Daily Fantasy Basketball: DraftKings Cheat Sheet – December 18

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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.

Tonight’s slate will have a lot of moving parts, and will be tough to find values anywhere. Be prepared for a lot of last minute news, with injuries, back-to-backs and suspensions changing the landscape of tonight’s slate.

Point Guard

Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder $11,700

Brandon Knight, Milwaukee Bucks $6,900

Patrick Beverley, Houston Rockets $5,400

Cheap Plays:

Aaron Brooks, CHI $3,000

This is contingent on Derrick Rose, if he cannot go Brooks is a great play at the minimum price. Matchups are hard to find tonight with just a four-game slate, but at the minimum price, Brooks should be able to reach value against the Knicks, considering his usage rate without Rose on the floor is the highest amongst the entire roster.

Shooting Guard

Jimmy Butler, Chicago Bulls $7,200

Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors $7,400

Tim Hardaway Jr., New York Knicks $5,400

Cheap Plays:

Austin Rivers, NOP $3,400

If Tyreke Evans cannot go, Rivers becomes a must play. But, even if Evans plays Rivers becomes a solid option off the bench at a cheap price. Rivers only needs 17 fantasy points to reach value, and he has exceeded that in two straight games. The Pelicans face the Rockets tonight, who are playing in the second leg of a back-to-back after an overtime victory last night.

Small Forward

Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors $7,500

Rudy Gay, Sacramento Kings $9,200

Cheap Plays:

No cheap plays at small forward in tonight’s small slate.

Power Forward

Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans $11,800

Marreese Speights, Golden State Warriors $4,900

Serge Ibaka, Oklahoma City Thunder $6,600

Ryan Anderson, New Orleans Pelicans $6,400

Cheap Plays: 

Quincy Acy, NYK $3,000


Zaza Pachulia, Milwaukee Bucks $4,000

Dwight Howard, Houston Rockets $9,000

Omer Asik, New Orleans Pelicans $5,400

Cheap Plays:

Jason Smith, NYK $3,000

At center and power forward, two Knicks bigs are listed in Acy and Smith. One of the two will hit value tonight, but both have high usage rates and both can be used. If you want to stack cheap guys and go after James Harden and/or Russell Westbrook, Smith and Acy would be a good start against a Bulls team who is 22nd in offensive rebounding this season.

UPDATE: Amar’e Stoudemire is STARTING tonight. Stay away from Smith and Acy.

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

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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