• Welcome back! It is Friday, December 14 and we have nine games on tonight’s slate to comb through and find value. I am really interested in tonight’s slate because even though it is fairly large with nine games, we could really get a good number of those right out and focus on the ones with higher totals.  Again, we always know who the studs are and what they could do, so I tend to leave them out and focus more on the value plays. This is an early look and monitoring the news and information being released throughout the day will be essential tonight. As of now we do not have the news on whether or not Jimmy Butler will play. This will have major implications on value and whether or not I am looking to get exposure to Ben Simmons. Now that that’s out of the way let’s jump right in.

    Point Guard

    Damian Lillard vs. Raptors $8,500 – There are not a lot of games I am in love with on tonight’s slate, but this should be a good one and Lillard is just too cheap. I love targeting Lillard in matchups where we could expect C.J. McCollum to struggle. Tonight he should draw Danny Green as a defensive matchup and Green is no slouch. It should be one of the tighter games on the slate and one I am surely looking to target.

    Dennis Schroder vs. Nuggets $5,600 – I played Schroder Wednesday against the Pelicans in what was a high-scoring and fast-paced game. This one does not have all of the same makings, but it is another game that should be competitive and when they are we know we can expect good minutes from Schroder. Players with high bench usage tend to fly under the radar and as of now that is what is happening to Schroder. He’s just a little too cheap.

    Shooting Guard

    Bradley Beal vs. Nets $7,900 -You will hear me mention targeting specific games throughout the night and that is simply because I don’t like a lot of the other game totals, matchups and paces. This is another one I will surely have exposure too and Beal is a great option at his price. I am not going to lie, I tend to play Beal on all of the wrong nights, but this is a more-than-fair price for his upside and this matchup is one of the best on paper. John Wall is certainly in play as well; I just don’t think I would be playing them together.

    Klay Thompson vs. Kings $6,200 – If you have read these articles in the past then I am sure you have heard me mention targeting shooting guards against the Kings. They are susceptible against the three and play at such a fast pace that should see Klay taking plenty in transition. There is not really a bad play on the Warriors in this spot, it is just so hard to peg which one is having the game on any given night. Well, Thompson is much cheaper and still provides just as much upside. If I had to rank the Warriors on a point per dollar basis it would be: Klay, Curry, Durant, Draymond.

    Small Forward

    Paul George vs. Nuggets $9,100 – I like the matchup and I think the price is fair. George has been aggressive as of late and in this matchup earlier in the year he dropped 55 DK points. I will likely look to have a player from the Thunder in almost every lineup because of how much I like this game.

    Juancho Hernangomez vs. Thunder $4,700 –It is Friday so you already know I am talking about my guy Juancho. The floor is safe, the minutes are safe and the upside is there. In this previous matchup Hernangomez dropped 32 DK points and more opportunity and minutes have become available. If we get word that Mason Plumlee is starting again I would be slightly off of Hernangomez. I like him to have rebounding upside and Plumlee starting certainly limits that. On the flip side, Plumlee is in play himself if starting.

    Kevin Knox vs. Hornets $4,800 – I don’t think I am quite buying into Knox’s season-long value, but right now he is hot and worth riding. He’s been reinserted into the starting lineup, but this time around is actually taking shots. It’s a solid matchup versus the Hornets, a team who has struggled against wings this season.

    Power Forward

    John Collins vs. Celtics $7,200 – Collins has been crushing and now you are telling me we get a matchup against a poor rebounding team missing their best big man. Sign me up. He is power forward eligible now, which makes lineup construction so much easier, and he’s one of my favorite plays on the slate.

    Serge Ibaka vs. Blazers $6,300 – A lot of people may be thinking about Greg Monroe with Jonas Valacunias out, but I am turning to the regular bigs in the rotation and hoping they see some extended run. I mentioned wanting to get some exposure to this game and as of now Ibaka is my favorite Raptor. If we get the word the Kawhi Leonard is sitting out again he is even better and there is a chance we see his minutes creep over 35 tonight if the game stays close.

    Markieff Morris vs. Nets $5,100 – I prefer to spend up on Wall or Beal in this matchup, but we know the Wizards are going to need Morris’ size and he is still coming off of the bench, which is a big boost to his value. We would much rather see him sharing usage with Austin Rivers than John Wall. He is at a more-than-fair price and had a big game against the Nets earlier this month, scoring over 40 DK points, so we know the upside is there tonight.

    Center

    Jusuf Nurkic vs. Raptors $6,700 –I just mentioned how the Raptors will be lacking some size inside and that is surely something Nurkic could take advantage of. We have seen him put up numbers in limited minutes and if games stay close he tends to see right around 30 minutes. In those minutes he could do some damage to this frontcourt.

    Jarrett Allen vs. Wizards $5,600 – I love this price, I love this spot and I am definitely playing some Allen tonight. The Wizards have been bleeding points to starting centers ever since loosing Dwight Howard and Allen has shown the ability to stretch the floor, which could cause some problems for Thomas Bryant. A lot of people will be looking at his last game where Joel Embiid abused him; this hopefully lowers his ownership for the rest of us.

    Brook Lopez vs. Cavs $4,800 – Lopez has played 30-plus minutes in three of the last four games and tonight he, like Allen, draws a matchup against a team with very little depth at the position. I am a little worried about this game staying close, but hey I felt the same about the Cavs versus Warriors game and it did long enough for teams to produce value. Either way Lopez is priced cheap enough to hit value in even limited minutes.

    As always if you have any questions or comments you could fin me on Twitter @MikeApotria. Don’t forget that every Wednesday we will be hosting our weekly “Beat the Expert” contest and this upcoming week we are looking to expand it! Good luck out there and take one down for Hoop Ball.

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