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.


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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 tonight’s games, a tidy, four-game 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 Swayy @jaywalker72.

Guards

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James Harden ($10,800) – There are a surprising number of decent mid-tier options at SG tonight, so you might see folks electing not to go as hard after Harden, given his slate leading salary. What they’ll miss out on is one of the highest ceilings of the night, a play that could bring down 70 DK points all his own. Cousins and LeBron being a few hundred less could leave Harden’s ownership relatively lighter for a four-game slate.

Kobe Bryant ($6,000) – As long as he plays he’s going to get 30 minutes and he’s going to be at 30% usage. He’s a tourney play in that nobody really likes to play him and he’s a bit of a roller coaster right now. His matchup, also, is a lower defensive struggle than, say, Isaiah Thomas’ against the Cavaliers.

Darren Collison ($4,900) – With Rajon Rondo out, Collison is the trigger man in this highly paced, defensive optional matchup. Collison has been fairly solid already playing alongside Rondo, and now gets a more featured role as playmaker here. Gary Harris ($4,100) is also a fine tourney option down here as well, getting major minutes at a very tiny price, witnessed by his 44.37 and 39.82 minute efforts his last two games.

Forwards

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LeBron James ($10,000) – Again, all these top plays will be well rostered, so you won’t be on, say, LeBron Island, or anything like that. But with Cousins only $200 higher and PF being a bit more sparse than SF tonight, I believe most will go Boogie and maybe leave James a little less owned on the top end. He has been fantastically consistent all year, has a plus matchup against the Celtics SF defense and the game total and spread indicate a close game on the road. They’ll need LeBron tonight and he will deliver.

Rudy Gay ($6,900) – As people look at Cousins, Collison and even Casspi for their exposure to the Kings tonight, Gay has the best matchup on the floor against Ariza and the Rockets’ collective SF defense. With Rondo off the court and Gay on, per nbawowy, Gay’s DKPPM and usage actually rise slightly, meaning he won’t be necessarily injured by Rondo’s suspension and Darren Collison sliding into that PG role.

Donatas Motiejunas ($3,400) – A reasoned rostering here with Capela recovering from food poisoning and Terrence Jones dealing with a new injury and is highly questionable as I write this. If he gets the same 20 minutes he got last night against Denver, he’s a potential 7-8x play and if he should get more….it’s splendidly productive. Check and make sure that those guys (Jones/Capela) will either be out or extremely limited before launching D-Mo.

Centers

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Greg Monroe ($7,100) – He’s never a sexy play and the game total is lower, so Monroe could be relatively, for a four-game slate, overlooked here as more eyes go to the Rockets/Kings matchup. He bears the highest ceiling on the center slate tonight, as the Lakers have been very bad, despite Roy Hibbert’s presence, defending the center position.

Jared Sullinger ($6,100) – This holiday season, doesn’t it just make sense to go to Jared? Bad jokes aside, it’s extremely frustrating to roster Sullinger. That’s because he puts up some amazing rebounding numbers and DK points quickly, then gets his minutes slashed by Brad Stevens, who doesn’t seem to care about Sullinger’s rebounding prowess. That makes him a fantastic tournament option, because he’s not safe but has a really good ceiling if he does get 30 minutes.

Roy Hibbert ($4,400)- Nobody likes to roster Hibbert, so that’s a positive on this slate and with Milwaukee’s poor defense and the forecasted competitiveness of this game, Hibbert has the ceiling to get to 8x salary value. He’s been surprisingly solid, minutes wise, getting 27 per game for the season. With Monroe being the top player, we might see Hibbert even a bit more than that average tonight.