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Scouting the NBA - Nate Weitzer - 10/26/17

Plays of the Day

Value: John Collins is averaging 22 points and 14.5 boards per 36 minutes this season. It’s only a matter of time before the Hawks rookie starts getting more run and he draws a favorable matchup tonight against the shorthanded Bulls frontcourt.

Fade: Blake Griffin is off to a great start this season, but the Blazers are ranked third in defensive rating so far this season and they might be able to contain the whirling PF with a slew of defenders available to throw at him.

Point Guards

Jerian Grant - (5,500 DK/6,500 FD)

This is a night to save at the guard position and even if Kris Dunn (finger) is able to play, Jerian Grant will remain a very solid value option. He produced a double double in a surprisingly close loss at Cleveland on Monday and now he’ll face a Hawks team that’s down starting PG Dennis Schroder (ankle). Even with Schroder in the lineup, Atlanta’s coughed up the fourth-most APG (10.25) to opposing PGs this season and Grant is taking advantage of the extra opportunities available in Chicago.

De’Aron Fox - (5,700 DK/5,700 FD)

With George Hill struggling mightily and the Kings turning to their reserve unit to provide a spark, Fox has gotten his NBA career going with solid averages of 19 PPG, 5 RPG and 4 APG and 3 SPG through 4 appearances. He logged 30 minutes in a close loss at Phoenix and seems destined to play down the stretch in another close game now that the Pelicans are led by DeMarcus Cousins (read: not efficient enough to blow out teams). New Orleans ranks 21st in defensive rating and is playing at the ninth-fastest pace in the league, while the Pels are running a lot of three-guard lineups that will secure Fox’s minutes.

Potential Value

Malcolm Delaney - (4,400 DK/4,800 FD)

Delaney will start for Schroder tonight, but doesn’t have much upside.

Shooting Guards

Justin Holiday - (6,000 DK/6,700 FD)

Justin Holiday simply has a great opportunity to score on one of the weakest offensive teams in the NBA. Kris Dunn (finger) might return but Zach Lavine (knee) remains out for the Bulls and in his absence Holliday is sporting a 23.6% usage rate while logging 36 MPG through 3 appearances. Atlanta’s allowed the second-most 3PTM per game (13.3) and most attempts per game (36.3) in the league and Holiday is gunning away, as he’s 11-for-29 (38%) on the year.

Austin Rivers - (4,400 DK/4,300 FD)

Patrick Beverley had a much bigger night in an impressive win over Utah on Tuesday, but Rivers played 35 minutes and stands to benefit greatly in the absence of PG Milos Teodosic. His horrible FG shooting over the first 2 games of the year behind him, Rivers went 7-for-13 and 2-for-6 from deep against the Jazz and the ball is bound to bounce his way more often after he managed zero rebounds in that contest. His father the coach and his playing time secure, Rivers stands out as a solid value in a contest with a 211-point Over/Under.

Potential Value

Marco Belinelli - (4,500 DK/4,800 FD)

Belinelli should soak up minutes and shot attempts if he can battle through an achilles injury tonight.

Small Forwards

Kent Bazemore – (5,200 DK/5,700 FD)

While Hawks PG Dennis Schroder (ankle) is expected to miss another game, his backup, Malcolm Delaney, doesn’t really move the needle. What Schroder’s absence does mean is more usage for guys like Marco Belinelli and Bazemore, who boasts a 27.6% usage rate and averages 0.20 more FPs per minute when Schroder is off the floor this season. With added opportunities Bazemore dropped 20 points on 6-of-17 FG shooting and got to the line 10 times to exceed value on Tuesday now, and now he faces the most inexperienced team in the ECF in the Bulls, who rank 24th in defensive rating thus far.

James Ennis III – (4,000 DK/4,300 FD)

Things can change quickly in the NBA. After a couple of great games to open his career, rookie Dillon Brooks faded into the background while Ennis logged 37 minutes in a tough win over Houston on Monday. Chandler Parsons is a non-factor on a minutes restriction and HC David Fizdale seems to like what Ennis brings on both ends of the floor, so it’s worth using him as a true value after he logged 37 minutes on Monday and minutes against Dallas last night.

Potential Value

Taurean Prince - (5,700 DK/5,600 FD)

Prince is coming off a great offensive performance and seems to benefit with Schroder out of the lineup for Atlanta.


Jaylen Brown – (6,500 DK/6,300 FD)

Brown wasn’t able to flourish in a meeting with Milwaukee last week due to foul trouble, but he’s flourishing right now as a main cog in the Celtics machine.

Power Forwards

Giannis Antetokounmpo – (12,000 DK/12,400 FD)

If you save with some of the aforementioned guards it’s possible to get Giannis into a balanced lineup, and he’s basically been a guaranteed 60-plus FPs every night so far this season. He’ll face off with Boston for the second time after torching the C’s for 37 points and 13 boards in their home opener, and now he’s in Milwaukee, where he averaged 24.1 PPG on 54% FG shooting last year (compared to 21.7 PPG on the road). Boston is ranked 24th in rebounding and while they’re talented young players, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum can’t contain The Greek Monster.

John Collins – (5,500 DK/5,700 FD)

The Hawks rookie is playing with a high motor and has produced consecutive double doubles, so he’s clearly worth a look on DK tonight. With Schroder out of the lineup, several Hawks will benefit from increased usage and Collins is crushing it on a per-minute basis, averaging 22 points and 14.5 boards per 36 minutes this season. It’s only a matter of time before he starts getting more run and he draws a favorable matchup tonight against the shorthanded Bulls frontcourt.

Potential Value

Dirk Nowitizki – (4,100 DK/4,600 FD)

Sure he’s a tough play on a B2B set, but Dirk shouldn’t be this cheap on DK.


DeMarcus Cousins – (11,500 DK/11,800 FD)

Not only is Cousins facing his former team in a classic revenge scenario after Sacramento traded him for a bucket of bolts, but he’ll be forced into heavy usage as the main man with Anthony Davis almost certain to sit out tonight’s contest. After Davis left in the first quarter in trademark fashion, Boogie went off for 39 points and 13 boards over 39 minutes in a loss at Portland. He’s rocking a 40.7% usage rate and producing 1.78 FPs per minute with AD off the floor and posted a nearly identical 40.8% usage rate under those circumstances last year, so clearly he’s a chalk play, but a great play this evening.

Al Horford – (6,800 DK/7,400 FD)

He’s consistently overlooked and sometimes under valued, but Horford actually swung GPPs on a short Tuesday slate 13 points and 13 boards over just 29 minutes in a blowout win over the sad Knicks. Now he faces a Bucks team that’s given up an above average 50.42 FPPG to opposing centers over the last 2 seasons and Horford posted a very full line (13 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals, 2 blocks) against Milwaukee last week. With Kyrie Irving struggling to acclimate with his new team, other Celtics are stepping up, and Horford is a consummate team player who will get his points within a system.

Potential Value

Ed Davis - (3,800 DK/4,200 FD)

Davis is posting an insane rebounding rate and will be needed on the glass against DeAndre Jordan and the Clippers tonight.


Marc Gasol - (7,500 DK/8,800 FD)

Gasol roasted the Mavericks last night and should do the same with the Grizzlies at home this evening.

Plays of the Day

Value: John Collins is averaging 22 points and 14.5 boards per 36 minutes this season. It’s only a matter of time before the Hawks rookie starts getting more run and he draws a favorable matchup tonight against the shorthanded Bulls frontcourt.

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