2017 Fantasy Alarm Draft Easy Optimal Lineup: Dec. 30
Steve Pimental takes a look at the H2H matchups on Draft Easy and gives you his picks for tonight's contest.
Last week was a mixed bag, as John Wall and James Harden kept my NBA picks from cashing, but 139 passing yards from Case Keenum couldn’t keep my NFL picks down. If you haven’t tried DraftEasy yet, now is a good time to start. DraftEasy has introduced a new Rapid Fire game called Rapid Fire Max. Now, if you pick all five matchups correctly, you can win 10x your money.
The picks below are the ones I am actually playing in my own entries. Each player is listed along with his opponent, with my choice appearing in bold.
The Pelicans-Knicks game has the highest over/under of the day, while Cleveland is on the road against a Utah team allowing the sixth fewest points in the NBA. For as good as LeBron has been this season, his numbers on the road are down across the board.
The deck is stacked against Durant quite a bit today. The Warriors hosted Charlotte Friday night, and Durant is averaging 21.3 points, 3.3 assists and 4.0 turnovers on zero days rest this season. Durant has a 33.6 percent usage rate over the last 11 games with Stephen Curry out, but his usage in November, when Curry played 12 games, was just 29.2. Perhaps most importantly, the Grizzlies are fifth in points allowed per game this season, and Durant is averaging just 25.5 points, 10.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 5.0 turnovers in two games against Memphis this season.
Do I have to choose? I don’t like either matchup. No team has allowed fewer points than the Spurs this season. Utah has actually been stingier to opposing centers, but that is likely due to Rudy Gobert, who is out for this game. Only the Bucks are allowing fewer opponents’ blocks than the Spurs, but the Jazz are fifth in opponents threes allowed per game. Love had just 15 points, five rebounds and four assists against Utah two weeks ago, while Drummond had 11 points, 14 rebounds, two assists and three steals in San Antonio earlier this month. That is enough to tip the scales towards Drummond.
Evans has scored at least 23 points in four consecutive games, but those games were against the Suns (twice), Clippers and Lakers. He is averaging 11.0 points in two games against the Warriors this season on .321 shooting. For their part, the 76ers are allowing the fifth most fantasy points to opposing centers this season
Like Durant, Draymond Green should see his usage dip with Steph Curry back. While Draymond’s numbers on zero days rest are not as bad as Durant’s, he is shooting just 38.6 percent from the field in those games. Simmons should see a slight bump in his numbers with Joel Embiid out, but even if that wasn’t the case, I would prefer Simmons in this matchup.
While it would be tempting to say Trubisky is the better quarterback in this matchup, I’m not sure that is accurate. Yates probably has better weapons even with DeAndre Hopkins ruled out, and he certainly has the better matchup. The Vikings need to win this game to clinch a first-round bye, so one of the best defenses in the league has no reason to take it easy on Trubisky.
Abdullah played just 11 snaps last week, but he still managed seven touches. McGuire hasn’t had more than seven touches in any game in the Jets’ Week 11 bye. Both teams have good matchups, and McGuire could benefit if the Jets fall behind and have to throw. If Matt Forte is ruled out, McGuire is an easier call, but I’m going to go with him either way.
Lewis was awesome last week with Rex Burkhead and James White out. This week, White is likely back in, but Mike Gillislee has been ruled out. Williams is virtually guaranteed a high volume with Aaron Jones out, and only the Bills have allowed more fantasy points to opposing running backs than the Lions. Lewis is the better player on the better team, so I will roll with him.
Cooks has just 11 catches for 134 yards and one touchdown over his last four games. He could certainly have a big game, especially if Chris Hogan is out, but I don’t know how you can count on it. Cobb could be the only game in town with Jordy Nelson and Davante Adams out, and he has at least four receptions in four consecutive games. Even if his yardage is poor, he should catch enough passes to keep him ahead of Cooks.
Both receivers have been disappointing over the last two weeks, and they actually tied in fantasy points in Week 16. Chicago’s defense is actually good, and they held Thielen to five receptions for 34 yards in Week 5. Green Bay’s defense is pretty bad, and it allowed Tate to catch seven passes for 113 yards in Week 9. Here’s to hoping Tate and do it again.