Plays of the Day
Value: Trevor Booker went for 20 points and 10 boards over just 27 minutes off the bench in a shootout at Indiana on Wednesday and draws another plus matchup tonight against a Magic team that’s given up the eighth-most FPPG (47.6) to opposing PFs over the last two seasons.
Fade: Karl-Anthony Towns and Jimmy Butler both struggled for the new-look Wolves on Wednesday and they won’t find the sledding much easier tonight against Utah’s reigning top-ranked defense. Towns will face off with Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert and might not be worth his lofty price tag.
Elfrid Payton – (7,300 DK/7,500 FD) – Tonight and likely for the rest of the season, you’re going to want to target the Nets defense relentlessly. Brooklyn led the league in pace while ranking 29th in defensive rating last year and is off to a similar start after coughing up 140 points to the Pacers on Wednesday. A whopping eight different players scored in double figures for Indy and if the Magic duplicate that spread production, Payton will almost certainly flirt with double digit assists and perhaps rebounds as well.
Dennis Smith Jr. – (6,600 DK/6,500 FD) – FanDuel quickly adjusted the rookie’s price tag after starting Smith as a true value play and watching him post the first point-assist double double in a rookie debut since Jason Kidd. He’s being forced into a starring role for a Mavericks team that struggled to find offense last year and is without Seth Curry (leg) for the first couple weeks of this season and Smith Jr. should keep rolling tonight against a Kings team that ranked 25th in defensive rating last season.
Terry Rozier – (4,200 DK/4,600FD) – Rozier is one of the best per-minute players on the Celtics through two games and a candidate to see heavy run against the guard-heavy Sixers tonight.
Dennis Schroder – (7,600 DK/8,100 FD) – Schroder attempted 26 shots from the field in his first game of the year and appears to be the Hawks primary offensive weapon.
Devin Booker – (7,000DK/6,700FD) – A pure scorer with little upside in terms of peripheral stats, Booker should still be able to get enough buckets to meet or exceed value in this matchup. He mildly productive during the worst loss in Phoenix franchise history two nights ago, managing 12 points over 27 minutes and averaged 22.8 points per 36 minutes last year, which is closer to what his playing time should be with the Suns (-3) favored at home and the Lakers on the second half of a B2B set. Booker averaged 25 PPG on 46.9% FG shooting over 4 meetings with the Lakers last year and faces an inexperienced backcourt led by an apparently hobbled Lonzo Ball.
Jaylen Brown – (5,500DK/6,200FD) – Brown still exceeded value with 18 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists despite fouling out over 28 minutes in a tough matchup against the lengthy Bucks on Wednesday. Now he gets the vulnerable Sixers defense and an opportunity to play a full slate of minutes while piling up peripheral stats against a team that turned it over the most times per game (16.7) in the NBA last year. The Celtics rotation isn’t very deep with Gordon Hayward (ankle) done for the season and Marcus Morris (knee) still out, so JB could be looking at closer to 40 minutes this evening.
Buddy Hield – (5,200 DK/5,000 FD) – Hield is likely to see heavy usage for a Kings team that’s definitely rebuilding around him and young big man Willie Cauley-Stein.
Terrence Ross – (4,300 DK/5,100 FD) – Ross is a good fit in Orlando’s system and he faces a Nets team that’s been providing DFS gold for the past couple of seasons.
LeBron James – (10,500 DK/10,900 FD) – Despite their impressive season openers, I’ll take LeBron over Giannis Antetokounmpo in this matchup since he’s more of a legitimate triple-double threat with consistent assist numbers. Now that Kyrie Irving is out of the picture, LeBron is on a mission and back to playing like a true point forward and he . He averaged 27.3 PPG on 52% FG shooting over 4 meetings with the Bucks last year and should do his part to slow down Giannis defensively.
Allen Crabbe – (4,800 DK/4,600 FD) – Jeremy Lin’s unfortunate season-ending injury opens up more minutes for Crabbe, who impressed with 12 points and decent peripheral stats over 26 minutes off the bench on Wednesday. He could start at SG now with D’Angelo Russell sliding over to the point and be free to fire against an Orlando team that ranked 24th in opponents’ 3PT shooting (.367%) last year. Brooklyn’s ridiculous pace of play gives this contest the highest Over/Under (225.5) on the slate and makes it well worth targeting.
Jayson Tatum – (5,800 DK/6,500 FD) – Tatum is no longer a true value, but he remains a good bet for a double double and matches up well against the young Sixers frontcourt.
Tobias Harris – (5,900 DK/6,800 FD) – Harris was fantastic in his season debut and could vastly outperform the cost of his price tag once again.
Anthony Davis – (10,600 DK/10,900 FD) – Draymond Green (knee) is doubtful to suit up this Friday, leaving rookie Jordan Bell to start and he’s not remotely capable of containing Anthony Davis defensively. The Brow went for 33 points and 18 rebounds over 40 minutes in a tough matchup at Memphis on Wednesday and was battling an illness to boot. He averaged 35.3 PPG on 60% FG shooting over 4 meetings with Draymond and the Warriors last year, and this contest has a 220-point Over/Under in New Orleans.
Trevor Booker – (4,700 DK/5,400 FD) – The Nets have very options in the frontcourt and would be wise to give Booker more run as an excellent rebounder. The lefty PF went for 20 points and 10 boards over just 27 minutes off the bench in a shootout at Indiana on Wednesday and draws another plus matchup tonight against a Magic team that’s given up the eighth-most FPPG (47.6) to opposing PFs over the last two seasons. He’s averaged a double double per 36 minutes in each of his last two campaigns and Booker finally has a clear path to minutes with Timofey Mozgov hardly playing as the teams’ starting center.
Kyle Kuzma – (4,900 DK/4,800 FD) – The Lakers continue to experiment with a bunch of new pieces and Kuzma could get more run than the 18 minutes he played to meet value in his NBA debut last night.
Ben Simmons – (7,500 DK/7,700 FD) – Another extremely promising rookie, Simmons is a great tournament play at PG/SF on DK and has a solid floor on FD given his well-rounded output in his season debut.
Nikola Vucevic – (7,600 DK/8,400 FD) – Despite getting owned by Hassan Whiteside on the boards, Vucevic finished with 19 points, 13 rebounds and 4 defensive stats to exceed value in his season debut and now he faces a Nets team that coughed up the second-most FPPG (52.85) to opposing centers last year. Brooklyn is forced into playing natural PF Trevor Booker at the 5 at times and Vucevic should be able to shoot right over him, while he makes for a great stacking partner with Elfrid Payton as PnR buddies on the court.
Dwight Howard – (6,700 DK/7,400 FD) – Howard is a relative value on DK given his potential to post a double double and he’s worth a look in tournaments on both main DFS sites tonight against his former team. The Hawks are going to run a rotation at center featuring inexperienced Bucknell product Mike Muscala and veteran Dewayne Dedmon, neither of whom stand to match athleticism with Howard even at this stage in his career. He was sixth in the NBA in double doubles last year and the Hawks are clearly going to be a less efficient rebounding team without him.
Tyson Chandler – (4,000 DK/3,800 FD) – He was horrible along with the rest of the Suns on Wednesday but gets a great chance to bounce back against a tired Lakers squad, especially if Alex Len (ankle) remains out.
Jusuf Nurkic – (7,000 DK/7,900 FD) – Nurkic couldn’t meet value on Wednesday night because the Blazers won so easily, but he should be needed in a fast-paced matchup against the Pacers and could benefit if Indy center Myles Turner (neck) is inactive.