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Scouting The NBA DFS - Saturday, January 14

We break down Saturday's 4-game slate of NBA action to help you cash in DFS contests on DraftKings and FanDuel

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Plays of the Day

Value: Nerlens Noel will be asked to fill in for Joel Embiid (rest) tonight with his ability to protect the rim and rebound. He only played 20 minutes last night while meeting value in a fourth straight appearance and he could see closer to 30 minutes on the second half of this B2B set. Noel is averaging 19.1 points, 8.4 rebounds and 3.5 steals/blocks per 36 minutes this year, so you can hope for him to get a full slate of run and provide 4x returns on value.

Fade: Eric Bledsoe is a promising young player and he’s often provided good returns in DFS contests, but he’s still making a ton of mistakes for a PG and the Spurs are the team with the best defensive rating in the NBA, so they could force him into some bad spots and make him struggle tonight.

Games to Target

  1. Washington Wizards (-3.5) hosting Philadelphia 76ers (Over/Under = 206.5)
  2. Chicago Bulls (+2.5) hosting New Orleans Pelicans (Over/Under = 209)

Point Guards

Two Studs

John Wall (WAS) vs. PHI DK:$9,500/FD:$9,700

The top three players on the board tonight are all questionable, but Wall is the most likely to suit up given Anthony Davis’ cautious history and the extent of Jimmy Butler’s illness. Wall is dealing with a sprained pinky that shouldn’t keep him out and he was able to get shots up in practice on Friday while avoiding contact. As long as he’s active, you’ll want to get exposure to the Wizards floor general against a Sixers defense that is markedly worse with Joel Embiid (rest) off the floor. Wall should be able to attack the paint to score or dish in this matchup and he’s averaging 24.2 PPG and 9.7 APG over his last 5 meetings with Philadelphia, not to mention his notably positive home splits.

Tony Parker (SA) @ PHO DK:$4,700/FD:$4,800

Parker has been playing great ball lately and he’s well rested because the Spurs have been blown out two of their last three opponents at home. But San Antonio (-11) is slightly less likely to win big on the road and Parker should have a field day against an inexperienced Suns defense while he’s out there. Phoenix ranks third in the NBA in pace and coughs up the second-most PPG (112) this year. The Suns also cough up the second-most PPG (24.92) and seventh-most FPPG (44.61) to opposing PGs this season and Parker is producing slightly over half of his FPs by scoring. He’s averaging 13 PPG on 56.6% FG shooting over his last 5 appearances and is showing flashes of the Tony Parker of old while leading the Spurs sophisticated offense.

Potential Value

George Hill ($6300/$6100) should serve as the best cash game play tonight, especially if Wall sounds iffy to play.


The Bulls turned to Rajon Rondo ($4800/$4300) early during a loss to the Knicks on Thursday and they’ll need him to jump start their offense if Jimmy Butler remains out tonight.

Shooting Guards

Two Studs

Bradley Beal (WAS) vs. PHI DK:$7,000/FD:$7,000

When last we saw Beal on Wednesday, he was putting up 35 points while shooting a ridiculous 13-of-26 from the field in a narrow loss at Boston. He wound up as a better per dollar play than James Harden on that full slate and could easily emerge as the best SG option on tonight’s short slate against a poor 76ers defense. Even when John Wall is healthy, he defers to Beal as the primary shooter for Washington, and an injury to his shooting hand will make Wall even more likely to pass to his backcourt mate. Beal is averaging 23.3 PPG while shooting 47.3% from the field and an impressive 45.1% from three-point range at home this season and he’s facing a Sixers team that coughs up 22.83 PPG to opposing SGs on the year.

Tyreke Evans (NO) @ CHI DK:$5,100/FD:$5,600

His minutes restriction apparently rose dramatically out of necessity on Thursday night, as Evans led the Pelicans to a win with 29 points over 28 minutes of run with Anthony Davis (hip) inactive. The Brow could return tonight, but Evans is probably still going to see heavy usage with the Pelicans second unit and he’s a bit under priced if he’s going to play close to 30 minutes once again. The prolific slashing guard is posting a 30% Usage Rate and averaging 1.18 FPs per minute when Davis is off the floor this year and his per 36 minute numbers (19.6 points, 7 rebounds, 7.8 assist) indicate the type of upside he’ll have once he gets back to full speed.

Potential Value

Buddy Hield ($4300/$4100) might actually benefit if Anthony Davis returns tonight and sucks in the defense to create more open shots.


Dwyane Wade ($7100/$7200) should of course draw consideration in a plus matchup against New Orleans if Butler is out. Sheldon McCllelan ($3200/$3500) saw minutes down the stretch of the Wizards last game and he might step into a significant role if Wall is out with backup PG Tomas Satoransky (illness) also questionable.

Small Forwards

Two Studs

Kawhi Leonard (SA) @ PHO: DK:$8,500/FD:$8,700

If only efficiency DFS sites such as DraftStreet still existed, because Leonard is posting some of the most incredible lines we’ve ever seen from an efficiency standpoint. He just dropped 31 points on 13 FGA in a huge blowout win over the Lakers, and much like Parker, he could see a boost in upside if the Suns challenge the Spurs a little more on the road tonight. Phoenix was somewhat competitive when San Antonio visited in mid-December, which allowed Leonard to post 18 points, 10 rebounds and 42 DK points over just 27 minutes of run. He’s averaging 42.5 DK PPG while playing just 31.5 MPG and his efficiency gives him a much better chance to meet or exceed value even without getting a full slate of run.

Otto Porter (WAS) vs. PHI: DK:$6,600/FD:$6,200

So you’re probably not going to play Wall, Beal and Porter in the same lineup, but using two out of the three along with a couple of the Sixers fill-in bigs is a great way to craft a GPP lineup tonight. If Wall is inactive or otherwise limited, Porter will see an increased usage rate and he’s already put up impressive numbers with 15 points, 13 boards and 4 steals in a meeting with Philadelphia earlier this season. The 76ers cough up the eighth-most RPG (8.73) and rank 22nd in total rebounding rate this season, while they certainly become more vulnerable on the interior when Embiid is out, so feel free to target this game with mid-tier options on both sides of the ball.

Potential Value

Paul Zipser ($3000/$3500) turned in a surprisingly impressive performance in a spot start on Thursday and he could be worth a look if Butler, Nikola Mirotic and Denzel Valentine are all still out due to illness.


Robert Covington ($6200/$5500) is always a volatile play but he could have a big game against Washington’s poor 3PT defense.

Power Forwards

Two Studs

Anthony Davis (NO) @ CHI: DK:$11,400/FD:$11,500

The DFS community has to be frustrated by The Brow, but there’s no denying that he will become a fantastic play if he’s cleared to suit up tonight. The shorthanded Bulls were just carved up by the Knicks frontcourt combination of Kyle O’Quinn, Joakim Noah and Mindaugas Kuzminskas on Thursday, so they’re clearly not capable of slowing down arguably the most talented big man in the league today. Davis has struggled in relative terms on the road this year but he broke that mold with 40 points and 18 boards at the Knicks on Monday and the fact that there are so few expensive plays on the board this Saturday night makes him close to a must play if he’s active.

Dario Saric (PHI) @ WAS: DK:$4,500/FD:$3,900

You can dip into the Sixers front court for several different value plays with Joel Embiid (rest) ruled out tonight. Embiid is sporting a team-high 36.1% Usage Rate and when he’s off the floor Saric is sporting a 24.6% Usage Rate while averaging 0.82 FPs per minute. He’s been playing very well alongside The Process with averages of 10.6 PPG and 5.7 RPG over his last 5 appearances and should find success tonight against the Wizards 27th-ranked defense. Washington also ranks 27th in opponents 3PT shooting (.378%) so Saric could do damage inside and out with increased opportunity this evening.

Potential Value

Taj Gibson ($5500/$4800) is always a solid cash game play and his stock could see a boost if Mirotic is still out.


Markieff Morris ($6000/$5700) has been hot lately and he could also see a boost if Wall is inactive or limited tonight. Of course, Terrence Jones ($6600/$5100) would become a virtual must play if Davis sits out another game.


Two Studs

Marcin Gortat (WAS) vs. PHI: DK:$6,400/FD:$6,100

The Sixers backup big men should become very popular plays with Embiid expected to sit out the second half of a B2B set, but Gortat could benefit just as much from the absence of The Process. He’s always a reliable cash game play with averages of 11.5 PPG and 11.8 RPG on the season and he’s certainly capable of bullying Philadelphia’s front court at home. The 76ers are coughing up the sixth-most FPPG (50.97) to opposing centers over the last month and don’t really have a strong big man to matchup with the Polish Hammer when Embiid is inactive. John Wall and Gortat have great chemistry, so you could craft lineups stacking those two Wizards and create other lineups that revolve around Beal and Porter.

Nerlens Noel (PHI) @ WAS: DK:$5,500/FD:$4,700 as PF

Perhaps the most obvious value play on FanDuel and a great mid-tier option at center on DK, Noel will be asked to fill the void left by Embiid’s absence. Jahlil Okafor might enter the rotation after four straight DNP-CDs, but Noel is much more similar to Embiid with his ability to protect the rim and rebound. He only played 20 minutes last night while meeting value in a fourth straight appearance and he could see closer to 30 minutes on the second half of this B2B set. Noel is averaging 19.1 points, 8.4 rebounds and 3.5 steals/blocks per 36 minutes this year, so you can hope for him to get a full slate of run and provide 4x returns on value.

Potential Value

Tyson Chandler ($4900/$5400) is rebounding at an elite rate and he’ll be asked to play heavy minutes against the sizable Spurs front court tonight.


Nikola Vucevic ($6100/$6700) carried Orlando’s offense last night and he’s worth a look despite drawing a tough matchup against the Jazz. Jahlil Okafor ($4700/$4400) is a true longshot given his lack of involvement for the Sixers of late.

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