Scouting The NBA DFS - Friday, February 3

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Plays of the Day

Value: Clint Capela has been working his way back into shape after suffering a broken leg and he finally appeared back to full speed while playing 31 minutes last night. The Rockets collapsed down the stretch as he struggled to contain Dwight Howard, but he draws a much easier matchup tonight against Robin Lopez and the Bulls weak interior defense.

Fade: On such a large slate, James Harden appears to be too expensive for consideration in tournament lineups. You simply can’t find enough upside in the value range to make up for his exorbitant cost and his matchup against Jimmy Butler and the Bulls is far from ideal.

Games to Target

  1. Denver Nuggets (-2) hosting Milwaukee Bucks (Over/Under = 221.5)
  2. Sacramento Kings (-4.5) hosting Phoenix Suns (Over/Under = 217)

Point Guards

Two Studs

Isaiah Thomas (BOS) vs. LAL DK:$10,000/FD:$10,500

Anytime the Celtics wind up in a close one down the stretch, The King in the Fourth steps up with incredible production. IT’s unstoppable scoring prowess allowed him to win Eastern Conference Player of the Month with averages of 32.9 PPG and 6.9 APG over 14 appearances and he began February with a 44-point game in a comeback win over Toronto. Thomas is now fourth in the NBA in Usage Rate (34.1%) and he’s obviously leading the NBA in fourth-quarter scoring. With NBA-caliber numbers over the last month and a half, Thomas has emerged as a superior DFS play to Westbrook or Harden at a diminished price tag and he’ll certainly be worth using tonight against the Lakers 29th-ranked defense in the hopes that the Celtics rivals keep this game close.

Eric Bledsoe (PHO) @ SAC DK:$8,800/FD:$9,500

You might want to pivot onto Kyle Lowry if DeMar DeRozan (ankle) remains out, but Bledsoe could wind up as the superior play at nearly the exact same price. The Suns rising star has scored 40-plus points in 3 of his last 6 appearances and his explosions have been rather predictable, as he tends to struggle against the best defenses in the league but torch some of the weaker teams. Sacramento ranks 24th in defensive rating, 25th in opponents FG shooting (.465%) this season and coughs up the ninth-most FPPG (44.96) to opposing PGs over the last month. This is definitely a great spot for EB on the road and you can ignore the modest numbers (16 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists) he put up in his sole meeting with the Kings during a blowout loss in the season opener since he’s playing worlds better now than he was in early November.

Potential Value

Yogi Ferrell ($5100/$4900) has jump started the Mavs dormant offense and he’ll definitely be worth a look in Portland if Deron Williams (toe) doesn’t return.

Longshot

D’Angelo Russell ($5900/$6100) took it right to John Wall last night and he’ll be worth a look if you’re targeting the Celtics-Lakers game this evening. Also consider Darren Collison ($5300/$4800) if Ty Lawson (hand) can’t suit up for the Kings.

Shooting Guards

Two Studs

Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL) @ DEN DK:$10,300 as PG/SF/FD:$10,900

If you’re going for a more balanced lineup while fading Westbrook, Harden and perhaps even DeMarcus Cousins, then Giannis can serve as a high-upside and somewhat contrarian option. He might be lightly owned after dropping an absolute dud against Utah’s elite defense on Wednesday, but he draws one of the best matchups imaginable in Denver tonight. The Nuggets are now 30th in defensive rating while giving up the most FPPG (51.41) to opposing PGs and most FPPG (42.74) to opposing SGs over the last month. Denver also plays at the fifth-fastest pace in the NBA and has been a Top 10 offense over the last month and a half, so this should be a great game to target, beginning with the most athletic player on the floor in Antetokounmpo.

Devin Booker (PHO) @ SAC DK:$6,800/FD:$6,900

It may be tough to play both Bledsoe and Booker in the same GPP lineups since it’s unlikely that both members of the Suns backcourt will go off, yet you’re likely not going to find a safer play at SG tonight than the Kentucky product. Booker has scored 20-plus points in 14 consecutive appearances, as he averaged 25.4 PPG on 46.4% FG shooting with a 29.6% Usage Rate during January. While he’s also posted modest splits against the Kings this year, that’s partially due to the lopsided nature of the meetings between these teams, but the Suns (+4.5) should be quite competitive tonight in Sacramento and Booker should be able to maintain his scoring streak against a team that coughs up the fourth-most PPG (24.21) to opposing SGs over the last month.

Potential Value

Jamal Murray ($3600/$3800 as PG on FD) will be worth a look if Danilo Gallinari (groin) and Will Barton (back) are both out for Denver. Also like Wesley Matthews ($5300/$5400) to finally burn his old team in Portland tonight.

Longshot

Dwyane Wade ($7000/$7800) is filling up the stat sheet while trying to reconcile with his estranged teammates and he draws a great matchup tonight in Houston.

Small Forwards

Two Studs

Jimmy Butler (CHI) @ HOU: DK:$9,000/FD:$9,400

The Rockets have been on an impressive streak defensively, but that all unraveled during a second-half collapse in a loss to Atlanta last night. Houston (-6.5) will look to bounce back against a Bulls team that’s been quite inconsistent lately, yet just quelled a red-hot Sixers squad and beat the Thunder handily on the road this week as Butler and D-Wade overcame their social media mistakes with big-time performances. Jimmy scored 28 points in each of those games and he’s certainly worth a look tonight against a Rockets team that gives up the second-most FPPG (45.57) and most RPG (10.47) to opposing SFs over the last month. The Rockets play with such pace and score so well (114.6) at home this season that the Bulls star duo will have to be very sharp to keep the visitors in tonight’s game.

Wilson Chandler (DEN) vs. MIL: DK:$5,700/FD:$6,300

Chandler has been locked into a timeshare with Danilo Gallinari that’s capped the upside of both players, but Gallo is expected to miss at least tonight’s game with a groin injury. While he was quiet along with the rest of the Nuggets in a blowout loss to Memphis on Wednesday, WilChan could definitely bounce back against a Bucks team that coughs up the second-most FPPG (40.75) to opposing SFs this season. Denver is coughing up plenty of points but playing like an elite offensive team with or without Nikola Jokic, and they should lean on other forwards with The Joker doubtful to return quite so soon.

Potential Value

P.J. Tucker ($4400/$4700) dropped a dud in his last meeting with the Kings but now he’s playing big minutes off the Suns bench and is worth consideration in any format.

Longshot

Consider Matt Barnes ($3900/$3700) tonight if you need a punt play since the extended absence of Garrett Temple (hamstring) should secure his usage.

Power Forwards

Two Studs

Kenneth Faried (DEN) vs. MIL: DK:$6,000/FD:$6,900

Provided Jokic, who is listed as questionable, doesn’t make his return to the Nuggets lineup tonight, Faried should remain a good bet for a double double despite playing through a hamstring injury of his own. The Bucks just pulled off a trade for two centers (Spencer Hawes and Roy Hibbert) because they struggle so badly to defend the low post and The Manimal has been chewing through defenses with averages of 14.4 PPG and 10.8 RPG over his last 5 appearances. He’s been more consistent with averages of 10.6 PPG and 25.1 DK PPG at home this season and has seen a big rise in production recently, as he’s averaging 1.04 FPs per minute with Jokic off the floor this season.

Dirk Nowitzki (DAL) @ POR: DK:$5,200/FD:$5,500

Dirty Dirk has been in position to put up a big game with Deron Williams and J.J. Barea out over the Mavericks last few games, but he’s only met value with some modest performances. This could be the spot for him to break out against a Portland team that ranks 28th in 3PT defense (.379%) and gives up the fifth-most PPG (110) in the NBA this season. Portland also happens to allow the third-most FPPG (45.11) to opposing PFs this year and Nowitzki should definitely improve on his numbers in a previous meeting against Portland since he can play more like 25-30 minutes at this juncture in the season.

Potential Value

Patrick Patterson ($3600/$3900) has been pretty reliable while Lucas Noguiera ($3900/$3900) has a bit more upside as a member of the Raptors front court.

Longshot

Consider Tarik Black ($3200/$4000) as a punt play with Julius Randle (illness) extremely limited right now. Serge Ibaka ($6200/$6000) is also rolling right now and capable of succeeding in a plus matchup against Toronto.

Centers

Two Studs

DeMarcus Cousins (SAC) vs. PHO: DK:$10,900/FD:$11,300

It’s a very tough call choosing between Cousins and Karl-Anthony Towns ($9900/$10,800) tonight, but since we talked about targeting the Kings-Suns game with both of the Suns young guards, it might make sense to use Big Cuz as a correlation play. Sacramento has very little aside from Cousins right now and that’s part of why the Kings were rolled in Houston earlier this week, but they’ve rested for a couple of days and return home tonight to face a Suns team that ranks 27th in defensive rating and coughs up the second-most PPG (112.3) in the NBA this year. While Phoenix limited Cousins earlier this season (when he played just 24 minutes in a blowout win), he averaged 30.5 PPG and 10 RPG over 2 meetings with the Suns last season and is clearly the center with most upside on tonight’s slate.

Marc Gasol (MEM) @ OKC: DK:$7,800/FD:$8,700

If you want to use a center in the upper-tier range, Gasol could surprise with one of his big lines in tonight’s road tilt. The Thunder are either favored by a point or stand as one-point underdogs tonight depending on the Sportsbook, so this is definitely a game to target, while everything Memphis does offensively runs through either Gasol or PG Mike Conley. Big Spain averages 17 PPG, 7.5 RPG. 4.5 APG and 4 BPG over 2 meetings with OKC this season and he’s a tough matchup for Thunder center Steven Adams because of his ability to do damage from the perimeter. With a solid floor and the 60-FP ceiling he showcased against Toronto and Portland last week, Gasol is a great option in any format.

Potential Value

Clint Capela ($4700/$4900) played 31 minutes last night and appears to be back up to full speed while regaining a stranglehold on Houston’s minutes at center.

Longshot

You can’t necessarily trust the Bucks rotations, but Greg Monroe ($5300/$5700) should eat while he’s out on the floor in Denver tonight.


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