Happy New Year to all of the DraftKings NBA daily players out there! Let’s get the year right with some good picks & some high points tonight & some picks that you may not expect.
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Russell Westbrook ($10,700) – This is a no-brainer, especially for cash games. The total on this game is at 221 & OKC & Sacramento are in the top-half of the league in overall pace. Westy has been his normal self, having over 60 DK points in 2 of his last 4 games. He had a 35 point game in his last outing against Charlotte on Saturday night, but that was just one off night. Rajon Rondo will provide a bit of a defensive challenge for him, but I can’t honestly say that Rondo is going to be fully checked into the squad right now with so much turmoil going on, so Westy is a lock in cash games & a good play for a tournament.
Rajon Rondo ($8,400) – Rondo will be a solid play in this location, simply because Steph Curry is not fully healthy & I am staying away from him for tonight. While I do believe that Rondo is not fully engaged in Sacramento with all of the craziness going on & trade rumors, Rondo is still good for a double-double in points & assists on any night, particularly since he has had 15 & 14 assists in his last two games against Phoenix & Philadelphia, respectively. Westbrook is not the greatest defender in the world & Rondo does have DeMarcus Cousins & other good weapons to toss the ball into & get involved in the offense.
Other Options – Stephen Curry ($10,600), Kemba Walker ($8,200), Kyle Lowry ($8,100)
Shane Larkin ($4,400) Larkin will be the starter with Jarrett Jack being ruled out for the season. Larkin puts up decent DK points off the bench at 17.6, but look for his production to go up now that he will get the bulk of the minutes for the Nets.
Zach Levine ($5,000) – Levine has been in a major tailspin over the last 3 games, averaging only 8 DK points per night. This is a night he should get right, going up against a terrible defense in Philadelphia. Even though these two teams aren’t ranked high in pace, because of the youth of all the players involved, this is a good play in terms of Levine getting many shot opportunities, thus being able to pad stats.
Other Options – Marcus Smart ($4,300), Matthew Dellavedova ($4,600)
Klay Thompson ($7,800) – With Stephen Curry recovering from his leg injury, this is a great time for Klay Thompson to get many more opportunities in the offense. Thompson should be considered many times on the floor as the #1 option if Curry isn’t fully back to his normal self. If Curry is healthy & plays Monday (listed currently on DK as questionable), then Thompson goes back to getting his open 3-point opportunities. Either way, I see a big night from Klay against a below-average Sacramento team defense.
James Harden ($9,800) – At under $10k, James Harden is a good play against Utah. Harden had a low scoring night on Saturday, only because Houston was down big & he was pulled for rest reasons. Expect Harden to play his normal game in terms of being the primary offensive weapon & getting to the free throw line consistently. This could be considered almost a value play of sorts, but a good play nonetheless for Monday.
Other Options – DeMar DeRozan ($8,200), Khris Middleton ($7,000)
Andrew Wiggins ($6,400) One of my main rules on DraftKings is to always take players going against the 76ers at any chance & Wiggins falls right into that line of thinking. He has had over 30 DK points in his last 3 games & he has had less than 20 points once in the last 10 games (15 on December 23). Wiggins will have another solid night so if you are playing in a tournament, definitely take a long look at him to save some money.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($5,300) – Caldwell-Pope has had a strong season this year in his second-year, playing off of Reggie Jackson & getting extended time in the lineup with Brandon Jennings out. Jennings will begin to get more minutes slowly, but Caldwell-Pope has played well enough to keep his spot in the starting lineup. His last two games he has averaged 34 DK points per game & has been able to pad his stats in a variety of places. Look for a good night against an Orlando team that has an average pace mixed in with a Piston team that can run & be aggressive with other young teams in the league.
Other Options – Rodney Hood ($5,500), Monta Ellis ($5,800)
Kawhi Leonard ($8,700) – Compared to the high price points of LeBron and Durant (who is out tonight), Kawhi comes at a relatively cheap price point. His production has been consistent and he projects in the same range as LBJ tonight despite that $800 difference in salary. The Bucks are below average at defending the small forward position as well, making this a strong matchup for Leonard on Monday night.
Other Options – Paul George ($8,900), LeBron James ($9,500)
Omri Casspi ($6,500) – Casspi has really come on & has been a consistent wing player for the Kings, helping take some of the offensive responsibility from Rudy Gay & DeMarcus Cousins. In the last 10 games, his floor has been 18 DK points & is averaging 25.8 points per night. In a potential high-scoring matchup against OKC Monday, even though Durant is a great defender, Casspi should get many high-quality opportunities to put up big numbers.
Jae Crowder ($6,200) – Crowder has been a strong part of the Celtics youth movement this year & is a great stat-filler across the board. Joe Johnson is not a great defender & I expect Crowder to have another solid DK scoring night. Crowder is an effort player, which means his game is relatively matchup proof but can vary from night to night.
Other Options – Evan Fournier ($5,700), Tobias Harris ($6,100)
Draymond Green ($9,900) – Green took advantage of his great work ethic & increased offensive opportunity with a monster game on Saturday, bringing him 86 DK points, via a triple double. I wouldn’t expect numbers like that again, but Green is a player who is a complete grinder & makes opportunities for himself through his strong play. Almost $10k is a bit on the high side, but even though he won’t get another 86 DK points, he is a great tournament play & has become a consistent cash play.
DeMarcus Cousins ($10,100) – After his blowup against Golden State, Boogie Cousins has come back to being his normal self – the most dominant power forward in the league. His last two games he has over 41 points & outside of the Golden State game on the 28th, he has been around 50 DK points every night nearly all season long. Cousins could be auditioning for teams around the league who have shown interest in acquiring him before the trade deadline so look for more massive numbers over the next few games.
Other Options – Chris Bosh ($7,500), Kevin Love ($7,500)
Nerlens Noel ($6,700) – Even with Philadelphia having an epically bad season, Noel has become one of the most consistent players in the lineup. In the last 5 games, he has averaged 36 DK points per game & is consistently giving the 76ers 18/8 every night along with over a block per night. Against another young team in Minnesota that is still learning how to win, look for Noel to have another strong night around the basket & really take on Karl-Anthony Towns & Kevin Garnett in the paint.
LaMarcus Aldridge ($6,700) – Aldridge is a great value play in a tournament game. Aldridge has been getting over 30 minutes most nights, enough time to get into a rhythm offensively & work off of Tim Duncan & Kawhi Leonard. The last two game has seen Aldridge have 38 & 41 DK points respectively & show that he is truly becoming more of a part of the Spurs offense & his comfort level is improving. He will have a tough matchup against Greg Monroe, as I can’t see Jabari Parker having much time on Aldridge as Parker is still a young player learning how to really play the NBA game. When Monroe is out & the Bucks gamble with Parker on him is when LaMarcus should be able to do well offensively.
Other Options – Thaddeus Young ($7,200), Tristan Thompson ($5,200), Clint Capela ($5,500)
Andre Drummond ($9,200) – Drummond is clearly one of the most dominant centers in the NBA, as I have said all season long. Even with Orlando having Vuvecic in the middle, Drummond is far too athletic & dominant as a rebounder to be slowed down. He is becoming more consistent offensively & can finish at the rim. He is terrible at the free throw line, but when are you are getting 15 points & 18 rebounds a night, free throws are of little importance in daily fantasy. Play him in all formats.
Hassan Whiteside ($7,400) – Whiteside has arguably been the #2 best center in the league but where he is different than Drummond is that Whiteside does his damage rebounding & shot blocking mostly. 9 of his last 10 games he has had double digit rebounds. 3 of the last 4 games he has over 5 blocks. If you don’t want to pay up for Drummond, Whiteside is the absolute pick here in a tournament play.
Other Options – Karl-Anthony Towns – ($7,300), Dwight Howard ($7,100)
Jahlil Okafor ($6,100) – I am not impressed by the value picks on Monday night, but I do like Okafor in a high powered matchup that could feature plenty of scoring. Okafor, at least on the court, has been solid in minimal minutes this season for the 76ers. He has been averaging 30 DK points per game, but many nights, he is playing 20-25 minutes. As the season goes on, he should get more minutes as the Sixers will try to manage the rookie wall that Okafor may hit at some point, but he should have a great matchup against Towns on Monday night.
Other Options – Jared Sullinger ($5,600), Mason Plumlee ($5,300), Frank Kaminsky ($4,500)