Fantasy Basketball

2014-15 Fantasy Basketball Daily Fix — December 17th

harden land
James Harden
Source: Scott Halleran/Getty Images North America

Today’s daily fix features a few players at each position that I highly recommend for today’s 10-game NBA slate along with some breakdowns. There will be both studs who I am confident will deliver huge lines as well as value plays who have a great opportunity to outperform their price. At the end I will list the top-5 players I’ll be using at each position in cash games tonight. Remember that this is written up in advance of any starting lineup or inactive updates. Be sure to keep your eyes on Twitter and/or Rotoworld for updates that could change things in a big way. I will be on Twitter a lot today retweeting and commenting on any news that comes through. Good luck to you all and let’s get money tonight!

Editor’s note: Due to some issues we’re having transferring to a new system for our subscription services, today’s picks for NBA contests on DraftKings are free. 

Point Guards:

Jeff Teague ($7,200) – The pricier point guards tonight have matchups I am not in love with either due to a tough defending PG or the potential for a blow out where they may sit late. I think Teague stands as a nice mid-tier value play against Kyrie Irving and the Cavs who have been diced by PGs all season long. Teague has been a little up and down lately, but this is a spot where I think he posts a line that rises above his price tag. The Hawks are going to try and make this a statement game and to do so Teague will need to go off.

UPDATE: Teague has been ruled doubtful tonight making Dennis Schroder ($3000) a must play. This allows a ton of flexibility when using big money options.

Brandon Knight ($6,600) – As you can tell, I am leaning to the value side on point guards today so that I can spend more at the other positions. I’m liking Knight at this price point against Dame Lillard and the Blazers. Knight has a high usage rate that could see another slight tick upwards with Jabari Parker missing the game. Either way he should have more than enough opportunity to eclipse value in this matchup. The game has a nice over/under of 202.5 which BK should have a big portion of via scoring and distribution.

PGs I’m fading tonight: Kyle Lowry, Ty Lawson and Rajon Rondo. I like Chris Paul against Indy who he destroyed for 55 DK points a week ago, but I’m going with other top-tier salary players tonight, so I likely won’t own him in any lineups.

Shooting Guards:

James Harden ($11,400) – This is one of the top-tier salary guys that I’ll have in a good bit of my lineups tonight. When you spend this much on one player, you need them to come through with a top-5 score, and Harden is my pick to finish with the most DK points of the night. Nobody on the Nuggets will be able to slow down Harden’s offensive arsenal. This game has a big time over/under of 206.5, and I feel like along with his usual quality boards, assists and steals, Harden will have one of his dynamic scoring nights of 40+ points.

Monta Ellis ($7,900) – Love the matchup here for Monta against the lowly Pistons. The Mavs should look to Ellis early and often for a scoring spark, and he should have no issues decimating the Detroit wings. If I’m passing on Harden at SG and don’t want to gamble with the value options I’ll mention next, Monta is my man. I don’t have any worries with Monta playing well on this second portion of a back-to-back. He has fared just fine in those situations all season.

Lou Williams ($4,600) – If you go with higher options elsewhere and need a value play at the G spot, Lou is a viable option. Lou is always a risk because he’s very capable of putting up a total dud, but he’s outplayed his price in four of the last five games and should be able to get plenty of good looks for himself against the Nets.

Jodie Meeks ($3,300) – Meeks missed the start of the season due to injury but has now played in the past three games. He’s obviously no sure bet for production but at $3,300 he’ll be in basically all of my lineups. This is the perfect kind of guy to target when you use an $11k guy at another spot. Stan Van Gundy kept Meeks limited to under 22 minutes in his first two games back (avg’d 17 DK pts), but we saw that extended to 30 minutes on Monday and he delivered 30 DK pts.

SGs I’m fading: Eric Bledsoe, Lance Stephenson and Rodney Stuckey

Small Forwards:

LeBron James ($11,600) – Anywhere I don’t use James Harden (rare), I’ll be rolling with King James. He’s just been phenomenal of late and is a sure bet for a minimum of 45 DK points basically every night. At this price point you need him to be better than that, and with other options at SF I understand passing on him. But if you want to KNOW you’re gonna get 50 from a guy, here ya go.

Tobias Harris ($7,200) – You gotta like how this matchup looks for Tobias against the Celtics. He should have a nice back and forth scoring affair with Jeff Green. I’m expecting enough points and boards for a 40 DK point night for the Magic wingman if you don’t go with Bron or one of the value plays.

Donatas Motiejunas ($5,500) – Plain and simple, if Donatas gets 30 minutes he is going to outplay his price and there’s really no reason to fear him not keeping the playing time. Some feared with Dwight Howard returning it may put a dent in Motie’s minutes and/or production, but he came through Monday despite D12s return. As I said previously, there’s a really high O/U for this game and I plan to spread plenty of Rockets over my lineups, especially Harden and this guy.

Khris Middleton ($4,900) – It’s unfortunate that Jabari Parker suffered a torn ACL and will miss the rest of the season, but as DFS players we have to play the cards we’re dealt, and no JP equals more of the MIDDLE-man. Look for Khris to get at least 30 minutes of court time, and with the Blazers ranking 24th against SFs, this shapes up for a nice spot for Middleton. I would be surprised if he didn’t come through with at least a 30 DK poiny night, which I’d be happy with for < $5k.

SFs I’m fading: Josh Smith

Power Forwards:

Paul Millsap ($8,800) – I have fears of the Blazers and Clippers winning big thus making Aldridge and Griffin not ideal targets for me. They should both have solid days but I’ll nervously pass on them tonight for cheaper plays, one being Millsap. Sure, Sap is only $1600 less than Griffin but I like Sap to have the better fantasy day taking on KLove/Thompson. Millsap should have his way with them inside and out, so if I’m paying up for a PF, it’s Millsap or…

Tim Duncan ($8,600) – There’s something about the Spurs when they play the Grizzlies, they just have their number it seems. Timmy D always gets his against the Grizz and with Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker out the Spurs will look to the best PF of all-time frequently tonight. A week ago TD went off for 49 DK points against Memphis, and I’d expect the same this go around. As always when you play a Spur, keep your eyes on updates until this game’s tip-off as they’re notorious for resting their guys, but Duncan took Monday off so he should be a go.

Dirk Nowitzki ($6,100) – I know Dirk isn’t getting the usage or playing as much as he did in the past, but this is just too cheap for the German sharp shooter. Between his scoring ability and the negative chance Greg Monroe has of being able to guard him, Dirk will be on a good bit of my teams tonight. Monitor him to be sure they don’t give him a night of rest but he played both parts of their last b2b so he should get the green light. The only fear is that Dallas gets up big early and he sits late, but either way he should be able to hit value at this bargain price.

PFs I’m fading: LaMarcus Aldridge, Blake Griffin (explained why at start of the Millsap breakdown) and Zach Randolph.


Chris Kaman ($4,000) – This is about as big of must play as it gets in all DFS formats but especially cash games. Kaman will likely be owned by 75% but at $4k and with Robin Lopez out, you really can’t afford to not use Kaman. Whether he starts or comes off the bench, he’ll see extended minutes and should easily deliver a double-double and some blocks against the Bucks bigs. His floor is simply too high, plus the vaulted ceiling, to pass up at this price.

Enes Kanter ($6,600) – This one depends heavily on Derrick Favors status. Kanter had a huge game last night with Favors out and would easily do the same against the Heat, but if Favors plays his attractiveness is hindered greatly.

Cs I’m fading: Andre Drummond, DeAndre Jordan and Tyler Zeller.


Cash game positional rankings: (These are in the order that I’ll be using them based on situation + price, NOT who I think will score the most)

1) Dennis Schröder
2) Brandon Knight
3) Mike Conley
4) Isaiah Thomas (if Dragic is out)
5) Chris Paul

1) James Harden
2) Jodie Meeks
3) Monta Ellis
4) Danny Green
5) Lou Williams
6) Dwyane Wade

1) Khris Middleton
2) Tobias Harris
3) Donatas Motiejunas
4) LeBron James
5) Jeff Green
6) Giannis Antetokounmpo

1) Tim Duncan
2) Dirk Nowitzki
3) Paul Millsap
4) Markieff Morris
5) David West

1) Chris Kaman
2) Enes Kanter (if Favors is out)
3) Nikola Vucevic
4) Mason Plumlee
5) Dwight Howard
6) Marc Gasol

For more fantasy hoops analysis and to have any questions you may have answered, follow Zack on Twitter @BigZack44.

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