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Scouting The NBA DFS - Friday, December 16

We have a big 10-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: Elfrid Payton is averaging 14.2 PPG, 7.8 APG and 33.5 DK PPG despite playing just 29 MPG over his last 6 appearances. Brooklyn is giving up the most PPG (114.5) in the NBA and coughing up the most FPPG (55.22) to opposing PGs this season, so you can’t beat his matchup for a player who is under priced on both main DFS sites right now.

Fade: DeMarcus Cousins rested on Wednesday to prepare for the matchup that he admits gives him the most trouble of any in the NBA. Big Cuz doesn’t enjoy facing the “Bruise Brothers” of Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph, and Memphis should do a decent job of containing the Kings superstar once again tonight.

Games to Target

  1. Philadelphia 76ers (-1.5) hosting Los Angeles Lakers (Over/Under = 209)
  2. Orlando Magic (-6.5) hosting Brooklyn Nets (Over/Under = 217.5)
  3. Houston Rockets (-11) hosting New Orleans Pelicans (Over/Under = 220)

Point Guards

Two Studs

Dennis Schroder (ATL) vs. TOR DK:$6,600/FD:$7,000

He might not have as much upside as some of the other top PGs on the board tonight, but Schroder seems to have just as high of a floor. The Hawks PG is rolling with averages of 21.5 PPG, 8 APG and 41.5 DK PPG over his last 4 appearances and is playing as close to the full game as his young legs can handle. Tonight, Schroder and the Hawks should get into a high-scoring battle with a Raptors team that is suddenly atop the league in offensive rating and is averaging the third-most PPG (111.9) on the season. Atlanta can score with the best of them and Toronto gives up the eighth-most PPG (23.61) to opposing PGs, so look for Schroder to take it to Kyle Lowry and to give up plenty of production from the Raps floor general as well.

Elfrid Payton (ORL) vs. BKN DK:$5,100/FD:$5,700

After he still managed to exceed value in a brutal matchup against CP3 and the Clippers on Wednesday, I’m considering Payton a must play at this modest price tag on both main DFS sites. The Magic PG is coming off the bench, but setting games on fire with his flamboyant hairstyle, as he’s averaging 14.2 PPG, 7.8 APG and 33.5 DK PPG despite playing just 29 MPG over his last 6 appearances. Orlando HC Frank Vogel will have to find more minutes for Payton if he continues to carry the offense, and indeed Payton saw 35 minutes two games ago in a high-scoring PG duel with Schroder in Atlanta. Brooklyn is giving up the most PPG (114.5) in the NBA and coughing up the most FPPG (55.22) to opposing PGs this season, so you can’t beat his matchup either.

Potential Value

Ramon Sessions ($3700/$4300) should start with Kemba Walker (personal) not expected to play for Charlotte tonight.


Andrew Harrison ($4100/$4100) is a longshot option given his recent struggles, but with Toney Douglas released, he’ll have one or two more big chances to prove his worth before Mike Conley returns.

Shooting Guards

Two Studs

Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL) @ CHI DK:$9,300 as PG/FD:$9,900

With John Wall and Chris Paul drawing some very tough matchups respectively, Giannis emerges as a virtual must-play at a relatively cheap price tag on DraftKings. The Greek Freak was not at all bothered by a mildly sprained ankle on Thursday night, as he set the tone early and finished with 30 points, 14 rebounds and plenty of peripheral stats to produce 61.5 DK points (57.3 FD points) in a win over the Bulls. Now he’ll go on the road to face an aging Bulls team that might not be as effective on the second half of a B2B set and clearly had no answers for a supreme athlete like Antetokounmpo. He’s averaging 29.3 PPG, 11.7 RPG and 5 APG while exceeding value in three consecutive outings since he struggled with foul trouble against Atlanta last Friday and he seems like a no-brainer in the same matchup that he crushed last night.

Garrett Temple (SAC) @ MEM DK:$3,800/FD:$4,000

Clearly you’d like to fit James Harden into cash game lineups, but at $12K on DraftKings that’s not very easy unless you use some punt plays tonight. Temple was the most productive per dollar play in a Kings uniform with DeMarcus Cousins (rest) out on Wednesday, as he produced 20 points and 31 DK points (26.4 FD points) over 30 minutes in a blowout loss at Houston. He played 30 minutes in the Kings previous game and should be able to put up solid peripheral stats against a shorthanded Grizzlies team, as the Kings should still be without Rudy Gay (hip) and Ben McLemore (quad) tonight.

Potential Value

Marco Belinelli ($3600/$4200 as SF on FD) has been solid lately for the Hornets and he should see more usage with Kemba out tonight.


Buddy Hield ($3200/$3800) finally came through with a good performance as the Pelicans starting SG and he’ll be worth a look in that role against Houston tonight.

Small Forwards

Two Studs

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

Stubbornness can pay off in NBA DFS and sometimes that means rolling with a stud who might’ve burned you the night before. Butler came up short of value while the Bulls were run off the floor in Milwaukee last night, but he’s almost certainly going to bounce back as the leader of his team. Dwyane Wade is often quiet or inactive on the second half of B2B sets while Rajon Rondo (ankle) doesn’t quite seem comfortable out there, so it will be up to Jimmy Buckets to carry the Bulls offense in an effort to get out to a better start tonight. He’s averaging 24.4 PPG and getting to the FT line with extreme regularity to produce 45.2 DK PPG at home this season, so you can trust him in any format as the de facto top option at SF this evening.

Aaron Gordon (ORL) vs. BKN: DK:$4,900/FD:$4,700

Along with Payton, Gordon stands out as one of best players to use in an Orlando uniform against the league’s worst defense tonight. The athletic young man is coming off a career-high 33-point performance against the Clippers on Wednesday and his playing time and usage continue to increase with Nikola Vucevic (back) on the shelf. As long as Vooch remains out tonight, you can trust Gordon in any format against a Nets team that coughs up the second-most FPPG (44.79) to opposing SFs and to opposing PFs (49.02) this season. Gordon has been more productive with averages of 10.2 PPG, 5.7 RPG and 23.1 DK PPG over 13 home games this year and he’s finally gaining some confidence after a nightmare start to his season.

Potential Value

Kelly Oubre Jr. ($4000/$4000) could have another very good game if Markieff Morris (foot) is out for Washington. Luol Deng ($4600/$4300) is suddenly a reliable option for Lakers HC Luke Walton and DFSers alike.


Robert Covington ($5300/$5000) is more expensive after B2B big games, but he could definitely keep rolling against a fast-paced Lakers team tonight.

Power Forwards

Two Studs

Anthony Davis (NO) @ HOU: DK:$11,400/FD:$11,800

Davis actually paid off his salary with a monstrous line last night (35 points, 16 rebounds, 5 blocks) and he’s actually a hair cheaper on both main DFS sites heading into this matchup. The Rockets are solid against opposing PFs on paper, but I’m not trusting former teammate Ryan Anderson or Houston’s backup PFs to contain The Brow in what should be a prime game to target. Davis posted modest splits over 4 meetings with Houston last year because he departed one game due to injury and was far from healthy in another, but he’s been on fire this year for the most part and he’ll be worth paying up for in a game with a 220-point Over/Under tonight.

Jabari Parker (MIL) @ CHI: DK:$6,600/FD:$6,300

Parker and Giannis Antetokounmpo both played nearly perfect games in a big win over Chicago last night and they'll go on the road with the advantage against an aging Bulls team while playing on 0 days rest. Parker is a Chicago native, who will undoubtedly pack the stands with friends and family in a homecoming game this evening and should be able to build on his stellar efforts of late. He's converted 11 FGs and scored at least 27 points in 3 of his last 4 appearances, as he's shooting 50% (34-for-68) from the field during that span. He's doing it inside and out, and he'll be both highly motivated and fresh for the second half of this home-and-home set against his hometown Bulls.

Potential Value

Omri Casspi ($4500/$4300) didn’t do much with Cousins out on Wednesday, but he should still be locked into a steady role with Rudy Gay out tonight.


Ryan Anderson ($4900/$5300) is heating up lately for the Rockets and he should have a matchup with the Pelicans circled on his calendar. Also consider Ersan Ilyasova ($5800/$5500) despite the status of Joel Embiid.


Two Studs

Marc Gasol (MEM) vs. SAC: DK:$7,900/FD:$8,800

Gasol will go head-to-head with the talented young DeMarcus Cousins tonight and you have to give the former Defensive Player of the Year respect by thinking about fading Big Cuz. At a significantly cheaper price tag, I’ll be using the Grizzlies center and de facto floor general with Mike Conley (back) out recently, as Gasol is averaging 24.4 PPG, 9.3 RPG and 5.6 APG over his last 6 appearances. Cousins is not exactly known for his defense and the Kings are ranked 22nd in opponents FG shooting (.455%) with him as their leader, so it wouldn’t be surprising if Gasol had another big night scoring and distributing for the streaking Grizz.

Jahlil Okafor (PHI) vs. LAL: DK:$5,100/FD:$5,100

Okafor started alongside Joel Embiid for the first time this season and continued to exceed value with 17 points and 30.5 DK points (30.3 FD points) in a loss to the Raptors on Wednesday. Embiid is expected to play despite nagging knee and elbow injuries, but the 76ers may grow increasingly cautious with The Process and give Okafor a few more minutes to compensate for Embiid's maladies. Okafor is averaging 15.4 PPG, 7 RPG and 29.8 DK PPG while playing 28.2 MPG over his last 5 appearances and he should only get more run as the season progresses. He also happens to draw a fantastic matchup tonight against a Lakers team that ranks 29th in defensive rating and coughs up the second-most FPPG (52.99) to opposing centers this year.

Potential Value

Bismack Biyombo ($5200/$4600) should remain reliable in a plus matchup against the Nets if Vucevic still can’t play for Orlando.


Hassan Whiteside ($8700/$9200) has to draw consideration in GPP formats even though he’s facing a tough Clippers defense.

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