We’ve got a small six-game slate tonight, but plenty of studs to choose from, so let’s waste no time and jump right into tonight’s targets.
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Russell Westbrook ($10,400) – Westbrook faces off against a team that he scored 72 fantasy points against the last time he played them. He’s coming off of a game where he recorded a triple-double and just two games ago, he missed a triple-double by three assists. He has topped 57 fantasy points in seven of his last 10 games including six 61+ fantasy point games. The Grizzlies are surrendering 49.2 fantasy points per game to opposing guards. The Thunder has an implied point total of 102.5 points in a game with a 202 point over/under.
Other Options – Stephen Curry $10,700, Damian Lillard $8,700
Mike Conley ($6,700) – Conley is somewhat expensive, but if you look at what he did in his last meeting against the Thunder, this price isn’t that bad. You have to expect a fast paced game when you play a team like the Thunder as they score the second most points per game in the league. In his last game against Oklahoma, he scored 22 points, dished out nine dimes, and drained four three pointers. He scored 46.75 fantasy points in that matchup. The Thunder surrender 50.4 fantasy points per game to opposing point guards, but are allowing 54.1 in their last five. Conley has struggled with his shot as of late, but provides a nice ceiling in a potential fast paced game.
Elfrid Payton ($6,400) – Payton has been playing really good basketball as of late. He has topped 30 fantasy points in three straight games and in five of his last six games. He is averaging 15.4 points, seven assists, four rebounds, 1.6 steals, and 33.9 fantasy points per game in his last five. This is also a great matchup as the Nuggets surrender 53.5 fantasy points per game to point guards, which is the second most allowed by a team. Vegas has this game at a 198 over/under and the Magic have an implied point total of 100.75.
Other Options – Jarrett Jack $6,200, Darren Collison $4,800, Patrick Beverley $4,700, Trey Burke $3,900
James Harden ($10,600) – The Beard has scored over 50 fantasy points in eight of his last 10 games. In that span he has topped 80 fantasy points and 70 fantasy points in a game at least once. He stuffs the stat sheet just about every night and provides one of the highest ceilings, to go along with a high floor. Not to mention, his usage rate is through the roof. The Nets allow the second most fantasy points per game to opposing shooting guards (44.4). This game has the second highest point total of the night (207.5 points) and the Rockets have an implied point total of 106 points. He’s one of tonight’s top plays.
Other Options – Klay Thompson $6,400
Will Barton ($5,900) – Barton has played 30 or more minutes and has eclipsed 29 fantasy points in four of his last five games. In that span, he is averaging 15.6 points, seven rebounds, two three pointers, and 29.55 fantasy points per game. Orlando is surrendering 44.4 fantasy points per game to opposing shooting guards in the last five. Gallinari is considered questionable to play tonight as he’s dealing with a knee injury. If he misses, Barton could see a higher usage.
Rodney Stuckey ($4,700) – Stuckey has played 30+ minutes off the bench in three straight games and has topped 29 fantasy points in each of those games. He’s averaging 19.3 points and 32.75 fantasy points per game in his last three. While this is not sustainable, he is still a good spot to continue that trend as he faces off against the best team in basketball and the Pacers will need to score points to stay close in this game. This contest has the highest total of the evening at 215.5 points and the Pacers have an implied point total of 104.75 points. Monta Ellis is nursing a sore back, but is expected to play in this contest. If he doesn’t, Stuckey should see an uptick in usage.
Other Options – Victor Oladipo $6,600
Paul George ($10,200) – George has topped 60 fantasy points in four of his last eight games. Tonight’s game against the Warriors should be fast paced and high scoring. In fact, it has the highest over/under of the slate at 215.5 points and the Pacers have an implied point total of 104.75. The Warriors have surrendered 42 fantasy points per game to opposing small forwards in their last 10. George remains the Pacers top and just about only scoring threat and should see plenty of shot attempts in a game they’ll likely be trailing from the start.
Gordon Hayward ($7,000) – Since Rudy Gobert went down, Hayward has taken his game to another level. He has scored 38 or more fantasy points in five of his last seven games. In that span he is averaging, 23 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.7 steals, and 37.5 fantasy points per game. The Kings are surrendering the second most fantasy points per game to opposing small forwards (43.5). If you’re looking for a consistent small forward under $10,000, Hayward is your guy.
Other Options – Kevin Durant $10,100, LeBron James $10,000
Trevor Ariza ($5,500) – There aren’t many value plays at this position tonight, but Ariza is someone who averages 35.5 minutes per game. He has topped 30 fantasy points in two consecutive games and in five of his last 10. While he tends to be inconsistent, he can smash value at this price, making him an appealing tournament play. This is a favorable matchup as the Nets allow the sixth most fantasy points per game to opposing small forwards (41.9). The Rockets/Nets game has the second highest over of tonight’s slate, so points are expected to be scored.
Other Options – Omri Casspi $5,000, Matt Barnes $4,400
Derrick Favors ($7,900) – Favors has recorded a double-double in three consecutive games and has scored 44 or more fantasy points in two of those games. He is definitely taking advantage of Rudy Gobert’s absence. In his last four games, he is averaging 42 fantasy points, 23 points, nine rebounds, and 1.8 steals per game. This is a good matchup for Favors as the Kings surrender the fourth most fantasy points per game to opposing power forwards (49.6) and have allowed the most fantasy points per game in their last 10 (53). The Jazz have an implied point total of 101.25 points tonight.
Thaddeus Young ($7,100) – Young continues to play well in recent games. He has recorded a double-double and has topped 34 fantasy points in four of his last five games, including two 40+ fantasy point games. Houston allows the fifth most rebounds per game (46.1) and has a -2.2 differential. They surrender the second most fantasy points per game to opposing power forwards (51.7). Young has the upside to easily 6x his salary making him a solid tournament play and provides a steady floor making him a solid cash play as well.
Other Options – DeMarcus Cousins $10,500, Draymond Green $8,100
Terrence Jones ($5,100) – Jones is averaging 27.7 minutes and 26.8 fantasy points per game in the month of December. He has played well in his last three contest averaging, 16 points, six rebounds, one block, and one assists per game, while draining two threes. He also provides a relatively high ceiling for someone at this price. As I mentioned above, this game has the second highest over/under of tonight’s slate and the Rockets have an implied point total of 106 points.
Other Options – Zach Randolph $6,300, Ed Davis $5,000
Nikola Vucevic ($7,000) – All centers at the $7,000 mark or higher are in play tonight, but the one that stands out the most is Vucevic. He has three double-doubles in his last four games. He’s averaging 10 rebounds and 35.25 fantasy points per game in that span. The Nuggets allow the seventh most fantasy points per game to opposing centers (50) and have surrendered the most fantasy points per game in their last 10 (64.9). Centers are averaging 21.3 points and 14.7 boards against the Nuggets. He offers a 45+ fantasy point ceiling and a steady floor. He should have no trouble hitting value.
Other Options – Dwight Howard $7,000, Marc Gasol $7,300, Brook Lopez $7,700
Steven Adams ($3,800) – If you’re not paying up for a center tonight, you could be in trouble as there really aren’t any appealing value plays. Adams could definitely exceed value, but his minutes are way too inconsistent to determine that. What we do know is that in his last matchup against the Grizzlies he played 26.5 minutes and scored 25.3 fantasy points. In the last two games he has played over 20 minutes in, Adams has topped 26 fantasy points.
Other Options – Andrew Bogut $4,300