Daily Fantasy NBA Picks from DFSR for 12/2/17

Daily Fantasy NBA Picks from DFSR for 12/2/17

Point guard

Early
Kyrie IrvingKyrie Irving FD – $9200 DK – $9200
Opponent – PHO
Proj Pts FD – 43.95 DK – 44.88
The Celtics are the hottest thing this side of the sun, and today, they face a Suns team that is anything but hot. Phoenix may not have the worst record in the association, but that’s not for lack of trying. They’re outright terrible on defense, and that, when combined with their incredible 105.6 pace of play makes them the perfect DFS target. Enter, Kyrie Irving, who has been astounding in his debut season with Boston. He’s seen the better side of thirty minutes in six of his last seven games and has shot 50% or better in the same. He most recently dropped 36 on the Sixers giving him five games in November with 30+ points scored. The blowout concern is real in this one with Boston favored by 13, and Irving hasn’t surpassed the 30 minute mark in games the Celtics have won by 13 or better, but with only three games to choose from Irving projects to be the best way to spend up at the position on the early set against a defense that allows the most fantasy points to the position.

Main
Damian LillardDamian Lillard FD – $8800 DK – $8900
Opponent – NO
Proj Pts FD – 46.12 DK – 48.07
Damian Lillard come on down! The price is right on the TrailBlazers point guard, as he dips below the $9K mark on both sites and is nearing season low pricing on FanDuel. He also sees a primo matchup against the Pelicans, who are extremely generous when it comes to allowing fantasy points to opposing guards. Over the past five games, point guards are scoring nearly 55 fanDuel points against New Orleans, which ranks them third worst at the position in that span. As for Lillard, he has seen an impressive stretch, running the boards 36-40 minutes in each of the last five games played. Vegas has this game with the lowest projected spread, just 3.5 points with a modest 208 total. Lillard not only tops our raw point projections at the one tonight, but he’s got the second highest points per dollar ranking to boot. I’ll have Lillard everywhere on the main slate, cash and tourney.

Lonzo BallLonzo Ball FD – $7000 DK – $6600
Opponent – DEN
Proj Pts FD – 37.64 DK – 37.88
The only point guard with a better PPD projection than Damian Lillard is Lakers rookie guard Lonzo Ball. Ball is still coming into his own, as is the whole young Lakers team, and despite some erratic shooting performances, he has been getting plenty of floor time, nearly 34 minutes per game, while picking up plenty of peripheral stats, averaging 7 rebounds, 7.2 assists, and 1.4 steals per game. He picked up his third double double in four games in a thrilling OT loss to Golden State on Wednesday night scoring 15 while dishing out 10 assists, and though he suffered a cut over his eye and required stitches, he isn’t appearing on any injury reports so it seems safe to assume he’s fine to lock in tonight against the third most generous defense to opposing point guards in the game.

Shooting Guard

Early
Lou WilliamsLou Williams FD – $8000 DK – $7800
Opponent – DAL
Proj Pts FD – 42.87 DK – 44.98
Sweet Lou Williams has just come out of nowhere to become one of the hottest fantasy plays in the NBA. Just two weeks ago, Williams was on the sub side of the $7K price tag across the industry, and today he’s the top priced shooting guard on the day, priced at or near $8K. Williams is now the starting SG for the Clippers and has taken full advantage, averaging 37 minutes over his last four games during which he has shot 42.9%. In three of those he has gone 50% from deep with multiple three pointers in six straight. This game doesn’t have the blowout concern of the Boston game, though it does feature two of the slower teams in the game with a combined 98.8 pace factor, so we have to pick our poison on this early three game set. All things considered, Lou Williams is just too hot to pass on right now, and as long as he keeps shooting the way he has, I’ll be buying in on the regular at these prices.

Main
Tyreke EvansTyreke Evans FD – $6900 DK – $6900
Opponent – CLE
Proj Pts FD – 41.58 DK – 42.36
Tyreke Evans has proven to be an invaluable asset recently for the injury plagued Grizzlies. Despite his scoring 20.5 points 4.3 rebounds and 4.5 assists in November he has seen his price come down significantly after spiking just a week ago. Now that he’s back in the sub $7K club, it’s hard to argue against Evans as long as he continues to run with the starters and see 30 minutes a night. Some may be off Evans tonight, facing the Cavaliers in a game with an opening 11.5 point spread, but the Cavaliers have been at their worst defending the two-guard, allowing 51.8 FD points to the position, in a game that will be a significant pace up contest for the generally slow Memphis squad. Not only do I love Evans for his safety, at these prices I’m feeling significant upside as well, as he projects as one of the top PPD plays on the day and I will have exposure in all formats.

Avery BradleyAvery Bradley FD – $5500 DK – $5600
Opponent – PHI
Proj Pts FD – 28.57 DK – 29.42
Detroit travels into Philadelphia tonight as the Sixers host the Pistons, and we’re going to dip back into the Avery Bradley well once again. Austyn wrote up Bradley last night as the Pistons were in D.C. and he ended the night with 13 points, two assists, a block and four steals putting himself at 5X PPD or better in his third straight contest. The minutes are there, and the matchups have been favorable for the former Celtic now in his first season in Detroit. JJ Redick is a serviceable defender, but certainly nothing to shy away from, and the Sixers as a team are allowing near as many FD points per game as the Cavs are, so the opportunity should be there in another pace up contest for the Pistons against a Sixers team that plays the fourth fastest game in the NBA. To echo Austyn’s sentiments yesterday, Bradley isn’t a must play, but he’ll get you where you want to be in cash games for sure.

Small forward

Early
Jaylen BrownJaylen Brown FD – $5900 DK – $6300
Opponent – PHO
Proj Pts FD – 29.08 DK – 29.54
Jaylen Brown has thrown up two stinkers after missing last Saturdays game for personal reasons, scoring a total of 11 points in games against the Pistons and Sixers while not doing a whole lot else to make up for the lax shooting. That said, this is a perfect opportunity for redemption for the second year forward against the Suns who as I have already said, simply cannot play defense. Much like Kyrie above, the blowout risk is a bit of a concern for Brown, who prior to that personal miss against the Pacers was putting up double digit scoring performances in eight straight games. It’s a bit risky given his recent performance, but if Brown is able to find his shot he’ll have no trouble paying value, and could go low owned in tournaments, making him an appealing GPP play as well. There’s not a lot to like about SF on the early set so I’ll gladly take the chance on Brown in a superb matchup.

Taurean PrinceTaurean Prince FD – $5700 DK – $5600
Opponent – BKN
Proj Pts FD – 30.55 DK – 30.28
The Hawks travel into Brooklyn for a game with a combined pace factor of 102.7. While the Nets aren’t the DFS punching bag they were last season, they’re still a less than stellar defensive match up that plays the third fastest game in the league, so targeting them is not out of the question at all. This opens a great spot for Taurean Prince, who in addition to scoring double digit points in six of his last seven he has proven he can easily fill out a stat sheet with 5 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.3 steals per game. The minutes have been all over the place, ranging from 18 to 39 in his last seven games played, but as long as Prince sees 25-30 he should be able to hit the sweet spot, and with a mere 4.5 point spread, the minutes should be there.

Main
Robert CovingtonRobert Covington FD – $6300 DK – $5900
Opponent – DET
Proj Pts FD – 32.3 DK – 31.76
We’re going to look past the big money guys here at the three, as LeBron and Giannis are each in matchups against teams that not only play tough at the three, but also play at the second and third slowest paces respectively, each with an 11.5 point spread so there isn’t a lot of appeal in dropping $12K on either. Instead let’s look a little lower in the pricing pool, starting with the surging Sixers and their surprise star wing Robert Covington. RoCo has put up some duds in the past week against the Cavs and Celtics, but tonight gets to face a Pistons team who have been a bottom five defense against the three over their last five games. The Sixers are five point favorites in a game with a higher projected total than the Bucks or Cavs game, and though Detroit may slow Philly’s game down a bit, this game still carries a 101.7 pace factor and there should be plenty of opportunity for the Philly small forward. I’m not sure I feel much upside for RoCo, but in cash games, there is definitely appeal.

Juan HernangomezJuan Hernangomez FD – $4000 DK – $3700
Opponent – LAL
Proj Pts FD – 22.3 DK – 22.39
For value at the three let’s take a look at Juan Hernangomez. Nikola Jokic rolled his ankle in Thursdays game against the Bulls, and has been ruled out for tonight’s game against the Lakers. This opens a ton of minutes, and we’ll delve further into the matter in a bit, but I see a small number of added minutes heading to Hernangomez, who will likely be starting once again for Wilson Chandler who has missed two games already with lower back soreness. Hernangomez is priced to the point where he doesn’t need to do a ton to give us value, but he certainly needs to give us more than the 1/1/2 line he posted against Chicago. In his first start against the Jazz Juan give us seven points ten rebounds and a block, which is much more in line with what we need to look for today and shouldn’t be out of the question against a Lakers team allowing 20.3 points and 9.6 rebounds to opposing threes. We don’t have any word from Vegas on this one, but with the Nuggets missing Jokic, Millsap, and quite possibly Chandler, I wouldn’t expect it to get out of hand, while leaving plenty of minutes up for grabs for Hernangomez.

Power forward

Early
Jayson TatumJayson Tatum FD – $5900 DK – $6200
Opponent – PHO
Proj Pts FD – 29.62 DK – 30.12
We return to Boston for the early set and their rookie phenom Jayson Tatum. Tatum is turning a lot of heads early on in his young career, and the fantasy world is quickly catching on. He’s shooting 49% from the field with 1.5 three pointers per game, with 11 straight contests of double digit scoring, and is being rewarded with all the run time he can handle. As for the match up, there isn’t much more I can say, it’s the Suns, they’re terrible in the defensive game, and Tatum should be free to shoot and could pick up his second career double double against a team allowing 24.9 points and 12.9 boards to opposing power forwards. Tatum is an excellent play at a very appealing price.

Main
The problem with doing these picks the night before is sometimes you plan to write up a solid play and then “stuff” happens. Such is the case as Anthony Davis was helped to the locker room in the fourth quarter of last night’s game against the Jazz with a groin injury just as I was set to write him up. The severity of the injury is unknown as of this writing, so we will have to wait on word from the Pelicans to confirm his status for tonight, though a healthy Davis was projecting for the highest point total of any player on todays slate. We’ll monitor this one, though even if Davis does play, I’ll proceed with caution for now.
Ben SimmonsBen Simmons FD – $10400 DK – $9600
Opponent – DET
Proj Pts FD – 49.57 DK – 50.29
Projecting very close to Davis, at a similar cost is the Sixers rookie Ben Simmons. Simmons missed a game earlier this week with an ankle injury, but in three games back has seen 114 minutes and shown no signs of the ankle slowing him down any. While he struggled at times against the Cavaliers and Celtics, Simmons was phenomenal on Wednesday against the Wizards dropping 31 points for the first time in his career despite the hack-a-Shaq game the Wiz were clearly playing by repeatedly fouling him in the fourth in an attempt to take advantage of his struggles at the line. Detroit coms to town tonight, and despite being listed as a PF, Simmons generally plays the point for Philly, a position the Pistons are subpar at defending. If Davis is ruled out Simmons is my top play for the night, and honestly, maybe even if Davis does play just to keep on the safe side.

Kenneth FariedKenneth Faried FD – $5200 DK – $4800
Opponent – LAL
Proj Pts FD – 30.24 DK – 29.73
We spoke earlier about the injury bug working its way through the Nuggets locker room. First Millsap, then Jokic, while Chandler hasn’t been faring too well himself lately. This opens the door for a ton of minutes to fall Kenneth Faried’s way, as he splits time between the four and backing up Mason Plumlee. All of this for just $5K in salary. Faried saw 22 minutes against the Bulls on Thursday and ended the night paying nearly 6X PPD. The Lakers rank in the bottom third defensively at the four and this could shape up to be a huge night for Kenny F. He could easily be looking at 30 minutes, should be a lock for 5X, with potential 6X+ upside. I’ll have a ton of Faried in my lineups.

Center

Early
Al HorfordAl Horford FD – $7700 DK – $8100
Opponent – PHO
Proj Pts FD – 37.74 DK – 38.19
Al Horford stole the show against the Sixers on Thursday night in a game where Philly was without Joel Embiid. Horford posted 21 points for the second time in his last three games, while packing the stat sheet chock full of eight boards and five assists, along with two blocks. Horford has been hot down the stretch paying over 5X in two of his last three games at these prices while averaging 33 minutes. The story remains the same as we’ve covered this game at nearly every position. Phoenix is terrible on defense, play a fast game, and there is significant blow out risk in this one. With just three games to choose from however, I feel more confidence in Big Al than I do any other center on the early slate.

Main
Andre DrummondAndre Drummond FD – $9100 DK – $8600
Opponent – PHI
Proj Pts FD – 46.22 DK – 47.18
This game has a lot of fantasy appeal from both sides, as we have already covered several plays from each team and we have one more to look at in Andre Drummond. Both Drummond and the guy he’ll be tasked with most of the night, Joel Embiid project for similar point totals, but Drummond will give us those points at a significant savings. On the Detroit side of things, Drummond gets matched up against a Philly team that plays the fourth fastest pace, while big men that go against Philly score the third most fantasy points in the game. Philly is allowing 17.5 points and 12.1 rebounds to opposing bigs this year while Drummond has been playing out of his mind lately, paying 6.25X and 7.74X PPD in two of his past three games. Drummond should be safe enough for cash games and has flashed plenty of upside to warrant consideration in tournaments as well.

Mason PlumleeMason Plumlee FD – $4700 DK – $3800
Opponent – LAL
Proj Pts FD – 31.21 DK – 30.23
If you don’t have the funds to spend up on Drummond, then spend all the way down with Mason Plumlee. Plumlee is another player benefitting from the absence of Nikola Jokic, and will see the most direct benefit. Plumlees minutes have been all over the place coming off of the Nuggets bench this season but now with the front court depleted of starters, Plumlee, along with Faried and Hernangomez stand to see a ton of opportunity as Joker stands to miss several games after rolling his ankle against the Bulls on Thursday night. Plumlee’s shooting 52.6% from the field and averages 6.04 rebounds per game for his career and will make the start against a Lakers team allowing 16.8 points and 11.7 rebounds per game to opposing big men. If Plumlee sees 30+ minutes his ceiling will know no limits.

This post originally appeared on DFSR.com

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Daily Fantasy NBA News and Injury Updates from DFSR for 11/26/17

Daily Fantasy NBA News and Injury Updates from DFSR for 11/26/17

What We Know

Hassan WhitesideHassan Whiteside missed practice on Friday, and is considered questionable for the Heats game in Chicago.
A sore left knee held Whiteside back yesterday, and Miami has officially designated the big man as questionable for today’s visit to the Windy City. He missed time earlier this season with a similar issue so this is definitely something to watch. Kelly Olynyk will likely start in Whiteside’s place if he does sit, opening tons of value. The good news today is all of our question marks fall in the early set of games so we should know all we need to know by lock.

Devin BookerDevin Booker is questionable for the Suns game in Minnesota.
Phoenix listed Booker as questionable for this afternoon’s game with the Wolves with toe inflammation. It was likely this was an issue for Booker Friday night against the Pelicans when he turned in one of his worst performances of the season. If Booker is ultimately held out, T.J. Warren will become an elite play, while Mike James who sees a 32.3% usage with Booker off the court becomes a solid GPP play.

Jeff TeagueJeff Teague is questionable for the Timberwolves.
Teague was a late scratch on Friday night with an achilles issue, and is currently listed as questionable for today’s tilt with Phoenix. Aaron Brooks started for Teague on Friday but only saw 13 minutes while Tyus Jones stole the show posting a 7.3X PPD performance in 32 minutes.

Every Lineup Guy

Taj GibsonTaj Gibson FD – $5600 DK – $5500
Opponent – PHO
Proj Pts FD – 30.11 DK – 31.12
Woof. This is an ugly slate, and power forward is an ugly position. Taj Gibson is the one play showing up in the top optimal lineups being put out by our optimizer on both FanDuel, and DraftKings, and it all simply comes down to price and opportunity. Gibson is one of the cheaper options at this terrible position, and gets a plum matchup against a Phoenix team that is allowing the most fantasy points at the position of the teams that are playing today, and the minutes can’t be disputed. Gibson is seeing at the least 30 and upwards of 40 minutes per game, and the Suns play at a ridiculous 106.2 pace factor, which will speed up Minnesotas more relaxed pace of play creating even more opportunities. Keep it cheap at the four with Gibson and allow yourself the room to pay up where it counts.
This post originally appeared on DFSR.com

Daily Fantasy NBA News and Injury Updates from DFSR for 11/25/17

Daily Fantasy NBA News and Injury Updates from DFSR for 11/25/17

What We Know

John WallJohn Wall will miss about two weeks.
Wall has been dealing with knee soreness for a good while now and the team announced today that he will miss about two weeks as he goes through treatment for the issue. Tim Frazier becomes a strong value play with Wall out starting at the point for near minimum pricing, and Bradley Beal will also see a boost in value with a 36.7% usage rate when Wall is out.

Kevin DurantKevin Durant is out again for the Warriors.
KD missed Friday night’s game against the Bulls, and following the game coach Kerr announced that it was looking unlikely that Durant would be able to take the court tonight as the Warriors host the Pelicans, and has since confirmed that. Omri Casspi should likely get the starting nod again and becomes a nice value option against a Pelicans team allowing the ninth most fantasy points to opposing small forwards.

Ben SimmonsBen Simmons is out for the Sixers due to an elbow injury.
Simmons will miss his first game of the season tonight with an elbow injury as Philly hosts the Magic. T.J. McConnell will draw the start at point guard in Simmons place, and he along with Joel Embiid become top plays tonight in Simmons absence.

Giannis AntetokounmpoGiannis Antetokounmpo and John Henson are both probable for the Bucks game in Utah.
The freak sat out on Wednesday night with knee soreness but the Bucks seem to feel the extended rest (he hasn’t played since Monday), has done him well, and they have him listed as probable to take the court tonight against the Jazz. Henson also missed the game on Wednesday after undergoing an eye procedure, but is also expected to be good to go tonight sending Thon Maker back to the bench.

Eric GordonEric Gordon and Ryan Anderson expect to play tonight for the Rockets.
Gordon was held out of Wednesdays game with a calf strain, while Anderson dealt with an illness that kept him out of the game. Both are expected to return tonight as the Rockets host the Knicks. Gordon has lost much of his fantasy appeal with the return of CP3, while Anderson will be dealing with Kristaps Porzingis most of the night, so neither are high on my list of fantasy targets this evening.

What We’re Waiting to Know

Victor OladipoWill Victor Oladipo play the second half of the Pacers back to back after leaving last night’s game in the fourth quarter?
Oladipo left last night’s game against the Raptors in the fourth quarter, and did not return, it’s unclear what happened or the severity of the injury, so we should view him as out of consideration until we know more on his situation and the Pacers release a status update for tonight’s game against the Celtics.

Nicolas BatumNicolas Batum is a gametime decision after missing last night’s game due to his injured elbow.
Batum sat out last night’s game in Cleveland dealing with an elbow contusion that held him out of the first month of the season. Batum says he feels fine, but we have not gotten an official word on his status for this evening with the Spurs coming to town. If he is sidelined again, look for Jeremy Lamb to be a solid option starting in his place.

Jaylen BrownJaylen Brown may miss tonight’s game in Indiana for personal reasons.
Brown traveled to Atlanta following last night’s win over Orlando to attend a funeral and will try to make it to Indiana in time for the Celtics game with the Pacers, but it remains unknown if that will indeed happen, as it stands now Brown should be considered a true game time decision, and I wouldn’t take the chance on him without definitive word before lock. Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier would benefit from the absence of Brown with Marcus Morris also ruled out for tonight’s game.

Enes KanterEnes Kanter is a game time decision after sitting out Friday night with back spasms.
Kanter was held back Friday night with back spasms following an increased workload earlier this week (63 minutes in two games), look for more word to come later today following the Knicks shoot around, and if you’re feeling adventurous consider Kyle O’Quinn a punt play if he receives the starting nod again tonight.

Every Lineup Guys

T.J. McConnellT.J. McConnell FD – $4700 DK – $4000
Opponent – ORL
Proj Pts FD – 32.45 DK – 31.97
Omri CasspiOmri Casspi FD – $3300 DK – $3600
Opponent – NO
Proj Pts FD – 32.61 DK – 33.21
Tim FrazierTim Frazier FD – $3000 DK – $3600
Opponent – POR
Proj Pts FD – 11.57 DK – 11.64
Let’s call this group the beneficiaries . We’re looking at three top tired studs ruled out tonight, and three extremely cheap value plays stepping into their respective starting slots with opportunity that reaches through the ceiling. McConnell should really come as no surprise, as we spotlighted him in our picks article today, and I noted there that with Ben Simmons sidelined with an elbow injury, T.J is looking at a 7-8X points per dollar projection as he runs with Robert Covington and Joel Embiid tonight in the Philly starting five as they host the Magic. Now we also know that John Wall is out for at least two weeks, which blasted Tim Frazier to the top of the projections and opened a ton of value at the point. Frazier sees a 34.5% assist rate when Wall is on the bench and is priced at near minimum salary across the industry. Then finally we got word that Kevin Durant will miss once again, opening the door to Omri Casspi as a punt play. Casspi got the nod last night in Durants spot, and ended the evening paying 7.8X on FanDuel. No matter if you’re looking to do a stars and scrubs line or just need some solid value, these three present tremendous upside and are in great spots in their own right and our system is playing each of them everywhere in the top optimal lineups.

This post originally appeared on DFSR.com

Daily Fantasy NBA Picks from DFSR for 11/25/17


Daily Fantasy NBA Picks from DFSR for 11/25/17

Point guard

Russell WestbrookRussell Westbrook FD – $10800 DK – $10900
Opponent – DAL
Proj Pts FD – 54.64 DK – 56.52
Wednesday night we were given a glimpse of the Russell Westbrook of old as the Thunder played host to Golden State. Perhaps it was the anticipation of Thursdays turkey feast, or perhaps it was the chance to shine against former teammate Kevin Durant, or perhaps Westbrook is finally taking control of the new look OKC offense. In the past two games Westbrook posted identical fantasy performances, coming one assist shy of his second straight triple double after posting a 22/16/12 line against the Pelicans on Monday night. Wednesday he posted a season high 34 points against the Warriors, unleashing the beast as soon as the clock started counting down and not letting up all night. While he opened up the season quietly, allowing newcomers Paul George and Carmelo Anthony to find their place in the Thunder lineup, it seems safe to say that Westbrook is once again becoming the central force of the OKC offense posting 20+ points in five of his last six outings. The Mavericks have been terrible at defending the one this season, and are allowing a league high 23.9 points per game, so look for Westbrook to put on a shooting clinic and if the peripherals fall into place he will absolutely crush value.

T.J. McConnellT.J. McConnell FD – $4700 DK – $4000
Opponent – ORL
Proj Pts FD – 32.45 DK – 31.97
The Sixers announced early on Friday that Ben Simmons will miss tonight’s game against the Magic, so T.J. McConnell will draw the start at the point for Philadelphia. McConnell has been a solid play off of the Philly bench this season with Simmons starting at point guard, so this will be a flashback to last season when McConnell was the primary starter and performed very well with Joel Embiid. This season, the pair still have a positive net rating when on the court together, and McConnell has posted some very impressive fantasy lines, even with the Philadelphia second unit. Back in the starting unit at a low-mid ranged price on both sites, the system loves T.J as the top point per dollar projection on the day at 7-8X PPD and should be in consideration in all formats.

Kyle LowryKyle Lowry FD – $8200 DK – $7700
Opponent – ATL
Proj Pts FD – 39.28 DK – 41.04
Similar to Russell Westbrook, Kyle Lowry started the season off quietly and has recently appeared to be turning a corner. He posted a season high 25 points against the Nets on Wednesday, which was the third time in four games he topped the 20 point mark, and was his fourth double double in five outings. The minutes have always been there with Lowry, it was just a matter of waiting on the performance to catch up, and it feels as though we are finally getting to that point. He’ll look to continue his hot streak against the Hawks in a game with a seven point spread. It should remain close, and Lowry should be good for 35 minutes at least, while contending with Dennis Schroder who has one of the worst defensive ratings at the position. Now that the price is on the rise, I don’t know how I feel about Lowry in GPP’s but as a cash option, he’s a fine play.

Shooting Guard

James HardenJames Harden FD – $11200 DK – $11500
Opponent – NY
Proj Pts FD – 59.15 DK – 63.03
James Harden posted his worst fantasy performance of the month on Wednesday dropping a mere 21 points against the Nuggets and coming below 50 fantasy points for the first time since November 1st. Harden hasn’t posted a double double since the return of Chris Paul to the Rocket’s last Thursday in Phoenix, but has made up for it with some steady scoring performances helping him to still make it to the 5X mark. Tonight he’ll look to get back on track against a Knicks team that are a bottom ten team at defending the two, and are allowing 27 points per game against opposing SG’s. This game has a 218.5 projection, and though the 13 point spread is concerning, the beard has run the boards for at least 30 minutes in every game this season, and should see plenty of time to make his mark. I question the upside, unless New York finds a way to stick around in this one, but as a cash game play, Harden is an elite choice and the system prefers him over Westbrook, if you find yourself in a spot where you need to choose one or the other.

DeMar DeRozanDeMar DeRozan FD – $8400 DK – $8200
Opponent – ATL
Proj Pts FD – 41.57 DK – 42.16
Like Harden, DeMar DeRozan seemed to have checked out early for thanksgiving break, coming in with an 18 point showing against the Knicks on Wednesday. It was the first time that Double D finished below the 20 point mark in 10 straight games, and was particularly disappointing following his 7X PPD outing against the Wizards on Sunday. That said, DeRozan has been shooting the ball exceptionally well this season. His 48.4% from the field is his best since his rookie season when he shot 49.8% while averaging 4.5 rebounds and assists per game. The Hawks are the worst in the league at defending the SG position, allowing an average of 58.5 FP and 30.9 points per game to opposing twos. You definitely want to try and fit Harden into your lineups, but if you can’t then DeRozan is a solid pivot to free up salary elsewhere.

Donovan MitchellDonovan Mitchell FD – $6800 DK – $6300
Opponent – MIL
Proj Pts FD – 35.16 DK – 35.24
Donovan Mitchell is becoming a staple in these picks this season. The rookie has been performing very well for the Utah back court and though the price has quickly risen, I think there’s still some wiggle room before we have to stop and question is he worth it. The Bulls shut down his shooting game on Wednesday holding him to just four points in 26 minutes, but the thing to appreciate was how he realized he wasn’t getting his shot off so he made sure to contribute in other ways, snagging five boards and dishing out 7 assists for the second time this season, while also picking up a block and steal. For DFS standards that is just what we want to see, because we know even if one aspect of his game is failing he’s aware enough to pick up elsewhere. He gets a boost tonight going against the Bucks who allow an average of 27.4 points to to the position in a game that despite having one of the lowest totals, also has just a 1.5 point spread. I love Mitchell for cash purposes and there could be some upside there for tournaments as well.

Small forward

Robert CovingtonRobert Covington FD – $6800 DK – $6200
Opponent – ORL
Proj Pts FD – 33.38 DK – 32.9
Evan FournierEvan Fournier FD – $6100 DK – $6100
Opponent – PHI
Proj Pts FD – 31.48 DK – 32.57
The contest between the Magic and the Sixers in Philly has the second highest point total projection coming from our friends in Vegas at 220. These are two of the fastest paced teams in the game, with a combined 104.2 pace factor, and unlike the Warriors and Pelicans game which also features two fast paced teams and the highest projected total of 229.5, Philly is a mere 5 point favorite while the GS/NO tilt has a 13.5 point spread. There are so many ways you can attack this game from a cash game perspective, we’ve already looked at T.J. McConnell, and we’re going to attack it from both sides at small forward. Robert Covington is such a feel good story for the Sixers, acquired from Houston where he only played seven games as part of the process, nobody expected much from RoCo as he suffered through the Sixers rebuilding, and several seasons of no expectations, but he continued to show that he had what it took to be a starting small forward in this league, and the Sixers obliged recently signing him to a hefty contract extension. On the court he’s been shooting the ball well, and leads the eastern conference in three pointers made. Tonight he draws a prime matchup against Evan Fournier and the Magic who are allowing the second most fantasy points to the position.
Evan Fournier to his own merit is also well in consideration as a solid play at the three. He draws a tougher matchup as Philly is a top ten team defending the position, but he’s a cheaper way to gain exposure to this game if you can’t spare the salary needed for Covington. Fournier is having a career season, posting highs in points (19), rebounds (3.5), and assists (3.15), per game. Fournier only saw 19 minutes of action as the Magic got blown out of the water in Boston last night, so he should be plenty well rested for tonight, in a game that doesn’t project to get near as out of hand. I prefer Covington across the board, but if you need that little bit of savings, I’m perfectly fine dropping down to Fournier in cash games, though I don’t see a ton of upside there.

Wesley JohnsonWesley Johnson FD – $5000 DK – $4000
Opponent – SAC
Proj Pts FD – 24.91 DK – 23.95
Danilo Gallinari has missed eight contests now with a strained glute and Wesley Johnson has filled the void left very nicely, with his best showing yet coming on Wednesday against the Hawks. Now the Clippers are also contending with the fact that they’ve lost Patrick Beverley for the season. Johnson has been averaging 24.25 FP per game as a starter since Gallo has been held out, with 29 minutes per game, while in just the past four games he has seen those minutes bump up to 33 per outing. The Clippers head in to Sacramento tonight to face the Kings who despite being terrible, have been a chore for opposing small forwards to contend with this season. However with all of the minutes up for grabs in L.A. right now I’d expect Chandler to get plenty of opportunity to make his shot, while still being priced near what he was when coming off of the bench. I don’t think there’s a ton of upside here as the only time Johnson has eclipsed 5X was when he posted 10X in an overtime tilt with the Cavs where he saw 42 minutes, but as cash plays go, he’s about as safe as you can find.

Power forward

Blake GriffinBlake Griffin FD – $9400 DK – $8800
Opponent – SAC
Proj Pts FD – 47.45 DK – 48.52
Keeping with the Clippers, and their struggles, it has been a rough month for the Clips as they have suffered both on the scoreboard and on the injury report. With Danilo Gallinari missing several games and Patrick Beverley now being ruled out for the season, the Clippers lost nine straight games before finally pulling out a W against the Hawks on Wednesday. It was a breakout contest for Blake Griffin who posted his first triple double of the season, mixing 10 rebounds and assists in with a 26 point showing. The stuffed stat sheet was nice to see from Griffin who despite being up in assists this season (5.0 PG) is down in boards (7.4 PG). While the Kings may be good at SF as we noted earlier, they’re outright terrible defending opposing PF’s allowing 50.7 FP per game, which is fifth most in the league. These two teams play at a snails pace, as reflected by the games 205 total projection, but Blake should see no trouble putting in his total allotment of minutes and should easily pay value, and with plenty of other top dollar studs in play, he could be a nice GPP pivot as well.

Derrick FavorsDerrick Favors FD – $6700 DK – $6100
Opponent – MIL
Proj Pts FD – 34.16 DK – 33.36
The Jazz have been without Rudy Gobert for seven games now and Derrick Favors has paid 5X or better in four of those. That’s impressive for guy who I used to shiver when I would see the system putting him at the top of the projections and question how do I justify spotlighting him here? It’s a much easier task when he is actually playing up to his salary, providing solid output. Even more impressive is the fact that he hasn’t really seen much of an increase in minutes with Gobert out of commission. The 29 minutes he’s averaging over the last seven games is just two more than his season average, but he has taken a much more aggressive approach while he is on the court, with four double doubles in that stretch, compared to just one while Gobert was healthy. While the price has risen in the short term, there is still plenty of wiggle room, and as long as Rudy G. remains out, Derrick Favors is a quality option leading the Jazz front court.

John CollinsJohn Collins FD – $6800 DK – $5200
Opponent – TOR
Proj Pts FD – 37.14 DK – 38.31
John Collins drew his second career start against the Hawks last night, following an impressive outing against the Clippers on Wednesday. While he underwhelmed against Kristaps Porzingis posting a 13/5/3 line he should continue to draw the start for the Hawks at least until Luke Babbit is ready to return from his back injury. These are two average paced teams in a game with a promising 211.5 total projection coming from Vegas, and the 7 point spread means it should stay close well into the fourth. Playing heavily to Collins favor is the fact that Toronto is the second Most generous defense to opposing power forwards, allowing 25.2 points and 12.5 rebounds to the position per game and I fully expect Collins to see his full run tonight and make for an excellent play in all formats.

Anthony DavisAnthony Davis FD – $11000 DK – $10600
Opponent – GS
Proj Pts FD – 58.26 DK – 58.53
I’m going to throw Anthony Davis in here tonight as a GPP play. The Pelicans are playing the Warriors, so of course we know that means a high projection, and a large spread. Golden State come in as 13.5 point favorites which means there’s a strong chance this one gets out of hand, and Davis sees his minutes cut by the fourth. With that, I won’t be dropping $11K on Davis in cash games. There is however a solid argument in tournaments, as the Warriors have been without Kevin Durant in the front court twice in the past three games, with his status for tonight unknown as I write this. Draymond Green meanwhile sat out last night to rest, and should be good to go, but the key thing to consider is that the Warriors are very generous to the power forward position, allowing the fourth most fantasy points (50.9) and second most points (26.3) to opposing fours. It’s not an ideal situation, but if Davis and co. can find a way to keep this one competitive, and he sees his full run of minutes, he could very well go off and propel someone to the top of a tournament leaderboard. I’m going to play around with this idea and see if I can find a lineup I like around Davis, just though I’d throw it out there for consideration.

Center

Joel EmbiidJoel Embiid FD – $10100 DK – $9800
Opponent – ORL
Proj Pts FD – 55.66 DK – 57.24
Do you trust the process? I trust the process. I trust it so much that I will have a ton of exposure to Joel Embiid tonight against the Orlando Magic. We’ve already looked at this game from a few different spots, and we’re not finished just yet. Embiid has been dealing with left knee soreness, but with Ben Simmons already ruled out well in advance with a sore elbow, Embiid will have to lead the Philly offense which will be no trouble for the big man who has posted a double double in five of his last seven outings with minutes stretching into the mid thirties. He’s also averaged 2.4 blocks in that span. The system has JoJo ranked as the best way to spend over $10K of your salary tonight and he’s an elite play in all formats.

Al HorfordAl Horford FD – $7000 DK – $7000
Opponent – IND
Proj Pts FD – 38.52 DK – 40.77
We have yet to look at this game between the Celtics and the Pacers, but I couldn’t justify not taking a moment to spotlight Al Horford here. Boston finds themselves in a pace up game (no pun intended) against a Pacers squad that play the ninth fastest game in the league. What they also play is the worst defensive game against opposing big men. Indiana is allowing 19.9 points and 13.8 rebounds to opposing centers, generating the most fantasy points at the position. Vegas gives this game a 207 opening total with just a two point spread, so there are certainly fantasy implications here if you want to consider this game, but my top recommendation would come in the form of Horford, who should make short work of Myles Turner and company.

Nikola VucevicNikola Vucevic FD – $7400 DK – $6700
Opponent – PHI
Proj Pts FD – 39.36 DK – 40.31
Back to Philly we go one last time. If you can’t fit Joel Embiid into your lineup, I prefer Horford on FanDuel, but on DraftKings you can get even more savings by switching down to Nikola Vucevic. Philly sports the second worst defense at center, and are allowing 71.2 DKP to the position on the season. Vucevic has been solid lately, posing double doubles in three straight, most recently doing it last night in just 20 minutes against the Celtics with 12 points and 11 rebounds in a game where he averaged 2 fantasy points per minute. We’ve already established that this game is ripe for the DFS picking with a fast pace, high projection, close spread, and nice defensive opportunities to take advantage of. While, again, I prefer Embiid at center, there is certainly a lot to like about Vucevic as a pivot in both cash and tournaments.

This post originally appeared on DFSR.com