Fantasy NBA

Daily fantasy NBA basketball slate breakdown for DraftKings and FanDuel – 12.29.16

Written by: Christopher Dagostino – Staff Writing Intern (@Mighty_Dag)

Tonight we have a nice six game slate with a plethora of options and ways to go. We have a lot of close spreads on the schedule tonight which should make for a great night of basketball. We have an Eastern Conference Semifinal rematch tonight with the Celtics visiting the Cavaliers. This will be another night where paying attention to news will make the slate in terms of discovering value. Personally, I am going to fade Westbrook tonight and build a more balanced lineup.

| Miami Heat at Charlotte Hornets

Spread:  CHA -6:
Vegas Total: 199

Dion Waiters, Josh Mcroberts remain out. Marco Benelli is questionable. The Hornets will be traveling back home after playing in Orlando last night. Hassan Whiteside seems like a prime tournament tonight versus a Charlotte team that ranks 24th against centers. He has been playing a few less minutes over his last three games along with rumors that he is playing a bit hurt, I am trending a little lighter on him tonight. Other then targeting value from James Johnson in tournaments and Justice Winslow in cash games, there is not too much to like here with a Charlotte team that plays well at home while ranking seventh in defensive efficiency and 11th in points allowed per game. Goran Dragic is probable tonight meaning he could be a nice low owned gpp target.  Kemba Walker only played 25 minutes in a blowout last night, meaning he remains viable target in his preferred split at home in a matchup with Dragic who owns a -2.55 defensive rating plus minus. Nicholas Batum has been consistent as ever, putting up over 44 DK points in six of his last seven games. Michael Kidd- Gilchrist and Jeremy Lamb are viable if Marco Benelli is ruled out. Cody Zeller remains a decent cash game target with limited upside.

| Boston Celtics at Cleveland Cavaliers

Spread: Cle -6
Vegas Total: 215

This should be a very good game tonight as the Celtics are looking for there third straight win. Kyrie Irving is listed as questionable with an illness and should play tonight. The place to attack the Cavaliers is through the backcourt, making Avery Bradley and Isaiah Thomas nice targets in any format against a Cavaliers team that ranks 25th versus shooting guards while Thomas faces Kyrie defense at less then 100%. Al Horford has a tough matchup with Tristian Thomspon who owns an elite 2.1 defensive rating plus minus.

At 7,600 on Draftkings, Kyrie Irving has gone for over 50+ DK in 3 of his last 6 and remains a great option if fading Westbrook. Any of the big three are clearly in play and a stack of all three is certainly viable. Kevin Love is my favorite option based off the bare power forward options tonight while being able to target a struggling Boston frontcourt.

| Oklahoma City at Memphis Grizzles

Spread: Mem -2.5
Vegas Total: 198.55

The Thunder tonight are implied to score almost 9 fewer points than their season average. If there was ever a smaller slate to fade Westbrook, tonight is a very compelling night to do so. Memphis plays at the 2nd slowest pace and ranks 4th in points allowed per game. This will make Westbrook ceiling hard to reach and on Draftkings you are searching for his upside at his price tag. Westbrook has only scored more then 44 DK points vs Memphis once, although I expect him to exceed that number tonight, I do not expect much more then that. However, if Mike Conley is ruled out this would make a Westbrook play more compelling. Enes Kanter is probably the best target after averaging almost 30 minutes per game over his last 4, but his price is rising across the industry.

Memphis has a pace up match versus the Thunder, with Mike Conley questionable with a toe injury, Andrew Harrison would be an elite value in any format against a Thunder team that ranks 25th with point guards. Tony Allen remains a viable option while receiving especially on Fanduel while he plays around 30 minutes per game. Marc Gasol is a tournament and cash target if Conley is ruled out, although I prefer Whiteside tonight if Conley is playing.

| Toronto Raptors at Phoenix Suns

Spread: Toronto -9
Vegas Total: 220.5

This will be an overall fast paced matchup with a lot of fantasy goodness. The Suns are playing very little defense allowing the 2nd most points per game while ranking 22nd or worse to every position. We can target the Raptors guards with confidence with the highest implied team total of 114.5. Lowry and Derozan are one of the few stars we don’t have to worry about as much, as Dwayne Casey will continuously trout Derozan and especially Lowry even if the game is in hand. I prefer Lowry who is not as scoring dependent and can rank up lots of peripherals in this matchup.

Eric Bledsoe will likely be very low owned tonight sitting at a price tag similar to Thomas and Irving, but he has a ton of upside and especially interesting if you are playing a Raptor. TJ Warren is my favorite target from this team as his minutes restriction is seemingly lifted and price remains low after injury after putting up 30+ DK points in 3 out of his last four.

| Philadelphia 76ers at Utah Jazz

Spread: Utah – 13
Vegas Total: 196

Philadelphia will receive one of the worst fantasy matchups, implied for only 91.5 points, and will be without Joel Embiid tonight. Utah is the 2nd slowest pace team and has an elite rim defender in Rudy Gobbert. Robert Covington and Jahil Okafor are intriguing for value purposes and seemingly a usage uptick with Embiid missing.

The Jazz side is much more intriguing as a 13-point favorite implied for 103.5 points. Shelvin Mack would be a nice value if George Hill is ruled out tonight after averaging 33 minutes while Dante Exum has been out. Rodney Hood has been awful as of late but he is a season low 4,300 on fanduel and will likely be chalky. Gordon Hayward will fill up the stat sheet although he does draw a tougher matchup against Robert Covington. Hayward is viable on either site if looking for an upside small forward that is not named Lebron James. Rudy Gobert is one of my favorite plays who should be able to exploit the Sixers weak interior defense without Embiid.

| Dallas Mavericks at Los Angeles Lakers

Spread: LAL -2.5
Vegas Total: 204

The Mavericks will receive a huge pace bump against the defensive inept Lakers. The Lakers rank 25th or worst to every position making any Maverick starter in play. Deron Williams and Wesley Matthews are two of my favorite mid range plays as they should see a plethora of minutes with Barea still out. Harrison Barnes is a great option on fanduel where you need to play two small forwards and an upside option if fading Lebron and Hayward on Draftkings. Seth Curry is a viable cheap play off the bench.

The Lakers guard situation is a mess with all of the guards healthy seems like an area to avoid. Loul Deng has scored over 28+ fantasy points in six straight and remains an elite value option tonight. Julius Randle is always an intriguing play as he fills up the stat sheet and will get an exploitable matchup with Harrison Barnes or Dirk.


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