Daily Fantasy Basketball 2015: DraftKings Optimum Lineup Predictions for Feb. 25

Andrew Gould@AndrewGould4Featured ColumnistFebruary 25, 2015

MEMPHIS, TN - DECEMBER 22: Marc Gasol #33 and Mike Conley #11 of the Memphis Grizzlies celebrate during a game against the Utah Jazz on December 22, 2014 at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Matchup plays light up DraftKings' NBA catalog on Wednesday night. Of the bottom dozen defenses in terms of defensive rating, 11 will participate during the evening's dozen bouts.

Given the endless array of options, daily gamers need not spend top dollar for the first-class superstars. Instead, the best bets consist largely of four star talents. Although not the prototypical stud, they'll produce like them against favorable opposition.

Top Plays

PG: Mike Conley ($6,400) at Sacramento; Goran Dragic ($6,300) at Orlando

Scoring 10 points in two games before All-Star Weekend decayed Mike Conley's stock, but he has since rebounded over the past pair of showdowns.

Mike Conley's Last Two Games
2/23@ LAC18732136.25
2/22@ POR15862041

Averaging 31.6 DraftKings points per game this season, the Memphis Grizzlies point guard costs a fair $6,400. 

To sweeten the pot, the Sacramento Kings rank No. 27 with a 106.1 defensive rating as of Tuesday night. They yield the second-most DraftKings points to the position behind the Los Angeles Lakers, as their fast pace causes adversaries to uptick their tempo against a poor defense. 

SG: Eric Bledsoe ($7,900) at Denver; Kyle Korver ($4,900) vs. Dallas

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Since the All-Star break, Eric Bledsoe has filled the box score with averages of seven rebounds and eight assists. After subpar scoring outings, he submitted 21 on Monday against the Boston Celtics.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN -  FEBRUARY 20:  Eric Bledsoe #2 of the Phoenix Suns goes up for a dunk against the Minnesota Timberwolves during the game on February 20, 2015 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agree
David Sherman/Getty Images

Both Bledsoe and Brandon Knight plotted 20 points sharing the court for the second time. Forcing Knight to replace Goran Dragic and Isaiah Thomas leads to heavy playing time for both guards, with Bledsoe shining as the head honcho. 

The Phoenix Suns and Denver Nuggets each operate at a top-five pace, and Denver relinquishes the third-most DraftKings points to shooting guards. But for anyone who prefers a mid-level play, Kyle Korver faces a Dallas Mavericks defense that allows 8.7 three-pointers per contest. Word is he's pretty good at shooting from behind the arc. 

SF: Trevor Ariza ($5,800) vs. LA Clippers; Danilo Gallinari ($5,000) vs. Phoenix

Anyone worried about the Houston Rockets easing up on Trevor Ariza need not worry. The 29-year-old small forward has logged 36 minutes per game in February, making him a great option when the right matchup surfaces.

It doesn't get any better than the Los Angeles Clippers, the worst defense against small forwards. According to 82games.com, everyone at the slot combines to score 20.6 points per game against them. 

HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 4: Trevor Ariza #1 of the Houston Rockets dunks against the Chicago Bulls on February 4, 2015 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photog
Bill Baptist/Getty Images

When the Rockets and Clippers met on Feb. 11, Ariza chimed in for 29.75 fantasy points through 37 minutes. That amounts to a reasonable rate of $195.96 per point using his current $5,800 price.

Averaging 26.3 DraftKings points in three starts since the Arron Afflalo trade, Danilo Gallinari also warrants consideration against the Suns. 

PF: Derrick Favors ($7,200) vs. LA Lakers; Markieff Morris ($6,400) at Denver

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - FEBRUARY 4:  Derrick Favors #15 of the Utah Jazz handles the ball against Zach Randolph #50 of the Memphis Grizzlies during the game on February 4, 2015 at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly ac
Melissa Majchrzak/Getty Images

Trading Enes Kanter has already paid off for the Utah Jazz, who defeated the Portland Trail Blazers and San Antonio Spurs since his departure. On the surface, both low-scoring wins don't help Derrick Favors much, as Locked on Jazz's David Locke notes Favors' defensive prowess alongside Rudy Gobert.

Yet the power forward has attempted 15 shots in each game, receiving more freedom outside the paint to expand his offensive arsenal. 

Derrick Favors' Last Two Games

Portland and San Antonio sport stout defenses. The Lakers do not, placing No. 29 in defensive rating and No. 27 in rebounds allowed. On Jan. 16, Favors exploited them for 18 points, 10 boards and two blocks. Sound good?

C: Al Jefferson ($7,800) at Chicago; Marc Gasol ($7,300) at Sacramento

CHARLOTTE, NC - FEBRUARY 8: Al Jefferson #25 of the Charlotte Hornets goes up for a shot against the Indiana Pacers at Time Warner Cable Arena on February 8, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by
Kent Smith/Getty Images

Following a slow start, Al Jefferson is looking more and more like the usual Al Jefferson. The center has amassed 17.8 points and 12.2 rebounds through the last five tilts, and he gets a sneakily great matchup against the Chicago Bulls.

Despite their reputation as a defensive juggernaut, they have allowed the third-most DraftKings points to centers. If Jefferson keeps rolling, he'll justify every dollar.

Marc Gasol finds himself in a similar position as Conley, costing less than usual despite two solid outings after the All-Star Game he started. If he meets his 38.3-point season average, his owners will relish in purchasing him for $7,300.

Best Values

SG J.J. Redick ($4,600) at Houston

Even after shooting 3-of-12 against Memphis on Monday, J.J. Redick has issued 26.6 DraftKings points through the latest five installments. Receiving prominent playing time (34.2 minutes) over that stretch, the 30-year-old generated 20 points against the Rockets two weeks ago.

SF Hollis Thompson ($4,000) at Milwaukee

The Philadelphia 76ers' latest wave of trades has helped Hollis Thompson etch a regular rotation spot. He has caught fire, shooting 12-of-19 with eight-three pointers. Although unsustainable for the long haul, he's worth another roll of the dice.

C Alex Len ($4,900) at Denver

He's ice cold one week and scorching hot the next, so now's the time to jump on Alex Len's bandwagon for a modest rate. Through his last three games, the 21-year-old has played 33.7 minutes with Miles Plumlee gone, tallying 9.7 points, 11.0 rebounds and 4.3 blocks. 

Advanced stats courtesy of NBA.com unless otherwise noted.