Sunday, February 25, 2024

Fantasy basketball tips and projections for Sunday

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ESPN’s fantasy basketball and basketball betting tips cheat sheet is your pregame destination for basketball betting predictions and our best intel and data, featuring ESPN’s proprietary Basketball Power Index (BPI) to help you make smart fantasy and wagering decisions. Fantasy advice is based on ESPN 10-team leagues.

New this season, ESPN Analytics will also generate daily NBA fantasy projections. By combining historical player and team data and specific game factors ESPN is able to accurately predict player box score stats. Accounting for injuries, trends in playing time, and other factors impacting future performance the statistical models can be used to help NBA fantasy players gain an edge in their league.

What you need to know for Sunday’s games

With the Super Bowl happening tonight there are only two NBA games on the slate and they’re both early, tipping off with Boston at Miami at 2:00 p.m. ET on ABC, followed by the Kings at Oklahoma City at 3:00 p.m ET. The Thunder will be hoping to snap their two-game losing streak after getting blown out by Luka Doncic and the Mavericks on Saturday and falling to the Jazz in Utah on Tuesday.

In the breaking-news department, Spencer Dinwiddie cleared waivers on Saturday and has agreed to a deal with the Lakers, where he’s expected to back up D’Angelo Russell. That also means that Ben Simmons, Dennis Schroder and Dennis Smith Jr. are the three point guards for the Nets. Simmons started and played 22 minutes with 13 points, three rebounds, five assists, three steals and two blocks against the Spurs on Saturday. Feel free to pick him up, but don’t be surprised if he continues to miss random games here and there.

The Celtics are favored by 5.5 at Miami and the Thunder are favored by 3.5 over the Kings on Sunday, despite Saturday’s 146-111 loss to Dallas. Streamers are going to be tough to come by on Sunday, so tread carefully. The Thunder’s Cason Wallace had a nice game in the loss to Dallas with 15 points and three 3-pointers, but he didn’t do much else, making him a tough player to bet on for success on Sunday. It will be important for fantasy managers to watch the news feed, as a late scratch or injury development could lead to an unexpected player having some added value. But for now, it doesn’t look great.

Sunday’s Stream Team

This segment nominates three key streaming options ahead of that day’s action. A streamer, by our standards, is a player available in at least half of ESPN men’s basketball leagues.

Trey Lyles, PF, Kings (1.2% rostered in ESPN leagues)

Lyles has quietly been cooking in February with averages of 14.0 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.8 steals and 3.2 3-pointers over his five games. He had 15 points, seven boards, a steal and three triples on Friday against the Nuggets and has hit eight 3-pointers over his last two games.

Caleb Martin, SG/SF, Heat (3.2%)

Jimmy Butler is questionable for Sunday’s contest against the Celtics due to personal reasons, meaning that Martin could be forced into heavy action this afternoon. Martin comes with no guarantees but is playing reasonably well with averages of 8.8 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.3 steals and 0.5 2-pointers in his four February games. But I’d only trust him if Butler’s out, or if you’re absolutely desperate to have a warm body in your lineup for a light Sunday.

Harrison Barnes, SF/PF, Kings (28.6%)

Barnes might make for a decent sleeper but has cooled off over his last two games, scoring just nine and eight points in them on 7-of-16 shooting. However, he was hot last week and is still averaging 14.4 points, 2.4 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 2.6 3-pointers on 51% shooting over his five February games.

Malik Monk, SG/SF, Kings (51.8)

Monk led the Kings with 23 points, one rebound, two assists, one steal, one block and three 3-pointers on 9-of-13 shooting off the bench against the Nuggets on Friday. Monk is hot again, racking up 21.8 points, 4.0 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.8 blocks and 2.0 3-pointers in his five February games. Maybe he can keep it going against the Thunder today.

Kevin Huerter, SG/SF, Kings (55.9%)

Huerter’s probably not still available in your league but if he is, his five-game February averages of 12.4 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 0.6 steals and 2.4 3-pointers might be useful. He’s also shooting it well, hitting 49% of his shots from the field, 41% of his 3-pointers and 86% of his free throws this month.

Projections and Injury Reports

Fantasy projections powered by ESPN Analytics.* Projections assume all players who are listed as GTD will play. Injury aggregation by Players available in at least 50% of ESPN leagues are listed in italics.

Boston Celtics at Miami Heat
2 p.m. ET Kaseya Center, Miami

BPI Projection: Celtics in the 2nd highest-scoring game of the slate.

Injury Report:
Celtics: Jaden Springer, (OUT – Ankle); Xavier Tillman, (OUT – Knee)
Heat: Jimmy Butler, (GTD – Personal); Dru Smith, (OUT – Knee)

Celtics projections:

  • Jayson Tatum, SF/PF: 46.2 FPTS (27.1 pts, 8.2 reb, 4.6 ast, 3.1 3PM)

  • Jaylen Brown, SG/SF: 37.5 FPTS (22.8 pts, 5.3 reb, 3.4 ast, 2.4 3PM)

  • Jrue Holiday, PG/SG: 29.2 FPTS (13.7 pts, 6.0 reb, 4.4 ast, 1.8 3PM)

  • Kristaps Porzingis, PF/C: 29.0 FPTS (17.5 pts, 6.2 reb, 1.9 ast, 1.8 blk)

  • Derrick White, PG/SG: 28.2 FPTS (13.6 pts, 4.4 reb, 4.5 ast, 2.1 3PM)

  • Al Horford, PF/C: 18.2 FPTS (6.5 pts, 5.7 reb, 1.8 ast)

  • Sam Hauser, SF: 15.6 FPTS (7.8 pts, 2.9 reb, 1.0 ast, 2.2 3PM)

Heat projections:

  • Jimmy Butler, SF/PF: 38.6 FPTS (21.7 pts, 5.9 reb, 4.2 ast)

  • Bam Adebayo, C: 38.4 FPTS (19.4 pts, 11.2 reb, 4.2 ast, 1.3 blk)

  • Terry Rozier, PG/SG: 37.4 FPTS (18.8 pts, 4.5 reb, 5.4 ast, 2.4 3PM)

  • Tyler Herro, PG/SG: 33.3 FPTS (18.3 pts, 4.8 reb, 4.2 ast, 3.0 3PM)

  • Jaime Jaquez Jr., SF: 21.5 FPTS (10.8 pts, 3.3 reb, 2.3 ast)

  • Caleb Martin, SG/SF: 20.9 FPTS (9.8 pts, 4.5 reb, 1.8 ast)

  • Josh Richardson, SG/SF: 16.6 FPTS (7.4 pts, 2.7 reb, 2.0 ast)

Sacramento Kings at Oklahoma City Thunder
3 p.m. ET Paycom Center, Oklahoma City

BPI Projection: Thunder in the highest-scoring game of the slate.

Injury Report:
Kings: Chris Duarte, (OUT – Ankle)
Thunder: Gordon Hayward, (OUT – Calf)

Kings projections:

  • De’Aaron Fox, PG: 48.9 FPTS (25.7 pts, 4.3 reb, 4.8 ast, 2.8 3PM)

  • Domantas Sabonis, PF/C: 47.6 FPTS (19.6 pts, 12.8 reb, 7.3 ast)

  • Kevin Huerter, SG/SF: 29.4 FPTS (14.2 pts, 4.8 reb, 2.3 ast, 2.4 3PM)

  • Keegan Murray, SF/PF: 26.7 FPTS (13.0 pts, 5.0 reb, 1.5 ast, 2.3 3PM)

  • Malik Monk, SG/SF: 25.3 FPTS (12.0 pts, 3.0 reb, 4.0 ast, 2.0 3PM)

  • Harrison Barnes, SF/PF: 22.5 FPTS (12.0 pts, 3.1 reb, 1.0 ast, 1.8 3PM)

  • Trey Lyles, PF: 17.5 FPTS (8.5 pts, 4.5 reb, 1.1 ast)

Thunder projections:

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