Plays of the Day
Value: Despite the fact that his matchup is less than ideal, Terrance Jones’ price is certainly is. I’m going on the assumption that Anthony Davis will be sitting this one out. He’s currently dealing with a lower leg injury which the team does seem concerned about. It would be shocking if they took any chances at all with their franchise player. Jones will see a bump in minutes. He’s already posted between 25 and 30 points with AD active the past three games while averaging just 25 minutes per. Last time Davis sat out Jones played 38 minutes and posted 40.8 Fantasy points (FD). He also topped 30 minutes in the game prior and after and totaled 34.5 and 36.4 points in those games.
Fade: Davis would be the easy way to go here since he hasn't been ruled out, but I'll avoid that move. So I'm fading Gordon Hayward today. The Memphis Grizzlies are allowing the second-fewest Fantasy points to opposing small forwards, and he's coming off back-to-back underwhelming outings against the far less stout Thunder and Maverick defenses. You are better off saving your money here and grabbing one of the cheaper small forwards who hold more value in this slate.
Games to Target
Orlando Magic (+5 1/2) hosting Toronto Raptors (over/under 218)
Philadelphia 76ers (+2 ½) hosting Brooklyn Nets (over/under 216)
Kyle Lowry (TOR) @ORL FD: $8,500/DK: $8,600
Lowry has been on a roll all season and has a decent matchup in this one against the Orlando Magic. They are allowing the 11th most points to opposing point guards. He has to be considered the top PG on this slate. Especially when you consider Isaiah Thomas is just back from injury with a bad matchup and Goran Dragic has a tough matchup in that same game.
Isaiah Thomas (BOS) @MIA FD: $8,100/DK: $7,300
Thomas returned from injury Friday and put up a nice 35.1 Fantasy point game (FD). He scored 26 points with three rebounds and five assists. The Heat have held opposing point guards to the second-fewest Fantasy points this season, but I still have him slightly above Dragic in this one. The undersized guard is not great yet, nonetheless, he is very good.
Elfrid Payton ($5,700/$5,500)
The logic here is fairly simple. Over the past three games, Payton has averaged 35.8 Fantasy points per game (FD) and has maxed out at 52.6 with a floor of 23.7. This includes a 26 and 14 double-double. At his current price I love his value if you aren't trying to break the bank on a PG.
Sergio Rodriguez ($4,800/$4,800)
Rodriguez could just as easily been the value pick. He has the best possible matchup in this one. No team is giving up more points to opposing point guards than the Brooklyn Nets. It's not rare for him to top 30 Fantasy points this season (FD) and with this matchup, he should have a high ownership rate. Pick him up and plug him in, he’s more than just a long shot.
DeMar DeRozan (TOR) @ ORL FD: $8,600/DK $8,200
Despite how good Lowry has been this season, his backcourt partner has blown him out of the water. He’s scored at least 30 points in each of the past three games and is third in the NBA in scoring with 28.3 points per game behind just Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis. This one is a no-brainer.
Avery Bradley (BOS) @ MIA FD: $7,000/DK $6,000
Few players have been more of a pleasant surprise this year than Bradley. He has to be at least in the conversation for most improved player. Currently, he is averaging 31.9 Fantasy points per game (FD). He has a high ceiling and is a safe option with a high floor as well. Only once all season has he failed to top 20 Fantasy points in a game. Even when his scoring is down, his ability to stuff the stat sheet can carry his night.
Sean Kilpatrick ($5,400/$5,300)
If Kilpatrick is on the slate, odds are you’ll find him in my DFS articles. I’ve been high on him all season and playing him since Game 1. Having watched every game he ever played at Cincinnati, it’s hard to believe it took this long for him to catch on in the NBA. While he does post an occasional dud, it’s not at all rare for him to top 30 Fantasy points and he does have a 52.8 Fantasy point game on the resume this season.
Josh Richardson ($4,300/$4,500)
Richardson has been particularly productive since returning from injury. However, he’s consistently playing about 30 minutes per game. With Dion Waiters still hurt and Tyler Johnson dealing with an illness, the team will likely lean heavier on Richardson in this one. Don’t be shocked if he pushes 30 Fantasy points in this one.
Kawhi Leonard (SA) vs NO FD: $8,300/DK: $8,400
Leonard is far and away the top SF in this slate. He's averaging 39.5 Fantasy points per game (FD) and is playing this less than intimidating Pelicans defense. In the past five games, he has only failed to top 40 Fantasy points once and in that game he compiled 39. Only once in his last 16 games has he failed to top 30 Fantasy points. He's a lock most every night.
Gordon Hayward (UTA) @ MEM FD: $7,700/ DK $7,600
Hayward has to be considered a stud. Nevertheless, he was the nominee for Fade of the Day as well. I have to acknowledge him as a stud because he is; still, I wouldn't pay for him in this one. Refer to the top for more detailed analysis why I'm not high on him.
James Johnson ($4,900/$4,400 as PF)
Johnson is a sneaky good option this season. In the past five games he's played in, excluding the game he left early with an injury, he's averaged 29.22 Fantasy points per game. The Heat are leaning on him, and he's responded well. His price of $4,900 is tough to argue with.
Aaron Gordon ($4,400/$5,100)
Gordon could have just as easily been a value choice, but we have a format here, and I'm sticking to it. After a solid start to the season, he hit a serious lull. However, he's picked it up as of late. In the past two games, his Fantasy points totals have been 41.4 and 22.8. He's far from a lock but does have the upside to more than pay off.
Serge Ibaka (ORL) vs TOR FD: $6,400/DK: $6,300
Ibaka has figured out his role in Orlando and is settling in well. Coming off a 40.5 Fantasy point game, he's the top PF in this one if AD doesn't play. When you can get the top PF for $6,400, it's a solid option. I prefer him much more than Aldridge or Favors in this slate.
LaMarcus Aldridge (SA) vs NO FD: $6,200/DK $6,400
Aldridge is a stud, but his inconsistency has soured me on him in many cases. There is no way I’m paying for him in this one. I’d rather save my money and grab a cheaper option. I would take Trevor Booker over him even if they were the same price Just because he’s a stud doesn’t mean he’s a must-own or should be paid for.
Terrence Jones (NO) @ SA FD: 4,800/DK $4,700
Despite the fact that his matchup is less than ideal, Terrance Jones’ price is certainly is. I’m going on the assumption that Anthony Davis will be sitting this one out. He’s currently dealing with a lower leg injury which the team does seem concerned about. It would be shocking if they took any chances at all with their franchise player. Jones will see a bump in minutes. He’s already posted between 25 and 30 points with AD active the past three games while averaging just 25 minutes per. Last time Davis sat out Jones played 38 minutes and posted 40.8 Fantasy points (FD). He also topped 30 minutes in the game prior and after and totaled 34.5 and 36.4 points in those games.
Trey Lyles ($4,000/$3,600)
With Favors struggling through injuries, Lyles has been a solid option. He’s coming off a 24.3 Fantasy point game (FD) in which he played just 18 minutes. Lyles has a very low floor, but also is a decent punt option if you’re running tight on money in this slate.
Hassan Whiteside (MIA) vs BOS FD: $8,900/DK $8,300
Whiteside is monster game waiting to happen every single night. He’s averaging over 40 Fantasy points per game this season and over his past four games is averaging 43.5 Fantasy points per game. If you can afford his hefty price tag, get him in your lineup. The only question regarding him is managing your money.
Marc Gasol (MEM) vs UTA FD: $8,400/DK $7,400
Gasol isn't Whiteside, but he's the next best thing. He's quietly having an incredible season as is his team despite injury woes. In his past 11 games, he's topped 30 Fantasy points in every game, topped 40 six times and has peaked at 63.2 (FD). There isn't much else that needs to be said.
Bismack Biyombo ($4,600/$4,800)
Biyombo has been playing consistently good ball in December and is now starting to see the minutes to go along with it. Only once in the past four games has he failed to play at least 33 minutes. He's a threat to post a low-point total double-double every night and often adds a handful of blocks. There is no doubt the value is there. There is risk. However, there's also production at a cheap price.
Alexis Ajinca ($3,600/$3,000)
This goes along with the assumption AD will be sitting out. If Davis is indeed out Ajinca should also see a boost in minutes. At near minimum price he has great value as a long shot option. He saw his minutes jump to 22 after Davis got hurt in the last game and played 25 minutes last time Davis was sidelined. Coming off a 22.1 Fantasy point game (FD) I like him as a cheap punt option in this one. Only if Davis is ruled out, though.