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Scouting The NBA DFS - Monday, December 12

We've got a solid 7-game slate of NBA action tonight and the Daily DFS Breakdown will help you cash on DraftKings and FanDuel

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Plays of the Day

Value: Dorian Finney-Smith could see even more minutes than usual tonight in a matchup against Denver’s athletic front line and he's already managed to exceed value while playing 30-plus minutes in B2B outings. He's demonstrated new confidence with his three-point shot over the past couple of games and he'll probably have more success away from the basket with the Nuggets young beastly big men patrolling the paint, but either way, he could easily exceed value at close to the minimum price tag.

Fade: Paul George had a big game against Portland’s pathetic defense over the weekend but now he faces a tough Hornets defense and a lengthy player in Nic Batum, who could shut him down as he did earlier this season.

Games to Target

  1. Los Angeles Lakers (-7.5) hosting Sacramento Kings (Over/Under = 216.5)
  2. Houston Rockets (+14.5) hosting Brooklyn Nets (Over/Under = 229)

Point Guards

Two Studs

Chris Paul (LAC) vs. POR DK:$8,900/FD:$9,500

With Blake Griffin out on Saturday, CP3 came through as the play of the day with 20 points, 20 assists and 65.25 DK points (62 FD points) over just 30 minutes of playing time in a blowout win. He recently had Lasik eye surgery and his apparently seeing the floor even better, so he seems primed for another great game against a Blazers team that ranks dead last in defensive rating and gives up the third-most PPG (111.7) in the NBA this season. Paul has gotten the better of Damian Lillard and company with averages of 23 PPG, 6 APG and 4.5 RPG over 2 meetings with Portland so far this season and he averaged 16.8 PPG and 10 APG over 4 meetings with the Blazers last year.

Goran Dragic (MIA) vs. WAS DK:$7,200/FD:$7,200

If basketball is a meritocracy, then Rozier should be earning more and more minutes with his stellar play. He was basically the lone bright spot in the second half on Friday when the Celtics fell apart against a full-strength Raptors squad, and he should be able to exceed value once again while facing the fast-paced Thunder. Oklahoma City allows the fourth-most FPPG (46.84) to opposing PGs this season, as Westbrook consistently exhausts himself on the offensive end, and Rozier will likely be working against Victor Oladipo and the Thunder’s second unit. If the Celtics fall apart again without their leading scorer in IT4, Rozier will still lap it up down the stretch in garbage time, so he’s one of the safer values on the board tonight.

Potential Value

Darren Collison ($4900/$5500) is a safe play with very minimal upside in the Cousins-dominated Kings offense.


Jeremy Lin ($5500/$6300) is coincidentally expected to make his long-awaited return to the Nets lineup in a #RevengeGame in Houston tonight.

Shooting Guards

Two Studs

James Harden (HOU) vs. BKN DK:$11,400/FD:$11,400

On paper, the Rockets (-14) appear likely to roll the lowly Nets at home, but that’s not really how James Harden’s teams function. Houston’s leader is not known for his defense and his teammates often follow his lead, which makes it difficult to blow anyone out and easy for The Beard to maintain his 36.5 MPG average while consistently putting up double doubles. Tonight he’ll be very productive while he’s on the floor against a Nets team that gives up the most PPG (114.9) in the NBA and ranks 28th in opponents FG shooting (.471%) this season. It should be very easy for the league’s leader in APG (11.6) to hand out dimes and get to the rim without resistance tonight, so he makes for a great tournament stack along with a couple of Nets in the hopes that Brooklyn finds a way to compete on the road.

Wesley Matthews (DAL) vs. DEN: DK:$5,600/FD:$5,700

It’s great to see the NBA’s Iron Man returning to form and the Mavericks are certainly happy to get production from Deron Williams ($5700/$6200) and Matthews for as long as those veterans will stay healthy. Both guards are worth a look tonight against a Nuggets squad that ranks 23rd in defensive rating and coughs up the fifth-most PPG (108.7) this season. Denver allows the second-most FPPG (42.95) and most PPG (27.21) to opposing SGs this season, while Matthews has been averaging 20.7 PPG and shooting a sizzling .433% (26-of-60) from deep over his last 6 appearances.

Potential Value

Jamal Crawford ($4300/$4100) has been heating up lately for the Clippers and he could see a big boost along with J.J. Redick ($4400/$4100) if Blake Griffin remains out for the Clippers.


Sean Kilpatrick ($5400/$5400) predictably struggled against the Spurs in his last outing but he could serve as a correlation play with James Harden. Conversely, Eric Gordon ($5400/$5300) could be the best per-dollar play if that game turns into a blowout.

Small Forwards

Two Studs

Danilo Gallinari (DEN) @ DAL: DK:$5,700/FD:$5,800

This seems to be the position at which you can save tonight and Gallo would emerge as a great mid-tier value if Wilson Chandler (hip) misses another game for Denver. The Nuggets are using a timeshare at PG and Jamal Murray is hardly a reliable replacement for Chandler as a scorer from the wing, so Gallinari would take on added offensive responsibilities if Denver is indeed shorthanded tonight. He dropped 21 points on efficient 5-of-8 FG shooting with Chandler out on Saturday and he got to the FT line 9-plus times for the third time over his last four appearances. Gallinari provides a solid floor in these good matchups and he does flash upside when Denver requires more usage from him.

Dorain Finney-Smith (DAL) vs. DEN: DK:$3,100/FD:$3,700

Potential Value

Josh Richardson ($4800/$4600 as SG on FD) returned with his usual production for Miami over the weekend and he should be locked into heavy minutes with many of his teammates still inactive.


Luol Deng ($3500/$3700) is suddenly playing big minutes for Lakers HC Luke Walton, so he might be worth a punt if Larry Nance Jr. (knee) is still out tonight.

Power Forwards

Two Studs

Trevor Booker (BKN) @ HOU: DK:$5,600/FD:$5,800

Another Nets player that is only worth a look if you think his team can stay competitive in Houston tonight, Booker could pay off as a great tournament play at a thin position tonight. If Blake Griffin remains out, there will be no truly elite options at PF, and it will come down to which mid-tier play comes through with a solid line. You have to love Booker’s matchup against a fast-paced Rockets team that ranks 22nd in opponents 2PT FG shooting (.498%) and provides plenty of opportunities for rebounders to produce. With a 229-point Over/Under, this game has plenty of potential if it can just stay close.

Nikola Jokic (DEN) @ DAL: DK:$5,800 as C/FD:$5,600

After a slow first start to the season, Jokic is flashing the same upside we saw from him last year. He didn't miss a beat after spending a couple of days on the bench nursing a wrist injury, returning to produce 45 points, 28 rebounds, 10 assists and 4 blocks despite playing just 25 MPG over his last 3 appearances. His per-minute production is pretty insane and he draws a great matchup tonight against slow-footed Mavericks backup Salah Mejri. The Mavs give up the seventh-most PPG (21.95) to opposing centers this season and Jokic is still relatively cheap despite his rising production.

Potential Value

Dwight Powell ($4800/$4500) continues to produce as the fill-in PF for Dallas. Patrick Patterson ($4000/$4400) is a cheaper option to consider on DK tonight.


Ryan Anderson ($4700/$4500) is a true longshot but he does have blow up potential against a Nets team that ranks 27th in 3PT defense this year.


Two Studs

DeMarcus Cousins (SAC) vs. LAL: DK:$10,900/FD:$11,000

Cousins did his thing with another double double on Saturday, but the rest of the Kings flopped and he wound up well short of value in a blowout loss. That marked the first time in 8 appearances where Big Cuz failed to exceed value with ridiculous FP totals, so perhaps one dud will inspire the rest of the DFS community to fade him in a dream matchup tonight. The Lakers play at the fourth-fastest pace and give up the fourth-most PPG (111) in the NBA this season, while also coughing up the third-most FPPG (49.37) to opposing centers this season. Cousins tore through the Purple and Gold's defense for 28 points, 9 rebounds and 48.75 DK points in an easy win earlier this year and averaged 27 PPG, 11.3 RPG and 4 APG over 4 meetings with the Lakers last season.

DeAndre Jordan (LAC) vs. POR: DK:$6,500/FD:$6,900

Since the Clippers won’t tip off until 10:30 p.m. EST tonight, it’s a gamble rolling heavily with Jordan and Chris Paul under the assumption that Blake Griffin will miss another game. Yet while those two Clippers are must-plays with Griffin out, it’s not as if they’re land mines if Griffin plays at less than one hundred percent. Jordan draws a great matchup regardless against a Blazers squad that coughs up the sixth-most FPPG (48.63) and more importantly, the seventh-most RPG (15) to opposing centers this season. He’s yet to produce a big line in 2 meetings with Portland this season, but when Griffin sat out a tilt in Brooklyn for rest Jordan had his biggest game of the season with 21 points and 23 boards, so he clearly has upside in what should be a close tilt tonight.

Potential Value

Greg Monroe ($4600/$5000) and John Henson ($4400/$4700) are locked into a timeshare for the Bucks, but they’re both producing right now at modest price tags.


Brook Lopez ($6600/$7200) is the last piece to a longshot stack of the Rockets and Nets game out in Houston.

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