Sunday, December 21, 2014

NBA Daily Fantasy Advice Dec 21st

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Suggested Plays for 12/21/14:

As Sunday is upon us, football will garner the most attention and understandably so as this is a pivotal week for many NFL teams, fans and fantasy footballers. However, me being a Jets fan and having fantasy football season soon coming to a close, there is not much left to root for. So with that, I turn to basketball and for you basketball enthusiasts who are like me this Sunday morning, you are not so interested in whether or not the Steelers can inch into the playoffs or whether the Broncos will can clinch a first-round bye. Rather, you are more concerned with trying to afford Anthony Davis in your FanDuel lineups. So here I provide you some bargain plays, sleepers and situations to watch for Sunday that can help you stay on top of the action and accomplish just that:
  • Reggie Jackson (PG, OKC)

    DraftKings: $5,800 FanDuel: $5,700 FanDay: $3,400
    • The point guard crop for Sunday's slate is loaded, and while it is easy to get distracted by the big name headliners, I suggest you avoid going after an expensive PG due to the depth of the position. So with that, I raise you one Reggie Jackson. Reggie exploded in Kevin Durant's absence on Friday against the Lakers for 25 points (9-15 FG, 3-5 3Pt, 4-4 FT) filling out the box score with 3 rebounds, 5 assists and 1 block. Granted it was against the lowly defense of the Lakers and New Orleans presents a much tougher test on Sunday, but the guy has proven to produce when given the opportunity. For the entire month of November in which Jackson started in place of Durant and Westbrook, he excelled, posting averages of 19.5 points, 7.5 assists, 5.3 rebounds, 1 steal, and 1.2 threes a game. With Durant officially ruled out for this matchup, expect Reggie to produce once again with a full workload. Reggie may not be the main cog in your fantasy lineup but for the price at which he is available, he can provide a lot of flexibility to your team to fill out your other positions with a couple studs.
    • Players I would take Reggie Jackson over: Brandon Jennings, Kyrie Irving, Mario Chalmers
  • Avery Bradley (SG, Bos)

    DraftKings: $4,400 FanDuel: $4,400 FanDay: $4,100
    • Unlike the point guard crop, the list of shooting guards leaves a lot to be desired. Outside of Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade there are no high-ranking SGs that deserve much of your trust this Sunday. Therefore, this position is the perfect one to take a gamble on. Why spend a high price on an inconsistent Tim Hardaway or Victor Oladipo when they could very well put up the same low-level numbers as a Dion Waiters or Courtney Lee?  In situations like these you look for the best bargain deal and I am of firm belief that Avery Bradley is the best value pickup at his position. With Rondo being traded to Dallas and Marcus Smart still getting acclimated to the NBA, Bradley is forced into a role as the primary ball-handler for the Celtics. In Boston's last game (their first since the trade), Bradley started at point guard and posted totals of 14 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds, 1 block and 3 steals in 32 minutes. With Rondo out of town, expect lines like this to be the norm until Coach Stevens is prepared to let Smart emerge as the full-fledged starter. For now, Bradley will have to carry a bigger load offensively and that is great as he looks much more comfortable in Brad Steven's offense.
    • Players I would take Avery Bradley over: Evan Fournier, Gerald Green, Tim Hardaway
  • Robert Covington (SF/PF, Phi)

    DraftKings: $5,600 FanDuel: $5,300 FanDay:$6,000
    • Covington is becoming a well-known name in fantasy circles and rightfully so as over his last five games he has put up nearly elite averages of 17 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.4 steals, and 3.8 three pointers a game. Many may look at Covington's game log and see slight inconsistencies in his point production and therefore be hesitant to take a chance on him with money at stake. Yet there is a reasonable explanation for his somewhat inconsistent production; Philadelphia is a very bad team, very bad teams tend to get blown out, and when teams get blown out they decide to rest their starters. This has been the case with Covington, when Philly gets blown out early he heads to the bench and rarely gets more than 29 minutes a game. So what makes today's matchup different, you ask? Well Philadelphia is facing the Magic, another bad team who barely inched out with a win in their last matchup with the Sixers. Covington's Per36 stats prove he has the potential to post even bigger numbers when given the chance and I am expecting another close game between Philly and Orlando in which Covington will get at least 35 minutes and reward his owners with his best game of the season.
    • Players I would take Robert Covington over: Amare Stoudemire, Carlos Boozer, Greg Monroe
  • Kelly Olynyk (C, Bos)

    DraftKings: $5,300 FanDuel: $6,000 FanDay: $5,100
    • Kelly Olynyk is a guy I will be endorsing a lot throughout the season. He is a vastly talented center yet remains in an inconsistent rotation and therefore undervalued as a fantasy big man. However, he continues to produce above his value and as long as they're selling him at a bargain, I'll keep buying. Some may fear that Rondo being dealt is a detriment to Olynyk's production, but in reality the eventual emergence of Marcus Smart as a starter helps Olynyk's value. Metrics show that Marcus Smart targets Olynyk the second-most of anybody on the team with a frequency of 13.9% and that combination has the highest assist rate of any other guard-to-big combo. Look for Smart and Olynyk to continue to develop their chemistry today in the second unit and for Olynyk to have another productive night against a Miami defense that has not been so strong in the post in the wake of Chris Bosh's injury.
    • Players I would take Kelly Olynyk over: Jordan Hill, Gorgui Dieng, Mason Plumlee
  • Situations to Watch:
    • PG Situation in Indiana -- Indiana has an exploitable matchup against Minnesota, a team that primarily struggles with the opposing point guard. However, what makes this tough is the question of who will get the start with usual starter C.J. Watson (illness) Questionable for Sunday. If Watson sits, it vaults Donald Sloan into the starting spot, if Watson starts then he is a solid bargain play. In the slight possibility that George Hill makes his season debut, he should slowly be worked into game shape and I wouldn't expect him to start. Regardless, I suggest you take a long look at the Pacers point guards as Sunday's starter could make a useful play. They have a slightly later game so be sure to check in before any of the earlier games tip off.
    • Deron Williams Ruled Out Sunday -- Deron Williams is out for those daring few who planned on adding him in their lineups this Sunday. Jarrett Jack deserves some fantasy consideration as he will be the starter, but he just hasn't shown the same level of effectiveness that made him so useful in years past. I would avoid this Brooklyn PG situation all together.
    • Who Steps Up in Boston? -- In the wake of the Rajon Rondo trade to Dallas, many in the fantasy world were left speculating its impact on players in both parties. In Dallas, I think every one of their player's efficiency steps up and Parsons will be the biggest beneficiary while Monta's assists will take a hit. However, there is more to worry about in Boston as Marcus Smart still needs to develop, Evan Turner hasn't shown the same production from the preseason that made him worth drafting in the later rounds, and newly-acquired Jameer Nelson's role has yet to be defined. In their last game, Coach Brad Stevens decided to have Smart come off the bench, play Avery Bradley at the point and Turner at the two. Bradley saw the most success with this change but we expect Stevens to continue to experiment and gradually work Marcus Smart in. This is a foggy situation worth monitoring and it may become a bit clearer on Sunday.
  • Deep Sleepers: 
    • Jose Calderon (PG, NY): Coming off his best game of the season Saturday in which he exploded for 5 threes, 21 points, 5 boards, 3 assists, and a steal on 61% shooting, Calderon is now headed to Toronto to face off against his former team, the Raptors whom he has averaged 15.2 points, 7 assists, 3 rebounds, and 2.6 threes against over his career. Lowry is of course a hound defensively but if the triangle continues to open up three point opportunities for the point guard, Jose is a good bet to capitalize snd deserves consideration for your lineup.
    • Kevin Garnett (PF, Bkn): Garnett has been a very frustrating player for owners in season-long leagues due to shaky production and games missed. With his elite-level playing days behind him, Garnett has rounded out to become a serviceable fantasy big man that can become useful in daily leagues if you play the match-ups keenly. I think Sunday's match against the Pistons is very favorable as Detroit currently allows the 2nd most fantasy points to opposing power forwards. I do not suggest you use Garnett as your starting PF but if you are in a tight spot, he isn't bad option as one of the final players to fill out your roster.
    •  Elfrid Payton (PG, Orl): I can not write this segment without including a player who has a matchup against the woeful 76ers. For those of you who enjoy cross-sports references, here's a great one: the Philadelphia 76ers are the Jacksonville Jaguars of the NBA. As it stands, Philadelphia is in the bottom four in fantasy points allowed at every position and it is due to this very reason that I raise the value of any legitimate player that faces this "defense" in dailies. Elfrid Payton has understandably been shaky in his rookie year but has shown flashes of potential, including posting a double-double (11 points and 11 assists) in his last outing. He is a very talented player who dominated in his college days and frankly this Philly team is only slightly better than the competition he faced at that level. Expect Payton to post respectable numbers across the stat sheet and he could pay off as a last option add to your roster.
Myles Duve is an aspiring sports journalist, studying Neuroscience at UC Riverside. You can follow him on Twitter for fantasy questions and advice @mylesduve and @GrandTheftRoto. 
Check out for full Fanday/Fanduel/DraftKings NBA lineups for 12/21

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