Thursday December 31st, 2015

The NBA is celebrating the final day of 2015 in style with six games on a night of the week when there are typically only three or four. It’s also putting its best foot forward on New Year’s Eve in terms of the teams in action, with the Warriors, Thunder, Rockets, and Clippers all in action. Throw in the Pelicans and Pistons, and that means we have at least one player priced at $9,400 at our disposal at all five positions.

All prices are courtesy of FanDuel and based on a $60,000 budget.

PG: Brandon Knight ($6,900) @ OKC: Knight should take advantage of a paced-up game in Oklahoma City, and stands to be the greatest individual beneficiary in the wake of Eric Bledsoe’s season-ending knee injury. The Thunder could definitely pull away in this one, but it still does have an over/under of 211, and they’ve surrendered the ninth-most fantasy points per game to point guards this season.

SG: J.J. Redick ($4,600) @ NO: The Clippers are desperate for Redick’s scoring with Blake Griffin out, a fact that has showed up over the last week or so. Despite a seven-point dud against the Wizards on Monday, Redick is averaging 18.4 points over his last 10 games. The Hornets, meanwhile, allow the fourth-most fantasy points per game to shooting guards. The over/under in this game is 208, and the Pelicans are favored by just two points. That should create a favorable scoring environment for Redick.

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SF: Kevin Durant ($10,100) vs. PHO: It always makes sense to pay up for Durant, so this pick really needs no justification. The Suns have allowed the sixth-most points per game to small forwards, and Durant is averaging 25.2 points, seven rebounds and 7.2 assists in his last five games. The one concern could be that the Thunder cruise to a win and get Durant some rest, but he’ll almost certainly do a ton of damage through three quarters if that scenario ends up coming to fruition.

PF: Terrence Jones ($5,000) vs. GS: Jones missed Houston’s last game with an illness, but he went through a full practice Wednesday and will return to action Thursday. He’s still coming off the bench, but he’s mostly doing enough across the board to give you the production necessary to reach his $5,000 value. He has at least 23.2 fantasy points in four of last six games and is averaging 20.9 in last six.

C: Karl-Anthony Towns ($7,600) @ DET: Who else but Towns? The rookie out of Kentucky is averaging 32.2 fantasy points per game in just 28.9 minutes per game, and is always a threat to significantly outpace his price tag. In his first game against the Pistons and Andre Drummond this season, Towns had 18 points, seven rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocks, translating to 38.9 fantasy points. Towns didn’t cower in a matchup with one of the best centers in the league. Neither should you when you consider him for your Thursday lineups.

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