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Scouting The NBA DFS - Wednesday, January 4

We've got a 7-game slate of NBA action this Wednesday and the Daily DFS Breakdown will help you cash on DraftKings and FanDuel

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Plays of the Day

Value: Willie Reed bounced back from an invisible performance in a spot start last Sunday to post career highs with 22 points and 18 rebounds in a fantastic outing against Tyson Chandler and the Suns. He’ll have his work cut out for him while matching up with DeMarcus Cousins tonight, but as long as he can avoid foul trouble, Reed should see heavy playing time once again with Whiteside, Justise Winslow (shoulder) and Tyler Johnson (head) likely out, while James Johnson (illness) and Dion Waiters (groin) are on the wrong side of questionable for Miami.

Fade: Kevin Durant draws a great matchup on paper against a Blazers team that’s ranked 30th in defensive rating and struggles to contain opposing SFs, but we saw how he can post quiet lines in home games once again with just 21 points and 31.25 DK points in a win over Denver on Monday. Feel free to fade him with the Warriors (-16) heavily favored.

Games to Target

  1. Charlotte Hornets (-2.5) hosting Oklahoma City Thunder (Over/Under = 208.5)
  2. Sacramento Kings (-8.5) hosting Miami Heat (Over/Under = 203.5)

Point Guards

Two Studs

Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL) @ NYK DK:$10,400/FD:$10,500

It almost seems as if Antetokoumpo has reached Russell Westbrook’s level with a floor of around 50 FPs and a reasonably high ceiling if he can add defensive stats while flirting for a triple double. Yet of course, he’s far cheaper than Westbrook on DK and makes for a much better option if you want to craft a balanced lineup. The Greek Freak is facing a Knicks team that ranks 26th in defensive rating and coughs up the sixth most PPG (108.5) this year and is completely unprepared to deal with elite athletes on the wing. Giannis has been all over the court with averages of 26.2 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 6.4 APG, 2 BPG and 1.2 SPG over his last 5 appearances and that’s pretty consistent with his numbers all season. Trust the Freak under the bright lights of MSG tonight.

Kemba Walker (CHA) vs. OKC DK:$8,200/FD:$8,400

You can either fade Westbrook in favor of his adversary or use Kemba as a correlation play with the Hornets (-2) expected to win a very close home game tonight. Walker’s been more productive at home over the past several seasons and he’s averaging 24.3 PPG with a 30.5% Usage Rate and .593% True Shooting Percentage in Charlotte this year. The electric PG is coming alive lately after dealing with a knee injury and missing a couple of games for personal reasons, as he just dropped a combined 71 points, 16 rebounds, 9 assists and 112 DK points (102.7 FD points) in meetings with the Bulls and Cavs this week. Now he’ll face a Thunder team that coughs up the eighth-most FPPG (44.44) to opposing PGs this season and Kemba averaged 26.5 PPG over 2 showdowns with Westbrook last year.

Potential Value

Darren Collison ($4500/$4500) should continue to benefit with Ty Lawson (face) unlikely to play for the Kings. Malcolm Brogdon ($4400) is only worth a look as a value on FD, while Michael Carter-Williams ($4500/$4700) should serve as a solid value on either main DFS site.

Longshot

Goran Dragic ($6900/$7000) returned from a back injury to play 38 minutes last night and he should see a huge workload in Sacramento tonight if his health allows for it. Chris Paul is also expected to miss another game, which puts Raymond Felton ($4600/$4400) and Austin Rivers ($4900/$4200) in play.

Shooting Guards

Two Studs

C.J. McCollum (POR) @ GSW DK:$8,600/FD:$8,000

McCollum finally came up with a huge game in the absence of Damian Lillard (ankle) last Sunday and he would be a slam dunk play tonight if not for the legitimate concerns over a blowout loss. The Warriors (-16) are huge favorites at home per usual and the highest-scoring team in the NBA could easily run away from a Blazers team that ranks dead last in defensive rating. Yet if the game remains competitive, it will be because McCollum is going off, as the combo guard is sporting a 35.6% Usage Rate over his last 4 appearances with Lillard inactive. Golden State is giving up the third-most FPPG (49.99) to opposing SGs over the last week and coughs up plenty of production while playing at a blinding pace, so CJM is at least worth a look in GPP formats if you want to use any of the Warriors Big 4.

Victor Oladipo (OKC) @ CHA DK:$5,500/FD:$5,400

There is a certain pattern involved when buying low on players that are coming back from injury. We saw that method come through in a big way with Goran Dragic and Reggie Jackson exceeding value by a wide margin last night and it paid off for those who used Oladipo on Monday, as he produced 18 points and 33.25 DK points (30 FD points) while playing 35 minutes in a close loss to the Bucks. He’s regaining his rhythm and conditioning after missing several games with a wrist injury and should be productive tonight with the Hornets defense concentrating on Westbrook. Charlotte is coughing up the most FPPG (43.76) to opposing SGs over the last month and that makes Dipo a great mid-tier option as the Thunder’s secondary scoring option.

Potential Value

Jodie Meeks ($4400/$4500) continues to kill it with Evan Fournier (heel) on the shelf for Orlando. Jeremy Lamb ($4100/$4000) will also be worth a look if Marco Belinelli (ankle) sounds unlikely to play for Charlotte.

Longshot

Jamal Crawford ($4800/$4300) can be used as a longshot in GPPs with Chris Paul (hamstring) still out, while Tim Hardaway Jr. ($3600/$3800) is more of a punt play with similar upside.

Small Forwards

Two Studs

LeBron James (CLE) vs. CHI: DK:$10,500/FD:$10,000

This is the position at which you should pay up tonight. Jimmy Butler is going to be extremely highly owned after his incredible performance without Dwayne Wade in the lineup on Monday, which actually makes LBJ something of a sneaky play. He’s listed as questionable with flu-like symptoms, but he played through that issue on Monday to produce 26 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists and he tends to get up for games against Chicago, as he posted 27 points, 5 rebounds and 13 assists in a meeting with the Bulls earlier this year. Kevin Love (illness) and Kyrie Irving (hamstring) are also questionable tonight, so the Cavs lineup is a real question mark, but if one of the Big 3 sits while LeBron is active, you should have some exposure to The King, because he’s sporting a 36.2% Usage Rate and averaging 1.32 FPs per minute with Kyrie off the floor this year.

Jimmy Butler (CHI) @ CLE: DK:$9,000/FD:$9,300

Butler will probably be the toughest star to fade tonight after his monstrous game (52 points, 12 rebounds, 85 DK points) on Monday. With D-Wade (knee) listed as a GTD and Rajon Rondo banished to DNP-CD Land, Butler has taken over as the unquestioned maestro of Chicago’s offense and he’s rewarded the coaching staff with averages of 29.7 PPG on 47% FG shooting over his last 6 appearances. He’s sporting an insane 41.5% Usage Rate and averaging 1.59 FPs per minute with both Rondo and Wade off the floor this year and just hits 15-of-24 FG attempts along with 21-of-22 FT attempts in his last appearance. The Cavs are extremely vulnerable against opposing guards, giving up the seventh-most FPPG (39.27) to opposing SGs and to opposing PGs (44.63) this season, while Jimmy Buckets is essentially playing both roles for Chicago right now.

Potential Value

Wayne Ellington ($4100/$4100 as SG on FD) is worth a look in a plus matchup with Miami shorthanded. Maurice Harkless ($4700/$4800) matches up well with the lengthy Warriors and he has been consistent lately.

Longshot

Aaron Gordon ($4600/$4500) has been fantastic in plus matchups, but we’ll see if he can produce against Atlanta’s stingy defense tonight.

Power Forwards

Two Studs

Draymond Green (GSW) vs. POR: DK:$7,500/FD:$7,900

This might seem like a “chalk” play considering how the Blazers give up the most FPPG (46.37) to opposing PFs this season, but that doesn’t mean it’s the wrong play. The Warriors are capable of steamrolling Portland’s 30th-ranked defense and Green is going to be at the center of any blowout with his ability to rebound, push the ball in transition, and find open shooters or cutters with aplomb. He’s dropped 30 dimes over his last 3 appearances and is coming off a triple double in a surprisingly close win over Denver on Monday. With a 29.3% Assist Rate to lead the highest-scoring team in the NBA, Green is a great candidate to pile up peripheral stats and meet or exceed value depending on the competitive nature of this game.

Nikola Mirotic (CHI) @ CLE: DK:$4,300/FD:$4,300

He’s been a solid value for a couple weeks since earning his way back into the Bulls rotation and Mirotic could benefit greatly if Dwayne Wade is unable to play tonight. The sharpshooting forward is asked to start at times when Wade misses games and he’s posting a 21.3% Usage Rate with D-Wade off the floor this year. Mirotic has met or exceeded value in 9 straight appearances, so he’s a viable option in cash games or tournaments tonight, while he might also have the advantage of facing horrible defender Channing Frye for stretches if Kevin Love is inactive or limited by his illness. Butler is the main man for Chicago, but Mirotic could step up as the secondary scorer if Wade is out again.

Potential Value

Taj Gibson ($4500/$4700) is never a risky play and he got fired up for a huge game against the Cavs earlier this season.

Longshot

Grizzlies PF JaMychal Green (face) is questionable tonight while Marc Gasol (ankle) isn’t one hundred percent, so Zach Randolph ($5600/$5800) could step up for Memphis against the shorthanded Clippers.

Centers

Two Studs

DeMarcus Cousins (SAC) vs. MIA: DK:$11,500/FD:$11,200

It’s feast or famine at this position again tonight and it’s also an easy option to just use Cousins and his adversary. Both Boogie and his opponent, Nikola Jokic, exceeded value last night and we could easily see punt play Willie Reed drop a solid line opposite the Kings superstar tonight with Hassan Whiteside (eye) out. But Cousins is more than capable of demolishing Reed the way he dribbled around and through Jokic last night and has been steamrolling all opponents with averages of 29 PPG, 10.1 RPG and 3.8 APG on the season. He dropped 30 points against the Heat before fouling out with Whiteside active earlier this season, but he’s far less likely to get into any kind of foul trouble tonight and he should maintain his ridiculous 42.1% Usage Rate with Rudy Gay off the floor this year.

Willie Reed (MIA) @ SAC: DK:$3,900/FD:$4,000

NBA DFS can be a strange sport, as Reed bounced back from an invisible performance in a spot start last Sunday to post career highs with 22 points and 18 rebounds in a fantastic outing against Tyson Chandler and the Suns. He’ll have his work cut out for him while matching up with Cousins tonight, but as long as he can avoid foul trouble, Reed should see heavy playing time once again with Whiteside, Justise Winslow (shoulder) and Tyler Johnson (head) likely out, while James Johnson (illness) and Dion Waiters (groin) are on the wrong side of questionable for Miami. Necessity is the safest factor when hunting for values in DFS and Miami needs Reed to play very well while playing big minutes once again.

Potential Value

Greg Monroe ($4800/$5200) is becoming an integral part of the Bucks offense and he faces a worn down Knicks front line tonight. The absence of Kristaps Porzingis would also make Joakim Noah ($5000/$4900) a more worthwhile value.

Longshot

Steven Adams ($5300/$5600) had an incredibly efficient game against the Bucks on Monday and he draws an even better matchup tonight against a Hornets team that’s missing starting center Cody Zeller.


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