The Christmas Day slate offers plenty of talent, including Stephen Curry and Kawhi Leonard.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all good luck in your NBA daily fantasy sports endeavors. We’ve got five games under the tree, with plenty of star power and value just waiting to be unwrapped. Of course, the league wants to put its best foot forward with the entire country enjoying the day at home, so we have more five-figure players (six) than total games. The nightcap out in Los Angeles is the only game without a player north of $10,000 and that, combined with the putrid Lakers defense, could make the Clippers one of the more attractive teams on Christmas Day for DFS purposes.
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PG: Stephen Curry ($10,900) vs. CLE: Let’s embrace the narrative here. The Cavaliers and Warriors meet on Christmas for the first time since last season’s Finals. Curry is coming off one of his worst games of the season, and now gets to play before a national audience. You never need an excuse to roster Curry, but you do have a few on Friday. He’s the most expensive player, with good reason, on the slate, and is the day’s best option, regardless of position.
SG: Dwyane Wade ($7,100) vs. NO: Wade has been steady for most of the season, and while the fantasy ceiling isn’t what it once was, he does have a couple of 40-fantasy point performances in his last 10 games. Wade should thrive in a matchup with a Pelicans team that creates plenty of possessions for its opponents, and doesn’t scare anyone on the defensive end of the floor.
SF: Kawhi Leonard ($8,900) @ HOU: The parts around Leonard seem to change every single night. Sometimes it’s Tim Duncan, sometimes it’s LaMarcus Aldridge, and still at other times it’s Manu Ginobili. Leonard is the one offensive constant for the Spurs, who might be the quietest 25–5 team in NBA history, thanks to the Warriors. The Rockets don’t play defense against any position, surrendering 105.6 points per game. Leonard will take advantage.
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PF: Kevin Love ($7,800) @ GS: Love is coming off one of his best games of the season, racking up 23 points and 13 rebounds in Wednesday’s win over the Knicks. It was Love’s 12th double-double of the season, but just his first since December 4. Love did indeed have a mid-December slumber, but he seems to be waking up with the Cavaliers finally having their full roster available. A rising tide lifts all ships, and that holds true for one of the best ships in the sea.
C: DeAndre Jordan ($7,500) @ LAL: The Lakers are one of the league’s worst defensive teams, but the Clippers most expensive player, Blake Griffin, costs you just $9,000 on Christmas. That means there’s plenty of value tied up in the Clippers, perhaps most notably in Jordan. No one in the Lakers’ frontcourt can check Jordan, especially on the boards, and this figures to be the sort of game in which he’d have one of his, say, 15-point games. If there were a matchup to bet on him getting a 15–15 night, this would be it.