What’s up everyone. Alex here, and I am back with my DraftKings NBA picks for December 12th, 2017. Tonight we get a nice slate with seven games to target. Be sure to follow all of the injury news tonight, all the way up until the 7:00PM EST lock, to see if any new injury news comes up. As always if any of these picks help you win or if you need any advice, let me know on Twitter. @Hunta512.
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SG: Jimmy Butler: (8,000) At a price of $8,000, Butler needs to top 40 DK points to meet value, which is something he has accomplished in five straight games. The minutes were tougher to predict to open the season, but during this stretch, Wovles Head Coach Tom Thibodeau has been relying on Butler heavily, very much like how he did when he coached him back in Chicago. Over these last five games he is averaging 40.6 minutes a night, while producing 46.25 DK points per game. His usage has also increased to a 25.8% usage rate, which is a solid 2.7% increase from his average right during this season.
Tonight, he is in a very nice spot to keep exceeding value, vs The Sixers, who are currently a 2.09 opponent +/- for opposing starting SGs. They rank in the middle of the pack in defensive efficiency this year, but they could become a much weaker unit, if starting center Joel Embiid misses this game with a back injury. Either way, Butler should produce 40-45 DK points in roughly 40 minutes of action in this game that has a high O/U game total of 215 points and a decently tight spread of 5.5 points. His salary is slowly working its way up, but at $8,000, Butler is still one of the safest targets of this seven game slate.
PG/SG: Yogi Ferrell: (3,800) Ferrell disappointed in the first game without starting PG Dennis Smith Jr. (hip), only putting up 14 DK points in 22.4 minutes last Friday night, but this was mostly due to first half foul trouble that held him out for most the second quarter. Mavs’ Head Coach Rick Carlisle decided to keep him as the team’s starting PG sans DSJ, and he bounced back on Sunday night, scoring 24 DK points in 33 minutes vs The Wolves. This was the fourth full game the rookie has missed this season, and even when you include the down game Ferrell had Friday, he is still averaging an efficient 26 DK points and 31.8 minutes in the games DSJ has sat out this season.
Smith Jr. has already been confirmed as out for tonight’s game vs The Spurs, which will keep Ferrell as The Mavs starting PG. Barring bad foul trouble, which is very unlikely as he only averages 2.8 fouls per every 36 minutes, Ferrell should play 30-35 minutes and score 20+ DK points, even with this matchup vs a stout Spurs defense. (-0.92 opponent +/-) Even though he produced 6.3 times value in his last game, DraftKings hasn’t adjusted his price in anyway, keeping him at a very cheap $3,800, while Mavs back up PG J.J. Barea’s price has increased $400 since last Friday night. I don’t think many people realize he mainly struggled on Friday night due to foul trouble, which should keep his ownership lower than it should be. (2-4% projected ownership via Fantasy Labs) He is rating as a very nice value in my model and I am fine with him all formats tonight, particularly in GPPs, if this low ownership actually pans out.
PF/C: Julius Randle: (4,800) Randle has seen a nice bump in minutes over his last two games, averaging 27.8 minutes a night vs his 22.2 average for the season. He always produces when he is on the floor (1.12 DK PPM) and the higher minutes obviously have helped his a fantasy player, as he is averaging 29 DK points in these past two games. Yes, he still comes off the bench, but his minutes are trending up, while starting center Brook Lopez’s minutes are trending down, as the big man hasn’t played 30 or more minutes in nine straight games.
There is no reason why anything would change tonight and Randle should remain the primary Lakers’ big, even as a bench player and with 25-30 minutes, he should hit five times value in this solid matchup vs The Knicks (1.74 opponent +/-), who allow the tenth total rebounds per game this season. I am not the biggest fan of going all in on a bench player, but Randle at only $4,800, currently seems like a necessary gamble for tonight’s slate.
SF/PF: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson: (5,800) With PF Trevor Booker traded to The Sixers, Hollis-Jefferson’s minutes have been up and more stable, as he is averaging 35 minutes a game over these last two starts, which is a rare thing for any Nets player to play 30 or more minutes this season. He is averaging 31.5 DK points in these contests and even though center Jahill Okafor is expected to make his debut for The Nets tonight, I expect RHJ to still log 30+ minutes, while Okafor will be mostly taking playing time from Tyler Zeller and Jarrett Allen.
He is essentially scoring 1.0 DK point per minute in 30-35 minutes, Hollis-Jefferson should put up 30-35 DK points in this nice spot vs The Wizards, who have allowed the 6th most DK points to PFs this season, at a current opponent +/- of 2.66 points. $5,800 is a discounted price for him this season, as he was priced over $6,000 for most of the month of November. The price is going to be back up soon and I think this a good time to take advantage of Hollis-Jefferson in this positive matchup.
Also Consider: J.J. Barea, Taurean Prince, Ersan Iylasova (37.8 DK points in his last two games, while shooting 80% from the field and 91% from beyond the arc. The price is going up and there is a blowout risk here going against The Cavs, but he is the definition of a GPP play that should be considered in that format), Jarret Jack (27.25 DK points in his last game and he has played at least 26 minutes in three straight games. The matchup doesn’t get much better going against The Lakers who are the fastest team in the league and a weak defense against PGs, at a current opponent +/- 4.67 opponent +/-), Kenneth Faired (it is odd, but he is now playing more as a bench player, seeing over 30 minutes over his last two games. This is a decent matchup vs The Pistons and if he plays around 30 minutes again, he should meet value), Wesley Mathews (32.5 DK points in the past two games without DSJ), J.J. Redick (solid boost if Embiid is out), Dario Saric (same goes for Saric, as he has seen a 4.8% usage increase in the five games he has played without Embiid this year), Jahill Okafor (this is something to watch because we have no idea how much he will play, but this is a huge game for him personally. There is no doubt he is excited for this and if he is a confirmed starter, he warrants consideration at only $4,200), Spencer Dinwiddie, and Wilson Chandler (finally showed some signs of life, scoring 34 DK points in 37 minutes on Sunday. The upside will always be there with Milsap and Jokic out, as Chandler has seen a 3.7% usage increase in the minutes he has logged without these two bigs this season).