Happy New Year! We have five games tipping off at 6:00pm tonight, and it should be fun building lineups as NFL Week 17 winds down. As a reminder, we are entering flu season so keep a close watch on breaking news leading up to lineup lock. The DK Live app is a solid source for impactful news.
If you have any questions, you can reach out to me on Twitter @EmacDFS.
Kyle Lowry – TOR at LAL – $8,800 – The Raptors have had three days off, and as long as they didn’t enjoy a New Year’s Eve night out in Los Angeles, they should be in a prime spot to reap the fantasy goodness offered by the Lakers. It is interesting to see how much this team has changed with the retirement of Kobe Bryant and the influence of new head coach Luke Walton. While it is not the return of Showtime, the Lakers have been pretty frisky against many of the top playoff contenders at home this season. That should keep Lowry and company out on the floor long enough to put up some nice numbers.
Dennis Schroder – ATL vs SAS – $6,300 – This is a nice spot to utilize Dennis Schroder, who has acclimated to becoming the main point guard for the Atlanta Hawks. The Spurs still carry the reputation of being a top defensive team, which makes Schroder an excellent tournament option. He has been solid this season with a 31.9 DKFP average, and against Tony Parker and Patty Mills, he does have a reasonable chance to flirt with the forty fantasy point plateau in this matchup if things go his way.
Other Options – Jeff Teague ($7,100), C.J. McCollum ($8,300)
Tyler Johnson – MIA vs DET – $5,400 – Johnson has become a key contributor with so many Miami players missing time, that he has carved out a nice niche for himself even as some of them begin to return. Regardless of Goran Dragic’s status (he was out Friday with a sore back), the former Fresno State star is in play Sunday for all formats in my opinion.
Other Options – Cory Joseph ($3,600), D’Angelo Russell ($5,400)
DeMar DeRozan – TOR at LAL – $8,500 – After his torrid start to the season, DeRozan has come back to Earth a little, but he is a solid option tonight and he should be in the mix for forty DraftKings points with fifty fantasy point upside if his shot is falling and the Lakers keep this competitive into the fourth quarter.
Zach LaVine – MIN vs POR – $6,400 – This is a nice matchup for Zach Attack against the woeful Portland backcourt defense. He has become new coach Tom Thibodeau’s minutes guy and he is currently leading the league with 37.6 minutes per game. This gives him plenty of opportunity to accumulate stats and also room for upside when he is dialed in with his shot.
Lou Williams – LAL vs TOR – $5,200 – I think Sweet Lou is a fine tournament option against his most recent former team, and he is a go-to option for the Lakers in crucial situations, so I wouldn’t shy away from choosing a “non-starter” with his pedigree.
Other Options – Jordan Clarkson ($4,500), Evan Turner ($4,900), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($5,400)
Kawhi Leonard – SAS at ATL – $8,200 – Leonard is a tournament option only for me, as he has missed the last two games with gastroenteritis. For those that are risk averse, it makes sense to just go with a cheaper option at this position since nobody really stands out in the upper pricing tier.
Other Options – Paul George ($7,800), Tobias Harris ($6,000)
Josh Richardson – MIA vs DET – $5,700 – J-Rich rolled his way to a 50 burger on Friday night in Boston, and while we are unlikely to see him reach those lofty heights again anytime soon, he should have an excellent chance of reaching the mid-30 DKPTs in this matchup against Detroit. Over his last three games he is averaging nearly 16 field goal attempts and just over 20 points per game. He also offers flexibility with his eligibility at the pesky shooting guard position.
Evan Turner – POR at MIN – $4,900 – If Damian Lillard is out for another game with his ankle injury, I think ET is in play since he will see additional ball handling responsibilities when C.J. McCollum is off the floor.
Luol Deng – LAL vs TOR – $5,300 – Deng had “one of those games” against the plodding Mavericks where he saw his usual time in the rotation, but had almost nothing to show for it. The Lakers have been counting on him as a veteran “glue guy” doing whatever is needed in each matchup, and we saw this play out in his favor during December. The game log watchers will likely be off him, but I think he still can be trusted for his steady production.
Other Options – Thabo Sefolosha ($3,800), Kent Bazemore ($4,000)
Karl-Anthony Towns – MIN vs POR – $9,400 – I believe KAT is going to be incredibly popular as he uone of the few top end options on this five game slate; however, he has topped 47.5 DraftKings points in each of his last three meetings with Portland and with his improvement this season, he is in a fine position to dominate the Blazers.
Paul Millsap – ATL vs SAS – $7,000 – The addition of Dwight Howard to the frontcourt has curbed Millsap’s upside; however, he still is a steady producer and at a tantalizing price tag, I am having a hard time making teams without him for Sunday’s contests. He should be able to work his way around LaMarcus Aldrigde and a recovering Kawhi Leonard and is a very underrated option in this matchup.
Other Options – LaMarcus Aldridge ($7,400)
Tobias Harris – DET at MIA – $6,000 – Harris was outstanding coming off the bench averaging nearly 36 DKPTs for a three game stretch before returning to the starting lineup as the replacement for Marcus Morris who is dealing with knee discomfort. Ideally he is back to that role on Sunday, and if so, he can be I think we can roll with him since he should see a large portion of his time against the Heat’s second unit.
Other Options – James Johnson ($5,300), Justise Winslow ($5,500)
Dwight Howard – ATL vs SAS – $7,200 – Remember, Tim Duncan is no longer patrolling the paint for the Spurs and Howard will be matched up against Pau Gasol and Dewayne Dedmon. Howard has been over 43.25 DKFP in five of his last six games with two 22+ rebound games in that same span.
Serge Ibaka – ORL at IND – $6,400 – Ibaka’s price is cresting, but I think he is still worthy of tournament consideration against the weak front court defense of the Indiana Pacers. We can also consider teammate Nikola Vucevic – $6,100 in tournaments with his 40 DraftKings point upside.
Pau Gasol – SAS at ATL – $6,200 – In his last two meetings with Dwight Howard (albeit when they were with Chicago and Houston, respectively) Boom Boom Pau averaged 20.0PPG, 13.5rpg, 4.5apg and 3.0 combined blocks/steals. For me, he is an excellent tournament differentiation play as he has been constantly overlooked by daily fantasy gamers with his new team.
Other Options – Andre Drummond ($6,800), Hassan Whiteside ($8,400)
Bismack Biyombo – ORL at IND – $4,200 – Biyombo is just too cheap considering his hidden 30 DraftKings point upside. The Pacers have struggled against active bigs and Bismack should be on the attack in this matchup.
Jonas Valanciunas – TOR at LAL – $5,100 – This is a solid matchup for JoVal as long as the Lakers are content to roll with Timofey Mozgov in the pivot, which they are usually content to do when the opposing team has a more traditional big man. Valanciunas is a viable option in the full five game set, and he bumps up several notches for the late game contests in my opinion.
Other Options – Al Jefferson ($3,300), Timofey Mozgov ($3,400)
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is emac) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.