Scouting The NBA DFS - Thursday, January 26

We've got a juicy 4-game slate of NBA action this Thursday and there is plenty of money to be won on DraftKings and FanDuel

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Plays of the Day

Value: Justin Anderson is averaging 1.08 FPs per minute with a 29.7% Usage Rate when Mavericks veterans Deron Williams, J.J. Barea, Wes Matthews and Dirk Nowitzki are all on the bench this season and he’s been extremely productive on a per-minute basis with 30 points and 53.5 DK points (49.6 FD points) despite playing just 36 minutes over his last 2 appearances.

Fade: Paul George is coming off a very good game against a deteriorating Knicks defense and a malcontent SF in Carmelo Anthony, but now he faces the young Wolves and a defensive mastermind in Minnesota HC Tom Thibadeou. Steer clear of the Pacers uninspiring leader tonight.

Games to Target

  1. Denver Nuggets (-7) hosting Phoenix Suns (Over/Under = 230)

Point Guards

Two Studs

Russell Westbrook (OKC) vs. DAL DK:$12,600/FD:$12,700

We have a very short slate tonight with just 4 games on the docket and it’s a rare situation in which Westbrook is rather easy to fit into lineups along with a couple of punt plays. Nothing needs to be said about the Thunder’s MVP candidate, as he just passed Larry Bird for fifth place on the all-time triple double list with his 23rd of the season while carrying his team to a win over New Orleans last night. Tonight he’ll face a Mavericks team that gives up the fewest FPPG to opposing PGs simply because they play at the slowest pace in the NBA, but also rank dead last in total rebounding, opponents 3PT shooting and 27th in opponents FG shooting (.395%), so Westbrook should be able to lead his team with points, boards and assists for another big line.

Jordan Clarkson (LAL) @ UTA DK:$4,700/FD:$4,800

The Lakers bounced back from an historic loss to Dallas with a respectable performance in Portland last night and they’ll look to be competitive again on the road against a tough Jazz squad. Utah (-13) is expected to roll tonight, but it will be on the Lakers bench mob to produce enough offense to avoid another embarrassing blowout. Clarkson and Lou Williams combined for 53 points on 35 FGAs off the bench last night and both players will remain heavily involved with D’Angelo Russell (knee, calf) out indefinitely. The Jazz are a great defensive team, but struggle at times against quick PGs that can run PnR and get into the lane, so perhaps Clarkson hurts their second unit tonight while doing enough to exceed value once again.

Potential Value

Jameer Nelson ($4500/$3900) is in line for another start with Emmanuel Mudiay (back) doubtful for Denver. Devin Harris ($3000/$3500) is worth a punt with Deron Williams (toe) unlikely to play for Dallas.


Ricky Rubio ($6800/$6900) returned from a personal absence and kept rolling with a double double on Tuesday, so he’s worth a look as a mid-tier option with upside tonight.

Shooting Guards

Two Studs

Lou Williams (LAL) @ UTA DK:$5,200/FD:$5,700

Sure enough, Sweet Lou stepped up to the plate with the Lakers shorthanded and reeling to deliver a team-high 31 points and keep the team competitive in Portland last night. While he draws a much tougher matchup on paper this evening, he’s excelled in some of those tough matchups all season, burning stout defenses such as that of the Heat, Pistons, Hornets and these Jazz in recent weeks. In fact he’s averaging 25.7 PPG, 5.3 APG and an impressive 38.7 DK PPG over 3 meetings with Utah this season and he should lead the young Lakers offense again after posting team highs in Usage Rate (35%) and Assist Rate (42.9%) on Wednesday.

Seth Curry (DAL) @ OKC DK:$4,500/FD:$4,100

The Mavs are going to be very shorthanded tonight with Deron Williams, Wes Matthews and Dirk Nowitzki all doubtful or guaranteed to be inactive. While the absence of those veterans doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t be competitive in OKC (-9.5), it does mean that the younger players on the roster will get increased opportunities. Curry just went for 20 points on 8-of-19 FG shooting against the Knicks last night and he’s been solid with averages of 16.4 PPG while logging 30.4 MPG over his last 5 appearances. He’s sporting a 24% Usage Rate and averaging 0.84 FPs per minute with Matthews, Williams and Dirk all off the floor this year and the absence of J.J. Barea (calf) should also help to guarantee a certain amount of playing time and usage for Steph’s little brother.

Potential Value

Alec Burks ($3400/$3800) is balling off the Jazz bench and he’s a solid punt play to consider on this short slate.


Devin Booker ($7100/$7200) is a contrarian option to use in balanced lineups that fade Westbrook. Consider Nick Young ($3900/$3900) as a cheap play with upside.

Small Forwards

Two Studs

Harrison Barnes (DAL) @ OKC: DK:$6,000/FD:$6,200

He’s essentially the Mavericks only chance to remain competitive during this tough road tilt and that makes Barnes a good correlation play to use with Westbrook and/or a Thunder big man tonight. He leads the team with a 35.5% Usage Rate when Williams, Barea, Matthews and Nowitzki are all inactive this season and turned up his production with 23 points on 8-of-15 shooting last night. The Thunder happen to cough up the fourth-most PPG (22.38) to opposing SFs over the last month and Barnes is producing 65% of his FPs by scoring this season, so he’s a solid cash game option with some upside if this game stays close late.

Justin Anderson (DAL) @ OKC: DK:$3,000/FD:$3,700

Here’s another Mavericks player that can serve as a punt play with upside. Anderson is averaging 1.08 FPs per minute with a 29.7% Usage Rate when all the Mavs veterans are on the bench this season and he’s been extremely productive on a per-minute basis with 30 points and 53.5 DK points (49.6 FD points) despite playing just 36 minutes over his last 2 appearances. Starting SF Dorian Finney-Smith has a much lower floor despite playing over 30 minutes in each of the Mavericks last 2 games as indicated by his Usage Rate (12.3%) with all the veterans inactive, so you could go against the grain to a degree by using Anderson even if “DFS” is listed as the starter again.

Potential Value

P.J. Tucker ($4400/$4500) plays big minutes for the Suns depending on the matchup and he might see heavy run tonight against the athletic Nuggets.


Andrew Wiggins ($7000/$7600) is hot right now and he’s definitely worth a look in GPP formats against the soft defense of Paul George and the Pacers.

Power Forwards

Two Studs

Nikola Jokic (DEN) vs. PHO: DK:$9,300 as C/FD:$10,400

It finally happened. Jokic is priced over $10K on FanDuel for the first time all season because he proved to be matchup-proof by dominating Rudy Gobert and the Jazz for 23 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 blocks and 2 steals to exceed value on Tuesday night. Utah represented the one team capable of stopping The Joker and he dispelled that notion, so you shouldn’t worry too much about Tyson Chandler and the Suns solid interior defense tonight. The Nuggets have the third-best offensive rating since Christmas and Jokic is a huge part of that improvement with averages of 23.4 PPG, 10.7 RPG and 4.5 APG this month. He’s carving up opposing defenses and shouldn’t have much trouble scoring or assisting against a Phoenix team that ranks 26th in defensive rating and third in pace on the season.

Derrick Favors (UTA) vs. LAL: DK:$5,400/FD:$4,700

His minutes have finally stabilized at that makes Favors a very solid mid-tier play on DK and a veritable bargain on FanDuel right now. He’s exceeded value in 3 consecutive appearances with averages of 12 PPG and 7.3 RPG during that span. His upside is obviously limited until he’s fully healthy, but Favors could break out to a degree against a soft Lakers defense that’s coughing up the most FPPG (46.43) to opposing PFs on the season. Starting PF Julius Randle appears lost or disinterested at times and backup Larry Nance Jr. isn’t fully healthy either, so this is a team to attack on the second half of their B2B set.

Potential Value

Darrell Arthur ($3000/$3900) has taken Jusuf Nurkic’s playing time and he’s coming off a season-best outing for the Nuggets, so give him a look as a true punt play.


Dwight Powell ($3100/$3700) actually sports the highest Usage Rate amongst Mavericks with Barea, Williams, Nowitzki and Matthews inactive, so he’s worth a punt as well.


Two Studs

Tyson Chandler (PHO) @ DEN: DK:$6,400/FD:$6,600

DraftKings seemed to make a mistake with Chandler’s price tag ($5700) two nights ago and they’ve quickly rectified that error, but he’s still reasonably priced as a certifiable double double threat. The Suns and Nuggets clash in what should be the fastest-paced game of this slate with a 230-point Over/Under and plenty of defensive weaknesses on both sides of the ball. Chandler has been soaking up boards with averages of 17.3 PPG and 14.5 RPG over his last 4 appearances and the veteran is logging 32.6 MPG during that span while Alex Len has become an afterthought. Phoenix will need its defensive stopper tonight in a tough matchup against Jokic and TC should be up to the challenge.

Steven Adams (OKC) vs. DAL: DK:$5,000/FD:$5,500

Last night, we regrettably moved Zaza Pachulia up from a Potential Value to the second recommendation last night and swapped Adams to a mere value play, but he proved us wrong by flashing tremendous upside in a good matchup against the Pelicans. Tonight, the Big Kiwi will get another chance to produce a double double against a shorthanded Mavs squad that ranks dead last in total rebounding this year. Dallas gives up a league-worst 16.6 RPG to opposing centers, while New Orleans ranked second in that dubious designation, so it’s fair to expect another solid line from Adams after he went for 20 points, 11 boards and 4 blocks in a win last night.

Potential Value

Enes Kanter ($5500/$6400 as PF on FD) is also a candidate to dominate the shorthanded Mavs up front tonight and he could be more productive than Adams if this game turns into a blowout.


Rudy Gobert ($7500/$8300) may get overlooked after a couple of lackluster games with the Jazz heavily favored, but he’s dominated the Lakers in every meeting so far this season.

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