Scouting the NBA 2/8

Nate Weitzer gives you the first look at tonight's NBA slate

Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Plays of the Day

Value: Terry Rozier is a relative value whose price tag is lower because of the presence of Kyrie Irving, but he’s still the second-best playmaker on a first-place team that should get into a high-scoring bout with the Wizards on the road tonight.

Fade: DeMar DeRozan and the Raptors should win easily at home tonight against an injury-depleted Knicks team, making him a tough sell at his lofty price tag. Kyle Lowry is probably also worth avoiding.

Point Guards

Steph Curry – (9,900 DK/9,800 FD)

Kevin Durant (hand) could be limited tonight, opening up the door for Curry should lead to light up a Dallas team that gives up the most PPG (23.9) to opposing PGs this season. Curry dropped 29 points and eight assists in a 30-point blowout win over Dallas earlier this season and shot 11 of 19 from the field for 32 points in a 125-122 win in Dallas last month, so clearly he can put up numbers whether this game remains close or not, and he should bring laser focus tonight as Golden State looks to right the ship after losing three of four.

Kyrie Irving – (7,900 DK/8,000 FD)

Kyrie was relatively quiet with 17 points in Tuesday’s blowout loss at Toronto, but didn’t necessarily seem hobbled by a quad injury and should be good to go tonight in a rivalry game against the John Wall-less Wizards. Tomas Satoransky stands no chance of guarding Uncle Drew while Bradley Beal and Otto Porter will be expending a lot of energy on the other end. Perhaps Kelly Oubre Jr. guards him later in the game, but otherwise Kyrie will be free to operate and get his 30-plus points while leading the Celtics in a bounce-back effort.

Potential Value

J.J. Barea – (4,700 DK/4,900 FD)

Barea is a bulldog and he won’t back down in a tough road test at Oracle Arena tonight.


D.J. Augustin – (3,900 DK/3,700 FD)

With Elfrid Payton traded, Augustin becomes a great value tonight.

Shooting Guards

Terry Rozier – (5,900 DK/6,500 FD)

The Celtics are openly willing to move Marcus Smart ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline because of this young man. Terry Rozier has emerged as the second-best guard on his team and one of the better young playmakers around, as he posted a triple double followed by a career-high 31 points in two starts for Kyrie Irving last week. Even with Kyrie back in the lineup, Rozier is likely to play a big role against the small-ball Wizards and his price tag continues to drop on DK despite being the only Celtics player to show up in Toronto on Tuesday.

Josh Hart – (5,500 DK/6,300 FD)

Hart is playing hard while recording three consecutive double doubles and logging at least 31 minutes in each of those games, as Lakers HC Luke Walton rewards the rookie for his effort. He’s going to have to play a lot as one of the better defensive options to try and stay in front of Russell Westbrook and despite the rise in OKC’s offensive output, the Thunder is allowing 113.5 PPG over four February contests. Even at a rising price tag, Hart is a solid cash option given his increased role with Lonzo Ball (knee) on the shelf and Jordan Clarkson traded.

Potential Value

Jeremy Lamb – (4,200 DK/4,900 FD)

Lamb is a risky play given his lack of run, but he’s averaging 14.3 PPG over his last three appearances and could exceed value against high-scoring Portland.


Jonathon Simmons – (5,400 DK/5,800 FD)

Simmons will certainly be worth a look tonight after his big performance Tuesday.

Small Forwards

Paul George – (8,800 DK/8,600 FD)

After dropping 38 points on 11 of 23 FG shooting in a decisive win over the world champion Warriors, George is a highly recommended option in a much better matchup. The L.A. native should maintain high levels of motivation as he visits Staples Center tonight. George’s 26 points weren’t enough to beat the Lakers in a recent home game and he never got a chance to blow up in front of friends and family when the Thunder won by 37 points in L.A. last month. But perhaps this game stays close enough for PG and Russ to produce more eye-popping lines.

Michael Beasley – (6,300 DK/6,200 FD)

With Kristaps Porzingis (knee) done for the year and Enes Kanter (mouth) out tonight, the Knicks will have to revamp their offense right in time for a road tilt againt a Raptors team that is averaging 116.8 PPG while winning five of their last six. This could easily turn into a blowout, but Beasley is worth a look as the likely top scoring option for New York. He’s posting a 31.8 percent usage rate while averaging 1.13 FPs per minute when Porzingis is off the floor and sees a 4.2 percent rise in usage (to 34.8%) when Kanter departs the court as well.

Potential Value

Taurean Prince – (4,900 DK/4,500 FD)

Prince has been quiet in consecutive games, but could get into a shootout tonight against the porous Magic defense.


Nic Batum – (6,600 DK/6,700 FD)

Batum draws a great matchup tonight against his former team in the Blazers.

Power Forwards

Markieff Morris – (6,000 DK/6,300 FD)

The Wizards are searching for offense from different sources with John Wall out and a spread-the-wealth mentality has certainly benefited a spot-up shooter and playmaker like Morris. Along with Otto Porter ($6.7k, $6.7k), he’s a quality option as an active wing, who should log big minutes against spry young Boston. The Celtics can struggle to defend the paint at times given their lack of size down low and despite their respective health issues at the time, Markieff got the better of twin brother Marcus with 14 points and 7 rebounds in a Washington win over Boston on Christmas.

Mario Hezonja – (5,300 DK/5,400 FD)

Strangely listed as a PG/SG on DK in his last outing, Hezonja was quiet with 10 points, six rebounds and two assists against the listless Cavs, while Jonathon Simmons (ankle) almost single-handedly dispatching Cleveland with a huge second half. Yet Elfrid Payton (trade) is gone and Aaron Gordon (hip) has been ruled out for a sixth straight game, while Hezonja (now listed as a SF/PF) has scored in double figures in the previous five. Nikola Vucevic (hand) seems unlikely to return tonight as well and Hezonja is sporting a 21.2 percent usage rate (1.4% increase) when Vucevic, Gordon and Payton are off the floor this year.

Potential Value

Jerami Grant – (4,900 DK/5,200 FD)

Grant has been a great role player for the Thunder and would become a much safer play if Carmelo Anthony can’t go tonight.


Marcus Morris – (5,200 DK/4,900 FD)

Morris is still seeing heavy usage off the Celtics bench and will clearly be motivated for a matchup against his twin brother, Markieff.


Dwight Howard – (8,300 DK/8,200 FD)

Howard is relatively affordable given his surge in production over the past couple of months and he’s clearly the center with the most upside tonight. He’s averaging 18.5 PPG and 11.8 RPG over his last six appearances and Portland center Jusuf Nurkic has been very inconsistent this year. The Blazers aggressive guards lead to their team allowing the sixth-most BPG (5.1), so perhaps the resurgent Superman will add some swats to a likely double double in a high-scoring affair.

Steven Adams – (6,700 DK/6,900 FD)

Adams is a beast and is always a good bet for a double double when the Thunder face a relatively soft opponent. Even while contending with some horrible calls for some unearned foul trouble on Tuesday, he produced a double double in a fast-paced game against the Warriors. Now he’ll face a Lakers team that leads the league in pace and gives up the seventh-most RPG (45.3) this season. Adams leads the league with a 17.4 percent offensive rebounding rate and he’s cleaning up on dropdown passes from Westbrook as well.

Potential Value

Kyle O’Quinn – (4,400 DK/4,000 FD)

O’Quinn is essentially the last big man standing for the Knicks since they just moved young center Guillermo Hernangomez to Charlotte.


Jonas Valanciunas – (5,700 DK/6,600 FD)

Valanciunas wasn’t needed in a blowout win over the Celtics and the same scenario could unfold tonight, or he could dominate the shorthanded Knicks frontcourt.


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.