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Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy: December 16, 2015

So, as I was nose deep in analysis and this write-up last night, I totally missed out on seeing that Greg Monroe was a late scratch. So yeah, over half of my lineups were totally tanked due to taking a zero from a $7K player. With only one late game though, the only pivot move would have been to Roy Hibbert, so I was probably doomed either way. I have never ran into this kind of a booby-trap on a small slate with just one late game before, and let me tell you, it sucked.

Well, yesterday was a lot less stressful with only four games, but it’s Wednesday night and new scheduling or not, Wednesdays are still fully loaded. There are 12 games on tonight’s slate, so let’s get right to the breakdown. Below I will dish out my top plays, values and positional rankings for tonight’s slate on DraftKings. As always it’s primarily directed towards cash games, but that doesn’t mean it’s not helpful towards GPP tournaments as well and in some instances I mention strong tournament options.

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Notable Vegas lines and totals

The Miami @ Brooklyn game has just a 190 total due to it involving two of the slower paced offenses in the league, and I may even take the under if I had to bet on it. Four games have double digit lines, Philadelphia @ Atlanta (-13.5), Washington @ San Antonio (-13), Milwaukee @ LA Clippers (-10.5) and Phoenix @ Golden State (-12.5). The biggest lines of the night are the Suns/Warriors (220) and Blazers/Thunder (209) tilts. As of writing this, Vegas still hasn’t posted the lines for the Dal @ IND game.

POINT GUARD

Stephen Curry ($10,700) – Guards against the Suns are always good targets anyways, and when it’s one of the best guards in the league, it’s a target you can’t miss. Curry is the only player that I have projected to net over 55 fantasy points (FPs) on the night, and while his price is high, it’s not enough to sway me to another option at PG tonight. Earlier this season when these two teams met, Curry only played 30 minutes yet delivered 66 FPs. Yeah.

Chris Paul ($7,900) – If I make a lineup without Curry or decide to add another PG to a lineup, I’m rolling with CP3. Wouldn’t have imagined I’d see him at under $8K this season, but here we are. When you consider the savings of >$1K from Lillard or Wall, it really makes you see the value in Paul tonight. The Bucks haven’t been consistent against PGs lately and CP3 lit them up for 18 points and 18 assists just a week ago.

Cheap risk option: Patty Mills ($3,700) has hit 20+ FPs in three straight games and seems locked in to getting minutes in the low-20s backing up Lowry mostly. Ramon Sessions ($3,900) should continue to see about 26-30 minutes a night while Bradley Beal is out, and in those minutes he’ll get you between 20-30 DK points.

SHOOTING GUARD

Klay Thompson ($6,600) – A lot of value to be had here at this price for the other half of the Splash Brothers. Suns are bottom-10 against shooting guards and neither Knight nor Bledsoe matchup that well with the size of Thompson, so I am going to roll some Splash Bro lineups for sure in this 220 projected line game.

Dwyane Wade ($6,800) – Wade has had back-to-back down games after a nice stretch of fantasy outputs, and due to these recent poor games and the game’s low Vegas total, he will likely be under owned. Wade gets 15+ shots a night typically and up against these Nets who are miserable at stopping SGs, Wade should be able to hit at or above value.

Raymond Felton ($5,200) – This hot streak just isn’t ending, and with the Pacers on deck tonight for Raymond, he is set up to once again beat out value nicely. Felton is averaging 33 FPs over the last six games while starting at shooting guard. Quite impressive.

Cheap risk option: Rodney Hood ($4,300) and Allen Crabbe ($4,000) are my favorite cheap-o options at shooting guard tonight. They both have fine matchups to go along with their good play. Crabbe has hit for value or better eight straight games, and Hood isn’t so consistent, but he should get a lot of run tonight against the Pelicans who have had no success stopping guards.

SMALL FORWARD

Carmelo Anthony ($8,000) – Melo has looked like his old elite scoring self the past two games for the Knicks, posting 50 and 52 FPs in each of the two road games. Wiggins isn’t a bad defender but he doesn’t have the strength yet to man-up a guy like Carmelo. He may not hit 50 again, but I have Anthony projected at 43 FPs tonight.

Kent Bazemore ($5,400) – He’s regained the starting wing job from Thabo Sefolosha, and in his first game back as a starter, Baze really shined putting up 42 DK points. As long as he’s starting and priced so lowly, Bazemore stands a really good chance to put up solid fantasy numbers.

Cheap risk option: I’m not overly fond of any super cheap SFs tonight, so I am going to the well even though it’s come up dry numerous times before until I ignored him his last game in which he hit value, so it goes… Chandler Parsons ($4,300) at least has the upside to beat out value on this cheapish price. I’m hoping some player gets scratched that opens up a better cheap option here tonight, but we have to just play that by ear.

POWER FORWARD

Blake Griffin ($9,000) – Griffin started out the year as an every night monster, but the past couple of weeks he has been a lot more up and down. While he’ll never be a total dud (30 FPs usually his lowest), you don’t pay $9K for mid-level points, so you want to hit on one of his big nights, this lines up to be one. The Bucks aren’t successful at slowing down high tier PFs and Blake is a special breed who can play at the rim, top of the key and pass like a guard. The Bucks will simply have no answer for the car jumping, Griffin. I like Anthony Davis tonight also, but I have Blake projected less than five DK points less, and for $1.6K less, the choice seems easy.

Paul Millsap ($8,000) – The Sixers are worst in the league against power forwards and Millsap is four FPs better per game at home than on the road. There’s not much more to go over here aside from Millsap is a really good play and not as hurtful to your salary as the top guys while having a better matchup than the guys in his price range. Sap will likely be under-owned due to all of the sexier names on the board tonight, I’m going to take advantage of that.

Serge Ibaka ($6,000) – If you need more of a mid-tier play at this spot, I really like Serge tonight against the weak defensive bigs of Portland. There’s no questioning that Ibaka is just not a reliable fantasy player when both Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are healthy, but he still manages to get enough shots most nights to hit value. The issue is he’s not been consistently scoring, rebounding and blocking shots on the same nights. You’ll see nights he scores 17 points but only manages four boards and no blocks, others he gets solid boards and blocks but shoots horribly. Tonight the stage is set for him to dominate the paint at home against the Blazers. I am projecting him right around 32 FPs.

Cheap risk option: Andrew Nicholson ($4,100) continues to see minutes in the low-to-mid 20s, and he’s been quite productive in his court time. Nicholson has hit value in five of the last seven games, and while his ceiling is limited, he should get you at least 15-20 FPs as a punt play with a little more upside than that.

CENTER

Marc Gasol ($7,400) – There’s going to be a battle of brothers in the windy city tonight, and I am putting my chips behind the younger of the two, Marc. Gasol has really been stepping it up the last couple of games since the Grizzlies began bringing Zach Randolph off the bench. Look for MG to fill out the stat sheet tonight, and hit in around or above 35 DK points.

Al Horford ($6,500) – Much like Millsap, this is taking a solid player and exploiting the plus matchup. Horford shouldn’t have a problem hitting above value tonight against the Sixers with his ability to fill the stat sheet just as Gasol does.

Joakim Noah ($5,100) – Noah is thriving coming off the bench with the Bulls’ second-unit right now. Listen to this FPs run: 32 – 31 – 25 – 25 – 25 – 26 – 32 – 41. Yeah, he’s been on a roll and he does it without the need to score. Over the last six games, Noah is only averaging 4.5 points per, but he makes up for that with 10.2 boards, 5.0 assists, 1.7 blocks and 0.8 steals. Ride this hot streak until he cools off.

Cheap risk option: There’s no guy here for real cheap that I am overly confident in, but the three guys I’d consider as punt options for center tonight are: Robin Lopez ($3,900), Frank Kaminsky ($3,600), Andrea Bargnani ($3,300) and Aron Baynes ($3,100).

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) Stephen Curry
2) Chris Paul
3) Isaiah Thomas
4) Russell Westbrook
5) Ramon Sessions
6) Kemba Walker
7) John Wall
8) Damian Lillard

SG
1) Klay Thompson
2) Dwyane Wade
3) Raymond Felton
4) Jimmy Butler
5) Avery Bradley
6) Eric Bledsoe
7) Allen Crabbe

SF
1) Carmelo Anthony
2) Kevin Durant
3) Kent Bazemore
4) Matt Barnes
5) Gordon Hayward
6) Jeff Green
7) Nicolas Batum

PF
1) Blake Griffin
2) Paul Millsap
3) Derrick Favors
4) Anthony Davis
5) Serge Ibaka
6) Andrew Nicholson
7) Ersan Ilyasova

C
1) Joakim Noah
2) Marc Gasol
3) Al Horford
4) DeAndre Jordan
5) Nikola Vucevic
6) Jared Sullinger
7) Andrea Bargnani
8) Zaza Pachulia

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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