Scouting the NBA 1/2/18

Oct 4, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Charlotte Hornets center Dwight Howard (12) grabs a rebound in the second half against the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

 

Plays of the Day

Value: Evan Turner is coming off a huge game against the Bulls last night and while he might take a hit in usage with Damian Lillard (hamstring) expected to return, he’s still quite cheap on both main DFS sites.

Fade: DeAndre Jordan and Marc Gasol face off tonight and neither center seems like a great play based on their respective defensive talent. Plus, Blake Griffin is back for the Clippers to take rebounds and usage away from Jordan and Tyreke Evans is controlling the ball for Memphis.

 

Point Guard

Dennis Schroder – (7,300 DK/7,700 FD) Schroder is the engine behind the Hawks offense and should be productive in a game to target tonight. The Hawks and Suns are both top 10 in pace and rank 28th and 29th in defensive rating, while Phoenix has struggled to defend the PG position and allowed Schroder to score 54 points over two meetings last year.

 Damian Lillard ($8.5k, $8.9k) is expected to return from a hamstring injury and is worth using as a GPP play alongside a couple of Cavs star. Isaiah Thomas ($5.9k, $5.5k) should play limited minutes in his first game back for the Cavs, but he has a good chance to meet value at this price tag even if he sees 20-25 minutes of run.

Milos Teodosic ($5.7k, $5.7k) is a solid cash option, who actually sees a boost with Blake Griffin back in the Clippers lineup and George Hill ($4.6k, $4.7k) becomes a very solid value out of necessity with De’Aaron Fox (quad) questionable and Frank Mason III (heel) ruled out.

 

Shooting Guard

Devin Booker – (9,000 DK/8,100 FD) Booker’s become an absolute scoring machine and he hasn’t missed a beat while averaging 30 PPG over three appearances since returning from a groin injury. As mentioned above, the Hawks are ranked 28th in defensive rating and they are 29th in opponents 2PT shooting (.532%) this season, so Booker shouldn’t have much trouble meeting value while carrying the Suns offense.

Tyreke Evans ($8.2k, $9.0k) destroyed the Clippers defense en route to 30 points, 11 assists and 7 rebounds last month and he continues to dominate touches in the Grizzlies offense, giving him appeal in any format.

Despite playing limited minutes, Jeremy Lamb ($5.2k, $5.6k) has been outplaying Nic Batum from a DFS perspective and he’s worth a look in GPP formats at Sacramento.

The Kings are using Bogdan Bogdanovic ($4.5k, $4.8k) for about 30 MPG and he’s rewarding them with solid production. Garrett Temple ($3.8k, $4.5k) is also worth a look as a punt play with the Kings missing their two young PGs.

 

Small Forward

 Evan Turner – (3,800 DK/3,700 FD) Turner is such a stark value right now because he faded away in a crowded Blazers rotation, but things have opened up with Mo Harkless (quad) limited and Damian Lillard (hamstring) inactive over their past couple of games. Turner topped out at 38 minutes last night with 22 points, 6 assists and 4 rebounds and he’ll probably see a dip in usage with Lillard back, but could easily meet value if he sees 25-30 minutes of run.

LeBron James ($11.7k, $11.5k) is clearly the stud worth paying up for at this position, but it’s worth noting that the Cavs are on the front end of a B2B set and will face their rival in the Celtics tomorrow night, so LeBron might not go all out against Portland.

The pace of play in Atlanta should mean good things for Kent Bazemore ($6.0k, $5.8k) as an athlete, who thrives in the open court. The same goes for T.J. Warren ($6.8k, $7.5k) on the Suns side of the ball.

Lastly, Michael Beasley ($4.6k, $5.3k) is worth GPP consideration after blowing up against the Spurs last week, although you can expect San Antonio’s coaching staff to adjust.

 

Power Forward

Blake Griffin – (8,400 DK/9,000 FD) Griffin appeared to bide his time in returning from a knee injury and he seems to be all systems go while pouring in 49 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists over 65 minutes in two appearances. Memphis is down a bit defensively and much more vulnerable at the PF position, especially in this matchup, which will force Marc Gasol to battle with DeAndre Jordan.

Kristaps Porzingis ($8.3k, $9.5k) is a bit pricey on FanDuel based on his ability to block shots, but he’s worth using on DK despite facing a tough Spurs defense. The public might chase Michael Beasley’s production from when these teams met last week, but Porzingis should have a much better game at home tonight.

Ersan Ilyasova ($5.1k, $5.7k) is a good value with upside as a pure scorer for the Hawks and Al-Farouq Aminu ($4.8k, $4.6k) is coming off a big game last night, plus he matches up well against the small-ball Cavs.

 

 

Center

Dwight Howard – (7,400 DK/8,900 FD) He struggled in his last outing but Howard is definitely worth using tonight against a Kings team that gives up the second-most FPPG (56.15) and most RPG (17.31) to opposing centers this year. Willie Cauley-Stein is playing much better at center for Sacramento, but lacks the experience necessary to contain Howard.

Pau Gasol ($6.9k, $6.2k) is a solid cash play as a facilitator for the Spurs facing a Knicks defense that gives up tons of assists. Consider Alex Len ($4.7k, $5.0k) in tournaments as a cheap play against a Hawks team that’s struggled to guard opposing centers with Dewayne Dedmon (leg) inactive.