Scouting the NBA 11/24/17

 

Plays of the Day

 

Value: Jeremy Lamb has a chance to play starters’ minutes once again if Nic Batum (elbow) can’t suit up tonight. You can’t beat his matchup against a Cavs team that still ranks dead last in defensive rating and coughs up the third-most PPG (110.7) in the NBA this year. Cleveland gives up the second-most 3PTM (12.4) per game this season and Lamb is shooting a career-best (by far) 40.9 percent from deep this year.

 

Fade: Kevin Durant and the Warriors are justifiably double-digit points at home against a young Bulls team that just lost by double figures to a shorthanded Utah team and really stands no chance against the champs. All of Golden State’s starters could get some rest in the fourth quarter, while bench players on both sides are worth a look in GPP formats.

 

Point Guards

Russell Westbrook – (10,600 DK/10,600 FD)

Roll with Westbrook again after he exceeded value in his second consecutive outing, especially at his relatively modest price tag on DK. The reigning MVP might’ve received some whispers within the organization to take on a larger scoring load, as he’s averaging 23.5 PPG over six appearances to break the Thunder out of a 4-game losing streak. He was dynamic against the Warriors on Wednesday and faces another contender in the Pistons, a team that’s weak defensively at PG with Reggie Jackson and the diminutive Ish Smith sharing reps.

 

Rajon Rondo – (4,900 DK/5,500 FD)

His playing time continues to increase, which is allowing Rondo to serve as a solid cash play in the mid-tier range. He’s always been a productive per-minute player so it’s not surprising that he’s averaging 10.8 points along with 10.4 assists per 36 minutes while playing alongside Anthony Davis and Boogie Cousins this season. He has a chance to flash his upside against a Suns team that gives up the most FPPG (52.86) and the seventh-most APG (9.16) to opposing PGs along with the most total RPG (47.3) while playing at the second-fastest pace in the NBA.

 

 

Potential Value

Tyler Johnson – (4,000 DK/4,400 FD)

Johnson comes with some risk but is a bigtime source of salary relief right now.

 

Longshot

Kemba Walker – (8,200 DK/8,200 FD)

Walker will look to keep his Hornets in the game tonight against a shoddy Cavs defense.

 

 

Shooting Guards

Tim Hardaway Jr. – (6,600 DK/6,600 FD)

Playing Hardaway Jr. isn’t necessarily chasing points after his career-high output on Wednesday, because he’s been consistently great for the Knicks over the past couple of weeks. Tonight he’ll have some extra motivation to face his former teammates in Atlanta and he’ll have plenty of opportunities to stay hot since the Hawks allow a league-high 32.6 three-point attempts per game this season. It’s no coincidence that Atlanta coughs up the most FPPG (44.98) to opposing SGs as a result of that inability to close out on shooters.

 

Jeremy Lamb – (5,100 DK/6,600 FD)

With Nic Batum (elbow) questionable, Lamb has a chance to play starters’ minutes once again and his role is probably secure even if Batum manages to suit up tonight. You can’t beat his matchup against a Cavs team that still ranks dead last in defensive rating and coughs up the third-most PPG (110.7) in the NBA this year. Cleveland gives up the second-most 3PTM (12.4) per game this season and Lamb is shooting a career-best (by far) 40.9 percent from deep this year.

 

 

Potential Value

Tyreke Evans – (6,900 DK/7,300 FD)

Evans isn’t particularly cheap, but is a very solid cash game play given his role with Mike Conley (Achilles) out.

 

Longshot

Dion Waiters – (5,600 DK/5,500 FD)

Waiters got his swagger back in a win over the Celtics and could keep rolling against a fast-paced Wolves team.

 

Small Forwards

LeBron James – (11,200 DK/11,900 FD)

LeBron’s simply dominated Charlotte since Michael Jordan took over that franchise. He went for 31 points and 8 assists in a win over the Hornets earlier this season, consistent with his averages of 31.8 PPG and 9.5 APG over four meetings with Charlotte last year. The Hornets got Nic Batum (elbow) back briefly before their best wing defender re-aggravated that injury, so they’re vulnerable at that position and were already giving up the fourth-most RPG (9.25) and fifth-most APG (3.56) to opposing SFs this season.

 

T.J. Warren – (6,600 DK/7,600 FD)

DraftKings simply refuses to change Warren’s price tag despite his sustained production and he’s an easy choice to deploy on that DFS site in any format with a solid floor-ceiling combination. He’s primed for more success tonight against a Pelicans team that gives up the third-most FPPG (45.02) to opposing SFs on the year. New Orleans allows the fourth-most PPG (109.2) overall while playing at the seventh-fastest pace in the NBA and Warren averages 19.8 PPG on 50.5 percent shooting at home this season.


 

Potential Value

Omri Casspi – (3,600 DK/3,300 FD)

The Warriors should absolutely roll the Bulls at home tonight and that puts their bench players in play as potential garbage time stars.

 

Longshot

Jayson Tatum – (5,700 DK/5,800 FD)

Tatum and Jaylen Brown continue to carry the young Celtics and the former is far cheaper on both main DFS sites ahead of another plus matchup against the Magic.


Power Forwards

Kristaps Porzingis – (8,900 DK/9,300 FD)

The Unicorn is reasonably priced on the road despite drawing a juicy matchup against a Hawks team that ranks 27th in defensive rating and 23rd in total rebounding this year. Atlanta also coughs up the sixth-most FPPG (50.88) to opposing PFs this season and Porzingis will likely match up against rookie John Collins or Ersan Ilyasova (knee), who still isn’t fully healthy. Give him a chance to flash that crazy upside in a potentially DFS friendly game.

 

John Collins – (4,800 DK/5,700 FD)

Fresh off his fifth consecutive game scoring double-digit points, Collins is bound to earn more playing time for a rebuilding Hawks team that should be giving their young players a long look this season. The rookie out of Wake Forest is averaging 11.7 PPG on 61.8 percent FG shooting at home this season. He’s producing 18.4 points, 11.7 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per 36 minutes and could start once again if Luke Babbitt (back) remains sidelined against the Knicks tonight.

 

 

Potential Value

 

Juancho Hernangomez – (3,600 DK/3,600 FD)

Hernangomez is a low-upside value to consider for as long as Paul Millsap (wrist) remains out.

 

Longshot

 

Kenneth Faried – (3,800 DK/4,400 FD)

Faried could actually see a decent amount of run in a matchup against Memphis, especially if Nikola Jokic (ankle) sits.

 

Centers

 

 

Dwight Howard – (7,000 DK/7,600 FD)

Howard’s been a beast lately with averages of 22.3 PPG and 16.3 RPG over his last three appearances, despite drawing tough matchups against the Clippers, Wolves and Wizards. Now he’ll face a Cavs team that’s starting natural PF Kevin Love at center with Tristan Thompson (calf) injured and is struggling on the interior, allowing the third-highest FG percentage (.474%) to the opposition this year. Howard averaged a solid 13.7 PPG and 10.7 RPG over three meetings with Cleveland last season and this year’s version of the Cavs coughs up the eighth-most PPG (23.18) to opposing centers.

 

Mason Plumlee – (3,600 DK/4,400 FD)

Nikola Jokic tweaked his ankle on Wednesday and that could keep him out of tonight’s tilt or at least limit him. Plumlee would become a very popular play if The Joker can’t go, but is worth a look regardless as a cheap tournament option considering he’s played 72 minutes with 24 points, 19 rebounds and 5 blocks over his last three appearances and is well above average for a backup center. Basketball players can play through an ankle issue the night it happens, but it becomes much more difficult to suit up after the injury swells.

 

 

Potential Value

 

Greg Monroe – (4,700 DK/4,100 FD)

Monroe exceeded value by a wide margin in his last appearance and his production might dip against the Pelicans, but he’s still a good value.

 

Longshot

 

Marc Gasol – (7,900 DK/8,500 FD)

Roll with Gasol after he disappointed owners in his last outing, as he could thrive with Jokic questionable. 

 

About Nate Weitzer 116 Articles
Nate Weitzer is a successful DFS player with numerous tournament wins in NBA and NFL contests. He’s been writing about DFS for several years, specializing in NBA advice while continuing to build his bankroll on several sites. He is also a season-long king and has won several leagues over the years.Weitzer is a sports journalist with a Masters from Boston University’s College of Communication. When he’s not playing DFS, Weitzer is often covering high school sports in the greater Boston area for outlets such as The Boston Globe or playing basketball himself. Follow Nate on Twitter @Nweitzer7.