Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Scouting The NBA DFS - Saturday, March 4

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Plays of the Day

Value: Maurice Harkless has met or exceeded value in 7 consecutive appearances since Evan Turner suffered a serious hand injury and faces the worst team in the NBA tonight in Brooklyn, which happens to cough up the most FPPG (42.6) to opposing SFs this season. Harkless went for just 10 points and 4 rebounds in a previous meeting with Brooklyn but played just 21 minutes in that tilt and he’s logging 36.2 MPG over his last 4 appearances.

Fade: Damian Lillard comes into a juicy matchup with the Nets riding the momentum of three straight great games, but my fear is that the Blazers (-11.5) won’t need much from their star guard in an easy matchup against the NBA’s new doormat.

Game Lines

  1. Denver Nuggets (-5) hosting Charlotte Hornets (Over/Under = 222)
  2. Chicago Bulls (+1.5) hosting Los Angeles Clippers (Over/Under = 212)

Point Guards

Two Studs

Kemba Walker (CHA) @ DEN DK:$8,500/FD:$8,500

The Hornets have been getting into a lot of shootouts lately and it would come as no surprise if they get into another high-scoring bout with a Nuggets team that ranks dead last in defensive rating and is fourth in PPG (110.8) on the season. Charlotte’s offense obviously runs through their playmaking PG and Walker might carry an even heavier load with Frank Kaminsky (shoulder) inactive tonight, as he’s sporting a team-high 30.2% Usage Rate with Frank the Tank off the floor this year. Kemba comes into this contest rolling with averages of 27.2 PPG on 50% FG shooting over his last 5 appearances and the Nuggets are a premium matchup considering they give up the second-most FPPG (46.76) to opposing PGs this season.

Kyrie Irving (CLE) @ MIA DK:$8,400/FD:$9,000

With Kevin Love out indefinitely, LeBron James and Kyrie Irving are two of the safest options in DFS on any given slate, but of course Kyrie comes at a much cheaper price than The King. He made up for a lack of peripheral stats with 43 points on 14-of-21 FG shooting in a 135-130 shootout at Atlanta last night and will have to take advantage of a plus individual matchup against Goran Dragic in Miami this evening. While LeBron averages the most FPs per minute (1.37) with Kevin Love and J.R. Smith off the court this season, Irving boasts the highest Usage Rate (36.1%) on the team, averages the most points per minute (0.78) and he’s going to continue to get his while carrying the Cavs offense.

Potential Value

Jameer Nelson ($5400/$5400) should serve as a solid value play if he’s over his illness and ready to play a normal slate of minutes for Denver. Patty Mills ($3600/$3700) is coming off a great game in an OT win over New Orleans and it wouldn’t be surprising if Tony Parker and other Spurs veterans sit out the second half of this B2B set.

Longshot

Jamal Murray ($4800/$3700) can provide instant offense off the Nuggets bench and he’s worth a look in tournaments as a counter to Nelson if you believe the veteran is still limited.

Shooting Guards

Two Studs

James Harden (HOU) vs. MEM DK:$11,100/FD:$11,500

Harden is still the best bet for a triple double on a nightly basis aside from Westbrook and that makes him a relative value on DK after seeing a significant price drop ahead of tonight’s tough matchup. While the Grizzlies are still a great defensive team, they’re weakest in the backcourt, where they cough up an above average 21.4 PPG to opposing SGs on the season. Harden went for 29 points and 7 assists in in a home loss to Memphis and was far more efficient with 29 points on 7-of-9 FG shooting during a blowout win at Memphis in mid-January. Clearly, he’s figured out ways to attack that aggressive defense and get to the FT line and he’s the best in the world at that method.

DeMar DeRozan (TOR) @ MIL DK:$8,700/FD:$9,900

After his only off game since Kyle Lowry (wrist) suffered a serious injury, DeRozan bounced back with 32 points to lead his team to a win against the very same Wizards team that held him in check on Wednesday. Now he’ll face a Bucks defense that concentrates on opposing PGs, but allows the 11th most PPG (22.1) to opposing SGs on the season. DDR is averaging 28 PPG on 55% FG shooting over 2 meetings with the Bucks this year and he’s very cheap on DraftKings given his floor-ceiling combination with Lowry inactive.

Potential Value

Malcolm Brogdon ($5600/$5200 as PG on FD) continues to make a case for Rookie of the Year and he could see more usage if Khris Middleton (rest) sits out the second half of a B2B set.

Longshot

Caris LeVert ($4000 as SF on DK/$4200) is a strong bounce back candidate to consider at Portland after he struggled in Utah last night.

Small Forwards

Two Studs

LeBron James (CLE) @ MIA DK:$10,900/FD:$11,100

Of course The King is still a great play even though he defers to Irving offensively at times. While Kyrie went off last night, LBJ still put up 38 points with 13 rebounds and 8 dimes for another huge line and he’s going to be motivated to keep rolling in a tough matchup against his former team tonight. Miami was unable to contain James in a previous meeting this season as he went for 27 points, 8 rebounds and 8 dimes in a win and he’s been carrying a heavier load with Kevin Love out and the playoffs approaching fast while the Celtics push the Cavs to win enough games for that top seed in the East.

Maurice Harkless (POR) vs. BKN DK:$5,200/FD:$4,800

Harkless is now a mid-tier option on DK but still a veritable bargain on FanDuel after meeting or exceeding value in 7 consecutive appearances since Evan Turner suffered a serious hand injury. Tonight the Blazers should be able to build on a win over the Thunder by beating up on the worst team in the NBA and Brooklyn happens to cough up the most FPPG (42.6) to opposing SFs this season. Harkless went for just 10 points and 4 rebounds in a previous meeting with Brooklyn but played just 21 minutes in that tilt and he’s logging 36.2 MPG over his last 4 appearances.

Potential Value

If he’s active on the second half of a B2B set, Khris Middleton ($6000/$5300) will remain a great bargain option on FanDuel given his sudden burst of production.

Longshot

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson ($4800 as PF on DK/$4700) is capable of piling up peripheral stats in an uptempo matchup at Portland.

Power Forwards

Two Studs

Nikola Jokic (DEN) vs. CHA: DK:$9,500 as C/FD:$9,900

The Joker is coming off consecutive triple doubles on the road against relatively tough defensive teams in Chicago and Milwaukee. So he’s certainly worth a look as a truly elite option against a Hornets team that can’t stop anyone down low. Charlotte coughs up the ninth-most FPPG (48.97) and fifth-most RPG (16.07) to opposing centers this season while the Hornets are expected to be without PF/C Frank Kaminsky tonight. Cody Zeller is still working his way back from a quad injury and doesn’t match up particularly well with a skilled big man like Jokic, who is fully capable of piling up double-digit assists and rebounds once again.

Blake Griffin (LAC) @ CHI: DK:$9,000/FD:$9,700

Blake and Jokic can go side-by-side in lineups on DK tonight as the best options at their respective positions. Griffin should also be able to exploit a weak front line as the Bulls are far worse defensively since moving Taj Gibson to OKC. That leaves second-year man Bobby Portis or natural SF Nikola Mirotic to try and defend the strong Griffin, who is coming off a huge game with 21 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists in a loss to the Bucks last night. This is a bounce back spot for the Clippers against a rebuilding Bulls team that allowed Blake to go for 26 points and 13 rebounds in a previous meeting this year and is coughing up an above average 43.78 FPPG to opposing PFs on the season.

Potential Value

Bobby Portis ($4800/$4400) is coming off consecutive productive games and he’ll be asked to try and slow down Griffin while playing steady minutes tonight.

Longshot

Nemanja Bjelica ($3600/$4800) is the type of versatile forward who could produce in a fluid matchup against the Spurs tonight. Marvin Williams ($5400/$5700) is a bit pricey but he should see a boost with Kaminsky out.

Centers

Two Studs

Marc Gasol (MEM) @ HOU: DK:$7,900/FD:$8,400

The Grizzlies should give the Rockets (-8.5) a game in Houston tonight despite the sizable line, because they have a certified difference maker in Gasol. Big Spain can control the pace of play on both ends of the floor and he’s become a rather unstoppable offensive player by expanding his range out to 30 feet on that smooth jumper. He’s averaging 20.7 PPG on 53.5% FG shooting over 3 meetings with Houston this year and has scored 51 points with 12 rebounds and 11 assists over his last 2 appearances. The Rockets cough up the second-most FPPG (59.33) to opposing centers over the last month and Gasol makes for a great correlation play if you’re paying up for Harden.

Jusuf Nurkic (POR) vs. BKN: DK:$6,700/FD:$6,400

The Bosnian Beast lived up to his name with a huge line (18 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists, 5 blocks, 2 steals) in a tough matchup against the Thunder and now his Blazers will host the worst defensive team in the NBA. Brooklyn is still giving up the most PPG (114.2) on the year and allowing the fourth-most FPPG (50) to opposing centers. Brook Lopez is not exactly physical enough to bang with a younger and more athletic big in Nurkic, who has found a home in Portland and is flashing the same type of ability as his former teammate Nikola Jokic now that he’s free to log heavy minutes for a new franchise.

Potential Value

Jonas Valanciunas ($4500/$5400) has been losing run but he’s good enough to consider at this huge price decrease on DK.

Longshot

Greg Monroe ($5600/$6300) has tons of potential and he might be asked to step up for Milwaukee if Middleton sits tonight. Hassan Whiteside ($8000/$8800) could be lightly owned because of his poor splits against the Cavs earlier this season but those numbers are misleading.


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