As a Scout Premium member, you get exclusive access to our brand new NBA DFS projections on DraftKings and FanDuel! Click here to check it out!
Plays of the Day
Value: Tyson Chandler remains relatively cheap because of his lack of scoring, but he’s meeting or exceeding value with the second-best Defensive Rebounding Rate (40.2%) in the NBA this season. Portland gives up the second-most RPG (18.43) and third-most FPPG (52.70) to opposing centers, so Chandler might have another big game on the glass.
Fade: DeMarcus Cousins remains an elite GPP play, but it’s simply too hard to trust him in cash game formats given his inconsistent effort and play this season. He draws a good matchup against the Pelicans tonight, but it might be best to pay up for Anthony Davis in that game instead of Boogie.
Games to Target
- Portland Blazers (-7.5) hosting Phoenix Suns (Over/Under = 218)
- Los Angeles Lakers (-4.5) hosting Dallas Mavericks (Over/Under = 205.5)
Damian Lillard (POR) vs. PHO DK:$9,100/FD:$9,800
Paying up for Lillard is a bit more difficult with that price tag on FanDuel, but he’s clearly the PG with the most upside on this smaller slate. The Blazers unquestioned leader took a backseat to C.J. McCollum in a win over Memphis on Sunday, but has otherwise carried the load offensively this year with averages of 32 PPG, 4.9 APG and a stellar True Shooting Percentage (.654%) to put him on pace for his most efficient season. Lillard ranks fifth with a 33.6% Usage Rate and he should be able to score early and often against a Suns team that gives up the most PPG (113.3) in the NBA this season. While he struggled with his shot (1-of-8 from three) in a trip to Phoenix last week, Lillard is too good of a player to bet against in a bounce back effort, as we just witnessed how Steph Curry can go from 0-fer to breaking the single-game record in 3PT hits.
J.J. Barea (DAL) @ LAL: DK:$6,000/FD:$5,700
He tends to become a more popular play when Deron Williams (calf) is officially ruled out, but for good reason, as Barea is averaging 18.3 points and 5.5 assists per 36 minutes this season. He played a whopping 46 minutes in an overtime win over the Bucks on Sunday and he’s now posted a Usage Rate of at least 21% in five of his six appearances this season. Tonight, Barea should find success against D’Angelo Russell and a Lakers squad that gives up the second-most APG (9.71) and tenth-most FPPG (45.47) to opposing PGs this season. Luke Walton has his young team playing well and they’re actually favored at home against a shorthanded Mavs team that should be without Williams and Dirk Nowitzki, so Barea will have to do a lot of heavy lifting once again in an effort to carry Dallas on the road.
Jameer Nelson ($3900/$4200) is worth a look with the Nuggets shorthanded at SG/SF, as Wilson Chandler and Will Barton might both be out again tonight.
Tim Frazier ($6600/$5400) is worth a look as a tournament play at that price tag on FD, while Emmanuel Mudiay ($6000/$5800) is a good mid-tier option with upside on either DFS site given the Nuggets injury situation.
Devin Booker (PHO) @ POR: DK:$6,600/FD:$6,700
The young Suns are playing at the second-fastest pace in the NBA, allowing the most PPG, and their average margin of defeat is only 5.75 points since they floundered on Opening Night. So, someone most be scoring enough on this team to make up for their defensive shortcomings and recently that’s been Booker, who is 26-for-51 from the field and 19-for-19 at the FT line to produce 77 points over his last two appearances. He draws a great individual matchup tonight against C.J. McCollum, who is a great scorer in his own right, but is disinterested and deficient on the defensive end. That’s part of the reason why the Blazers gave up the sixth-most PPG (22.43) to opposing SGs last year and a similar 22.14 PPG average through seven games this season. Booker should be able to continue his scoring streak and he makes for a great correlation play to Lillard out in Portland tonight.
Zach Lavine (MIN) @ BKN: DK:$6,300/FD:$5,900
Lavine flopped in his last outing against a very good Oklahoma City defense, so maybe he’ll be lightly owned in a much easier matchup tonight. Yet he should still see heavy minutes and increased usage with Ricky Rubio (elbow) on the shelf and rookie Kris Dunn still learning how to run an NBA team. He should bounce back against a Nets team that coughs up the third-most FPPG (42.92) to opposing SGs this season and is actually running the floor at the fourth-fastest pace in the NBA. Both Lavine and his adversary Sean Kilpatrick seem like great cash game options in the same contest tonight.
E’Twaun Moore ($4100/$4400) continued to produce in a bigger role for the Pelicans last night. As mentioned above, Sean Kilpatrick ($5400/$4900) is a cheap option on the Nets and he should continue to see heavy usage with Jeremy Lin out.
Love the upside of Lou Williams ($4700/$4800) in a plus matchup against the Mavericks tonight.
LeBron James (CLE) vs. ATL: DK:$9,900/FD:$9,900
It’s almost an exercise in psychology trying to figure out which games will draw LeBron’s attention and force the best player in the world to be aggressive on both ends of the floor. Tonight seems like it could be a statement game with annual playoff hopeful Atlanta (+8.5) visiting Cleveland in what could be a relatively close game. LeBron averaged 27.3 PPG, 11 RPG and 7.7 APG over 3 regular season meetings with the Hawks last year and he clearly took advantage of the absence of DeMarre Carroll by abusing new starting SF Kent Bazemore. He’ll face the same personnel tonight and should rip through that defense while posting a solid all around line once again.
Harrison Barnes (DAL) @ LAL: DK:$6,700/FD:$5,700
For the second time this season, Barnes balled out with Dirk Nowitzki inactive, as he carried the Mavs into overtime with 34 points on 13-of-26 FG shooting last Sunday. He’s not the most reliable DFS option because of his lack of peripheral stats, but Barnes is going to see increased usage all year with Dirk unlikely to be active too often. The Lakers have been vulnerable on the wing and they’re giving up a ton of FPPG to all positions by virtue of playing at the fastest pace in the NBA this season, so consider HB and Barea as the two main pieces to the visiting team in a game to target this evening.
Matt Barnes ($4300/$4000) has been up and down for the Kings all year but he’s worth a look as a value play against a tired Pelicans team. Consider Brandon Ingram ($3500/$3700) as a punt play at Staples Center, as he could get more run with Larry Nance (concussion) out tonight.
Rudy Gay ($6800/$7400) remains surprisingly cheap on DK and he’s a great option in any format in a plus matchup against the Pels.
Anthony Davis (NO) @ SAC: DK:$11,000/FD:$10,800
The Pelicans came up short of earning that elusive first win last night, but Davis did his job once again with 33 points and 13 boards in a tough matchup against feisty defender Draymond Green. Tonight, he’ll face a weak Kings defense that gives up the ninth-most FPPG (45.22) to opposing PFs this year and ranks 20th in total rebounding, so he should be able to put up another bigtime double double. It’s worth paying up for Davis in what should be a high-scoring affair in Northern California tonight, as he torched Sacramento for 27.3 PPG, 11.3 RPG and 2 BPG over 3 meetings last year and looks far healthier to begin this season.
Julius Randle (LAL) vs. DAL: DK:$6,700/FD:$6,300
While the Lakers run deep rotations that are sapping the DFS value of most of their players, Randle seems safe to use tonight with Larry Nance Jr. (concussion) almost certainly out. The big lefty also draws a fantastic individual matchup against a Mavs team that is ranked 29th in defensive rebounding and was steamrolled by a versatile young big men in Myles Turner on Opening Night. With Harrison Barnes logging the majority of his minutes at PF right now, Randle should have his way down low.
Trevor Booker ($4900/$5300) remains a good bet for a double double with the Nets hosting the Wolves tonight.
Perhaps Dwight Powell ($3900/$3800) gets extended run if the Mavs struggle to defend the Lakers down low. If you want a safer play with upside, consider Al-Farouq Aminu ($4800/$4800) in a fast-paced matchup between the Blazers and Suns.
Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN) @ BKN: DK:$8,500/FD:$8,700
KAT was on fire during the first half of a blowout loss to the Thunder, but he wound up with just 31 points after dropping 25 before halftime. Tonight’s game should be much closer if the Wolves don’t win in blowout fashion, and as long as he’s out there, Towns should abuse slow-footed center Brook Lopez. BroLo is the old mold at center, while KAT is the future with his ability to handle the ball and dive to the rim quickly in PnR sets. He’s coming on strong after a relatively quiet start to the season and could put up a big line against a Brooklyn team that gives up the fifth-most FPPG (50.03) to opposing centers this season.
Tyson Chandler (PHO) @ POR: DK:$5,000/FD:$4,800
Chandler remains relatively cheap because of his lack of scoring it seems, but he’s meeting or exceeding value with the second-best Defensive Rebounding Rate (40.2%) in the NBA this season. Portland gives up the second-most RPG (18.43) and third-most FPPG (52.70) to opposing centers, which makes sense because of the way their offense runs through jump-shooting guards in Lillard and McCollum. Chandler has legitimate upside if he can stay on the floor for extended minutes and control the boards, so he makes for a good correlation play if you’re stacking that game, or for a solid cash game option at a cheap price tag.
Timofey Mozgov ($3700/$3900) should see slightly more playing time with Larry Nance inactive tonight for the Lakers.
The only thing preventing Jusuf Nurkic ($6300/$5800) from another big game on Sunday was the Celtics lackluster showing in a blowout loss.