How’s it going everyone. Alex here, and these are my DraftKings NBA Picks for December 19th. Tonight, we get a full slate, with 12 games to target. As always, if any of these picks help you win or if you need any advice, let me know on Twitter. Also, I recommend following me, because if anything changes with these plays below or if any injury news effects the slate, I try to address the situations I find important before tip off. @Hunta512.
PF/C: Anthony Davis: (11,600)
The Brow has been exceptional in his last three games (68 DK PPG) and tonight, he should see all of his rates hit extremely high levels. The Pelicans will be without both Julius Randle (ankle) and Nikola Mirotic (ankle), which should force New Orleans to mostly run one big lineup, with AD at center. In all the minutes A.D. has logged without these two and Elfird Payton (finger), Davis has posted an insane 38.4% usage rate, which is a 9.1% increase from his season average.
Furthermore, his assist percentage jumps 10.4% and his rebound rate rises 0.8%. All of this results in AD scoring an absurd 2.13 DK PPM. The Pelicans are on the road (-6.9 DK PPG) and facing The Bucks (5th in defensive efficiency), but the role Davis should handle is just too massive to ignore, no matter what other circumstances arise. We could be looking at a career night from AD and I think this is a situation you don’t want to miss out on.
C: Greg Monroe: (4,100)
Monroe will draw his first start of the season tonight, with Jonas Valancuinas (thumb), and Serge Ibaka (knee) both inactive. The Raptors will also be without Kyle Lowry (thigh) and Monroe is producing a great 1.44 DK PPM this season. His defense has always been lackluster, but he is a strong interior scorer and rebounder, who is always a threat for a double double, if given decent playing time. With both Ibaka and Val out, Monroe is their only viable big left, with fourth string center Chris Boucher only logging a total of 14 minutes this year. Monroe will have to play 25+ minutes, in this positive matchup vs The Pacers (1.38 opponent +/-), and should easily get over 20 DK points, with nice upside.
Just last season, when he was a member of The Celtics, Monroe notched his first career triple double when his number was called upon due to the team’s injuries and in the last five games he has logged at least 20 minutes, Moose Monroe is scoring 29.2 DK PPG. He is a tremendous value play and I think rostering Monroe, Mo Bamba (below), and AD, all together is the best route for cash games on Wednesday night.
C: Mohamed Bamba: (3,700)
Bamba will start tonight, in place of Nikola Vucevic. (personal) This is the first time Vuc has sat this season, so we don’t have any full game samples to go off, but Bamba will have to play 20+ minutes as the starter. That may not seem like much, but the rookie is scoring an efficient 1.06 DK PPM, and is only $3,700. The matchup is also solid, vs The Spurs, who are the 6th worst defense this season.
Similar to Monroe, Bamba could manage a double double, and in the five career games he has played over 20 minutes, the rookie is averaging 21.4 DK PPG. Bamba should get over six times value and is a near lock for this 12 game slate.
PG/SG: Fred VanVleet: (4,900)
VanVleet will start in place of Lowry and in the two games he has missed this season, FVV is scoring 30.4 DK PPG, and playing 35.3 MPG. Just this last Monday, sans Lowry, VanVleet put up 37.5 DK points across 38 minutes vs The Blazers. Both those marks are season highs and I am expecting a similar result this evening.
He generates 1.0 DK PPM in this current Raptors’ situation and with 30+ minutes, he should approach 30 DK points, even if this matchup vs The Pacers isn’t ideal for PGs. (-0.21 opponent +/-) With a ton of value out there tonight, I think VanVleet could end up being a little under owned, but that really shouldn’t be the case at all, because he is one of the safest plays on the board for this full slate.
PG/SG: James Harden: (11,400)
Harden has been ridiculous in his last three (76 DK PPG) and it is because his usage has risen all the way up to a whopping 41%. Even with a healthy Chris Paul around, this offense has been all Harden. (1.82 DK PPM) The Rockets have won each of these last three games and now Harden will face The Wizards, who are the third worst defense, and 4th fastest team. (1.6 opponent +/-) He scored 89 DK points on them earlier this season and he should light them up for 60-70 DK points.
C: Karl-Anthony Towns: (9,700)
Towns is at home (48.5 DK PPG) and in a great spot against The Pistons. (3.07 opponent +/-) Plus, Jeff Teague (ankle) will be out and in the lone game Towns has played without Teague and Jimmy Butler (traded), he scored 61.5 DK points.
SF/PF: Kawhi Leonard: (9,200)
Leonard has only logged seven total minutes without Valancuinas, Lowry, and Ibaka this season, but in the three games he has started, with Lowry out, he is averaging 49.3 DK PPG. He saw a 31.8% usage rate and scored 52.5 DK points on Sunday without Lowry/Val, and his rates should expand even further tonight. He will play more front-court minutes and I think The Klaw posts a double double of 50+ DK points vs The Pacers.
PG/SG: Jrue Holiday: (8,600)
Holiday isn’t going to see an eye popping usage like AD’s, but he should possess the second highest rate on the team. This should result in 45-50 DK points, regardless of this matchup vs The Bucks being difficult. (0.81 opponent +/-)
C: Clint Capela: (7,900)
Capela should feast on this Wizards’ front-court. (2.12 opponent +/-) He scored 46.5 DK points on them earlier this season and in the 12 contests he has gone against an opponent +/- of 2.0 points or more, Capela is averaging 40 DK PPG.
PG/SG: Derick Rose: (6,700)
Rose started for Teague on Monday and scored 33 DK points in only 24 minutes of work vs The Kings. (1.4 DK PPM) He is averaging 1.7 DK PPM without Teague/Butler this season, and in the one full game without these two, D Rose exploded for 69 DK points. (career high 50 real points) Detroit is a top ten defense right now (0.68 opponent +/-), but I wouldn’t let that stop you from attacking Rose and his extremely high ceiling.
PF/C: Larry Nance Jr.: (6,300)
Nance finally got the start at center for The Cavs last night, with Tristan Thompson (foot) sidelined. In 33.3 minutes, he popped off for 53 DK points, including the game winning tip in basket over The Pacers. This was huge for The Cavs’ morale and HC Larry Drew will have to keep Nance as a starter tonight, for this matchup vs The Hornets. (1.51 opponent +/-) Except another 30+ DK point outing, with 45-50 point upside from Nance.
PF: Pascal Siakam: (5,700)
Siakam should play very high minutes, including some time at center tonight. He scores 1.0 DK PPM and should post a double double.
SF/PF: Trevor Ariza: (4,500)
In his Wizards’ debut, Ariza scored 48.5 DK points (six steals) across 38 minutes in loss to The Hawks. Now, he gets to play his former team, The Rockets. The only concern is that The Wizards and their road woes will stop the starters from seeing full minutes (HOU -11), but Ariza is so cheap that he should be able to achieve five times value in under 30 minutes (1.0 DK PPM in last three games), with the obvious upside if this game stays close.
SF/PF: Jonathan Isaac: (4,100)
Isaac scores 0.9 DK PPM without Vuc and he should have to play 30+ minutes. I prefer Bamba, but Isaac is also a fine play, that could come with almost half the ownership. In the last five games he has topped 25 minutes, Isaac is averaging 21.2 DK PPG.
*Please note some of these stats are from FantasyLabs.com