Daily Fantasy Basketball: DraftKings Cheat Sheet – December 15

Michael Carter Williams

Daily Fantasy Basketball is back, which means each day XN Sports will have a column detailing advised plays and lineups for the remainder of the NBA season. For those familiar with DraftKings, their daily fantasy basketball is formatted differently this season. There is no multi-position eligibility, which makes it a bit harder to set your lineup.

For those unfamiliar with DraftKings, you are given $50,000 in cap space to select a point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward, center, a guard, a forward, and a utility player. There are no points deducted for missed shots, which changes the strategy from other sites. To read the full scoring, click here. Keep in mind that a double-double awards a bonus, which can be the difference between cashing in and winning nothing.

Generally, the goal for value is at five times a player’s salary. That brings a lineup to 250 fantasy points, which will cash on most days.

Give DraftKings a shot, as there will be a few freeroll opportunities each night in Daily Fantasy Basketball. Click here to play.

Rather than value plays and lineups tonight, XN will give you a cheat sheet with the best plays at each position.

For those who frequent this column: if you like this idea let us know. If you prefer the other format, let us know as well.

Each position will have a few guys that we like for each night, ranked from top to bottom. To find these players, tools like usage rate, defense vs. position, injuries, minutes, and more are used.

There is a lot of news that will affect lineups tonight, stay informed before tip.

Point Guard

C.J. Watson, Indiana Pacers $5,000

Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers $8,900

Jeff Teague, Atlanta Hawks $7,500

Michael Carter-Williams, Philadelphia 76ers $9,500

Jeremy Lin, Los Angeles Lakers $4,800

Cheap Plays: Ronnie Price, LAL $3,500

Price has been the starter for the Lakers at point guard of late, and plays well over 20 minutes per game. At his price of $3,500 and his matchup, (Pacers allow the third-most fantasy points to opposing point guards) he makes for an excellent value play tonight in GPP contests. Lin has played well off the bench, so he could cut into Price’s minutes, but with Price’s cost, he’s worth a play. Price has reached value in five of his last six contests.

Shooting Guard

Jimmy Butler, Chicago Bulls $6,600

J.J. Redick, Los Angeles Clippers $4,700

Cheap Plays: Avery Bradley, BOS $4,300 and Jodie Meeks, DET $3,000

Bradley and Meeks are both value plays tonight, and for similar reasons. Bradley faces the Sixers, who are 28th in the NBA in allowing fantasy points to opposing shooting guards, and have also given up just under 104 points per game. The Celtics play at one of the highest paces in the NBA, giving Bradley ample opportunity to reach value with his ability to score. Bradley has taken 45 shots in his last four games, which gives him a high floor in what should be a high-scoring game tonight.

Meeks is priced at the minimum tonight, which gives him an expected value of 15 fantasy points. In the two games since his return, Meeks has 18.5 and 16.25 fantasy points, both reaching value. The Pistons will face the Clippers tonight, who have given up a total of just under 27 points per game to opposing shooting guards, and just under 47 fantasy points per game to the position. Considering Meeks played in 20 minutes in his second game, which came on a back-to-back, it’s clear that he has a role in the Pistons’ rotation.

Small Forward

Tobias Harris, Orlando Magic $6,800

Jeff Green, Boston Celtics $6,900

DeMarre Carroll, Atlanta Hawks $5,600

C.J. Miles, Indiana Pacers $3,800 (if he starts)

Cheap Plays: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, CHA $3,600

News this morning said that MKG could return to the starting lineup as early as tonight, so keep tabs on the Hornets’ lineup. If MKG starts, he is a value at $3,600 as he is averaging 20 fantasy points per game this season. One may be afraid of the matchup with LeBron James, but the Cavs are allowing the 11th-most fantasy point to opposing small forwards this season. If MKG is inserted into the starting lineup, he is a good punt play at small forward on DraftKings. MKG leads all players on the Hornets in scoring index, according to nbawowy, which clearly indicates his value to the Hornets’ offense.

Power Forward

Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers $10,600

Jared Sullinger, Boston Celtics $7,000

Robert Covington, Philadelphia 76ers $5,700

David West, Indiana Pacers $6,300

Cheap Plays: No cheap value plays at power forward for tonight’s slate.


Jordan Hill, Los Angeles Lakers $6,300

Larry Sanders, Milwaukee Bucks $4,900

DeAndre Jordan, Los Angeles Clippers $7,500

Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons $8,100

Cheap Plays: Tiago Splitter, SA $3,000 or Aron Baynes, SA $3,000

Keep an eye on the Spurs’ lineup for tonight, as they are playing the second leg of a back-to-back, where Coach Popovich likes to sit his players. But, if both Duncan and Splitter sit, Baynes will get the most minutes at center. If just Duncan sits, Splitter becomes a great value at the minimum. Since returning from injury, Splitter’s minutes have increased from eight to 15 to 20 minutes. If he plays tonight without Duncan, expect him to play more than 20 minutes, which would make him a value at center. Last night, Splitter notched 24.5 fantasy points in 20 minutes, which is over eight times his salary. With the Spurs game not starting until 10 pm EST, you will not have an option for late swap. Luckily, Baynes and Splitter have the same price. But, if Pop announces who is inactive early tonight, one of these two will be an excellent value at center against the Blazers, who allow the 10th-most fantasy points to opposing centers.

*Keep an eye on the inactives, as things in the NBA change at the last second. Good luck tonight.

author avatar
Josh Collacchi
In addition to writing here at XNSports, my fantasy content can be seen at Pro Football Focus Fantasy, eDraft, and Project Roto. Member of the FSWA and the FWAA and can be reached on Twitter @JoshCollacchi

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