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Plays of the Day
Value: Nikola Mirotic’s price tag is dropping because he provided modest returns while struggling with his shot against the Nets and Pacers, but he’s still met or exceeded value in 7 consecutive appearances. While the Bucks absolutely smashed the Bulls right on consecutive nights before in mid-December, Mirotic received a DNP-CD in those contests, but is since averaging 11.6 PPG, 6.1 RPG and 25.1 DK PPG over 7 appearances and he could serve as a missing piece to the puzzle for Bulls HC Fred Hoiberg as he looks to match up with the athletic young Bucks.
Fade: Jimmy Butler should try to lead the Bulls back from a couple of embarrassing losses to the Bucks earlier this month, but it seems that this is just a tough matchup for Chicago’s best overall player. He’s shooting just 30% from the floor (9-of-30) and averaging only 14 PPG over 2 meetings with Milwaukee and is a tough sell at his sizable price tag.
Games to Target
- Oklahoma City Thunder (-1.5) hosting Los Angeles Clippers (Over/Under = 218)
- Houston Rockets (-10) hosting New York Knicks (Over/Under = 221.5)
Giannis Antetokoumpo (MIL) @ CHI DK:$9,800/FD:$10,500 as SG
While Russell Westbrook ($12,500/$12,000) is still an elite play in a potential bounce back spot after he was ejected from his last game, this is an article about cash game plays and Giannis is by far the safer option at a more modest price tag. The Greek Freak continued to quest along with solid DFS totals, casually producing 48 points, 13 assists and 12 rebounds over his last 2 appearances in non-competitive games. Tonight he’ll face a Bulls team that is expected to give Milwaukee more of a fight after getting smoked by the Bucks on B2B nights earlier this month. If Chicago (-2.5) keeps it close or holds a lead late in the fourth quarter, Antetokounmpo would potentially be able to improve on the 26 PPG, 10.5 RPG and 7 APG he averaged during that home-and-home set against the Bulls.
George Hill (UTA) vs. PHO DK:$6,500/FD:$6,600
And what a return it was! After 13 games on the shelf, Hill finally overcame his nagging toe injury to start for the Jazz on Friday and he promptly got back to his productive ways with 21 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists and 48 DK points (45.6 FD points) over just 29 minutes in an easy win over the 76ers. The Jazz (-11) remain heavily favored at home tonight, but Phoenix is a bit more potent offensively and at least capable of speeding up the game since the Suns play at the second-fastest pace in the NBA this year. They also cough up the fourth-most FPPG (45.85) and most PPG (25.18) to opposing PGs on the season, while Hill has shredded tougher competition on his way to season averages of 20.1 PPG, 4.3 APG and 1.3 SPG through 12 games.
Raymond Felton ($4200/$3800) jumped back into the Clippers SLU with Chris Paul (hamstring) sitting on Friday and he’ll be worth a look along with Austin Rivers ($4900/$4300) if it sounds like CP3 will sit on Saturday as well.
Kyrie Irving ($7900/$8600) is simply on fire right now and he could wind up in a PG duel with Kemba Walker ($7800/$7900) as the Cavs visit Charlotte tonight.
James Harden (HOU) vs. NYK DK:$11,900/FD:$11,300
Let’s just finish 2016 with a solid win in cash game formats and Harden is the ticket to ride to those profits. He should serve as the foundation of 50/50 and H2H lineups this evening with Westbrook going off the rails in his last game and facing a tough Clippers defense, while The Beard and his Rockets host a Knicks team that ranks 24th in defensive rating and coughs up the sixth-most PPG (107.6) in the NBA this season. Harden steamrolled the Knicks with 30 points, 15 assists and 6 rebounds in his sole meeting with Jeff Hornacek’s squad this year and that’s not surprising considering how New York gives up the eighth-most FPPG (38.94) and sixth-most PPG (23.81) to opposing SGs this year. With a floor over 50 FPs and a ceiling demonstrated by his bigtime triple double against the Clippers to produce 75.75 DK points (66.6 FD points) last night, Harden is clearly worth the cost of doing business.
Jamal Crawford (LAC) @ OKC DK:$4,800/FD:$4,300
He’s coming off a couple of disappointing games with J.J. Redick (hamstring) absent for one and Chris Paul (hamstring) inactive in another, so the DFS public might gravitate away from Jamal even if CP3 is ruled out of tonight’s showdown at Loud City. Crawford couldn’t really hit a shot in New Orleans on Wednesday and he never got into a rhythm during the Clippers beat down at Houston last night, but he’s still posting solid numbers while seeing extended playing time over his last 6 appearances. The sixth man boasts a team-high 27.6% Usage Rate with both Paul and Blake Griffin (knee) off the floor this year and he’ll face a slew of inexperienced guards including Semoj Christon and Alex Abrines as his primary defenders with Victor Oladipo (wrist) ruled out for the Thunder.
Eric Gordon ($5800/$5700) has been remarkably consistent as the Sixth Man for Houston and he has more upside with the Rockets (-10) capable of producing another blowout win.
Rodney Hood ($4700/$4300) is very cheap because he was limited with an illness earlier this week, but he got back to full speed last night and could torch a weak Suns defense this evening.
Gordon Hayward (UTA) vs. PHO: DK:$8,000/FD:$7,900
The Babyfaced Killer goes from one easy matchup to the next, as the Jazz prepare to host the Suns and their 25th-ranked defense tonight. Phoenix coughs up the second-most PPG (113.6) while playing at a blinding pace, so that should afford both Hayward and returning Jazz PG George Hill with enough opportunities to meet value in this plus matchup. Clearly still operating as Utah’s primary scorer, Hayward is posting a career-high 28.6% Usage Rate with career-best averages of 22 PPG, 6.2 RPG and 7.0 FTA per game this season. Phoenix allows the fourth-most FPPG (40.23) to opposing SFs and gave up 28 points to Hayward on 8-of-16 FG shooting in a matchup earlier this year.
Nikola Mirotic (CHI) vs. MIL: DK:$4,100/FD:$4,400 as PF
Mirotic is back in a consistent role off the bench for the Bulls and that’s made him a very consistent option as a DFS value play. His price tag is dropping because he provided modest returns while struggling with his shot against the Nets and Pacers, but he’s still met or exceeded value in seven consecutive appearances. While the Bucks absolutely smashed the Bulls right on consecutive nights before in mid-December, Mirotic received a DNP-CD in those contests, but is since averaging 11.6 PPG, 6.1 RPG and 25.1 DK PPG over 7 appearances and he could serve as a missing piece to the puzzle for Bulls HC Fred Hoiberg as he looks to match up with the athletic young Bucks.
Trevor Ariza ($5400/$5500) is a rock solid mid-tier option as per usual. Jeremy Lamb ($4000/$3800 as SG on FD) will be worth a look for value if Marco Belinelli remains out for Charlotte.
T.J. Warren ($4800/$5100) will not be a popular play against Utah’s stout defense, but he can find ways to score while his teammates potentially struggle on the road tonight. Tony Snell ($3500/$3800) is a risky punt play, who can provide great returns if he produces during his minutes.
Kristaps Porzingis (NYK) @ HOU: DK:$7,200/FD:$7,700
The Unicorn started to slow down and bring up questions about his durability as he dealt with a knee injury heading into Christmas, but he fought through the malady to drop a double double against the Celtics on the holiday, and went on to produce 45 points, 20 rebounds and 5 blocks in stellar efforts at Atlanta and New Orleans this week. The young Latvian is proving his toughness in a physical and mental sense, as he’s actually averaging more PPG (20.8) and DK PPG (38.4) on the road this season. The Knicks desperately need to be efficient tonight against Houston’s elite offense and Porzingis is far more reliable in those terms than Carmelo Anthony, with a .557% True Shooting Percentage to Melo’s .534% on the year. Plus, Houston is more vulnerable down low with Clint Capela (leg) on the shelf, so the Knicks should look to keep pace by finding PorzinGod.
Montrezl Harrell (HOU) vs. NYK: DK:$5,000/FD:$4,200 as C
For the home team in Houston, Harrell will have to provide another bigtime effort as the primary means of defending the paint against Porzingis and the Knicks other bigs tonight. He’s coming off a career-high 29-point performance against the Clippers last night and Harrell should see even more playing time and a potential start with Nene Hilario (rest) incapable of playing many minutes on the second half of B2B sets. The Knicks are giving up the second-most FPPG (50.74) to opposing centers this season and Harrell is a dirt cheap option at that position on FanDuel while he could pay off as a true double double threat in the mid-tier price range on DK this evening.
Marreese Speights ($4200/$4200) isn’t going to play many minutes, but his usage rate has increased dramatically with the Clippers top scorers injured.
Jabari Parker ($7200/$7200) is no longer as cheap as he was in his last matchups with the Bulls, but the Chicago native is definitely still a strong play as he visits his hometown.
DeAndre Jordan (LAC) @ OKC: DK:$7,200/FD:$7,200
At first it seemed as though DeAndre wouldn’t be able to provide much production when Chris Paul was out, but he disproved that notion with a big double double (20 points, 13 rebounds) in Houston last night and he flashed huge rebounding upside with 25 boards in New Orleans two nights prior to that. Jordan is averaging 0.45 rebounds and 1.04 FPs per minute with Blake Griffin off the floor this season after he averaged 13.3 PPG and 14.9 RPG with Griffin out for several months last winter. Tonight he’ll have to fend with a Thunder team that ranks in third in total rebounding, but DAJ is up to the task with his 23.2% Total Rebounding Rate and increased usage with the Clippers missing Blake and CP3.
Enes Kanter (OKC) vs. LAC: DK:$5,200/FD:$5,400 as PF
The ‘Stache Brothers represent a formidable adversary for DeAndre Jordan on the other side of the ball tonight, and Kanter clearly has more upside than teammate Steven Adams despite playing fewer minutes. With Victor Oladipo out, the Big Turk has gone on a tear with averages of 18.4 PPG and 7.2 RPG to exceed value in 5 consecutive appearances, and Dipo is doubtful once again. It will be on Kanter to carry the Thunder’s second unit against a thin Clippers bench that’s become much thinner with Paul and Griffin injured, and he’s already managed to post 19 points and 23 rebounds over 2 meetings with the Clips this season.
Tyson Chandler ($4500/$4800) should see more playing time tonight in an effort to contend with lengthy center Rudy Gobert.
Greg Monroe ($4600/$5000) was on a roll before he dropped a dud in Minnesota and he’s still worth a look as a borderline punt play.