Daily Fantasy NBA Picks from DFSR for 12/9/17
There are ten games in the association today, beginning with an early afternoon set between the Wizards and Clippers, followed by a 6PM tipoff between the Heat and Nets. We’re going to shift all of our focus to the eight game main slate which tips at 7ET when the Lakers head into Charlotte. It was a busy Friday night, and we have a lot to consider when looking at our top plays, so let’s not waste any more time, and get right to the picks…
Russell Westbrook FD – $10800 DK – $11000
Opponent – MEM
Proj Pts FD – 54.65 DK – 58.3
We start off at the point with a guy named Russell Westbrook. Perhaps you’ve heard of him? Just your basic, ordinary, run of the mill double double machine with triple double upside on any given night, that runs the boards 35-40 minutes per game, and is an ever present threat to put up 75 fantasy points at any time. Now of course, that’s the upside, but the floor alone is plenty attractive. Westbrook averages about 50 fantasy points per night, and has cracked 60 three times in his last seven games. The matchup isn’t ideal, Memphis is a bear (pun intended) for opposing point guards allowing the fewest average fantasy points per game, but that just leads me to fade Russ in tournaments, for cash purposes the man is essentially matchup proof, particularly when priced at $11K or less. There was some chatter about a hip contusion and an illness on Thursday night, but he isn’t showing up on the injury report, so I think it’s safe to say Russ is a go, and is a great way to pay up in cash games.
Ricky Rubio FD – $4900 DK – $5000
Opponent – MIL
Proj Pts FD – 28.54 DK – 28.85
It’s tough to be Ricky Rubio right now. Rookie Donovan Mitchell seems to be leading the offensive show in Utah, and Rubio’s stuck in a place that just doesn’t work to his skill set. His field goal percentage is down from last year, and he’s seeing career lows in rebounds and assists per game. It’s not all gloom and doom however, as this has led us to the point where we are getting Rubio at a bargain price. He’s at a season low across the industry, and despite a rough start to December, where he’s averaged 5.5 points, 4 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game, he has shown the ability to crush value at these prices. Along with the prices dropping, the minutes appear to be on the rise. He’s played 34 and 30 minutes against the Thunder and the Rockets respectively in his last two games, and we have to think a seasoned vet like Rubio is going to put it together quickly and bounce back to form, and what better time than against Eric Bledsoe and a Bucks defense that is none too intimidating at the point. There’s some risk here, but for the price, I’m willing to ride with Rubio.
Chris Paul FD – $8700 DK – $7900
Opponent – POR
Proj Pts FD – 42.99 DK – 44.54
It took a little longer than anticipated to find out how well Chris Paul was going to mesh with James Harden and the Rockets after being dealt this off season, but we now have an answer, and that answer is exceptionally well. Paul is fitting himself in to his new surroundings after injuring his knee on opening night against the Warriors and missing the first month of the season. Since his return to the court on November 16th CP3 has delivered for both the Rockets, who are undefeated with Paul on the court, and for those of us who roster him in DFS. He’s shown 60 fantasy point upside, while coming just a rebound shy of posting his first triple double of the season against the Jazz on Thursday in a game in which he saw a season high 36 minutes. It seems the Rockets are ready to finally unleash Paul and push him to the limit, which should lead to many more games such as the one he had in Utah. He’ll next face the Trailblazers in the game with the second highest projection of the evening. Damian Lillard’s a solid defender, but he may be preoccupied with trying to contain James Harden, and CP3 is one of the best point guards in the game, so he won’t be easily shut down. Paul’s an excellent cash game play, plus a nice pivot off of Westbrook in tournaments.
Kent Bazemore FD – $5400 DK – $5200
Opponent – ORL
Proj Pts FD – 30.46 DK – 30.24
If you want to pay up at shooting guard the only option is James Harden in a tough matchup with the Blazers, for significantly more than what you’ll pay for Russell Westbrook, so lets dip down to some mid-tiered plays instead shall we? Starting out we have Kent Bazemore and the Hawks hosting the Magic. Bazemore is anything but safe, but like Ricky Rubio above, the price is key here. While not a season low, we’re getting Bazemore at a reduced price, in a nice matchup against a hurting Magic team that are still without Evan Fournier, Terrence Ross, and…I’m just now seeing an alert that Aaron Gordon suffered a concussion last night against the Nuggets. Orlando is hurting, and they’re an average defense when healthy. Bazemore posted a 4/6/7 line with a steal against the Magic just three nights ago in 36 minutes, and came just shy of value. Bazemore can be very boom or bust, but all the elements are in place for him to have a boom kind of night tonight, and I’m buying in.
J.J. Redick FD – $5400 DK – $5100
Opponent – CLE
Proj Pts FD – 27.57 DK – 29.17
If rostering Bazemore makes you a little queasy, then maybe consider J.J. Redick at the same price point. Redick is settling into his role in the Philadelphia line very well, seeing at least 30, and upwards of 37 minutes in all but two games this season with the Sixers. Redick has scored at least 15 points in four straight games, and hits his stride when he’s mixing in some peripherals to boot. He’s shooting 43.6% from the field and 39% from three point land, which is right on pace with his career totals, and travels into Cleveland tonight to take on a Cavaliers team that is among the most generous to opposing two-guards in the game. The Cavs come into the game a mere five point favorite and this game has the highest projected point total of the evening. If we’re picking our poison, I’d say go Redick in cash and Bazemore in tournaments, but I’m fine with both in all formats.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope FD – $5900 DK – $5500
Opponent – CHA
Proj Pts FD – 29.67 DK – 30
This final play is a tad more expensive than those other two guys, but is also the safest of the bunch. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has been red hot lately for the Lakers, who are perfectly fine with giving him all the run his legs can handle. He’s averaging 35 minutes per game over his past seven contests, and has flashed 8X PPD upside at these prices twice in that span. The Lakers play the fastest game in the league right now, so any opponent is going to slow their game down, but Charlotte plays a decent pace as well, and these two teams combine for a 103.2 pace factor which is none too shabby. Not to mention the fact that Charlotte is just awful at defending the position. KCP is my safe play at the position and leaves plenty of wiggle room at other positions.
Robert Covington FD – $6900 DK – $6000
Opponent – CLE
Proj Pts FD – 36.46 DK – 36.18
Similar to shooting guard, we’re going to look past the studs, who aren’t projecting as high in the system, and talk about some cheaper value plays. LeBron and Giannis can be considered of course, LeBron moreso as the Bucks are in a low scoring contest with a Jazz team that plays a slow game. James meanwhile is in a fast paced, high scoring contest with the Sixers. Speaking of the Sixers, our first play at the position is their own Robert Covington. RoCo went through a bit of a funk for a while there, including his worst game of the season against these Cavaliers, but he seems to be returning to form scoring in double digits in four straight games, and paying over 6X PPD in two of those while averaging 34.5 minutes per game. The primary reason we chose Covington over LeBron in this spot is the matchup. The Sixers are a top ten defensive matchup against the small forward position, while the Cavs allow the fourth most fantasy points to the position. There’s plenty of fantasy goodness in this game, and Covington is one of the best plays of the night.
Rudy Gay FD – $5500 DK – $5800
Opponent – PHO
Proj Pts FD – 33.62 DK – 33.42
Kawhi Leonard seems to be nearing a return, possibly Tuesday? For now however he remains out and is joined by Kyle Anderson which means Rudy Gay should draw another start at the three for San Antonio. Gay has started two straight games for the Spurs and put up solid numbers in each, with a double double and two blocks in 31 minutes against the Pistons followed by a 16/7/3 line with 3 steals against the Heat. The Spurs are in Phoenix tonight, against a Suns team that are not only one of the poorest defenses in the game, but their breakneck pace of play will force the ultra conservative Spurs to speed things up. I don’t know that we’ve seen Gay’s ceiling as a starter just yet, and it could shatter tonight. Rudy Gay has the highest points per dollar projection in our system today, and I will not be at all surprised if he’s an every lineup guy by the time lineups lock tonight.
Jonathon Simmons FD – $6100 DK – $5700
Opponent – ATL
Proj Pts FD – 34.36 DK – 34.7
We wrote up Jonathon Simmons in the picks yesterday, and he fell a little short paying just 4X PPD against the Nuggets. Today he sees an even better defensive matchup against the Hawks who are allowing the sixth most fantasy points to opposing small forwards. We originally chose this pick early on Friday night, but it has become even more enticing now that the Magic will be without Aaron Gordon, who suffered a concussion in last night’s tilt with Denver. Simmons has proven himself to be a solid scorer, sinking double digit points in five straight games now, while seeing an insane amount of court time, as much as 40 minutes a game. With all of the injuries they’re dealing with, the Magic will be loaded with value tonight, This is an excellent game for stacking and Simmons should be a key part of any game stack, with the safety and upside needed to be considered in all formats.
Consider LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo
Derrick Favors FD – $5200 DK – $5700
Opponent – MIL
Proj Pts FD – 28.21 DK – 27.4
Look out for falling prices!! Rudy Gobert has been back for three games now, and Derrick Favors has seen his price plummet, particularly on FanDuel, where he’s down $2200 compared to the game against the Pelicans where he made his final start at center. Now back at the four, playing ten fewer minutes per game, and sharing the time he does get with Gobert, Favors is a true fire sale play, and is as safe now as he was when Gobert was sidelined thanks to the price correction. Not to mention there’s not a lot to love at the four to begin with tonight. You can pay up for Ben Simmons, who will likely see more run with no Joel Embiid, but that means LeBron, and Love will focus all of their attention on him. The best course of action would seem to be go cheap at the four, and Favors is an excellent way of doing just that.
LaMarcus Aldridge FD – $8200 DK – $8400
Opponent – PHO
Proj Pts FD – 43.29 DK – 42.78
Paying up at power forward tonight for me will mean going with LaMarcus Aldridge. LMA has seen his cost come down some after flirting with near season high pricing earlier this month. Aldridge was quiet against the Heat on Wednesday night, pairing four boards with 18 points and a block. This is uncharacteristic for the big man who flirts with double doubles on a near nightly basis and has posted nine already this season. His chance at redemption comes tonight against the Suns, who are not only the worst defense at the position, but over their last five games are allowing an insane 70 FD points to opposing power forwards, allowing 30 points and 15.6 rebounds per game in that stretch. Pair that with the Suns lightning fast pace of play and all signs point to a big night for Aldridge who should be a lock for 5X and could push for 6X if the Suns keep it competitive.
Carmelo Anthony FD – $6800 DK – $6600
Opponent – MEM
Proj Pts FD – 37.81 DK – 38.83
I like this play much more if Paul George remains out once again for the Thunder’s game in Memphis tonight. With no George the Thunder need Carmelo Anthony to step up and take some slack off of Russell Westbrook. He attempted to do just that in the last game against the Nets with PG out, but had a hard time getting his shot to fall, sinking just 5 of 20, fortunately he did enough in the glass to make up the difference, his 11 boards allowed some relief from what could have been an ugly night on the fantasy scoreboard. The Grizzlies may not be the defensive punching bag the Nets are, but they’re certainly not a shut down type of defense either, so Melo will have a chance to make up for what has been some poor shooting as of late. Again, if Paul George is cleared to play, I don’t like this as much, though he could be a sneaky GPP play, but no PG means Melo is in play everywhere.
Consider Marvin Williams.
Nikola Vucevic FD – $8500 DK – $8300
Opponent – ATL
Proj Pts FD – 44.22 DK – 45.24
So, once again, we had this play all picked out early on Friday night, but now it seems to be all the more important as Aaron Gordon suffered a concussion last night, which means the Magic’s big man will have to step up his already solid game. What was initially an excellent play becomes phenomenal play, and I’m sure Nikola Vucevic will be extremely high owned tonight, in every format. Vucevic paired 21 points against the Nuggets on Friday night with a season high 17 rebounds, eclipsing the season high 16 he snagged on Wednesday, giving him 33 boards in two games. Last night was also the third time in four games that Vucevic managed to pay 6.5X PPD. The dominance should continue tonight in Atlanta against a Hawks team that are without their top two front court players and allow the third most fantasy points to opposing bigs. There is so much in Vucevic’s favor right now it’s hard to justify anyone else at center.
Dwight Howard FD – $7800 DK – $7600
Opponent – LAL
Proj Pts FD – 38.49 DK – 40.19
Yet, you say you want options, pivots, contrarian plays! The Vucevic chalk is too vanilla for you, you just have to be different you wild person! Well, then I present to you Dwight Howard. Howard lit the Bulls up last night to the tune of 9X PPD scoring 25 points and 20 boards in 43 minutes of play. That may be the only knock on Howard, if you fear the Hornets cut the minutes back after last night’s workload. Even if he sees just 30 minutes Howard is priced at a point where he can easily hit value especially against a Lakers team allowing the second most fantasy points at the center position over their last 10 games. This game has a decent projection of 213.5 points and the Hornets are only 5.5 point favorites, so Charlotte may need to test Howard’s legs and see if they can’t stretch him to the limit. Howard’s not going to put up 70 fantasy points every night, he probably won’t tonight, but 40 is more than enough to ask, while 50 is certainly not out of the question. As a GPP pivot off of Vucevic, you can do much worse than Dwight Howard.
Consider Greg Monroe if Alex Len and Tyson Chandler are both ruled out.
This post originally appeared on DFSR.com