We have 12 games on tonight’s slate and plenty of players that are in great matchups. As of this writing, no value plays have emerged due to injuries, but there is plenty of time left in the day for that. Keep an eye on Twitter and Rotoworld and be ready to adjust your lineups if an important player is ruled out in any of tonight’s games. Assuming no news breaks, these are the FanDuel plays I’ll be on tonight.
Tyreke Evans, New Orleans Pelicans, $7,600 – The Jazz are often thought of as a tough defensive team, but they were ranked in the bottom third of the league in defensive efficiency in November, and are currently ranked 29th in December. The defense was falling off a cliff before Rudy Gobert’s injury, and his absence simply exacerbates it. I have no issue with targeting Pelicans today in a matchup with a 202.5 point total where Utah is only favored by four on the NBA odds board. Evans has been playing at a high level, and his ability to contribute across all categories makes him an elite fantasy asset whose price has yet to rise to a level commensurate with his recent production. I’m locking him in at point guard as he has a very high floor and ceiling relative to his $7,600 price tag.
Raymond Felton, Dallas Mavericks, $5,100 – On the surface, a road matchup with Indiana doesn’t sound appealing, but the Pacers have been struggling against opposing shooting guards (Felton starts at shooting guard, but is listed as a point guard) all season. On the season, they’re allowing the most FanDuel points per game to opposing shooting guards. Monta Ellis is not a good defender, and I’m expecting Felton to keep up his recent trend of crushing his value threshold. He’s underpriced relative to what he’s been doing every night, and I think he’s a lock to finish in the 25 to 30 fantasy point range once again. At his price, I just can’t pass on his per-dollar production.
Allen Crabbe, Portland Trail Blazers, $4,100 – Crabbe is likely not a player you’d expect to show up in this article, but I’m a value hunter, and I believe he offers excellent value tonight. Over the past several games, he’s seen his role expand, and he’s playing anywhere from 25 to 30 minutes on a consistent basis. He’s taking around ten shots per game and is grabbing enough rebounds to pay off his price tag on an almost nightly basis. As a bench player, he’s blowout-proof, and I like that he will see a lot of time against Oklahoma City’s second unit. I don’t like paying up at the shooting guard position tonight, and I’d rather use a player that I think has a great chance to get me five or more points per $1,000.
Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors, $6,400 – When in doubt, just roster a Warrior. Both Brandon Knight and Eric Bledsoe are solid defenders, but it doesn’t matter against Golden State. Their ball movement is elite, which is going to free up Thompson for plenty of open looks. In a matchup between the second and third-fastest teams in the league, I’m expecting Thompson and the Warriors to all put up big games tonight. The blowout is a concern, but Golden State will likely have 100 points by the end of the third quarter, which means all of the starters should get their production in before sitting out the fourth quarter. If the game is close, they’re all going to have huge games. There’s no real down side to using Thompson at a position that isn’t offering much in the way of value.
Matt Barnes, Memphis Grizzlies, $4,900 – Barnes’s price hasn’t come up enough to match his production as a member of the starting unit. With the Grizzlies attempting to play smaller, Barnes is seeing significant run at the four and is parlaying his increase in playing time into big fantasy performances. He’s been well over 30 fantasy points in each of his past two games, and I think he’s offering a floor of at least 20 to 25 points each and every night. The Bulls have been solid defensively lately, but there’s almost no risk in rostering Barnes, and his floor and ceiling make him an elite option in all game formats tonight.
Paul George, Indiana Pacers, $9,400 – This is a great night to target George. He’s coming off of three lackluster fantasy performances, but they’ve occurred against two extremely slow, tough defensive teams in Miami and Detroit, and a Toronto team he only played 24 minutes against due to foul trouble (an anomaly). Tonight’s matchup with Dallas should be close, and the Mavericks don’t have a wing defender that’s capable of slowing him down. Not long ago, George was putting up huge fantasy totals each and every night, and I strongly believe he’s going to get right back on track tonight. Surprisingly, the Pacers are ranked seventh in pace this season, so we should expect an up-tempo matchup with a Mavericks team that isn’t afraid to run either.
Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors, $8,800 – I’m not fading Green in what should be an extremely fast-paced matchup with the Suns. Even if the game is a blowout, Green has triple double potential against any team, and with the expectation that this game is going to feature a ton of possessions, he’ll have plenty of opportunities to contribute on the offensive and defensive end. As only the third player in NBA history to record a 20-10-5-5-5 line, it’s obvious he contributes in every category, and is one of fantasy’s elite players. I love his floor tonight, and he has as much upside as any player in this matchup.
Jon Leuer, Phoenix Suns, $5,000 – Leuer draws a tough matchup against Golden State tonight, but given that these two teams are going to be flying up and down the court, I think he’s a great play for only $5,000. He’s going to start and likely see around 30 minutes, and while it may not be the most efficient night, I think he’ll contribute enough points and rebounds to reach 25 or more fantasy points tonight. Also keep in mind that while the Warriors are expected to win comfortably, sports are unpredictable, and this game could end up being closer than most of us think. If that happens, both Suns and Warriors players could have huge nights.
Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons, $9,100 – The Celtics do a lot of things very well, but rebounding the basketball is not one of them. They don’t have anyone that can match up with, or keep Drummond in check tonight. He should dominate in the paint, and with the Pistons likely playing way up in pace against a Boston team that’s playing at the fifth-fastest pace in the league, Drummond is line for a huge game tonight. Boston does a fantastic job of defending opposing guards and wings, so expect Detroit to attack them inside with Drummond. I’m targeting him in all game formats tonight.
Jahlil Okafor, Philadelphia 76ers, $6,900 – Nerlens Noel is out again tonight, so feel free to fire up Okafor in a very favorable matchup against the Hawks. The Sixers and Hawks are tied for worst rebounding rate in the league at 47.2%, and the Atlanta has done an overall poor job of defending opposing centers this season. With Okafor sporting a very high usage rate, he should once again put together a very solid performance even if the Sixers fail to keep the game close. They were ultimately blown out by Chicago last game, but Okafor still had a solid game against a soft front court, and I expect the same tonight.