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Scouting The NBA DFS - Thursday, January 5

We have a rare 8-game slate of NBA action this Thursday and the Daily DFS Breakdown will help you cash on DraftKings and FanDuel

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Plays of the Day

Value: Steven Adams has been ridiculously efficient with 49 points on 21-of-26 FG shooting over his last 3 appearances and he continues to benefit when defenses collapse on Russell Westbrook. Tonight, he’ll face a Rockets team that has evolved to become the fourth-fastest paced and second-highest scoring offense in the NBA and that should provide plenty of rebounding opportunities for the massive 7-footer.

Fade: The Pelicans give up a lot of production to opposing centers, but I would find it difficult to trust Dwight Howard on the second half of a B2B set. He’s been slightly less productive on the road this season and struggled in his only other meeting with New Orleans.

Games to Target

  1. Houston Rockets (-8.5) hosting Oklahoma City Thunder (Over/Under = 224)
  2. Portland Blazers (-5.5) hosting Los Angeles Lakers (Over/Under = 216.5)

Point Guards

Two Studs

Kyle Lowry (TOR) vs. UTA DK:$7,800/FD:$8,100

Here is a play that you can use to go against the grain tonight if you’re willing to fade Russell Westbrook ($12,300/$12,400) in favor of a more balanced lineup. Lowry and the Raptors are coming off an embarrassing loss at San Antonio earlier this week and he failed to score in double figures for the first time since the middle of last season with a season-low six points. So, this is a classic bounce back spot for Toronto (-5.5) at home and their leader should be fired up to get back on track against a team that he’s owned recently. Utah’s defense is very good, but the Jazz has an Achilles heel when it comes to defending versatile PGs, as Isaiah Thomas just eviscerated them on Tuesday and Lowry dropped 36 points against Utah in a meeting earlier this year. Prior to his dud against the Spurs, Lowry was on fire with averages of 29.6 PPG and 49.6 DK PPG over his previous 6 appearances and he could get back to those productive ways tonight.

Reggie Jackson (DET) vs. CHA DK:$6,700/FD:$6,400

Jackson is a much easier play to consider in any format tonight with his tremendous upside in a mispriced range. He was slowly overcoming some rust and a minutes restriction when he went off for 20 points, 12 assists and 52.25 DK points (47.4 FD points) on Tuesday and he’s now averaging 18.8 PPG, 7.2 APG and 36 DK PPG over his last 5 appearances. The Pistons offense continues to run through Jackson, as he’s sporting a 29.5% Usage Rate and 40.1% Assist Rate over his last 3 starts and tonight he faces a Hornets defense that’s falling apart to a degree. Charlotte is giving up 109 PPG over its last 6 contests and coughing up the fifth-most FPPG (51.68) to opposing PGs over the last week. The Hornets allow the fourth-most APG (9.14) to opposing PGs on the season and that makes Jackson a great bet to post another big double double at a modest price tag.

Potential Value

Jordan Clarkson ($4500/$4400) is a bit of a boom or bust option, but it’s hard to imagine any integral offensive player for the Lakers struggling against Portland’s 30th-ranked defense.


Tony Parker ($4900/$4600) has looked great while playing steady minutes for the Spurs lately and he draws a fantastic matchup at Denver tonight.

Shooting Guards

Two Studs

C.J. McCollum (POR) vs. LAL DK:$9,000/FD:$8,000

We’re skipping over James Harden ($12,100/$12,000) as the obvious top option at this position if you can afford him, because it might pay to use McCollum again and hope for a third consecutive transcendent scoring performance from the Blazers combo guard. While Damian Lillard (ankle) is expected to return from a five-game absence tonight, he could be brought a long slowly to a degree and his presence should seriously diminish McCollum’s ownership rate. He’s still quite affordable on FanDuel and is a better fit for that DFS site because 68% of his production comes from points this season. CJM caught fire during the first half against the Warriors last night and he’s certainly capable of torching the Lakers 29th-ranked defense, while it’s worth noting that his adversary gives up the second-most FPPG (41.51) and PPG (25.79) to opposing SGs this season.

Victor Oladipo (OKC) @ HOU DK:$6,000/FD:$5,900

This is certainly a game to target with the highest Over/Under (225 points) on tonight’s slate, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to pay up for the MVP candidates on both teams. If you fade Westbrook because of the expectation that Patrick Beverley (wrist) will return and contain him to a degree, than you should probably consider both Oladipo and Steven Adams ($5600/$5600) as the secondary scoring options for the Thunder. Dipo is rounding back into form after missing several games with a wrist injury and he exceeded value in a second consecutive appearance with 18 points, 5 assists and 31.25 DK points (28.1 FD points) last night. Houston is stingy against PGs thanks to Beverley, but coughs up the fifth-most FPPG (39.71) to opposing SGs this season and Oladipo is averaging 20.5 PPG, 8.5 RPG and 3 APG over 2 meetings with the fast-paced Rockets.

Potential Value

Nick Young ($4600/$4700) continues to fire away without hesitation for the Lakers and he draws a great matchup tonight.


Buddy Hield ($3800/$4000) is figuring out the NBA and producing for the Pelicans with averages of 15.8 PPG and 24.2 DK PPG over his last 4 appearances.

Small Forwards

Two Studs

Paul George (IND) vs. BKN: DK:$8,700/FD:$7,900

George came alive in the fourth quarter to lead the Pacers to a victory over the Pistons on Tuesday and he should be able to carry that momentum in to a dream matchup tonight. The Nets give up the most FPPG (42.21) to opposing SFs, most PPG (114) overall and play at the fastest pace in the NBA this season, so you can’t ask for much more if you’re an offensive player looking to produce at home. George has scored 30 points in three of his last four appearances and he’s averaging 23.4 PPG, 6.6 RPG and 40.4 DK PPG at home this season. As long as the Nets (+10) keep this game competitive for four quarters, PG13 should put up numbers.

Trevor Ariza (HOU) vs. OKC: DK:$5,800/FD:$5,900

When you talk about supporting casts, Ariza and Eric Gordon ($5900/$5800) are the main contributors for Houston as Oladipo and Adams are to the Thunder. So, if you believe that OKC will be able to limit James Harden in a third consecutive meeting this season, you should be willing to use the secondary scorers on Houston’s second-ranked offense. When defenses sell out to keep Harden from getting to the rim, it opens things up for Ariza, who is shooting 37.6% from downtown this season. While he only hit 3-of-14 attempts from long range in his two meetings with the Thunder this season, Ariza still met value in those games and he’s been consistently meeting value with averages of 11.8 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 4.2 APG and 2.6 SPG over his last 5 appearances. Look no further for a steady mid-tier option for cash game lineups.

Potential Value

Brandon Ingram ($3100/$3500) isn’t doing much with his minutes, but it’s worth punting with the rookie since Luol Deng (biceps) might sit out tonight. Maurice Harkless ($4800/$4700) is a safer option in the mid-tier range.


Kent Bazemore ($4200/$4000) remains a great source of salary relief and he could have another solid game in a good matchup at New Orleans.

Power Forwards

Two Studs

Anthony Davis (NO) vs. ATL: DK:$10,000/FD:$11,100

One of the perks of fading Westbrook/Harden on DK is that you can easily afford Davis, who is at his cheapest price point in weeks. The Brow is still very pricey on FanDuel, but it’s hard to fade him at just $10K on DraftKings when he’s playing at home regardless of his matchup. Davis is sporting ridiculous home splits with averages of 32.2 PPG, 13.1 RPG, 2.7 BPG and 61.2 DK PPG at the Smoothie King Center (what a name) this season, so you can trust him to produce as long as he doesn’t suffer one of his patented early-game injuries. The Hawks are actually giving up the third-most FPPG (47.18) to opposing PFs over the last month and Paul Millsap is struggling a bit while trade rumors swirl. Look for Davis to carry the Pelicans (-2.5) at home and take advantage of a Hawks team that is on the second half of a B2B set.

Julius Randle (LAL) @ POR: DK:$7,100/FD:$7,100

It’s certainly unlikely that he produces another triple double, but Randle should continue to fill the stat sheet for the Lakers in the best matchup imaginable for a talented young PF. The Blazers cough up the most FPPG (46.23) to opposing PFs this season, rank dead last in defensive rating and have to be exhausted as a team after futilely battling the Warriors down the stretch at Oracle Arena last night. Randle is benefitting from the absence of Larry Nance Jr. (knee) and the decline of veteran Luol Deng (biceps) recently, as he’s averaging 18 PPG, 9.2 RPG, 6.2 APG and 42.7 DK PPG over his last 5 appearances. A slight pay jump on both main DFS sites should give you some pause, but Randle remains a quality option in any format in a prime game to target.

Potential Value

Jon Leuer ($4800/$4900) bounced back from a dud on New Years Day to exceed value on Tuesday and he should continue to start for Detroit. Dirk Nowitzki ($4400/$5300) is cheap enough on DK to be worth a look in a plus matchup against the Suns.


Derrick Favors ($4500/$4900) is a wildcard in terms of his minutes and production, but he should more reliable now that the Jazz aren’t on a B2B set. Also consider Al-Farouq Aminu ($4400/$4100) against the weak Lakers defense.


Two Studs

Andre Drummond (DET) vs. CHA: DK:$7,800/FD:$7,900

When building cash game lineups, it’s important to target teams with consistent roles. The Pistons rotations are very consistent and they rely on Drummond to rebound while Reggie Jackson operates in PnR sets while he often finds his big man for easy finishes. Drummond is averaging 17.4 PPG and 14.6 RPG over his last 5 appearances, in part because Jackson is getting back to speed, and partially because he’s been facing some weak interior defenses during that span. Tonight he draws another great matchup against a Hornets team that gives up the eighth-most FPPG (48.26) to opposing centers this season and has become far more vulnerable with Cody Zeller (concussion) out of action recently. Drummond produced 29 points and 26 boards over 2 meetings with Charlotte despite playing limited minutes, but he should see plenty of run tonight with Detroit (-4) slightly favored at home.

Steven Adams (OKC) @ HOU: DK:$5,600/FD:$5,600

We mentioned Adams earlier in the breakdown but didn’t really cover how well he’s been playing lately. The Thunder’s center has been ridiculously efficient with 49 points on 21-of-26 FG shooting over his last 3 appearances and he continues to benefit when defenses collapse on Westbrook. Tonight, he’ll face a Rockets team that has evolved to become the fourth-fastest paced and second-highest scoring offense in the NBA and that should provide plenty of rebounding opportunities for the massive 7-footer. He won’t have to contend with a true center either, as Montrezl Harrell and washed up veteran Nene Hilario are filling in for Houston right now, so another big double double seems quite possible for Adams.

Potential Value

Mason Plumlee ($5900/$6300) is such a great young big man and he should run circles around Timofey Mozgov and the Lakers tonight.


Jusuf Nurkic ($3600/$4100) is playing steady minutes off the bench for Denver and he might be safer than starter Nikola Jokic ($7100/$7100 as PF on FD) as they both draw a brutal matchup against the Spurs.

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