Unsurprisingly, I initially got the date wrong in the title. Welcome to 2019, and as we all slowly begin our realization that the holiday season has officially ended, allow me to guide you through the process of building your NBA DFS lineups. Let’s get right to it…
Miami Heat @ Cleveland Cavaliers (o/u 204.5, MIA -6.5)
Miami is 7th in defensive rating, 21st in pace.
Cleveland is 30th in defensive rating, 29th in pace.
Miami heads to Cleveland and finds themselves in a good spot against the Cavs and their 30th ranked defense. While Cleveland can be exposed on the defensive end, their slow pace limits some of the Miami Heat players upside.
With Goran Dragic’s continued absence Justise Winslow has taken the reigns as the Heat PG. Winslow is far from a value on either site, priced at $7100 on FD and $6900 on DK, but the opportunity for production is clearly there for him vs a team like Cleveland. Winslow had a 50 burger vs Cleveland last week. One important note, Dion Waiters may return for this game. I’d expect him to be limited, but depending on his minutes limit he could have an impact on Winslow.
It’s rare we see Hassan Whiteside priced this low on both sites and centers have struggled to produce vs Cleveland, as Nance and Frye’s mobility has limited their rebounding. Still, Whiteside is cheap and carries his typical Whiteside upside. He’s a GPP target at center.
Depending on Waiter’s availability and/or how limited he will be, Tyler Johnson and Dwyane Wade are usable cheap guards.
On DK, priced at $6800, Josh Richardson is a little more in play than on FD at $7700. Still, I’m not actively looking to get JRich in my lineups.
With Rodney Hood potentially returning in this game, the appeal to target Cavaliers players continues to be less and less. In terms of the matchup, this isn’t a particularly good one, as the Heat have been playing at much slower pace of late and continue to be a good defensive team.
The one Cavaliers player we can count on is Larry Nance Jr., especially if Ante Zizic remains out. Bigs have had success against Miami this year, and Nance’s ability to produce across all categories elevates his floor. Nance’s risk is his coach, as Larry Drew has shown time and time again he will pull Nance in favor of Zizic. If Whiteside is dominating with his size there is the potential for that tonight.
Alec Burks and Jordan Clarkson would remain in play for me if Rodney Hood remains out. If Hood plays I’m off on the rest of the Cavs, as Patrick McCaw and Hood would just complicate the rotation. None would be worth the risk.