2014-15 Fantasy Basketball Daily Fix, December 29th
Today’s NBA daily fix features a couple players at each position that I highly recommend for today’s 6-game NBA slate. In addition to the two player breakdowns per position, I’ll add a few cheap risk options and tell you which ballers I am fading (not using) tonight. 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 most inactive updates. Be sure to keep your eyes on Twitter and/or Rotoworld for updates that could change things in a big way. Good luck to you all and let’s get money tonight!
Brandon Knight ($7000) – “Is Brandon Knight going to be on your daily picks every time he plays?” No!! Well… maybe. The guy just has a ton of opportunity and I like the price a lot especially for this favorable matchup. With most of the stud point guards having tough matchups or just not being ideal plays today, I like Knight from the position to be a nice value price with 35+ DK point production.
Jarrett Jack ($5300) – There’s definitely risk involved using Jack right now as you’re never going to know when the night will come that coach Lionel Hollins will cut his playing time and put the majority back on Deron Williams plate, but when the price of that “risk” comes with just a $5300 price tag and his amount of upside, you have to roll the dice. The game has a healthy 205 over/under so he should fair just fine tonight.
Cheap risk plays: Nothing really jumps out as far as cheap plays tonight, but Aaron Brooks ($5200) has been a sure 20+ DK points guy lately but his price has risen enough that he’s far from a must play.
James Harden ($11,500) – I’m biting the bullet and paying up for the beaded one tonight. There’s not many options at SG that I love tonight and of all the elite priced options today, Harden is the one I feel best about. I don’t think I need to expand on what Harden can do even in a matchup that on paper isn’t a cake walk. He’ll get it done from beyond the arc and/or at the free throw line for a big scoring night.
Jamal Crawford ($5000) – Jamal is on fire lately and at this price I’m going to again have him in most of my lineups. Getting around 30 DK points for just $5k is a great investment. Crawford should be able to make Jazz rookie Rodney Hood look silly on defense plenty.
Cheap risk plays: Sergey Karasev ($3300) is still starting for the Nets and playing around 25 minutes. He’s far from a certainty to be anything special but if you need a near minimum filler tonight, he’s scored 24, 18 and 20 DK points in his last three games.
Rudy Gay ($8300) – There’s really only three guys I’m considering at SF tonight and one is definitely Rudy. His price is fair, the matchup is good and he’s a superstar in the league who puts up around or above 40 DK points every game. Not a bad night to go with a sure thing at SF.
Tobias Harris ($7200) – Mr. 30+ is back again and this time Tobias draws the Miami Heat who shouldn’t be able to slow down his consistent ways. Like I say every time, until his price goes above $8k, TObias will have a very high usage in my lineups. As I said above, I’m like the safe route at SF tonight.
Cheap risk plays: Jared Dudley ($4300) doesn’t have the greatest of matchups here at Charlotte but he’s getting 30 minutes a night, can get real hot from long range, getting good steals and is a bargain gamble at this cost.
Blake Griffin ($11,100) – This price tag is hefty to pay but Griffin should have his way against the Utah big men in this one. You need 50+ DK points from him to make him worth it and I believe he gets it tonight but if you fade the price or can’t manage it since you want to use Harden, I wouldn’t argue you.
David West ($6300) – I am loving David West tonight at this price at home against the Bulls. West is the kind of hard nosed PF that gives Gasol fits on both ends and that should lead to another solid outing for him. West has averaged 33.75 DK points over his past six games and with a small slate like this, he’s a nice value play in my opinion.
Cheap risk plays: Not many good cheap options out there today at the PF spot, but if I were to guess on one it’d be Trevor Booker ($3300) against the Clippers. He has a low upside but should get 20 minutes and have a shot at garbage time if this one gets ugly.
PFs I’m fading: Pau Gasol has been playing less lately and has a matchup that I’m not loving tonight.
Nikola Vucevic ($9000) – Bosh returning isn’t really a concern for Vucevic because Vuc will do damage on the glass and in the paint against whoever the Heat throw his way. I’m like Nik to add another double-double to his season total and to go for 40 DK points tonight.
Joakim Noah ($6800) – Roy Hibbert is pretty good at stopping opposing centers from scoring a lot, but Noah isn’t a big scorer to begin with. He does his damage on the glass and defensively. Noah shouldn’t have a monster game but with this small slate, I like Noah’s 25-32 DK points at his nicely valued price point.
Cheap risk plays: Zaza Pachulia ($4000) should see near 30 minutes again with the Bucks injury issues and at this cheap price he’s not a terrible option tonight by any means. There’s definitely risk for a dud here but at $4000 on a small slate when you’ll need a few bargains, he’s worth taking some shots on.
Cs I’m fading: Mason Plumlee (price has reached too high for me especially in a tough matchup) and Chris Bosh (unless word comes out that he won’t have limited minutes.)
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) Brandon Knight
2) Jarrett Jack
3) Darren Collison
4) Mario Chalmers (only if Wade sits)
5) Chris Paul
1) Jamal Crawford
2) James Harden
3) Jimmy Butler
4) Giannis Antetokounmpo
5) Joe Johnson
1) Tobias Harris
2) Rudy Gay
3) Jared Dudley
4) Gordon Hayward (potential of blow out in this game worries me a bit)
5) Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
1) David West
2) Blake Griffin
3) Derrick Favors
4) Taj Gibson
5) Trevor Booker
1) Nikola Vucevic
2) Joakim Noah
3) DeMarcus Cousins
4) Zaza Pachulia
5) Al Jefferson
For more fantasy hoops analysis and to have any questions you may have answered, follow Zack on Twitter @BigZack44