Scouting the NBA – 11/1/17

Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Plays of the Day


Value: Tyreke Evans is healthier than he’s been in several years and he’s been producing with 52 points, 23 rebounds and 7 assists over his last 3 appearances, topping out at 30 minutes while dropping a double double in his last game. Tonight he’ll face a Magic squad that’s ranked third in the NBA in pace and could see more work if Mike Conley (Achilles) is limited.

Fade: DeMarcus Cousins slowed down in a decisive loss for the Pelicans his last time out and now he faces one of the few defenders big enough and quick enough to contain him in fellow Kentucky Wildcat Karl-Anthony Towns.


Point Guards

Kemba Walker – (7,600 DK/8,400 FD)

Walker’s been on fire recently and he should lead the charge against a Bucks team that will be on the road for the second half of a B2B set tonight. With career-best marks of 25.2 points and 6.6 assists per 36 minutes so far this year, Kemba’s playing better than he has in years, and he’s peaked with 87 points and 21 dimes over his last 3 games. Milwaukee’s giving up an above average 47.85 FPPG to opposing PGs this season and Walker is still relatively cheap on DK.

Mike James – (4,700 DK/4,500 FD)

The Suns rookie continued to score efficiently with 24 points on 9-of-16 FG shooting, adding 5 assists and 5 steals as well last night to put some distance between himself and backup PG Tyler Ulis. James is rocking a 26.8% assist rate and seeing plenty of opportunities as the maestro of a Suns team that ranks second in the NBA in pace. Washington ranks third in pace for opposing PGs and John Wall’s using a ton of energy on the offensive end to sap his defensive value.


Potential Value


Jarrett Jack – (4,700 DK/5,200 FD)

Jack has effectively turned the Knicks season around with steady play and he should see 30-plus minutes against the Rockets tonight.



Jeff Teague – (6,400 DK/7,100 FD)

Teague had a huge game on Monday and continues to find a home as the PG for a very talented Wolves team.


Shooting Guards

Evan Fournier – (6,600 DK/7,300 FD)

Don’t be intimidated by seeing Memphis on the schedule for a slashing guard. The Grizzles are down defensively with Tony Allen gone, rookie Dillon Brooks playing steady minutes and the shell of Chandler Parsons rotating in at SF, while team leaders Mike Conley (Achilles) and Marc Gasol (ankle) are both questionable tonight. Fournier’s thrived in just about every matchup as the trigger man for a Magic team that ranks third in the NBA in pace, as he’s 34-for-54 from the field (63%) while averaging 24 PPG over his last 4 appearances. He’s established a much higher floor and his usage should continue to rise if Elfrid Payton (hamstring) is unable to return to the court tonight.

Eric Gordon – (6,700 DK/6,400 FD)

With Chris Paul (knee) on the shelf, Gordon is creating much more often. The reigning Sixth Man of the Year is posting a 17.7% assist rate, well up from the 12.3% mark last year and his usage rate his skyrocketed from 22.1% to 31.6% this season. After missing Saturday’s tilt with a stomach bug, he returned to drop 25 points over 37 minutes against the 76ers and should find space to create against a Knicks team that gives up the most APG (11.33) and third-most FPPG (51.95) to opposing PGs this season.


Potential Value


Austin Rivers – (4,900 DK/4,900 FD)

Rivers is an erratic player with a low floor despite his steady role as the Clippers starting SG, yet he should bounce back after struggling in a blowout loss to the Warriors.



Dion Waiters – (5,800 DK/6,300 FD)

Waiters went bonkers with Goran Dragic under the weather and Hassan Whiteside (knee) out on Monday, so he’ll be worth a look in GPP formats against the lowly Bulls.


Small Forwards


Ben Simmons – (8,800 DK/9,200 FD)

Simmons is an easy choice as a bargain on DK in a really good matchup. The Hawks are coughing up the sixth-most APG (23.7) and the sixth-highest FG% (.515%) to the opposition this year. Simmons is a positionless wonder, who is creating for fellow budding superstar Joel Embiid and others on his way to averages of 18.4 PPG, 9.1 RPG and 7.7 APG this year and he’s produced 42-plus DK points in 5 consecutive appearances.

Tyreke Evans – (5,300 DK/5,400 FD)

Evans is healthier than he’s been in several years and he’s been producing with 52 points, 23 rebounds and 7 assists over his last 3 appearances, topping out at 30 minutes while dropping a double double in his last game. Now he faces the surprisingly fast-paced Magic and a couple of weak perimeter defenders in Evan Fournier and D.J. Augustin, plus the potential absence of Mike Conley (Achilles) could force him into a bigger role as a playmaker for Memphis. 

Potential Value


T.J. Warren – (5,100 DK/5,100 FD)

Warren is coming off a double double in a great matchup against the Nets and should see plenty of run at Washington tonight.




Dillon Brooks – (3,900 DK/3,800 FD)

The Grizzlies impressive rookie is worth a look as a risky value in a plus matchup against the fast-paced Magic.


Power Forwards

Kristaps Porzingis – (8,900 DK/9,700 FD)

Coming off a career-high 38 points in a win over Denver, The Unicorn faces a Rockets team that’s giving up 42.4 RPG (28th in the NBA) and allowing opponents to shoot 40% from deep (27th in NBA) this year. He doesn’t have the same lofty floor as Anthony Davis, but obviously comes at a much cheaper price tag and could equal The Brow’s production if the Knicks stay competitive tonight. Porzingis has only had one dud all year in a blowout loss and he’s thriving now that the Knicks have rallied around veteran PG Jarrett Jack and are spacing the floor with Tim Hardaway Jr. hitting jumpers.

Domantas Sabonis – (5,700 DK/6,000 FD)

Myles Turner (concussion) appears no closer to returning for the Pacers and Al Jefferson is apparently limited to 18 minutes or fewer, so the role of starting center belongs exclusively to Sabonis. The young lefty produced a career-high 16 rebounds with 12 points and 5 assists over 25 minutes despite battling through an illness last night and he’ll be a solid mid-tier play as long as he’s active tonight against the listless Cavs. Cleveland is ranked 28th in defensive rating and is giving up the most APG (26.43) overall along with the fourth-most RPG (14) to opposing PFs this season.


Potential Value

Lauri Markkanen – (6,100 DK/6,600 FD)

Markkanen’s been a rock solid value and an exciting talent to watch for an otherwise weak Bulls team.



Blake Griffin – (9,200 DK/9,100 FD)

Griffin is still the unquestioned leader of a good Clippers team and he should bounce back after Draymond Green shut him down yet again.



Hassan Whiteside – (7,900 DK/9,200 FD)

If Whiteside (knee) can’t go tonight you could save big by starting his backup in rookie Bam Adebayo. Yet if Miami’s big man makes his overdue return from a knee bruise, he’ll be a fantastic GPP play. The monstrous center tallied 26 points and 22 boards in his sole appearance this year and stands to dominate tonight against a Bulls team that’s giving up the eighth-most FPPG (55.53) and fourth-most RPG (18.4) to opposing centers this year. He averaged 20 PPG, 14 RPG and 3 BPG over 2 meetings with Chicago last year and the Bulls are quite shorthanded up front due to the preseason scuffle between Bobby Portis and Nikola Mirotic.


Dwight Howard – (7,500 DK/7,400 FD)

Howard grabbed a season-high 22 rebounds the last time these teams faced off and fell just short of a double double by only managing 8 points. He is coming off a very rough outing in a tough spot at Memphis against Marc Gasol, but now he’ll face off with 19-year-old Thon Maker and razor-thin John Henson, as Bucks center Greg Monroe has been ruled out. Milwaukee gave up 10 offensive rebounds last night and lost the rebounding battle, 47-30, in a blowout loss to the Thunder, and the Bucks are giving up the ninth-most FPPG (23.29) to opposing centers this year, so D12 is more likely than not to post a double double in the rematch.


Potential Value

Bam Adebayo – (3,700 DK/3,400 FD)

Adebayo would be a solid punt play if he’s starting at center again for the Heat.



John Henson – (4,400 DK/4,800 FD)

Henson never made an impact in an embarrassing home loss for the Bucks last night, but his path to minutes is still wide open with Monroe out.



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Fuego Steve has rapidly become one of the best DFS players in the industry for MLB, NBA, and the NFL. Just over the past year he has won numerous GPPs, including three qualifiers. Fuego was a live finalist at the 2017 & 2018 Fanduel Basketball Championships. Mainly a tournament player, he specializes in multi and single-entry gpps, roster construction, game theory, qualifiers, short slates and has a knack for projecting ownership percentages.