NBA Daily Fantasy Helper: Monday 12/14/15
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 - After fighting through various injuries over the course of the fist month of the season, Davis is finally healthy and seems to be catching his stride. The Brow has recorded double-doubles in 9 of the 11 games since returning from his shoulder injury, and is averaging 24 points, 12.7 boards and 2.7 blocks per game over that span. Tonight, he draws a great matchup tonight against a Portland frontcourt that has given up the eighth most fantasy points per game to opposing power forwards in a game that Vegas expects to be the highest scoring contest on tonight's slate. The Pelicans' star is our top overall projected player on the board.
Damian Lillard - As I just mentioned, tonight's game between the Pelicans' and Trail Blazers should be an incredibly high-scoring game, and much of that has to do with New Orleans' horrific defensive play. The Pelicans currently rank dead last in the league in Defensive Rating and in Defensive Efficiency according to our metrics, having allowed 108.4 points per game, which is the most in all of basketball. They also play at the eighth fastest pace in the NBA, which makes them an ideal defense to target in daily fantasy. Lillard is a true floor general for the Blazers, leading the team in scoring (24.4 points per game), Assist Percentage (33.8%), Usage Rate (31.3%) and playing time (36.8 minutes per game). The Blazers' star should have little trouble dominating a Pelicans' squad that has allowed the second most points per game to opposing point guards on the year and can be had for a pretty reasonable price across the industry. He is dollar for dollar one of the best plays on the board tonight.
Top Mid-Range Values
Danilo Gallinari - The Nuggets have been incredibly thin in their front court this season and Gallinari has been forced into a huge workload as of late. The versatile Nuggets' forward has averaged 18.9 points, 6 rebounds and 2.8 assists in a whopping 38 minutes per game in the month of December and will likely see his usage increase with rookie point guard Emmanuel Mudiay out of the lineup tonight. He gets the pleasure of facing off against a Rockets' defense that has given up the third most fantasy points per game to opposing small forwards and gets to do so while playing at home in Denver. Look for Gallinari to have a monster game at a thin small forward position in what should be one of the highest-scoring games on tonight's slate.
Brook Lopez - Lopez has been one of the most consistent fantasy performers in the league this year. He's posted 19.4 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.2 blocks and 1.6 assists per game and has managed to stay healthy, something he has struggled to do in the past. While the Magic have been a much improved defensive until from a year ago, they still have trouble defending opposing centers -- they have allowed the ninth most fantasy points per game to the position -- and Lopez is a handful for even the best defensive front courts. Expect another big game from Lopez in a plus matchup against Nikola Vucevic and the Magic.
Jeff Green - The Grizzlies have moved to a small-ball lineup with both Green starting at small forward and Matt Barnes starting at the power forward position. Green, Barnes and Courtney Lee are all in play tonight against a banged-up Wizards' team, but Green is probably my favorite of the bunch, especially in cash games. In 16 starts this season, the former Georgetown Hoya standout is averaging 12.5 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 30.1 minutes per game. He should see a boost in usage in a smaller lineup, and gets a tremendous matchup against a terrible Washington defense that has given up the second most fantasy points per game to opposing small forwards. Green provides excellent value at just $4,100 on FanDuel and $4,600 on DraftKings.
Jameer Nelson - As I mentioned earlier, the Nuggets' starting point guard, Mudiay, will not be able to play tonight. That means that their veteran backup point guard Nelson will be forced to slide into the starting lineup tonight in a potential shootout against the Rockets. Nelson has been pretty productive in his diminished role and is averaging 10.6 points, 6.3 assists, 3.6 rebounds and a steal on a per-36 minute basis. He should see minutes in the mid-30s in a great matchup against the defensively-challenged Rockets and can be had for just $4,200 on both FanDuel and DraftKings. He is going to be one of the most popular value plays on tonight's slate.