Daily Fantasy NBA News and Injury Updates from DFSR for 12/30/17

Daily Fantasy NBA News and Injury Updates from DFSR for 12/30/17

What We Know

Joel EmbiidJoel Embiid will rest tonight against the Nuggets.
Philly heads into the first night of a back to back set and as per usual the big man will sit out one of those games, in this case the opening game against the Nuggets. Philly small forward Robert Covington who came into the day as doubtful will play tonight. RoCo is a solid option against the Denver interior, and he, Ben Simmons and Dario Saric, each see a nice boost in usage with Embiid’s absence. Trevor Booker and Richaun Holmes may also see added value with Embiid resting.

Dion WaitersDion Waiters is expected to miss a fourth straight game for the Heat.
Waiters has missed three games so far with a sore ankle, coach Spoelstra all but ruled Waiters out for both ends of this weekend’s back to back set when announcing Waiters would miss last night’s game against Brooklyn. Tyler Johnson has been filling in for the Miami starting rotation and is a nice cash game play.

Kawhi LeonardKawhi Leonard expects to play tonight in Detroit.
The Spurs held Leonard out on Thursday but he is fully expected to rejoin the rotation tonight as the Spurs head into Motor City. If Leonard doesn’t play Kyle Anderson becomes a phenomenal play with Rudy Gay already ruled out with a heel injury, if Leonard does play he and Anderson as still in play absorbing Gay’s minutes, though with less upside.

Dennis SchroderDennis Schroder is probable for the Hawks game against Portland.
Schroder is dealing with a left quad contusion, but is officially listed as probable for tonight’s tilt with the Blazers. He will most likely play, however if he is scratched at the last minute Malcolm Delaney or Marco Belinelli will likely draw the starting nod at the point. If the latter is placed in the starting rotation in Schroder’s place he becomes an intriguing play.

What We’re Waiting to Know

Stephen CurryStephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Omri Casspi, and Andre Iguodala are all probable for tonight’s game against the Grizzlies.
Curry has missed 11 games now with a sprained right ankle, he and the others have all been given the probable designation going into tonight’s game with Casspi the only one who missed last night’s contest. It is expected that Curry will return to the starting lineup tonight and send Shaun Livingston back to the bench, though he will likely be on a minutes restriction. Currys’ return will also cut into Thompson and Kevin Durant’s fantasy value in what is expected to be a blow out of Memphis, so all Warriors are probably best restricted to tournament plays only.

Damian LillardDamian Lillard is questionable for the Trailblazers game in Atlanta.
Lillard has missed three games so far with a hamstring injury, and will likely miss tonight’s game but we expect more definitive word following the teams shoot around. If he is held out again, Shabazz Napier, who has paid 9X in three straight starts in Lillards absence rockets to the top of the must play list against a poor Atlanta perimeter defense.

JaMychal GreenJaMychal Green is questionable tonight for the Grizzlies visit to Golden State.
Green has also missed three straight contests and is looking doubtful for a fourth. Currently listed as a game-time decision, if Green is eventually ruled out for the contest with the Warriors, Jarell Martin will likely draw the start in his place and becomes a nice play at the four.

Every Lineup Guy

Richaun HolmesRichaun Holmes FD – $4000 DK – $4200
Opponent – DEN
Proj Pts FD – 26.07 DK – 25.65
I noted in the picks article earlier today there wasn’t a whole lot that I liked about center today, and gave two options I felt confidence in. The only other play I was considering for that spot is a true value play in the form of Richaun Holmes who will likely draw the start for Philly tonight in place of the resting Joel Embiid. In the last seven games that Embiid has missed Holmes has seen his minutes tick up from just 15 against Utah in early November to an average of 25 in three games that JoJo missed last week. In those games Holmes posted FanDuel scores of 27.9, 19.2 and 31.4 FDP for an average of 6.5X value over that stretch. The Nuggets have a less than average defense against opposing centers, the 39 FPPG they allow is the thirteenth most generous in the game. There are plenty of ways to spend up tonight, but center isn’t a position we want to do so. Take the value with Holmes and run.

This post originally appeared on DFSR.com

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Daily Fantasy NBA Picks from DFSR for 12/30/17

Daily Fantasy NBA Picks from DFSR for 12/30/17

It’s Saturday night, the eve of New Years Eve, and the NBA has given us daily fantasy lovers an interesting seven game set of contests from which to build our lineups. There are a couple of high scoring projections from our friends in Vegas, some teams that love to run the boards, and some poor defenses to be taken full advantage of. So why are we wasting time here? Let’s get to the picks!!!

Point guard

Ish SmithIsh Smith FD – $6000 DK – $5500
Opponent – SA
Proj Pts FD – 31.53 DK – 31.65
Reggie Jackson is out for six to eight weeks, so it’s good news for the Pistons that they have Ish Smith who has experience as a starting point guard in this league and dazzled in his return to the starting rotation on Thursday against the Magic. Austyn recommended Ish in the picks that day and hopefully you took advantage as he paid 7X points per dollar at bare minimum salary. The price is quickly heading up on Ish, but we’ve still got plenty of room before we hit his ceiling. Particularly against a Spurs team allowing the tenth most fantasy points to opposing point guards. Smith saw 32 minutes in his first start and should be a lock for 30+ from here on out until RJax returns. In the meantime we’ve got a tremendous play at the point with a solid 5X floor. My one concern is the Spurs slowing down the Pistons already low pace of play which could limit the ceiling but as cash game plays go Smith is a lock.

Tyler JohnsonTyler Johnson FD – $6000 DK – $5800
Opponent – ORL
Proj Pts FD – 30.06 DK – 29.88
Between injuries to Goran Dragic and Dion Waiters, Tyler Johnson has been enjoying some time in the Miami Heat starting rotation these past couple of weeks and we have been enjoying locking him in as a value play for our DFS lineups. The price is starting to creep into that territory where we have to question is the value still there, but tonight in a prime matchup against the Magic, I think it’s safe to say the answer is yes. Elfrid Payton doesn’t do defense. He doesn’t even try. Johnson managed to drop 17 points with four rebounds, two assists, a block and a steal against Orlando on Tuesday good for 5X points per dollar, and I see no reason to expect him to give us any less tonight, despite his less than impressive showing last night in a blowout loss to the Nets. Tonight’s game has a modest 205 projection with just a one point spread. These are two teams that are hurting bad, so there are minutes to be had and only so many players to absorb them. Pushing into the $6K price range, has me fading Johnson in my GPP lineups, but as a cash play, he’s clearly in consideration.

Shabazz NapierShabazz Napier FD – $4800 DK – $5000
Opponent – ATL
Proj Pts FD – 31 DK – 30.97
This is the “if” play that becomes the obvious play if Damian Lillard misses a fourth game with a hamstring injury. Shabazz Napier has drawn three straight starts in Lillards place and has paid 9X PPD in each of those starts, and could have easily posted over 10X against Philly on Thursday if he didn’t struggle early on in the first half and give the ball up five times. A strong fourth quarter helped him to recover his stat line as he saw his highest point total to date of 23 and managed three steals for a third consecutive game. The Blazers head south to Atlanta next to play a Hawks team that have allowed a staggering 52.5 FDP per game over their last ten contests and if Napier can keep on the court for 35+ minutes the sky is the limit for his ceiling. It’s really quite simple: if Lillard is out, Napier is in everywhere.


Consider Andrew Harrison in GPPs against the Warriors.

Shooting Guard

Gary HarrisGary Harris FD – $6300 DK – $6100
Opponent – PHI
Proj Pts FD – 30.62 DK – 31.09
There really isn’t a whole lot to love at the two tonight, There are two plays that really stand out, and both of them come from the two games we’re going to attack the most tonight. First up we have Gary Harris and the Nuggets hosting the Sixers. We’re going to hit this game from both sides at nearly every position as it has a 215 projected total coming out of Vegas with just a 6.5 point spread. Gary Harris has no idea what the Denver bench looks like. Outside of a game against Minnesota on the 20th when he sat out with a sore elbow, Harris has played a minimum of 35 minutes in each of the Nuggets last seven games, and upwards of 42. Genrally speaking though, he does need each and every one of those minutes to hit value. He should have little trouble tonight against a Philly team ranking behind only the Bulls and Hornets in FP per game allowed to opposing shooting guards this season while playing at a lightning fast 103.3 pace factor. Harris should easily hit value tonight, and a 6X ceiling isn’t out of the question.

Jrue HolidayJrue Holiday FD – $7700 DK – $7100
Opponent – NY
Proj Pts FD – 36.48 DK – 36.72
The other game we’re going to cover a lot of ground on is the Pelicans hosting the Knicks. This one has the highest projection out of Vegas at 217 and with just a 5.5 point spread there’s really no concern of it getting out of hand. The game has a 100.3 combined pace factor, which means the fantasy points should come quickly from all angles. The first play we’re going to look at is the Pelicans shooting guard Jrue Holiday. Of the three headed monster in the bayou, Holiday is the easiest one to work into your lineups as he costs a fraction of the price of Boogie and the brow, but still provides solid fantasy production in his own right. Holiday is a lock for 30+ minutes a night and has eclipsed the 40 minute mark three times in his last ten games. In those games he has paid an average of over 7X PPD so the more time Jrue sees on the court, the more he’s going to pay off. The Knicks are an average defense at the two, allowing opponents to post 43.1 FP on average. He saw 39 minutes last night against the Mavericks but don’t let that scare you, Holiday has shown no signs of slowing down on B2B’s and ran 41 minutes on consecutive nights earlier this month. Jrue is a safe cash game play, and I can see myself getting a little tournament exposure to boot.

Consider Kent Bazemore against Portland.

Small forward

Courtney LeeCourtney Lee FD – $5600 DK – $5200
Opponent – NO
Proj Pts FD – 29.36 DK – 29.28
Courtney Lee is having himself a career season for the Knicks, and has really stepped up his game with Tim Hardaway Jr sidelined for the month of December. He’s putting up career highs in rebounds and assists, while his 45.6 shooting percentage from the field is among his top three. Now in his tenth season he shows no signs of slowing down and continues to impress. He’s posted five straight games with double digit scoring, and has eight in his last nine games. The minutes have been a little wonky, but as long as he sees over 30 he should be safe to lock in and expect a 5X PPD performance, and he’s played at least 33 in each of his last four, maxing out at 39 against the Spurs on Thursday night. The Pelicans are a league average defense against the three and in a game with a 100.3 pace and the highest projected total on the night Courtney Lee is a fantastic cash game play.

Taurean PrinceTaurean Prince FD – $5300 DK – $5100
Opponent – POR
Proj Pts FD – 26.86 DK – 26.83
Taurean Prince has been on fire lately. In his last nine games he posted career high real point totals three times. He scored 24 against Cleveland on the 12th and then again against the Heat on the 18th. Last night he eclipsed that mark by six posting 30 against the Raptors to go along with ten rebounds in 34 minutes. He ended the night with a 9.3 PPD showing against a top ten SF defense. The Blazers come to town tonight and are terrible at defending against the three giving up the sixth most fantasy PPG at the position. Vegas has yet to drop a line on this one, I assume they’re holding out until they have an idea as to what Lillards status is, but I would expect it to stay close enough for Prince to see plenty of opportunity to give us another solid outing. Prince is just priced too low given the matchup and should be considered in all formats.

Robert CovingtonRobert Covington FD – $6100 DK – $5700
Opponent – DEN
Proj Pts FD – 33.31 DK – 32.79
The Sixers head to the mile high city tonight to face the Nuggets. Robert Covington left Thursday nights game against the TrailBlazers after 24 minutes with a finger injury, and his status for tonight is up in the air, but it doesn’t seem to be too serious and if he plays the system loves him tonight in a game that Joel Embiid has already been ruled out of for rest purposes. Denver’s got an average interior defense and RoCo, who has really struggled shooting the rock lately could be a risky option if there’s any lingering effects in his finger. If he’s cleared to play and healthy, the system loves him as the top points per dollar play at the position, but I’ll probably limit him to tournaments to be on the safe side. If Covington is ruled out tonight, then Justin Anderson could be an excellent option if he draws the start and Dario Saric becomes much more intriguing as well.

Consider Kevin Durant and Lebron James of course. James will cost more, but has the much better matchup, and no blowout concern.

Power forward

Ben SimmonsBen Simmons FD – $8700 DK – $8300
Opponent – DEN
Proj Pts FD – 45.54 DK – 45.19
Sticking with the Sixers, we open up the power forward position with Ben Simmons. It wasn’t that long ago we were putting out $10K+ in salary for Simmons, so getting him in the mid $8K range is hard to pass up. Sure he’s put up some underwhelming fantasy performances in the past couple of weeks, but Simmons sees a big boost when Joel Embiid is off the court which just happens to be the case today. In the last six games that Joel has been held out Simmons has played 35 minutes and averaged 42.5 FanDuel points per game good for 5X PPD at these prices, and he’s shown 7X PPD upside against stronger defenses than what Denver will throw at him tonight. Simmons is bound to turn the heat back up again eventually, and once he does that price is going to climb back up, so now is the time to take advantage and lock him in, both in cash and tournaments.

Anthony DavisAnthony Davis FD – $10900 DK – $10500
Opponent – NY
Proj Pts FD – 54.21 DK – 54.27
Anthony Davis is now seven games returned from his most recent injury, a groin strain that led to him missing four of six games earlier this month. In those seven games back Davis has paid at least 5X PPD four times, eclipsing the 5X mark twice with three 30+ point performances and four double doubles. My one concern would be the 42 minutes the Pelicans let Davis run the boards last night, though he did run 40 and 41 minutes in back to back contests back in early November. What is of no concern is the matchup. The Knicks allow the seventh most fantasy points to opposing power forwards, and Kristaps Porzingis is certainly nothing to fear on defense, particularly against one of the best fantasy players in the game. If you can pair Davis and Simmons together, and I don’t see it being too difficult, especially if injury news breaks our way, then by all means do it. Cash. Tournament. Doesn’t matter. Just do it!

Jarell MartinJarell Martin FD – $4200 DK – $4500
Opponent – GS
Proj Pts FD – 21.82 DK – 21.34
Here’s another “if” play. If JaMychal Green misses another game with the knee injury that kept him sidelined for the Grizzlies last three contests, Jarell Martin becomes a solid option at power forward. Martin drew the start against the Lakers on Wednesday and was excellent. He ended the night two rebounds shy of a double double and posted 20 points in 31 minutes paying nearly 10X PPD. The sites were quick to raise the price on Martin, but he’s still near minimum salary across the industry, and as long as he sees another starting nod, he’s still priced to play in all formats even in a game against the Warriors with real blowout potential.

Consider Dario Saric if Covington is ruled out.

Center

Jusuf NurkicJusuf Nurkic FD – $6100 DK – $6800
Opponent – ATL
Proj Pts FD – 32.31 DK – 31.79
Center is another spot that I just don’t particularly love what we’re being given to work with, but here we go…on the value side at the five we find Jusuf Nurkic. Nurkic hit a bit of a rough stretch, giving up the rock four times against the Nuggets, and then being unable to find the hoop in a game with the Lakers, he came in well below value each time, but Thursday night against Joel Embiid and the Sixers he took a pop to the nose which seemed to shake something up in him, he ended the night with 21 points and 12 boards in 28 minutes. Tonight he draws an equally appealing match up against an Atlanta Hawks front court that is terrible against opposing bigs. Atlanta will try to counter Nurkic with Miles Plumlee and Tyler Cavanaugh, which means we should be ablate safely pencil him in for another double double. For the price, this matchup makes Nurkic an extremely safe option at the five while presenting the chance for some serious upside.

Nikola JokicNikola Jokic FD – $9500 DK – $8600
Opponent – PHI
Proj Pts FD – 46.03 DK – 47.99
If paying up at center is your thing, then consider Nikola Jokic. Sure, Boogie will probably net you more points, but for the price difference in a top ten defensive matchup with the Knicks is it worth the risk? Same with Drummond against the Spurs top five defense. Joker meanwhile draws a Philly D allowing the third most fantasy points to the position, an average of 47.7 fantasy points in the last five games, three of which have been played without Joel Embiid who will rest tonight. The Nuggets are coming off of a hard fought loss to Minnesota in which Jokic had one of his best performances since returning from an ankle injury. Philly plays one of the fastest games in the NBA and the pace up factor will benefit Joker greatly granting him more opportunities in the glass and a double double is all but guaranteed here. I’ll limit Jokic to cash games on FanDuel, but that price on DraftKings makes him an all formats play over there, and with the flex player option I’ll be pairing both of these guys up in some lines there as well. Good luck out there tonight!!

This post originally appeared on DFSR.com

Daily Fantasy NBA News and Injury Updates from DFSR for 12/23/17

Daily Fantasy NBA News and Injury Updates from DFSR for 12/23/17

What We Know

Kawhi LeonardKawhi Leonard has been ruled out tonight for the Spurs, Pau Gasol is listed as probable.
Leonard will sit this one out against Sacramento after feeling discomfort following shoot around. As is usually the case in this situation, Kyle Anderson and Rudy Gay will see extended playing time in his absence. Pau Gasol meanwhile has been upgraded to probable, which would kill any appeal of Joffrey Lauvergne, who however is a great play if Gasol does decide to sit out another game.

Jaylen BrownJaylen Brown is a probable, Shane Larkin questionable against the Bulls.
Brown already missed one game with quad soreness, and is listed as probable for tonight’s tilt with Chicago. Larkin also missed the last game with a sore knee which seems to still be a factor. If Brown plays, Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier’s playing time will see a reduction.

Donovan MitchellDonovan Mitchell is probable against the Thunder tonight.
Mitchell has missed two games with a toe contusion, and comes into tonight listed as probable for the Jazz. If Mitchell does suit up with no word of a minutes restriction, Rodney Hood will return to the bench and take a serious hit to his value.

Damian LillardDamian Lillard remains out for the Trailblazers.
Lillard will sit out at least one more for Portland with a hamstring strain. Shabazz Napier saw the start last night for Lillard and ended the evening paying 10X PPD. His price is up tonight, but he still remains a solid play in a great matchup.

Goran DragicGoran Dragic is not expected to play tonight against the Pelicans.
The Dragon has missed three games now with an elbow injury and will not play tonight against the Pelicans. Tyler Johnson remains a nice value play at the point in Dragics absence.

Dion WaitersDion Waiters left last night’s game against Dallas with a sprained ankle.
Waiters left last night’s game against the Mavericks with an ankle sprain, Miami has yet to release any word on the severity of the injury, but I would expect him to sit out the tail end of the back to back set as they exercise caution and don’t risk aggravation. If Waiters is cleared and you trust he’s healthy, he is in a great spot against a bad Pelicans defense, otherwise Josh Richardson and Wayne Ellington should see an increase in playing time.

What We’re Waiting to Know

Marc GasolMarc Gasol is doubtful, and considered a game time decision.
Gasol is dealing with a left hip issue that has him questionable going into tonight’s game with the Clippers. Brandan Wright was recently activated, and could see a hefty workload in the absence of Gasol at center. JaMychal Green is doubtful for Memphis as well, and Chandler Parsons will benefit from his absence tonight. If Gasol and Green join Mike Conley and Wayne Selden on the bench Tyreke Evans will also step up as the big playmaker for the Memphis offense.

Dennis SchroderDennis Schroder is questionable tonight for the Hawks.
Schroder has already missed one game with a sore ankle and comes into tonight’s game against the Mavericks listed as questionable. On Friday Marco Belinelli started at the two for Atlanta with Kent Bazemore sliding over to the one. We will keep an eye out for the Atlanta starting lineup to see how they plan to attack Dallas tonight if Schroder is unable to go.

Dwight HowardDwight Howard left last night’s game after four minutes with a dislocated finger.
Both Howard and Kemba Walker left the Hornets game last night early, Howard with a dislocated finger, Walker with a possible concussion after hitting his head on the floor. If these guys miss this will be huge for how our lineups shake out. Michael Carter-Williams and Frank Kaminsky will likely step into the stating rotation with Malik Monk taking a larger role of of the bench. Monk, Jeremy Lamb and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist each see a 2.8 or better bump in usage with Howard and Walker off the court.

Devin HarrisDevin Harris left last night’s game with an illness.
Harris played just eight minutes last night before leaving the game with an illness. If he isn’t feeling any better by tonights game against the Hawks, JJ Barea and Yogi Ferrell could see an increase in playing time.

Every Lineup Guys

Giannis AntetokounmpoGiannis Antetokounmpo FD – $12000 DK – $11100
Opponent – CHA
Proj Pts FD – 58.85 DK – 59.25
The two guys we are going to spotlight here are appearing in the top 25 lineups being put out by our optimizer on both FanDuel and DraftKings, which means they’re safe to play everywhere, I plan to have them in all of my lineups and you may want to as well. First up, Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Greek Freak is the priciest play across the injury but he’s an every lineup play for two reasons, first up is the performance and minutes justify the cost, he was actually just a little off last night against Charlotte, ending the night with 44.9 FDP, which paid just under 4X PPD, this one off, was his lowest fantasy score since Halloween night, so I’m hesitant to think it’s going to happen twice in a row. The other reason is all of the value. We have a LOT of injury news, big name guys with high usage and minutes up for grabs to much cheaper guys, which allows plenty of room to fit Giannis in all of our lineups. The Hornets allow 42.7 FP to opposing SF’s on average, but Giannis is anything but. Play him everywhere

Tyler JohnsonTyler Johnson FD – $6000 DK – $5400
Opponent – NO
Proj Pts FD – 32.18 DK – 31.97
Next up we have one of those cheaper value guys who is getting as starting nod and allowing ids the savings we need to lock Giannis into our lineups. Goran Dragic has missed three straight games and Tyler Johnson has thrived paying at or just over 5X PPD against the likes of Atlanta, Boston, and Dallas, all of whom rank among the middle third of defenses against point guards making them average matchups. Tonight he gets his best opportunity to date against a Pelicans team allowing opposing ones to score 47.3 fantasy points on average, only five other teams allow more to the position. This game features a 99.7 pace factor, and has a 209.5 projection out of Vegas with the Pelicans as slight favorites. It could be a big night for T.J. and if you hope to be able to afford Giannis at the three, you can’t pass up this value at the point.

This post originally appeared on DFSR.com

Daily Fantasy NBA Picks from DFSR for 12/23/17

Daily Fantasy NBA Picks from DFSR for 12/23/17

Saturday night’s alright for NBA DFS action, as we have another super solid 12 game slate laid out before us with plenty of value plays and some solid studs. There’s a thirteenth game if you count the 5PM ET game between the Sixers and the Raptors, but DraftKings doesn’t and on FanDuel you have to play their late swap contests to get access to that one, so let’s just focus on 12 game 7:00 set and check out our systems top picks.

Point guard

Shabazz NapierShabazz Napier FD – $4500 DK – $5100
Opponent – LAL
Proj Pts FD – 30.37 DK – 30.61
I’m starting this piece at about 8:00 PM ET on Friday night, so as I write this I don’t have any info on Shabazz Napier in his first of at least two starts in place of the injured Damian Lillard. If I look into my imaginary crystal Ball, I’m seeing high ownership and at the very least solid returns on a minimum priced play against the worst defense in the game. Tonight, Napier doesn’t find the fortune of the Nuggets defense again, but he gets the Lakers who are not only are mediocre at best defending the position, they also play the fastest game in the NBA. Last season Napier started the final two games of the regular season for the Blazers and averaged 28.5 points, 5 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 32 minutes over those two contests. He’s got the chops, he’ll see the minutes, the price has inflated quickly but he’s still a bargain given the opportunity and matchup. I love Russell Westbrook as much as the next guy, but point guard is just busting at the seams with value today.

Tyler JohnsonTyler Johnson FD – $6000 DK – $5400
Opponent – NO
Proj Pts FD – 32.18 DK – 31.97
This is one of those few times in the NBA season where Russell Westbrook is playing, but is not spotlighted in this article. Clearly he’s in play, if you want to spend up, have at it, but there are other places to go for that. If it’s value you seek at the point then Tyler Johnson is a solid play. Goran Dragic who missed two games already this week was ruled out for the first half of Miami’s back to back weekend set and most likely will not suit up for tonight’s tail end against the Pelicans. Johnson saw 39 and 36 minutes in the two games Dragic has already missed and stuffed the stat sheet full, wit 25 points 14 rebounds, seven assists, a block and five steals against the Hawks and Celtics. Last night he saw a bad Dallas defense and tonight he gets a Pelicans team that matches up even worse. As long as Dragon remains sidelined, consider Johnson a viable cash game option, with potential GPP upside.

Jeff TeagueJeff Teague FD – $6700 DK – $6200
Opponent – PHO
Proj Pts FD – 33.93 DK – 34.27
Jeff Teague has been just kind of cruising along under the radar since returning from an achilles injury that caused him to miss a four game stretch, but he has really turned things up in the past week. In his last three games he has averaged 34.3 minutes per game and paid 5.5X PPD on Wednesday against a terrible Nuggets defense and 6.3X against the same Phoenix Suns team he takes on tonight. In that game he was just two assists shy of a double double with 17 points, three blocks, a rebound, and a steal. It’s an ideal match up for Teague, and there’s no one in the Phoenix back court that can stop him in the perimeter. He’s a lock for 5X with potential 6X or better upside.

Consider Kemba Walker against the Bucks as long as he’s cleared to start after hitting his head last night.

Shooting Guard

Victor OladipoVictor Oladipo FD – $9300 DK – $9600
Opponent – BKN
Proj Pts FD – 45.38 DK – 45.63
In the upper echelon at the shooting guard position we find Victor Oladipo. This is one of the reasons we faded Westbrook as a pick. for significantly less, you can lock in Oladipo at the two and get a player whose raw point projection falls just short of Russ, while his PPD return is higher. Plus, Victor O. is hosting the Nets tonight. Need I say more? The Nets play fast and they play bad, we’ve been beating this drum all season long and it isn’t stopping here. They are a defense you definitely want to target. Oladipo has paid 5X PPD or better at these prices in four of his last seven games, and sure there’s blowout concern, as the Pacers are projected as 10.5 point favorites, but if this one gets out of hand it’ll be due to an Oladipo shooting clinic. In tournaments spend up at the point for Westbrook who can put up 70 without breaking a sweat, but in cash games do yourself a favor, take the value at the one and just spend up on Victor O. at the two.

C.J. McCollumC.J. McCollum FD – $7400 DK – $7700
Opponent – LAL
Proj Pts FD – 37.15 DK – 38.54
Next up we have C.J. McCollum. McCollum, like Shabazz Napier above will see a direct benefit for as long as Damien Lillard’s hamstring keeps him off the court. Vegas hasn’t dropped a line for this game yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a significant spread. If the Blazers want to win without Lillard, they will need C.J. to step up his game and take lead of the offense. McCollum should be a lock for 30-35 minutes guaranteed and will run the Portland scoring game in Lillards absence. KCP is a fine defender but the Lakers as a team are allowing opposing shooting guards to score an average of 47.7 FP this season, and over the last five games they’re putting up over 60. McCollum is once again looking be one of the safest plays on the night, and should be a lock for 5X PPD. I will once again have a ton of exposure to him in my cash games.

Lou WilliamsLou Williams FD – $7000 DK – $7000
Opponent – MEM
Proj Pts FD – 34.68 DK – 36.26
Like a fine wine, Lou Williams has just gotten better with age. with all of the injuries the Clippers have been dealing with Sweet Lou has stepped in and has been the primary source of scoring. He missed a game against San Antonio on Monday with a foot injury he suffered two days earlier in Miami, and returned a game later against Phoenix posting 18 points in 28 minutes. The Injury, and the underwhelming performances leading into, and following it, have caused a dramatic drop in Williams price, and we are getting him at a huge discount tonight albeit against a rather tough Memphis defense. Prior to the injury, Williams was posting 6XPPD at these prices on the regular, and once he shows he’s back to full health it won’t take long for the price to climb back up. If you think he’s back to form, and 30+ minutes a game, Sweet Lou is an excellent play across the board.

On the value side, I was all set to write up Dion Waiters here before he left Friday night’s game with an ankle sprain, so if he is cleared to play consider him.

Small forward

Giannis AntetokounmpoGiannis Antetokounmpo FD – $12000 DK – $11100
Opponent – CHA
Proj Pts FD – 58.85 DK – 59.25
I can’t imagine any other way to start out small forward than with Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Greek freak will eat more of your salary than any player in the game, but you simply can not argue with the returns. Night in and night out Antetokounmpo dominates the boards and just posts ridiculous numbers. In his last six games his lowest FanDuel score was 52.7 while maxing out at 67.1. Charlotte has the ninth worst defense at defending the three, and allow 42.7 FP on average, but Giannis is anything but average. He’s a beast and the Hornets interior isn’t prepared for what’s coming. This game has an attractive 210 point projection with just a 1.5 point spread!! No matter the price, Giannis may be the safest play on the board tonight, and I will have him locked in everywhere. This play is as easy as ABC.

Jonathon SimmonsJonathon Simmons FD – $6500 DK – $6500
Opponent – WAS
Proj Pts FD – 32.07 DK – 32.4
We have a members chatroom here on DFSR and last night I saw someone mention that the optimizer loves putting Jonathan Simmons in the optimal lineups. Well there’s a simple reason why that is. Just pull up the mans game log and you’ll see the definition of consistency. Orlando as I mentioned earlier is hurting just terribly with injuries to Ross, Fournier, and Gordon, and have limited options to run out there for 48 minutes a night. Simmons has been seeing 30-40 minutes per game since November 27th and outside of a stinker against the Bulls, he has at least 32.5 FP in his last six games good for 5X PPD or better in each game. The Wizards are tough on opposing small forwards, but still allow an average of 37.9 FP to the position which is more than enough to get us where we want to be. Simmons is a reasonably priced player that sees a steady run of minutes and the system will continue to love him as long as that is the case, as will I, since I’m going to have Simmons as a staple in my cash games, with maybe some tournament exposure as well.

Evan TurnerEvan Turner FD – $4500 DK – $4100
Opponent – LAL
Proj Pts FD – 23.83 DK – 24.05
Evan Turner has started eight games for the Blazers, the eighth of which hasn’t started as of this writing, but in the first seven ET has averaged 26 minutes while posting 8.4 points, 3.1 boards, 2.7 assists, and a steal per game. Its not the most impressive line, but for a lower-mid tiered priced starting small forward seeing close to 30 minutes per game, we don’t have to ask a ton either. Plus, the minutes are trending the right way, and then theres the matchup. Not only are the Lakers the worst team in basketball at defending against the three, but in the last five games they’ve allowed an average of 70.2 FP to the position. We’re just asking Turner to give us a third of that. Anything on top is gravy. I don’t know that Turner has the upside for tournaments, he clearly hasn’t shown it yet. Maybe tonight’s the night, but personally I’ll keep him reserved for cash games.

Power forward

Thaddeus YoungThaddeus Young FD – $5900 DK – $6100
Opponent – BKN
Proj Pts FD – 29.42 DK – 28.63
The Pacers played the Nets on Sunday in Brooklyn, and in that game Thad Young struggled to post a 5/3/1 line with two steals in 30 minutes of court time. He came into the game probable with a foot injury that didn’t seem to hamper him any against the Pacers two nights earlier, though he probably should’ve sat the game against the Nets out. Nevertheless, he certainly seems to be doing just fine now, and put together solid performances against the Celtics and the Hawks earlier this week and tonight will take on the Nets once again in Indiana. Brooklyn, surprise surprise, is the second worst defense at the four in the game, and Young who paid over 5X PPD in three of his six games prior to the foot injury should be back to form in no time, and before long the price will be back in the mid $6K range. Now is the time to buy in.

Kelly OlynykKelly Olynyk FD – $7000 DK – $5900
Opponent – NO
Proj Pts FD – 35.5 DK – 36.51
This is a play I prefer much more on DraftKings, than on FanDuel where I think they’re asking an awful lot from Kelly Olynyk to hit the 5X mark. Sure he lit Boston up for a 6.5X PPD payday, but that was one game. He’s only paid 5X one other time since going the starting squad with the loss of Hassan Whiteside, Justise Winslow, and James Johnson. On DraftKings however Olynyk is an excellent play at the four, good for about 30 minutes a night and facing the worst team in the game at the position. Vegas has yet to drop a line on this game, but I fully expect the projected total to run on the higher side. PF is just a mine field everywhere you look tonight, so if based on the matchup you choose to play Olynyk on FD, he is coming in at 5X in the early run of the system, but I’m going to hope for some value to pop up somewhere, On DraftKings however, I’ll have Olynyk in all formats.

Taj GibsonTaj Gibson FD – $5900 DK – $5900
Opponent – PHO
Proj Pts FD – 28.13 DK – 27.69
We haven’t really given this game much attention, but at a position as shaky as PF is tonight, I love the safety that Taj Gibson represents. We’re basically just going to pick on the worst of the worst defensively at the position as the Timberwolves are in Phoenix tonight taking on a Suns team that is behind only Brooklyn and New Orleans as bad defenses go at the four. The Suns 104.5 pace factor will force Minnesota to speed things up, and this game has the highest projection of the handful I have from Vegas right now at 216.5 and should stay reasonably close. Gibson meanwhile, is coming off of some less than impressive performances against Portland and Denver, but should have a nice bounce back game against a defense allowing opposing PF’s to average 23 points and 12.3 rebounds on them. The price on Gibson is just now starting to climb, but as long as he remains a sub $6K guy, he’s going to remain one of my favorites at a position that is hard to trust.

Consider Derrick Favors against the Thunder.

Center

Joffrey LauvergneJoffrey Lauvergne FD – $3500 DK – $3000
Opponent – SAC
Proj Pts FD – 23.43 DK – 24.18
Joffrey Lauvergne drew the start at center for the Spurs on Thursday night with Pau Gasol sidelined with a groin injury. Pop has already ruled Gasol out for tonight’s game against the Kings which means Lauvergne should be in consideration once again for the starters minutes. Against Utah on Thursday Lauvergne dropped 11 points and snagged six rebounds, which isn’t much but was enough to get him to the 5X PPD mark, and that was against one of the top three defenses at center. Tonight he gets a bottom three defense which just adds to the appeal. There is no time table for Gasol’s return, but as long as he is out, JL is an excellent consideration in all formats particularly in a matchup such as this.

Nikola JokicNikola Jokic FD – $8300 DK – $7600
Opponent – GS
Proj Pts FD – 42.42 DK – 44.44
If Lauvergne doesn’t do it for you, or you just have a ton of extra salary laying around that you want to spend up at the five, then look no further than Nikola Jokic. The Joker is back to seeing his full compliment of minutes, running the board for 36 against the Timberwolves in his third game back from a seven game absence due to an ankle injury. He’ll play a Warriors team that is average at best defending against big men, and who have struggled to blow teams out since losing Steph Curry seven games ago. This should provide Jokic with ample opportunity to see a ton of minutes, while still being priced well over $1K less than he was before going out with the injury. Joker has a solid 5X floor and as long as the game stays close he could push 7X.

Consider Marcin Gortat against Orlando.

This post originally appeared on DFSR.com

Daily Fantasy NBA Picks from DFSR for 12/19/17

Daily Fantasy NBA Picks from DFSR for 12/19/17

Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings – 12/19/17

Welcome back daily fantasy hoops lovers to another edition of NBA Tuesday. We’re back to the micro-slates with three games on the docket for this evening, and no shortage of high priced studs. So let’s dive right in and see who is worth paying up for and if we can’t find a little bit of value to allow us to fit them in. On to the picks!

Point guard

Eric BledsoeEric Bledsoe FD – $7100 DK – $6700
Opponent – CLE
Proj Pts FD – 33.5 DK – 33.77
Eric Bledsoe didn’t want to be in Phoenix. It seems he’s much more content in Milwaukee though. Since being dealt by the Suns in early November Bledsoe has really taken to his new role in the Milwaukee offense, scoring in double digits in all but one game and posting 20+ in three of his last six which isn’t always easy when sharing court time with Giannis. Cleveland can be a tall order for opposing point guards, but its a slim pickin’s kind of night. If Giannis is tangled up with LeBron all night Bledsoe could be called upon to lead the ball to the basket more, and for the cost is one of the safer plays at the position tonight.

George HillGeorge Hill FD – $4700 DK – $4600
Opponent – PHI
Proj Pts FD – 20.9 DK – 21.59
Next up we have George Hill. The Kings are in Philly tonight and the question we have to ask ourselves here is do we think Hill will continue to see 30 minutes? Over his last three games Hill has played 28, 29, and 33 averaging 17 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game. Hill has turned his game up over the past few weeks, and as long as he keeps dropping double digit scores we have to hope he’s rewarded with continued playing time, but this is still the Kings we are talking about. I’ll feel more confident in the minutes if De’Aaron Fox sits out another one, but even if Fox plays, Hill provides us with value that is going to be needed elsewhere, so we might have to take a gamble on those minutes.

John WallJohn Wall FD – $9500 DK – $8800
Opponent – NO
Proj Pts FD – 38.02 DK – 37.92
John Wall is three games back from a knee injury that kept him sidelined for just about a month, and it seems he’s pretty much gotten all of the kinks out. His minutes have increased from 27 in his return to 32 against Cleveland on Sunday where he posted a double double with 15 points and ten boards. If not for that missed month I have a feeling we would be paying over $10K for Wall at this point in the season, and though he hasn’t paid a full 5X at the FanDuel price, he is still a solid play. We’re projecting on the lower side of his minutes here and he’s coming in at 4X PPD. He’ll be tasked with Rajon Rondo tonight which means only good things can happen. I prefer him much more on DK where he is coming at significant savings, but if you think he sees another 32 minutes if not maybe a little more then Wall is a fine play across the board.

Shooting Guard

E'Twaun MooreE’Twaun Moore FD – $4600 DK – $4600
Opponent – WAS
Proj Pts FD – 23.92 DK – 24.06
We really want to find value at the two, you’ll see why in a moment, so I’m going to give you two solid lower tiered plays before giving you a guy you can pay up for if that’s how you want to roll. First up in our el cheapo plays we have E’Twaun Moore of the Pelicans. Moore and the Pelicans are in Washington to take on a Wizards team that is average at best defending the position. The match up and the price alone almost make Moore a must play, though I hate using that term on slates like this. Moore got beat up by a tough Denver defense on Friday, but before that he had a steady string of games paying 5X PPD or better including a stop in Houston where he ended the night over 9X PPD in 41 minutes. That is as much an outlier as the Denver game was, and the true Moore lies in the 26.74 fantasy points he averaged in the other five of his last seven games, good for nearly 6X PPD at these prices. Again, I don’t like the term “must have” on slates like this, but I plan to have a ton of exposure to Moore tonight.

J.J. RedickJ.J. Redick FD – $5600 DK – $5400
Opponent – SAC
Proj Pts FD – 27.43 DK – 29.05
I’m not going to touch on this game near as much as I would like to, I think it could make for a sneaky game stack, but with word that Embiid expects to play tonight, that’s going to swipe a lot of value off the table. One play that is hard to ignore though is JJ Redick. Redick is relishing his time in Philly. Though I would’ve preferred to see much more production out of the 50 minutes he was on the boards in Friday’s triple OT loss to the Thunder, Redick’s presence in the Philly back court has been undeniable this season. He’s scored 19 or more points in five of his last six contests and can be counted on for about 33 minutes in regulation. His lack of peripherals leave something to be desired, but since scoring is where his bread is buttered, facing a Sacramento team allowing shooting guards to score 25.3 points per game this season is all we really need to know. Philly is favored by 8.5 points, and Sacramento’s maple syrup slow pace of play may bring his game down a bit, but for the cost, I love the safety and the potential upside that Redick represents.

Khris MiddletonKhris Middleton FD – $7800 DK – $7300
Opponent – CLE
Proj Pts FD – 37.51 DK – 38.24
If you’re going to attempt to pay up at shooting guard then ignore Bradley Beal who is still priced as though John Wall is sitting courtside, and instead look to Khris Middleton. We’re going to spend a lot of time on this game as you’ll soon see. The Freaks wingman, Middleton is stuffing the stat sheet nicely for the Bucks, dishing the ball to Giannis or taking matters into his own hands when the freak is locked in coverage. in 8 games this month Middleton is averaging 22.9 points, 4.75 rebounds, and 4.75 assists, and a steal per game in 37 minutes. He’s crushed value twice in that stretch while coming in at, or just below 5X each other time, as safe plays go, Middleton’s among the safest on the slate.

Small forward

LeBron JamesLeBron James FD – $12000 DK – $11600
Opponent – MIL
Proj Pts FD – 57.32 DK – 58.56
It’s the clash of the titans in Milwaukee as LeBron leads the Cavaliers into town to take on the Giannis and the Bucks. We’ll break down each play individually as they’re our favorite two ways to pay up on this slate, though not necessarily the only way. First up the King. LeBron James has been incredibly hot lately, paying 5X or better on these prices in four of his last seven games. He’s on a streak of three straight triple doubles, which ties a career high mark, he’s playing ridiculous minutes even in back to back sets as he tries to lead the Cavs to catch up with the Celtics for the top record in the east. The Bucks are one of the stingiest defenses in the game at the position, but that doesn’t apply to James who dropped 30 in 36 minutes coming 2 baords and an assist shy of a tripe double the last time these two teams met.

Giannis AntetokounmpoGiannis Antetokounmpo FD – $12300 DK – $11400
Opponent – CLE
Proj Pts FD – 57.92 DK – 58.46
Then we have Giannis. The Greek Freak has been no slouch this season either. Averaging 41 minutes per game over his last five contests, scoring 27 or more points per game in that stretch with three double doubles, and 13 steals. Giannis has had a bit of a harder time justifying his price compared to James, but he has dealt with some tough defenses in the past several games as well. The Cavaliers rank dead last defensively at the position and in his last meeting with Cleveland he posted 40 points in 40 minutes to go along with nine rebounds, three assists, and three blocks. Vegas has this game set at a 217 total with just a 1.5 point spread so look for both of these guys to be in it until the end and put up monster fantasy value. The only question is can you fit both, and if not how do you choose? They lead the way in PPD projections at the position with James gaining the edge on FD where he’s slightly cheaper and Giannis on DK for the same reason.

If you can’t fit both LeBron and Giannis, and Otto Porter is ruled out again, (and that seems likely) the system is putting Kelly Oubre Jr. above both of these guys for PPD projection in that scenario.

Power forward

Markieff MorrisMarkieff Morris FD – $4600 DK – $4600
Opponent – NO
Proj Pts FD – 23.51 DK – 23.4
I’m digging for value here, so we can fit both James and Giannis if need be, and the value is coming up nicely at the four with Markieff Morris of the Wizards. Morris leads the PPD projections at the position and is carrying a very attractive price tag on both sites. He and the Wizards welcome Anthony Davis and the defensively lacking Pelicans to Capital One Arena. There’s no early line from Vegas for this game, though I wouldn’t be surprised to see it top the MIL/CLE game with the highest total of the night, while New Orleans tendency to run the boards should speed up Washington’s average pace of play. Morris tweaked his neck on Sunday against the Cavs but they X-Rayed it and he was cleared to return to the game, so he should be fine after the day of rest on Monday, but if the Wiz decide to hold him out on the side of caution, Mike Scott could become a solid source of value.

John HensonJohn Henson FD – $5500 DK – $4500
Opponent – CLE
Proj Pts FD – 25.52 DK – 24.22
I told you we were going to attack this game from all angles. John Henson continues to roll with the Milwaukee starters and can be counted on for about 25-30 minutes per night. He’s not going to light up the score board, but he will do just enough to justify the price tag. He maintains a constant presence in the glass averaging 6.7 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game, and can really build the fantasy value when he mixes in a little scoring action to boot, as he did with double digit scoring in four of his last six games. If he can just stay out of foul trouble, Henson isn’t shy about making his presence known up front and should be able to dominate against a Cavs team allowing the second most fantasy points to opposing PF’s in their last five games.

Anthony DavisAnthony Davis FD – $11200 DK – $10100
Opponent – WAS
Proj Pts FD – 51.59 DK – 51.86
Let me start out by saying that we plan to prioritize Giannis and James, but if things just don’t shake out and the value isn’t there to fit a pair of $12K guys into our lineups, Anthony Davis is a place to pivot, particularly on DraftKings. Let’s just leave the injury nonsense at the door and look at the numbers. The glass brow is now four games returned from a groin injury and has eclipsed 40 minutes in two of those games while posting two straight double doubles and knocking down 14 blocks. He’s averaged 56.16 fantasy points in his last three games and will face a Wizards team allowing 20.1 points and 12.2 boards to the position per game. This is just a contingency play if we need a pivot in cash, while also an intriguing tournament option on DK, but Davis is certainly in consideration.

Center

Willie Cauley-SteinWillie Cauley-Stein FD – $6000 DK – $5200
Opponent – PHI
Proj Pts FD – 29.41 DK – 28.32
Kosta KoufosKosta Koufos FD – $4000 DK – $3400
Opponent – PHI
Proj Pts FD – 21.87 DK – 21.35
These two shared the court as starters together for the first time on Sunday with Zach Randolph ruled out for rest purposes, and complimented each other nicely. Cauley-Stein ended the night with a 12/6/4/2 line in 33 minutes, while Koufos went 6/6/4/1 with two steals in 25 minutes, paying 5X and 6.3X PPD respectively. I expect Randolph will be back in play with the starting squad tonight, but if these two find themselves starting together again then either can be considered as a solid value play at the five, a position where on a normal night we might look to pay up but tonight value is key. Embiid is risky with his recent back issues, Boogie is just too expensive to afford against a solid Washington defense, and Love has paid value just once in his last six games. If Z-Bo starts, sending Koufos back to the bench then of course, only WCS is in play, but if both start then consider WCS in cash with Koufos as a fantastic tournament play.

Marcin GortatMarcin Gortat FD – $4300 DK – $4700
Opponent – NO
Proj Pts FD – 24.57 DK – 24.53
The price on Marcin Gortat just continues to drop. He is now at season lows across the industry. He’s been pretty terrible lately, but once again, we don’t want to pay up at the position and for the price, we don’t have to ask a whole lot of him in cash games. He still sees 25-30 minutes per game and if he can just piece together nine points, eight boards, and mix in an assist, block, steal, or two, then we’ll have all we need to get us to the 5X PPD threshold. Center’s just not a pretty position tonight. I prefer the Kings, but if Koufos is back on the bench and you can’t afford WCS, then Gortat is really the only other place to go.

Good luck out there tonight!!

This post originally appeared on DFSR.com

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

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

Point guard

Jeff TeagueJeff Teague FD – $6500 DK – $6500
Opponent – PHI
Proj Pts FD – 33.02 DK – 33.32
Welcome back to another edition of NBA Tuesday. Tonight we are the lucky recipients of a seven game schedule of hoops action, which presents a nice change of pace from the usual Tuesday micro-slates we’ve seen throughout the most of the season. Unlike last night, where Austyn had the unenviable task of telling you to play a bunch of guys who could never fit into your lineups together due to a lack of value, we only have a handful of studs in the top tier tonight, and there are plenty of value plays, some of which may turn your stomach, but we’ll ride this out to the end together. We start out at point guard with Jeff Teague of the Timberwolves, who host the Sixers tonight. Teague was an every lineup play on Sunday against the Mavericks, and let us down royally. In 35 minutes on the court against a terrible Dallas defense he was virtually nonexistent. Live to fight another day though, and today Teague finds himself paired up with a Sixers team that is average defensively at best when defending the point. In spite of Sunday’s dud, this pace up contest with Philly should present Teague with a nice chance to bounce back, and though I’ll have most of my exposure in cash games, I like the thought of Teague in tournaments where he could go low owned, and be a nice sneaky option as well.

Spencer DinwiddieSpencer Dinwiddie FD – $7000 DK – $6100
Opponent – WAS
Proj Pts FD – 33.37 DK – 33.33
In the absence of D’Angelo Russell, Spencer Dinwiddie is emerging as a solid fantasy play, while helping the Nets to climb towards .500 and stay out of the east’s basement. Since Russell went down with his knee injury, Dinwiddie has fallen below the 30 minute mark in just two games, most recently against Russell Westbrook and the Thunder last week when he fell into early foul trouble. He’s flirted with double doubles twice in the past four games, while filling out the stat sheet nicely. He’ll take on a Wizard’s team tonight, that will either start Tim Frazier once again, or could possibly start John Wall back from injury after nearly three weeks, and who will probably be on a minutes restriction. Either way, it’s a nice spot for Dinwiddie to be in and he’s got a solid cash game floor.

De'Aaron FoxDe’Aaron Fox FD – $4700 DK – $4700
Opponent – PHO
Proj Pts FD – 25.81 DK – 25.95
Remember when I mentioned some of the plays may turn your stomach, well here we are. De’Aaron Fox has paid less than 2X Points per dollar in three of his last six games. He’s got more turnovers than he does rebounds or assists in that stretch, and his minutes are all over the place. That said, the Kings, who play the third slowest game in basketball find themselves in a pace up contest against the worst defense in the league tonight. The Suns run a 104.5 pace factor and are allowing the most fantasy points to opposing point guards, 52.4 over the last ten games. From time to time the number five pick in the draft puts it together, and tonight has all the pieces in place for him to do just that. There’s a ton of risk here, but also potential upside for days.

Shooting Guard

Andrew WigginsAndrew Wiggins FD – $5900 DK – $6000
Opponent – PHI
Proj Pts FD – 27.85 DK – 28.12
Point guard was tough, and shooting guard doesn’t get any better. We start out with another Timberwolf in their game with the Sixers. Andrew Wiggins has been slumping hard in December and we get him now at a season low price on both sites. He struggled to get to ten points against the Mavericks on Sunday, and didn’t contribute much of anything else to the stat sheet either. Wiggins is very scoring dependent and the shot just hasn’t been falling in the past few games. Philadelphia however is at their weakest at the two and are allowing opposing shooting guards to score 30.2 real points per game this season. Wiggins has shown the capability to score 20+ points a game, and at nearly 37 minutes per game, the opportunity is there, he just needs to find his shot once again. It’s risky, sure, but for the price and the matchup you have to like Wiggins chances to put it together tonight. Besides, it doesn’t get much better from here.

Avery BradleyAvery Bradley FD – $5300 DK – $5200
Opponent – DEN
Proj Pts FD – 25.42 DK – 25.94
Avery Bradley is another guy who is very scoring dependent. His move to Motor City has his rebounding numbers down, as he now shares court time with Andre Drummond who dominates in the glass. To his favor, Bradley has been scoring much better than Wiggins over that past couple of weeks including a solid 25 point performance against the Warriors on Friday night. He comes to us cheaper than Wiggins, though at a tradeoff of minutes, as Bradley is good for just about 30 per game. Don’t let the matchup fool you either. Denver is ranked the sixth best defense at the position this season, but over the past five games, they’re the sixth worst and are allowing over 55 fantasy points to opposing SG’s. If Bradley can keep sinking his shots, he’s an excellent cash play.

Kent BazemoreKent Bazemore FD – $5500 DK – $5300
Opponent – CLE
Proj Pts FD – 27.22 DK – 27.21
The question on any given night when the Hawks play, is “What Kent Bazemore will we see tonight?”. It could be the guy who posted a 19/6/7/1/3 line in just 27 minutes against the Magic paying 8X PPD, or it could be the 9/4/3 line we saw on Sunday against the Knicks for 3X. The real Bazemore lies somewhere in between, and shouldn’t see much trouble giving us a 5X performance tonight against the Cavaliers who hold the tenth worst defense at the position. I haven’t made any mention of Vegas projections tonight, and that’s because as it stands I only have lines on four of the seven games. This is one I don’t have a line on, The Cavs tend to play down to their opponents quite often though, so even if it does get out of hand, I’d expect Atlanta to hang in there long enough for Bazemore to see 30 or so minutes and have plenty of chance to pay value. Nothing at the position tonight screams safety, but these three plays allow us to escape with minimal salary commitment.

Consider Bradley Beal if John Wall remains out.

Small forward

LeBron JamesLeBron James FD – $12600 DK – $11800
Opponent – ATL
Proj Pts FD – 61.41 DK – 63.69
We’ve made it to small forward, and it’s not all smooth sailing from here on out, but it does promise to look better than what we’ve been working with in our back court. Case in point, the King. LeBron James is the top priced play across the industry tonight and projects for the highest raw point total as well. Best of all, we should have little trouble fitting him in to our lineups, with only two other plays in the $10K+ club tonight and all the value plays we’re looking at. There isn’t a whole lot else I can say about this play. The Hawks have no one who can defend against James, and he is a top candidate in all formats. If he doesn’t end the night with a triple double I’ll be shocked. The only concern would be in the way he was holding his hamstring towards the end of Saturdays game against the Sixers, but he hasn’t shown up on any injury reports, so hopefully it’s all good.

DeMarre CarrollDeMarre Carroll FD – $5700 DK – $5500
Opponent – WAS
Proj Pts FD – 28.69 DK – 28.83
The Nets are back on U.S. soil, and hopefully that means DeMarre Carroll is back as well. He had two of his worst performances of the season as the Nets played a two game set in Mexico City against the Thunder and the Heat. Perhaps the altitude got to him, whatever the case, the Nets are back in the Barclays center and Carroll will look to get back on track tonight against the Wizards. Before heading south of the border, Carroll had scored in double digits in eight of his last ten games, while averaging 7.2 boards in that span. Of the games I do have projections on, this one has one of the highest totals at 212 with Washington sitting at just a three point favorite. Carroll should have no problem getting 30+ minutes, especially if he picks up additional time at power forward with the departure of Trevor Booker. I love Carroll in cash games.

T.J. WarrenT.J. Warren FD – $8000 DK – $6900
Opponent – SAC
Proj Pts FD – 37.12 DK – 36.48
With Devin Booker ruled out for two to three weeks with a groin injury, FanDuel has been quick to correct T.J. warren’s price, while DraftKings is a little slower getting there. This makes Warren a fantastic play on DraftKings, though he isn’t out of the question on FanDuel either. In two games without Booker, Warren has scored 47 points in an average of 37 minutes per game with 11 boards and three assists. This matchup with the Kings comes at the perfect time for Warren, as they’ve allowed 52.6 points to opposing small forwards in their last five games despite playing one of the slowest games in the NBA, and Phoenix will force them to speed it up tonight. On DraftKing’s that price screams upside, and I’ll have Warren in all formats, while on FanDuel he’s purely a cash game play.

Power forward

Taj GibsonTaj Gibson FD – $5300 DK – $6000
Opponent – PHI
Proj Pts FD – 29.3 DK – 28.88
Back to Minnesota once more, and power forward Taj Gibson. Despite a couple of rocky outings against the Thunder and most recently the Mavericks, Gibson has been one of the most reliable players at the four this season from a fantasy perspective, and doesn’t eat a ton of your salary in the process. His prices hovers consistently in the $5-$5.5K range (a little higher on DraftKings) and he’s been a double double machine with five in his last eight games, while averaging 37 minutes per game in that stretch. The Sixers may be at their worst at defending the two, but they’re not much better at the four, allowing 20.9 points and 10.2 rebounds to opposing power forwards. Gibson leads the PPD projections in our system tonight, and is a top play in all formats.

Kenneth FariedKenneth Faried FD – $5500 DK – $5200
Opponent – DET
Proj Pts FD – 28.4 DK – 27.99
Since Nikola Jokic has gone down with an ankle injury, coach Malone has varied between Mason Plumlee and Kenneth Faried as the starting center, but even when Plumlee draws the start, Faried sees the minutes, 62 in the past two games off the bench in which he’s scored 24 points and snagged 21 boards. In 23 games this year, Faried is shooting 58.4% from the field. He’s also averaging 5.2 rebounds per game, which has nearly doubled to 9.6 per since Jokic has gone down. Not bad for a player that will only eat about 10% of your salary. Faried is in play in all formats.

Zach RandolphZach Randolph FD – $7500 DK – $7100
Opponent – PHO
Proj Pts FD – 38.25 DK – 40.36
Willie Cauley-Stein is a game-time decision after taking part in the Kings practice on Monday. If he plays, that will move Zach Randolph back to the power forward spot, though I don’t think we need to necessarily worry about that impacting Z-Bo’s performance, as he has been hot since the calendar flipped to December, even prior to WCS going down for a three game stretch. In five December contests Randolph has averaged 23.8 points, 10.8 boards, and 2.8 assists in 32.5 minutes per game, and has paid over 6X PPD at these prices in three of those five. Then there’s the matchup, whether he’s playing center or power forward, Z-Bo is looking at a golden opportunity against a Suns team that can’t defend against either. Over the last five games they’ve allowed a ridiculous 67.5 fantasy points to opposing power forwards. That’s what happens when you play really fast and really bad. I think WCS will probably play tonight, but either way it doesn’t change my feelings on this pick. Z-Bo everywhere.

Center

Andre DrummondAndre Drummond FD – $9200 DK – $9400
Opponent – DEN
Proj Pts FD – 45.87 DK – 46.72
I’m going to start out center with my second choice at the position, and you’ll see why in a moment. Andre Drummond is having a career season now in his sixth year in Detroit. He’s posting career highs in rebounding (15.3), assists (3.8), and steals (1.5) per game. He’s coming off of two of his worst outings of the season against the Celtics and the Warriors where over the two games he scored only 14 points. Boston at least is the second best defense at the position, hard to say what happened against Golden State. The Dubs defense was all over him, keeping him locked in the paint with Kevin Durant shutting him down on three separate occasions. Denver has a bottom three defense at the position this season, and has been even worse since losing Joker. Joel Embiid is my top pick at center, and we’ll touch on him in a moment, but for absolute safety, Andre Drummond is the way to go at a position that has a lot of landmines tonight.

Joel EmbiidJoel Embiid FD – $10800 DK – $10100
Opponent – MIN
Proj Pts FD – 53.23 DK – 54.73
Such a mixture of emotions here. I’m a Sixers fan. I’m a huge Joel Embiid fan. Even beyond basketball, if you’re not following him on Twitter, do so, he’s as entertaining there as he is on the court. but man, is the process on my $#!+ list right now. If you’re like me, you had a ton of exposure to Embiid on Sunday when the Sixers played in New Orleans. The narrative was, Embiid, who doesn’t play both games of a back-to-back would rest in Cleveland on Saturday and be fresh to go on Sunday against the Pelicans. Then about 7:05ET, 5 minutes after lock, “Joel Embiid is a late scratch with back tightness” the tweets and notifications read. So yeah, my night was shot along with plenty others. Currently, Embiid is listed as questionable, and if he doesn’t play Richaun Holmes could be in for another big night. If Embiid does play however, he should be well rested and in for a solid game against the Wolves. He’s paid 5X or better at these prices in three of his last four games played, with three double doubles in that stretch and 13 blocks. Proceed with caution, but if he’s cleared to play, Embiid is the next best way to pay up tonight after LeBron, and with the value we’ve looked at, locking both in shouldn’t be too hard.

Enes KanterEnes Kanter FD – $6600 DK – $6400
Opponent – LAL
Proj Pts FD – 31.09 DK – 32.97
Strictly a GPP play here. Enes Kanter has been very boom or bust since coming over to the Knicks from OKC but when he booms he booms big. Kanter is a beast in the paint averaging a double double this season with 13.4 points and 10.3 rebounds in just 25 minutes per game. Since coming back from a three game absence due to back spasms late last month Kanter has flashed 6X upside at these prices twice while posting four double doubles in six contests. He’s certainly not the safest option on the slate but he sees a potential for tremendous upside against a Lakers team that possesses the fifth worst defense at the five while playing at a ridiculous 105.1 pace factor. If you don’t have the salary for Embiid, or Embiid is ruled out, then consider Kanter as a low cost high upside alternative at center.

Good luck out there tonight!!

This post originally appeared on DFSR.com

Daily Fantasy NBA News and Injury Updates from DFSR for 12/10/17

***Updated for the 7PM Main slate***

What We Know

Jameer NelsonJameer Nelson has been ruled out for the Pelicans.
Nelson will miss the game against the Sixers tonight with an ankle issue. Rajon Rondo will return to action following a rest day on Friday, while Anthony Davis, who passed his 25 minute restriction on Friday with 30 by the end of the night, will have no restriction tonight.

Dennis Smith Jr.Dennis Smith Jr. will miss a second straight contest as the Mavericks head to Minnesota.
Smith is dealing with a hip strain, and was questionable heading into Friday’s tilt with the Bucks, before the team ultimately ruled him out of that game and tonight’s contest with the Wolves. JJ Barea, Devin Harris and Yogi Ferrell were all likely candidates to see a bump in workload with Smith sidelined, but none lit the world on fire with their performances on Friday.

Robert CovingtonRobert Covington and T.J. McConnell are both out for the Sixers trip to New Orleans.
Covington fell into the stands in the fourth quarter of last night’s loss to the Cavaliers, and bruised his back in the process. The team will rest him on the tail end off the back to back as they play the Pelicans tonight. McConnell has missed four of the last five games with a shoulder injury and will be sidelined once again tonight. Jerryd Bayless has seen extended time in McConnells absence but hasn’t done much with it, though if with both RoCo and T.J. out, that could add to his playing time, while Timothy Luwawu-Cabarot will start in Covington’s spot. In positive Sixers news, Joel Embiid, who was rested last night, will play the tail end of the B2B set tonight.

Nikola JokicNikola Jokic remains out for the Nuggets.
The Joker will miss game number five with a sprained left ankle, Mason Plumlee and Kenneth Faried will continue to absorb the bulk of Jokic’s minutes.

Willie Cauley-SteinWillie Cauley-Stein will not rejoin the Kings when they host the Raptors today.
WCS was held back from the Kings recent two game road trip with a lower back strain, and is apparently still nursing the injury. Look for the Kings to keep Zach Randolph at the center spot with JaKarr Sampson starting once again at power forward with Cauley-Stein out for a third straight. He’ll be joined on the bench by George Hill, who will miss for personal reasons.

Marcus MorrisMarcus Morris is out against the Pistons.
The Celtics have been monitoring Morris’ knee all season after he missed several games early on due to strain, and will hold him out once again, likely leading to Jayson Tatum seeing some extended playing time.

What We’re Waiting to Know

Darren CollisonDarren Collison, Lance Stephenson, Thad Young, and Bojan Bogdanovic are all questionable for the Pacers.
This is the sticky wicket of the day. This game is the last one on the early set, and has the most question marks hanging around it. Whether or not we get news in time will definitely impact the way we lay out our early lineups, as the game has the highest point total projection, and fastest pace of play in the trio of early afternoon contests. The Pacers walked away from their game on Friday against the Cavaliers with a win, but possibly at a cost. Collison was held back in the fourth quarter Friday with soreness in the knee he has been nursing all season long. Young, Bogdanovic, and Stephenson all also are dealing with assorted ailments following Fridays win. Depending on who plays and who sits, T.J. Leaf, Cory Joseph, Joe Young, and Al Jefferson, could all be in line for more minutes for this afternoons game with the Nuggets. Hopefully we get more word on the situation before lock.

Every Lineup Guys

EARLY
Victor OladipoVictor Oladipo FD – $9600 DK – $9000
Opponent – DEN
Proj Pts FD – 43.66 DK – 43.68
As we await word on the number of questionable plays the Pacers may have unavailable for this afternoon’s contest with the Nuggets, we know Victor Oladipo is available and ready to go, and on the early set of games he is appearing everywhere in our system for the early slate. ‘Dipo has been playing a whole different game since his knee held him out of a game against the Celtics a couple of weeks back. James broke down the specifics of his stats in the picks article, so I won’t retread that info. Oladipo’s price has been steadily on the rise, but there is still room for it to climb if he’s going to continue playing at the current level. In six games back from that missed game, he has paid 5X or better at these current prices four times. Today he plays in the early game with the highest projected total, and may be one of the only starters the Pacers have available so he should have no problem pushing the minutes to the max. In the early slate I think you definitely want to make sure you have exposure to Oladipo in cash games.

MAIN
Ben SimmonsBen Simmons FD – $10300 DK – $10100
Opponent – NO
Proj Pts FD – 53.17 DK – 53.9
The main slate of three night cap games begins with two 7ET tip-offs, one of which sees Ben Simmons and the Sixers heading to the Bayou to visit the Pelicans. Simmons is showing himself to be a exceptional young talent in his rookie campaign with superstar potential, and is very exciting to watch, He’ll have Embiid back on the court with him tonight, which on most night’s might hurt his value, but tonight actually helps his case, as Boogie and Davis will be occupied with keeping Embiid in check. Though listed as a power forward, Simmons is more of a new generational “point forward”, and New Orleans has no one that can match both Simmons’ size AND speed, so he will basically have free run of the court all night. The likelihood that Philly will be playing without Robert Covington just adds to Simmons’ appeal. This game has the highest projection from our friends in Vegas by nearly 15 points and features two of the fastest offenses in the game. Simmons will be the play of the night, and I for one will have him locked in for all formats.

Jeff TeagueJeff Teague FD – $7000 DK – $6500
Opponent – DAL
Proj Pts FD – 34.67 DK – 34.9
Simmons has fallen out of “every lineup” territory since my early post, and is now appearing in just over half of the top lines put out by our optimizer, I’m leaving him here as I feel he is still the best way to pay up in cash games tonight. Now showing up everywhere as we draw closer to lock we have Jeff Teague of the Timberwolves. Teague comes to us much cheaper than Simmons, and plays the Mavericks who are the second worst team at defending the point in the game, behind only the Pelicans and will be without Dennis Smith Jr. tonight. Teague returned from a four game absence due to an achilles injury and hasn’t missed a beat. Since rejoining the rotation, he’s averaging 34.5 minutes per game and outside of a tough game against a Grizzlies team that are the stingiest defense in the game at the position, He’s consistently paying value at these prices. Teague may not have tournament upside, but he, along with Simmons, is an excellent way to go in cash on this three game micro main slate.

This post originally appeared on DFSR.com