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Scouting The NBA DFS - Thursday, December 15

We break down tonight's 5-game slate of NBA action to bring you the best DFS plays on DraftKings and FanDuel

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Plays of the Day

Value: Evan Turner stands out amongst a number of mid-tier value plays at this position as a player with a very good floor-ceiling combination in tonight’s matchup. He’s been earning more and more playing and Al-Farouq Aminu is doubtful with a back injury. Turner has produced over 14 points and 26 DK points (25 FD points) in three of his last four appearances and draws an easy matchup against a Nuggets team that coughs up the second-most DK PPG (46.04) and most PPG (27.36) to opposing SGs on the year.

Fade: You can make a case for fading Steph Curry and Kevin Durant based on the odds that they could cancel each other upsides once again in a potential blowout, but Anthony Davis seems like an easy fade in most formats. He can go off for 60+ FPs of course, but there just isn’t enough value on the board tonight to justify squeezing The Brow into many lineups.

Games to Target

  1. Denver Nuggets (-2) hosting Portland Blazers (Over/Under = 221.5)
  2. Milwaukee Bucks (-2) hosting Chicago Bulls (Over/Under = 208)

Point Guards

Two Studs

Damian Lillard (POR) @ DEN DK:$8,800/FD:$9,500

Dame has been pretty inconsistent lately, but he was definitely cooking on Tuesday before the Blazers ran away with a home win over the Thunder and he should be able to carry that momentum into tonight’s fantastic matchup. Denver coughs up the fifth-most PPG (108.8) while playing at the seventh-fastest pace in the NBA this season, and the Nuggets happen to allow the third-most FPPG (46.93) to opposing PGs this season. Lillard has already torched the Nuggets to the tune of 34.5 PPG, 6.5 RPG and 6.5 APG over 2 meetings this season and he averaged 25.5 PPG on 43.2% FG shooting in his 2 meetings against Denver last year. Simply put, he’s the PG with the most upside on this short slate.

Brandon Jennings (NYK) @ GS DK:$4,600/FD:$4,800

The league’s most cautious player when it comes to injury, Derrick Rose, is listed a game-time decision tonight with the same back issue that caused him to miss two of the Knicks last three games. With him out, Jennings produced 32 points, 11 assists and 57.5 DK points in 2 road games at the Lakers and Kings, and he’s been averaging 12.7 PPG, 23.1 DK PPG and playing 28.2 MPG even with Rose active at times over his last 6 appearances. As per usual, the Warriors (-14) are big favorites and home and are playing in the game with the highest Over/Under (224.5) on the slate, but even if the Knicks wind up down by double-digits, Jennings only backups would be rookie (SG) Ron Baker or SG Justin Holiday. He’s definitely worth a look as a value play against a Warriors team that coughs up an above average 42.56 FPPG to opposing PGs while playing at a blinding pace.

Potential Value

Langston Galloway ($3800/$4100 as SG on FD) will see an expanded role with Tim Frazier (wrist) doubtful tonight for the Pelicans, as will the more expensive Jrue Holiday ($6700/$7100).


Emmanuel Mudiay ($5000/$4900) seemed to regain some confidence with a solid line over 29 minutes and he’ll be asked to match up with the Blazers athletic young backcourt this evening.

Shooting Guards

Two Studs

Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL) vs. CHI DK:$9,500 as PG/FD:$9,900

The Greek Freak suffered a sprained ankle the other night but is listed as probable for tonight’s home tilt against the competitive Bulls. While Chicago can score with anyone thanks to the addition of Dwyane Wade alongside prolific two-way player Jimmy Butler, their interior defense is certainly lacking, as they’ve given up at least 99 points in 6 of their last 7 games. Chicago has an athletic defender in Butler, but no team has really been able to contain Antetokounmpo this season and he’s been even more effective at home with averages of 22.9 PPG, 8.6 RPG and 4.5 STL/BLK per game to average 51.1 DK PPG in Milwaukee. With the Bucks (-2.5) barely favored in this matchup, you can expect a close game and great production from the studs on both sides of the ball.

Dwyane Wade (CHI) @ MIL: DK:$7,000/FD:$7,300

The Bulls are on the front end of a B2B set tonight, so it’s worth monitoring news from their beat writers to see if Wade plans to play in both games against Milwaukee over the next two nights. Hopefully, they’ll announce that he’s in tonight and out tomorrow or vice versa, so that you can proceed accordingly, but if D-Wade is playing while Rajon Rondo (ankle) remains a game-time decision, you can roll with the veteran SG in all formats. Wade is sporting a whopping 37.1% Usage Rate and averaging 1.10 FPs per minute with Rondo off the court this year. He just handed out 8 dimes with Rondo out on Tuesday and he seems like a much better plug-and-play than the Bulls backup PG timeshare of Jerian Grant and Isaiah Canaan.

Potential Value

Glenn Robinson III ($3900/$4400 as SF on FD) quietly met value last night and he should see a bigger role with Rodney Stuckey (hamstring) likely out on the second half of a B2B set for the Pacers.


C.J. McCollum ($6900/$7400) is nearly as appealing as Damian Lillard in a potential shootout at Denver tonight.

Small Forwards

Two Studs

Jimmy Butler (CHI) @ MIL: DK:$9,000/FD:$9,000

Butler would also see an increase in usage if Rondo can’t play tonight, while the possibility that D-Wade could also rest on the front end of this home-and-home set in Milwaukee could vault him into must-play territory. The Bulls superstar is sporting a 28.2% Usage Rate and averaging 1.21 FPs per minute with Rondo off the floor this year and he’s posting a ridiculous 43.4% Usage Rate while averaging 1.52 FPs per minute when both Wade and Rondo are off the court. While the de facto top option at SF tonight, Kevin Durant, has been quiet over his last few appearances due to the Warriors balanced offensive attack, Butler has been on fire with averages of 25.8 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 4.8 APG and 47.3 DK PPG while playing 39 MPG over his last 5 appearances. He’ll be asked to slow down Giannis and the Bucks athletic wings tonight, so look for Butler to rise to the challenge with another big game.

Evan Turner (POR) @ DEN: DK:$4,600/FD:$4,700

Turner stands out amongst a number of mid-tier value plays at this position as a player with a very good floor-ceiling combination in tonight’s matchup. He’s been earning more and more playing time despite the slow return of SF/PF Al-Farouq Aminu, who is expected to miss tonight’s game with a back injury. Even with Aminu in the mix, Turner has produced over 14 points and 26 DK points (25 FD points) in three of his last four appearances. Tonight he draws a much easier matchup against a Nuggets team that coughs up the second-most DK PPG (46.04) and most PPG (27.36) to opposing SGs on the year, and he should be able to meet or exceed value in a high-scoring affair.

Potential Value

P.J. Tucker ($4400/$4500) continues to play very well defensively and the potential absence of Alex Len (hip) could guarantee even more minutes for the tough forward in a home tilt against the Spurs tonight.


Andre Iguodala ($3500/$3900) is seeing more playing time with the Warriors missing starting center Zaza Pachulia lately.

Power Forwards

Two Studs

Kristaps Porzingis (NYK) @ GSW: DK:$8,000/FD:$8,300

Similar to the scenario two nights ago, you can pay all the way up for Anthony Davis ($11,500/$12,000) for a bit more upside, but it would cripple the rest of your lineup and that’s probably not worth it on a shorter slate with far fewer value plays. Porzingis has actually produced more points (60) and DK points (119.5) than Davis (95) over their last two appearances respectively and he makes for a great correlation play if you’re paying up for any Warriors studs tonight. The Unicorn continues to pile up boards and blocks while shooting an impressive 41.3% from three-point range this season and he should find success against a Warriors team that allows the fifth-most FPPG (48.17) and second-most PPG (23.15) to opposing PFs this season. Draymond Green is tough down low, but he lacks the length to bother Porzingis on the perimeter, so the Knicks budding superstar should be able to knock down shots in an effort to keep his team in the game.

Draymond Green (GSW) vs. NYK: DK:$7,900/FD:$8,100

Again, you can use Anthony Davis and a true punt play at the other forward slots, or you could play both Porzingis and Green for what seems like much higher upside and certainly a higher floor tonight. While the Warriors superstar shooters trade turns putting up offensive numbers, Draymond has been plugging along with averages of 11 PPG, 8.4 RPG, 7.1 APG and 3.8 STL/BLK per game on the season. It seems like a blowout loss in Memphis lit a fire under the Warriors volcanic leader, as he’s produced 30 points with 17 rebounds, 14 assists and 6 steals over his last 2 appearances and went for a triple double in a close win at New Orleans on Tuesday. The Warriors are capable of winning a blowout as they return home tonight, but Green isn’t expensive enough for you to worry about him failing to meet value over three quarters since he does so many things well for this Super Team.

Potential Value

I would expect Pau Gasol to rest on the second half of a B2B set for the Spurs, opening the door for David Lee ($3500/$3600) to have another solid game.


Marquess Chriss ($3500/$3800) is coming off the best game of his young career, but will probably find the sledding much tougher against a stout Spurs defense tonight.


Two Studs

Nikola Jokic (DEN) @ POR: DK:$6,500/FD:$6,000 as PF

Finally, Nuggets head coach Mike Malone is giving Jokic steady run and even going so far as to tell reporters that he’s “looking for more minutes” for his most talented frontcourt player. Jokic has forced his hand with averages of 17.4 PPG, 10.5 RPG and 3.2 APG over his last 6 appearances, while the versatile big man also draws a great matchup tonight against Portland’s 30th-ranked defense. The Blazers are allowing the most PPG (23.52) and FPPG (50.92) to opposing PFs this season and Jokic plays like a stretch four with his ball-handling ability. Regardless of his position on either main DFS site, he makes for a very solid play at a reasonable price tag.

Mason Plumlee (POR) vs. DEN: DK:$5,600/FD:$6,200

NBA Nerds will recognize this Jokic-Plumlee face off as a battle between two of the most improved big men in the league, and it offers plenty of potential in DFS formats as well. On DraftKings, Plumlee is still under priced after he’s posted averages of 11.3 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 3.3 APG and 3.5 STL/BLK per game over his last 6 appearances. He’s come on strong with huge games against the Clippers and Thunder on B2B nights earlier this week and faces a Nuggets team that often plays close, high-scoring games, so you can almost bank on Plumlee as a more reliable option than either Lillard or McCollum and a good way to get exposure to the Blazers tonight.

Potential Value

Tyson Chandler ($5400/$5600) draws a tough matchup against the Spurs tonight, but he’s turning into a double double machine and will play big minutes again if Alex Len (hip) can’t play.


Kyle O’Quinn ($5100/$5100) has been great for the Knicks lately but I would worry about him getting run off the floor by Golden State. Greg Monroe ($4400/$4800) might be a contrarian pivot to target.

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