Spurs Suns Basketball
San Antonio Spurs center Jakob Poeltl passes the ball against the Phoenix Suns during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Dec. 6, 2021, in Phoenix. The Suns won 108-104. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)


Mike Shara

After taking yesterday off (load management), we’re back in the saddle today with a slate of 7 games to look forward to. At first glance – which FYI is about 8 a.m. – there don’t seem to be a lot of values that hit you in the face right away, so we may have to dig a little deeper. After resting my legs for a day, I feel up for it. Are you?


DERRICK WHITE, PG, Boston ($5,700 on FanDuel, $6,300 on DraftKings)
A red-hot Boston Celtics team has Memphis coming to da TeeDee Gahden tonight and they’re going to have to face Ja Morant and company without Jaylen Brown. Brown injured his ankle on Tuesday night vs. the Hawks and has been ruled out for tonight’s action. White seems like the logical replacement for at least some of the huge minutes Brown won’t be covering. On Tuesday night, White saw 28 minutes of court time and finished with 18 points, 2 rebounds and 5 assists. A repeat of that would make his salary very palatable. The Grizz like to play at a very fast pace and are only middle-of-the-pack defensively and White is averaging nearly a point per minute while playing without Brown in the lineup. His salary on FanDuel is almost daring you not to take him. I’m taking the dare.

JAKOB POELTL, C, San Antonio ($7,500 on DraftKings, $8,000 on FanDuel)
The relatively big salary might give you a bit of sticker shock, but look deeper – Poeltl has been on an absolute tear the last week or so. He’s averaging 21 points, 12 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 1.5 blocks and nearly a steal per game over his last three and tonight his Spurs play against the ideal Western Conference opponent – the Sacramento Kings. Why are the Kings such a dreamy matchup for a player like Poeltl? They play the game fast (7th in the NBA in pace) and then they forget they have to run back and possibly play at the other end of the court (29th in defensive efficiency). All of the sudden, Poeltl’s price tag doesn’t seem so high, does it?

CAMERON THOMAS, PG, Brooklyn ($4,400 on DraftKings, $4,600 on FanDuel)
Tonight the Nets are at home against Miami, who are coming off a hard-fought loss last night in Milwaukee. Despite rumors to the contrary, new NYC mayor Eric Adams has not changed his stance on the ban on unvaccinated employees in the city, meaning that Irving will still not be able to play in games at the Barclays Center. Will this policy conveniently be ‘adjusted’ by the time the playoffs roll around? Who knows? Who cares right now? At the moment all you care about is the fact that Brooklyn will be playing without Kyrie, Ben Simmons and possibly Andre Drummond tonight. Even the presence of veteran PG Goran Dragic doesn’t diminish the fact that the Nets will be facing a tired team that could be missing it’s star point guard Kyle Lowry again tonight. Thomas’ price on DraftKings was $1400 higher about two weeks ago and the Heat are a surprisingly good matchup for an opposing point guard. After two straight losses to Toronto, Brooklyn are also welcoming Kevin Durant back to their lineup tonight. Look for Thomas to be a subtle beneficiary of all these factors at a low, low price. 

CLINT CAPELA, C, Atlanta ($5,900 on DraftKings, $6,400 on FanDuel)
The Hawks are at home facing Chicago tonight but they’ll be doing so without the services of centers John Collins (shoulder) and Onyeka Okongwu (concussion protocols), meaning that Capela will be relied upon even more tonight than usual. The way he’s played lately gives me a lot of hope that this evening he could end up being a steal. After struggling defensively early in the year, he has returned to form somewhat, now in third place overall on Atlanta in plus/minus rating (which you know Head Coach Nate McMillan is noticing). On the season he’s been a well over a point-per-minute player and his salary tonight – especially on DK – doesn’t match with his opportunity, especially when you see that the Bulls are near the bottom of the league in defending opposing centers. He’s likely to see at least 30 minutes tonight and seems likely to return a nice profit. Even if his ownership numbers are high – which they will be – he’s worth it.

DELON WRIGHT, PG/SG, Atlanta ($3,100 on DraftKings, $3,800 on FanDuel)
I was about to wander away from this Hawks/Bulls game to look elsewhere but I realized immediately that I may not need to look far at all. Superstar Atlanta point guard Trae Young – one of 9 players valued at over 10 grand today – is questionable for tonight’s game after he injured his ankle in Tuesday night’s game vs. the Celtics. Word on the street is that he did not participate in today’s morning shootaround, either. As always, make sure you check to see the latest updates before you lock in your rosters, but if Young is going to miss the game, Wright will probably start tonight’s game and play around 33-35 minutes. That situation makes him a must-play, especially at his salary on DraftKings.

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