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Scouting The NBA DFS - Friday, December 23

We've got a huge 14-game slate of NBA action this Friday and the Daily DFS Breakdown will help you cash on DraftKings and FanDuel

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Plays of the Day

Value: Justise Winslow looked great while leading the Heat to a comeback win over the Lakers with 23 points and 13 boards last night. He’s now logged 36 points and 18 rebounds while playing a whopping 88 minutes over his last 2 appearances and he certainly seems to be fully recovered from his wrist injury. Tonight the Heat will look to keep rolling against a Pelicans team that allows the seventh-most PPG (107.3) overall and sixth-most FPPG (39.99) to opposing SFs this season and Winslow has a great chance to exceed value again.

Fade: LeBron James probably needs some rest and even though Cavs HC Tyronn Lue said he doesn’t plan to sit his MVP, James is unlikely to play big minutes with Cleveland (-16) hosting one of the worst teams in the NBA tonight in the Brooklyn Nets.

Games to Target

  1. Minnesota Wolves (-3.5) hosting Sacramento Kings (Over/Under = 206.5)
  2. Denver Nuggets (+4) hosting Atlanta Hawks (Over/Under = 220.5)

Point Guards

Two Studs

John Wall (WAS) @ MIL DK:$9,100/FD:$9,900

Russell Westbrook is obviously a great play if you can find enough value tonight, and it’s possible that we’ll get a good punt play or two at PG if Chris Paul (hamstring) is unable to go for the Clippers. But if the current status quo is maintained, Wall emerges as a sneaky contrarian play at a surprisingly cheap price tag on DK. He’s averaging 24 PPG, 9.8 APG, 2.8 SPG and 50.8 DK PPG over his last 6 appearances and draws a great matchup against a Bucks team that allows an above average 8.56 APG to opposing PGs and has struggled to stop Wall in the past. He posted a double double in each of his last 3 appearances against Milwaukee, including a 24-point, 11-assist performance against the Bucks this year. Wall also makes for a great pairing with Giannis Antetokounmpo, because his Wizards are playing horrible defense and might get into yet another shootout with the athletic young Bucks this evening.

Isaiah Thomas (BOS) vs. OKC DK:$7,900/FD:$8,200

The little "killer" makes for a perfect pairing with Russell Westbrook in tournaments tonight and a fine addition to any lineup at that reasonable price on DraftKings. He followed up a career-high 44-point performance in Memphis with a balanced performance in Indiana last night, before erupting for 14 more points to late to exceed value once again with 43.25 DK points (42.7 FD points) in another win. The Celtics (-4) are rolling right now and check in as favorites over a WCF contender that is completely centered around Westbrook and therefore can't contain opposing talented PGs, as the Thunder cough up the sixth-most FPPG (45.65) to the position this season.

Potential Value

Raymond Felton ($3000/$3500) would emerge as a great punt play if CP3 is unable to go after suffering a hamstring injury last night.


Ty Lawson ($3800/$4500) is taking over the PG job in Sacramento and he’s worth a look tonight against the Wolves. Austin Rivers ($3900/$4000) would only be worth a look if Paul missed tonight’s game.

Shooting Guards

Two Studs

Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL) vs. WAS DK:$9,900 as PG/FD:$10,400

It’s tough to choose The Greek Freak over James Harden for just $1K cheaper on FanDuel, but the price difference on DK is enough to convince me to fade Harden in a very tough matchup at Memphis. The Grizzlies held The Beard to “just” 25 PPG and 5.8 APG over 4 meetings last season and they’re capable of cutting off his passing lines and potentially preventing him from posting yet another double double. Giannis, meanwhile, draws a cake matchup against a Wizards team that ranks 28th in opponents FG shooting (.469%) and frequently gets into shootouts while coughing up the ninth-most PPG (106.1) in the NBA this year. Antetokounmpo has been an absolute beast at home this year and he posted 28 points, 13 rebounds and 7 assists in a narrow loss in Washington a couple of weeks ago, so we might see him improve on those numbers this evening.

Brandon Knight (PHO) vs. PHI DK:$4,500/FD:$4,800

When Knight was posting the worst plus/minus in the NBA a couple of weeks ago, there was no way I thought we could ever recommend him as a DFS play again, but here we are. The Suns backup combo guard has met or exceeded value in 7 of his last 9 appearances and he’s averaging a solid 22.9 DK PPG over his last 5 games. Of course, the entire offense for Phoenix is worth a look in a home tilt against the lowly 76ers, as the Suns play at the second-fastest pace in the league and should be able to push the ball after stopping Philly’s 30th-ranked offense. The Sixers did a great job on Devin Booker in the last meeting between these teams, but he’s worth a look as a GPP play along with Eric Bledsoe, while Knight is the cheapest option amongst that trio and a good bet to provide 3x value if he can get going.

Potential Value

Iman Shumpert ($4200/$3500) should be a safe play with J.R. Smith out for Cleveland. Malcolm Brogdon ($3600/$3800 as PG on FD) is worth a look as contrarian punt play with upside in a potential shootout against Washington.


Nick Young ($4700/$4600) played heavy minutes last night and hit 5-of-11 threes. He’s not a safe play given his dependency on hot shooting, but it’s hard to ignore Swaggy P with the Lakers shorthanded.

Small Forwards

Two Studs

Kevin Durant (GSW) @ DET: DK:$8,800/FD:$9,700

If you checked the Premium Forums on Scout last night, you would have noticed that we recommended playing Durant instead of fading him with news the Draymond Green (personal) would miss the game. Sure enough, KD took on more responsibilities on both ends of the floor and produced 56.25 DK points (55.3 FD points) while flirting with a triple double. If Green misses another game to be with his newborn child, Durant will emerge as a must-play at this price tag on DraftKings. He’s facing a tough Pistons defense on the road, which actually bodes well for his floor because the Warriors (-7) might be challenged down the stretch for a second straight night. You can’t overestimate the importance of Draymond in leading the Dubs to their blowout wins, so his absence would increase the stock of all the starters in this contest.

Justise Winslow (MIA) @ NO: DK:$5,300/FD:$4,700

If Durant is a potential must-play on DK, Winslow is the player you must consider at that price tag on FanDuel tonight. The second-year pro has been back for a few games, but truly looked BACK while playing angry and leading the Heat to a comeback win over the Lakers with 23 points and 13 boards last night. Winslow has now logged 36 points and 18 rebounds while playing a whopping 88 minutes over his last 2 appearances and he certainly seems to be fully recovered from his wrist injury. Tonight the Heat will look to keep rolling against a Pelicans team that allows the seventh-most PPG (107.3) overall and sixth-most FPPG (39.99) to opposing SFs this season and Winslow has a great chance to exceed value again in this plus matchup.

Potential Value

Luol Deng ($4900/$4600) remains a very solid cash game option and he could become even safer if Julius Randle (personal) and Larry Nance Jr. (knee) are out for the Lakers tonight. Joe Ingles ($4300/$4000) will be worth a look if Rodney Hood remains out for Utah.


Kent Bazemore ($5400/$4500) is still very under priced on FanDuel ahead of a great matchup in Denver. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson ($4000/$4100) has become a productive per-minute player, but his playing time is a question mark in a potential blowout at Cleveland.

Power Forwards

Two Studs

Paul Millsap (ATL) @ DEN: DK:$8,100/FD:$8,300

This is actually a two-part recommendation in the sense that I would definitely consider Anthony Davis at $10,600 on DraftKings in a good matchup at home, but still consider Millsap the best per dollar option at his position with Dwight Howard (back) ruled out for a third consecutive game. With Howard out, Millsap has produced 48 points and 21 rebounds while posting a double double and exceeding value in each of his 2 appearances. Tonight he’ll face a Nuggets team that’s done well to limit opposing centers, but often uses Wilson Chandler or Danilo Gallinari at the 4, and Millsap could destroy those natural SFs on the low block. Denver ranks 27th in opponents FG shooting (.468%) and gives up an above average 42.63 FPPG to opposing PFs this season, so Millsap should put up numbers in this road game.

Montrezl Harrell (HOU) @ MEM: DK:$4,500/FD:$4,000

Forward-thinking DFSers used Harrell instead of 34-year-old Nene Hilario on Wednesday and were rewarded when Harrell entered the SLU on the second half of a B2B set. The Rockets might stick with that decision after Harrell produced (17 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 blocks) very well over 29 minutes and Nene was unable to top 18 minutes once again. Both big men will be needed in tonight's matchup against a physical Memphis defense, and Harrell has proved capable of manning the middle for the small-ball Rockets time and time again. His price tag should only rise as he fills the void left by Clint Capela's leg injury.

Potential Value

James Johnson ($4400/$4700 as SF on FD) was huge for the Heat last night and he should keep rolling at New Orleans. Thomas Robinson ($3200/$3600) was very productive for the Lakers while playing just 18 minutes, and he’ll be worth a look if Randle and Nance Jr. both sit out tonight’s game.


Trust him at your own risk, but Mike Muscala ($3700/$3600) stands to see a significant rise in playing time with Howard ruled out for Atlanta.


Two Studs

Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN) vs. SAC: DK:$9,000/FD:$9,400

This is easily the toughest slate to choose a center all season and one that varies on each DFS site. DeMarcus Cousins joins Anthony Davis as an under priced superstar at $10,400 on DK in a plus matchup against the Wolves and he should enter your tournament lineups on that site. Yet on FanDuel, Cousins is extremely pricey and Hassan Whiteside is rather expensive despite his poor road splits, so I might prefer Towns in a plus matchup at home. Boogie simply exhausts himself offensively and that’s part of the reason why Sacramento gives up the second-most FPPG (46.15) to opposing PFs and ranks 23rd in total rebounding this season. KAT has been a beast lately with averages of 25.4 PPG, 15.7 RPG and 54.6 DK PPG over his last 5 appearances and he’s fully capable of matching up with his fellow Kentucky graduate in Cousins.

Marc Gasol (MEM) vs. HOU: DK:$7,500/FD:$8,600

Gasol could serve as a contrarian pivot on a night in which all eyes will be on the clash between Boogie and KAT in Minnesota, or The Brow and Mr. Whiteside in New Orleans. Gasol proved to be the best overall play at his position two nights ago with 55 FD points (57.75 DK points) in Detroit and now he returns home to face a Rockets team that is working with a couple of replacement players at center without Clint Capela available. Montrezl Harrell is tough enough, but he stands just 6-foot-8 with limited reach and he'll probably be unable to bother the shot of a true 7-footer in Gasol. The streaking Rockets are producing the second-most PPG (113) at this point in the season and their high-scoring ways should force Gasol and running mate Mike Conley to increase their offensive output.

Potential Value

Nikola Jokic ($6200/$6700 as PF on FD) struggled in a blowout loss to the Clippers, but he could bounce back immediately against the Howard-less Hawks tonight. Tristan Thompson ($5200/$5000) will certainly be worth a look if K-Love remains out for the Cavs.


If the Pistons manage to hang with the Warriors at home tonight, Andre Drummond ($6900/$7800) will almost certainly have a big night on the boards and he could surprise with a bigtime double double.

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