The NBA Daily Plays for Tuesday, December 8th breaks down the best Stud, Value and GPP plays at each position for FanDuel and DraftKings daily fantasy sports contests. The Stud & Value plays should be considered relatively chalky and are ideal for cash games. The GPP plays dig a little deeper to hopefully find some low owned talent who could pay off big in a tournament. Make sure you check out our NBA projections page to help in your DFS research.
Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder (FD $10,900, DK $10,400) –
If Westbrook’s shot is on, it could be a long night for Memphis. The point guard is on pace to attempt nearly 400 3-pointers this year, which would be a career-high by a large margin. Mike Conley and the Grizzlies have been abused from the perimeter this season, allowing the most points in the league from three to opposing point guards.
Trey Burke, Utah Jazz (FD $4,800, DK $3,900)-
Burke is probably the safest value play on the board tonight. After receiving 34 minutes in each of his last two contests, it’s obvious that the point guard’s back injury is behind him. Burke will most likely continue to work off of the bench, and will have the opportunity to ravage a weak Sacramento defense. At his price on DraftKings, it’s difficult to ignore him.
Elfrid Payton, Orlando Magic (FD $6,800, DK $6,400)-
Emmanuel Mudiay is currently one of the worst defenders in the league. He’s a rookie, so it’s understandable, but it’ll be foolish as a fantasy player not to take advantage. His matchup tonight is Elfrid Payton, who has the ideal player build to target Denver’s weaknesses. Payton is able to score as a traditional point guard would, but can also rack up the boards, which is an issue for Mudiay and the Nuggets. I love rostering Payton for his triple-double ceiling, and his opportunities are bountiful tonight.
James Harden, Houston Rockets (FD $10,800, DK $10,600) –
Harden has the matchup of the night, as he faces a Brooklyn defense continues to be dominated by opposing shooting guards. Tonight, players will have to make a choice: Curry, George, or Harden. Out of the three, Harden’s situation is the most ideal, and promotes the highest ceiling.
Joe Johnson, Brooklyn Nets (FD $5,400, DK $5,300)-
Anyone can have success vs. James Harden defense. I put this hypothesis to the test last week, foolishly rostering Ben McLemore vs. the Rockets despite his sub-par play to start the season. It paid dividends, as McLemore torched Harden for 19 points and 9 rebounds. Joe Johnson is a much better basketball player than Ben McLemore, and I expect just as much success for the Brooklyn veteran. Johnson’s propensity to stuff the sheet in each category is beyond valuable, and those numbers should skyrocket tonight.
Victor Oladipo, Orlando Magic (FD $7,600, DK $6,600) –
For some reason, head coach Scott Skiles has been playing his most talented player off of the bench, but it hasn’t affected Oladipo too much. The combo guard is shooting the ball extremely well, and grabbing rebounds like a power forward. His opponent tonight, the Nuggets, have been abused in almost every statistical category. Oladipo makes for a great pivot off of Harden.
Paul George, Indiana Pacers (FD $10,100, DK $10,200)
IND/GSW will be a phenomenal showdown, as the best of the East and best of the West face off in a high-scoring, fast paced battle. As fantasy-friendly as this game appears, it will be difficult to get some exposure. Both teams are phenomenal defensively, and high price tags may not pay off. However, Paul George is a safe bet. He’s the life line of this Indiana squad, as dictated by his 31.8% usage rate. PG13’s matchup is far from ideal, but he’ll have to produce to keep this one close.
Gordon Hayward, Utah Jazz (FD $6,700, DK $7,000) –
Hayward has been phenomenal from three this year, sinking 30 out of 80 attempts. His opponent the Kings are weak vs. opposing small forwards, particularly because they get beat from the perimeter. In the absence of Rudy Gobert, Hayward has picked up a large percentage of the offensive workload, averaging 23 points over his last three games.
Derrick Favors, Utah Jazz (FD $8,300, DK $7,900) –
Favors is by far the best power forward play on the board tonight. He’s taken on a much bigger role in the absence of injured Rudy Gobert, and tonight will face the lackluster defense of Boogie Cousins. Favors dominated the defensive-centric Pacers for a 35/13 line just a few days ago, and is likely to do much more damage against a helpless Sacramento defense.
Andrew Nicholson, Orlando Magic (FD $4,000, DK $4,000)-
If you’re looking for a reliable value play to offset a stud’s high salary, Andrew Nicholson is a favorable add. He won’t blow the opposition away with explosive numbers, but has a favorable floor at his price point. Nicholson has been on the verge of a double-double for many games, and could finally hit payday vs. a weak Denver interior. It also helps that today is Nicholson’s birthday.
Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors (FD $8,300, DK $8,100)-
Despite a tough matchup vs. Paul George, Draymond makes for an interesting tournament play tonight. While most of the field will likely sway towards Derrick Favors, Green can be had for a similar price point, and favorable ceiling. I’d stick with Favors in cash, but wouldn’t disagree with targeting the explosive Green in tournaments.
Festus Ezeli, Golden State Warriors (FD $4,600, DK $4,500)-
If you’re paying up for a player outside of the IND/GSW matchup, it’ll be difficult to find some exposure to the most enticing game of the slate. The center position provides a pretty weak playing field tonight, and going value under the rim may be the best strategy. Festus Ezeli provides both value and exposure to the Warriors, and has a safe floor as well. The trend of Ezeli seeing more minutes than Andrew Bogut is likely to continue as well.
Dwight Howard, Houston Rockets (FD $8,100, DK $7,000)
I’m not a big fan of paying up at center tonight, but if so inclined, I’d likely settle for Dwight Howard. D12 is coming off of his best game in a while, pouring in 22 points and grabbing 18 rebounds vs. a lowly Kings defense. The Nets won’t be such an easy opponent, but Howard should impress on the night of his 30th birthday.