Scouting the NBA – 10/31/17

 

Plays of the Day

 

Value: John Henson should see a significant uptick in playing time with Greg Monroe (calf) ruled out tonight. The former Tar Heel went for 12 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 blocks over 28 minutes of run in Atlanta on Sunday and now fickle HC Jason Kidd may be forced to ride with the young lefty in a matchup against Steven Adams and the big Thunder frontcourt.

Fade: Giannis Antetokounmpo is clearly a great option and an MVP candidate, but at over $12.5k, he doesn’t carry the necessary upside to justify destroying the rest of your lineups. At least on a short slate, it makes sense to take a more balanced approach.

 

Point Guards

Russell Westbrook – (11,200 DK/11,100 FD)

With a league-high 57.4% assist rate, Westbrook is a much better candidate to triple double than the extremely pricey Giannis Antetokounmpo, which makes him the best per-dollar option tonight. He managed that statistical achievement over just 28 minutes of run in a blowout win at Chicago his last time out and has established a floor of 50 FPs or so even when he doesn’t shoot well. He should also hustle for some defensive stats against a Bucks team that’s giving up the second-most SPG (3) and an above average 46.98 FPPG to opposing PGs this season.

Darren Collison – (6,000 DK/6,500 FD)

The Pacers are playing with surprising pace and involving Collison as the maestro for that offense. His role is even more secure because of the injury to Myles Turner (concussion), who is ruled out tonight in addition to Domantas Sabonis (illness) being listed as questionable. That might force Indy to go small against a Kings team that disrespected Collison on his way out the door and will likely heighten his motivation ahead of tonight’s tilt.

Potential Value

Tyler Ulis – (4,000 DK/4,700 FD)

Ulis is in a time share with starting PG Mike James but is starting to earn a larger role and draws a fantastic matchup tonight against the Nets.

Longshot

 

Spencer Dinwiddie – (4,900 DK/5,300 FD)

Dinwiddie also gets a plus draw against the fast-paced Suns and he should see increased usage with D’Angelo Russell (knee) seemingly limited.


Shooting Guards

Devin Booker – (7,900 DK/7,200 FD)

He’s coming off a 50-FP performance against a staunch Blazers defense and will now face a Nets team that ranks second in pace and gives up the most PPG (118.3) in the league thus far. This is clearly a game to target with a 230-point Over/Under and Booker’s been the man for the Suns with Eric Bledsoe banished to the end of the bench, posting a 28.2% usage rate along with a career-best (by far) 16.5% defensive rebounding rate and a .539% true shooting percentage.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – (4,800 DK/5,000 FD)

Revenge is in the air this Halloween and KCP will look to burn his former team as the Pistons visit Staples Center. He was holding that backcourt defense together while logging around 35 MPG last year and will now get to face off with former practice-mate Stanley Johnson, who lacks experience and could get caught gambling on help defense to leave KCP open from long range. He’s been a reliable veteran presence for the Lakers and could see a slight uptick in playing time if Kyle Kuzma (hip) is unable to go tonight.

 

Potential Value

 

Avery Bradley – (5,700 DK/5,700 FD)

Bradley is a similar option to KCP but his playing time is a bit more secure as part of a shorter Pistons rotation.

 

Longshot

 

Allen Crabbe – (4,100 DK/4,500 FD)

Crabbe will have to shoot well to exceed value tonight, but he’s a classic streaky shooter who could blow up in a plus spot against the Suns.

 

Small Forwards

 

Khris Middleton – (6,900 DK/7,300 FD)

Obviously you’d like to pay up for Giannis in what could be an exciting matchup against the Thunder, but his price tag makes it extremely difficult on a short slate. You could instead get exposure to the Bucks offense by using Middleton, who happens to be coming off a season-high 27-point gem with 9 assists and 7 rebounds to burn the Hawks in Atlanta. He’s finding his stroke from downtown and that was the strongest part of his offensive game before his knee injury, so he’ll have a chance to continue to exceed value if he hits those shots when the defense collapse on Antetokounmpo. 

Stanley Johnson – (4,300 DK/4,500 FD)

He’s getting heavy run and the return of Reggie Bullock has done little to affect Johnson’s playing time. The Arizona product has produced useful fantasy lines in 3 consecutive appearances and he’s finding his outside shot as well, as he knocked down 3-of-5 three-point attempts while logging 41 minutes in a win at Golden State on Sunday. The Lakers perimeter defense is quite shoddy and athletes like Johnson have a great chance to pile up peripheral stats against a turnover-prone team that pushes the pace.


 

Potential Value

 

Bogdan Bogdanovic – (4,300 DK/4,500 FD)

Funny name aside, Bogdan is better than older brother Bojan and is coming on strong for the Kings.

 

Longshot

 

T.J. Warren – (5,200 DK/5,100 FD)

Warren is extremely inconsistent, but you can’t beat his matchup against the defenseless Nets.


Power Forwards

 

Carmelo Anthony – (7,100 DK/7,400 FD)

While Paul George is struggling to adjust to a degree while playing alongside Westbrook, Melo is thriving with less playmaking responsibilities. He’s shooting 47% from the floor and 55% from inside the arc, which would be the best mark of his career. His three-point percentage should regress towards the mean and he’s established a great floor despite struggling a bit from downtown. Milwaukee is allowing opposing teams to shoot 38.6% from deep (24th in the NBA) and Melo posted stellar averages of 24 PPG, 7.0 RPG and 6.7 APG over 3 meetings with the Bucks last year.

John Henson – (4,100 DK/4,800 FD)

A great way to get some salary relief on a short slate, Henson should see a significant uptick in playing time with Greg Monroe (calf) ruled out tonight. The former Tar Heel went for 12 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 blocks over 28 minutes of run in Atlanta on Sunday and now fickle HC Jason Kidd may be forced to ride with the young lefty in a matchup against Steven Adams and the big Thunder frontcourt.


 

Potential Value

 

Skal Labissiere – (4,600 DK/4,900 FD)

The second-year big man is coming on strong to threaten Willie Cauley-Stein as the Kings big man and he’ll have a size advantage over the shorthanded Pacers tonight.

 

Longshot

 

Thaddeus Young – (5,200 DK/5,800 FD)

Young should be asked to do a lot more with Turner and Sabonis potentially both out, but he’s yet to flash much upside this season.

 

Center

Andre Drummond – (8,200 DK/9,200 FD)

Boogie’s been spectacular to open the season and doesn’t come with a huge injury risk like his superstar teammate, Anthony Davis. His individual matchup is also much better against mediocre defender Nikola Vucevic, whom Cousins torched for 33 points on 12-of-20 FG shooting (60%) in their sole meeting last year. Playing alongside another superstar has tapered his usage to an extent, but also seems to be preserving Boogie for other aspects of the game, as he’s on pace for career-best averages of 2.3 blocks and 13.8 rebounds per game.

Tyson Chandler – (4,100 DK/4,600 FD)

Chandler is never a truly exciting option but he’s a very solid cash game play now that Suns interim HC Jay Triano is in charge and committed to giving the veteran steady run. He’s played 78 minutes over three games with Triano at the helm and snagged 29 rebounds during that span to routinely meet value. Tonight the Suns face the fastest-paced team in the league in Brooklyn and the Nets have no legitimate center to speak of who might challenge Chandler on the boards in this track meet.

 

Potential Value

Al Jefferson – (3,600 DK/4,400 FD)

If Domantas Sabonis is ruled out, veteran Big Al might actually exceed 20 minutes of playing time and therefore exceed value in a plus matchup.

Longshot

 

Willie Cauley-Stein – (5,400 DK/5,300 FD)

Cauley-Stein has been relatively quiet lately but could have a big game down low if the Pacers are truly shorthanded.

 

 

About Nate Weitzer 128 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.