How’s it going everyone. Alex here, and I am back with my DraftKings NBA picks for December 13th, 2017. Tonight we get a full slate with nine games on tap. 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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C: Nikola Vucevic: (8,800) As I predicted, Vuc feasted on Saturday night, posting his first career triple double of 31 points, 13 rebounds, and ten assists, to go along with a block and a steal across 38 minutes in the win over The Hawks. (71.75 DK points) With all of SF Evan Fournier (ankle), SG Terrence Ross (knee), PF Jonathon Isaac (ankle), and PF Aaron Gordon (head) out, Vucevic’s rates rose to new levels in this game, with a 25% usage rate, a 37% assist percentage, and a team high 21.3% rebound percentage. All four of these Magic players will remain out again tonight, which will keep Vucevic as the main offensive player in this offense. Not only will his rates be great again, but he should be fresh and ready to play high minutes again, with four days of rest under his belt and no game tomorrow. Back up center Marresse Speights surprisingly didn’t see the floor on Saturday night, and even if he is in back in the rotation, I am expecting Vucevic to log 35+ minutes tonight vs The Clippers.
The individual matchup vs Clippers’ starting center Deandre Jordan looks scary at first, but the big man has been a shell of himself on the defensive end this season, as this Clippers team has allowed the second most DK points to centers this season. They are currently the fourth worst rated defense in The NBA and are presenting a very high opponent +/- of 6.92 points to starting centers. It’s hard to expect another triple double like Saturday night, but in this matchup, with this kind of offensive workload, Vucevic should top 50 DK points this evening. His $8,800 price tag is the highest it has been all season, but he is still too cheap for the role he will have until this team gets healthy. I am going right back to him in all formats tonight and Vucevic is one of my favorite high end spends of this slate, that should pay off in this competitive game vs The Clippers. (ORL -1.5, 212.5 O/U game total)
C: Aaron Baynes: (3,900) Tonight, The Celtics have decided to rest starting PF Al Horford. This opens up roughly 32 minutes for the rest of this Celtics front court. Baynes will remain as the starting center and should benefit from a smaller player like Jayson Tatum shifting to the four spot, with Marcus Morris (knee) also out. There hasn’t been any full games that both of these players have missed this year, but in the two full games Horford missed with a concussion, Baynes saw a solid 4.2% usage rate increase and a large 12.2% assist percentage bump. In these two games he averaged 24.4 minutes compared to his 17.4 average for the season and averaged a great 28 DK points a night.
In these games he scored 1.15 DK points per minute and with a projection of 25 minutes, Baynes should have no issues putting up 20+ DK points vs this Nuggets frontcourt that will still be without PF Paul Milsap (wrist) and should also be without starting center Nikola Jokic. (ankle, currently questionable) Based on opponent +/- this matchup doesn’t look that great at 0.47 points, but regardless of the rating, Baynes is simply too cheap for the bigger role he has without Horford. Back up center Daniel Theis is also very much in play at only $3,600. His multiple position eligibility makes him a friendly option that should also return value, as he is averaging 19.38 DK points in the two games he has played without Horford this season.
PF/C: Greg Monroe: (4,800) Recently, The Suns have only been playing two centers in each game. Last night Tyson Chandler got the start with Alex Len playing behind him, while Monroe was DNP coaches’ decision. Chandler has started the last two games and with Len missing their game vs The Spurs on Saturday night, this points to the veteran in Chandler being rested this evening, with Monroe shifting back to the starting five. In these last two starts, Chandler has seen 26 and 29 minutes, and with this type of playing time, Monore has an excellent chance of exceeding five times value, as he is scoring 1.1 DK points per minute this year.
In his last two starts he is averaging 33.4 DK points and even though this matchup isn’t the greatest (-0.31 opponent +/-), I am expecting close to 30 DK points from Monroe, which would be an awesome return at his $4,800 salary, which is a $200 decrease from last night. His PF/C edibility makes him very easy to get in and I love Monroe in both cash games and GPPs for this nine game slate.
PG/SG: Austin Rivers: (5,900) After playing two games, Clippers’ starting SF Danilo Gallinari suffered a setback with his hip injury and is expected to be out for at least a few games. This shifts most of the offense back onto Rivers and Lou Williams, with PF Blake Griffin (knee) still sidelined. In the game before Galo’s return, Rivers erupted for 47.75 DK points vs The Wolves two Sundays ago. After this performance he is now averaging 30.8 DK points on a 25.3% usage rate in the four full games that he has started with Galinari, Griffin, and PG Patrick Beverly (knee) all out.
PG Milo Teodosic returned for The Clippers last game, but he only played 20 minutes and Rivers’ rates have not seen any huge hits in the minutes he has played with the Serbian player this season. Playing under his father, Clippers’ Head Coach Doc Rivers, his minutes will always be high (36 minutes per game over his last four), and with this type of playing time, Rivers should be able to score 5-6 times value with nice upside going against a Magic defense that has given up the second most DK points to PGs this season. Magic starting PG Elfrid Payton has always been a player to target and this defense should be even worse than usual with all the injuries they are currently dealing with. I think that he is a better target in GPPs because he can be a very hard player to predict, but the ceiling is very high for him in this situation, making him a perfect gamble in GPPs on Wednesday night.
Also Consider: Mario Hezonja (started at PF with Gordon out last game and scored 21 DK points in 31 minutes. It isn’t official, but if he starts again he is a viable punt play), Marresse Speights (as I said earlier, it was shocking for him to not play with Gordon out, and even though they got a win with him not in the rotation, I think there is a good chance he could re enter the rotation tonight. There is a lot of “ifs” in this situation, but he is a great fantasy producer and if he can somehow see the 20 minutes we expected Saturday, he could be a game changer in GPPs with everyone still bitter about Saturday night), Jonnathon Simmons (led the team with a 36.6% usage rate Saturday and scored 47.75 DK points vs The Hawks. With all these players still out the usage should stay way up in this nice spot vs The Clippers, who are an opponent of 4.3 points), David Nwaba (has now crushed value in three straight games), Khris Middleton, Milos Teodosic, Nikola Mirotic (if Markkanen is out again), Sam Dekker (21.75 DK points in 27.2 minutes last game with Galo sitting), Mason Plumlee (32.25 DK points in 29 minutes last night. The minutes with this Nuggets front court are so hard to predict, but if Jokic is still out, Plumlee should be considered after his productive game in a blowout win last night), Frank Kaminsky, E’Twaun Moore (went nuts last game with AD out, scoring 45.75 DK points in 42 minutes vs The Rockets. If back up PG Jameer Nelson (ankle) and Davis are out again, Moore should considered even at an elevated salary), Darius Miller (if Davis and Cunnigham are out again. He got the start at PF with both out last game and scored 22.75 DK points in 39 minutes), and Rajon Rondo (playing on another level lately averaging 51.5 DK points over his last two starts. He has played 37 and 42 minutes in these two games with Nelson out and if the vet sits again, I don’t see how you don’t roster Rondo).