The NBA Five And Dime for Monday, December 12

The NBA Five And Dime for Monday, December 12 0001

We have a 7-game slate of NBA action on Monday night, and there are plenty of big prizes up for grabs on DraftKings and FanDuel. The Five and Dime highlights several players that will likely be part of winning lineups, and one "sleeper" selection that could jettison a GPP lineup towards the top of the leaderboard.

The Five

After getting stomped in consecutive road games, the Heat closed out a road trip strong with a narrow loss in Chicago, and Dragic got back to his productive ways with a double double in that contest. Now Miami returns home to face a Wizards team that has taken a huge step backward defensively under new HC Scott Brooks, as Washington ranks 21st in defensive rating and 26th in opponents FG shooting (.466%) this season. The Wizards notably gave up 124 points to an awful Orlando offense last week and a career-best game to drive-first PG Elfrid Payton, so Dragic stands out as a more talented version of Payton in is ability to slash to the bucket and finish or dish.

Miami is still shorthanded on the wing with Dion Waiters, James Johnson, Justise Winslow and Luke Babbitt all expected to remain out tonight, so Richardson will be asked to play as many minutes as he can handle in his second game back from injury. The combo guard produced 11 points, 3 rebounds and 4 assists over 26 minutes of run in Chicago on Saturday and he should be able to ramp up after resting his ailing ankle on Sunday. As mentioned above, the Wizards are atrocious defensively and Bradley Beal is particularly bad at SG, so Richardson shouldn't have much trouble meeting value in this plus matchup.

Deng is a true punt play at this price tag, so he doesn't come with much risk if he happens to fade into the background after his best game of the season last night. The veteran produced 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting on Sunday and he played a season-high 37 minutes two nights prior against the fast-paced Suns. With Larry Nance Jr. (knee) ailing, Lakers HC Luke Walton is forced to turn to Deng as a swing forward and he'll probably match up against Kings stretch four Matt Barnes in another fast-paced matchup tonight.

Cousins did his thing with another double double on Saturday, but the rest of the Kings flopped and he wound up well short of value in a blowout loss. That marked the first time in 8 appearances where Big Cuz failed to exceed value with ridiculous FP totals, so perhaps one dud will inspire the rest of the DFS community to fade him in a dream matchup tonight. The Lakers play at the fourth-fastest pace and give up the fourth-most PPG (111) in the NBA this season, while also coughing up the third-most FPPG (49.37) to opposing centers this season. Cousins tore through the Purple and Gold's defense for 28 points, 9 rebounds and 48.75 DK points in an easy win earlier this year and averaged 27 PPG, 11.3 RPG and 4 APG over 4 meetings with the Lakers last season.

Those who showed patience with Jokic after a slow first month of the season are getting rewarded in season-long leagues, as the talented young center is flashing the same upside we saw from him last year. He didn't miss a beat after spending a couple of days on the bench nursing a wrist injury, returning to produce 45 points, 28 rebounds, 10 assists and 4 blocks despite playing just 25 MPG over his last 3 appearances. His per-minute production is pretty insane and he draws a great matchup tonight against slow-footed Mavericks backup Salah Mejri. The Mavs give up the seventh-most PPG (21.95) to opposing centers this season and Jokic is still relatively cheap despite his rising production.

The Dime

If the Mavericks big men struggle to contain a skilled center like Jokic, Finney-Smith could see even more minutes than usual and he's already managed to exceed value while playing 30-plus minutes in B2B outings. He's the de facto starter with Dirk Nowitzki (achilles) out indefinitely and is athletic enough to rebound and finish without requiring any set plays offensively. Finney-Smith has demonstrated new confidence with his three-point shot over the past couple of games and he'll probably have more success away from the basket with the Nuggets young beastly big men patrolling the paint, but either way, he could easily exceed value at close to the minimum price tag.

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Nathaniel Weitzer

Nathaniel Weitzer

Nate Weitzer is a successful DFS player that specializes in Daily NBA and MLB advice. He's currently working as a sports journalist in Boston, but writing about fantasy sports is way better than doing "human interest" pieces on local athletes, so he contributes to multiple fantasy sites on a daily basis. Follow him @nweitzer7 for year-round fantasy sports advice.