Welcome back everybody. Alex here, and these are my DraftKings NBA Picks for December 21st. Tonight, we get a full slate, with 10 games on tap. 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)
Davis was a headache on Wednesday, going in and out of the locker room multiple times, but he still ended with a solid return (57.25 DK points vs The Bucks), relative to his price. He produced 1.96 DK PPM in this game and in all the time he has played with Nikola Mirotic (ankle) and Julius Randle (ankle) off the court, Davis is scoring an elite 2.1 DK PPM. Mirotic has already been ruled out and Randle is listed as questionable. Even if Randle did play, AD is still averaging 60.2 DK PPG in the seven Mirotic and Payton have missed this season.
Randle also being absent, would just be a further boost to AD’s already incredible ceiling, in this strong spot vs The Lakers. (2.65 opponent +/-) He has dominated The Lakers in his last seven meetings with the club (66.8 DK PPG) and in the 14 contests that have come with an O/U game total of 230 points or greater (tonight is 233 points, which is the highest total of the slate), Davis has supplied 60.11 DK PPG. I know his tendencies to exit games is one of the most frustrating things in NBA DFS, but I think we need to go right back to The Brow on Friday night.
PG/SG: Derick Rose: (7,200)
On Wednesday, Rose started for Jeff Teague (ankle) and cooked up a 48.75 DK point showing vs The Pistons. This was the third game he has started for Teague, with Jimmy Butler (traded) also missing, and he is now generating 47.75 DK PPG across those three starts. He leads The Wolves in usage in those games (36.8%) and scores 1.4 DK PPM.
For Friday night, Teague will still be out, and Rose will matchup with The Spurs, who have struggled with PGs all season. (22nd in efficiency) San Antonio is only favored by four points and Rose should log 35-40 minutes in this tight setting. The price tag increased $500, but Rose remains a strong target at that $7,200, that should top 40 DK points.
SG/SF: Josh Okogie: (3,300)
In the wake of Teague being out, Okogie has played 29.2 MPG in these past two. He is averaging 19.4 DK PPG during this stretch and is now averaging 18.2 DK PPG in the four total games without Teague and Butler. Okogie should stay in this role off the bench and log 25-30 minutes vs The Spurs.
His 0.76 DK PPM average could obviously be better, but Okogie should be able to return over five times value, vs this Spurs’ defense, that is the 9th worst unit in the league. Obviously, don’t expect much, but 20+ DK points isn’t out of the question for a near minimum priced Okogie.
SF/PF: Jayson Tatum: (6,100)
With Al Horford and Marcus Morris both nursing knee injuries and sitting out Wednesday night vs The Suns, Tatum was great, scoring 38 DK points in 36 minutes. Aaron Baynes (hand) also got hurt early in this game and all three of these front-court players for The Celtics will be out for tonight’s big home matchup vs The Bucks.
When all of them have been off the floor, Tatum has scored 1.04 DK PPM. He should have to play 35+ with The Celtics only favored by one point. The second year player out of Duke has scored over 30 DK points in five straight and in all The Celtics’ games that have had a spread under three this season (11), Tatum is producing 34.4 DK PPG. His role is going to be larger than usual tonight and Tatum is simply underpriced at $6,100.
SF/PF: Kawhi Leonard: (9,400)
Kyle Lowry (thigh) will be out and in the four Leonard has suited up for without Lowry, he is averaging 50.7 DK PPG. Jonas Valancuinas (thumb) is still out and Serge Ibaka (questionable, knee) could also sit, further increasing all Leonard’s rates. The only concern is that The Raptors are favored by 12.5 points over The Cavs. Nonetheless, Leonard should still crack 45 DK points (Cavs are dead last in defensive efficiency), with a great ceiling, if Cleveland puts up a fight. But, it is important to note The Raptors like to rest Leonard for at least one game of every back to back set, and they have a much more important game tomorrow vs The Sixers. If Leonard was rested, on top of Lowry, every single Raptor would see a sizable bump in value.
C: Nikola Vucevic: (9,200)
Vuc will return from a personal matter for this perfect matchup vs The Bulls. (4.01 opponent +/-) He scored 49.5 DK points on them earlier this season and is averaging 50.4 DK PPG in his last two starts. Additionally, Vuc is scoring 47 DK PPG when facing an opponent +/- over 3.0 points this year. (10 games)
PG: Kyrie Irving: (8,700)
Irving went off for 61.75 DK points vs The Suns on Wednesday. His usage went up 1.7%, but his assist rate jumped all the way up to 55.6%. We can’t expect that type of number tonight, but Irving should handle a big work load in this important game. Whenever he has faced a team with a record above .500 on his home court, Irving has been tremendous this season. (56.5 DK PPG in three games)
PF/C: John Collins: (7,800)
Collins has topped 40 DK points in six of his last seven and tonight, he faces The Knicks, who are the second worst defense in The NBA. (1.56 opponent +/-)
PF/C: Julius Randle: (7,500)
If he plays, Randle is a really strong option. He has been excellent when Mirotic and Payton have been out (44.1 DK PPG in seven games) and this is a big revenge spot for him, vs The Lakers. (1.94 opponent +/-)
SF/PF: Kyle Kuzma: (7,200)
This is a great price for Kuzma, in this matchup vs The Pelicans (1.11 opponent +/- and 24th in defensive efficiency), but he would be a better play if Brandon Ingram (questionable, ankle) was still out. (-1.4% usage with Ingram on the floor)
PF: Lauri Markkanen: (7,000)
Markkanen’s showing vs The Nets on Wednesday was very strange (19.5 DK points), but he still logged 33 minutes. Also, in the two previous games, Markkanen had topped 40 DK points in each contest. I am expecting a bounce back performance tonight vs The Magic.
PF/C: Larry Nance: (6,700)
Nance has been awesome as a starter in these past two (49.9 DK PPG) and he still warrants GPP consideration, even if the matchup isn’t ideal. (0.89 opponent +/-)
PF: Pascal Siakam: (6,300)
If either Leonard or Ibaka are out, Siakam will receive a huge boost. He scored 38.75 DK points in 35 minutes vs The Pacers on Wednesday, without Lowry, Ibaka, and Big Val. Plus, in the eight that Leonard has missed, Siakam is scoring 31.5 DK PPG. Assuming one of Leonard or Ibaka are out, Siakam is a nice mid-tier target vs this awful Cavs’ defense, but if both ultimately sat, Siakam would see all his rates sky rocket, and be one of the better values of the slate.
PG: Emmanuel Mudiay: (6,200)
Who knows if it will continue, but Mudiay has played over 30 minutes in five consecutive games. He has been great with the extra playing time (38.6 DK PPG) and now, he faces The Hawks, who are the 4th worst defense, and fast team in The NBA. (1.24 opponent +/-)
SF/PF: Kevin Knox: (6,000)
Knox is averaging 32.8 DK PPG in his last six and this spot vs The Hawks is obviously great. (1.98 opponent +/-) He should crack 30 DK points in this high scoring game. (232.5 O/U game total, which is the second highest of the night)
PG/SG: Alec Burks: (4,300)
Burks has scored at least 25 DK points in three of his last four. Plus, as a bench player, Burks would still play during garbage time, if The Raptors do end up killing The Cavs.
PF/C: Robert Williams: (3,800)
After Baynes went down on Wednesday, Williams had a career night, blocking five shots vs The Suns. (31 DK points in 24 minutes) Gershon Yabusele (ankle) is expected to be back, giving The Celtics some much needed depth, but Williams should still see 20+ minutes off the bench, which is plenty of time for this very strong fantasy producer. (1.15 DK PPM)
PG: Shaq Harrison: (3,200)
In The Bulls’ last outing, Harrison logged 26 minutes off the bench (21 DK points), in a competitive game vs The Nets. We don’t know if this will continue, but with Zach LaVine (ankle) still out and Cameron Payne (questionable, calf) possibly joining him, Harrison seems like a decent punt play vs The Magic. (1.04 opponent +/-)
*Please note some of these stats are from FantasyLabs.com