Anthony Gruppuso, USA Today

Scouting The NBA DFS - Saturday, February 25

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

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Plays of the Day

Value: Lou Williams is at his cheapest on DraftKings tonight despite the fact that he’s now playing with a fast-paced, elite offense that’s centered around three-point shooting. He fit right in with 27 points on 7-of-11 shooting from deep during his Rockets debut on Thursday and should continue to log steady minutes off the bench in a game with a high Over/Under (227.5 points) tonight.

Fade: There are blowouts and then there are comical mismatches, as the Warriors (-22.5) have earned the biggest point spread of the season in a home tilt against the last-place Nets. You can probably fade the Dubs Big 4 under the assumption that they’ll all receive extra rest in the second half of a laugher.

Game Lines

  1. New York Knicks (-5) hosting Philadelphia 76ers (Over/Under = 217)
  2. Dallas Mavericks (PK) hosting New Orleans Pelicans (Over/Under = 204)

Point Guards

Two Studs

Kyrie Irving (CLE) vs. CHI DK:$8,400/FD:$8,900

If you pay up for an elite PG tonight, Irving makes the most sense based on his floor-ceiling combination. The Cavs star has scored at least 22 points in 8 consecutive appearances and it’s not a coincidence that Kevin Love (knee) hit the inactive list around the start of that streak. Kyrie sports a team-high 35.7% Usage Rate with Love off the court and averages 1.19 FPs per minute under those circumstances. On Thursday it was LeBron picking up the slack as a member of Cleveland’s Big 2, but tonight it could be Irving against a Bulls team that’s extremely vulnerable at the PG position and has the personnel necessary to contain Bron with Jimmy Butler on the wing.

Dennis Schroder (ATL) @ ORL DK:$6,200/FD:$6,500

The Hawks suspended Schroder for a game after he missed Wednesday’s practice and it clearly cost them any shot at a win against Miami last night. There simply aren’t any alternatives on their roster when it comes to finding a capable floor general and Schroder should resume his role tonight as the primary ball handler and player with the second-highest Usage Rate (27.3%) on the Hawks this year. He draws a fantastic matchup against a Magic squad that gives up the fifth-most FPPG (45.32) and PPG (24.07) to opposing PGs on the season and Schroder happens to average 18 PPG and 10 APG over 3 meetings with Orlando so far this season.

Potential Value

Tyler Johnson ($5100/$5700) is coming off a great game last night and he’s an extremely safe cash game play as a steady member of Miami’s rotation.

Longshot

Yogi Ferrell ($5900/$5500) didn’t shoot well last night, but he played 30 minutes and will have ample opportunity to run away with the Mavs starting PG job.

Shooting Guards

Two Studs

James Harden (HOU) vs. MIN DK:$12,200/FD:$12,100

This is going to be a short explanation because at this point in the season you know what you’re going to get from Harden and his teammate (listed below) might be a better per dollar play on DK tonight. But the Beard is bound to bounce back from a disappointing DFS line if the Rockets (-11.5) have more trouble with the young Wolves than they did with the disheveled Pelicans defense coming out of the break. Minnesota’s defense has improved and they might do a better job of three-point line than New Orleans, but Harden is going to find his way to the rim as he did in his first 2 matchups with the Wolves, when he averaged 30.5 PPG and 12.5 APG earlier this season.

Lou Williams (HOU) vs. MIN DK:$4,900/FD:$6,300

Now here’s a play that you can get excited about at his price tag on DK. Lou Will costs around the same on FanDuel as he did throughout most of the season with the Lakers, yet he’s at his cheapest on DraftKings tonight despite the fact that he’s now playing with a fast-paced, elite offense that’s centered around three-point shooting. He fit right in with 27 points on 7-of-11 shooting from deep during his Rockets debut on Thursday and should continue to log steady minutes off the bench in a game with a high Over/Under (227.5 points) tonight. Minnesota is improving, but still ranks 24th in defensive rating and should get burned on the road by Houston’s prolific offense.

Potential Value

Courtney Lee ($4600/$4800) continues to produce for the Knicks and the absence of Kristaps Porzingis (knee) should only create more shots for him. Kyle Korver ($4800/$4500) has more upside with Love out but he’s still a risky play.

Longshot

Seth Curry ($5000/$5400) dropped 31 points last night and he might be the biggest beneficiary from the Mavs shift towards player development after the break.

Small Forwards

Two Studs

Carmelo Anthony (NYK) vs. PHI DK:$8,500/FD:$8,500

If Melo can’t come through under these circumstances tonight, then he’s truly past his prime and not worth an elite price tag in DFS contests. With Kristaps Porzingis (knee) inactive, he should be the man on offense for the Knicks, as he’s sporting a lofty 36.4% Usage Rate and averaging 1.15 FPs per minute with The Unicorn off the floor this season. Anthony and the Knicks will face a hot 76ers team that’s still very vulnerable defensively with Joel Embiid on the shelf and coughs up an above average 38.11 FPPG to opposing SFs on the season. Melo dropped 28 points on 11-of-25 FG shooting when he faced the Sixers under similar circumstances earlier this season and will have to knock down more shots if he wants to win at home, where he’s averaging 24.3 PPG and far more RPG (7.2) on the season.

Andrew Wiggins (MIN) @ HOU DK:$8,100/FD:$8,700

He only comes with some risk because the Wolves might wind up on the wrong end of a beatdown in Houston tonight, but if this winds up as a close game, it will be because Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns go off. The former No. 1 overall pick is flourishing lately, as he’s sporting a team-high 35.2% Usage Rate and averaging 0.79 FPs per minute with Zach LaVine off the floor and LaVine is of course out for the season with a torn ACL. Wiggy is averaging 28.9 PPG on 52% FG shooting over 10 games this month and draws a good matchup against a Rockets team that gives up an above average 21.16 PPG to opposing SFs this season, since almost all of his DFS production comes from his scoring.

Potential Value

Andre Iguodala ($3900/$4400) remains under priced on DK and he should have his fingerprints on a blowout win over the Nets tonight.

Longshot

Robert Covington ($6400/$6800) could very well outplay and outscore Carmelo Anthony in a H2H matchup tonight, as he’s become more of a top play than a longshot for the red-hot Sixers.

Power Forwards

Two Studs

Anthony Davis (NO) @ DAL: DK:$9,500/FD:$10,000

The debut of Boogie didn’t go very well for the Pelicans in real basketball terms, but both he and The Brow did put up some great numbers in a 30-point loss. You can expect Davis and Cousins to log heavy minutes together until they figure this thing out and Brow is clearly the more appealing option at a diminished price tag on DK. His usage might take a hit with a ball hog like Cuz on the roster, but he’s still going to rebound more than his superstar teammate and faces a Mavericks team tonight that’s still ranked dead last in total rebounding. Davis has been a thorn in the Mavs side for years and he’s averaging 32 PPG and 14.5 RPG against Dallas over 2 meetings so far this season.

Dario Saric (PHI) @ NYK: DK:$6,900/FD:$5,700

It’s certainly going to be difficult to fade Saric after a $500 price drop on FanDuel, but it might be worth considering different options on DK tonight. Still, he’s basically taken over as the Sixers primary scoring option and came out of the break on fire on his way to 20 points, 11 rebounds and 4 assists over 33 minutes last night. His playing time has steadily increased and Saric has registered three straight double doubles, which explains his price bump on DK. Tonight he’ll face a Knicks team that’s giving up the fifth-most overall FPPG (218.96) over the last month and should become much more vulnerable against opposing PFs with Porzingis inactive, so continue to use Mr. Saric until his price tag rises on FD.

Potential Value

Richaun Holmes ($4400/$3500) can serve as a cheap alternative to Saric as the Sixers primary big man off the bench right now. He’s going to seriously benefit from the Nerlens Noel trade.

Longshot

Nikola Mirotic ($4100/$4000) and not Bobby Portis stepped up with Taj Gibson no longer in a Bulls uniform and we should see that trend continue tonight against a Cavs team that’s without Kevin Love.

Centers

Two Studs

Hassan Whiteside (MIA) vs. IND: DK:$8,000/FD:$9,300

Two points? That’s all you could manage? Is what DFS owners were asking Mr. Whiteside last night after he basically checked out in a blowout win over the shorthanded Hawks. You’re going to get that type of inconsistency from the young center, but you’ll also get huge lines, as he’s produced in plus matchups such as the 26-point, 22-rebound performance he had against these Pacers earlier in the season. Indiana lacks a true center with natural PF Myles Turner logging most of his minutes at the 5 and in their last meeting Turner simply had no chance of boxing out the 7-foot-1 Whiteside. Consider Miami’s big man in GPP formats and hope that he comes to play at home, where he happens to average 15.3 RPG and 44.5 DK PPG on the season.

Guillermo Hernangomez (NYK) vs. PHI: DK:$6,500/FD:$5,900

With Porzingis out and Joakim Noah (hamstring) unlikely to play significant minutes even if he suits up tonight, Wily has the most upside of any big man on the Knicks roster. He might split minutes with highly inconsistent PF/C Kyle O’Quinn, but you can actually trust Hernangomez in cash game formats due to his ability to stay on the floor and contribute across the board. Tonight he’ll draw a dream matchup against a Sixers team that’s giving up the most FPPG (60.34) and most PPG (29.0) to opposing centers by far over the last month with Joel Embiid (knee) inactive for the most part and he should take advantage of his opportunities once again.

Potential Value

As mentioned above, Kyle O’Quinn ($4300/$4700) is a bit risky but he’s worth deploying for the shorthanded Knicks in a juicy matchup.

Longshot

Dwight Howard ($6800/$7200) could turn up as he returns to Orlando this evening.


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