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Scouting The NBA DFS - Thursday, February 9

We break down tonight's 5-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: Kyle Korver finally broke out for the Cavs by tying his career-high with eight made three-pointers last night and he’ll be asked to carry the offense to a degree with the Big 3 expected to rest. He’s had a very small sample size of minutes (24) with LeBron, Love and Irving all off the floor this season, but the player he’s essentially replacing in J.R. Smith leads the Cavs with a 34.4% Usage Rate in those situations. Korver was rounding into form before last night’s eruption with 44 points over his previous three appearances and he’s obviously quite cheap on both main DFS sites.

Fade: If you have to choose between James Harden and Russell Westbrook tonight, I might recommend fading The Beard. He posted huge numbers in his last meeting with Charlotte, but the Hornets are capable of slowing him down with the right defensive adjustments while the Cavs are likely running out their second unit against Westy and the hungry Thunder tonight.

Games to Target

  1. Portland Blazers (-1.5) hosting Boston Celtics (Over/Under = 219.5)
  2. Oklahoma City Thunder (-10) hosting Cleveland Cavs (Over/Under = 207.5)

Point Guards

Two Studs

Russell Westbrook (OKC) vs. CLE DK:$12,700/FD:$12,500

The biggest news of the day regards the Cavaliers, who apparently plan to rest LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love on the second half of a B2B set. Cleveland is playing its fourth game over six nights and might struggle defensively, but is still a decent enough team to avoid a complete blowout loss at OKC tonight. Westbrook posted a modest triple double in a losing effort in Cleveland a couple of weeks ago and he’s a good bet to post another one against a Cavs team that coughs up the seventh-most FPPG (44.57) to opposing PGs this season. Westbrook still leads the league in Usage Rate (41.8%), Assist Rate (56.9%) and PPG (30.9) and is obviously a great bet to carry the Thunder to a win at home.

Yogi Ferrell (DAL) vs. UTA DK:$5,000/FD:$5,700

While he just failed to meet value for the first time as a fill-in starter for the Mavs, Ferrell received a huge price drop on DK ahead and remains an excellent mid-tier option on a short slate tonight. The speedy PG represents a problem for Utah’s elite defense, as the Jazz are coughing up the sixth-most PPG (25.58) to opposing PGs over the last month and have struggled to contain energetic young floor generals all season. Ferrell just signed a multi-year deal and is looking at a few more starts before the ASB with Deron Williams (toe) apparently nowhere near a return, so give him a look for salary relief in what is actually a decent matchup at home.

Potential Value

Kay Felder ($3000/$3500) will be worth a look as a punt play if LeBron and Kyrie Irving are indeed ruled out to rest.

Longshot

Devin Harris ($4300/$3900) played 27 minutes and was very productive against the Blazers on Tuesday, so perhaps he’s finally getting healthy at this point in the season.

Shooting Guards

Two Studs

Evan Fournier (ORL) vs. PHI DK:$5,900/FD:$5,400

Obviously you’d like to pay up for James Harden or maybe consider C.J. McCollum in tournament formats tonight, but it’s almost impossible to use both The Beard and Westbrook unless you punt almost every other position, so let’s talk about the mid-tier options at SG. Fournier stands out as a solid value on FanDuel with more upside if Aaron Gordon (foot) is inactive tonight, as his Usage Rate spikes to 25.1% and he averages 0.52 points per minute with AG off the floor this year. The Sixers cough up the eighth-most FPPG (40.44) and third-most APG (5.31) to opposing SGs over the last month and their defense is much more vulnerable with Joel Embiid (knee) out of the lineup.

Kyle Korver (CLE) @ OKC DK:$3,900/FD:$3,700

Korver finally broke out for the Cavs by tying his career-high with eight made three-pointers last night and he’ll be asked to carry the offense to a degree with the Big 3 expected to rest. He’s had a very small sample size of minutes (24) with LeBron, Love and Irving all off the floor this season, but the player he’s essentially replacing in J.R. Smith leads the Cavs with a 34.4% Usage Rate in those situations. Korver was rounding into form before last night’s eruption with 44 points over his previous three appearances and he’s obviously quite cheap on both main DFS sites. While he might not get as many looks without the defense doubling Kyrie and Bron, Korver should see more playing time and usage tonight.

Potential Value

Wesley Matthews ($5400/$5800) remains a very solid cash game play despite drawing a tough matchup against Utah tonight.

Longshot

Victor Oladipo ($5900/$6400) could have a big game against the shorthanded Cavs tonight, while Jordan McRae ($3000/$3500) is another punt play to consider on the Cleveland side of the ball.

Small Forwards

Two Studs

Robert Covington (PHI) @ ORL: DK:$5,400/FD:$5,800

This is definitely a position at which you can save if LeBron James is resting tonight and I never thought I would type this, but Covington is one of the safer options in the mid-tier price range. He played a team-high 38 minutes last night and produced 18 points in a brutal matchup at San Antonio, while his prospects dramatically improve in tonight’s matchup against a Magic team that ranks 25th in opponents FG shooting (.464%) and 22nd in 3PT defense this year. He missed a few games in between some big performances, but Covington is averaging 18.3 PPG, 8 RPG and 3 SPG over his last 4 appearances and he’s clearly benefitting from the extended absence of usage monster Joel Embiid.

Maurice Harkless (POR) vs. BOS: DK:$4,000/FD:$3,800

Mo has been working his way back from an ankle injury, but he’ll suddenly be asked to log a lot more playing time with Evan Turner (hand) looking at a multi-month absence. Harkless is only a steady player with averages of 13.1 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.5 steals/blocks per 36 minutes this year, yet those numbers would do just fine at his current modest price tag. The Blazers top offensive options (specifically C.J. McCollum and Mason Plumlee) are also worth a look against a Celtics team that somehow lost in blowout fashion to a Kings team without DeMarcus Cousins last night, while Harkless could serve as a cheap addition to that stack.

Potential Value

Newly acquired SF Derrick Williams could be active for the Cavs, but if he’s not, you can consider Richard Jefferson ($3000/$3500) as the likely starter for LeBron.

Longshot

Gordon Hayward ($7300/$8000) could wind up as the highest-scoring SF on the board and he might be lightly owned due to his lackluster matchup at Dallas.

Power Forwards

Two Studs

Serge Ibaka (ORL) vs. PHI: DK:$6,800/FD:$6,000

Orlando is kind of falling apart at this point in the season and reportedly shopping Ibaka before the trade deadline, since he could walk as a free agent this summer. The talented PF has used that as motivation by scoring 20-plus points in three of his last four appearances, including a big game against the team that’s trying to land him in Houston. Tonight he’ll face a Sixers team that becomes far less efficient defensively when rim protector Joel Embiid is inactive and he should be able to bully skinny Nerlens Noel or blow past defensive turnstile Jahlil Okafor. The Sixers are coughing up the most FPPG (60.22) and PPG (27.87) to opposing centers over the last month with Embiid seeing limited playing time, so both Ibaka and Nikola Vucevic could be looking at big games, especially if SF/PF Aaron Gordon sits for Orlando.

Frank Kaminsky (CHA) vs. HOU: DK:$4,900/FD:$5,400

The Hornets keep finding ways to match firepower with some of the best offensive teams in the NBA and they’ll have to dig deep to match scoring with James Harden and the fast-paced Rockets tonight. Kaminsky has really stepped up lately with averages of 17 PPG, 6.7 RPG and 34.1 DK PPG over his last 3 appearances and it’s no coincidence that Charlotte traded Spencer Hawes and Roy Hibbert to make more room for the former Wisconsin star. Frank the Tank played 33 minutes on Tuesday despite shooting 4-of-17 from the field, which indicates how important he is to the Hornets on both ends of the floor with Cody Zeller (quad) inactive, and he draws a good matchup tonight against a Rockets team that allows the seventh-most FPPG (44.35) to opposing PFs this season.

Potential Value

Dario Saric ($4100/$4300) continues to produce as a value play for the Sixers and he is far more reliable when Embiid is out.

Longshot

Channing Frye ($3400/$4300) should see more playing time and usage if Kevin Love is resting tonight.

Centers

Two Studs

Rudy Gobert (UTA) @ DAL: DK:$6,700/FD:$8,000

Gobert is quite expensive on FanDuel but is somehow a mid-tier option on DK as one of the best bets for a double double bonus on that site this evening. He’s facing a Mavericks team that ranks dead last in total rebounding rate and happened to torch Dallas for 27 points and 25 rebounds when these teams met a couple of weeks ago. Gobert’s numbers have tailed off a bit due to some recent blowout wins, but he’s still one of the most important players on the floor for defense-based Utah and will almost certainly log heavy minutes in a prime matchup tonight.

Jahlil Okafor (PHI) @ ORL: DK:$4,400/FD:$4,600

Okafor sure does blow on defense, but he’s a solid offensive player and that’s mostly what counts in DFS contests. After managing 20 points and 8 rebounds over 25 minutes at the Spurs last night, he’ll certainly be worth consideration against an Orlando team that allows the seventh-most FPPG (48.93) and PPG (21.65) to opposing centers this season. Okafor is an efficient player per 36 minutes with averages of 20 points and 8.1 rebounds throughout his career and he’s sporting a 25.7% Usage Rate while averaging 0.92 FPs per minute with Embiid off the floor this year.

Potential Value

I would certainly consider Clint Capela ($6000/$5200) as a great value on FanDuel, while Tristan Thompson ($4900/$5400) stands out as a good tournament play on either main DFS site.

Longshot

The aforementioned Nikola Vucevic ($7700/$7400) draws a juicy matchup against the shorthanded Sixers tonight and he could produce another big double double.


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