NBA Daily Fantasy Helper: Monday 12/7/15

With Chris Paul sidelined tonight, Blake Griffin will be forced to carry the load for the Clippers' offense.

If you've never played daily fantasy basketball before, it's time to start. Unlike traditional leagues, you're able to select the players you want on that specific day only, giving you a different squad to root for each and every NBA night.

Today's lineups can be found here. The information below is to help you understand why particular players are being picked, because we don't want you going into the night completely blind. We want to help you. Keep in mind, however, that things often change up until tip-off, so make sure you're refreshing the optimal lineups as close to the start of games as possible.

Let's get to it.

The Best of the Best

Anthony Davis - Davis comes into tonight's showdown with the Celtics red hot. The Brow is averaging 26 points, 13.8 rebounds, 2.9 blocks and 1.8 steals in a whopping 38.9 minutes per game over his last eight outings after being in and out of the Pelicans' lineup due to a shoulder injury. He's double-doubled in seven of those games and is coming off of a monstrous 31-point, 12-rebound, 4-steal performance against the Cavaliers on Friday. Tonight, Davis draws a great matchup against a Celtics' interior defense that has given up the ninth most fantasy points to opposing power forwards over their last seven games in what Vegas expects to be the highest scoring game on tonight's slate. He is our top overall projected player on the board.

Blake Griffin - The Clippers will be without their floor general Chris Paul for the third consecutive game, which means Los Angeles will be forced to lean heavily on their star big man tonight. Paul has already missed five games this season. In those five games, Griffin has posted 25.4 points, 7.8 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game with a massive 32.2% Usage Rate. Griffin will likely be covered by some combination of old-man Kevin Garnett and rookie Nemanja Bjelica and should have little trouble dominating that pair. The only fear about playing him in the absence of his running mate Paul is the threat of a blowout, but that should be no concern tonight against the less-than-stellar Timberwolves so do not hesitate to plug Griffin into your lineups in all formats.

Top Mid-Range Values

Isaiah Thomas - As I mentioned earlier, tonight's matchup between the Pelicans and Celtics expected to be tonight's highest scoring game by a wide margin with an over/under of 211.5, and much of that huge total can be attributed to New Orleans' horrific defensive play this season. The Pelicans rank dead last in the league in both opposing points per game (109) and Defensive Rating (110.9). They also play at the eighth fastest pace in the league, which makes them an ideal defense to target in daily fantasy. Marcus Smart remains without a definitive timetable for his return to the court, which means Thomas will continue to start at point guard for the Celtics and should dominate a Pelicans' backcourt that has given up the second most fantasy points per game to opposing point guards on the year. 

Tyreke Evans - Evans was expected to be on a minutes limit upon his return to action after missing New Orleans' first 17 games while recovering from knee surgery, but that has not been the case. The Pelicans' versatile guard has played at least 31 minutes in each of his first three games back, averaging 14.7 points, 9.3 dimes and 6 boards over that span. Now healthy, Evans will be his team's second option on the offensive end of the floor behind the aforementioned Davis and will be in prime position to continue to fill up the stat sheet as the Pelicans' de facto point guard. With a plus matchup against the undersized Thomas in what is expected to be a fast-paced shootout, Evans makes a tremendous play tonight while he still has a reasonable price tag.

Basement Ballers

Jeremy Lin - Kemba Walker will miss tonight's game with an illness, which means Lin will slide into the Hornets' starting lineup for a spot start. Although his minutes have been inconsistent throughout the first quarter of the season, the veteran guard has produced when given the opportunity, averaging 16.4 points to go along with 4.6 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.4 steals on a per-36 minute basis. While a matchup with the Pistons is less-than-ideal, Lin should push for close to 30 minutes of action tonight and will likely see a huge boost in usage as well, especially considering Charlotte is already without Al Jefferson. Lin should provide excellent value at just $4,500 on FanDuel and $4,100 on DraftKings.

Jon Leuer - Markieff Morris missed last Wednesday's game against Detroit and Leuer scored 20 points with 6 rebounds and 5 assists in 39 minutes while filling in for Morris. Since then, Morris seems to have not only fallen out of the Suns' starting lineup but may have fallen out of the rotation all together after picking up a "did not play - coaches decision" yesterday against Memphis, while Leuer recorded a 10-point, 11-rebound double-double while adding 4 assists and 3 blocks in a whopping 41 minutes. Leuer is expected to draw another start tonight against a Bulls' squad that has given up the 11th most fantasy points per game to opposing power forwards and could see another heavy workload. He is dollar for dollar my favorite play on the board tonight at just $4,000 on FanDuel and $4,400 on DraftKings.