USA Today Sports

Scouting The NBA DFS - Wednesday, January 25

We've got a full slate of NBA action tonight and the Daily DFS Breakdown will help you cash on DraftKings and FanDuel

Have you tried our brand new NBA DFS Lineup Optimizer? It’s absolutely free for all to use and it will help you hone in the absolute best cash & GPP lineups every single day. Click here to use it now & learn more about it here!

As a Scout Premium member, you get exclusive access to our brand new NBA DFS projections (ScoutScores!) on DraftKings and FanDuel! Click here to check it out!

Plays of the Day

Value: Nerlens Noel is going to be extremely highly owned at this modest price tag after putting up 19 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 blocks and 2 steals while carrying the Sixers to a victory over the Clippers last night. Joel Embiid (knee) will not play tonight while Jahlil Okafor (knee) could be limited if he’s active, so Noel should see close to 30 minutes once again in a slightly tougher matchup.

Fade: James Harden is an elite option as always with a lofty floor, but he’s so expensive that he’ll need to break 70 FPs to exceed value and prove worthwhile on a night with several appealing SGs in the value range. The Celtics are capable of containing opposing PGs and they’ll be fired up to bounce back defensively in this tough test at home.

Games to Target

  1. New Orleans Pelicans (+1.5) hosting Oklahoma City Thunder (Over/Under = 216.5)
  2. Boston Celtics (+3.5) hosting Houston Rockets (Over/Under = 229.5)

Point Guards

Two Studs

Kyle Lowry (TOR) @ MEM DK:$8,800/FD:$8,400

Lowry started hot, but barely managed to meet value in a brutal matchup against the Spurs last night. Yet he’s still a very difficult fade in a slightly better spot tonight with superstar backcourt mate DeMar DeRozan (ankle) out for at least one more game. His Usage Rate is up to 30.3% and he’s averaging 1.16 FPs per minute with DDR off the floor this year, while Lowry faces a Grizzlies team tonight that is giving up an above average 45.12 FPPG to opposing PGs over the last month, whereas the Spurs gave up the fewest FPs to his position during that span. At the exact same price tag on both main DFS sites, he’s a quality cash game play with plenty of upside as he’ll look to will the Raptors to victory on the road.

Stephen Curry (GSW) @ CHA DK:$8,500/FD:$8,900

As Steph continues to become more assertive in this year’s version of the Warriors offense, he also seems to become cheaper on DraftKings. There’s no way he should be the seventh-most expensive option on that DFS site ahead of a matchup against a Hornets team that gives up the sixth-most APG (8.89) to opposing PGs this year and has begun to deteriorate in the defensive backcourt. This is also a homecoming game for the Charlotte native, as Curry went for 35 PPG on 66.7% FG shooting over two meetings with the Hornets last year, and he’ll certainly be motivated to perform in front of friends and family. The two-time reigning MVP is taking far fewer shots this year, but he’s averaging 26.5 PPG and 7 APG over 11 games since 2017 began and he’s taking on more responsibilities as the Warriors will look to bounce back from a road loss on Monday.

Potential Value

Ty Lawson ($4100/$4500) is still a fantastic value on DK and he should continue to provide excellent FP per minute production against the Cavs weak backcourt defense.


Jordan Clarkson ($4900/$5400) should see a significant boost in usage and playing time with D’Angelo Russell (knee) out for the Lakers. Jrue Holiday ($7600/$6800) could blow up again if Anthony Davis (quad) and/or Tyreke Evans (ankle) are out for the Pelicans.

Shooting Guards

Two Studs

Dion Waiters (MIA) @ BKN DK:$6,600/FD:$6,000

You’re not necessarily chasing points by using Waiters tonight, as he’s been ramping up over his last several games while averaging 24.3 PPG on 58% FG shooting over his last 4 appearances. He’s getting healthier at the right time for the Heat, because they’ve lost Josh Richardson (foot) for a couple of weeks and Tyler Johnson (shoulder) didn’t even make the trip to Brooklyn, so Waiters should post a high Usage Rate once again after dominating possessions and going for 33 points in consecutive wins for Miami. Of course, Brooklyn still gives up the most PPG (114.9) while playing at the fastest pace in the NBA this year, making the Nets a fantastic target in DFS contests.

Lou Williams (LAL) @ POR DK:$5,800/FD:$5,700

There are some appealing options at the top of the board at SG tonight, but if you can get the same type of production from Sweet Lou as you might from his adversary in C.J. McCollum for example. Lou leads the Lakers with a 33.5% Usage Rate and averages 1.06 FPs per minute with D’Angelo Russell off the floor this year and the veteran should help his young team bounce back from a franchise-worst 49-point loss to Dallas last Sunday. Portland has gone from the 30th-ranked to 27th-ranked defense in the NBA, but is still quite vulnerable on the perimeter and gives up the third-highest 3PT percentage (.382%) along with the fifth-most PPG (110.5) this season. Prior to Sunday’s blowout loss, Williams was rolling with 77 points and 14 assists over his previous 3 appearance and he should get back to his productive ways tonight as the Lakers Sixth Man.

Potential Value

Norman Powell ($3600/$3500) came through with 16 points over a solid 39 minutes in a loss to the Spurs last night and he’s a fantastic value play tonight at an even cheaper price tag on FanDuel with DDR still out. Garrett Temple ($4000/$4300) is also a good source of salary relief with the Kings in Cleveland.


Dwyane Wade ($6400/$7000) is coming off a huge game on the front end of a B2B set and he’s expected to play around the same amount of minutes at home tonight.

Small Forwards

Two Studs

LeBron James (CLE) vs. SAC: DK:$10,000/FD:$10,700

After the Cavs most recent loss, LeBron told the media that they “know what the problem is,” with the defending champions. One can infer that he’s talking about a lack of depth behind the Big 3, as he posted a monstrous line on Monday along with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, but it still wasn’t enough to defeat a Pelicans team that was playing without star Anthony Davis. Yet unless he plans to take another mid-season vacation, it’s time for James to put his head down, turn back the clock and try to carry the Cavs (-11.5) in another winnable game tonight. Sacramento ranks 23rd in opponents FG shooting (.462%) on the season and just lost starting SF Rudy Gay for the season, so the Kings are ill-equipped to handle The King, who can score in bunches and potentially flirt with another triple double whenever his motor is running.

Trevor Ariza (HOU) @ BOS: DK:$5,500/FD:$5,300

While there is a promising point total (229.5) in this contest, it’s hard to pay up for James Harden at his lofty price tag. Yet you can still get a piece of the Rockets second-ranked offense by using their most consistent two-way player in Ariza. He’s averaging a solid 12.4 PPG, 5.4 RPG and 1.9 SPG on the year while shooting 37% from downtown and Ariza draws a good matchup tonight against a Celtics team that gives up the tenth-most FPPG (38.59) to opposing SFs and ranks 28th in total rebounding this year. He went for 15 points and 8 boards the last time these teams met and remains a good bet to meet value in a high-scoring, fast-paced affair at the TD Garden tonight.

Potential Value

Terrence Ross ($4500/$3700) also came through for the Raptors with DDR out and he’s also even cheaper on FanDuel ahead of a slightly better matchup at Memphis. Also consider Brandon Ingram ($4600/$4400) despite the Lakers collective dud last Sunday.


Kent Bazemore ($4700/$4500) is always a volatile value option, but he should be brimming with confidence after dropping 25 points in his last outing.

Power Forwards

Two Studs

Kevin Love (CLE) vs. SAC: DK:$7,800/FD:$7,700

You can expect all three members of the Cavs all-star trio to put up solid numbers and serve as cornerstones in cash game lineups in what should be an emotional win at home tonight. Love is cheaper than Kyrie Irving and draws a better individual matchup against a Kings team that gives up the eighth-most FPPG (43.79) to opposing PFs and ranks 24th in total rebounding this season. He went for 15 points and 18 rebounds the last time these teams met and is coming off a bigtime double double with 22 points and 16 boards at New Orleans on Monday, so he’s clearly past his back spasms and should be ready to roll at home against a poor defensive team.

Nerlens Noel (PHI) @ MIL: DK:$4,300/FD:$4,100

Noel is going to be extremely highly owned at this modest price tag after putting up 19 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 blocks and 2 steals while carrying the Sixers to a victory over the Clippers last night. Joel Embiid (knee) will not play tonight while Jahlil Okafor (knee) could be limited if he’s active, so Noel should see close to 30 minutes once again in a slightly tougher matchup. The Bucks are posting decent numbers in terms of their interior defense, but don’t have a ton of beef down low, which bodes well for the super skinny Noel, who is finally coming on strong and should be showcased by Philly ahead of the trade deadline.

Potential Value

Dario Saric ($4200/$4600) and Richaun Holmes ($3700/$4600) will both be worth a look as value plays if Okafor is ruled out for the 76ers again.


Patrick Patterson ($3300/$3800) was solid over 21 minutes in his return for the Raptors and he could meet value quite easily at this near-minimum price tag. Of course, Terrence Jones ($7100/$5800) could also blow up again if Anthony Davis is inactive or departs tonight’s tilt in typical mid-game fashion.


Two Studs

DeMarcus Cousins (SAC) @ CLE: DK:$10,800/FD:$10,500

There is one man who will stand up to the Cavs superhero trio and try to extend Cleveland’s losing ways on the road tonight. Boogie Cousins, who is sporting a 41.8% Usage Rate with Rudy Gay off the court this year and has scored 64 points on 49 FGAs over his last 2 appearances. He was surprisingly efficient with 26 points on 9-of-16 FG shooting and he dropped a season-high 11 assists when he faced the Cavs earlier this season, so Cleveland might have to alter its defensive strategy in an effort to contain him tonight. Regardless of how you plan to defend Boogie, he finds a way to produce, and that makes him a great option in any format if you can pay up for a center tonight.

Zaza Pachilia (GSW) @ CHA: DK:$3,900/FD:$4,300

If you don’t want to pay all the way up for Cousins or take a chance on Hassan Whiteside as a high-upside center play tonight, then roll with a dirt cheap guy such as Pachulia who probably won’t hurt you in cash game formats. He produced 6 points, 9 boards, 2 assists and 23.75 DK points (22.8 FD points) on Monday to meet value in a 12th consecutive appearance and he should be productive while he’s on the floor against a Hornets team that coughs up the sixth-most FPPG (49.13) to opposing centers on the season. Charlotte could be without starting center Cody Zeller (quad) and backup big Frank Kaminsky (face) tonight, while the Dubs should roll all over that struggling defense in a bounce back effort on the road. Pachulia does you little good in GPPs, but he’s worth a look in any format as a punt on DK.

Potential Value

Steven Adams ($5000/$5500) is another safe play who could see a boost if Anthony Davis isn’t available for the Pelicans tonight.


Clint Capela ($4200/$4800) could have a solid game in limited minutes against a Celtics team that struggles to rebound. Joakim Noah ($4000/$4900) is also worth a punt on DK against a Mavericks squad that ranks dead last in rebounding this year.

Scout Fantasy Top Stories