Welcome to “The 6th Man” everyone! This article is designed to give you an in depth breakdown of the best value plays at each position for tonight’s NBA contests.
As always, make sure you’re reading Brent and Tyler’s work written earlier in the day. Those guys do amazing work (especially tonight with so many games) giving you all the info you need to attack this massive slate.
This will be the final “6th Man” before the weekend hits so I just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Let’s make some X-mas money before this year’s done.
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Patty Mills (DK $4300, $4200)
With 14 games going tonight and nearly every team in play, it’s going to be hard as hell figuring out which way you’re going to want to go. There are a ridiculous amount of great plays tonight, so you’re going to have to live with fades that you’re not too happy about. My job is to give you my favorite value at each position and give you some other options that are also worth consideration. There are going to be many hits and misses so just beware.
We already got word last night after the Clippers game that Coach Pop will be resting Tony Parker and Pau Gasol tonight. Thank God because the last time I recommended Mills to everyone, Parker surprisingly started ruining all of Mills’ value in a dream game against the Suns. It’s not as juicy this time around but it certainly isn’t bad against the Trailblazers.
With Pau and Parker off the court, usually the biggest beneficiaries are Leonard and Aldridge but Mills sees quite a bump as well and is much cheaper of the three. In the 8 games Parker has missed this season, Mills has averaged 27.06 DKPTS. He rarely gets the start so don’t freak out when you read the news later that he’s still coming off the bench but he’s the one playing starters minutes.
A Spurs game that has an over/under of 212 is pretty dang rare but that’s what happens when you’re going up against the worst defensive team in the league. I’m not being sarcastic either. The Blazers have a worse defensive efficiency rating than teams like the Lakers, Nets and Nuggets. It’s that bad.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (DK $5100, FD $5500)
You can probably go a bit cheaper here (more news is going to be coming out) but I absolutely love this matchup for KCP. He thrives in uptempo games and the Warriors are traveling on the second end of a back to back. Golden State will have everyone available tonight but they’re still single digit favorites. The Pistons have been a mess as of late but I do expect them to keep this one close throughout.
KCP’s worst game against the Warriors over their last 4 was 24.5 DKPTS with two games at 34.5 and 36.3 DKPTS. The Pistons are likely to change up the starting lineup tonight. We’re still in wait and see mode but it’s most likely going to be Harris or Morris moving back to the bench with Jon Leuer likely entering the starting lineup. I’d prefer it if it was Harris because that frees up a few more shot attempts for KCP but regardless, he’s going to get his shots up tonight. His USG% of 20.2 is the the highest of his career and he’s shooting a career best 38.5% from deep. My view on SG tonight is that the real value lies elsewhere at other positions so I may be able to afford some higher priced guys other amazing spots like LaVine against the Kings.
Luol Deng (DK $3900, FD $4600)
We rode the Deng train yesterday with Julius Randle being out and we can go back on it today with Randle expected to miss his second day in a row due to the birth of his child. The Lakers will also be without Larry Nance and Black, which means Deng is likely starting at PF again.
I love starting SF’s when they’re playing the PF position as they’re playing closer to the basket, likely meaning more opportunities for rebounds and easier shots. He’s locked into major minutes, which is huge for anyone playing on the Lakers because of how fast they play and how unpredictable the rest of their rotation pans out. 34 minutes played in 3 straight games and he’s taken double digit FGA attempts in all of them.
Even besides those 3 games, he’s seen at least 30 min in 7 of their last 8 games with none of them scoring under 21 DKPTS. He’s maybe the safest of all the cash game value small forwards on the slate and I’m likely roll him out once again. His USG% jumps up 2.4 points with Randle and Nance out. The matchup against Ibaka and the Magic isn’t ideal but the situation outweighs the numbers for me.
A great pivot off Deng would be T.J. Warren who is finally playing his normal minutes again and cheap as ever, going against the Sixers. There are actually a shit ton of viable cheap SF’s listed below and although it seems like a cop out, I wouldn’t question you for going with any of them.
Thomas Robinson (DK $3200, FD $3600)
Yup, the same two guys for me at SF and PF. I explained to you yesterday that Robinson didn’t need major minutes to make an impact and of course in only 18 minutes played, T-Rob put up 27.5 DKPTS, shy of a double-double by 2 points. It’s the story of his life and luckily for us, DK or FD didn’t change his price much.
I understand being such a huge slate that he’s not as necessary compared to the 5 games we had last night but he just provides so much value for his price that I’m likely to still do it. He’s really the only true PF the Lakers have on their roster and he’s probably going to see 18 to 20 minutes again tonight.
With Randle and Nance off the court, Robinson has an adjusted plus/minus of +4.7 USG% (which is a lot for him considering he’s already a high USG guy) and an expected 8.7 more DKPTS. As mentioned with Deng, the matchup isn’t as great as you would hope but you can throw matchups out the window when it comes to Thomas Robinson. After what he did last night, we should pray that he can somehow climb over 20 minutes. This is elite value, even for a 14 game slate.
Crazy, right? We have 14 games to choose from and I’ve just written up 3 Lakers. I’m either a genius or a fucking fool. I’m likely not going this cheap with Andre Drummond‘s price under 7K on DK. In all reality, with so much value available tonight, there’s not much reason to go cheap at center at all.
If last night showed us anything, it’s that the Lakers really need Mozzy with Black, Randle and Nance being out. He played 30 minutes and he’s close to or the bare minimum everywhere. With the Magic splitting minutes between Biyombo and Vucevic, the Lakers are going to need Mozgov to play big minutes again. They may have no choice which is great for us DFS players. On top of the extended min, this is one position you can definitely target the matchup against the Magic.
Orlando is giving up the 6th most fantasy points to opposing centers. If you’re getting a starting center playing big minutes against this Magic team for that price, I’m definitely interested. I may be a day late on this but it’s better to be late then never. Now, it is a back to back and it’s very possible they try to limit his minutes back to where they normally would be but as mentioned, they may have no other choice unless the Magic decide to play small with them.
Another guy that I’m absolutely in love with and is much safer for cash games is Dewayne Dedmon. Pau Gasol is going to be out tonight and Dedmon will likely be starting for him. Remember my reasoning for Salah the other night against the Blazers? It still holds true and by the way, Salah wasn’t bad at all scoring 18.5 DKPTS.
Centers against POR is still a thing after all these years and here you’re getting a cheap one that’s averaging 38.28 DKPTS per 36 minutes. The Blazers are giving up the 4th most fantasy points to opposing centers, most actual points and the 8th most rebounds. With Gasol off the court, Dedmon leads the team with a 20.7 rebounding percentage. In the one game Dedmon started this season against the Mavericks (who are much better at defending the position), he played 26 minutes and recorded 28.5 DKPTS. You don’t get must plays from us (especially with 14 games going on) but Dedmon is pretty much a lock and load for me.