In our NBA Fantasy Basketball Daily Shopper series, RotoBaller Brad Leibfried brings you his expert picks for NBA Daily League contests on DraftStreet.
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The Daily NBA Fantasy Shopper: NBA Expert Picks for DraftStreet - 12/23/2013
PG: Aaron Brooks ($8,121): With Patrick Beverly out with a broken hand, Brooks instantly gets a bump in playing time. When factoring in injuries to James Harden and Jeremy Lin, Brooks could be forced into huge minutes. He has been inconsistent this year, but when given playing time he has produced. Brooks has had scoring games of 21, 17, 14, 13 and 13 in the past month in limited minutes. In his last outing, he put up a respectable 10 points and 7 assists. He should easily provide solid value tonight at this price.
SG: Lance Stephenson ($15,497): To start the season, if you had asked who would be leading the NBA in triple-doubles at the end of December, it would have been a long time before you got to Lance Stephenson. However, Stephenson does in fact lead the league in that category, and he’s coming off of another triple-double Saturday night. He has also put up solid nightly numbers, averaging 13 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.9 assists a game. Tonight, Stephenson faces a Brooklyn team that gives up 102.5 points per game, which should further improve his value.
SF: Carmelo Anthony ($19,534): Anthony has been on a tear lately, scoring 26 or more points in seven straight games. That has brought his season average to 26.5 a game, and Melo has thrown in a career-high 9 boards per game. Anthony has also been playing some defense of late, as he has 8 blocks in his past three contests. His matchup tonight is with an Orlando team that gives up over 100 points a game and is in the bottom half of the league in nearly all defensive categories. Consider Anthony a must-have despite a big price tag.
PF: Dirk Nowitzki ($15,966): Even though he doesn’t blow you away in any one stat category, Nowitzki brings amazing consistency for a highly priced player, averaging 21 points a game. And he’s managed to top that mark in seven of his past nine games. He has also grabbed 6 or more rebounds in seven straight games. For his price you always want known production, and Nowitzki’s steady play along with a matchup against a Houston team that ranks 24th in the NBA in defense, should provide a solid source of fantasy wealth tonight.
C: J.J. Hickson ($12,530): In Denver, Hickson has turned into a double-double machine. He has posted those numbers in six of the past 12 games and is creeping ever closer to averaging a double-double for the season. In the game tonight, Hickson should also see an uptick in production, as Kenneth Faried is a question mark with an injured ankle. If Hickson could produce another 20-point and 14-rebound performance as he did against the Thunder the other day, he could blow his price tag out of the water.
U: Andray Blatche ($12,390): With the news that Brook Lopez will miss the remainder of the season, Blatche instantly saw his fantasy value skyrocket. Last week, with Lopez out of the lineup, Blatche had three straight 20-point games while posting 9, 12 and 5 rebounds. His season averages of 11.8 points and 5.9 rebounds do not look great, but those totals came in just 22 minutes a game. Expect him to be closer to 35 minutes a night, and therefore to produce much more. That starts tonight, and although he is facing the likely defensive player in the year in Roy Hibbert, Blatche should still be a good play.
U: Kosta Koufos ($7,562): After replacing Marc Gasol, Koufos looked like he was going to be a fantasy stud. That said, he has gone six straight games without a double-double and posted a meager 2 points in two of those games. The good news for fantasy owners is that because of his recent swoon, his price has plummeted and gotten him back to a level where he can be a great value play. Coming off of a 10-point and 9-rebound performance, he should be able provide solid value. Tonight, he faces a Utah frontline that struggles to rebound and stop interior scoring; look for a good night from the big man in Memphis.