It’s post-Christmas time in the NBA, and I expect that with many of you needing your fantasy fix without the NFL, the NBA will be something you look at going forward. With over a quarter of the regular season over, we have learned a decent amount each team this year, so let’s take a look at the plays at each position for today’s 11 game slate…
watch to watch before lineup lock-
1. LeBron/Kyrie resting- Both have been hinted at resting tonight. If one or both rest, Love becomes a must play.
2. Dwight Howard health- If he sits out tonight, Towns becomes a great play.
3. Evan Fournier health- If he sits out tonight, Jodie Meeks should get the start at SG. Memphis is not a great matchup for most players, but they can give up 3point opportunities, which Meeks can take advantage of. A risky GPP play if he starts.
Raymond Felton (SG), $3,600- He will be the chalk in any contest you play tonight, as CP3, Griffin, and probably Redick will all miss this game. Denver is miserable against opposing guards, so Felton should dominate tonight. With that said, it is Raymond Felton, and if you want to pivot off of him and still get exposure to the Clippers’ backcourt, feel free to pay up a little more to get Crawford or Rivers.
C.J. McCollum (SG), $6,800- With no Lillard tonight, it will be interested to see who the Blazers start. They could go with Napier to avoid screwing up the rotation, but we could also see Evan Turner get the start at SG, moving McCollum to the point. Either way, McCollum will be starting, and his usage rate will spike. Toronto’s defense vs guards is nothing to be afraid of, so I expect McCollum to exceed this price tag comfortably while carrying immense upside for big tournaments.
Kemba Walker $8,100- Anyone facing the Nets is a great fantasy play.
James Harden (SG) $11,900- An expensive price tag as always, and I’ve noticed over the past couple of weeks that paying up for these elite talents in GPPs is tough, but with so much value across the board tonight, Harden is someone you can roster while getting great production from the rest of your players.
favorite plays: (other than Felton, McCollum)
Devin Booker, $6,700- With T.J. Warren back, Booker has moved back to playing more of the 2, which has helped him thrive on both sides of the court. This guy has a 50 DK point upside, and at $6,700, I love that. He’s scoring dependent, but who isn’t at the SG position? This matchup vs Houston should be a shootout, and Beverley should be matched up with Bledsoe, so Booker should be getting most of the scoring opportunities in this one.
Zach LaVine, $6,500- This guy can ball. Like Booker, he’s scoring dependent, but in a matchup against the Hawks who ranks 23rd in DvP vs SGs, I love LaVine here.
Eric Gordon, $5,900- A 6th man of the year candidate, Gordon has been thriving off of the bench for Houston. The Suns play fast, and hey, so do the Rockets, so scoring will be abundant here. Getting some exposure to this game is the smart play, and Gordon’s a relatively cheap option compared to the likes of Harden.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, $5,300- He’s one of the few guys I trust game to game on this Pistons roster for fantasy, and this price tag is pretty cheap. If there is a position to target vs the Cavs, it has been SG so far this year, ranking 26th in DvP. It’s not a lock with really any of these Pistons players in any situation, but KCP allows you to spend up at other positions.
Jabari Parker (PF), $6,900- The price tag will scare some off of him, but whenever the Bucks play a team that struggles to defend PFs, you target them. Parker is my favorite play tonight and I will have nearly 100% exposure to him. With the Greek Freak’s price tag so high currently, I find it tough to see him really exceeding his value. But Parker? Yes, he does throw up duds, but Parker is a guy that, if you are smart with when you roster him, will typically return/exceed value.
T.J. Warren, $5,400- While missing an extended period of time, Warren’s price dropped. If you recall his early season production, Warren was of the biggest value plays to begin the season. He’s back now, and his minutes are creeping back into 30+, which makes him a great play. He’s still coming off the bench, but either way, the minutes are there, and the price tag is too low.
Evan Turner (SG), $4,000- I don’t see a high ceiling for Turner in nearly any situation, but he could get the start tonight with Lillard out. He should see 30+ minutes even if he comes off of the bench, so he’s a lock to exceed this cheap price tag. You will want to save up on this slate.
DeMarcus Cousins (C), $10,900- I’ll be paying up at PF/C tonight, and Cousins is my favorite elite play. The 76ers cannot defend big men, and Cousins is a BIG MAN CHILD.
Karl-Anthony Towns (C), $8,400 (if Howard sits)- Way too cheap if Howard doesn’t play, but also not worth paying for if he does. KAT is a phenomenal talent that shouldn’t be this cheap even with a healthy Howard, but he’s not worth targeting if he plays.
Kevin Love (C), $8,200 (if LeBron sits)- Love is a fantastic play any time LeBron rests, but there is no reason to use him if he plays.
Montreal Harrell (C), $4,600- With no Capela, Harrell has become the big man in Houston to get the majority of minutes. The price tag is rising to the point where the value isn’t there, but it still need to climb a little higher before I get off of him.
Markieff Morris (SF), $4,900- Well, he will drive you insane, and I warn you up front that this play is risky, but if Washington is going to keep it close, I expect Morris to produce. Use him in a game stack here, but I warned you!
favorite plays: (other than others listed at PF)
Marc Gasol, $7,200- He always goes unnoticed by the public, but Gasol lights it up in plus matchups. With Memphis’ usage going to pretty much just Conley and Gasol, he’s guaranteed to get his chances, and the Magic’s 26th DvP vs centers, here’s a guy that will be low owned that could be the highest scoring center on the slate.
Brook Lopez, $6,400- This is way too cheap for Lopez. I know, he’s a big man that can’t rebound, but my goodness can he score. he’s developed a 3 point shot, and even with Lin back from injury, his usage rate is still huge. A blowout could ruin his floor, but if this game stays close, Lopez has 50+ point upside. Get him in some GPP lineups.
Mason Plumlee, $5,500- With no Lillard, Plumee’s scoring chances should increase.
Nikola Jokic, $6,000- Using any Nuggets player right now is risky with the rotation forever changing, but Jokic offers crazy upside. He’s worth a look tonight.
DeAndre Jordan, $7,300- Since the Clippers should be missing 3 of their starters, you would assume Jordan would be relied upon more on the offensive side of the ball, but the only reason I don’t have him as a favorite play is because I cannot say that for certain. He’s a safe play tonight, but don’t lock him in as a value play just yet.
My top lineup: