Happy Holidays everyone! We have a full slate of NBA games on tap tonight as there are no games to be played on Christmas Eve. That means there are plenty of options to choose from in those DFS contests tonight. Let’s check out some players that might be worthy of consideration in your tournament NBA lineups on this Wednesday night.
Top Play: Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
The only risk with the Oklahoma City stars tonight lies in the possibility of a blowout, as the Thunder are 13-point favorites on the NBA odds board against the Lakers. Los Angeles is also on the tail-end of a back-to-back set, though they are coming off a win over Denver on Tuesday night. If this game stays close, there should be plenty of fantasy goodness available for Russell Westbrook. The Lakers struggle to defend opposing point guards, and there is nobody on that roster that can safely check Westbrook. He is a great GPP target tonight because of the immense upside, though the blowout risk makes him a more dangerous cash game target.
Value Play: Tim Frazier, Portland Trail Blazers
Damian Lillard has already been ruled out for tonight’s game, and C.J. McCollum’s status is still up in the air. If both those guards remain out this evening, lock in Tim Frazier as the top overall value on the board. He did not leave the court on Monday night, playing all 48 minutes in Portland’s loss to the Hawks. If he plays the whole game, he’s going to run into enough counting stats to make value for a super cheap price tag across the DFS industry. He does get a slight downgrade if McCollum happens to suit up, but Frazier should still draw the start in place of Lillard in any case.
Top Play: James Harden, Houston Rockets
The Rockets are starting to play some better basketball of late, and James Harden’s play has picked up as well. He logged an impressive line of 36 points, five rebounds, and seven assists on Monday, and he has gone to the free throw line 10+ times in four straight contests. That’s a good sign that he is being more aggressive with the basketball, and he is locked in as the top shooting guard play on the board. His floor is much higher than any other shooting guard play, and the ceiling is hard to ignore for your GPP contests.
Value Play: Allen Crabbe, Portland Trail Blazers
The circumstances here are very similar to what we see with Tim Frazier above. However, Crabbe’s viability is somewhat dependent on the status of C.J. McCollum. Should both Lillard and McCollum sit out tonight’s game, the Blazers desperately need a primary scorer. Crabbe has the ability to step up and be that guy. He started in place of McCollum on Monday and should play 30+ minutes tonight either as a starter or as the sixth man (as McCollum would handle some reserve point guard duties to give Frazier a rest). He gets an extra boost with a starting role and as a primary scoring option should McCollum sit, however. Keep an eye on the news throughout the day for this one.
Top Play: Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder
An interesting GPP strategy tonight would be to pair Russell Westbrook and Durant in the same lineup. If the game is a blowout, your team is toast. However, if the game is close, the GPP-winning upside is there. That’s what we are looking for in a GPP-based lineup, right? The boom-or-bust strategy can be a profitable one over time. There is enough value out there to make it work, and perhaps the Lakers can keep this game just close enough to allow Westbrook and Durant to play 36-38 minutes this evening. Again, the blowout risk is the only negative factor here.
Value Play: Matt Barnes, Memphis Grizzlies
Even though Tony Allen returned to the court last night, Barnes held down his role as a primary option in the Memphis frontcourt. He continues to start over Zach Randolph, and he put up a solid line of 12 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, two steals, and two blocks in 29 minutes in Tuesday’s win over the Sixers. Tonight’s opponent, the Washington Wizards, conveniently rank dead last in the league at defending opposing small forwards. Continue to ride Barnes as a solid value option in all DFS formats.
Top Play: Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans
Anthony Davis spurned fantasy owners yet again, as he missed both the second and third quarters on Sunday with flu symptoms. What’s more impressive is that he managed to score 27 points and grab six rebounds in just 20 minutes of playing time despite battling that ailment. He should be all systems go after a couple days off, and there is nobody on the Portland front line that is capable of defending him. Davis is a top tournament option here.
Value Play: Frank Kaminsky, Charlotte Hornets
Going cheap at the power forward spot probably isn’t the preferred method of attack tonight, as there are plenty of mid-to-high dollar options that are in good spots. If you need to go cheap, look to Frank Kaminsky as a possible option. This is the last night for Al Jefferson’s five-game suspension, so Kaminsky should still see an increased role off the bench. He could get more run against an under-sized Boston front line, too. There is some risk here, but it could pay off for a tournament.
Top Play: Marcin Gortat, Washington Wizards
Given all the high dollar plays at the other positions, it’s hard to imagine spending up for one of the most expensive centers tonight. The matchups aren’t the greatest for either DeMarcus Cousins or Andre Drummond, so perhaps the best center play comes from the mid-range. Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, and now John Wall are all banged up for the Wizards, leaving them in need of an additional scoring option. Marcin Gortat has been that guy of late. He was fantastic on Monday against the Kings with 27 points and 16 rebounds, and he is in play tonight despite a tough matchup with Memphis. The guaranteed minutes thanks to other frontcourt injuries, along with Gortat’s recent spike in usage, are very positive signs for continued strong play.
Value Play: Kelly Olynyk, Boston Celtics
Both Amir Johnson and Jared Sullinger sat out with injuries on Monday night, and that paved the way for Olynyk to start at center for the Celtics. He responded with solid overall line of 19 points and five rebounds in 29 minutes of court time, and he may be poised to draw another start tonight against the Hornets. Charlotte is relatively weak on the interior, and Olynyk should be a solid fantasy producer in this matchup. Give him a massive upgrade tonight if he gets the chance to start once again.