NBA DFS Picks – 12/28/16
While the NHL might be giving us a short slate on their second night back from Christmas break, the NBA will be giving us a huge slate on their third night back from the break. There are a ton of good games that I am really excited about, and I think we should see a great amount of variance in the lineups. As always, I will make sure to specify if a play is better in one format or another.
Pricing is FD/DK
John Wall (9500/9500) – I can’t say that I love a lot of the point guard matchups at the top, but John Wall has been surprisingly good over the last few weeks. I guess that is poorly worded, as it really isn’t that surprising, but nonetheless, it’s a great sign. The price is up there now to where he needs almost 50 fantasy points to turn in a good outing, but that is something that he is more than capable of. In cash games, he is a great place to start, as he should be able to come in around 20/10, with some rebounds in tow. If he can keep the turnovers at bay, he could end up with another huge game here against the Pacers.
Ricky Rubio (5800/5900) – Ricky Rubio is an excellent option tonight against a Denver Nuggets team that is still one that we can target on almost every occasion. Emmanuel Mudiay still hasn’t gotten over his inability to turn the ball over, and a smart player like Rubio is likely to take advantage of it. Even though we haven’t seen a ton of it so far in 2016, he has pretty big upside, if he is able to put a game together where he is scoring, assisting and stealing the ball.
Darren Collison (4200/4300) – I for one have almost never considered using Darren Collison, at least in 2016. He is someone who I used a lot in the past with great success, but this year just hasn’t been very friendly to him. As a result, his ownership is typically pretty low, and his price has also tumbled considerably. This is a game that I actually want to use quite a bit, and I think that Collison is priced at a point where it is going to be hard for me to not use him really in either format.
Nicolas Batum (7600/7900) – Batum is a great all around player, and he has been in All-Star form over the last two weeks or so. The matchup isn’t perfect, as Orlando is decent on defense, but because of how Batum plays the game, it should actually benefit him. I think this price is still too low, especially on FanDuel, and he’s someone that I will be using a lot in all formats tonight. I think he’s got triple double upside here.
C.J. McCollum (7400/7600) – One of my favorite plays on today’s slate is C.J. McCollum, and this could be a situation where he might be better off with Damian Lillard in the game. He’s already posted two incredibly solid games against the Kings this year, and we know all about their woes against the shooting guard position. The price is very fair here, and I am expecting a monster night from McCollum.
Jamal Crawford (5000/5400) – Crawford is a big question mark tonight. He’s not a question mark because of his injury, but because of everyone elses. If specifically J.J. Redick were to play tonight, Crawford does lose some of his luster. I do think that it would be better for him to have Chris Paul back than Redick. Either way, a healthy shooting guard is going to be needed here against the Pelicans, and if Redick is out, Crawford should be well worth the price.
Kawhi Leonard (8500/8300) – There are quite a few tolerable options at the position, especially near the top. The first player we want to take a look at is Kawhi Leonard. He’s in an excellent matchup against the Suns. This is one of those situations where you feel as if Popovich could end up sitting either Gasol or Aldridge, which would certainly increase his usage. Even if they don’t, I would look for Kawhi to excel in this pace up matchup against a Suns team that is certainly capable of giving up some monster games.
Jimmy Butler (8500/8400) – If you aren’t convinced on Leonard, I think you could look toward Butler. I get it; he hasn’t been very good over the last few weeks. There is little doubt in my mind that he will be turning things around, and he’ll put up a monster game sooner or later. I think that this is probably a better opportunity to use him in tournaments than cash games, and he makes a great pivot from Leonard who should be more highly owned.
Andrew Wiggins (6300/6500) – If either of those guys aren’t your bag, and you want to save a bit of money, and quite frankly end up with close to the same upside, Andrew Wiggins is where it is at. Things can get hairy at times in Minnesota, because there are a lot of guys who can score and sometimes it can be tough to figure out how it is going to play out. I think this is a situation where Wiggins should be able to put up a big game.
Nikola Jokic (7000/6400) – Jokic can be an up a down player, mostly because he’s still young and veterans can get him into foul trouble. In that sense, he is sometimes a mental midget. It’s OK; some of the best in the game started that way. He’s a dynamic player who could end up with a triple double on the right night. Minnesota is a team that I could see being an excellent matchup for him, as I think he can deal with both Dieng and Towns. He should be a good bet for around 30-40 points, and more or less depending on how the fouls go.
Thaddeus Young (5200/5800) – Thaddeus Young had a slow start to things with his new team, but he is finally rounding into form. The issue here is that Thad is at best the number three option on this team. When Monta Ellis is playing, he’s the fourth option. He can still do enough in other facets of the game to be a worthwhile play, so if his shot is falling or he gets some put backs, he could be in for a huge game against the Wizards.
Jon Leuer (4900/5000) – Leuer has been a mostly solid play for, well, all year. I don’t like the idea of him moving into the starting lineup, so this is a plus play if he’s back on the bench tonight. Even if he is in the starting five, I think he should be able to manage around the 25 points that he will need to make value. The matchup is nice, and I’m expecting a good outing from him.
DeMarcus Cousins (11000/11400) – If there are two players I am putting into my lineups first tonight, it is going to be McCollum and DeMarcus Cousins. The price on Boogie is just nowhere near what it could be, especially given the matchup. I think I can see him finishing around 60 points tonight, so even at this price, he’s got some room to build. His floor feels extremely safe here, so he’s one of my favorites tonight.
Karl-Anthony Towns (9100/8700) – I can definitely see myself using a lot of players out of the Minnesota/Denver game, and Towns is certainly one of them. The price, just like Cousins, leaves enough room for some upside, which is always something we like to see. I don’t think I like him near as much as Cousins, but I think this is a nice pivot to him, and he leaves you with a few thousands to spend at other positions.
Robin Lopez (4700/4800) – Personally, I think you want to spend up at the center position, but if you are hell bent on spending down and using the money at other positions, it’s always a good idea to use centers against Brook Lopez and Brooklyn. Way too much now, Brook is playing behind the three point line, leaving a bigger center like Lopez to fight with Booker for rebounds. While Booker is a good rebounder, I could see Lopez out muscling him tonight, and could put up a nice game.