As a Scout Premium member, you get exclusive access to our brand new NBA DFS projections on DraftKings and FanDuel! Click here to check it out!
Plays of the Day
Value: Chris Paul (hamstring) is listed as doubtful for tonight’s home game and that puts Austin Rivers at the top of a list of guards who will stand to benefit. He moved into the SLU over veteran Raymond Felton and has not been shy about firing away with 66 FGA over 5 appearances with CP3 inactive or hobbled. Rivers boasts a 24.3% Usage Rate and averages 0.70 FPs per minute with both Paul and Griffin off the floor this season and he’s bound to come up with a bigger game now that he’s drawing an easier matchup.
Fade: LeBron James and the Cavs (-9.5) are solid favorites at home tonight against the Pelicans, but I would expect them to win quite easily. Anthony Davis is another player to consider fading given his weaker road splits and if he can’t get going, New Orleans is unlikely to keep the game close.
Games to Target
- Milwaukee Bucks (-1) hosting Oklahoma City Thunder (Over/Under = 211.5)
- Houston Rockets (+9) hosting Washington Wizards (Over/Under = 228.5)
Russell Westbrook (OKC) @ MIL DK:$12,300/FD:$11,800
Because he was ejected last Thursday and obviously fell way, way short of value as a result, Westbrook is as cheap as he’s been in weeks on both main DFS sites. Yet he immediately bounced back with a triple double (17 points, 12 rebounds, 14 assists) over just 29 minutes of playing time in a blowout win over the shorthanded Clippers and remains neck-and-neck with James Harden as the highest-upside play on most slates. Tonight Westy and the Thunder (+2) will face an athletic young Bucks team that is strong on the wing, but not particularly capable of stopping a Point God in Westbrook, especially with Matthew Dellavedova (hamstring) hobbled or inactive. Milwaukee gives up the seventh-most APG (8.64) to opposing PGs this season and that’s usually the toughest statistical category for him to reach double digits and earn his triple double bonus.
Austin Rivers (LAC) vs. PHO DK:$4,900/FD:$4,400
Chris Paul (hamstring) is listed as doubtful for tonight’s home game and that puts Rivers at the top of a list of guards who will stand to benefit. He moved into the SLU over veteran Raymond Felton and has not been shy about firing away with 66 FGA over 5 appearances with CP3 inactive or hobbled. Rivers boasts a 24.3% Usage Rate and averages 0.70 FPs per minute with both Paul and Griffin off the floor this season and he’s bound to come up with a bigger game now that he’s drawing an easier matchup. The Rockets and Thunder pasted the shorthanded Clippers, but the Suns are an appropriate match for Rivers and company, as Phoenix gives up the second-most PPG (112.9) and second-most PPG (25.03) to opposing PGs this season.
Raymond Felton ($4300/$4300) may come off the bench behind Rivers again, but he’s still a solid value and he could provided surprising upside if he logs around 30 minutes.
With George Hill (concussion) and Dante Exum (knee) both ruled out tonight, Shelvin Mack ($5000/$3800) should get all the run he can handle against the Nets porous defense.
James Harden (HOU) vs. WAS DK:$12,400/FD:$11,300
It’s certainly going to be tough to afford Harden on DK and he’s going to be very highly owned on that DFS site after posting the highest FP total (103.5 DK points) of the season with a monster triple double on New Years Eve. While going with Westbrook instead of The Beard is an interesting contrarian move, Harden is not likely to slow down too much considering he’s averaging 29.9 PPG and 63 DK PPG at home and already torched Washington’s 21st-ranked defense for 32 points and 15 assists in a road game earlier this season. Coincidentally enough, the Wizards cough up the most APG (5.28) to opposing SGs on the year, so Harden is in a great position to put up numbers as the league’s leader in that category.
Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL) vs. OKC DK:$10,400 as PG/FD:$10,200
It’s actually very possible to fit Westbrook, Harden and Giannis into FanDuel lineups tonight and it seems like a great idea considering how weak the Forward and Center positions are on this slate. If you’re paying up for guards, stacking John Wall and Harden or Westbrook and Antetokounmpo makes a lot of sense in two games to target this evening. The Greek Freak has been more productive at home with averages of 24.4 PPG, 9.2 RPG and 4.4 STL/BLK per game on the season and he’s also coming off a monstrous game (35 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists, 7 blocks) on New Years Eve. He’ll face a Thunder team that struggles to contain elite PGs because of how Russell Westbrook plays with reckless abandon on the offensive end, so he you can use him as a correlation play with Westy in a game that is projected to go down to the wire.
Jodie Meeks ($4600/$4000) continues to start for Evan Fournier (heel) and he would draw a plus matchup against the Knicks if that remains the case tonight. Jeremy Lamb ($4000/$3800) would remain a solid option if Marco Belinelli (ankle) can’t go tonight, and he might be worth a look as a punt regardless of Bello’s status.
Sean Kilpatrick ($5500/$4600) could struggle in a second straight appearance for the Nets, but he’ll be asked to do a lot more with Jeremy Lin (hamstring) back on the shelf.
Jimmy Butler (CHI) vs. CHA: DK:$8,700/FD:$8,300
Paying up for a SF is certainly optional tonight, but the one thing I know I will not be doing is paying for LeBron or Kevin Durant in likely blowouts. Butler’s Bulls (PK) are neither favored nor are they underdogs at home against an equally-matched Hornets squad, so you can expect a full slate of minutes from the leader of his team. Jimmy Buckets has exceeded value in 2 of his last 3 appearances and he draws a good matchup on paper against a Charlotte team that struggles to defend opposing SFs and coughed up 26 points to Butler on 11-of-19 FG shooting in a meeting earlier this year.
Otto Porter (WAS) @ HOU: DK:$6,100/FD:$5,800
Stacking the Wizards-Rockets game out in Houston seems like a good idea with two top 12 offenses meeting in a potential shootout. With Bradley Beal (ankle) questionable to suit up for Washington, Porter could emerge as the secondary scoring option next to John Wall this evening. He’s facing a Rockets team that gives up the third-most PPG (21.82) to opposing SFs and coughed up 20 points, 8 rebounds and 42 DK points to Porter earlier this season. He’s established a solid floor of around 25 FPs with spiked performances over the last few weeks, and there’s a chance that Porter could exceed value if these teams wind up lighting up the scoreboard.
Trevor Ariza ($5500/$5600) is a solid cash game play as per usual. Tony Snell ($3500/$3600) is a risky punt play if you want to save enough to fit the studs in the Bucks-Thunder game into your LU.
Aaron Gordon ($4800/$4100) bounces between duds and solid games, but he seems slightly more likely to exceed value against a Knicks frontcourt that’s dealing with multiple injuries.
Kristaps Porzingis (NYK) vs. ORL: DK:$7,100/FD:$7,800
Now, we said that there aren’t many forwards worth paying up for tonight, but PorzinGod could change that assertion if he goes through shootaround today and looks likely to return to action for the Knicks. The Unicorn missed Saturday’s game with a sore Achilles, yet the injury is not considered to be serious and it may have simply been a case of earning some rest on the second half of a B2B set. With Carmelo Anthony (knee) struggling to play through soreness and PF Kyle O’Quinn (illness) questionable tonight, it could be up to Porzingis to match up with Orlando’s sizable duo of Serge Ibaka and Nikola Vucevic. Despite their presence, the Magic allows the seventh-most FPPG (51.37) to opposing centers this season and Porzingis is likely to play heavy minutes at the 5 if he suits up tonight.
Derrick Favors (UTA) @ BKN: DK:$4,900/FD:$4,900
It’s taken him an extraordinary amount of time, but Favors appears to finally be rounding back into form after battling back from a knee injury. His strict minute restriction is slowly rising, as produced 13 points, 20 rebounds and 45.5 DK points (42 FD points) while playing 25 and 24 minutes over his last 2 appearances. Tonight he draws a fantastic matchup against a Nets team that coughs up the most PPG (114.4) and most FPPG (55.57) to opposing PFs this season, so this is clearly the time to buy low on Favors if you believe he can continue to ramp up his activity along with his playing time.
Nikola Mirotic ($4200/$4400) continues to meet value at his modest price tag and he’s a great value option for less salary than the riskier Favors.
Ryan Anderson ($5800/$5400) can heat up in a hurry and tonight he faces a Wizards team that ranks 27th in opponents 3PT shooting.
DeAndre Jordan (LAC) vs. PHO: DK:$7,200/FD:$7,300
Jordan came up one point shy of a double double yesterday in a brutal matchup against the Thunder’s stout front line, so he should remain on your radar in a much easier tilt this evening. The Suns are ranked 20th in defensive rebounding rate and play at the second-fastest pace in the NBA, which should provide DAJ with tons of opportunities to pull down boards in the absence of Blake Griffin. He’s averaging 0.45 rebounds and 1.06 FPs per minute with Griffin off the floor this season and is averaging 11.3 PPG and 13.7 RPG over his last 7 appearances. Give Jordan a look in what should be a bounce back effort for the entire Clips team after Saturday’s blowout loss.
Greg Monroe (MIL) vs. OKC: DK:$4,600/FD:$4,800
This is pretty much a recommendation to punt the center position where possible tonight, as Montrezl Harrell ($5100/$4600) can help you do just that on FanDuel as well. Monroe comes with a bit more risk than the Rockets center because he’s locked into a timeshare with John Henson and is subject to the whims of fickle HC Jason Kidd, but the talented big man is capable of putting up numbers in a high-scoring bout with the Thunder. He bounced back from a quiet game with 15 points, 12 rebounds and 39.5 DK points (36.9 FD points) at Chicago on New Years Eve and now he’ll face a Thunder team that is giving up an above average 48.83 FPPG to opposing centers over the last 4 weeks.
Enes Kanter ($5300/$5400 as PF on FD) should be a popular play for the Thunder, but I would tread lightly with Victor Oladipo back. Marcin Gortat ($6400/$6600) is much safer as is Harrell for the Rockets.
Joakim Noah ($4800/$4500) has been boom or bust depending on his health and the strength of his matchup, but he’s worth a look against the Magic tonight.