12/15/22 NBA Report

12/15/22 NBA Report

Slate Outlook:

Tonight’s 4-Game NBA slate tips off at 8PM EST. As of the time of this article, there’s not a whole lot of value to be had in this slate. However, that could change with some key injuries, specifically with the Miami Heat. FanDuel switched it up tonight–their main GPP contest is the $15 Swingman. There are just 23K entries tonight, and first place gets $100K. DraftKings features its normal $15 Fadeaway, with 31K entries and the usual $100K going to first place.

Key Injuries

Kyle Lowry, Bam Adebayo, Gabe Vincent, & Victor Oladipo – MIA | Questionable

It’s already looking like both Victor Oladipo and Bam Adebayo are going to miss tonight’s game against the Rockets. If Kyle Lowry and Gabe Vincent also miss the game, the Miami Heat’s rotation is going to be very thin. The Heat just waived their third-string point guard Dru Smith, so if Lowry and Gabe Vincent both miss tonight’s game, it’d be interesting to see who the Heat start at point guard.

Regardless of what happens to Lowry and Gabe Vincent, Dewayne Dedmon is going to log bigger minutes tonight with no Bam Adebayo. He’s close to minimum-price on both FD and DK. (See sleeper pick section for more information about the Heat’s backup centers).

Devin Booker & Deandre Ayton – PHO | Questionable

Devin Booker has been upgraded to questionable, while Ayton’s status still remains as questionable after having left their last game early with an ankle injury. Bismack Biyombo got most of those backup minutes when Deandre Ayton went out last game, so I’d expect him to either start or get the majority of the minutes at that center position for the Suns. Players like Mikal Bridges and Torrey Craig have played solid recently, but have become extremely expensive. I’d pay attention to Landry Shamet if Booker ends up missing tonight’s game. He’s only 4K on both FD and DK, and ended up starting and performing well last game without Booker.

Ivica Zubac, John Wall, & Kawhi Leonard – LAC | Questionable

While there’s no official word on Kawhi, I don’t think he’s going to play the second night of a back-to-back. If any combination of these players end up missing tonight’s game, value goes up for all of the Clippers players across the board. Paul George’s projection will probably creep up into the high-40s, while guys like Marcus Morris and Reggie Jackson will probably creep into the low-30s.

Value Plays:

As I mentioned earlier, there’s not a whole lot of value on tonight’s slate. That will likely change, however, when more injury news comes in. As of now the highest value players have values of just 5.1 points per $1,000 on FD, and 5.5 points per $1,000 on DK.

Jonas Valanciunas – NOR
FanDuel: Salary: 5,700 | Projection: 28.6 FP | Projected Ownership: 38.66%
DraftKings: Salary: 5,400 | Projection: 29.82 FP | Projected Ownership: 43.1%

While J-Val has been logging low minutes as of recently, he’s still been very effective in those low minutes. Not to mention, he’s going against a Utah Jazz team that gives up the MOST points to opposing centers in the entire NBA. Even with a projection below 30 points, he’s still one of the top value plays of the evening with his low price.

Expect J-Val to be very heavily owned on DK. However, I expect his ownership to go down on FanDuel if the Heat announce their starting Center as Dedmon, because you can only have one center. However, if the Heat announce that Jovic is their starting Center, J-Val will still be very heavily owned since Jovic is listed as a PF on FanDuel.

Jalen Green – HOU
FanDuel: Salary: 7,100 | Projection: 32.01 FP | Projected Ownership: 33.92%
DraftKings: Salary: 6,600 | Projection: 35.98 FP | Projected Ownership: 46.9%

Jalen Green has scored 40+ fantasy points in 3 out of his last 5 games. The downside to that is that those other two games, he scored 23 and 19. That being said, 6,600 on DK is just too cheap to pass up. Expect his ownership to reflect this value on DK. On FD, while he is certainly valuable, he may be worthy of a fade in a few lineups for a lesser-owned guard around that same price-point–someone like Mikal Bridges who will be very low owned and is certainly capable of outscoring Jalen Green.

Sleeper Pick

Orlando Robinson C – MIA (DK Only)
DraftKings: Salary: 3,000 | Projection: 2.3 | Projected Ownership: 0%

It’s hard to choose someone as a sleeper pick when they may not even get minutes. However, it wouldn’t surprise me if Orlando Robinson did in fact log significant minutes in tonight’s game. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if Spoelstra starts Orlando Robinson for the injured Bam, and continues to bring Dedmon off the bench. Dedmon is a high energy player who plays well in smaller bursts of minutes. If Robinson does in fact start, then he is no longer a “sleeper pick”, however. Everyone and their mama is going to own him on DK at $3,000.

However, if Dedmon gets the start, that’s when Robinson is going to be extremely value as a “Sleeper Pick”. He’ll be virtually 0% owned. The starting center for the Heat is simply a formality. Spoelstra is going to ride with whoever is more effective in their minutes. Serbian rookie Nikola Jovic may in fact get those backup minutes, in which case Robinson gets you a goose egg. But Jovic is very well still a work-in-progress. Not to mention the Heat recently called Robinson back up from the G-League, meaning they like what they’ve been seeing. So the upside at 3k and 0% ownership is worth it in a few lineups on DK. At 4k on FD, he’s not worth playing, unless he gets the start of course. Consider the following scenarios:

Dedmon Starts: Orlando Robinson is a sleeper pick on DK.
Jovic Starts: Start Jovic on FD and DK. Dedmon is a sleeper pick on both FD and DK.
Orlando Robinson Starts: Robinson is a lock on both FD and DK. Dedmon is a sleeper pick on both FD and DK.

Eric Gordon SG – HOU
FanDuel: Salary: 4,400 | Projection: 18.75 FP | Projected Ownership: 6.53%
DraftKings: Salary: 4,000 | Projection: 19.89 FP | Projected Ownership: 9.33%

Eric Gordon is averaging 30 MPG this season. However, he’s averaging just 20 fantasy points per game, which does not get it done. As a result, he’s going to be very low-owned. That being said, he’s still capable of getting hot–he had a 41-point game earlier this season against the Pacers. Even if he scores in the high-teens/low-20s, he’s not going to kill your lineup at just 4k on DK and 4.4k FD.

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