Merry Christmas, my fellow degenerates.
The Yah’s (👍) and Nah’s (👎) have returned for today’s unhealthy slate of Christmas gambling with the true beginning of the NBA season. It’s the most wonderful time of year, so hopefully, you don’t go broke!
Let’s see how we feel today …
Tier 1: Elites
👍 Bam Adebayo, C/PF, Miami Heat
Above this, there aren’t many wrong answers. Maybe Kyrie Irving goes off on his former Boston Celtics. Anthony Davis should produce in a favorable match-up against the Dallas Mavericks. And why wouldn’t Giannis Antetokounmpo go-off on the Golden State Warriors? You can still play one or two of those guys or anyone else who is expensive today, but watch Adebayo against the New Orleans Pelicans. Very enticing price tag; plus, his versatility will again make him a mainstay all season long.
👎 Kawhi Leonard, SF, Los Angeles Clippers
Leonard wasn’t great against the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday, and his steep price tag makes him a problematic play when Kevin Durant and Jimmy Butler (gametime decision) are cheaper at forward. Leonard will likely have a solid fantasy showing against the Denver Nuggets, a team he played mostly well against last season, but again, how much better (if at all) will he be than Durant or Butler today? We’re all just guessing, but I’m willing to bet against The Claw on Christmas for other alternatives. (You can play him, too, though.)
Tier 2: Middle-Tier
👍 Dennis Schroder, PG/SG, Los Angeles Lakers
Only didn’t mention him Tuesday because of his teammate Montrzel Harrell, but I started both of them and came away a winner. Schroder should be a solid value play for much of this season, unless he goes completely absurd down the line. Even then, if he replicates what he did with the Oklahoma City Thunder, he’s a great sleeper option on many nights, especially today against the Mavericks. Additionally, his teammate Harrell is a great option at only $15 on Yahoo, though.
👎 Andrew Wiggins, SG/SF, Golden State Warriors
He went 4-for-16 against the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday, finishing with 13 points. He’s still somehow only $2 cheaper than George, and on Yahoo, in particular, he arrives as a more expensive option than Caris LeVert, Tyler Herro, and Marcus Smart. And Wiggins is facing Milwaukee. We good out here, fam.
Tier 3: Sleepers
👍 Steven Adams, C, New Orleans Pelicans
As someone who watches a lot of Miami Heat games, Adams is poised for a big rebounding performance if New Orleans is able to pull Adebayo away from the rim, which could happen with him playing at center. Adams generally is a quality rebounder, but he’s one to watch for one of those weird 11-point, 15-rebound lines tonight because of the Heat’s size, or lack thereof. That isn’t to say Adebayo won’t get his boards, he will, but Miami isn’t playing Meyers Leonard, Kelly Olynyk doesn’t clean the glass, and Precious Achiuwa is a rookie. Adams provides great value at both under $20 and $6,000.
👎 Michael Porter Jr, SF/PF, Denver Nuggets
Nah, I’m just not there yet. Some of y’all are, and that’s fine. He’s facing the Los Angeles Clippers, and he’s uber-talented, but I need to see it first. Won’t mind spending a bit more for Jaylen Brown as an alternative in Kemba Walker’s absence. MPJ isn’t a bad play by any means, and kudos if you’re going for it, but I’ll pass for now. FD price ain’t bad, though.
Tier 4: Rookies
👍 James Wiseman, C, Golden State Warriors
Great showing for Wiseman against the Nets on Tuesday, though a chunk came in garbage time. But if the Bucks blow the Warriors out, and we’re to expect more of the same, why not give Wiseman another go while he’s this low? He won’t be around these tallies all season if he fulfills his rookie year potential, and as far as rookies go, he’ll be among the best options, especially as a constant double-double threat.
👎 Everybody else.
No other rookies are worth playing on Christmas. Miami Heat big man Precious Achiuwa is one to watch, though.
Tier 5: Fuck it
👍 Jeff Teague, PG, Boston Celtics
Really!? Teague is just $10 on Yahoo? Less than $4,500 on DK!? Fuck it, man, play him against Brooklyn. Teague had 19 points, four assists, three rebounds, two steals, one block and zero turnovers in 25 minutes in the Celtics’ win over the Bucks on Wednesday. I’d damn near call him a must play after that, especially considering the Nets backcourt isn’t exactly composed of Mookie Blaylock and Gary Payton.