Scouting the NBA 10/25

Plays of the Day

 

Value: Domantas Sabonis is averaging 13 PPG and 9.5 RPG while shooting an unsustainable 72.4% from the floor over 4 appearances this year. He somehow managed to guard Karl-Anthony Towns for stretches last night and faces a slow-footed frontcourt this evening led by former teammate Steven Adams, so feel free to use the second-generation NBA player as a solid value.

Fade: LeBron James posted a monstrous line as the Cavs starting PG last night and is an appealing tournament option tonight, but the possibility of a blowout win over a weak Nets team could potentially limit his value and his minutes on the second half of a B2B set.

 

Point Guards

 

John Wall – (10,200 DK/10,200 FD)

On Monday, Wall shot 3-of-13 from the floor and 15-for-15 at the line with 12 assists to meet value in a third consecutive appearance to open the season even on an “off night.” Tonight he’ll be highly motivated to square off with Lonzo Ball, as everyone has been, and that’s part of the reason the Lakers are coughing up the most overall FPPG (247.75) this year. Wall averaged 33.5 PPG and 12.5 APG over two meetings with the Lakers last season and now that young team is leading the league in pace to provide even more DFS gold.  


Mike James – (4,400 DK/4,300 FD)

Starting for Eric Bledsoe (coaches’ decision) on Monday, James went for 18 points and 7 assists on 8-of-10 FG shooting over 27 minutes the effectively lead the Suns to their first win of the year. With Bledose unlikely to play at any point this season for the Suns due to his subversive behavior and Tyler Ulis struggling on both ends, the role of floor general is James’ to lose, and he’s been productive off the bench as well, averaging 22.7 points and 6.4 assists per 36 minutes this year. Utah’s defense remains staunch, but the addition of Ricky Rubio at least weakens their defense against opposing backcourts.
 

Potential Value

 

Dejounte Murray – (5,800 DK/5,900FD)

Murray is a great rebounding guard and that gives him a high floor in DFS contests.

Longshot

 

Reggie Jackson – (6,000 DK/6,900 FD)

Jackson is rolling to open the season and faces a Wolves team that’s on the second half of a B2B set after getting roasted by Pacers guards in the absence of Jimmy Butler (illness) last night.


Shooting Guards

Eric Gordon – (6,000DK/6,700FD)

With Chris Paul (knee) out, Gordon is beginning to share ball-handling duties with James Harden while continuing to pour in points as one of the best reserves in the league. He’s averaging 23.5 PPG and 3.3 APG while attempting 10 threes per game so far this season, as the Rockets coaching staff continues to encourage him to fire away from deep. EG shot 5-of-15 from three against the defensively sound Grizzlies and the Sixers have given up the seventh-most 3PT attempts per game (31.3) in the NBA this year while playing at the seventh-fastest pace. On pace for a career-high 32.8% usage rate, Gordon is a mid-tier alternative to James Harden as a way to get exposure to this offense and could see more playing time with Trevor Ariza (foot) ruled out.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – (4,700DK/5,500FD)

Making his Lakers debut on Sunday, Caldwell-Pope logged 31 minutes and produced 20 points on efficient 7-of-11 FG shooting. While he doesn’t carry tons of upside due to a lack of peripheral stats, KCP is relatively cheap on both main DFS sites and draws a good individual matchup against mediocre defender Bradley Beal. As a member of the Pistons last year he dropped 29 points on 45.8% FG shooting over two meetings with the Wizards and now he’s playing on a fast-paced team with Lonzo Ball looking to hit him for open jumpers constantly.

 

Potential Value

 

Jerryd Bayless – (4,000 DK/4,100 FD)

Bayless played 32 minutes on Monday and even though he fell just short of value, he’s a secure cash game option to consider while Markelle Fultz (shoulder) gets healthy.

 

Longshot

Will Barton – (5,600 DK/5,800 FD)

Barton has started the season on a high note and faces a Hornets team that will be without top defender Nic Batum (elbow) and potentially without Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (personal) as well.

 

Small Forwards

Ben Simmons – (8,800 DK/8,800 FD)

The Sixers impressive rookie has turned into a very reliable cash game play and has already flashed good upside with a triple double in his fourth NBA game. Simmons is posting a 24.6% defensive rebounding rate and a 35.5% assistrate while completing controlling the action for a Sixers team that’s ranked 7th in pace this season and the absence of Trevor Ariza (foot) takes away a key lengthy defender that might’ve slowed him down. The Rockets also play at a blinding pace and are giving up the fifth-most APG (22) in the league thus far.

Otto Porter – (5,900 DK/7,500 FD)

Neither of these players are available as SFs on FanDuel, where LeBron James stands out as a high-upside play and Porter’s teammate Kelly Oubre Jr. looks like a great value once again. But on DK, Porter’s a great option in any format, as he’s making the leap in his fifth NBA season with averages of 18.3 PPG, 9 RPG and a league-best 3.7 steals per game through 3 appearances. He draws a fantastic matchup against a Lakers team that’s given up the most FPPG (43.53) to opposing SFs over the last two seasons. Porter’s 23.7% defensive rebounding rate bodes well for his prospects in a matchup against the fastest-paced team in the NBA and the Lakers are getting burned on the offensive glass as well while giving up the third-most PPG (119) in the league.

 

Potential Value

 

Kelly Oubre Jr. – (4,200 DK/5,400 FD)

Oubre continues to start with Markieff Morris (abdomen) out and logged a whopping 38 minutes in a win at a Denver on Monday.

Longshot

 

Nemanja Bjelica – (3,100 DK/3,000 FD)

Bjelica came out of nowhere to drop 18 points over 25 minutes with Jimmy Butler out last night and could see extensive run once again tonight.

 

Power Forwards

LaMarcus Aldridge – (8,400 DK/8,900 FD)

With Hassan Whiteside (knee) ruled out ahead of this contest, there’s no one to stop Aldridge from continuing his dominant run. There’s no question as to who is the main man in a Spurs uniform as Kawhi Leonard recovers and Aldridge is clearly feeling himself after getting a pep talk from coach Pop over the offseason. The former all-star is averaging 24.3 PPG, 9.3 APG, 3.3 APG and 1.7 BPG over 3 appearances this year and he should bully Kelly Olynyk or take young Jordan Mickey to school tonight depending on who tries to guard him.

Domantas Sabonis – (5,000 DK/4,800 FD)

Even if Myles Turner (concussion) is able to return for the Pacers tonight, Sabonis will have value as the first big off the bench for Indiana. Clearly a good piece of the return on a Paul George trade, the second-year lanky lefty is averaging 13 PPG and 9.5 RPG while shooting an unsustainable 72.4% from the floor over 4 appearances this year. He somehow managed to guard Karl-Anthony Towns for stretches last night and faces a slow-footed frontcourt this evening led by former teammate Steven Adams, so feel free to use the second-generation NBA player as a solid value.


Potential Value

Kyle Kuzma – (4,700 DK/5,100 FD)

Kuzma continues to force his way into the Lakers rotation and matches up well tonight against the Wizards lengthy combo of Kelly Oubre and Otto Porter.

Longshot

James Johnson – (6,100 DK/6,500 FD)

Johnson has been the primary beneficiary along with Kelly Olynyk in the absence of starting center Hassan Whiteside.  

 

Center

 

Marc Gasol – (7,800 DK/8,800 FD)

Gasol is rolling so far this year with averages of 24.7 PPG, 10 RPG, 2.7 APG and 2.3 BPG with a career-high 32.3% usage rate through 3 games and he should pick the Mavericks apart if they continue to start Dirk Nowitzki at center. Dallas has been a poor rebounding team for several years and currently ranks dead last in the NBA in every rebounding category along with opponent’s 2PT FG shooting (.572%), so Gasol should get plenty of easy looks and a blowout seems less likely to sap his value since the Grizz are on the road tonight.

Jakob Poeltl – (4,500 DK/4,900 FD)

It’s always risky using an unproven center against the Warriors, who can run teams off the floor and force them to go small, but the Dubs are actually giving up the most FPPG (80.11) to the position this year. Jonas Valanciunas (ankle) has been ruled out and even if Lucas Nogueira (ankle) suits up tonight, Poeltl will be the superior option after he outplayed “Bebe” on his way to 10 points, 12 rebounds and 3 blocks over 26 minutes against the Spurs on Monday.

Potential Value

Tyson Chandler – (4,000 DK/4,300 FD)

Chandler seems to have a more consistent role under new Suns interim coach Jay Triano, who says he wants to run “more traditional lineups” and will need TC to deal with Rudy Gobert tonight.

 

Longshot

Dwight Howard – (7,100 DK/7,900 FD)

Howard’s been an absolute beast on the boards this year and if he just hit a few FTs last night, he would’ve really paid off with a big double double.

About Nate Weitzer 114 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.