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Scouting The NBA DFS - Thursday, March 23

We've got a 5-game 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: Alan Williams (illness) is questionable tonight and even with Williams active over the past several games, Alex Len has seen more and more playing time and produced with averages of 9.5 PPG and 9 RPG over his last 4 appearances. He’ll have a great chance to exceed value tonight against a Brooklyn team that gives up the third-most FPPG (50.21) to opposing centers this season.

Fade: The Mavericks give up the fewest FPPG to opposing PGs over the last month and have done a decent job of holding Chris Paul in check over their past several meetings. He turned up in easy matchups against the Knicks and Lakers but is tougher to trust on the road in Dallas.

Game Lines

  1. Brooklyn Nets (+4) hosting Phoenix Suns (Over/Under = 224)
  2. Portland Blazers (-11.5) hosting New York Knicks (Over/Under = 216)

Point Guards

Two Studs

Damian Lillard (POR) vs. NY DK:$9,800/FD:$9,900

Normally, I might consider Lillard as over priced but the fact that he’s the most expensive player on the board and is still under $10k makes him a pretty easy option on both main DFS sites for this short slate. The Blazers floor general has been on fire lately with averages of 31.1 PPG and 5.5 APG while posting a stellar .630% True Shooting Percentage over 11 March games. That’s risen to 35.2 PPG for Lillard over his last 6 appearances and draws a plus matchup at home tonight against a Knicks team that’s on the second half of a B2B set. New York gives up the sixth-most PPG (108.7) and ranks 25th in defensive rating this year, while Dame has thrashed far superior defenses during his hot streak.

Tyler Ulis (PHO) @ BKN DK:$7,100/FD:$6,800

While Ulis didn’t pay off as a top play in a relatively tough matchup against Miami, he played a ton of minutes (42) for a fourth consecutive game and remains a very safe play with Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight ruled out tonight. It’s an easy bounce back spot for the rookie PG in the best matchup imaginable, as the Suns face a Nets team that gives up the most PPG (113.6) while playing at the fastest pace in the NBA tonight. Brooklyn also gives up the most FPPG (48.01) to opposing PGs and should be rotating between the inexperienced Spencer Dinwiddie and a hobbled Jeremy Lin (ankle) at the 1 this evening.

Potential Value

J.J. Barea ($4500/$4100) has cut into his minutes and is a risk-reward value in his own right, while Yogi Ferrell ($4000/$4700) has become cheap enough to use in most formats again.

Longshot

Spencer Dinwiddie ($4900/$4600) will definitely be worth a look if Lin can’t go tonight in a plus matchup against the Suns and he’s probably looking at 25-30 minutes of run as a starter regardless.

Shooting Guards

Stud

DeMar DeRozan (TOR) @ MIA DK:$8,700/FD:$9,000

DeRozan offers such a high ceiling that it’s hard to leave him out of lineups after he went off for 42 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists to carry Toronto in an OT win over Chicago on Tuesday. He attempted an absurd 38 shots from the field during that game and is sporting a sky-high 44% Usage Rate while averaging 1.35 FPs per minute when Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka are off the floor this season. With Ibaka suspended, DDR should take the lion’s share of shots tonight in what should be another close game at Miami. He’s averaging 25.5 PPG over 2 meetings with the Heat this season and better have rested as much as possible on Wednesday, because he’s going to have to carry a big load again tonight.

Potential Value

J.J. Redick ($4600/$4400) has been reliable over his last several games while Wesley Matthews ($4900/$4500) is worth a look in the same game, especially if Seth Curry (shoulder) can’t go for Dallas.

Longshot

Josh Richardson ($5000/$4600) is playing big minutes for the Heat with Dion Waiters (ankle) out, but he’ll only really have some upside if Hassan Whiteside (finger) also misses tonight’s tilt.

Small Forwards

Two Studs

Kawhi Leonard (SA) vs. MEM DK:$9,200/FD:$9,300

There aren’t many players worth targeting in what should be a slow-paced, defensive matchup between two tough teams, but Leonard is always reliable. The Spurs MVP has established a floor of around 35 FPs whenever his team gets into a relatively close game and his ceiling is over 60 FPs this year as he’s really expanded his offensive game. While Memphis is a top 10 defensive team as per usual, the Grizz allow an above average 38.09 FPPG and 21.75 PPG to opposing SFs this season, as their defensive strengths are not on the wing. If Tony Allen (knee) is hobbled or inactive tonight, there really won’t be anyone capable of slowing down Kawhi.

P.J. Tucker (TOR) @ MIA DK:$3,900/FD:$3,800

Serge Ibaka’s untimely suspension will leave the Raptors shorthanded as they head into a tough road tilt against one of the hottest teams in the NBA. After Ibaka departed Tuesday’s game, Tucker stepped up on the boards and finished with 12 rebounds to go along with 8 points in an effort that exceeded value. His playing time continues to rise as he becomes more comfortable with his new team and Tuckers averages 0.76 FPs per minute over a small sample size of playing time with Ibaka off the floor this season. Give him a look as one of several value plays worth considering in a Raptors uniform tonight.

Potential Value

Maurice Harkless ($4100/$3800) is a steady producer who is still benefitting while Evan Turner (hand) works his way back into playing shape.

Longshot

Caris LeVert ($4200/$4300 as SG) has been inconsistent, but could find his offense in a matchup between two of the worst defenses in the league tonight.

Power Forwards

Two Studs

Blake Griffin (LAC) @ DAL: DK:$8,200/FD:$9,000

Griffin’s lackluster line in a massive blowout win over the Lakers is mostly the product of a lackadaisical attitude while facing the worst team in the WCF. Yet tonight the Clippers travel to Dallas to face a rapidly improving Mavs team and you’d think that Griffin would be much more aggressive in looking for his shot. Dallas still ranks dead last in total rebounding and 27th in opponents FG shooting (.469%) while giving up the second-most RPG (13.86) and ninth-most FPPG (46.44) to opposing PFs over the last month. Griffin will be matched up with Dirk Nowitzki, skinny Nerlens Noel or perhaps even Harrison Barnes tonight, so he should eat.

Kristaps Porzingis (NY) @ POR: DK:$6,900/FD:$7,000

He proved to be a good play regardless of matchup last night as Porzingis managed to exceed value with good perimeter despite getting dominated down low by Rudy Gobert, so he’s worth a look at a slightly higher price this evening. Now he faces a Blazers team that gives up the third-most FPPG (45.72) to opposing PFs this season and allowed The Zinger to go off for 31 points on 13-of-23 FG shooting in a previous meeting this season. With Carmelo Anthony willingly playing fewer minutes and giving even less effort than usual, the Knicks have become Porzingis’ team.

Potential Value

Marquess Chriss ($5800/$5100) played a season-high 38 minutes on Tuesday and he’s been ramping up while scoring 70 points over his last 4 appearances.

Longshot

Patrick Patterson ($3600/$3600) is a punt play to consider in all formats with Ibaka suspended.

Centers

Two Studs

Jusuf Nurkic (POR) vs. NY: DK:$7,600/FD:$7,600

He’s finally priced appropriately and it may make sense to pay up $700 more for Hassan Whiteside on DK if he’s active tonight, but Nurkic remains a great upper-tier option in a fantastic matchup. The Knicks front line was steamrolled by Rudy Gobert for a career-high 35 points last night and Nurkic is even stronger, if slightly shorter, than The Stifle Tower. He’s averaging 14.2 PPG, 9.9 RPG, 3.3 APG and 3.6 STL/BLK over 15 appearances with Portland and has only failed to meet value once since the ASB, while the Knicks are now giving up the second-most FPPG (55.48) and most PPG (29.38) to opposing centers over the last month.

Alex Len (PHO) @ BKN: DK:$4,500/FD:$5,100

Len could become a very chalky play tonight if Alan Williams (illness) is unable to go, so you might want to hope for Big Sauce suiting up in a somewhat limited capacity. Even with Williams active over the past several games, Len has seen more and more playing time and produced with averages of 9.5 PPG and 9 RPG over his last 4 appearances. He’ll have a great chance to exceed value tonight against a Brooklyn team that gives up the third-most FPPG (50.21) to opposing centers this season and is frankly a better option for HC Earl Watson as a lengthy 7-footer that can match up with Brook Lopez.

Potential Value

Nerlens Noel ($4600/$5800) is an intriguing value on DK given the need for Dallas to go big against Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. Pau Gasol ($5000/$5800) should be safe to use against his little brother Marc tonight.

Longshot

It’s hard to predict when Marc Gasol ($7000/$7700) will have a big game, but the motivation should be there in a matchup against Pau and the elite Spurs this evening.


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