What’s up everybody. Alex here, and these are my DraftKings NBA Picks for December 22nd. Saturday night is a solid slate, with six games to attack. 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.
PG/SG: James Harden: (11,600)
After Chris Paul went down with another hamstring injury on Thursday (logged 12 minutes), Harden, as he always does, took over, and dropped 67.5 DK points on The Heat. CP3 has already been ruled out for tonight and in the five previous contests without the PG this season, Harden has lead this offense with an absurd 41% usage rate, and is supplying 63.5 DK PPG. He is scoring 1.8 DK PPM in all the time he has played without Paul and Carmelo Anthony in 2018.
Plus, Harden and The Rockets will be at home (5.4 more DK PPG), in a decent matchup, with the #20 ranked Spurs’ defense. This tilt has a small spread of only 5.5 points and in roughly 40 minutes of action, Harden should flirt with a triple double, and produce at least 60 DK points, with a ceiling above 80. Plain and simple, you want to start your lineups with The Beard on Saturday.
PF: Pascal Siakam: (6,000)
Tonight, The Raptors will officially be without Kawhi Leonard (rest), Serge Ibaka (knee), and Jonas Valancuinas. (thumb), but Kyle Lowry (thigh), and Danny Green (groin) are also expected to sit, even though they are listed as questionable. This front-court is extremely shorthanded and last night, with both Ibaka and Valancuinas sitting, Siakam drew the start at center vs The Cavs, and tallied a 15/10 double double in the win. (38 DK points)
He will most likley move back to the four spot, in this matchup vs Joel Embiid and The Sixers, but regardless of where he starts, Siakam will be the Raptors’ front-court player that logs the most minutes. In 35-40 minutes of work, Siakam should easily surpass five times value in this positive matchup (PHI is a 1.58 opponent +/-), with him scoring 1.3 DK PPM this season, when Leonard, Ibaka, and Valancuinas are all off the court. At only $6,000, Siakam is an elite value play, that needs to be used in all formats.
PG/SG: Delon Wright: (4,000)
Wright is also a great target with The Raptors beat up. On Friday night, Wright drew the start at SG for the injured Green, and scored a solid 21.5 DK points in 32.6 minutes vs The Cavs. Leonard was active for this game, so Wright’s rates didn’t jump that much, but tonight, he should see an increase in both his usage and assist percentage. With all five of these Raptors off the floor, Wright is scoring 0.9 DK PPM, and he should be forced into a 35-40 minute role vs The Sixers.
Philadelphia isn’t a good matchup for opposing guards (0.9 opponent +/-), but there really isn’t any matchup that would stop me from rostering Wright at this cheap of a price. He is averaging 30.25 DK PPG in the last three he logged 30+ and we should see a similar performance from Wright on Saturday night.
SF/PF: Trevor Ariza: (5,300)
Ariza has been everything and more in these first two games with The Wizards. (41 DK PPG) He is playing very high minutes (37.13 MPG) and will continue to do so with Otto Porter Jr. (knee) still on the shelf. Ariza got to play his former team The Rockets on Wednesday (33.5 DK points) and tonight, he gets to face the club that just traded him, The Suns.
With Phoenix and Washington both ranking in the bottom five in defensive efficiency this season, Vegas is expecting this contest to be a back and fourth shootout. (227 O/U game total, highest of Saturday night) Ariza’s price went up $800, but he still sits at a very affordable $5,300. He should return six to seven times value in this high scoring environment and this might be the last time we see Ariza priced under $6,000.
PG: John Wall: (8,900)
Wall’s usage has stayed high with Ariza in town (30.4%) and he will be back at home, which has meant everything for him as a fantasy player this season. (11.6 more DK PPG in Washington) To no surprise, this 27th ranked Suns’ defense is a strong spot for opposing PGs (1.44 opponent +/-), and Wall is scoring 44 DK PPG when facing an opponent +/- of 1.0 point or more at home this season. (nine games) He should approach 50 DK points and is one of the better high end spends of the night.
PG/SG: Devin Booker: (8,800)
Booker has looked great since returning three games ago (50 DK PPG) and he should maintain this average, going against this fast Wizards’ team. (1.78 opponent +/- and 2.9 possession increase) When Booker has seen a pace increase this year, he is scoring 42.2 DK PPG.
SG: Bradley Beal: (8,300)
Beal is clearly underpriced for his recent production (48 DK PPG in his last four) and he should have no issues cracking 40 DK points again, vs this bad Suns’ defense.
SG/SF: Luka Doncic: (8,100)
If The Mavs can avoid getting blown out by The Warriors (GSW -11), Doncic should smash value at this current price. He has topped 50 DK points in back to back outings and is averaging 45 DK PPG in his last five.
SG/SF: Josh Richardson: (7,000)
On Thursday night, with Goran Dragic (knee) and Justice Winslow (ankle) both out, Richardson put up 41.5 DK points vs The Rockets. Dragic has already been ruled out for tonight and Winslow should also be missing. (listed as questionable, but didn’t practice yesterday) When both of these players have been off the court this season, Richardson has seen a 3.1% usage increase. Even in this tough matchup vs The Bucks (0.54 opponent +/-), J Rich should still exceed five times value.
SF/PF: T.J. Warren: (6,700)
Warren has been very consistent (36.8 DK PPG in his last five) and this is a an awesome matchup vs The Wizards. (1.53 opponent +/-)
PG/SG: Fred VanVleet: (5,900)
VanVleet was big for The Raptors last night (38.75 DK points) in their win over The Cavs and his role should be even larger tonight, with Leonard also out. His price tag is very close to being correct, but I still think VanVleet will be able to manage over five times value, with an increased role.
PG/SG: J.J. Barea: (4,700)
Barea scored 33.75 DK points off the bench on Thursday night, with Dennis Smith Jr. (wrist) out. DSJ is listed as a doubtful and Barea should top 25 DK points in this high total, vs The Warriors. (226.5 O/U game total)
SG/SF: Kelly Oubre: (4,600)
In his first game with The Suns, Oubre was great, scoring 28.5 DK points across 26.1 minutes in a big win over The Celtics. Now, he gets to face his old teammates of The Wizards. Oubre is definitely the type of player that would like to make a statement vs his former team and he should score 25+ DK points in this high scoring affair.
C: Greg Monroe: (4,300)
If Monroe starts at center, he will be one of the better values at the position. He is a bad defender, but they will need at least 20 minutes from him, to matchup with Embiid. Monroe scores 1.08 DK PPM and this spot rates well for centers. (1.26 opponent +/-) If confirmed the starter, Moose should score at least 20 DK points.
SF/PF: OG Anunoby: (3,500)
Anunoby has been solid (21.6 DK PPG in his last four) and he should have to play 25+ minutes tonight for this depleted Raptors’ team. He is scoring 20.3 DK PPG in the three games he played over 25 minutes this season and Anunoby should be able to crack 20 DK points with some extended run.
*Please note some of these stats are from FantasyLabs.com