What’s up guys…Merry Christmas! I want to make a quick note and say that this article today is tailored towards Yahoo pricing, and if you don’t already have an account, you can sign up through DFSYahoo.com and our promo code is built into that URL. They have been running some of the best tournaments I’ve seen in recent years the last few weeks between NFL and NBA, and it’s the case again on Christmas Day with a $20, 10 max entry tournament with a one million dollar prize pool and over $200,000 in guaranteed overlay. With that being said, we are going to be focusing on that tournament and let’s dive in!
My Personal Core
I will be putting the maximum 10 entries into this tournament, and typically how I play things like that is locking onto a core of 4-5 players and getting 100% exposure to them, then filtering in different combos and game stacks around it. These are players that I will have on pretty much every team, given their matchup or price:
Eric Gordon- You’ll first notice that Yahoo’s pricing is a bit different if you’ve never played there before, but $13 is way too cheap for Eric Gordon with Chris Paul out. This is the second-lowest O/U on the slate at 220, but Gordon has topped 30+ fantasy points in two straight and the minutes are too secure for him to remain this cheap. He will be very highly-owned, so I can see pivoting on some teams, but he will be highly-owned for a reason and I’m not opposed to free squares.
Joe Ingles- Ingles is not someone that I typically play in DFS, but this is only a five game slate and I would like to keep my core as cheap as possibel so that we can filter in some studs like Giannis and LeBron in around it on every team. If you read my content normally, you know that I love to target forwards that can shoot against this Blazers team and Ingles is sitting at under $20 on Yahoo pricing.
Draymond Green- Dray is not someone I have really played in DFS this season, and he just recently returned from injury. The reason that I’m interested in him on Yahoo is that that injury mixed with recent production have him at his lowest price of the entire 2018 season. The matchup is good, but Green has been absolutely horrid shooting and I don’t think it’s a bad time to get some exposure to him and hope that it positively corrects while he is at his lowest price. He can easily beat value against the Lakers, and we know the kind of upside he possesses.
Ivica Zubac- This one is a bit more dicey, because we don’t know if Tyson Chandler is going to play at this moment. The good news is that Javale McGee has already been ruled out after not traveling with the team on this short trip, and Zubac played 32 minutes in this situation two games ago with McGee out and Chandler logging 15 minutes against the Pelicans. Zubac will definitely have ownership, but probably not as much as if we have confirmation of both being out.
Emmanuel Mudiay- It seems weird to want to lock players like Mudiay in, but I’m setting us up to be able to afford whoever we want and Mudiay has been extremely solid as of late. It’s really tough to trust Fizdale at any point, but Mudiay has topped 30+ minutes in six straight and nine of his last 10 games. I don’t love the matchup against the Bucks, but he is still under $20 on Yahoo and I will have plenty of exposure to him on Christmas Day.
UPDATE: I’m moving a little more than half of my Mudiay to Rubio after further research!
Now that we have those players locked in, we have $39 per position to spend left with three spots left. There are a couple ways we can go, and it’s basically locking in another mid tier player and getting in two studs, or getting three closer priced players left. If you want to go with a double-stud build, some of my favorite mid tier options would be Steven Adams and Al Horford. The Rockets have been dreadful against centers this season and Adams has a solid history all around against them. Horford is someone I don’t really expect people to play at all, he missed seven games in a row due to injury before returning in the Celtics last game to 19 minutes and a 10-6-5 line. I haven’t seen anything on a minutes cap in this one, and I think people are forgetting how big Horford was in the Celtics/76ers playoff series last season. Now that we have the ability to jam some guys in, I will rank the top tier players, in order of my preference.
1. James Harden- This is the obvious one, and the highest-owned option. He is almost at 2.0 fantasy points per minute without Paul on the floor (and Melo) which is insane and I won’t argue with anyone playing him.
2. Giannis Antetokounmpo- Anyone that reads me knows that I have attacked the Knicks relentlessly over the last three weeks. Their defense has gone from bad to worse, and they have no rim protection to alter Giannis from doing whatever he wants. He went 33-19-7 against them in their last game and I could make the case for him as my favorite overall play.
Russell Westbrook- The main focus for game-log watchers will be on Paul George, and rightfully so given how he has played, but this is a national TV game, against his former teammate, with a one point spread and I want some Westy exposure on this slate. He has a very strong history against Houston, and now he doesn’t even have to worry about Chris Paul defense.
LeBron James- The Warriors are tagged as nine point favorites, which is why I bumped Westy ahead of Bron, but let’s be honest, it’s LeBron James against his arch-rivals.
Kevin Durant- He’s cheaper than LeBron and the upside isn’t terribly different.
Joel Embiid- I love him in nationally televised games and NOBODY is going to play him on this slate.
If you choose to go the more mid tier options, both Kyrie Irving and Damian Lillard are players I love in that type of build. Now that I have you set up with my strategy let’s build some lineups!
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)