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Scouting The NBA DFS - Monday, December 19

We've got a 5-game slate of NBA action this Monday night and the Daily DFS Breakdown will help you cash in DFS contests on DraftKings and FanDuel

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Plays of the Day

Value: Dorian Finney-Smith bounced back from a quiet game with 17 points and 26 DK points (22.9 FD points) against the Kings weak D on Saturday night and now he draws a dream matchup against a Nuggets team that gives up the fifth-most PPG (106.1) while playing at the sixth-fastest pace in the NBA this year. DFS had his best game of the season with 13 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks and 2 steals in a win over Denver last Monday and he’s dirt cheap.

Fade: The Bulls are bound to bounce back from their embarrassing B2B blowout losses to the Bucks over the weekend, but it’s hard to trust Jimmy Butler as a premier DFS option in a brutal matchup against the Pistons elite defense tonight.

Games to Target

  1. Minnesota Wolves (-5.5) hosting Phoenix Suns (Over/Under = 215)
  2. Oklahoma City Thunder (-3) hosting Atlanta Hawks (Over/Under = 208.5)

Point Guards

Two Studs

Russell Westbrook (OKC) vs. ATL DK:$12,800/FD:$12,500

Unfortunately, Westbrook’s price tag spikes a little bit after he dropped a monster triple double with a career-high 22 assists on Saturday, but I think he’s still worth paying up for on this short slate. It’s important to note that the Thunder figured out how to play as a unit without Victor Oladipo (wrist) in that win and as a result they’re actually favored by three at home tonight. The Hawks haven’t managed to blow out many teams this year and they play at the fifth-fastest pace in the NBA, which clearly benefits the most athletic PG in NBA history. Atlanta also gives up the second-most FPPG (49.99) and most APG (9.60) to opposing PGs this season.

Ricky Rubio (MIN) vs. PHO DK:$5,400/FD:$6,000

The lengthy NBA season ebbs and flows while certain players find a way to break out of their slumps. Rubio is finally playing well enough to earn some respect from HC Tom Thibeadou and a steady role throughout the second half after getting benched down the stretch in some games earlier this season. He carried the Rockets offense with a near triple double (11 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists) over 41 minutes of run last Saturday and now he faces a Suns team that plays at the second-fastest pace in the league while giving up the second-most PPG (113) this season. Phoenix coughs up the fifth-most FPPG (45.72) and most PPG (25) to opposing PGs this season and clearly provides Rubio with a great chance to build on his recent momentum.

Potential Value

Jeff Teague ($7000/$7600) seems like a very safe upper-tier option against a tired Wizards team. Reggie Jackson ($5800/$5900) doesn’t have as much upside due to his minute restrictions, but he’s worth a look as a cheap play.


Dennis Schroder ($6900/$6800) is definitely worth a look if you want to stack the Hawks-Thunder game.

Shooting Guards

Two Studs

Bradley Beal (WAS) @ IND DK:$6,800/FD:$7,000

Because he just blew up on an NFL Sunday in which very few people noticed, Beal might go lightly owned in a plus matchup this evening. The Pacers and Wizards are both playing shoddy defense while increasing their pace of play this season, as Indiana coughs up the tenth-most PPG (105.9) and fifth-most 3PT made per game (10.3) in the NBA this year. Beal just shot 6-of-10 from downtown on his way to a season-high 41 points against the tough Clippers defense and he should be able to ride that momentum into a matchup against a Pacers team that allows the seventh-most PPG (23.82) to opposing SGs this season.

Glenn Robinson III (IND) vs. WAS DK:$4,400/FD:$4,300 as SF

After a couple of very quiet games despite playing heavy minutes, GR3 finally came through with a double double to exceed value in a brutal matchup against the Pistons last Saturday. Now he faces a Wizards team that is arguably the worst defensive squad in the NBA, as Washington ranks 23rd in defensive rating and 29th in opponents FG shooting (.472%) on the year. Washington is also coming off a shootout win over the Clippers last night and will likely be even more tired, while younger Pacers such as Robinson III can take advantage. With Rodney Stuckey (hamstring) and Monta Ellis (groin) both ruled out already, Robinson is clearly a value play worth consideration.

Potential Value

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($5300/$5800) and Gary Harris ($5000/$4800) are both excellent cash game plays, while Harris is clearly much cheaper on FD.


Tim Hardaway Jr. ($4700/$4300) is staying hot for Atlanta despite the return of Kent Bazemore from a knee injury.

Small Forwards

Two Studs

Andrew Wiggins (MIN) vs. PHO: DK:$6,700/FD:$6,300

Wiggins fell off a cliff after looking like he was going to emerge as the league’s next great scorer. Yet he’s regained some of that form and is averaging 20.4 PPG on 44.6% FG shooting over his last 5 appearances. He’s certainly worth a look tonight against the Suns 25th-ranked defense and he dropped a cool 25 points in his only meeting with Phoenix so far this year. The Wolves (-5.5) are not heavy favorites at home by any means and this young team should have no issues getting into a track meet against Eric Bledsoe and company. If that’s the case, Wiggins should be very productive against a Phoenix squad that coughs up the third-most FPPG (41.5) to opposing SFs this season.

Dorian Finney-Smith (DAL) @ DEN: DK:$3,600/FD:$4,000

Finney-Smith is clearly breaking out as a rotational NBA player and making the most of his opportunities to fill in for the injury-plagued Mavs, but his price tag actually dropped after a predictably quiet game against Utah's top-ranked defense. He immediately bounced back with 17 points and 26 DK points (22.9 FD points) against the Kings weak D on Saturday night and now he draws a dream matchup against a Nuggets team that gives up the fifth-most PPG (106.1) while playing at the sixth-fastest pace in the NBA this year. DFS actually had his best game of the season with 13 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks and 2 steals in a win over Denver last Monday and he should see plenty of run against an athletic young team.

Potential Value

Kent Bazemore ($4500/$4200) is rounding into form after missing a few games for the Hawks and he’s worth consideration in a potential track meet at OKC.


The minutes and shots are there for C.J. Miles ($4200/$4300) and he could surprise by producing more than GR3 in a plus matchup for the Pacers.

Power Forwards

Two Studs

Paul Millsap (ATL) @ OKC: DK:$7,500/FD:$8,000

I like the idea of paying up for Russell Westbrook tonight and using Millsap as a correlation play in the hopes that Atlanta and OKC get into a shootout down at Loud City. The Hawks best overall player is coming off a couple of quiet games in brutal matchups against Toronto and Charlotte, but now he faces a Thunder squad that gives up the tenth-most PPG (20.85) to opposing PFs and really struggles to defend athletic stretch fours like Millsap. With rookie Domantas Sabonis starting and slow-footed center Enes Kanter rotating in at the 4, the Thunder have been torched by the best PFs in the league this year and that probably won't change with Millsap primed for a big game on the road tonight.

Marquesse Chriss (PHO) @ MIN: DK:$3,800/FD:$3,800

The young player Suns HC Earl Watson wants to “Be [his] Draymond Green” is nowhere near as versatile or skilled, but Chriss is a new-age PF in the mold of the Warriors triple double machine. He’s coming off a couple of decent games in tough matchups against the Spurs and Thunder, but now he faces the Wolves 29th-ranked defense and he should get looks at the rim against a team that ranks 28th in opponents FG shooting (.468%) this year. Most importantly, Chriss is dirt cheap on both main DFS sites and he should see steady run with T.J. Warren (head) still working his way back into the Suns rotation.

Potential Value

Dwight Powell ($3800/$4100) is another low-upside punt play to consider. Markieff Morris ($5200/$5000) stands out as a mid-tier value with a decent ceiling against the Pacers.


Kenneth Faried ($4800/$5100) is a complete wildcard in terms of his playing time under HC Mike Malone, but he’s been huge over his last 2 appearances.


Two Studs

Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN) vs. PHO: DK:$8,900/FD:$9,400

There’s no question as to who is the highest-upside center on the board tonight. Towns faces a weak Suns defense in a game with a 215-point Over/Under between young squads that love to get up and down the floor. He’s coming off a monster 41-point, 15-rebound performance against a tough Houston squad and has already put up a double double with 22 points and 10 boards in his sole meeting with Phoenix this year. Tyson Chandler is a solid defender, but he’s certainly lost a step at the age of 34 and Towns is setting a new precedent with his ability to handle the ball like a guard as a seven-footer.

Nikola Jokic (DEN) vs. DAL: DK:$6,400/FD:$5,900 as PF

That is now consecutive games in which Jokic played only around 20 minutes due to foul trouble, yet still managed to meet value with 28.25 DK points (27.3 FD points) in that limited amount of playing time. It's highly unlikely that the Mavericks 28th-ranked offense will give the Nuggets defense much trouble tonight, while the starting combination of Salah Mejri and Dwight Powell up front shouldn't force Jokic to commit many fouls in the post. While he's out there, the Joker is an elite producer with per 36 minute averages of 16.9 points, 11 rebounds and 4.7 assists this season, and Nuggets HC Mike Malone just recently caved and began to play his most talented big man 30-plus minutes on a nightly basis.

Potential Value

Marcin Gortat ($6000/$6300) provides a solid floor-ceiling combination as a mid-tier option at center.


Dwight Howard ($7300/$7900) has been on fire lately and he’s worth a look even though he faces a stout Thunder front line tonight.

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