What’s up everybody. Alex here, and I am back with my DraftKings NBA picks for December 26th, 2017. Tonight we get a full slate with eight 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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PG/SG: Tyreke Evans: (8,600) Given the lack of appealing high end options to pay up for tonight, I think Evans, even at this season high price tag, still needs to be considered with The Grizzlies remaining very beat up. Over his last two games, he is averaging 54.25 DK points, while posting a team high 29.5% usage rate and team high 35.6% assist percentage. Starting PG Mike Conley (Achilles) will remain out, but The Grizzlies will also be without PF Jamychal Green (knee) and SF Chandler Parsons (rest). The rates should stay very high and Evans should log 35-40 minutes in this gorgeous spot vs The Suns, who play at the third fastest pace in The NBA (8.2 possession increase for The Grizzlies), and are a current opponent +/- of 4.31 points.
He just dropped 43.75 DK points on them last week and in the two instances that Evans has seen a pace increase of eight or more possessions this season, he is exceeding expectations by 2.81 DK points. It’s hard to guarantee he will meet five times value at this higher salary, but the upside is just too high to ignore for Evans. He is coming off a massive 64.75 DK point game on Saturday night and he should produce 40+ DK points in this fast paced matchup.
PF/C: Bismack Biyombo: (3,800) Biyombo should start tonight and will be The Magic’s starting center for the foreseeable future, with center Nikola Vucevic out for the next 6-8 weeks with a broken left hand. After Vucevic exited their last game, Biyombo played the most minutes at center, logging 24 minutes off the bench, and I am sure he would have played more if this game didn’t become an eventual 27 blowout loss to The Wizards. He only scored 13.75 DK points in these 24 minutes, but in the seven full games he played in without Vuc last season, he averaged 26.2 DK points and 34.5 minutes. I expect 30+ minutes from him as the starter tonight, especially when you factor in that center Hassan Whiteside is expected to return for The Heat. With Vucevic out, Biyombo really is the only body left on this Magic roster that can physically matchup with Whiteside.
It’s hard to rate this matchup with Whiteside back in the fold (2.35 current opponent +/-), but either way, Biymobo is in play based on minutes alone, with him scoring 0.8 DK points per minute this year. Also, The Magic will be without SG Terrence Ross (knee), and should be without at least one more body, with SF Evan Fournier (ankle), PF Jonathan Isaac (ankle), and PF Aaron Gordon (calf) all listed as questionable. Biyombo’s usage is never going to be high, the main thing here would be if Gordon was out, opening more minutes for him to log in this frontcourt. Gordon has missed the previous four games and if he were out, Biymobo would have to play close to 35 minutes. Per 36 minutes of action, Biymobo is scoring 27 DK points with Gordon and Vucevic both off the floor this season. Biymobo is a solid play at only $3,800 no matter what with Vucevic out, that would become and even better play if this Magic frontcourt became even thinner if Gordon or Isaac sit.
PG/SG: Andrew Harrison (4,100) In the Grizzlies last game, Harrison came out and scored 29 DK points across 32 minutes in the win over The Clippers. The Grizzlies will mix in other guards like Mario Chalmers, Dillon Brooks, and now Kobi Simmons behind Harrison and Evans, but Harrison’s seems rather safe as a starter, with him logging over 30 minutes in these last two games. Now, with Parsons sitting out tonight, along with Green, The Grizzlies should use a tighter rotation of players that will likely keep Harrison at 30+ minutes tonight vs The Suns.
As I talked about it above with Evans, this is a nice spot to attack for The Grizzlies vs this fast Suns team (3rd in pace) that has been a mess defensively all season. (4.96 opponent +/-) In all the time he has seen without Parsons, Green, and Conley this year, Harrison receives a 3.2% usage increase, and is scoring 30.21 DK points per 36 minutes of action. He should have no issues scoring 20+ DK points tonight and I think he is viable option in all formats that is especially friendly with his PG/SG edibility.
SG/SF: Wayne Ellington: (3,900) The Heat have PG Goran Dragic back and center Hassan Whiteside will warm up with the intent to play, but they will still be without SF Justice Winslow (knee), PF James Johnson (ankle), and SG Dion Waiters (ankle). He will most likely still come off the bench with Tyler Johnson starting in place of Waiters, but with these three key players out, Ellington should still see 30+ minutes off the bench. Waiters has basically missed these past two games (played nine minutes vs DAL) and Ellington has seen 39 and 35 minutes off the bench.
He is averaging 27.75 DK points in these two games and with roughly 30 minutes again tonight, Ellington should be able to score 20-25 DK points in this plus matchup vs The Magic, who are also a team that is dealing with many injuries. They have a higher 4.46 opponent +/- and have allowed the 7th most three pointers made in the league in their last three games. I’m sure he will be popular in both cash games and GPPs (17-20% projected ownership via Fantasy Labs), but he is the strongest value at an ugly SF position for this eight game slate.
Also Consider: Aaron Gordon (if he plays), Elfrid Payton (better If Gordon and Fournier are out again. 61.25 DK points without them last game), Mario Hezonja (if Fournier and Gordon are out. 30.5 DK points in 35 minutes last game), Jonathon Simmons, Tyler Johnson, Kobi Simmons (17 DK points in 25 minutes last game, should see similar time with Parsons out), James Ennis/Jarell Martin (whoever starts for Parsons would be a viable play), Derrick Favors, Pau Gasol (has been great in his last two and has played 30+ now both games. The matchup with BKN is awesome), Wilson Chandler (31 DK points over his last four games), Austin Rivers (51.3 DK points in his last two games usage has been at a very high 35.1%), George Hill (minutes have been higher without Fox), Zach Randolph (nice matchup vs The Clippers, 4.91 opponent +/-), and Trey Lyles (25+ DK points in his last two games off the bench).