The NBA Daily Plays for Monday, December 14th breaks down the best Stud, Value and GPP plays at each position for FanDuel and DraftKings daily fantasy sports contests. The Stud & Value plays should be considered relatively chalky and are ideal for cash games. The GPP plays dig a little deeper to hopefully find some low owned talent who could pay off big in a tournament. Make sure you check out our NBA projections page to help in your DFS research.
John Wall, Washington Wizards (FD $9,900, DK $9,700) –
Bradley Beal is out for the foreseeable future, which helps John Wall evolve into a must play each night until his fellow backcourter returns. Wall boasts the highest floor on the board tonight, and is a necessary piece in cash lineups. The point guard put up an individual offensive rating of 131 (!!!) vs. the Mavericks on Saturday, and has an even better matchup tonight vs. the Grizzlies.
Jameer Nelson, Denver Nuggets (FD $4,200, DK $4,200)-
Emmanuel Mudiay will miss tonight’s game vs. the Nuggets, his second consecutive absence. Jameer Nelson filled in admirably for Mudiay vs. the Timberwolves, posting a stat line of 20/6/7. Nelson is in for another great start tonight vs. the Rockets, who have struggled to defend opposing backcourts. Rostering Nelson at his thrifty price will be a popular move until Mudiay’s return.
Damian Lillard, Portland Trailblazers (FD $9,200, DK $8,800)-
Dame Lillard is in a phenomenal spot tonight, as he and the Blazers take on a Pelicans team that couldn’t defend a brick wall. Portland attacked New Orleans with Lillard in their last meeting, to the end result of the point guard tallying a 33.7% usage rate. Tonight’s matchup should be no different.
James Harden, Houston Rockets (FD $10,700, DK $10,800) –
Ignoring James Harden tonight could be considered contrarian, but could be easily more defined as foolish. The Beard has the highest ceiling on the board tonight, as he goes toe-to-toe vs. a Nuggets team that struggles greatly vs. opposing shooting guards. Harden has scored 50 points vs. Denver over two meetings this season, and will look to add upon that gaudy total tonight.
Allen Crabbe, Portland Trailblazers (FD $4,000, DK $3,800)-
At what point do we start recognizing Allen Crabbe? As Portland’s sixth man, Crabbe has been a scoring machine, averaging 14.4 points over 27.4 minutes in his last five games. The guard won’t likely have to see too much of Tyreke Evan’s defense, and will have the opportunity to attack the weak guard depth of the Pelicans.
Eric Bledsoe, Phoenix Suns (FD $8,800, DK $8,400)-
The Suns hold a heavy 104.5 team total tonight, so why not target their best scorer? Bledsoe is expensive, but is a dependable fantasy asset. If you’re looking to shy away from Harden shares, Bledsoe makes for a solid contrarian play.
Danilo Gallinari, Denver Nuggets (FD $7,200, DK $6,900)
Gallinari is the lifeline of this Denver team, and the Nuggets will look upon their best scorer to keep up with James Harden and the Rockets. Houston’s defense is absolutely putrid vs. opposing small forwards, allowing solid numbers in nearly every category. Our projections have Gallinari reaching five times his value.
Matt Barnes, Memphis Grizzlies (FD $4,100, DK $4,300)-
The Grizzles are giving small ball a shot, and it has done wonders for Matt Barnes’ ceiling. Yesterday, he obliterated the Heat for 13 and 13 over 37 minutes, numbers Barnes was slowly trending towards. He may have finally arrived at his peak, but his matchup is phenomenal tonight vs. the Wizards.
Otto Porter, Washington Wizards (FD $6,000, DK $6,200) –
Many assume that John Wall receives the biggest boost in Bradley Beal’s absence, but Otto Porter is actually the greatest beneficiary. Porter assumed a large offensive role vs. the Mavericks on Saturday, playing 39 minutes to the tune of 28 points. The small forward is the only remaining threat on the wing for Washington, so expect Wall to look his way often tonight vs. the Grizzlies.
Pau Gasol, Chicago Bulls (FD $8,500, DK $7,900) –
A weak defensive front court in Philadelphia will be even more frail tonight, as Nerlens Noel (eye) won’t play tonight vs. Chicago. Enter Pau Gasol, whom should feast on the boards for the entirety of the evening. Blowout potential is a bit concerning here, but the Bulls have allowed even the most pitiful opponents to keep the score close.
Jon Leuer, Phoenix Suns (FD $4,600, DK $5,900)-
If you’re on FanDuel tonight, take advantage of Leuer’s price while you can. The forward remains at a sub-$5k price tag, despite a steady floor of 25 FPTs. Leuer holds a great matchup vs. a Dallas team that struggles to rebound effectively.
Thaddeus Young, Brooklyn Nets (FD $7,000, DK $7,200)-
Paying up at power forward will be a popular move tonight, so sinking to the next price threshold should be fairly contrarian. Thaddeus Young will go to war against Orlando’s front court tonight, a defensive paint presence which is hardly intimidating. The Magic allow opposing power forwards to score quite consistently, which is Young’s bread and butter.
Dwight Howard, Houston Rockets (FD $7,800, DK $7,200) –
Dwight Howard remains a solid cash game center, despite what many people think. D12 is able to take advantage of a good matchup, and he’ll be dealt a great one vs. Denver tonight. Clint Capela (illness) is questionable tonight, and if he sits, Howard will receive a ton of minutes.
Alexis Ajinca, New Orleans Pelicans (FD $3,800, DK $3,400)-
Thanks to Omer Asik’s disappointing season at center, Alexis Ajinca recently grabbed the reigns. The Frenchmen has responded in a modest way, putting up healthy fantasy points in bottled minutes. Ajinca is without a doubt outperforming Asik, and should get the start again tonight vs. Portland. The Trailblazers matchup poorly vs. Ajinca, as they’re an easy trial for opposing centers.
Jahlil Okafor, Philadelphia 76ers (FD $6,300, DK $6,400)
Inconsistency alone makes Okafor a tournament play tonight, as his other trends point towards a monstrous night. Nerlens Noel (eye) will be held out tonight, which will leave plenty of boards and minutes on the table for Okafor. The rookie is projected to hit a whopping six times his value on our spreadsheets.