Merry Christmas!

Winning in tournaments requires getting not just good efforts from your roster, but some extra high point production. Sometimes this requires differentiation in roster and other times it’s just identifying the high-ceiling plays for the slate.

MORE NBA CONTENT FOR A HUGE CHRISTMAS DAY SLATE:
NBA Targets
NBA Cheat Sheet

For our purposes, we’re going to focus on the high-ceiling plays by position, and salary tier (top end, mid-tier and low end), for today’s five-game Ho-Ho-Holiday slate. These are plays that could go for about, on average, six times what their salary is. (Ex. $6,000 * 6 = 36DK points equals value.)

Let’s line em up!

Ask any questions on Twitter @JasonWalker_72 or on the Swayy App @jaywalker72.

Guards

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Stephen Curry ($10,700) – Looking at the top line in the guards, Curry is priced above Russell Westbrook and James Harden by $300 bucks. This alone might put folks off of Curry a little and, if they are looking at his game logs, they’ll see he only scored 16 points his last time out. But how can you enjoy Christmas Day without rostering the Amazing Stephen Curry? He’s worth it for the fun alone and he will rise to the occasion in his finals rematch.

Dwyane Wade ($6,900) – He has a great matchup against the Pelicans, at home and he’s still rocking over 30% usage. The Pelicans are not a good defensive team, so this should be a pace up game for Miami that gives them a highly efficient scoring treat of a game, which will be led by Mr. Wade. With all the big names on the slate, Wade tends to get overlooked due to Miami’s slower pace, but he can easily deliver 6x value in a matchup like this.

Lou Williams ($5,400) – I wrote earlier this week about Lou Williams having an Insect Game this season, where his production survives every sort of game situation (close game, blowout, with Kobe, without Kobe)….and then he went and got squashed by the Thunder. I’m not deterred. He’s been popping 5-6x value for quite a while in every sort of game for the Lakers and is in a good spot against JJ Redick and Jamal Crawford to do it some more. I’m in.


Forwards

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Anthony Davis ($10,300) – To be clear, I love LeBron James this season and his always over 40DK points production. So why Davis? He’s a little more expensive, in a worst matchup against the Heat due to slower pace and is more inconsistent. Again, why Davis? He’s a perfect tourney play on this slate precisely because James, Durant and Blake are lower salaried and in better matchups, making them likely to be higher owned. And despite all of what I wrote previous, Davis’ ceiling is the highest on the slate, meaning you could get the highest player total on the top line and be the lower owned player. I like that combination.

Kawhi Leonard ($8,400) – Houston is terrible against wings this season and there are few wings more productive than Kawhi Leonard, getting 44 DK points per 36 minutes. Ownership levels are lower on Leonard due to the Spurs effect, but there is very little chance of getting Pop’d on Christmas Day games. Leonard is the second most fun player to watch on this slate behind Stephen Curry – not that you should roster because of that, but it is fun to have him given his dominance over the court when he’s on it.

Luol Deng ($5,000) – Not a sexy tourney play, but Deng has been getting mid 30s minutes and has a pace-up game against New Orleans, who is neutral toward opposing small forwards this season and he will not be highly owned at all.

MORE NBA CONTENT FOR A HUGE CHRISTMAS DAY SLATE:
NBA Targets
NBA Tournament Plays
NBA Cheat Sheet


Centers

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Hassan Whiteside ($7,100) – Whiteside and Pau Gasol are the two best peripherals centers on the Christmas slate, with DeAndre Jordan close behind. Gasol and Jordan are in much more attractive games, so their ownership will likely be higher, especially with Whiteside not being as consistent as those other two more established players. Whiteside’s ceiling however, is right there with those two and he has the better matchup than Gasol and less likely to blowout out than the Clippers over the Lakers.

Dwight Howard ($6,700) – It’s hard to roster someone against San Antonio because they just smother opponents’ production. But in a tourney, you are looking for highly productive players in low ownership positions, so it’s going to be hard to find a situation that will be less attractive but with relative upside than this one. With Jordan priced the same and Whiteside $400 higher, it’s hard to imagine a huge group of people rostering Howard against the Spurs, even though he’s producing 35 DKPPG. And he might go to the line 100 times if Popovich deploys a Hack-a-Howard strategy, giving Howard free chances to score.

Andrew Bogut ($4,000) – With the caveat that the Warriors may go small to run Tristan Thompson, Timofey Mozgov and Kevin Love off the court, there’s a chance it goes the other way, too, where Bogut has to play closer to 30 minutes, as he did against a bigger Utah frontcourt Wednesday night. At 4K, he may be highly owned, but in this case the value provided and salary freedom he provides with his upside makes him a must-list here.