What up Degens!!! What up Wolfpack!! I’m back after a one day hiatus and man do we have a nice 9 game NBA main slate tonight on DraftKings!!! But before we go into it, I want to take a second to send some good wishes and prayers to former NBA commissioner David Stern who is in serious condition right now after suffering a brain hemorrhage. David Stern popularized the game of basketball and helped players market themselves so they could have better lives and have better lives for their families.
Please keep him in our prayers tonight and this article is dedicated to you Mr. Stern. Let’s break some slates in his honor tonight!!
Also, for news, injury updates, and my personal gut feelings on who to play after this article is posted, Be sure to check me out on my Twitter handle.
Disclaimer: Remember people, I am not a professional, just an avid NBA fan who loves the sport and loves DFS. We are betting on human beings here which is probably the hardest thing to bet on. Some days we will win. Some days we will lose. I will never argue with any member of any community about who they want to play on any given night. However, if you would like my opinion on a particular player I will gladly help you any way that I can if you ask me. My slogan is “If you like him, play him”. It’s your money and I can’t spend it for you. If I don’t get back to you right away, it’s because I am just like you and work a full time job and I do this in my down time here. I promise to get back to you. Some players who are studs I may not mention in detail here in this article but will be displayed in the “Players I like but did not mention here” portion of the write up towards the end. All stats mentioned are accurate as of today and screenshots can be provided upon request. Credit: Fantasy Sports Degens,RotoWire, Fantasy Alarm, and DFS Wolfpack.
Favorite Plays on the Slate: (In no particular order) ( PG-C position)
Ben Simmons (PHI) vs. NO ($8,200) PG/SF
Simmons struggled with five turnovers last night in Boston but tonight he flies back home to Philly and faces the Pelicans. Tonight is as good a time as any to get some redemption from his previous performance. The Pelicans are a horrible defensive team and focus more on scoring. Simmons is averaging 1.34 FPTs per minute on the season and I definitely see him bouncing back tonight at home against the Pels. Simmons loves home cooking as he is averaging 42.8 FPTs per game at home on the year. This is a plus matchup for Simmons, and it gets even better if Embiid sits out the back to back (As of right now, we don’t have word if that’s an option). He’s a little expensive but this is a great matchup for Simmons. Solid spend up option at point guard tonight.
Donovan Mitchell (UTA) vs. GS ($8,100) PG/SG
Ben Simmons isn’t the only point guard getting an early Christmas gift this year. Tonight, Donovan Mitchell gets a tantalizing matchup with the Golden State Warriors. They just lost to the Knicks!!! Yuck! Anyways, the Warriors are second worst at defending opposing point guards in their last 5 games and Michael Conley is out for his fifth consecutive game as he nurses a hamstring injury. This bodes very well for Donovan Mitchell whom in Conley’s absence has been averaging 38.8 FPTs per game at the point guard position. Mitchell’s price has risen $700 since he dropped 47.25 FPTs on the Wolves but I still like him very much tonight as he’s a pure shooter who will toss up a ton of shots tonight on a lowly Warriors team. In Mitchell’s previous two games with the Warriors this season, he’s averaging 44 FPTs per game and if he can reach that tonight or better, he was definitely worth the investment.
D’Angelo Russell (GS) @ UTA ($7,700) PG/SG
Across the court from Mitchell, Someone’s been lighting that scoreboard up lately!! Russell is starting to look like his old self again and you will want to take advantage of this price before it skyrockets. The Jazz are below average against point guards right now and D’Angelo Russell has had his minutes back in the 30’s now so he’s a definite must play in this matchup. The point spread is only 210 but I see the majority of the scoring in this game come from Mitchell and Russell battling each other. Great mid tier point guard at a great price tonight.
Elfrid Payton (NYK) @ SAC ($4,200) PG
Okay before you guys laugh me off the stage here, hear me out. Payton is only $4,200 dollars tonight and he has a new coach. Mike Miller gave Payton 30 minutes of time on the floor in their last game against the Warriors and he put up 30 FPTs, it was nowhere near a pretty game for Payton as he committed 5 turnovers but if he can clean his game up tonight and get us at least 5 times value tonight against the Kings at this price then we may have a great punt on our hands. The Kings are 5th worst against opposing point guards in their last 5 games and even if Ntilikina starts, Payton is the better point guard. This is more of a low risk/high reward pick than it is a boom or bust. If you like him play him so you can add more studs to your team, if you don’t, then ignore him. Your choice! Just remember he is healthy now and his minutes should continue to stay steady.
Trae Young (ATL) vs. IND ($9,100) PG
Young has struggled a bit in his past two games missing value, He has been turnover happy and cold from the three point stripe and in field goal percentage BUT let’s hope those performances are behind him because tonight he faces the Pacers at home and his price is now under 10k. The last time Young faced the Pacers he victimized them for an astounding 62.8 FPTs!! And yes stat trolls, Brogdon did play in that game so please go back to your stat caves, thanks! Tonight at his price we just need him over 45.5 FPTs to get us five times value! The Pacers in their past 5 games are giving up the 13th most FPTs to opposing point guards and at this price, Trae Young is a great spend up option at point guard. While most people will be going to Lou Williams tonight, I am more focused on Trae Young’s ceiling. Excellent spend up option at point guard tonight.
Russell Westbrook (HOU) @ ORL ($9,700) PG
Markelle Fultz is doubtful for this game, so this leaves D.J. Augustin and Michael Carter-Williams trying to contain Russell Westbrook? Ha! I’ll take Westbrook under 10k against this Magic backcourt all night long! Westbrook should have a very, very good night in Orlando, Westbrook is averaging 56.8 FPTs per game in his last four games and tonight he should have absolutely no problem hitting at least 5 times value in this matchup. Excellent spend up option.
Malcolm Brogdon (IND) @ ATL ($7,500) PG/SG
On the other side of the court across from Trae Young, I also like Brogdon very much tonight as well. He has been up and down in his past 4 matchups but tonight he faces Trae Young who focuses more on scoring than he does defense and I think Brodgon can realistically see 5 times value at this price tonight. The point spread is at 222 so it should be a fairly high paced game with some good scoring. Solid mid-tier option at point guard.
Evan Fournier (ORL) vs. HOU ($6,400) SG/SF
Fournier has cooled off a bit since Aaron Gordon’s return but I just can’t look past his matchup with Harden and the Rockets tonight. The Rockets are giving up the second most FPTs to opposing shooting guards in their last five games and Fournier should have a really nice game tonight. At 6,400 it will only take 32 FPTs for Fournier to reach value tonight and against the Rockets, that doesn’t seem to far-fetched at all. Solid mid-tier option at shooting guard tonight. Oooh La-La!
Josh Richardson (PHI) vs. NO ($5,000) SG/SF
Alright guys, don’t get cute thinking Thybulle will be taking the starting job from Richardson or that he will dip into his minutes, You guys are on the “hope” system if you believe that! Richardson got 26 minutes of action last night and put up 28 FPTs. That’s just over a FPT a minute in a tougher matchup than tonight and tonight he’s cheaper on DraftKings. The Pels are atrocious on defense and if you need a great value play tonight then don’t ignore Josh Richardson. He’s third on the team in usage percentage and he can produce and all you need is 25 FPTs for him to hit five times value tonight and in tonight’s matchup his ceiling realistically could be 35+ FPTs. Great value play that could be low owned.
Dillon Brooks (MEM) vs. MIL ($5,100) SG/SF
Another sneaky good value play tonight is Dillon Brooks against Milwaukee in Memphis tonight. Brooks is a shooter and doesn’t do a ton statistically in other categories but when he’s hot, he’s hot! This is not a given, but he could have a nice night tonight. He’s been in double digits scoring his past 5 of 6 games and the Bucks are 8th worst against shooting guards in their last 5 games. Take it for what it’s worth but it doesn’t take much to reach 26 FPTs or five times value at this price. The Bucks are a good defensive team but they can be exploited at the shooting guard position. Solid value play if his shots fall and he ranks second on the team in usage.
R.J. Barrett (NYK) @ SAC ($6,100) PG/SG
I’m gonna need my troll-off spray again on this one. RJ Barrett is in a great matchup tonight and if he can produce another performance against a weak backcourt again tonight like he did in Golden State on Wednesday, then you got yourself a nice mid-tier selection here. I’m not trying to relive the past but when Barrett played the Kings earlier this year at home, He put up 35 FPTs on them and maybe coach Mike Miller is trying to figure out what strengths he has on this Knicks team the right way. The Kings are not a great defensive team in their backcourt right now and Barrett was a lot more expensive earlier this season so why not put him in one of your lineups when he’s coming off a monster game? Makes sense to me.
James Harden (HOU) @ ORL ($12,600) PG/SG
I like Westbrook’s matchup and price better on DK but you cannot fade James Harden nor look past his outrageous upside that he brings to the table night in, and night out. Evan Fournier nor Jonathan Isaac will stop Harden tonight. His price is going to be high every night, get used to it. If you like him, play him. You just can’t fade him ever.
Buddy Hield (SAC) vs NYK ($7,100) SG/SF
The Knicks are usually pretty average against opposing guards but I’m not afraid to add Hield to any of my lineups tonight. He’s been the face of this team in Fox’s and Bagley’s absence and even with Marvin Bagley back and projected to start, he’s still going to be at least 2nd in usage percentage on this team with Fox still out. Buddy has been on fire in his past three games averaging 41.9 FPTs per game and I think he should have a great night tonight and probably has a 40 FPT ceiling. Great mid-tier option at shooting guard.
Tobias Harris (PHI) vs. NO ($7,200) SF/PF
Realistically if the Heat could do it with four players from the same team, why couldn’t the Sixers. I’m not telling you to stack all the Sixers tonight but New Orleans is a bad, bad team defensively. Tobias Harris has a good matchup tonight as well. He’s averaging 44.1 FPTs over his past three games and who cares if this is a back to back?? Everyone but Al Horford (and he’s out) is young!! If you want to use any combination of 1-3 Sixers and can afford to do it tonight, you can do so! The people who stacked the Miami Heat the other night are counting their dollars so don’t listen to so called experts! Do you boo-boo!
Harris is a solid mid-tier option tonight. I just mention the players, I don’t build the lineups for you! BUT best believe I’m going to point out a good matchup when I see one no matter how many players on the team have one!
Paul George (LAC) @ MIN ($8,800) SF/PF
Obviously I don’t mind Kawhi’s matchup either, I just like Paul George’s price and his matchup that much more! George has been a little up and down recently but he did play two pretty good defensive teams in Toronto and Milwaukee in two of those past four games. He really should’ve done better in Toronto but they had a game plan in place and that team is just a good defensive team all around. Anyways, Minnesota is not good against opposing small forwards and George will likely see a lot of Josh Okogie tonight. Nuff said, I’m rolling with George. And if you look at George’s game patterns, he usually does very well after a poor performance this year. Solid price for a spend up at small forward on tonight’s slate.
Khris Middleton (MIL) @ MEM ($6,800) SG/SF
If Giannis is out, Middleton could see a ton of usage in this matchup. (Not that he doesn’t already, he’s 2nd on the team) Crowder is not a bad defender at all but Middleton’s been on quite a nice streak lately. In his past 5 games he’s averaging 36.9 FPTs per game, hitting at least 5 times value in that period of time. I ride the hot hand, and Middleton is a great option tonight at small forward.
Marvin Bagley (SAC) vs. NYK ($6,200) PF/C
Yup, I’m perfectly fine with Bagley tonight! When he’s on the court, he’s a fantasy point per minute monster and his minutes are only going to rise from here. I can realistically see him getting almost 30 minutes tonight, it was a thumb injury c’mon now! The Knicks are the worst team at defending opposing power forwards in their past 5 games and Bagley is cheap for his potential. I think he could be a sneaky good pick at this price, it’s a slow paced matchup but I think Bagley and Hield will have the best performances for the Kings tonight and your fantasy squads out of this matchup. Remember, slow pace games aren’t attractive but someone has to score. Disregard the stat trolls.
Aaron Gordon (ORL) vs. HOU ($6,700) SF/PF
They say home is where the heart is, and no truer words of that statement can be found other than Aaron Gordon. Gordon is averaging almost 6.3 more FPTs in matchups at home vs away games. Tonight he meets a Houston team that is not good against opposing power forwards and he’s averaging 37.8 FPTs over his past 5 games. He’s a nice mid-tier option at power forward tonight for Orlando.
Anthony Davis (LAL) @ MIA ($10,100) PF/C
Angry Bird Davis has been angry as of late averaging over 55 FPTs per game in his last 5 games! Tonight he gets a matchup with Bam Adebayo! Now this isn’t Bam Bam Bigelow ladies and gentleman, who was rough and tough and could knock you down! This is Bam “I don’t play great defense” Adebayo. LeBron will have his hands full with a lot of double coverage and Jimmy Butler tonight leaving this gaping hole up front for Anthony Davis to feast on the Miami front court. You think Meyers Leonard, or Olynyk has a shot either? They’re no better off than the bad piggies that get knocked off the blocks in the mobile game tonight. Anthony Davis is an excellent spend up option tonight.
Robert Covington (MIN) vs. LAC ($5,000) SF/PF
Covington for me is a mixture of gut feeling, sprinkled with some stats. The Clippers are fifth worst against opposing power forwards in their past 5 games. Covington also plays better at home, averaging 5.2 FPTs more at home this season. He’s a catch and shoot player and is a good defender who can get you 5-7 rebounds on any given night. Harkless is no slouch but if Covington gets open and some threes fall, you have yourself a bargain at only $5,000 and he may be low owned. GPP! Are ya with me!!!!! Solid value play.
Kenrich Williams (NO) @ PHI ($3,600) SF/PF
Favors is questionable tonight, but it looks like it’s leaning towards him not playing this game. If this is the case, then Kenrich Williams is too cheap to pass up tonight, Rotowire is already projecting him at the power forward slot and if that’s the case and Horford is already out, then play him. Williams hustles, rebounds and can score. Not to mention, the Sixers are 7th worst against the position in the past 5 games. Nice solid value play here if the stars align.
PJ Tucker (HOU) @ ORL ($4,800) PF/C
I also like Tucker tonight against Orlando. Tucker eats minutes for breakfast and at his price tonight and in a good matchup, I can’t look past him either. Remember guys I’m not telling you to play every Rocket either, but they have good matchups tonight. You can clearly stack 3 or 4 players from a team, it’s not always advised but you surely can. Tucker can rebound, he’s physical and he can shoot and he also seems to have a pattern this season of one good game and one off game. Well his last game was an off game, so what do you think happens tonight? Well we hope so anyway! Gordon hasn’t been himself defensively as of late and I think Tucker could expose him. Nice value play.
Cody Zeller (CHA) @ CHI ($4,700) Center
Cody Zeller has been a model of consistency lately, Yeah he may look like the 40 year old white guy you find at pick up games on a street court but don’t look past the fact that dude can ball! He’s averaging almost 28 FPTs per game in his past 4 games and has a nice matchup with Chicago tonight whom are not great at defending opposing centers and Wendell Carter Jr is suffering from a slew of injuries.He is coming off the bench but he has produced more than Biyomobo as of late. He’s a nice value play at center if you’d like to stack studs tonight. I also don;t mind if you pivot to Biyombo.
Domantas Sabonis (IND) @ ATL ($8,100) PF/C
I am not touching Myles Turner again until he shows me he can produce, with that said Sabonis will see plenty of Jabari Parker and Damian Jones, and some Alex Len I’m sure. Sabonis has wayyy more upside and his price isn’t terrible either. He’s been on a tear as of late averaging 47.5 FPTs per game in his past 5 games and I don’t see that production stopping tonight. Nice center/power forward option tonight.
Karl Anthony-Towns (MIN) vs LAC ($9,900) Center
The Clippers are not strong defensively at the center position, Towns isn’t the greatest defender either but what he can do is score and rebound and that’s all we need him to do tonight and a lot of it. He’s priced under 10k and some people will be scared away because it’s the Clippers!! Not me! I want plenty of Towns in my lineups tonight. Great spend up option at center.
Joel Embiid (PHI) vs. NO ($9,600) Center
As long as Embiid plays this back to back, which I think he will, He’s as close as a lock as you can get. I don’t care about back to backs with him because his last back to back he put up over 50 FPTs in both games. New Orleans is absolute rubbish up front and especially if Favors is out. Embiid is a no brainer as long as he plays and he’s dirt cheap for the kind of production he puts out. Excellent spend up option at center tonight.
Jonas Valancunias (MEM) vs. MIL ($6,500) Center
Great matchup for Val tonight at home vs. the Bucks. Val has been up and down for sure but Brook Lopez may find himself having trouble with Big Val tonight. Nice solid mid-tier option.
If Giannis is out, Bledsoe is in play tonight for sure, his price is $6,700. I don’t love him though.
I’m not saying to fade Butler or LeBron, they are just very expensive and both could throw out duds tonight. Butler is a great defender and so is LeBron when he wants to be. I’m fading them, doesn’t mean you have to.
There is a ton of value on this slate, please reach out to me if you have any lineup questions.
The Core 5: (These are my favorite players at every position tonight. These are not locks as I don’t believe in ever calling a player a lock. These are my favorite plays at every position and are not meant to be a method of an example lineup. The Core 5 has been a section I’ve received requests to do by our followers of the website and in the fb group I do the article for as well. Without further ado, here are my Core 5.
PG: Donovan Mitchell (UTA) vs. GS ($8,100) PG/SG
SG: D’Angelo Russell (GS) @ UTA ($7,700) PG/SG
SF: Paul George (LAC) @ MIN ($8,800) SF/PF
PF: Anthony Davis (LAL) @ MIA ($10,100) PF/C
Center: Joel Embiid (PHI) vs. NO ($9,600) Center **as long as he plays**
Thank you for reading and good luck tonight!!! Let’s get this moneyyy!!!