Fantasy Basketball 2013: Strong Plays For December 20th
It seems like almost every fantasy relevant player in action for Friday night is a game-time decision, so this could complicate things a bit. However, there are still plenty of games on tonight’s slate, and fantasy owners are looking forward to setting their lineups and watching how the evening unfolds.
Kevin Martin, SG (@ LAL)
FPPG allowed to SG: 39.31 (2nd-most)
Martin has recovered from a knee injury, and in his return, played a healthy 27 minutes while notching 22 points, five rebounds and a steal. He could go absolutely bonkers in this contest against the Lakers, who are allowing the second-most fantasy points per game to shooting guards, as well as the second-most points per game to the position. This could be a very high-scoring game, and without Kobe Bryant active, no one will have a chance to defend Martin on the perimeter. He’s taking about 16 shots per game, which is terrific volume, especially when you consider that opposing shooting guards are averaging a solid 19.06 shots per game, which is the third-most in the league. Averaging 30 fantasy points on DraftDay, Martin is a lock for at least that number in this contest, but my money is on him exceeding that number.
Brook Lopez, C (@ PHI)
FPPG allowed to C: 44.75 (4th-most)
Our weekly reminder to bully the 76ers’ atrocious defense. I have so many friends who are 76ers fans, and I feel bad that I constantly pick on this defense. But they are among the worst in defensive efficiency at every single position, including centers. Unfortunately, Lopez didn’t play a few days ago when he could have decimated Philadelphia’s frontcourt, but his ankle appears to be better, and should suit up tonight. Arguably the best scoring center in the game today, Bro-Lo should go nuts in this game. He may not be the greatest rebounder, but should see plenty of opportunity to grab boards in this game, as the Sixers allow 11.5 offensive rebounds per game (8th-most) and a healthy 34 defensive boards per game (2nd-most). The only thing that could hurt Lopez in this game is if Brooklyn blows Philly out, but the Sixers aren’t on the road, so they may not actually play bad for once.
Paul Millsap, PF (vs UTA)
FPPG allowed to PF: 41.24 (12th-most)
Millsap has quietly produced perhaps the best month of December of anyone in the league. This month alone, Millsap is averaging an impressive 18.1 points, 10.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists, one block and 1.8 steals per game. He’s also averaging 41 fantasy points per game during that span, and has a solid matchup against a struggling, banged up Jazz frontcourt. Power forwards are averaging a healthy 21.16 points per game against the Jazz this season, which is the third-most among defenses. Of course, this is also Millsap’s former team, which always adds for some extra incentive. I like Millsape to post a very fantasy friendly stat line this evening.
Xavier Henry, SG/SF (vs MIN)
FPPG allowed to SF: 36.23 (12th-most)
Henry is a very intriguing option tonight, as he is going to take over at the point guard position. Yes, the Lakers injuries have been that bad, as Kobe Bryant is once again sidelined. Sure, Ricky Rubio is sure to get some steals from the inexperienced Henry, but I don’t see how he’ll consistently be able to guard him, given the size advantage. There is absolutely no depth in the Lakers backcourt right now, and in a game where they will have to score in a hurry to keep up with Minnesota, Henry should more than likely see at least 30 minutes in this one. He’ll easily exceed his price tag tonight.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.