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Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: December 12, 2015

“Wowza” is about all that you can about last night’s clash between the Warriors and the Celtics. If you didn’t follow Ricky’s wisdom to be sure to have Draymond Green in your lineups, you probably ended outside the money, he was magnificent in the 2OT thriller. If you’re like me and have continued to assume the Celtics are just a mirage, well snap out of it because they’re legit. Now, no, they’re not as good as a 100% Warriors team (they were without Klay and Barnes last night), but they are a true contender in the East, especially if Kelly Olynyk can continue to play that well. You have to imagine that both teams will be exhausted in the second half of their back-to-backs against the Bucks and Hornets tonight. The Ws especially if Klay sits out again. So, be warned that their core guys may not be up to their usual standards.

Today we’re going to be breaking down the eight-game NBA slate on DraftKings. There are nine games tomorrow, but the primary tournaments and such on DK are set for the eight-game evening slate, so I’m sticking to that. I’ll give my top plays, cheap value options and positional rankings to help you win in cash games as well as help you formulate GPP lineups. Let’s check out the Vegas lines and projected totals.

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Vegas lines and totals

Boston (+1) @ Charlotte — total of 204
Indiana (+1) @ Detroit — 201
LA Lakers (+11) @ Houston — 209.5
San Antonio (-3) @ Atlanta — 191.5
New Orleans (+6.5) @ Chicago — 204.5
Washington (+6) @ Dallas — 208
Golden State (-8.5) @ Milwaukee — 205.5
New York (+2.5) @ Portland — 198.5

There are not huge lines tonight, just a few solids and one dud. I likely won’t be looking to use many players at all from the Spurs/Hawks game, and as I said before, I am skittish of the Celtics and Warriors after their grueling 2OT game last night. If Klay does play though, it makes him coming in fresh more intriguing.

POINT GUARD

John Wall ($9,300) – I had to flip a coin on Wall or Lillard here, but I really have a hard time not playing Wall right now, he’s at another level of intensity of late. In the last seven games, Wall has put up DK nights of 55, 63, 39, 58, 39, 64 and 65 points. Wall has a renewed aggression on the floor and it’s making him an elite DFS players once again. Deron Williams is not going to stop Wall from continuing this dominant stretch.

D’Angelo Russell ($4,800) – If Jordan Clarkson is out again as expected, the rookie Russell will draw another start and play another heaping of minutes as he did last night in San Antonio. D’Angelo shot just 9/23 from the field in the start but lit the box score up with 24 points, six assists, six rebounds, two steals and five triples. At this price it will be tough to not have D-Russ in your lineup if he draws the start again.

Cheap risk option: I think the cheapest that you go tonight at point guard is the D’Angelo Russell, Lou Williams and Patrick Beverley. If I had to go super cheap, I’d take a flier on Jeremy Lin ($4,000), but he’s just a blah option really when you consider the upside of the trio above for less than a thousand more.

SHOOTING GUARD

Jimmy Butler ($7,700) – I of course love James Harden tonight and any other night, but I think I in cash games I am saving money at SG tonight and going with Butler or my next play I will discuss. Butler has put up 40+ in three of the last four games and he should be in line to hit above that number again against a Pelicans team playing in the second game of a back-to-back.

Tyreke Evans ($6,900) – We aren’t sure yet if Jrue Holiday will play tonight, but if he’s out it makes Tyreke my top play at shooting guard tonight. Tyreke returned right back to stud status since rejoining the team post-injury, and if Jrue is out, his usage will be that much higher and Derrick Rose will not be able to stop him.

Klay Thompson ($6,800) – If Klay is active tonight, he’s a top play for me as well. If Jrue is out, Tyreke would be my number one and Klay my next guy. If Jrue plays and Klay is active, Klay is my top play at shooting guard tonight. Klay has already been heating up lately before tweaking his ankle a couple nights back, but the rest of his team will be so drained that they’ll need Klay to carry them if they’re going to reach 25-0.

Cheap risk option: Allen Crabbe ($3,700) has been playing terrific for the Blazers off the bench recently. While his ceiling is limited due to his playing time, Crabbe is a nice punt option because of his consistency. Over the last six games he’s averaging over 20 FPs per game, and they way I stack up big names elsewhere, I could use some cheap dependability. Also, if Bradley Beal happens to sit again (I think he’ll play), Garrett Temple ($3,200) would start again and be worth a thought.

SMALL FORWARD

Kawhi Leonard ($8,600) – In a blowout win last night, it only took Kawhi Leonard 25 minutes to dish out 42 fantasy points, he looked back to normal to say the least. Atlanta is middle of the pack defensively against small forwards, but Kawhi is top-tier at the position and does everything across the board well to please his DFS owners. This game isn’t expected to be high scoring, but Kawhi will hit 40+ DK points against the young Bucks regardless thanks to his box score stuffing.

C.J. Miles ($5,800) – Continues to get it done whether he start or come off the bench, Miles is playing 30+ minutes a night for the Pacers. Miles will play a decent bit of power forward tonight foe the Pacers and be guarding Ersan Ilyasova or Anthony Tolliver, which he can handle both and neither will be able to stop him. Count on Miles getting you around 30 DK points at a solid price.

Cheap risk option: If Trevor Ariza is out tonight, Marcus Thornton ($4,100) and Corey Brewer ($4,000) will be good value plays as their minutes will be escalated, I’d prefer Brewer slightly of the two, but Thornton has more upside. If Ariza does play, Chandler Parsons ($4,000) is the guy I’d roll with if I needed to throw a cheap dart at SF.

POWER FORWARD

Kristaps Porzingis ($7,600) – I love Zinger tonight against the weak defensive Portland big men, and I am expecting a big time fantasy showing from the rookie. His ability to play inside and out will really give Portland fits, and they can’t put Aminu on him or it’d leave Carmelo Anthony to get easy buckets. Porzingis should lock in another double-double to his impressive rookie of the year resumé.

Marvin Williams ($5,600) – Last night was further proof that versatile forwards can do work against the Celtics, while the forwards fellow guards are being heavily attacked by Brad Stevens’ strong defensive backcourt. Marvin isn’t going to light the world on fire, but he should get you around 27-32 FPs.

Cheap risk option: Taj Gibson ($4,200) is still starting for the Bulls at power forward and even saw 29 minutes of action in their last game. In his last five games he’s put up 25, 18, 29, 18 and 23 FPs, and if he gets over 25 minutes again, he should be able to finish with a nice output around 25 FPs. If you have to go even cheaper, Larry Nance Jr. ($3,300) has been playing around 20 minutes, but you’d really be hoping for just 15 points at best.

CENTER

Andre Drummond ($9,500) – After a down night in Charlotte a few nights back, Drummond returned to his elite play putting up 50+ DK nights. Last time the Pistons played the Pacers, Drum went off for 68 FPs despite the Pistons only scoring 82 points as a whole. Note though, Ian Mahinmi got hurt early in that game, so Drummond was grabbing rebounds at will. Still, he sets up nicely to hit his third straight 50+ DK point output.

Pau Gasol ($7,700) – Holy Pau! There may not be a non-elite priced fantasy player that has been hotter than Gasol over the last couple weeks. Just check his box score: 49 – 62 – 42 – 54 – 46 – 40 over the last six games and the Bulls face New Orleans tonight who are on a back-to-back and among the bottom five in the league against opposing centers. Pau is my favorite play tonight.

Cheap risk option: Kelly Olynyk ($4,200) is probably tired as hell from last night after playing 37 minutes against the Warriors, but he’s been really solid lately to the degree that I may still use him a bit. He has crushed value in four of their last five games and aside from last night, he didn’t even play over 27 minutes in any of those games, so he can do work without big time minutes.

Cash game rankings:

This isn’t necessarily an order of who will score the most DraftKings points. Rather, the rankings are aimed to find the best price, value and production combo to help you win cash games, also taking into account potential ownership levels for each player.

PG
1) John Wall
2) Damian Lillard
3) D’Angelo Russell
4) Lou Williams
5) Derrick Rose
6) Jeff Teague
7) Reggie Jackson

SG
1) Tyreke Evans (moves down one spot if Jrue is active)
2) Klay Thompson (if active)
3) Jimmy Butler
4) James Harden
5) Allen Crabbe
6) Wesley Matthews
7) Jeremy Lamb
8) Bradley Beal

SF
1) Kawhi Leonard
2) C.J. Miles
3) Corey Brewer (only if Ariza is out)
4) Carmelo Anthony
5) Giannis Antetokounmpo

PF
1) Kristaps Porzingis
2) Marvin Williams
3) Taj Gibson
4) Draymond Green
5) Paul Millsap
6) Amir Johnson
7) Dirk Nowitzki

C
1) Pau Gasol
2) Andre Drummond
3) Dwight Howard
4) Kelly Olynyk
5) Ian Mahinmi
6) Frank Kaminsky

As always, stay locked to Twitter and Rotoworld for any late-breaking news the hour before the first game tips at 7 p.m. EST. I’ll do my best to update this article as news breaks throughout the day, but the best way to get the latest is always to follow me on Twitter @BigZack44, where I’ll do my best to break down the implications of any late scratches or lineup changes.

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