First I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. Hope no one is on the naughty list this year. Santa has given us four awesome NBA games and a game with the D-League Knicks. I don’t know what the NBA is thinking having the Knicks on Christmas Day but I guess it’s the NBA way of getting coal in your stocking. Now there are a lot of studs playing today and you are not going to be able to roster them all. I like to refer them as high ceiling and high floor players. We already know Kevin Durant, Chris Bosh, and Anderson Varejao are out. So if there is some news check the comment section. I will pass along any news I see. Remember that DraftKings is a late swap site. Good Luck and hope Santa was good to everyone.
There isn’t much to really say about Russell Westbrook ($12,000) that we haven’t said over and over already. He’s a flat out stud and his production proves it. His price reflects it too. Westbrook’s usage rate is at a off the charts 47% without KD in the lineup. That number drops to 31% when KD is in the lineup. You’re going to need a few cheap players in your lineup to fit him in. Not a route I am going to go with the way this Christmas Day slate is but I can’t fault you if you lock him in your line ups.
Instead of paying Westbrook’s super high price tag you can save a few thousand and change and just roster Stephen Curry ($10,700) or Chris Paul ($10,200) in a game that opened up at a 217 ½ O/U. Curry has been underwhelming the last two games. He still played well but the production just didn’t meet his price. CP3 on the other hand has been great the last 5 games. Averaging about 50 fantasy points in that span. Curry does has the tougher match up going up against Paul. That didn’t seem to faze Curry in the Nov. 5th match up between these two, going for 26 pts, 7 dimes, and 6 boards. Paul in that game had 15 pts, 12 dimes, and 5 boards. So, there is no reason you shouldn’t consider rostering either one of these stud PG’s in a high scoring, fast paced game.
I don’t know why Tony Parker ($3,000) is so cheap. At this price just put him in the lineup. He will will be the highest owned player in my opinion but you’re going to need the salary relief somewhere. On Monday he came back from a hamstring injury and looked great going up against Chris Paul. Played 34 minutes, poured in 26 points, 4 assists, and 2 steals for 35 DraftKings points. Fade him at your own risk.
Also consider Aaron Brooks ($4,200). Been about a fantasy point a minute player the last four games and Kirk Hinrich is questionable to play.
Jimmy Butler ($8,000) is the most improved player in the league and should be an all-star in my opinion. Now, I know that doesn’t relate to fantasy. Just kinda lets ya know I’m a Bulls fan. His last game was his worst game in a very long time. Every player has a off night. Think it was more of an outlier. The three previous games he had 62.75, 50.50, and 60.75 DraftKings points. Even with Derrick Rose playing I think Thibs knows Jimmy has to be heavily involved for the Bulls to succeed this year and make a deep run in the playoffs. With the minutes Butler gets and the dumpster fire we call the Lakers coming to town is enough to get this soon to be all-star back on track.
Saying Dwyane Wade ($8,400) found the fountain of youth is a bit of a stretch but he has been playing great when he is out there. Then with Chris Bosh sitting next to the Elf on a Shelf, Wade is pretty much the offense for the Heat. His usage rate is over 40% without Bosh in there. Now I remembered Wade having one of his best games of his career on Christmas Day. Doing a little digging, he had 40 points, 11 assists, 4 steals, 4 blocks back in 2006 against the Lakers. Looking at those numbers that has to be over a 70 point fantasy game. I’m not going to say he is going to do that again but I’m sure he will amped up with LeBron James coming back to South Beach for the first time.
When Manu Ginobili ($5,000) isn’t resting is old bones he’s out there averaging a fantasy point a minute. We can only expect him to play 28 to 32 minutes. Even if Kawhi Leonard comes back he should have no problem paying off his price.
Also, consider the real consistent Jamal Crawford ($4,700)
The small forward position has been terrible most nights and Christmas is no different. I just don’t see much I like at all. So, with that said I am willing to pay up for LeBron James ($11,800) in his first game since he took his talents back to Cleveland. I expect the game in Miami to be close since Cleveland doesn’t play real good defense and Miami should be without Chris Bosh. LBJ should see around 40 minutes and try to shut up the boo birds in Miami. Don’t really know why they would boo him since he pretty much won that city a couple championships but fan will be fans.
If you are not looking to spend up at small forward all I have to say is good luck. Harrison Barnes ($5,100) is cheap but I wouldn’t go there with David Lee back. Think it directly affects his production and we seen it the last two game playing under 30 minutes and barely able to crack 20 fantasy points.
You can consider Shawn Williams ($4,000) with Bosh out. I wouldn’t expect anything big. Around mid twenties in fantasy points is about it.
There isn’t much that jumps off the page to me at power forward on Christmas. Blake Griffin ($11,000) is expensive but you can’t pay that price when Tim Duncan is $2,100 cheaper at ($8,900). Watching some OKC games recently I see they have a hard time rebounding. This is right up Timmy’s alley. I think Duncan is a lock for a double/double and over 40 fantasy points on Christmas.
David Lee ($6,000) is too expensive on DraftKings. Coming back from a long layoff and hasn’t cracked playing 20 minutes yet. I do think he could play around 20 to 25 minutes on Christmas I still don’t like his price.
Tristan Thompson ($5,100) is the man in the middle for the Cavs now with Anderson Varejao out for the season with a torn achilles. This really hurts the Cavs because Verajao was there best rim protector. Miami really doesn’t have a presence in the middle, so Thompson should have to problem getting rebounds and some loose balls. He should have a high ownership percentage and is a nice mid to low priced option on Christmas Day.
Center today is an absolute train wreck. There isn’t a player I like and feel good about writing up. DeAndre Jordan ($8,500) is the top center option but I hate his price. It’s the highest price I have ever seen him at and never thought I would have seen him at this price level. He had a monster game on Tuesday with 15 points, 22 boards and 5 blocks. It shows he does have big game potential. He could have another big game with Golden State not having Andrew Bogut to protect the middle but I’m not going to pay the price to find out.
There are a few punt options on the day. If Cole Aldrich ($4,000) can get over 20 minutes he should pay off his salary. Chris “Birdman” Anderson ($3,000) is a min salary option starting for Chris Bosh. I wouldn’t expect too much form these guys. 17 to 22 Draft Kings points is about it. Anything over that is a Christmas Miracle.
Get over to Draft Kings and get in on some NBA action. They have games at all different price points.
Don’t forget to check twitter for any late scratches and player news. As always you can catch me on twitter @realdaddybigs or leave a comment below. Good luck this weekend in your games.