Scouting The NBA 2/23

Nate Weitzer hooks you up with his early morning NBA DFS plays of the day, including a few studs featured on All-Star weekend!
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Plays of the Day

Value: Rudy Gay is one of several Spurs who could step up and fill the void as San Antonio looks to refashion it’s offense with the knowledge that Kawhi Leonard likely won’t play this season. Gay might show some rust in his return from a 15-game absence, but he’s extremely cheap and could meet value in a plus matchup at Denver.

Fade: LeBron James has to do a little bit of everything for the Cavs, but even he needs to find some rest with his team on the second half of a B2B set. In a winnable road game at Memphis, don’t be surprised if The King plays fewer minutes and attempts fewer shots than usual.

Point Guards

Damian Lillard – (8,700 DK/9,100 FD)

Lillard is still under priced on DK tonight despite going bonkers in three consecutive games leading into the ASB. Utah’s been vulnerable on the perimeter all season and could welcome back Ricky Rubio (hip), a mediocre defender with an injury that could limit his effort on the end even further. Dame Dolla has dropped 72 points over two meetings with the Jazz this season and is averaging more PPG (26.7) while shooting 45.8 percent from the floor on the road this season, increasing his likely output against a streaking Jazz team.

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Cory Joseph – (4,900 DK/5,200 FD)

If you’re looking for a value with a solid floor, consider Joseph as the Pacers starting PG. He managed just 9 points through his first three starts following Darren Collison (knee) having surgery, but flashed upside before the break with 15 points, 11 rebounds, and three assists and good defensive stats at Brooklyn. Now he faces another weak young defensive team in Atlanta, which coughs up an above average 47.18 FPPG and the eighth-most APG (8.74) to opposing PGs this season. The Hawks rank 25th in defensive rating overall and represent an easy target for Joseph, who is logging heavy minutes with Collison on the shelf.

Potential Value

J.J. Barea - (5,400 DK/6,000 FD)

Barea was a beast in his final game before the break and draws a great matchup tonight at the Lakers.

Longshot

Goran Dragic - (6,300 DK/6,700 FD)

Dragic is temptingly cheap on DK ahead of a matchup with the high-scoring Pelicans.

Shooting Guards

Devin Booker - (8,000 DK/7,700 FD)

After dropping an NBA record score of 28 in the final round of the 3-point shootout, Booker should be brimming with confidence as he comes out of the break looking to lead the fast-paced Suns. The third-year man out of Kentucky is fast emerging as one of the top scorers in the league and is tied for fifth in usage rate (31.2%) amongst active players. The Clippers are allowing the third-most FPPG (43.82) and most APG (5.3) to opposing SGs this season with offensive specialist Lou Williams logging most of the minutes at that position, giving this west coast tilt the makings of a guard-centric shootout.

Tyler Johnson – (4,800 DK/4,400 FD)

Like Joseph, Tyler Johnson is a low-upside value with a solid floor in his matchup. The Pelicans are giving up the second-most PPG (111.2) while playing at the third-fastest pace in the NBA this season as their shootout style has increased even more with DeMarcus Cousins (Achilles) done for the year. Johnson was dealing with multiple nagging injuries earlier this season, but seemed to ramp up heading towards the break and will likely be able to go full throttle after getting over a week off to rest up.

Potential Value

Eric Gordon - (5,000 DK/4,500 FD)

Gordon is very cheap on FanDuel considering his potential to score 20-plus points in what should be a track meet against Minnesota.

Longshot

Donovan Mitchell - (8,100 DK/7,700 FD)

Mitchell is a great GPP option as he’ll likely lead the Jazz in a shootout against Dame Lillard and Portland.

Small Forwards

Giannis Antetokounmpo – (10,500 DK/10,800 FD)

Giannis is always an appealing tournament option and he’s another stud that seems a bit under priced coming out of the break. The Greek Freak produced another eye popping line with 36 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists in his last outing and while he hasn’t reached that triple-double bonus in a meeting with Toronto yet, the Raptors have significantly increased their pace of play while averaging 116.8 PPG over their last six appearances. The Bucks continue to run everything through Giannis and he’s been virtually unstoppable this season.

Nikola Mirotic - (6,600 DK/7,500 FD)

Mirotic is serving as a great compliment to Anthony Davis with his ability to score outside and penetrate, and he could keep rolling tonight while Davis tangles with Hassan Whiteside in a battle of titans down low. He’s averaging 15.5 PPG and 9.2 RPG while seeing his playing time jump to 34 MPG over three appearances for New Orleans and will definitely be worth a look as long as he starts again.

Potential Value

Rudy Gay - (4,600 DK/4,300 FD)

Gay returns tonight after a 15-game absence and might be asked to take on a bigger role with Kawhi Leonard apparently sitting out the rest of the season.

Longshot

Royce O’Neale - (4,700 DK/4,600 FD)

O’Neale is worth a look if Ricky Rubio (hip) can’t go and he could be worth using in GPPs regardless.

Power Forwards

Tobias Harris - (6,900 DK/7,000 FD)

Quickly becoming one of the most valuable players in a Clippers uniform, Harris posted another great line in a track meet against the Warriors last night. At 25 years old, he’s trustworthy on the second half of a B2B set as he’s averaging a solid 19.4 PPG with a 26.4% usage rate on 0 days rest this season. He managed to produce against the elite Warriors defense and now faces a Suns team that ranks dead last in defensive rating and gives up the most PPG (112.8) in the NBA, so he makes for a very solid cash play.

 Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Pau Gasol - (5,800 DK/5,700 FD)

Gasol only played 21 minutes on the second half of a B2B set against the Nuggets on Feb. 13 but he should pony up tonight. Now playing on 10 days rest, the veteran should be able to log 30-plus minutes and the Spurs will likely look to lean on him more with Kawhi Leonard seemingly sitting out the rest of the season in some sort of protest. That should make the Spurs offense more balanced, leading to more usage for Gasol, who often serves as a point center within that sophisticated system.

Potential Value

Serge Ibaka – (5,200 DK/5,600 FD)

Ibaka is a high-floor option in the mid-tier range with sneaky upside against the smaller Bucks frontcourt.

Longshot

LaMarcus Aldridge – (7,700 DK/8,700 FD)

Aldridge is clearly the Spurs player with the most upside now that Leonard is out of the picture.

Centers

Andre Drummond – (9,300 DK/9,700 FD)

DeAndre Jordan absolutely dominated the Celtics struggling front line with a career-high 30 points before the break and now Boston faces a younger, more explosive big man in Andre Drummond. The league’s leader in RPG (15.7), total rebounding rate and defensive win shares, Drummond is functioning just fine alongside newly acquired Blake Griffin with averages of 16.8 PPG, 18.4 RPG and 2.5 BPG over his last eight appearances. He’s totaled 32 points and 37 rebounds while shooting 64.7 percent from the field over two meetings with the Celtics this season and should dominate the paint at home tonight.

Marc Gasol – (7,600 DK/8,000 FD)

A great GPP option in the mid-tier price range, Marc Gasol will look to carry his Grizzlies at home tonight against the resurgent Cavs. He posted a full line with 27 points, six rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks in a meeting with Cleveland earlier this season and while the Cavs deadline moves make them more athletic on the perimeter, they still lack an enforcer on the interior. Tristan Thompson is struggling and Kevin Love (hand) remains out, so Gasol should be free to operate as the primary scorer and facilitator leading a young Memphis team.

Potential Value

Tyler Zeller – (4,400 DK/4,200 FD)

Zeller could be worth a look tonight as the Bucks best defensive option against 7-footer Jonas Valanciunas.

Longshot

Hassan Whiteside – (7,100 DK/7,500 FD)

Whiteside could go toe-to-toe with Anthony Davis tonight and produce a gaudy line at a much, much lower price tag.

Plays of the Day

Value: Rudy Gay is one of several Spurs who could step up and fill the void as San Antonio looks to refashion it’s offense with the knowledge that Kawhi Leonard likely won’t play this season. Gay might show some rust in his return from a 15-game absence, but he’s extremely cheap and could meet value in a plus matchup at Denver.

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