Scouting The NBA – 12/27/17

Plays of the Day

Value: Josh Hart is playing huge minutes with Lonzo Ball (shoulder) out for the Lakers and he should have another productive game against a shorthanded Grizzlies squad that’s on the second half of a B2B set.

Fade: LeBron James is easier to fade as he comes off a rough game against the Warriors, but this is more about the Kings struggles last night in a fair fight against the Clippers, and now that young team faces a motivated and efficient Cavs team, which could lead to a blowout.

Point Guards

John Wall – (8,900 DK/8,700 FD)

Wall is still under priced after exceeding value by a large margin on Christmas Day. Tonight he’ll face a Hawks team that gives up an above average 45.82 FPPG to opposing PGs this season. Atlanta’s starting PG Dennis Schroder could be slightly hobbled by an ankle injury and he doesn’t matchup well against Wall at all, as he was dominated in their last meeting while Wall went for 13 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists over just 24 minutes of run.


Josh Hart – (4,500 DK/4,400 FD)

Hart is close to a must play with Lonzo Ball (shoulder) inactive. That is, until his price tag rises a bit, because the Villanova product has played 75 minutes over his last two appearances and hasn’t looked the least bit intimidated by NBA competition. He’ll face off with a tired Memphis squad that’s on the second half of a B2B set tonight and should be able to meet or exceed value with ease considering his significant bump in playing time.

Potential Value

Darren Collison – (5,500 DK/5,600 FD)

Collison will face his former team in the Mavs and could be asked to step up for Victor Oladipo (knee) tonight.


Kemba Walker – (6,600 DK/7,500 FD)

Love Walker as a tournament option at home against the Celtics tonight.


Shooting Guards

Tyreke Evans – (8,400 DK/8,600 FD)

Evans continued to carry the Grizzlies offense with 25 points on 10-of-22 FG shooting in a last-second (literally) loss to the Suns and that heavy usage is sustainable considering no one else on Memphis wants to shoot and even Marc Gasol would prefer to be more of a playmaker from the high post. Tonight the Grizz will take on a Lakers team that leads the league in pace and is giving up the fifth-most PPG (109.8) this year, while underrated defender Lonzo Ball (shoulder) won’t be available to contain Evans on drives to the rim.


Nicholas Batum – (5,400 DK/6,100 FD)

The Celtics are getting everyone’s best shot right now and that’s led to some struggles, especially against rangy wings like Nic Batum. Boston ranks 24th in rebounding over the last month and is giving up the second-most RPG (7.27) to opposing SGs during that span. Batum’s steadily increasing his playing time and he produced 12 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists over 35 minutes against Milwaukee on Saturday. With over three days to rest, he should be ready to play a full slate of minutes in what should be a charged atmosphere in Charlotte against the Celts.

Potential Value

Bojan Bogdanovic – (4,300 DK/5,100 FD)

Bogdanovic could see more shot attempts with Victor Oladipo (knee) inactive or limited tonight.


Jordan Clarkson – (5,700 DK/5,500 FD)

Clarkson is a great mid-tier option priced slightly above Hart as the work horses in the Lakers backcourt.


Small Forwards

Paul George – (7,100 DK/8,000 FD)

George could be paired with DeMar DeRozan as two upper-tier options with plenty of upside and PG13 is clearly still under priced on DK after snapping his scoring drought with 85 points on 48.2 percent FG shooting over his last four appearances. OKC seems to have figured out the roles of its three stars and George is fitting in nicely as a secondary scorer next to Russell Westbrook.


Ersan Ilyasova – (4,800 DK/5,000 FD)

Eligible as a PF on FanDuel and both forward slots on DK, Ilyasova is a very solid value given his situation. The Hawks are still without any true big men with Dewayne Dedmon (leg) on the shelf and John Collins (shoulder) is still working his way back to speed. Ilyasova, meanwhile has played 67 minutes with 43 points and 10 boards over his last two appearances and he faces a Wizards team tonight that’s been surprisingly vulnerable against bigs that can shoot.

Potential Value

Kelly Oubre Jr. – (4,700 DK/4,400 FD)

Oubre Jr.’s production against the Celtics on Christmas was no fluke and he should sustain it in a plus matchup against the Hawks.


Lance Stephenson – (4,300 DK/4,800 FD)

Stephenson could be the biggest beneficiary in terms of usage if Oladipo is inactive or limited.

Power Forwards

Kristaps Porzingis – (8,600 DK/9,200 FD)

Porzingis exceeded value in a second consecutive game with 22 points, 7 rebounds and 5 blocks in a loss to the Sixers on Christmas. His strange 0-for-11 FG shooting performance against Boston behind him, The Unicorn is once again leading the Knicks offense and he faces a Bulls team that’s giving up the second-most RPG (13.21) and fourth-most PPG (22.64) to opposing PFs over the last month. Chicago ranks 25th in opponents 2PT shooting (.519%) and uses a couple of relatively small PFs in Lauri Markkanen and Nikola Mirotic, so Porzingis should have the size advantage down low.


Kyle Kuzma – (7,400 DK/7,400 FD)

With Lonzo Ball (shoulder) out and Brandon Ingram (quad) questionable, Kyle Kuzma has increased upside, but he’s a solid option regardless of the status of those players. He actually sees a minute dip in usage rate with both of those guys off the floor (over a tiny sample size), but continues to fill it up regardless of the situation with averages of 20.7 PPG and 8 RPG over 11 appearances this month. Memphis plays at the slowest pace in the league but the Lakers lead the league in pace and are at home tonight, where they can impose their will by pushing the tempo.

Potential Value

Mike Scott – (4,500 DK/4,000 FD)

Scott simply didn’t match up well against the smaller Celtics on Christmas, but could bounce back immediately against his former team in Atlanta.


Nikola Mirotic – (6,500 DK/6,500 FD)

Mirotic continues to carry the surprising Bulls and he should keep rolling against the slower Knicks frontcourt.



Karl-Anthony Towns – (8,700 DK/10,500 FD)

KAT is still underpriced on DraftKings given his incredible floor-ceiling combination and tonight he’s facing off against Nikola Jokic on the second half of a B2B set for Denver. Even with Jokic back, the Nuggets are giving up the most FPPG (59.02) and PPG (29.83) to opposing centers over the last month and Towns went for 25 points on efficient 11-of-16 FG shooting in his sole meeting with Denver this season.


Enes Kanter – (6,800 DK/6,000 FD)

Kanter is still reasonably priced after following up a huge double double with a monstrous 31-point, 22-rebound performance against the Sixers on Christmas. He could continue to crush it on the offensive glass against a Bulls team that ranks 23rd in defensive rebounding rate this year. Chicago’s giving up the most BPG (3.08) to opposing centers over the last month and Kanter’s playing time has risen dramatically lately, which certainly bodes well for a player that averages 19.5 points and 14.4 rebounds per 36 minutes this season.

Potential Value

Willie Cauley-Stein – (5,600 DK/6,200 FD)

Cauley-Stein is a risky option given the Kings overall struggles, but he could have a good night on the glass against Cleveland.


Nikola Jokic – (8,600 DK/9,100 FD)

Jokic as on his way to a big night before getting ejected on Tuesday, so he clearly has upside if he can keep it together in a matchup against KAT and the Wolves.