Scouting the NBA 10/27

Plays of the Day

Value: Kent Bazemore leads the Hawks with a 30.9% usage rate and he’s averaging 1.03 FPs per minute with Dennis Schorder (ankle) off the floor this year. He turned in another full line (16 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, steals) over 32 minutes in Chicago last night and is certainly young enough to log big minutes on the second half of a B2B set.

Fade: James Harden isn’t flashing the same type of floor-ceiling combination we saw from the MVP candidate last year, but his price tag remains just about as high. Up next is a road trip to Charlotte, where the Hornets rank third in defensive rating and could throw several wing defenders at Harden to slow him down.

 

Point Guards

Russell Westbrook – (11,400 DK/11,500 FD)

The most athletic PG in basketball continues to fill the stat sheet despite the addition of capable new teammates, as Westy dropped another triple double on Monday. He’s only failed to meet value once in a brutal matchup at Utah and tonight he’ll face a Wolves team that’s ranked dead last in defensive rating while allowing the second-most FPPG (56.61) and APG (11.6) to opposing PGs this season. The potential absence of elite defender Jimmy Butler (illness) would considerably upgrade his matchup as well.


Dejounte Murray – (5,300 DK/5,500 FD)

Murray went scoreless on 0-for-3 FG shooting in Miami, but that might’ve been more of a function of forcing the ball to LaMarcus Aldridge in an obvious mismatch against the shorthanded Heat frontcourt. Murray’s role is still secure with Tony Parker (thigh) on the shelf and he’s seeing a 21.1% usage rate with Kawhi Leonard off the floor this season. Orlando’s giving up the most PPG (30) and RPG (7.5) to opposing PGs this year and becomes markedly more vulnerable with the diminutive D.J. Augustin standing in for injured Elfrid Payton (hamstring), so Murray could bounce back as a solid mid-tier play on either main DFS site.
 

Potential Value

 

Malcolm Delaney – (4,600 DK/4,000 FD)

Delaney should continue to start with Dennis Schroder out, although he doesn’t have much upside.

 

Longshot

 

Spencer Dinwiddie – (5,200 DK/5,000 FD)

Another replacement PG, Dinwiddie should start with D’Angelo Russell (knee) listed as doubtful tonight.


Shooting Guards

DeMar DeRozan – (8,100 DK/8,400 FD)

Since he opened the season with an off night, DeRozan’s scored 82 points on 27-of-50 FG shooting (54%) despite playing on the road against the elite Spurs and Warriors. Now he’ll match up against a young Lakers team that’s leading the league in pace and giving up the fourth-most PPG (114) in the NBA, while allowing the most FPPG (48.83) to opposing SGs this season. DeRozan’s usage is slightly down but his assist rate (22.4%) is at a career-high and he’s on pace for his most efficient season with a .607% true shooting percentage thus far.

Marco Belinelli – (4,400 DK/4,500 FD)

Belinelli is effectively the top option with Dennis Schroder (ankle) on the shelf and few other playmakers available for the rebuilding Hawks. He’s averaging 1 FP per minute and seeing a 3.8% increase in usage rate (to 28.6%) with Schroder off the floor this year. Last night, Belinelli paced the Hawks with 23 points on 8-of-16 FG shooting in a loss at Chicago and he’s now dropped 53 points while playing 89 minutes over his last 3 appearances despite reportedly battling a sore Achilles. Denver is in the bottom 10 in 3PT defense this year and ranked 28th in opponents 3PT shooting (.375%) last year, so a clutch shooter in Bello should keep this thing close down the stretch at home.

 

Potential Value

 

Danny Green – (5,400 DK/5,500 FD)

Green’s been incredibly efficient so far this season and he’s playing heavy minutes with Kawhi Leonard out.

 

Longshot

 

Bradley Beal – (7,500 DK/7,800 FD)

Beal is rolling to open the season, but draws a tough individual matchup against elite defender Klay Thompson and a blowout loss is always a risk at Oracle Arena.

 

Small Forwards

 

Kent Bazemore – (5,400 DK/5,500 FD)

While Belinelli has stepped up with Schroder out as well, Bazemore leads the team with a 30.9% usage rate and he’s averaging 1.03 FPs per minute with the Hawks PG off the floor this year. He turned in another full line (16 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, steals) over 32 minutes in Chicago last night and is certainly young enough to log big minutes on the second half of a B2B set. Denver’s given up the tenth-most FPPG (40.7) to opposing SFs over the last two seasons and much of that has come for peripheral stats, which is how Bazemore often produces.


Rudy Gay – (5,000 DK/5,500 FD)

Gay had his best game to date with the Spurs, as he dropped 22 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals in a blowout win at Miami on Wednesday. He’s slowly warming up within the framework of San Antonio’s system and Orlando’s been a very favorable matchup with the fourth-fastest pace in the NBA so far this season. The Magic allows 112.2 PPG to the opposition, and Aldridge’s hot start combined with Kawhi Leonard’s absence could naturally lead to more open shots for Gay.


Potential Value

 

Caris LeVert – (5,400 DK/5,800 FD)

LeVert could wind up serving as the Nets top scoring option if D’Angelo Russell is out tonight.

Longshot

 

Evan Fournier – (6,100 DK/7,500 FD)

Fournier has been on fire to open the year and a matchup against the Spurs is much less daunting with Kawhi in street clothes.


Power Forwards

Kristaps Porzingis – (8,500 DK/8,900 FD)

Porzingis can be expected to bounce back tonight after playing limited minutes in a blowout loss at Boston on Tuesday. The Knicks and Nets are easily two of the worst teams in the NBA and Brooklyn (+1) is actually a slight underdog with their best scorer, D’Angelo Russell, doubtful to suit up. The Nets are giving up the second-most FPPG (58.55) and most PPG (29.4) to opposing PFs this season, and The Zinger dominated his crosstown rival with 19 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists and 5 blocks in his last meeting with Brooklyn. 

Aaron Gordon – (6,800 DK/8,500 FD)

Gordon’s turned into a big problem for opposing defenses now that he’s developed a very consistent outside shot and he’s still quite cheap on DK despite his breakout performance on Monday night. While it came against the Nets, AG absolutely dominated in his return from a two-game absence with 41 points on 14-of-18 FG shooting (5-of-5 from downtown). LaMarcus Aldridge is a solid post defender, but not exactly quick enough to guard AG on the perimeter and he has a lot on his plate offensively with Kawhi still out.
 

Potential Value

Julius Randle – (4,900 DK/4,600 FD)

Randle woke up in the second half of a surprising win over the Wizards Tuesday night and he could continue to carve out a bigger role with a good showing tonight.

 

Longshot

LaMarcus Aldridge – (8,400 DK/9,000 FD)

Aldridge isn’t a true longshot, just a possible fade against a solid Magic defense given the Spurs share-the-wealth mentality on offense and his rising price tag.

Center

Dwight Howard – (7,100 DK/7,900 FD)

Howard will be out for revenge tonight against the Rockets and former teammate James Harden, who simply did not get along with D12 when he was in Houston. He’s on pace for a career-best 17.8 RPG and will be forced into heavy minutes while Cody Zeller (knee) is on the shelf. Howard seriously ramped up his production with averages of 22 PPG and 19 RPG over 2 meetings with Houston last year and will try to take it to young Clint Capela once again.

Jakob Poeltl – (5,300 DK/5,400 FD)

As long as Jonas Valanciunas (ankle) remains inactive tonight, Poeltl will be worth his mid-tier price tag. Toronto clearly has high hopes for the young man they took ninth overall in last year’s draft and Poeltl has rewarded them thus far with averages of 15.7 points, 14.9 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per 36 minutes in his second season. He should continue to play ahead of Lucas Nogueira (ankle), who missed Wednesday’s tilt and should board up against a Lakers team that’s coughing up the second-most RPG (20.5) to opposing centers while playing at a blinding pace.

 

Potential Value

Marcin Gortat – (5,600 DK/6,000 FD)

Gortat comes with plenty of risk against the small-ball Warriors, but he could also pile up boards in a fast-paced affair.

Longshot

Enes Kanter – (5,900 DK/6,000 FD)

Kanter dominated the under sized Celtics on the glass and could produce another big double double against the lowly Nets.

About Nate Weitzer 97 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.