Scouting the NBA 11/13/17


Plays of the Day


Value: Luke Babbitt continues to start for the Hawks and he draws a good matchup tonight against his former team in the Pelicans. At close to the minimum price tag on both main DFS sites, he can afford you a lot of flexibility under the salary cap.

Fade: Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins have appeal GPP formats as always, but they’re both a bit too expensive to take in a matchup against a Hawks team that’s more vulnerable on the perimeter than down low.     


Point Guards

Damian Lillard – (9,400 DK/9,600 FD)

He’s been relatively quiet over his last two games, but Dame could blow up against a familiar foe at home tonight. Denver’s improved defensively, yet still coughs up the third-most 3PTM (11.9) per game at the ninth-highest clip (.380%) this season. Lillard averaged 32 PPG and 7.5 APG while shooting 48.3 percent from the floor over four meetings with the Nuggets last season, his second-highest total against a conference foe. Denver continues to rotate young guards and their best wing defender is questionable tonight in Gary Harris (shoulder), so Dame Dollar is a good bet for production against a unit that’s allowing the sixth-most FPPG (49.06) to opposing PGs this season.


Lonzo Ball – (7,300 DK/7,600 FD)

While he continues to struggle with his shot, Lonzo should eventually regress to the decent percentages he posted in college and he could start with another good game against the weak Suns defense. Ball produced his best line of the season with 29 points, 11 rebounds and 9 assists over 37 minutes when the Lakers faced the Suns on Oct 20, and that was with athletic PG Eric Bledsoe in the lineup. Now Phoenix is rotating rookie Mike James and the diminutive Tyler Ulis at PG, as the Suns are coughing up the most FPPG (52.56) to that position this year.


Potential Value


Shelvin Mack – (3,700 DK/4,300 FD)

If Elfrid Payton (hamstring) can’t go tonight at Oracle Arena, Mack would be forced into the starting lineup and he could serve as a low-upside punt play.




Ricky Rubio – (7,100 DK/7,500 FD)

Rubio faces his old team in Minnesota tonight and it’s plus matchup, while Rudy Gobert (knee) is out indefinitely and that forces more onto Rubio’s plate.

Shooting Guards

Tim Hardaway Jr. – (6,100 DK/6,000 FD)

The fact that Hardaway’s shooting streak came to an end on Saturday, as he hit just 2-of-11 shots from the field against the Kings, puts him in a prime bounce back spot against a Cavs team that ranks 29th in opponents FG shooting and is giving up the highest 3PT percentage (.469%) and most 3PTM per game (13.3) this season. Hardaway had his best game of the season with 34 points, 8 assists and 57 DK points in a win at Cleveland last month and would meet value tonight by producing even half of those totals.


Lou Williams – (5,600 DK/5,500 FD)

Sweet Lou’s scored in double figures in eight straight games and is averaging 22 PPG over his last four appearances, including a 35-point outburst against the Thunder defense on Friday night. The former Sixers guard faces his old team with Patrick Beverley (knee) and Danilo Gallinari (glute) both questionable tonight after missing the past two games for the Clippers. When those players are off the floor Williams is averaging 1.05 FPs per minute and posting a 28.7 percent usage rate, so he stands to remain productive against a Sixers team that’s giving up the second-most FPPG (44.95) and most PPG (27.5) to opposing SGs this season.


Potential Value


J.J. Redick – (4,800 DK/5,200 FD)

Redick faces his former team tonight, which should give him added motivation on every jump shot.




Devin Booker – (8,000 DK/7,400 FD)

The Suns primary scorer, Booker has tons of upside in a matchup against the fast-paced Lakers.


Small Forwards


T.J. Warren – (6,200 DK/7,100 FD)

Fresh off scoring 35 points on efficient 15-of-22 FG shooting in a win over Minnesota on Friday, Warren’s price tag remains essentially unchanged on DK. If he can drop 35 against Jimmy Butler and a legitimate playoff team, he figures to do just fine against a Lakers squad that plays at the fourth-fastest pace in the NBA and has given up the second-most FPPG (42.73) in the NBA over the last two seasons. Warren’s usage rate (26.2%) has skyrocketed this year and his playing time has become much more secure under interim HC Jay Triano.  

Jonathon Simmons – (4,600 DK/4,400 FD)

The Warriors can force teams to put as many athletes as possible on the floor at one time and Simmons matches up well against their so-called “death lineups” as he dropped 20 points and finished a +29 in a stunning route of the Dubs in last year’s season opener. With D.J. Augustin (hamstring) out and Elfrid Payton (hamstring) potentially hobbled or inactive, Simmons could wind up starting for the fast-paced Magic, or at least playing more as a facilitator than placeholder Shelvin Mack. While the Magic (+14.5) may not have a shot to win tonight, Simmons has a decent chance to exceed value as a mid-tier option.

Potential Value


Luke Babbitt – (3,800 DK/3,400 FD)

Babbitt continues to start for the Hawks and draws a good matchup tonight against his former team in the Pelicans.




Kevin Durant – (9,700 DK/10,200 FD)

Durant would immediately become close to a must-play if Steph Curry (quad) sits tonight, while Andre Iguodala ($3.7k, $4.0k) would become more of a playable value as well.

Power Forwards

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

It’s hard to fade the top offensive player going against the Cavs pathetic defense right, and Porzingis is quite obviously the Knicks’ primary option. He’s averaging an absurd 32.4 PPG on 55.3 percent FG shooting with a 37.3 percent usage rate and 22 blocks over 8 home games this season, while demonstratively asserting that the Knicks are now his team. Cleveland, which still ranks last of 30 NBA teams in defensive rating, is giving up the ninth-most PPG (23.31) to opposing PFs this season and is shorthanded down low with Tristan Thompson (calf) out multiple weeks. 


Markieff Morris – (4,800 DK/5,400 FD)

This is a case of pouncing on a talented player before their price tag rises, as Morris returned to the Wizards lineup at a discounted price tag but is now seeing more playing time. He’s managed to drop double digit points in three of his five appearances this year and topped out at 27 minutes, so perhaps Washington takes the training wheels off ahead of tonight’s home tilt against the Kings. Sacramento coughs up the fifth-most PPG (24.58) to opposing PFs this season and Kieff is averaging 20 points and 7.4 rebounds per 36 minutes, which would certainly indicate that he could exceed value if given a full slate of run.


Potential Value


Julius Randle – (5,300 DK/5,200 FD)

Despite playing limited minutes for the Lakers, Randle’s been a reliable cash game option as a very productive player off the bench.




Kevin Love – (7,500 DK/7,500 FD)

Love’s been a monster in two of his last three appearances and should continue to see high usage with Derrick Rose (ankle) out and Dwayne Wade struggling at his age.





Karl-Anthony Towns – (8,600 DK/9,400 FD)

With reigning Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert (knee) in street clothes, there should be little opposition for Towns in the paint tonight. The Jazz could slide Derrick Favors over to center and watch as his lack of agility allows KAT to blow by all night, or use 6-foot-10 natural PF Ekpe Udoh at center against one of the most talented 7-footers in league history. Even with Gobert in the lineup, Towns averaged 22.5 PPG and 13.8 RPG over four meetings with the Jazz last year and he’s obviously an elite cash game play given his 9 double doubles over 12 appearances this season.


Jusuf Nurkic – (7,100 DK/8,400 FD)

Tonight, Nurkic faces a Nuggets franchise that traded him away for modest returns and the player that blocked him in Nikola Jokic. In his sole meeting with Denver last year, Nurk went off for 33 points, 15 rebounds and 2 blocks. He should get plenty of run tonight given his obvious motivation in this spot and the fact that he’s the best candidate to guard Jokic, who is on a tear for the Nuggets once again, but has some defensive limitations that have played into Denver’s mediocre defensive rating (18th) and total rebounding rate (20th in the NBA) this year.


Potential Value


Dewayne Dedmon – (4,600 DK/5,400 FD)

Dedmon’s been reliable for the Hawks down low and will likely meet value tonight if he can avoid foul trouble while guarding DeMarcus Cousins.




DeAndre Jordan – (6,700 DK/7,200 FD)

Jordan should be fired up to face off with young superstar Joel Embiid and perhaps he outrebounds The Process while serving as a contrarian play tonight. 

About Nate Weitzer 132 Articles
Nate Weitzer is a successful DFS player with numerous tournament wins in NBA and NFL contests. He’s been writing about DFS for several years, specializing in NBA advice while continuing to build his bankroll on several sites. He is also a season-long king and has won several leagues over the years.Weitzer is a sports journalist with a Masters from Boston University’s College of Communication. When he’s not playing DFS, Weitzer is often covering high school sports in the greater Boston area for outlets such as The Boston Globe or playing basketball himself. Follow Nate on Twitter @Nweitzer7.