Scouting the NBA – 11/8/17

Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports


Plays of the Day


Value: Marcus Morris has established a role as a valuable rebounder for the under sized Celtics and should produce against a Lakers team that plays at the third-fastest pace in the NBA this year. He sat out Monday’s game to rest and that bodes well for his ability to play more minutes this evening.

Fade: Kevin Durant remains a very solid cash game play, but as the most expensive option on the board, he’s tough to pay up for in a matchup against elite defender Jimmy Butler and the Wolves.  


Point Guards


Steph Curry – (9,300 DK/9,500 FD)

Steph is due to erupt after a rare off night shooting the ball on Monday as he’s often had some of his best scoring games right after going 1-for-10 or 0-fer in recent seasons. The two-time MVP also draws a great individual matchup against Jeff Teague while Jimmy Butler should try to slow down Kevin Durant. Minnesota allows the third-most FPPG (51.62) and APG (10) to opposing PGs this season while ranking dead last in opponent’s FG shooting (.495%), so the Splash Brothers could light them up while Karl-Anthony Towns and company keep the game close enough to earn Steph a full slate of minutes.

Jeff Teague – (6,500 DK/6,900 FD)

Teague has emerged as a great GPP play at the helm of an exciting Wolves team and he makes for a great correlation play if you’re using any of the Warriors big names in this contest, which has been assigned a 229.5-point Over/Under. Golden State’s giving up the ninth-most PPG (108.5) and is only winning by an average margin of 3.2 PPG at home this season, as compared to their 15.9 PPG margin of victory last season. The first place Wolves are capable of running with the champs and Teague would have to lead the way against Curry and the Warriors defense.


Potential Value


Frank Ntilinka – (3,800 DK/4,400 FD)

Ntilinka handed out 8 assists over 26 minutes last night to meet value and it won’t be tough for him to do so again at this price tag.




Elfrid Payton – (6,300 DK/7,400 FD)

Payton could return tonight after a multi-week absence and he would serve as a great bargain on DK if active against the Knicks.


Shooting Guards

Evan Fournier – (6,700 DK/6,100 FD)

Shut down by the top-rated Celtics defense on Sunday, Fournier could definitely bounce back against a much weaker defensive team tonight. The Knicks are giving up the third-most PPG (22.38) to opposing SFs this season and Fournier averaged 22.7 PPG on 53% FG shooting over three meetings with New York last season. He’s actually seen a drop in usage rate with Elfrid Payton (hamstring) off the floor this season and might benefit from the point guard’s prospective return tonight. 

Dion Waiters – (5,700 DK/6,000 FD)

Waiters is expected to return for the Heat after missing two games for the birth of his child and we’ve seen plenty of players turn up in their first game as a new father. Regardless of his motivations, Waiters could have a huge game against a Suns team that ranks 27th in defensive rating, gives up the second-most PPG (114.8) and the third-most PPG (26.18) to opposing SGs this season. With a career-best .520% true shooting percentage and solid 24.3% usage rate, Waiters is carrying the load for Miami’s backcourt and could have even more responsibilities if Hassan Whiteside remains in Eric Spoelstra’s doghouse.


Potential Value


Marcus Smart – (5,300 DK/5,900 FD)

The Cobra should come up with a few steals and plays in transition against a young Lakers team that is turnover prone.




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

Hardaway’s been red hot over his last six appearances after a slow start to the season and faces a generous Orlando defense tonight.


Small Forwards


T.J. Warren – (5,700 DK/6,300 FD)

Warren is locked in as the starting SF on a fantasy-friendly team, a role in which he’s averaged 22.2 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.2 steals/blocks per 36 minutes this year. Newly acquired big man Greg Monroe (calf) isn’t ready to suit up yet even if he were officially cleared via a team physical, so Warren’s in line to see close to the 36 minutes he played on Monday against Brooklyn, and he’s averaging 22.2 points and 8.2 rebounds per 36 minutes this year. Give him a look at slight discount as he works his way back from a head injury sustained last Friday.

Marcus Morris – (4,000 DK/4,100 FD)

After sitting out the second half of a B2B set on Monday, Morris should be good to go on two days full rest and is still under priced as a starter on a very good offensive team. Kyrie Irving is drawing tons of attention, which led to open shots for rookie Jayson Tatum on Monday, and now Morris could cash in on those looks from three. In any case, he’s established a role as a valuable rebounder for the under sized Celtics and should produce against a Lakers team that plays at the third-fastest pace in the NBA this year.


Potential Value


Jayson Tatum – (6,200 DK/5,700 FD)

Tatum remains a superior cash game play to teammate Jaylen Brown because of his elite rebounding ability.




Tobias Harris – (6,600 DK/6,900 FD)

Harris has been a boom-bust option this year but he has a chance to produce a big line against a fantasty-friendly Pacers team.


Power Forwards


Kristaps Porzingis – (9,500 DK/9,800 FD)

Porzingis dropped 28 points and sealed a Knicks win with a huge three last night and is young enough to roll with on the second half of a B2B set without much concern. He dropped 38 in his only game on zero days rest this season and actually leads the league with a 35.5 percent usage rate right now. There's not a high risk factor with him tonight. Orlando gives up the third-most FPPG to opposing PFs this season and is playing at the fifth-fastest pace in the league.

James Johnson – (6,400 DK/6,200 FD)

With Hassan Whiteside relegated to the bench, Johnson was a monster on both ends of the floor on his way to 21 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals in a matchup against the high-powered Warriors. He draws a similar matchup tonight against a Suns team that plays at the second-fastest pace in the NBA this season and allows the fifth-most FPPG (52.25) and third-most PPG (26.45) to opposing PFs this season. Whiteside’s presence in the middle is a complete wild card since his lack of production on Monday was primarily due to a lack of effort, but either way, JJ has a great chance to meet value in a plus matchup.


Potential Value


Kyle Kuzma – (6,100 DK/6,300 FD)

Kuzma’s price tag has risen considerably, but he’s one of the few Lakers wings I’d be willing to trust at the defensive-minded Celtics tonight.




Julius Randle – (4,900 DK/4,500 FD)

Randle is producing on an incredible per-minute basis and he could dominate the glass against the under sized Celtics while he’s out there tonight.




Karl-Anthony Towns – (8,900 DK/9,700 FD)

Despite Whiteside’s dud on Monday night, Golden State remains vulnerabie to skilled centers and Towns is a superior option in terms of his motor and versatility. KAT averaged 21.8 PPG and 10.5 RPG while shooting 54.7% from the floor over four meetings with the Dubs last year and stands to get into closer games this season as the gap is closing between these foes. 


Brook Lopez – (6,100 DK/6,900 FD)

Al Horford is playing extremely well on the offensive end for the Celtics, but remains vulnerable on the defensive end and might be a worthy fade in a home matchup against the Lakers tonight. Dewayne Dedmon, of all people, torched Horford and Boston for a double double on Monday night and Lopez is much more capable of doing damage in this plus matchup. He’s rocking a 27.1% usage rate this season and thriving as a go-to-scorer for a young team, as he’s compiled 82 points with 8 assists and 6 blocks over his last three appearances.

Potential Value


Alex Len – (4,800 DK/4,700 FD)

Len grabbed 14 boards in a fast-paced matchup with the Nets on Monday and should be needed tonight against Whiteside and the Heat.




Myles Turner – (7,000 DK/7,500 FD)

Turner has upside in a plus matchup against Andre Drummond and the Pistons and he could play even bigger minutes tonight if Domantas Sabonis (calf) remains out. 



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.