to see. Part of me wonders who AD is going to guard because they other guy will be the one I want to play but AD has slipped enough on D that I don’t think it really matters. Randle has actually turned himself into a consistent weapon for the Lakers even in limited minutes so now that he is locked into this role he should maintain this for rest of year. I love both guys and like I keep saying I need exposure to that monster total because I do think it shoots out big time and you will need guys from here. Ersan is the cheap guy at the spot I am interested in as he continues to just be super consistent and solid for Atlanta. After the trade deadline he is another guy I expect to settle into his role and get even more comfortable because he isn’t worried about something changing for himself. Kuzma is definitely my favorite because of his ability to play on the perimeter and he is way too cheap because of his struggles in there.

Center

Anthony Davis vs Los Angeles Lakers: $59
Andre Drummond vs Atlanta Hawks: $49

Like it has been for the last few weeks the center has turned into the spot that I seem to spend up on as much as any other with so many beasts there. Tonight AD is right there with Westbrook as the locks of the slate for me no matter how chalky they end up being. AD is going to be the chalk of the slate I am sure with the total being massive and him continuing to crush every single night. I probably shouldn’t even write this here but these are the nights where AD scares me the most because of his history. We have a massive slate and he is going to be megachalk heading into the All-Star Break and in the past it seems like he always ends up getting hurt in spots like this to tilt the entire DFS community into why in the world did I go all in on AD. The hard part though is that it is clearly the best play of the night and he is going to be high owned so he is basically impossible to fade without knowing you are taking the worst of it. If you are going to fade for some reason then I think you have to go with Drummond who has shown just as much upside all year. Drummond is a walking 20-20 game waiting to happen and coming off one of his worst games so tonight I could see another monster going into the break. The more I think things through I might even like the idea of playing Drummond over AD and hoping something weird happens and you can enjoy the tilt instead of taking part of it.

So in summary of my thoughts here is what I got. We are going to jam Westbrook all in across the board and then if you really want to play for the win jam Drummond in with him and fade AD altogether and hope for some craziness. In cash games just play Russ and AD and move on but I really love that strategy in tournaments. Also we want as much exposure to the Lakers game as possible and Royce is going to be the Joffrey play from last night lol. It has been a fun first half of the year and I will see you guys after the break…..good luck tonight lets shipppppppp.

About the Author

  • Tony Niehaus (BigT44)

  • A former poker industry professional, Tony Niehaus, aka BigT44 has one of the largest personalities in the DFS industry as seen by his countless GrindersLive appearances. A former star basketball player in high school, Tony has taken his lifelong love of sports and fantasy sports and turned it into a fulltime gig as a professional DFS player. He’s routinely at the top of the RotoGrinders rankings and has well over a million dollars in lifetime winnings along with qualifying for multiple live finals.

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