Happy New Year everyone! I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas last week.
Tonight we have a small four-game slate, and three of the four games have implied totals over 216. The Lakers played a double-overtime game against the Rockets last night, while the Timberwolves are also on a back-to-back. I’m not too worried about a blowout in that game, but I did want to note the massive amount of minutes the Lakers played last night.
Let’s get right into my top picks for FanDuel and DraftKings. As always, make sure to keep up with the RotoGrinders DFS Alerts App to stay up with injury news, and tune into the RotoGrinders Court Report at 5:30 EST through lock to get updated thoughts on the night ahead as news comes in.
Shabazz Napier @ Chicago Bulls
Damian Lillard is a game-time decision tonight, so I’m hoping we have the news before lineup lock. If he’s out again, Napier becomes an auto play for me. Point guard is weak tonight, and some of the available options are way overpriced. Napier has played at least 34 minutes in the four games without Lillard, and he has at least 35 fantasy points in each of those games. He also has 20 actual points in three of those four games. Napier has a 26.3% usage rate and is averaging 1.08 fantasy points per minute during that span, as well. The Bulls have struggled against point guards this season, so this is a really good spot if Lillard is out again.
Josh Hart @ Minnesota Timberwolves
With Kentavious Caldwell-Pope out tonight, Josh Hart should start and play 30+ minutes for the Lakers. Hart has played 32, 27, and 36 minutes in his three starts for KCP this season, and he has over 27 fantasy points in each of those three games. Minnesota ranks 24th in defensive efficiency against shooting guards this season, and with the Lakers playing double overtime last night, I expect them to turn to the young guys in this spot. Hart is one of my favorite value plays on the slate, and without a lot of news tonight, he’s the option I’m looking at for a lot of my lineups.
Other Options: CJ McCollum, DeMar DeRozan
Jimmy Butler vs. Los Angles Lakers
There aren’t a lot of studs on this slate, but both of the high-priced options I want come from the Timberwolves. I think Butler is an excellent pivot off Giannis Antetokounmpo in tournaments tonight. Butler only played 26 minutes against the Pacers last night, and it was the third time in four games that he scored at least 45 fantasy points. He’s also played at least 40 minutes in three of the last four games. Meanwhile, the Lakers rank 26th in total defensive efficiency this season, and they’re bottom 10 against shooting guards. The Timberwolves receive the biggest bump in pace tonight, and Butler should benefit.
Aaron Gordon @ Brooklyn Nets
This game total opened at 217 but is already up to 219.5 on most sites. I think this is the game to stack tonight, and I think Gordon is one of the top plays on the slate. The Magic and the Nets are both ranked in the bottom five in total defensive efficiency this season. I expect a lot of scoring in this game, as this is projected as the fastest-paced game on the slate. The Magic play at a fast pace already, and it’s rare they actually get a bump in tempo. Gordon has a 29.4% usage rate without Vucevic, Ross, and Isaac on the floor this season, and he’s averaging 1.17 fantasy points per minute in that span.
Karl-Anthony Towns vs. Los Angles Lakers
Towns is the top play on the slate for me tonight, and he’s going to be the first guy in every lineup I make. Center is extremely weak, so I’m simply going to pay up for Towns. On DraftKings, I like Biyombo as well as KAT, but on FanDuel, I’m playing Towns. The Timberwolves have a 113 implied team total tonight, which is 4.5 points higher than their season average. The Lakers are allowing the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing centers this season, and Towns went for 48 fantasy points against them on Christmas Day. I love this spot for him overall.