Best in the Bis(mack)

The Magic will be without Nikola Vucevic tonight which means Bismack Biyombo will start at center and he is one of the safest bets to exceed value of anyone on the slate. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s NBA contests.

Guards:

Kris Dunn, Bulls, $13,100 – On competing sites, Kris Dunn is priced at around 14-percent of budgets, whereas he will only cost fantasy owners 13.1-percent on FantasyDraft this evening. While Dunn struggled in his last meeting against the Bucks, he is amidst an awfully impressive month: 13.9 points per game (PPG), 4.6 rebounds per game (RPG), 7.7 assists per game (APG), 1.8 steals per game (SPG) and 34.5 fantasy points per game (FPPG) in 30.4 minutes per game (MPG). Over the course of their last five games, the Bucks rank 21st in defensive efficiency versus opposing point guards (PGs), so the fact they rank fifth against the position for the season may be a bit misleading. At his current price point, an average outing for him this month would equate to 2.63x value, or enough to put a fantasy team on pace for 263 points. Heading into tonight’s game, Dunn has topped 38 fantasy points in three of his last four games, so his upside obviously stretches far beyond just 2.63 value. With all the value available on the slate, Dunn should provide fantasy owners with a safe floor from a mid-tier option.

Milos Teodosic, Clippers, $9,300 – Strangely, the presence of Wesley Johnson on the floor has negatively impacted Milos Teodosic this season, and he has been much more efficient with the small forward (SF) on the bench. With Johnson on the floor and Blake Griffin/Patrick Beverley on the bench, Teodosic has only averaged a measly 0.68 fantasy points per minute (FPPM). On the other hand, his efficiency kicks up to 1.01 FPPM with all three of those players off the court. According to NBA.com, the Kings are a 41st percentile defense against roll men in the pick-and-roll, meaning they rate slightly below average. Teodosic is a pass first PG who often looks for his big man, DeAndre Jordan, down low. Sure, Teodosic will have to hit his outside shots to crush value, but he can exceed value on a tough shooting night by producing the assist (AST) and rebound (REB) departments. With Johnson out, Teodosic should have a solid chance, and he can be rostered with confidence at this price point.

Buddy Hield, Kings, $9,100 – Buddy Hield’s role changes drastically from game-to-game but lately the team appears to be realizing what they have in him. The front office once referred to him as “the next Stephen Curry” so they obviously envision him being one of the team’s top scoring options for years to come. Over the course of his last three games, Hield has scored exactly 24 PTS twice and he has topped 39 fantasy points in each of those games. In a close game against the Nets (in the outlier performance), Hield only played 16 minutes and only scored two PTS, but it was the second end of a back-to-back. Fortunately, the Kings did not play yesterday, and the Clippers rank 24th in defensive efficiency versus opposing shooting guards (SGs). As icing on the cake, only the Jazz, Nuggets and Pacers have allowed more points per possession (PPP) to spot up shooters than the Clippers, so Hield is in a great spot for an outlier, positive shooting performance. At $9,100, he is worth the shot.

Forward/Center:

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks, $21,300 – With all the value available on tonight’s slate, building around Giannis Antetokounmpo in cash games is a no-brainer. Thus far, the Bulls have allowed the most PPP on transition plays of any team in the league, and Antetokounmpo runs the break (6.2 possessions per game) more than any player in the NBA. In other words, this is an incredible matchup for Antetokounmpo who will also face a Bulls team lacking any player who can match up with him one-on-one. The Bulls will likely roll with Justin Holiday on him and Robin Lopez helping at the rim but the strategy was not exactly successful in the one prior meeting this year. When the teams previously faced off against one another, Antetokounmpo dropped 29 PTS, 16 REB, four AST and 58.50 fantasy points on the Bulls. Since the Bulls are still struggling in transition, and their personnel has not changed, Antetokounmpo should dominate once again.

Derrick Favors, Jazz, $11,600 – Only six teams have allowed more field goals per game in the paint this season than the Nuggets and Derrick Favors dominated this very team the last time he faced them sans Rudy Gobert. In that contest on Nov. 28, Favors dominated to the tune of 24 PTS, nine REB, five AST, one steal (STL), three blocks (BLK) and 50.25 fantasy points. Similarly to tonight’s matchup, Paul Millsap sat in the last go-around, and Nikola Jokic started at center. To put it differently, the only aspect different against the matchup on Tuesday is the fact the game will be played on the road. The Nuggets are only listed as 5.5-point home favorites so Vegas expects the game to remain close throughout. Despite the fact Favors has not played incredibly well as of late, he should bounce back in a big way this evening.

Bismack Biyombo, Magic, $7,400 – Nikola Vucevic has been ruled out for the next 6-8 weeks which means Bismack Biyombo will start at center. Marreese Speights is shooting 35-percent from the field this season, so the team cannot rely on him for heavy minutes and expect to succeed, which leaves Biyombo destined for a huge role. Last year, when Vucevic was out, Biyombo averaged 34.5 MPG which led to 9.3 PPG, 10.3 RPG and 1.0 blocks per game (BPG). If converting his output to fantasy points, he averaged a hefty 26.5 FPPG without Vucevic, and now the team is missing half their team on the offensive end. He could be called upon for slightly more offense which means he is one of the few players on the slate with the potential to reach 4.0x (or even 5.0x) value. Fade him at your own risk.

*Note: stats are accurate as of Monday, December 25

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders is a fantasy sports expert with over 15 years of playing experience. After starting several freelance fantasy sports blogs, Ricky moved up in the fantasy industry when he joined Going9 Baseball. He wrote fantasy baseball content and had a weekly radio spot on the site’s SiriusXM Satellite Radio show. Shortly thereafter, in early 2013, Ricky joined RotoExperts as a three-sport fantasy contributor, eventually becoming one of the site’s lead basketball writers. While writing for RotoExperts, Ricky was introduced to daily fantasy sports and immediately fell in love. With help from some of his mentors, some of the best DFS players in the world, he honed his skills and became the daily fantasy expert he is today. When RotoExperts created a daily-focused website called DailyRoto.com, Ricky was brought on as one of the main contributors. He still makes frequent appearances on the RotoExperts SiriusXM Radio show and on the FNTSY Sports Television Network, talking daily fantasy sports. He also continues to write for a few DFS content sites: RotoCurve and The Fantasy Fix. Ricky is a proud and active member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He has agreed to be a writer and representative for the FantasyDraft brand and serves as an ambassador to the site. He has no more access to the site than the typical user. Don’t hesitate to contact Ricky with questions on Twitter @RSandersDFS.

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