NBA Daily Fantasy Helper: Tuesday 12/29/15
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
Andre Drummond - Drummond has been virtually unstoppable this season, averaging 18.3 points and 16.3 rebounds per game this season, a feat that only Hall of Famer Moses Malone has accomplished. The Pistons' star big man has amassed a league-leading 27 double-doubles in just 31 games so far this season, and should be in prime position to add to his total tonight against a Knicks' defense that has allowed the ninth most fantasy points per game to opposing centers on the year. Drummond is clearly the top option at center tonight on a night with a very small slate.
James Harden - Tonight's matchup between the Rockets and Hawks is not only expected to be the highest scoring game on tonight's slate, but Vegas also has it projected to be very close, making this game my favorite to target in daily fantasy. Although his minutes have been down slightly and his production has been a bit inconsistent, tonight is a terrific night to play Harden. The Beard draws a plus matchup against Kyle Korver and his 106 Defensive Rating, and should see a massive workload in a fast-paced, back-and-forth game. The Rockets' star is probably the safest superstar to play in cash games tonight given the low risk of a blowout in tonight's contest with Atlanta yet still provides massive upside for tournaments as well. Do not hesitate to plug Harden into your lineup in all formats tonight.
Top Mid-Range Values
Paul Millsap - As I just mentioned, tonight's tilt between the Rockets and Hawks is expected to be the highest scoring game on the board tonight with an over/under of 208, and much of the reason for that high total can be attributed to Houston's terrible defense. The Rockets currently rank 23rd in the league in Defensive Rating (106.7), have allowed the fifth most points per game in the NBA (105), and play at the seventh fastest pace in all of basketball. With that in mind, pretty much the entire Hawks' starting five is in play tonight, but, if I had to pick just one it would be Millsap. The Hawks' star forward has put together a career-year through the first 33 games of the season, posting a career-best 18.1 points and 3.4 assists to go along with 8.7 boards, 1.8 steals and 1.1 blocks per game. He also sits seventh in our player power rankings with a very impressive 11.8 nERD. Millsap draws a dream matchup tonight against a Rockets' front court that has allowed the most fantasy points per game to opposing power forwards on the year and can be had for a very reasonable price across the industry.
Will Barton - Emmanuel Mudiay and Danilo Gallinari will both remain sidelined for tonight's matchup with the Cavaliers, which means Barton will once again be forced into a massive workload for Denver. Over his last five outings, Barton has averaged 21.8 points, 7.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists in a whopping 34.4 minutes per game for the banged up Nuggets, and there's little reason to believe he work see similar playing time and similar production tonight. Although a matchup with the Cavaliers is less than ideal, Barton will see a lot of time against J.R. Smith and his career 108 Defensive Rating and should continue to see a significant boost in usage with the Nuggets' other two primary ball handlers unavailable. Barton will continue to be an outstanding daily fantasy play until Mudiay and Gallinari get healthy.
Mario Chalmers - Chalmers has found himself as the first Grizzlies guard off the bench since being traded to Memphis, but with Matt Barnes suspended for tonight's game against Miami, the former Heat guard could find himself playing a significant role tonight against his former squad. He is coming off of a season-high 29 minutes of action and could see a similar workload tonight for the short-handed Grizzlies. Chalmers has averaged an impressive 18.5 points, 5.2 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 2.5 steals on a per-36 minute basis since coming to Memphis and will be extra motivated to play well tonight against Miami. He makes a very viable punt play tonight at just $4,300 on FanDuel and $3,900 on DraftKings.
Clint Capela - Terrence Jones is unlikely to suit up for the Rockets tonight, and Capela will likely be tasked with picking up most of his slack. The Rockets' sophomore big man has been extremely impressive when on the floor, filling up the stat sheet with 13.3 points, 12.2 rebounds, 2.2 blocks, 1.6 steals, 1.3 assists on a per-36 minute basis this season and could see minutes in the 30s tonight. While he does get a somewhat tough matchup against the aforementioned Millsap, tonight's game against the Hawks should have plenty of pace and more than enough points for Capela to reach value at his very low price.