Shaun Livingston ($3800, 13.1 USG) – I’m going back to the well on this one despite underwhelming results last night (only scored 15.3 DKPTS starting in place of Curry). Curry is expected to sit this one out again and as mentioned yesterday, Livingston isn’t a high usage player and doesn’t have much of an attractive ceiling but on smaller slates like tonight, you take the value when it’s knocking. One of the many successful strategies for the year (RIP 2015) has been to attack Houston’s putrid defense (24th in DEF EFF, 18th in DvP against PG’s). The two games you’re going to want to target tonight are the Warriors/Rockets and Clippers/Pelicans. Both have a high over/under and are games that Vegas expects to stay close. With the starters resting in the 4th quarter in last night’s blowout against Dallas, the Warriors will have fresher legs than usual when playing a back to back set. I can only hope last night’s performance will sway people away from targeting Livingston because I still think he’s a valuable building block going into tonight’s roster construction.
Trye Burke is also in play for $400 more
Devin Booker ($4000, 16.6 USG) – Another guy who’s upside is capped (averages 23.65 DKPTS per 36). Booker is going to draw the start again for Eric Bledsoe (knee) so the opportunity is there but as of right now, the Suns are extremely hard to trust. This team has just lost their best player for the year and are firing personnel left and right. It’s a team that has no identity and one I wouldn’t recommend targeting but as mentioned above, value is hard to come by on smaller slates like these. This game is going to get out of hand early (OKC are 15 point favorites) so don’t expect the starters to play their normal amount of minutes (why I’m staying away from KD and Westy) but Booker is still a guy the Suns want to get a good look at so I wouldn’t be surprised if he was given the chance to play in garbage time, as well as his starters minutes in the event of a likely blowout. With that said, I’d highly recommend paying up for SG tonight.
Paul Pierce ($3900, 15.6 USG) – I wrote him up yesterday and he provided (27.8 DKPTS in only 21 min), so we’ll do it again. He’s still underpriced for what he’s been doing over the last 3 games without Blake Griffin, there’s no reason to fade now. He’s averaging 25.7 DKPTS over that span in about 22 minutes played per game. Despite his laughable 7.6 PER, Pierce is still a fantasy point per minute player and as long as this game stays competitive, look for him to play close to 27 minutes in a high paced matchup against the second worst defensive team in the league.
Solomon Hill deserves some consideration as well. He’s been playing the last couple of games due to all the injuries the Pacers are dealing with and near min salary
John Henson ($4000, 18.9 USG) – I don’t think the elbow is an issue anymore. Henson sat out one game due to a nasty fall against the Raptors but returned the next day against the Thunder. He picked up right where he left off over the previous 3 games and continued his solid play, getting some solid run without Jason Kidd‘s wacky rotations. If you take a look at his last 5 games where he’s played his normal amount of minutes off the Bucks bench (22.6 min), he’s averaged 25.7 DKPTS. I don’t know what else you can say about this guys ability to block shots. He’s had 6 consecutive games registering multiple blocked shots and averages an insane 4.2 blocks per 36 (second behind only Hassan Whiteside). The Pacers are going to be quite thin up front tonight with Hill (mouth) and Mahinmi (knee) both likely to sit, they’re 19th in DvP against the position and playing the second end of a back to back after an overtime heartbreaker to the Bulls. Look for Henson to take advantage of wounded Pacers.
Gorgui Dieng ($4800, 17.3 USG) – Kevin Garnett has already been ruled out tonight meaning Dieng will likely be starting alongside KAT against Detroit. Whenever Dieng enters the starting lineup, you’re looking at 30+ minutes as opposed to the 25 he sees off the bench (averages 32.48 DKPTS per 36), playing both PF and backup C. Detroit is ranked near the bottom against PF’s (25th) thanks to Ilyasova’s perimeter playing style. There will be more rebounding opportunities (the ones that Drummond misses obviously), lesser a chance of getting into foul trouble and more of a chance to play backup C in any event that Drummond forces KAT into foul trouble. I love all the peripherals that come with Dieng too. In the two games he’s started for KG this year, he’s averaged 2.5 steals and 2.5 blocks. Combine that with his ability to record a double double and you have yourself a steal at only $4800.
I also like the value that Lavoy Allen possesses if Hill and Mahinmi are both ruled out.
Happy New Years Eve!