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Scouting The NBA DFS - Thursday, March 9

We break down Thursday's 5-game slate of NBA action to bring you the best DFS plays on DraftKings and FanDuel

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Plays of the Day

Value: Justin Anderson put up 19 points on 9-of-16 FG shooting in a tough matchup against Milwaukee and played 30 minutes in the game prior despite providing much less scoring, so he’s a good bet to stick in the Sixers rotation, especially with two of Philly’s bigs (Jahlil Okafor and Richaun Holmes) questionable going into a plus matchup at Portland.

Fade: Both Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are coming off rought outings in a loss to the Wolves and both are extremely risky options despite their relatively modest price tags tonight. Griffin seems like the easier fade as he goes into the grindhouse to face the Grizzlies stout front court defense, which has limited him to 19.5 PPG over 2 meetings so far this season.

Game Lines

  1. Phoenix Suns (-5.5) hosting Los Angeles Lakers (Over/Under = 228.5)
  2. Portland Blazers (-9.5) hosting Philadelphia 76ers (Over/Under = 220.5)

Point Guards

Two Studs

Kyrie Irving (CLE) @ DET DK:$8,600/FD:$9,400

In terms of pure scoring, very few players can compete with Irving and he’s going to have to continue to fill it up with Kevin Love (knee) out indefinitely. LeBron and Kyrie are doing all the heavy lifting for the Cavs and maintaining their teams’ status as the top seed in the East through herculean efforts on a nightly basis. Tonight, he should be to roast a Pistons defense that’s coughing up the seventh-most FPPG (44.72) to opposing PGs this season and can’t decide on a rotation of Reggie Jackson and Ish Smith. Kyle Korver is also out, which gives life to Iman Shumpert as a potential punt play, but likely just means more usage for Kyrie.

Mike Conley (MEM) vs. LAC DK:$7,400/FD:$8,000

It’s tough to pay up for Russell Westbrook on a relatively short slate, so pairing Conley with another upside PG such as Irving, Damian Lillard or Eric Bledsoe may be the way to go in GPP formats. He’s been incredibly reliable with averages of 28.8 PPG and 6.2 APG while producing 41-plus DK points in each of his last 5 appearances and tends to step up in individual matchups against Chris Paul. Conley is averaging 25.7 PPG and 10 APG over 3 meetings with the Clippers this season and LAC is struggling defensively while giving up 23.45 APG to the opposition over the last month. Give him some thought as an under priced and often overlooked tournament option.

Potential Value

Tyler Ulis ($5000/$4500) remains relatively cheap ahead of a juicy matchup against the Lakers tonight. Ish Smith ($4600/$4600) is worth a look as a more productive player despite playing fewer minutes than Reggie Jackson in some matchups.

Longshot

Both D’Angelo Russell ($7100/$6700) and Jordan Clarkson ($5200/$5300) are worth consideration tonight in a plus matchup against the fast-paced Suns.

Shooting Guards

Stud

C.J. McCollum (POR) vs. PHI DK:$7,200/FD:$7,000

It’s often a crapshoot when trying to predict whether Lillard or McCollum will go off in a plus matchup. However, both players have a chance to exceed value tonight against a Sixers team that’s coughing up the third-most PPG (113.8) in the NBA over the last month and has fallen apart defensively with Joel Embiid out for the season. McCollum stands out as a more valuable play based on position on FanDuel, where he could outscore the rest of the field at SG by a wide margin. He’s averaging 23.2 PPG since the ASB and just went for 31 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists in a similar home matchup against defenseless Brooklyn.

Potential Value

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($5600/$5100) is worth a look in tournament formats as a mid-tier value play in the event he bounces back from a very quiet outing last night. Victor Oladipo ($5200/$5500) is a bit more reliable as a cash game option in that price range.

Longshot

J.J. Redick ($3900/$4000) is coming off a solid game and Memphis actually gives up the second-most PPG (26) to opposing SGs over the last month.

Small Forwards

Two Studs

Kawhi Leonard (SA) @ OKC DK:$9,700/FD:$9,600

LeBron is on fire right now, but Kawhi is as well with at least 31 points and 54 DK points in each of his last 4 appearances. He’s a certifiable MVP candidate with averages of 25.9 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 1.9 SPG and the second-highest Player Efficiency Rating (28.5) this year along with some of the best defensive numbers that can be tracked. The Spurs will need their two-way star to contain Russell Westbrook and Leonard makes for a great pairing with Agent Zero if you believe the Thunder (+3) will keep this game as close as the line suggests. OKC gives up an above average 39.64 FPPG to opposing SFs over the last month and Kawhi went for 36 points on 13-of-26 FG shooting the last time he faced the Thunder.

Justin Anderson (PHI) @ POR DK:$4,000/FD:$3,900

Anderson’s relative breakout game as a member of the Sixers is probably not a fluke. Philadelphia thought high enough of the young wing to give up Nerlens Noel for him and he’s a pretty good find as a versatile SF who can rebound, defend, and fit in offensively. Anderson put up 19 points on 9-of-16 FG shooting in a tough matchup against Milwaukee and played 30 minutes in the game prior despite providing much less scoring, so he’s a good bet to stick in the rotation, especially with two of Philly’s bigs (Jahlil Okafor and Richaun Holmes) questionable going into a plus matchup at Portland.

Potential Value

Maurice Harkless ($5500/$4800) is a great cash game to use against the Sixers struggling defense, while T.J. Warren ($6100/$5900) also seems like a very safe play against the Lakers.

Longshot

Robert Covington ($6900/$7000) could see close to 40 minutes of burn tonight if Okafor and/or Holmes sit for Philadelphia. Brandon Ingram ($4900/$4000) is still quite cheap on FanDuel.

Power Forwards

Two Studs

Dario Saric (PHI) @ POR: DK:$7,700/FD:$7,400

With several injuries to Philadelphia’s big men, Saric has emerged as arguably the top overall option at PF on this 5-game slate. He’s been extremely reliable with averages of 16.8 PPG and 7.8 RPG over the last six weeks and Portland gives up the fourth-most FPPG (45.26) to opposing PFs this season. While Saric posted a modest game in a previous meeting with the Blazers back in January, he’s since taken over as Philadelphia’s primary scorer down low and is sporting a 26.3% Usage Rate while averaging 0.93 FPs per minute with Embiid and Okafor off the court this season. He’ll have to play heavy minutes of Jahlil (knee) and Richaun Holmes (hamstring) are both unable to play tonight.

Julius Randle (LAL) @ PHO: DK:$7,000/FD:$6,900

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention Randle tonight after his monstrous triple double as our Poster Boy on Tuesday’s short slate. He only scored 13 points on 8 FGA in that game, but the fact that he grabbed 18 rebounds indicates the Lakers are finally getting the effort out of their potential start that they need to be successful. Tonight he faces a young Suns team that’s become much more vulnerable down low with P.J. Tucker traded and Tyson Chandler apparently sitting out the rest of the season, while he’s averaging a respectable 15 PPG, 8 RPG and 4 APG over 3 previous meetings with Phoenix this season. We’re talking about a Suns team that coughs up the second-most PPG (112.8) while playing at the third-fastest pace in the NBA this year, which makes this a juicy matchup to target.

Potential Value

Al-Farouq Aminu ($5700/$5400) is a solid cash game play and he could flash surprising upside in a plus matchup against the shorthanded Sixers.

Longshot

Marquess Chriss ($4900/$4400) is a value play with limited upside but he could definitely exceed value tonight against the porous Lakers defense.

Centers

Two Studs

Jusuf Nurkic (POR) vs. PHI: DK:$7,000/FD:$6,500

His price tag continues to rise but Nurkic could definitely be worth the money in tonight’s matchup. Philadelphia has been terrible defensively since Joel Embiid and is coughing up the third-most FPPG (52.85) to opposing centers over the last month, as they use a patchwork combination of non-centers combined with maybe the league’s worst low post defender in Jahlil Okafor. Both Okafor and Richaun Holmes are questionable tonight, potentially leaving Dario Saric and Robert Covington in isolation situations against one of the strongest big men in the league.

Alan Williams (PHO) vs. LAL: DK:$6,500/FD:$5,900

It’s hard to bet against Williams posting a fifth consecutive double double tonight considering his matchup. The Lakers are giving up the second-most FPPG (54.38) and most PPG (27.33) to opposing centers over the last month while Ivica Zubac (quad) and Larry Nance Jr. (wrist) are both questionable to suit up for the Purple and Gold tonight. Williams is beasting on the boards and has come through in tough matchups against the Thunder, Wizards and Grizzlies of late, so you should definitely trust Big Sauce in a premium matchup tonight against the worst defense in the league over the last couple of months.

Potential Value

Alex Len ($4100/$4800) actually put up good numbers while playing over 20 minutes for the Suns in his last appearance and he’s a risky value to consider tonight. If Holmes and/or Okafor miss tonight’s game, Shawn Long ($3000/$4300) would emerge as a great value as the Sixers only center left standing.

Longshot

Marc Gasol ($7600/$8000) could certainly be worth paying up for with the Grizzlies hosting the Clippers in a pseudo-rivalry game.


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