Tonight we have an interesting small slate, with 2 games having blowout potential and 1 that should be semi-close. We will go over each game and highlight any players that jump off as studs or values.
San Antonio Spurs (-15) @ Brooklyn Nets (194 O/U)
This game is just the worst of all 3, and I would say the worst as far as players to choose from. On the Brooklyn side they are just so weak everywhere besides in their front court with Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young. I would imagine no one wants to take a Net player here due to the Spurs just being the best defensive team in the league and the Nets still being the joke they are. You could give some exposure to either of the two big men on the Nets, but other than that I wouldn’t touch any of their starting 5. This is a game you could look at the value players found on the Nets bench if you really need one. Donald Solan would be a very big reach, but he could continue seeing minutes with how bad Larkin is and how this game could get out of hand early.
Spurs have 3 games in the next 4 days, so with this being their easiest matchup I could see maybe one of the Big 3 resting this game, never really know with Coach Pop. You never know when Pop will actually strike, but luckily this is the first game of the night so we should know at least an hour before tip-off. Here you can find value plays in Danny Green, Patty Mills, and maybe David West. Can always run Kawhi or Aldridge if and hope they can reach their value before being pulled or somehow Brooklyn makes this game competitive. Note, last week when they pulled ahead by a lot, Kawhi sat on the bench for most of the 2nd half and only accumulated 26 fantasy points - which is terrible for his cost.
Washington Wizards @ Chicago Bulls (-8) (207.5 O/U)
Well here is the only game vegas believes will be close and also the highest scoring game of the night. Meaning, you don’t have to reach for the stars to find players here. Jimmy Butler is for sure in the scopes again. With the ghost of Thibodeau coaching him as he has went back up to playing almost 40 minutes a game. He is especially in a great spot against a team who hasn’t been able to defend the SG position while Beal has been out. Butler's worst enemy tonight will be himself. I never suggest this and I hope I never have to again, but Derrick Rose is actually playable today. If you want to take a gamble on hoping he doesn’t tweak one of his 40 past injuries I wouldn’t be opposed to giving him a shot. Noah will be returning tonight. Forcing me to get off the Bobby Portis train and probably the Taj Gibson one too. I just don’t know how many minutes he will take nor how much usage to say Taj at his price is worth the risk.
Wizards are still missing... it feels like everyone, but when I say, "everyone" I just mean Beal. Without Beal this team is very hit or miss. Everyone knows Wall at home is just stupid good sometimes, but tonight he isn’t at home and I just don’t like him as much as other guys. Especially with Butler probably guarding him for a decent amount of the game. Players like Otto Porter and Gortat aren’t the worst plays tonight, as they don’t have that bad of a matchup. Otto is a bit up there in price, so if you are scared you can take a chance with Jared Dudley. But with his usage being as low as his minutes I wouldn’t give him much exposure.
Miami Heat @ Golden State Warriors (-13) (206.5 O/U)
Where to really begin with this game. The Heat have been playing so bad lately, and I don’t really get why. Lost to the Knicks and Jazz in the past 3 games. One of those teams are awful, the other one is having injury issues. The Heat don’t have this problem, besides the couple guys on the bench that have been hurting. So I get why the spread is where it is, but the O/U I don’t understand. Miami is actually a top 3 defense at this point and the Warriors seem to be good at defending when they feel like it. Now when you take 2 teams who can play defense you get Cavs vs Warriors Christmas all over again. I don’t believe in this O/U at all. Unless players come out on fire this could be just like the finals last year where it just low scoring, hard defending game. Vegas might see it different since the Heat has just been derailed lately. With all that said, I would be okay with Wade and Dragic here, and maybe Whiteside (but that would be a decent punt). I get Curry is MVP and the son of God, but he isn’t that great at defending and I think Dragic could actually do something. He has seen 30+ minutes in the past 5 of 6 games and actually looks good, compared to how bad he looked at the start of the year.
With the Warrior side I will just rank their big 3 how I like them tonight as all 3 are playable. Curry, Green, Klay. I would almost have Curry = Green as Dragic could actually cause Curry to miss some of those 40 foot shots, but he might do some ritual before the game who knows. Green is in a great spot and is going to drive Whiteside/Bosh insane to the point where we might see some angry Whiteside tonight. Other than the big 3 you could use Bogut and Iggy who could potentially reach their value tonight if you wanted to go low costing players.
Good luck tonight! On small slates it’s hard to just cash if you don’t have the one player who goes off, so making multiple lineups that cover the field can give you a better chance.