NBA Core Four – 12/20

It’s been almost a month since I’ve produced an article and I’ve been meaning to get back to it but was never able to carve out time, until now. Last night might have been the most frustrating night of NBA DFS to date, as my lineup missed cash while scoring 319.8 points. If that isn’t a slap in the face enough, guess what the cash line was? Yep, you guessed it, 319.9. Talk about a heartbreaker. As frustrating as it is, all we can do is move onto today, as we have a really nice looking slate with so many different directions we could go. At first glance, I don’t think that I’ll be paying more than 10k for a stud tonight, as I see a handful of second-tier studs that I love, and some that I am including in this article.

Without further adieu, here is the return of my NBA Core Four:

Chris Paul | $9,600

This play, in my opinion, should be a no-brainer. Blake Griffin is now out for the next 3-6 weeks, leaving CP3 as the go-to weapon on the Clippers’ offensive attack. With Blake Griffin out, Chris Paul’s usage rate rises 2.7% to 26.3% and also draws an extremely favorable matchup at home. The Denver Nuggets defense that is currently traveling on the second leg of a back to back, plays at the 7th fastest pace in the NBA (102.7 possessions per game), and are a bottom five team in the NBA when it comes to defending point guards from a fantasy perspective (allowing 47.5 FDP per game). While his assist numbers might take a very slight dip, expect his scoring and rebounding numbers to rise with the absence of Blake Griffin and for $9,600, it’ll be almost impossible for Paul not to hit value tonight.

Hassan Whiteside | $9,000

I absolutely love DeMarcus Cousins at the top of the C position so I won’t argue with you if you choose to spend up, but personally I’m saving the extra $2,200 and spending my money on Hassan Whiteside, who has been an absolute animal of late. Over his last 5 contests, Whiteside has averaged 19.4 points, 16 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks per game while averaging 34 minutes per game. Someone with these numbers should easily be clearing a $10,000 salary, but Fanduel is notorious for lagging behind in their pricing. Whiteside also draws a nice matchup with the Orlando Magic who have been brutal against centers on the season, allowing 56.7 Fanduel points per game to opposing centers over their last 5 games. This game also carries a tight spread of 3 in favor of the Heat and if Bismack Biyombo is going to continue to see big minutes for the Magic, expect Whiteside to get all the minutes he can handle to combat the Biyombo’s size and post presence.

Kyrie Irving | $7,500

Of the core four, I expect Kyrie to be the least owned tonight, partly because if people are targeting the Cavs’ team, I expect them to be on LeBron. Kyrie, in my opinion, is a better dollar-for-dollar play tonight. Fresh off of a career high 12 assist performance (in which he also posted 21 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 steals), Irving turns his sights to a division matchup with my Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks, while one of the best teams in the league when it comes to defending point guards, have been a victim of Irving in the past, who averages 23.6 points, 5.6 assists and 3.7 rebounds per game on 51.1% shooting over 17 career games against them. The game comes with a tight spread of 4 in favor of the Cavs and with the absence of Kevin Love, Irving sees his usage spike 7.2% to a ridiculous 36.2%. For $7,500, Irving will need 37.5 FD points to eclipse value. With that insane spike in usage, consider that close to his floor tonight.

Gary Harris | $4,800

Until Fanduel realizes how messed up their pricing system is, I’ll gladly be locking in Gary Harris until his prices drastically rises. In his 3 games since returning from injury, Harris has averaged 32 minutes per game while posting 19.3 points, 4 assists, 3 rebounds, and 1.7 steals per game. Nuggets’ coach Mike Malone seems to be comfortable playing Gary Harris a healthy amount of minutes while he’s red hot even in a tougher matchup tonight. The Clippers are the heavy -9 favorites tonight and it being the second leg of a back to back for Denver raise a few concerns, but the Clippers have been allowing 38 FDP per game to opposing SGs over their last 5 games (4 more than their season average), and for $4,800, Harris simply needs 24 Fanduel points to hit value. While there may be no sure things in life, Gary Harris hitting value tonight seems like as close to a sure thing as you can get.

Thanks for reading the return of my NBA Core Four articles today. If you have any further questions about roster construction for tonight, tweet at us @FanForecast and we’ll answer every question we can!

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