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Unlike yesterday's slate with eight games and only one star to choose from, we have 10-games and five superstars to build around, should we want to go that route. We also have four games projected over 210 points, with the Nets and Pelicans game projected over 220 points, and three games with blowout potential. It looks to be a decent night on the injury front, as well, as we have received the majority of the news already. The Lakers may shake up their lineup with Ingram projected to be back, so we need to keep an eye on that, but that could be all the news we have.

John Wall, PG, Washington Wizards

Projected Minutes

Team Total

DvP

FPPG Allowed

Usage Rate

DK Projection

FD Projection

34 109 18 46.2 27.8 45.90 45.90

DK Salary: $8,900 / FD Salary: $8,700

I realize that I am not breaking any news when I am telling you that Wall is a good play tonight, but I am doing so nonetheless. Wall broke out of his mini-slump on Christmas Day by posting 21 points, 14 assists, and five rebounds against the Celtics, and he gets a great matchup against the Hawks to further improve on. Prior to the game against Boston, Wall was already back to his old self in terms of assists, with double-digit assists in two of three games, and his 14 against the Celtics make it three of his last four. He had 19 field-goal attempts against Boston, connecting on eight of them, and went to the line seven times. His 19 field-goal attempts on Sunday mark the sixth time since his return that he has attempted at least 11 shots. His 27.8 percent usage rate in the month of December is the second-highest mark on the team, behind Bradley Beal, but as he gets healthier he should surpass Beal in usage.

It is pretty well known that the Hawks struggle against point guards, but looking at the DvP numbers it may appear otherwise. I outlined in a previous article why the DvP was a lie, so I won't go too in depth here, but the Hawks have not exactly played a murderer's row of point guards as of late. Over the last 10 games, however, they rank 18th in defensive efficiency to the position and have allowed them to rack up 22.1 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 7.4 assists. They have shot 50.6 percent from the floor, and 38.6 percent from three-point range during those 10 games. Three point guards have racked up at least 10 assists against the Hawks this season, Westbrook, Barea, and Jack, while six point guards have scored more than 20 points against them. The Hawks lack rim protection and the ability to defend the pick-and-roll, which means Wall should have no issues becoming the seventh guard to rack up over 20 points against them.

Dwight Howard, C, Charlotte Hornets

Projected Minutes

Team Total

DvP

FPPG Allowed

Usage Rate

DK Projection

FD Projection

30

102.75

11

46

25.57

35.40

35.70

DK Salary: $7,200 / FD Salary: $8,200

The Boston Celtics are an extremely tough matchup, as they rank second in the NBA in defense, but they have shown some exploitable weaknesses as of late, which is why I am intrigued by Howard in GPPs tonight. Howard is coming off a massive 21-point, 16 rebound performance against the Bucks and has a double-double in six of his last 10 games. He has at least 20 points in five of those games and 15 or more rebounds in five of the last 10 games as well. The last time these teams faced off, Howard was only on the court for 27 minutes but he managed to put up six points and 11 boards. Those numbers don't sound impressive, and they aren't, but I am going to tell you why I think he can improve on those numbers tonight.

The Celtics, for all their defensive glory, have been reeling as of late and have now lost five of their last 10 games, and as of late, have been decimated down low by big men. Marc Gasol put up 30 points and 10 boards against them, Enes Kanter had 14 and 10 against them, and Marcin Gortat of all people was able to put up 11 points with 10 rebounds. Over their last 10 games, the Celtics have surrendered 24.7 points, 14.8 rebounds, and 52.5 percent shooting to opposing big men. Given their recent defensive struggles, I am expecting Howard to put up a good game here, and people will not be looking his way in this matchup.

Otto Porter Jr., SF/PF, Atlanta Hawks

Projected Minutes

Team Total

DvP

FPPG Allowed

Usage Rate

DK Projection

FD Projection

35

109

29

43.4

19.02

31.85

31.85

DK Salary: $5,900 / FD Salary: $6,400

Otto Porter returned from his week-long injury three games ago and was finally able to play his full allotment of minutes on Christmas Day against the Boston Celtics. He managed to put up 20 points, six rebounds, a block, and a steal against the stout Celtics defense, and his price is not where it should be if he is going to be playing full minutes against the Hawks. He has double-digit field-goal attempts in back-to-back games, and five three-pointers in both of those games and has shot 65 percent from the floor in those two games. He only managed 20 fantasy points in 24.4 minutes against the Hawks the last time these teams faced off, so I am hoping people will be off of him tonight.

The Hawks defense, as we know, is absolutely terrible. They are allowing 108.4 points per game on the season and 43.4 fantasy points to small forwards. Over their last 10 games, they rank 22nd in defensive efficiency to the position, allowing 22.7 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and opposing small forwards have shot 47.4 percent from the floor against them. The Hawks are terrible when it comes to defending the pick-and-roll, allowing .89 points per play, and also spot-ups, allowing 1.03 points per play and Otto Porter is one of the most efficient scorers on the team on both play types. Porter is only operating as the ball handler in the pick-and-roll on 10 percent of possessions, but he ranks in the 99th percentile among all NBA players with his 1.29 points per play. He is third on the team in spot-up efficiency and ranks in the 67th percentile on efficiency there. Porter should have no issues crushing his salary tonight.

Steven Adams, C, Oklahoma City Thunder

Projected Minutes

Team Total

DvP

FPPG Allowed

Usage Rate

DK Projection

FD Projection

35

106.5

11

50.58

16.22

30.80

31.50

DK Salary: $5,700 / FD Salary: $5,900

I am going to continue the trend of picking on good defenses tonight, as I am looking to attack the Toronto Raptors with Steven Adams. Adams is coming off an impressive outing against the Rockets on Christmas Day, where he racked up 15 points with 10 rebounds while also chipping in three blocks. He has put together a great month of December, averaging 16 points with 10.1 rebounds, and bounced back nicely from a rough month of November. He has posted seven games over 30 fantasy points and his last 10 games and has double-digit field-goal attempts in four of those 10 games. He leads the NBA in offensive rebounds at 5.1 per game, while also leading the NBA in paint touches (12.4). He ranks 7th in the NBA in paint points and 6th in 2nd chance points.

While the Raptors are generally a tough defense, allowing only 102.8 points per game, they are giving up over 50 fantasy points per game to centers, while also ranking 25th against them over the last 10 games. During that time, they have allowed centers to rack up 23.9 points, 14.2 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and a combined 3.8 blocks and steals. They are also shooting 58.4 percent against them during those 10 games. They have allowed 13.4 second-chance points per game on the season and a total of 41 rebounds per game. After watching the duo of Maxi Kleber and Dirk Nowitzki demolish the Toronto frontcourt last night, it is tough to imagine a scenario where Adams doesn't beat them up down low tonight.

Allen Crabbe, SG/SF, Brooklyn Nets

Projected Minutes

Team Total

DvP

FPPG Allowed

Usage Rate

DK Projection

FD Projection

31

105.75

16

42.79

20.4

22.62

21.89

DK Salary: $4,200 / FD Salary: $5,100

While tonight's matchup between the Pelicans and Nets has a lot of fantasy appeal, it is a little tough to narrow down where to attack outside of the big names like Cousins, Davis, and Holiday. The Brooklyn side of this game is especially tough, but I am looking at Allen Crabbe as one of my favorite GPP options. Minutes are always an issue for the Nets players, however, that has not been the case for Crabbe as of late. He played 32 minutes against the Spurs last night and has played at least 30 minutes in seven of his last 10 games. His usage rate sits around 20.4 percent with guys like Russell and Lin off the floor this season and he has double-digit field-goal attempts in five of his last 10 games and at least eight field-goal attempts in each of his last 10. He is connecting on 41.5 percent of his attempts over the last four games and was able to shoot 50 percent from the floor against the Spurs last night.

There are several reasons to think Crabbe can be successful tonight, and that begins with their recent struggles defending shooting guards. Over the last 10 games, the Pelicans rank 29th in defensive efficiency to the position, surrendering 27.6 points, 5.5 rebounds, 5.1 assists and have allowed them to shoot 50 percent from the floor and 45.1 percent from beyond-the-arc. They have surrendered 42.79 fantasy points per game to the position on the season. They struggle to defend against spot-up shooters, allowing 1.01 points per play, and Crabbe is spotting up on 28.1 percent of his possessions this season. Given the Pelicans' recent struggles defending the position, and spot-up shooters, I think Crabbe comes out tonight with a big game.



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