Happy New Year! May 2016 be peaceful and prosperous for you and your loved ones. In the NBA, January 1 is a relatively quiet night, with five games getting under way at 7:00 Eastern. The nightcap, a tankapalooza between the two worst teams in the league, could be a source of big daily fantasy numbers.
The much-improved 76ers won two of three (all on the road) since trading for Ish Smith $6500 and installing him at point guard. He’s turned Nerlens Noel $6300 into such a pick-and-roll monster that Jahlil Okafor $6300 came off the bench on Wednesday and Jerami Grant $4400 was sensational as a starter — 16 PTS, 11 REB, 5 BLK, 2 STL, 2 AST, 2 3PTM. Isaiah Canaan $4000 is also a regular in the smaller lineup, with Robert Covington $5300 now part of a more dangerous second unit.
The Lakers have a revenge motive after losing in Philly exactly a month ago. They are fresh off a shocking victory in Boston on Wednesday, when Kobe Bryant $6400 double-doubled (15 PTS, 10 REB) and Jordan Clarkson $5100 scored 24. Still coming off the bench together, D’Angelo Russell $4900 and Julius Randle $5400 often pay their way. Brandon Bass $3500 is an ultra-cheap play who gets extra run when Roy Hibbert $4200 disappears.
Plays of the Day
The $260K Sharpshooter is only a $3 buy-in (FREE with your initial deposit at DraftKings) where the top 20,805 finishers (from up to 99,666 teams) win cash. First place is worth $20,000. The deadline is 7:00 but enter before it fills; you can make lineup changes until each player’s game begins.
Only 5.5 games separate second and 12th place in the Eastern Conference. Orlando is currently four games ahead of Washington, making this an important home date for John Wall $9700 and the Wizards. Elfrid Payton $6000 (illness, ankle) is questionable after playing just five minutes on Wednesday; Victor Oladipo $5500 would benefit if Payton can’t go. Nikola Vucevic $7900 is a very tough assignment for Marcin Gortat $6900, so Wall needs help from Otto Porter $5700 and possibly Ramon Sessions $4100.
The 20-13 Raptors host 17-14 Charlotte in another East tilt. Two weeks ago, the Hornets won in overtime at home as Jeremy Lin (ankle) scored 35, but he’s out; Jeremy Lamb $4000 gains value until Lin returns. Kyle Lowry $8200 and Kemba Walker $7800 is a fascinating matchup, but DeMar DeRozan $8000 has been the best guard on either team lately. Bismack Biyombo $5200 grabbed 18 rebounds and blocked seven shots vs. his former teammates, but Jonas Valanciunas $5200 is back to start at center. It’s no easy task for Cody Zeller $4900 against either of them.
Favored at home, the Bulls may be without Derrick Rose $5900 (hamstring) again, but Aaron Brooks $4100 has been sizzling, with 29 points in 41 minutes of an OT victory on Wednesday. Also hot off Chicago’s bench, rookie Bobby Portis $3900 is now a key part of the rotation. Stars Jimmy Butler $7600 and Pau Gasol $7700 are reasonably priced. The Knicks go as Carmelo Anthony $8300 goes; they snapped a four-game slide on Tuesday with Melo (24 PTS, 6 REB, 6 AST) leading the way and strong work by Robin Lopez $4200 (11 PTS, 7 REB, 6 BLK) against Andre Drummond. Suddenly a factor again, Derrick Williams $3300 has scored 10+ in four straight, while rebounding and getting to the line.
Dallas at Miami, interesting in real life, is unlikely to be a DFS bonanza. The Heat allow only 95.5 points per game and while listed a s probable, Deron Williams $6300 (hamstring) may not be 100% — J.J. Barea $5500 was a pleasant surprise in two of his three games as the fill-in starter. Zaza Pachulia $5600 isn’t a leaper or shot-blocker like Hassan Whiteside $7100 but either could double-double. Likewise, Chris Bosh $7300 and Dirk Nowitzki $6200 are capable of getting hot. Both teams have veteran wing players; Wesley Matthews $4900 and Chandler Parsons $5800 are a decent match for Dwyane Wade $7000 and Luol Deng $5000.
There are no five-digit salaries tonight and only five players cost $8000 or more. My sample lineup includes the most expensive guy at three positions, counts on the Sixers and plugs in two bargains. As always, breaking news can alter values and taking advantage is often rewarding.
|PG||John Wall $9700||Ish Smith $6500||Aaron Brooks $4100|
|SG||DeMar DeRozan $8000||Jimmy Butler $7600||Jeremy Lamb $4000|
|SF||Carmelo Anthony $8300||Jerami Grant $4400||Derrick Williams $3300|
|PF||Chris Bosh $7300||Nerlens Noel $6300||Bobby Portis $3900|
|C||Nikola Vucevic $7900||Dwight Howard $6900||Robin Lopez $4200|
The Fantasy Spin features DFS advice every day of the NBA season. Follow Kent Williams @SheridanFantasy for updates.