The NBA Daily Plays for Monday, December 21st 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 $9,500) –
A scoring-dependent fantasy player, it’s no wonder Wall performs much better in fast-paced games. In his last four appearances in accelerated match ups, Wall has posted an average of 54.3 FanDuel points per game. In comparison, the point guard has averaged 31.7 FPPG in games where his speed has been hindered. SAC/WAS features a game pace of 101.3, so another phenomenal outing from D.C.’s star should be expected.
Jeremy Lin, Charlotte Hornets (FD $5,200, DK $5,200)-
Jeremy Lin has seen a ton of minutes next to Kemba Walker this season (47:54 per 100 possessions, to be exact), which equates to a lot of time at shooting guard. Tonight, Linsanity is likely to see a lot of James Harden ‘defense’ that will likely leave him open frequently. At a price tag barely above 5k, the sixth man makes for great salary relief tonight.
Damian Lillard, Portland Trailblazers (FD $8,900, DK $8,800)-
Dame is dealing with some nagging foot issues, but it doesn’t seem like much to be concerned about. I’d rather pay up for Wall, but Lillard could come up huge in tournaments. His matchup is ideal, as he faces Jeff Teague and the Hawks, one of the worst teams in the league vs. opposing point guards.
UPDATE: Lillard has been confirmed out tonight vs. Atlanta. Allen Crabbe makes for a great punt play in his wake.
Jimmy Butler, Chicago Bulls (FD $8,500, DK 7,400) –
Jimmy Buckets just may end the Nets’ season tonight. One of the worst wing-defending teams in the league, Brooklyn faces one of the best shooting guards in the league. I expect the Bulls to push the pace out of the post, which means tons of usage for Butler.
Arron Afflalo, New York Knicks (FD $5,200, DK $4,900)-
Afflalo has been very good recently, averaging 19.6 PPG over his last five outings. Even more appealing, Afflalo has received nearly 34 MPG during that same time period. As long as the court time remains consistent, the points will continue to fall, including tonight vs. the Magic.
Eric Bledsoe, Phoenix Suns (FD $8,900, DK $8,400)-
The Utah Jazz miss Rudy Gobert a lot, as noted by their defensive downward spiral into mediocrity. Tonight, their inept front court will have the displeasure of defending Eric Bledsoe, whom loves taking advantage of a great matchup. Bledsoe has become a bit pricey, but is worth the pay-up.
Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder (FD $9,800, DK $1o,100)
In one of the more enticing games of the evening, Kevin Durant and the Thunder take on the Clippers, a team that won’t have an answer for him defensively. Due to heavy blowouts, Durant’s production has taken a dip, which has caused his price tag to follow suit. However, the Thunder will need a lot of Durant to keep things close in Los Angeles, so tonight is the night to roster Durantula.
Kelly Oubre, Washington Wizards (FD $3,600, DK $3,300)-
Anytime a starter is available at near-minimum price, you take the leap. Oubre has an impressive skill set, and is due to start tonight vs. one of the worst defensive teams in the league. The rookie has responded well to increased minute totals as of late, and could pay off big at his price.
Rudy Gay, Sacramento Kings (FD $7,200, DK $7,000) –
The Wizards will be without Otto Porter tonight, which will result in an already weak Wizards’ wing defense becoming weaker. Opposing small forwards have abused the Wizards for an average of 48.5 DraftKings points over their last five games, and Rudy Gay is next and line. Gay’s usage rate has soared by nearly 3 points over his last two outings, and that trend should continue tonight in D.C.
Paul Millsap, Atlanta Hawks (FD $8,300, DK $8,000) –
The Hawks have been a letdown this year, but the same can’t be said for Paul Millsap. The forward has been phenomenal, posting a season-long average of 18 points and 9 rebounds per game. Tonight, Millsap will have the pleasure of punishing a weak Portland front court, and should build upon his double-digit scoring streak.
Cody Zeller, Charlotte Hornets (FD $4,100, DK $4,700)-
I love playing power forwards vs. Houston, particularly when said forward comes at a reduced price. Zeller’s minutes have taken a slight hit, but his production hasn’t regressed in a negative fashion. The Hornet should have no issues making value vs. the worst defensive front court in the league.
Kristaps Porzingis, New York Knicks (FD $6,300, DK $7,400)-
Porzingis himself admits he’s hit a rookie wall, after struggling for the duration of a demanding road trip. However, after two days off, the rookie is returning home, just in time to face off vs. Orlando. The Magic are vulnerable in the front court, and I believe this to be a great spot for Porzingis to undergo revitalization. Kristaps’ price has taken a huge hit on FanDuel, opening a window to buy low.
Dwight Howard, Houston Rockets (FD $7,700, DK $7,200) –
Those who refuse to roster Dwight Howard for whatever reason are starting to realize the err of their ways. D12 may not been the dominate player he once was, but is still able to capitalize on an advantageous matchup. The Hornets are dreadful vs. opposing centers, and Howard should have a field day. The big man is coming off of an outstanding performance vs. the Clippers, posting a 22/14 double-double.
Gorgui Dieng, Minnesota Timberwolves (FD $4,900, DK $5,300)-
Another day, another Dieng. The 6’11” giant continues to make waves off of the Timberwolves bench, receiving an average of 34 MPG over his last three outings. Tonight, Gorgui will look to make another victim of the Celtics’ front court, an Achilles’ heel for an otherwise strong Boston defense.
Brook Lopez, Brooklyn Nets (FD $7,700, DK $6,700)
Monday night gifts us another opportunity to take advantage of the Bulls’ horrifying rebounding differential. Lopez tends to be a much better scorer than board-grabber, but is in line to post a healthy double-double tonight. The Brooklyn big man comes at a similar price to Dwight Howard, and makes for an interesting pivot play.