By Dr. Joe Thompson, Mostly Sports Daily Fantasy Doctor: Twitter @DrJoeThompson
They (my ex-girlfriend) say, “revenge is a dish best served cold,” and I have to agree today. For those of you who have taken the plunge in drafting Al Horford of the Atlanta Hawks over the past week, you felt the shame, the betrayal. He just did not care about rewarding his fantasy owners with a good night and may have cost you big money as a result. Based on last night, I can only infer that Richaun Holmes of the 76ers used him in one of his tourney lineups on DraftKings.
Now I don’t condone this, but Holmes even put his knee up in hopes of hitting Horford’s balls so we could all stop drafting him into our lineups and focusing solely on Paul Millsaps. It didn’t work. Horford played the whole game. But I think Richaun isn’t the first nor will he be the last NBA player to put Horford on notice for his lack of play.
Bonus take****I predicted the Warriors to lose to the Bucks in my weekend column. Then I picked the Bucks to lose to the Lakers on Monday. I’m not saying I’m a prophet, but if you started calling me JOEstradamus, it would be appropriate.
Thursday Slate for December 17th, 2015
Toronto @ Charlotte—7pm EST/4pm PST (CHA -1.5; O/U 196.0)
Oklahoma City @ Cleveland—8pm EST/5pm PST (CLE -3.5; O/U 205.0)
Houston @ LA Lakers—10:30pm EST/7:30pm PST (HOU -6.0; O/U 213.0)
Prices are courtesy of DraftKings.
Point Guard (High Value): Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City ($10,300)
If you’re gonna spend on a big ticket item tonight, Westbrook is your guy. Cleveland has defended well against PGs, but Westbrook dominates the ball so much even with Durant in the game. He gets up enough shots a game (19) and averages heavy minutes (just under 35 minutes/gm) that it’s tough to not see him pour in 50+ fantasy points at this price point. I like his matchup against Mo Williams and Dellavadova than LeBron v. Durant, and Harden vs Lakers.
Bargain(s): Patrick Beverley, Houston Rockets ($5,000); Cory Joseph, Toronto Raptors ($4,100)
Shooting Guard (High Value): DeMar DeRozan, Toronto Raptors ($7,100)
DeRozan has been hot over his last 4 games, pouring in at least 35 fantasy points. Although Kyle Lowry is the starting PG, DeRozan gets additional value for his distribution, where he’s averaging 4 assists/gm on the year. He’s going up against Charlotte, who rank 23rd against SGs on the year AND who may be playing without their best defender in Nic Batum (he left the game early last night due to an illness. You should monitor his status as we get closer to gametime).
Bargain(s): Jordan Clarkson, Los Angeles Lakers ($5,300); Jeremy Lamb, Charlotte Hornets ($4,300)
Small Forward (High Value): Trevor Ariza, Houston Rockets ($5,700)
With Terrence Jones on the shelf and Donatas Motiejunas (RIP) getting his legs back from injury (and recovering mentally from getting dunked on by Will Barton), Ariza figures to get a lot of minutes again for the 3rd straight game tonight. He played 42 minutes (35.25 fantasy points) on Monday and 33 (27.5 fantasy points) on Tuesday as the de facto 2nd option for the Rockets. The Lakers are not a very good team top to bottom and will come back down to earth against the Rockets tonight.
Bargain(s): Marcus Thornton, Houston Rockets ($4,300)
Power Forward (High Value): Serge Ibaka, Oklahoma City Thunder ($6,100)
There’s not a lot of solid options at PF tonight. Serge keeps going back and forth having a great game then a decent game over his last 4 games. If you follow that logic (I do), he should have a great game against the Cavs. He tends to play better when he has to compete against a top level PF and Kevin Love, despite his recent struggles, is in the top tier. The Thunder are gonna need him to be all over the boards in this game to neutralize Love and Tristan Thompson. So I’m going with SERGE.
Bargain(s): Marvin Williams, Charlotte Hornets ($5,600); Luis Scola, Toronto Raptors ($5,100)
Center (High Value): Dwight Howard, Houston Rockets ($7,000)
When Howard gets 30+ minutes, he plays well and rewards fantasy owners with a good stat line. Over his last 8 games, when he hits 30+ minutes, he has delivered with 30+ fantasy points. Below 30 minutes of playing time, he’s below 30. There is a possibility that he may be on a minutes restriction tonight due to this being his 3rd game in 4 days so monitor what the status report is before game-time. I’m rolling him out because he’s got the best matchup of the night and the Lakers are ranked 29th in defending Centers on DK.
Bargain(s): Bismack Biyombo, Toronto Raptors ($4,800); Timofey Mozgov, Cleveland Cavaliers ($3,700)
****Daily Fantasy Tip of the Day–Use Vegas to your advantage. Look at games with high Over/Under totals that have lower spreads (i.e. projected to be close-games). If you drafted players in a game that is tight at the very end, your players are more likely to be playing those minutes (and heavy minutes overall). If it’s a blowout (high spread), you’ll often see the starters pulled early and you’ll lose out on those precious minutes.
Get well soon!