NBA DFS Picks -12/19/16
Christmas week will kick off with a small, but playable five game NBA DFS slate. Truthfully, the matchups do look pretty good, so I think we should be able to put together some exciting lineups tonight. These picks will be usable in either cash games or tournaments, but if for some reason one play is better in one format than another, I will tell you.
Pricing is FD/DK
Russell Westbrook (12500/12800) – If you’ve got the… I’m not sure what the best terminology would be here, Russell Westbrook has a great matchup against the Hawks tonight. I do believe the way to beat them, similar to the Cavs, is through the lack of defense played at the point guard position. The biggest issue here is that with a lack of value on the board today, it just doesn’t make sense to play him. This is probably my first official “he’s a great play, but stay away”play of the year. He needs 62.5 to hit value. For what it’s worth, he’s done that 9/25 times in his last 25 games. I really just don’t think things will work out well enough, at least from what I see right now that you can afford only 4x from him tonight.
Eric Bledsoe (8100/7400) – Bledsoe continuously makes me feel uneasy because he is prone to disappointing performances when he should do well. This is an excellent matchup for him, as Ricky Rubio has been made to look ridiculous on a regular basis this year, and Bledsoe is a candidate to put up a 50 burger on tonight’s slate. He has a considerable amount of upside at this price, and I will begrudgingly be using him in all formats tonight.
Dennis Schroeder (6800/6900) – Schroeder has honestly been amazing this year, and a matchup with Russell Westbrook is exactly what we want to see for him. Russ is going to turn the ball over a few times each game, and Schroeder could very well benefit from that. He should also benefit from the lack of defense played by Russ, and I think he’s a good bet to end up with a good amount of points and assists that will allow him to exceed value tonight.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (5800/5300) – The Bulls have really been struggling as of late, and that is where I could see someone like KCP really coming in and having a big games. He’s been very good this year, and has killed value in his last two games. Old man Wade won’t be able to keep him in check, and I think he should be a good bet to exceed value again tonight. I expect another game in the 30s for him.
Devin Booker (5700/5900) – Booker is another guy that makes me feel a little bit uneasy, but he seems to be coming back into his own lately. The price is fair for him, and I think he makes for a reasonable cash game play tonight, and also has enough upside to make for a good tournament play.
Gary Harris (4800/5000) – Harris has looked good in his first two games since returning from a lengthy injury, and gets another chance tonight against Dallas to make his mark. It’s not like I see him having a monster game, because Dallas really does play slower and that takes away some upside from a lot of players, but Harris has such a low price that he should be able to get things done tonight and make your budget a little more loose.
Jimmy Butler (85000/8500) – Even though they have absolutely nothing to do with each other, I’m interested to see the ownership on Westbrook. If it is very high, it will automatically reduce the ownership levels on guys like Jimmy Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns just because it will be tough to fit their salaries in. This makes Butler a worthwhile look in tournaments. Butler’s had some tough games lately, which has brought his price down some, but should also make fantasy players a little more wary about slotting him into their lineups. This provides us with a great opportunity to get a guy with huge upside at lower ownership than normal. I don’t think he’s going to see my cash games tonight, but I think there are a lot of reasons to use him in tournaments.
Andrew Wiggins (6300/6700) – I can make a case for using every single Timberwolves starter in your DFS lineups tonight, but Wiggins is one of the guys that sticks out most. He’s coming into his own this year, and he and Towns are going to be so much fun to watch together as long as they remain teammates. This is another big pace up game, as the Suns play at the second fastest pace, while the Wolves are in the bottom third of the league. I would expect Wiggins to be able to take advantage of the loose defense played and have a nice game tonight.
Harrison Barnes (6300/6500) – Barnes still doesn’t make me feel comfortable when putting him in my lineups, but he’s done pretty well for himself this year. Denver is a big pace up game for the slowest team in the league, and I think that will translate to a few more rebounds and shot opportunities for Barnes tonight. I think it makes a lot of sense to slot in Barnes/Wiggins in your cash games tonight and just move on to the power forward position.
Paul Millsap (8000/7500) – Millsap is in prime position tonight in this matchup against OKC which should be fast and furious. No combination of their rotating power forwards will be able to match up with him, and Steven Adams will have to focus his efforts on Dwight Howard. This should leave many Schroeder to Millsap connections, which should lead to a ton of fantasy goodness for everyone who uses him tonight.
Nikola Jokic (5900/6400) – Jokic is the main man in Denver right now, and I don’t expect it to change any time going forward. Dallas is missing any type of legitimate big man, so Jokic should have a field day cleaning the glass and putting in buckets. His game is evolving significantly, and he is a high end facilitator on offense. He’s a high upside player who could end up with anywhere from 25-50 points on any given night, regardless of the matchup.
Markeiff Morris (5000/5200) – Morris is at a reasonable price point tonight against a Pacers team that isn’t playing defense this year. Morris can do a lot of different things to accumulate fantasy points, and this is an excellent situation to attempt to use him. It’s going to be a tough call on a site like FanDuel to determine which two of these players will make the cut, so I will likely be using combinations of all of them.
Karl-Anthony Towns (9400/8900) – It’s a tough call for me, but Karl-Anthony Towns is most likely my top play of the day. He’s been horribly inconsistent all year, failing to record two solid back to back outings in a row, but this is a great matchup for him all day. I want to use a lot of guys from this game as I think it should be close and fast, and is likely to be one of the more fun games to watch to boot.
Andre Drummond (7800/7700) –Speaking of inconsistent players, let’s talk Andre Drummond. A guy of his talent level should have no issues with dominating night in and night out, but that just hasn’t been the case. I think this is a nice matchup for him, that could get even better if Taj Gibson doesn’t play. While Taj might not be directly guarding Drummond, it is just one less capable body trying to collect rebounds. Dollar for dollar, he does make it a tough choice tonight between he and Towns.
Tyson Chandler (5400/5200) – Chandler isn’t my favorite option, but I do believe that he should have a good night against Towns and the Timberwolves. He’s priced a little higher than I would like to see, but I do think that he is capable of going over the 25 point mark. The Suns will need him to try to keep Towns at bay, so I expect a lot of court time for him tonight.