This article is part of our FantasyDraft NBA series.
Each week, RotoWire will provide value plays for your daily fantasy basketball lineups on FantasyDraft. Users have a salary cap of $100,000 to select a lineup comprised of three guards, three forwards/centers and two utility players.
FantasyDraft is running NBA contests each and every day. There are 50/50s, guaranteed tournaments and more available options in the lobby, so be sure to check it out. With contests at every entry fee level, there are a ton of options to choose from.
The target for each player to reach value is 2.5x the player's salary. If a player costs $10,000 against the cap, expected value is 25 fantasy points.
C.J. McCollum ($12,300)
With the news of Damian Lillard (plantar fasciitis) possibly missing some time, McCollum will become the point guard and will likely have one of the highest usage rates in the NBA. When Lillard is off the court, McCollum has a usage rate of 33 percent, and has an absurd assist rate of 29 percent. Given those statistics McCollum's price should be much higher, and will be, if Lillard misses significant time.
Jae Crowder ($10,300)
Crowder has been one of the most consistent players in the NBA at his price, and he continues to hover around the $10K mark on
FantasyDraft. He has at least 22.25 fantasy points in 10 straight games, and has not been below 20 since Thanksgiving. He is one of the few players on the Celtics that plays consistent minutes (at least 30 in 10 of his last 11 games) which makes him a safe option in cash games. Fire up Crowder in good matchups, but he is also an option to consider in poor matchups as a contrarian option. His last two games of over 30 fantasy points were against the Hawks and Warriors, both teams with excellent defenders at the three.
Trevor Ariza ($11,100)
Like Crowder, Ariza has been the model of consistency. At his price, he needs just over 27 fantasy points for good value, which he has returned in six of his last seven games (excluding the game when he was injured in the first quarter). Ariza continues to play the majority of the minutes for the Rockets in fast-paced games each night, making him a safe play at his current price. Ariza also has solid upside, scoring at least 30 fantasy points in six of his last 10 games.
Elfrid Payton ($11,300)
Payton is another mid-tiered option in terms of price that has been playing above his expected value. At his price, anything over 28 fantasy points is an excellent return, and Payton has returned that in nine straight full games. The one game he did not return good value was against the Cavaliers when Payton played only 20 minutes. Payton's issue early in his short career has been scoring, never lacking in the secondary stats. Recently with his scoring up, he has become an excellent option in DFS. Payton has scored at least 12 points in all but two games since Thanksgiving.
Bradley Beal (leg), Week-to-Week
Beal has the beginning of a stress fracture in his leg, sidelining him for a few weeks. Until he returns, Gary Neal, Otto Porter, Garrett Temple and Ramon Sessions will pick up the slack at the two-guard spot. Kelly Oubre has also been playing a lot as a swingman.
Rudy Gobert (knee), Indefinitely
Gobert still has no return timetable, which will continue to give Derrick Favors a boost in rebounds, and more minutes for Trey Lyles and Trevor Booker. Gordon Hayward has the highest usage rate on the team, and remember you can target players against Utah now with Gobert sitting.
Al Jefferson (suspension), Eligible to Return Dec. 26
Jefferson will return at the end of the month, but in his absence Frank Kaminsky, Cody Zeller and Marvin Williams receive boosts in playing time and rebounds, while Kemba Walker's usage rate is through the roof. Nicolas Batum also sees a continuous boost in value.
Marcus Smart (leg), Will Return Soon
Smart is likely to return to the rotation soon, but head coach Brad Stevens said that he will come off the bench. When he does return, bump down all the Celtics guards (Isaiah Thomas, Evan Turner, Avery Bradley). At some point, Smart may return to the starting lineup with Thomas heading back to the bench, but until that happens, the minutes may be divided, thus limiting each guards' DFS value.
Shane Larkin (concussion), Questionable
Larkin has missed the last few games with a concussion, and he is still questionable. If he misses time, Jarrett Jack will continue to play close to 40 minutes at point guard, and he makes for a solid high-floor play.
Brandon Jennings (Achilles rehab), Will Return Soon
This is the one that could shake up the NBA DFS world. When Jennings returns to the Pistons' rotation, he will definitely lower the value of Reggie Jackson, Andre Drummond and the Pistons' shooters. Jennings will shoot a lot, but it remains to be seen what his role will be. Be sure to monitor this situation when he is called up from the D-League.