What’s up guys. Alex here, and these are my DraftKings NBA Picks for December 27th. For Thursday night, we get a decent slate, with five 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.
PG/SG: James Harden: (11,300)
Boston is one of the best defense in The NBA (3rd in efficiency), especially against guards (0.33 opponent +/-), but Harden is still the top overall play with Chris Paul (hamstring) still out. If we discredit the 12 minutes Paul played last Thursday vs The Heat, Harden is scoring 66.2 DK PPG in these past three. Overall, in all the minutes Harden has played without Paul and Carmelo Anthony this season, The Beard is scoring 1.75 DK PPM.
He should score at least 55 DK points, even in this tough matchup, when you also factor in that he is playing on his home floor. (6.2 more DK PPG this season) There is definitely some logic to fading him in GPPs (26-30% projected ownership via Fantasy Labs and this game has the lowest O/U game total of the night, at 216 points), but for 50/50s, Harden’s extremely high floor feels like a necessity.
PG/SG: Brandon Ingram: (5,800)
For the first time in over a year, LeBron James (groin) will miss an NBA game. On top of James ‘ hefty 31.7% usage rate being gone, The Lakers will also be without Rajon Rondo (finger), and Michael Beasley. (personal) When all three of these players have been off the floor this year, Ingram has received the biggest increase. He is scoring 1.19 DK PPM in this situation, which is a 0.5 DK PPM jump from his season average, mostly due to his assist percentage rising a large 21%.
Ingram will become one of the team’s primary playmakers and he is in a great spot to flourish with a larger role, vs The Kings, who are currently the 7th worst rated defense, and second fastest team in the league. (1.12 opponent +/-) In 35+ minutes (SAC -4), Ingram should easily achieve five times value, with 40-50 DK point upside, in this slate high O/U game total. (231.5 points) At only $5,800, Ingram is one of the best values available, and one of the many Lakers’ I will be targeting.
PG: Lonzo Ball: (5,500)
Without Rondo and James, Ball is going to be asked to do a ton for The Lakers tonight. Without these two, plus Beasley, Ball has seen notable bumps to both his usage (+3.4%) and assist percentage. (+8.8%) He is scoring 1.01 DK PPM in this scenario and should have to play 35-40 minutes vs The Kings, who are a plus matchup for PGs. (1.79 opponent +/-)
Even with James active, Ball is producing 38.9 DK PPG in the last six he has logged at least 35 minutes. He should have no issues scoring 30+ DK points and is another Lakers’ value that needs to be utilized.
SF/PF: Neman Bjelica: (4,800)
Even with The Clippers running away with it and most of The Kings’ starters not playing in the 4th quarter, Bjelica still provided value last night, with 34.75 DK points in 25.13 minutes. As I talked about yesterday, with Marvin Bagley (knee) sidelined, The Kings will need high minutes from Bjelica, when the game stays close. Tonight, The Kings are only favored by four points, so Bjelica should have to log at least 30 minutes in this tilt between two of the fastest teams in the league.
In that amount of action, he should score 25+ DK points, with him supplying 40.8 DK PPG in the last six he has seen over 30 minutes. I recommend having as much exposure as possible to this California matchup and I think Bjelica is one the best values to attack from The Kings’ side.
PG/SG: Steph Curry: (8,900)
This is a really nice price tag for Curry coming off a loss. The last three times The Warriors lost, Curry scored 48 DK PPG the next game. He was scoring 49.2 DK PPG in the three before Christmas Day and is averaging 50.8 DK PPG in his last 17 matchups vs The Blazers.
PG: Kyrie Irving: (8,400)
In his last seven games, Irving has scored an awesome 1.4 DK PPM. His usage has been at 31.2% during this span and The Rockets are a much better matchup with Paul out. Irving has also been excellent when facing a team with a record above .500 this season. (44.6 DK PPG) With most people going all the way up to Harden, Irving may come with a decently low ownership in GPPs. (13-16% projected ownership via Fantasy Labs)
PG: De’Aaron Fox: (8,000)
Fox has been outstanding in his last four (46.5 DK PPG) and this matchup vs The Lakers will be much softer sans James. Furthermore, he is at home (1.4 more DK PPM this season), and this game should be very high scoring.
SF/PF: Kyle Kuzma: (7,800)
In this current Lakers’ situation, Kuzma sees the largest usage increase on the team. (+9.0%) He scores 1.22 DK PPM and should also have to play 35+, in this strong spot vs The Kings. Kuzma should approach 40 DK points, with Sacramento allowing the 9th most made 3PG.
C: Willie Cauley-Stein: (6,600)
Prior to last night’s blowout loss to The Clippers, WCS was scoring 41.3 DK PPG in his prior three. He should play 30+ and The Lakers are a plus spot for opposing centers. (2.63 opponent +/-)
PF/C: Draymond Green: (6,100)
Green only played 25 minutes on Christmas Day (21.75 DK points), due to foul trouble, but in the previous two, he was averaging 39.5 DK PPG. Green should get back on track and out produce this really cheap price tag, in this solid spot vs The Blazers. (1.08 opponent +/-)
C: Ivica Zubac: (5,400)
Zubac is the best center value of this slate. JaVale McGee (illness) is unlikely to play again tonight and in these last three, as the starter for McGee, Zubac is scoring 37.2 DK PPG. He has topped 30 minutes in each contest and he should record a double double of 30+ DK points vs this Kings’ team, that is allowing the second most RPG. (2.77 opponent +/-)
SF/PF: P.J. Tucker: (4,500)
With some very high minutes (at least 34 in seven straight), Tucker has been a solid fantasy player recently. (27.9 DK PPG in L6) With Paul still hurt, the high playing time will continue, and Tucker should top 20 DK points.
SG/SF: Lance Stephenson: (4,300)
Stephenson should see a 25+ minute role off the bench with The Lakers shorthanded. He is scoring 1.05 DK PPM and is producing 31.1 DK PPG in the last seven he has cracked 20 minutes.
SG/SF: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope: (3,800)
KCP should also see a larger role with the second unit. He is a weaker fantasy player than Stephenson (0.92 DK PPM), but still has a shot at five times value in this fast paced game.
*Please note some of these stats are from FantasyLabs.com