We’re a week from Christmas, so let’s make some extra money to spend on gifts for our family and friends! Going to jump right in today and list the plays I’m targeting. There are a ton of injuries on this slate, opening up a ton of value.
There are a lot of injuries to monitor here and a handful of viable plays. Joel Embiid and Trevor Booker are out, opening up plenty of minutes in the front court. Amir Johnson and Richuan Holmes are both very cheap and have 7-10x upside on their current prices. I probably like Holmes a tad more, but he also costs $600 more and might be more popular. If we get close to lock and it looks like Holmes is going to have a ton of ownership compared to Johnson, I might go the contrarian route, because Johnson has a similar range of outcomes to Holmes. You could also play both of them in this spot.
The other play in the front court is Dario Saric. His price is getting up there, but he has been the definition of consistency his last 10 games or so. The only issue here is that his price is starting to cap his upside. While he’s had 27+ DK points in each of his last eight games, he hasn’t topped 40 in that span. We need at least 35+ out of him. He’s an excellent cash game play.
PG/SG: Jamal Murray – Denver Nuggets
Emmanuel Mudiay is doubtful, so Murray will see a ton of minutes in this one. He’s already seen 32+ minutes in each of his last three games and has 32.75, 53.5, and 40.5 DK points in those games. I think we’ll see plenty of minutes for him to find value in this matchup with the Thunder. Will Barton has seen his price fall $1,000 since three games ago and I think he’ll have the ball in his hands a lot without Mudiay. He makes an excellent tourney play with or without Murray.
PG: Russell Westbrook – Oklahoma City Thunder
With all of the value out there tonight, Westbrook is the stud I’m paying up for. His price is fair and he should destroy this Nuggets backcourt. Last year, Westbrook topped 79.75 DK points three times against the Nuggets, with a high of 93 points. While we can’t expect that, I think mid-60’s is a good possibility and 6x value at this price is more than we can ask for!
PG/SG: Chris Paul – Houston Rockets
I’ve played Chris Paul in each of his four games, and have been very happy. He has been an excellent source of fantasy goodness and I don’t see it stopping in this matchup. We know that the Jazz are not near the defense we view them as when Rudy Gobert is out, so fire up Paul. On Saturday night, Paul has roughly 10 fantasy points at half time, but still ended up getting to 40 when it was all said and done. That shows you how safe he is, with massive upside.
SF/PF: Michael Beasley – New York Knicks
Beasley returned over 10X value on Saturday with Kristaps Porzingis out. His price came up $500 to $4,600, but that’s still not enough if Porzingis is out again. Fire him up if we get word before lock that he’ll be starting.
PG: Lonzo Ball – Los Angeles Lakers
Don’t look now, but Lonzo Ball is balling out. He’s showed up in primetime his last two games against the Knicks and Cavs. You can see his confidence growing each game. I have been a Ball hater this year, so for me to recommend him, it’s saying something. Look, his dad annoys me to no end, but I think I prejudged the kid. He seems humble, hard working, and quite different than his father. Anyways, against the Warriors, I expect him to come out once again and be aggressive. His salary is coming up, but he’s one of the sub-$7k guys who can get you between 40-50 points fairly often. He’s also playing a ton of minutes. He’s played 38+ minutes in three of his last four and he had 43+ DK points in each of those three.
PF/C: Jordan Mickey – Miami Heat
If you want to fade the cheap chalk a little, you might consider Mickey. The Heat’s rotation is very tight tonight, likely with only eight players playing. Mickey has looked pretty good in his last two, in which he actually received the minutes. He should approach 25 minutes tonight and at just $3,200, he makes an excellent punt play.
PG: Kemba Walker – Charlotte Hornets
Kemba is just too cheap at $7,100. He’s facing the Knicks who have been a bottom five fantasy defense to point guards, no matter what split you look at: Last week, last four weeks, entire season. It doesn’t matter. He put up 39 DK points last time against the Knicks. His price is just $100 more than his low point of the season and he’s $1,100 lower than his high point. At home, in a great matchup, you have to prioritize him, maybe even over Westbrook, which would allow you to upgrade a punt at another position.
C: Karl-Anthony Towns – Portland Trailblazers
Let’s close it out with a stud. Towns has topped 50 DK points in each of his last five games, but remains priced under $9,000. That doesn’t make a lot of sense, but let’s take advantage. He was almost unrosterable for me through the first two months of the season, but we’re seeing him round into form. I think Towns will be overlooked tonight, because on paper, Portland has been fairly good against opposing centers. However, stud centers (Embiid, Howard, Vucevic, Gasol) have still had big games against them, so Towns should have no problem racking up the fantasy points.
That’s it for today. Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @mrclutchdfs so you can stay up to date on any changes to my plays based on late information.
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