Scouting the NBA – 1/5/18

Plays of the Day

Value: Michael Beasley continues to produce for the Knicks with double-digit scoring in four consecutive appearances and he remains cheap on DK ahead of a matchup against an injury-plagued Miami team.

Fade: Joel Embiid doesn’t have an injury designation as of yet, but there’s always a chance he sits out tonight’s game after playing 35 minutes on Wednesday. Fade him if you can’t check injury news right up until tip time.


Point Guards

Kemba Walker – (8,300 DK/8,000 FD)

Neither Kemba nor Dwight Howard were needed much down the stretch in a 131-111 victory on Wednesday, but they still both met value. While the Lakers are also struggling after getting blown out by OKC on Wednesday, but could get Lonzo Ball (shoulder) back and will likely have a healthier Brook Lopez (ankle) and Kyle Kuzma (quad) in this contest. Walker averaged 20.8 PPG with a 27.8 percent usage rate over 15 December games and burned the Lakers for a combined 58 points, 13 rebounds and 17 assists while shooting 45.5 percent from the floor over two meetings with the Lakers last season.

Terry Rozier – (4,800 DK/4,300 FD)

The Celtics would be hard pressed to not give Rozier extended run tonight as he tries to ride his hot streak in a potentially high-scoring matchup with the Wolves. With Jeff Teague (knee) out and Tyus Jones (lips) questionable, the Wolves are shorthanded in the back court, and while Jones should play, he’s been seeing huge minutes with essentially no backup PG and won’t be able to handle Rozier’s energy off the bench, which has led to averages of 15.5 PPG, 5 RPG, 2.7 APG over his last five appearances.


Potential Value

Ish Smith – (5,800 DK/6,100 FD)

Smith should remain reliable with Reggie Jackson (ankle) out indefinitely.


Goran Dragic – (6,600 DK/6,800 FD)

Dragic has seen a significant spike in production with Dion Waiters (ankle) out and could be a great GPP play tonight against the Knicks.

Shooting Guards

Donovan Mitchell – (7,500 DK/7,500 FD)

After missing two games with a toe injury, Mitchell’s returned to post 88 points and 16 assists over four appearances. He leads all rookies with a 28.5 percent usage rate and he’ll look to carry the Jazz on the road against a Nuggets team that’s eighth in the NBA in scoring. He only needed to provide 16 points in a blowout win over Denver on Nov. 28 and struggled with foul trouble in a decisive loss to the Nuggets in December, but should put up big numbers if this game remains close down the stretch.

Delon Wright – (4,500 DK/4,800 FD)

Wright, a third-year man out of Utah, is averaging 13 PPG, 6.25 RPG and 3 STL/BLK per game over his last four appearances, topping out with a career-high performance (25 points, 13 rebounds) over 30 minutes in Chicago on Wednesday. Milwaukee may not seem like an ideal matchup, but the Bucks rank 23rd in defensive rating and are 30th in total rebounding, plus they should sell out to try and stop DeMar DeRozan after he burnt them for 52 points on Monday.


Potential Value

Wayne Ellington – (4,700 DK/4,900 FD)

Ellington is a pure shooter, who comes with some risk, but has also consistently hit value for the shorthanded Heat.


Gary Harris – (6,500 DK/6,800 FD)

Harris blew up against the Suns two nights ago and faces a struggling Jazz defense tonight.


Small Forwards

Kawhi Leonard – (7,600 DK/8,100 FD)

Leonard is still on a minutes restriction, but its not as strict as it was a couple weeks ago and he remains reasonably affordable on both main DFS sites. He rested on Wednesday and the Spurs have another B2B set on Sunday-Monday, so Kawhi should get more rest in one of those games and that might allow him to top the 30 minutes he played on Tuesday. With a season-high 25 points on 20 FGA in that contest, Kawhi proved that he can still carry the Spurs offensively and they’ll likely turn back to him after losing to the Sixers with a few starters resting on Wednesday.

Michael Beasley – (5,300 DK/6,500 FD)

Beasley is crushing it as the lead of the Knicks second unit with a 33.6 percent usage rate to average 1.26 FPs per minute when Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Enes Kanter are off the floor this season. He’s established a solid floor with double-digit points in four consecutive appearances and should remain the Knicks primary perimeter scorer with Hardaway Jr. (leg) out and Porzingis complaining of fatigue. Miami’s defense takes a hit with James Johnson (ankle) hobbled and even the Spurs’ elite unit couldn’t stop B-Easy from pouring in 20 points on 8-of-14 FG shooting Wednesday.


Potential Value

Evan Turner – (4,400 DK/4,800 FD)

Turner is routinely exceeding value and could see an even bigger boost as an option tonight if Damian Lillard (calf) sits.


Tobias Harris – (6,400 DK/6,200 FD)

Harris has been consistent, but underwhelming since torching the Pacers for 30 points last week, and we could see him return to that level against the Sixers.


Power Forwards

Ben Simmons – (8,600 DK/8,600 FD)

Simmons exceeded value with 26 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals over 32 minutes in a tough matchup against the Spurs Wednesday. Joel Embiid (hand) is always questionable to play and if he sits tonight, Simmons would see an increase in usage against a Pistons team that gives up the most FPPG (43.29) to opposing SFs this season and the second-most APG (4.5) to that position over the last month. Simmons provided good peripheral stats with 22 rebounds and 16 assists over two meetings with Detroit this year and would likely score more if Embiid sits.

Trey Lyles – (5,400 DK/6,200 FD)

Lyles has emerged from the ranks of punt plays to a consistent value option, as he’s met or exceeded value in 9 of his last 10 appearances. He’s turned up lately with averages of 17.8 PPG and 9.3 RPG over his last four appearances and some of that has to do with the motivation of facing his former team in the Jazz, which could really use another big man right now. With Rudy Gobert out, Utah’s been helpless defensively and currently gives up the most FPPG (59.11) to opposing centers, so even at the PF position, Lyles prospects are intriguing.


Potential Value

Al-Farouq Aminu – (4,700 DK/5,400 FD)

Aminu is another great value to consider in a Blazers uniform.


Dario Saric – (6,600 DK/6,700 FD)

Saric should be solid regardless, but could play a huge roll if Embiid gets rest tonight.



Andre Drummond – (9,100 DK/9,500 FD)

Drummond’s rib injury is apparently a “pain tolerance” issue, so he should be able to suit up if motivated, and Embiid’s comments that Drummond “doesn’t play any defense” after their Oct. 23rd meeting should provide all the motivation Big Dre needs. With Embiid in and out of the lineup, Philly gives up the seventh-most RPG (15.89) and fourth-most BPG (2.4) to opposing centers this season and Drummond’s leading the league with a 26.2 percent rebounding rate and 2.5 defensive win shares.

Jusuf Nurkic – (7,300 DK/7,500 FD)

Nurkic has seemingly found his stride after some struggles last month, with averages of 15.8 PPG, 11.3 RPG and 3.3 STL/BLK per game over his last four appearances. His minutes are being managed, but the “Bosnian Beast” is producing a career-best 19.2 points per 36 minutes as a compliment to Portland’s elite backcourt. Atlanta is giving up the fourth-most FPPG (54.46) and sixth-most RPG (15.94) to opposing centers this year and has become much more vulnerable down low with Dewayne Dedmon (leg) out indefinitely..


Potential Value

Boban Marjanovic – (4,600 DK/5,300 FD)

Boban would immediately become a slam-dunk value option if Drummond can’t play tonight.


Hassan Whiteside – (6,600 DK/7,600 FD)

Whiteside was apparently taken out of the Heat’s last game due to Kelly Olynyk’s hot play, but the tables could turn the other way tonight against Enes Kanter and the Knicks.


Louis Cangiano
About Louis Cangiano 88 Articles
Louis Cangiano (NBA, NFL, MLB) has been an avid DFS player since his freshman year of college where he attended the University of Rhode Island. Louie’s major wins include 6th place at the DraftKings 2016 WFBBC in Toronto and 34th place at the 2017 FanDuel WFBC in Miami. Now a three-time live finalist, Louis is a full-time DFS professional residing in New York City, specializing in MLB, NBA and NFL GPP plays.