Written by: Coleman Bahr – Staff Writer (@ColemanBahr)
Merry Christmas! Nothing beats Christmas Day basketball, especially when it includes a Finals rematch. Today’s five game slate will be nothing short of fantastic, so let’s get to it!
| Point Guards
Russell Westbrook- DraftKings: $12,500 FanDuel: $12,600- Oklahoma City Thunder
You can count on 60 from Russell Westbrook at this point. He has topped 40 actual points in his last three games, and the Timberwolves certainly don’t have anyone to slow him down. Even if he can’t score 40, he’ll make up for it in assists. On a slate where the masses will flock to the Golden State-Cleveland game, Russ could see relatively low ownership.
Stephen Curry- DraftKings: $8,500 FanDuel: $8,600- Golden State Warriors
Steph Curry at $8,500 in a game where he should play 35+ minutes? Yes, please. The Warriors-Cavs game will be the chalky stack in tournaments, and it should pay off. All of the starters should play big time minutes, and a large Vegas total implies tons of fantasy goodness to be had.
Consider: Chris Paul
| Shooting Guards
Klay Thompson- DraftKings: $6,500 FanDuel: $6,200- Golden State Warriors
Much like Steph, Klay Thompson should see around 35 minutes, and that is the key to his upside. Even if his shot isn’t dropping, he will be able to reach around 30 fantasy points due to a bump in minutes. But if his shot is dropping, he will be the key to a tournament winning lineup.
Nick Young- DraftKings: $4,700 FanDuel: $4,700- Los Angeles Lakers
So, Nick Young has actually been pretty consistent lately. He’s reached 20 DraftKings points in five out of his last six games, and the Los Angeles Clippers have been pretty average against shooting guards lately. Young has also flashed 40-point upside, something that isn’t too common among sub-5k players.
| Small Forwards
Lebron James- DraftKings: $10,300 FanDuel: $10,100- Cleveland Cavaliers
Sticking to the theme of Cavs-Warriors, Lebron James will need a big performance to lead his team to victory. Despite the fact that The King would love to beat up on the Warriors in front of his home crowd, he is also coming off a blowout in which he was only required to play 27 minutes. James should easily see 35-40 minutes if this game stays close, and he is in line for another 50-60 fantasy point day.
Doug McDermott- DraftKings: $3,200 FanDuel: $3,600- Chicago Bulls
Doug McDermott has quietly logged at least 25 minutes in three straight games while posting double digit field goal attempts in all three games. On a day where I want to stack all the expensive players, McDermott will be a staple in all my lineups. His level of volume at this price tag is a rarity, and I’m going to cash in while I can.
| Power Forwards
Kevin Love- DraftKings: $8,200 FanDuel: $8,400- Cleveland Cavaliers
Kevin Love has (finally) settled into his own this season, and he has been a very reliable fantasy option. Over the past 20 games, he has only scored below 30 points twice, while scoring 50 or more five times. I’m not too concerned about his injury either. He eased his way back into action last game, and I expect him to play his full allotment of minutes in today’s game.
Amir Johnson- DraftKings: $3,100 FanDuel: $3,600- Boston Celtics
You have to love Amir Johnson’s price point. He’s basically the minimum around the industry, and he is averaging over 20 DK points in his last three games. His minutes have increased recently, logging at least 24 minutes in his last three games, and he should see around that amount once again. Minutes are opportunity in fantasy basketball, and I’m willing to take a shot on Amir Johnson at the minimum.
Deandre Jordan- DraftKings: $7,400 FanDuel: $7,300- Los Angeles Clippers
I’m not a huge fan of the price for Deandre Jordan today, but I just don’t know who’s going to cover him. He could be in line for a big game with Chris Paul back, and he is almost a lock for a double-double if this game doesn’t get out of hand too quickly.
Karl-Anthony Towns- DraftKings: $8,300 FanDuel: $9,100- Minnesota Timberwolves
Karl-Anthony Towns is more appropriately priced on FanDuel, but he will be in nearly all of my DraftKings lineups. He gets an up-tempo matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder, and he thrives in these kinds of games. KAT hasn’t scored less than 42 DK points since December 9th, which was a blowout, so he is one of the safer options on the board on DraftKings, although he is more of a risk on FanDuel.
That’s all I have for today, good luck, and Merry Christmas!