Welcome back NBA heads. Alex here, and these are my DraftKings NBA Picks for December 29th.For Saturday night, we get a value filled eight game slate. 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: (11,200)
Even after four strong road games in a row (63.13 DK PPG), Davis showed us last night how much higher his ceiling is at home. In 42.6 minutes of action, The Brow exploded for 84.25 DK points in the win over The Mavs. He is now averaging 64.4 DK PPG in New Orleans this season, which is 6.5 more DK PPG than when he is on the road. Furthermore, he is scoring 75.6 DK PPG in his last three home games, compared to the 65.1 DK PPG he has produced in his last three away from The Smoothie King Center. Tonight, per usual, he will be competing in the highest O/U game total of the night (227 points), at home, vs The Rockets.
This game should stay close (HOU -3) and in The Pelicans first meeting with Houston this season, AD went off for 77 DK points. In the five previous Pelicans’ home games that have come with a spread under five and an O/U game total of at least 225 points, Davis has been a monster. (69.8 DK PPG) Finally, when the second game of a back to back set has been at home, Davis has had no issues being effective this season. (61.6 DK PPG) Barring an injury, Davis should score a minimum of 60 DK points in this matchup vs The Rockets, with a ceiling similar to last night. With the home court factor in his favor, I slightly prefer AD over James Harden (below), but given the plethora of value out there tonight, I think squeezing both studs in the same lineup is a very viable strategy.
PG/SG: Tomas Satoranksy: (3,300)
John Wall (heel) is “unlikely” to play again tonight, which will keep Satornasky as The Wizards’ starting PG. Last night, with Wall out, Satoranksy drew the start vs The Bulls, and scored 24 DK points in 38.43 minutes. This was the second game that Wall and Otto Porter (out, knee) have missed this season, and Satornaksy is now averaging 29 DK PPG across those two starts.
In 35+ minutes of work, Satoranksy should return seven to eight times value in this positive home matchup (5.3 more DK PPG in Washington this season) vs The Hornets. (1.3 opponent +/-) Satornansky and Dante Exum (below) are your free squares of Saturday night.
PG/SG: Dante Exum: (3,500)
Exum has been a big spark off the bench in his last two (27.25 DK PPG) and tonight, he should start in place of the injured Rubio. On top of Rubio, Crowder, and Allen all sitting, I think the one factor people may forget about is that Alec Burks (traded to CLE) is also gone from this team. He always played a bigger role when Rubio got hurt and with him also out of the mix, Exum should see all of his rates hit season highs.
When all four of these players have been off the court this season, Exum has generated 0.96 DK PPM, which is a 0.3 DK PPM increase from his average production for the year. In 30+ minutes, Exum should smash value vs this 29th ranked Knicks’ defense, and is an elite punt play for both cash games and GPPs.
SG: Bradley Beal: (7,900)
Beal is also a primary target with Wall and Porter sidelined. In the loss to The Bulls on Friday, Beal was outstanding scoring 54.75 DK points in 37.5 minutes. He posted a team high 38.8% usage rate, which is the highest his usage has seen in a game this year. Now, for those two full games, sans Wall and Porter, Beal is scoring a tremendous 63 DK PPG.
Markieff Morris (back) has also been ruled out and in all the time Beal has played without Morris, Wall, Porter, Dwight Howard (out, glute, back), Austin Rivers (traded), and Kelly Oubre (traded), he is producing 1.48 DK PPM, which is a 0.5 DK PPM jump from his average for 2018. Beal is an easy play that should score 45+ DK points vs The Hornets. (1.42 opponent +/-)
PG/SG: James Harden: (11,400)
The Beard is playing at an MVP level with Chris Paul (hamstring) hurt. (64.6 DK PPG) He has been less productive on the road this season (-6.1 DK PPG), but he should still exceed five times value, playing way up in pace. (The Pelicans are a 6.4 possession increase and a 1.04 opponent +/-) In the four games Harden has seen a possession increase of 6.0 or more this season, he has been outstanding. (74 DK PPG)
SF/PF: Kevin Durant: (9,700)
Attacking this $8,000-$10,000 range is naturally going to make your lineup contrarian for GPPs. Durant has been awesome in his last four (58.3 DK PPG) and tonight, he faces The Blazers (1.38 opponent +/-), who he just scored 63.5 DK points against this past Thursday.
PG/SG: Devin Booker: (8,400)
Since returning from the hamstring injury, Booker has been unstoppable. (52.96 DK PPG in L7) The Nuggets are one of the best defenses in the league (0.02 opponent +/-), but I still think Booker has a ceiling worth targeting in GPPs.
C: Rudy Gobert: (8,200)
Gobert has been a force in his last two (49.6 DK PPG) and this is a prime spot vs The Knicks. (2.4 opponent +/-) Plus, with Ricky Rubio (back), Jae Crowder (thumb), and Grayson Allen (ankle) all out, Gobert’s usage should be higher than usual.
PF/C: Draymond Green: (6,700)
Green is slowly getting back into form (36.13 DK PPG in L4), but remains too cheap for the caliber of player he is. He just scored 43.75 DK points vs The Blazers on Thursday and should supply 35+ DK points against this same club tonight.
PG/SG: Lou Williams: (6,600)
Williams is a great target for GPPs. With everyone on Bradley Beal, nobody is going to look at Williams. (5-8% projected ownership via Fantasy Labs) He has topped 40 DK points in four of these first five since coming back from the hamstring injury and The Spurs have struggled all season with pure scoring guards.
SG/SF: Eric Gordon: (5,800)
Gordon is averaging 33.1 DK PPG in these last four without Paul and he has done very well when going against The Pelicans, who are his former team. (4.58 DK +/-)
SF/PF: Trevor Ariza: (5,400)
Ariza was a letdown last night (19.75 DK points), but he still played 39.35 minutes. With Morris, Porter, Howard, and Wall all out, he should see close to 40 minutes again. In the last seven he has gone over 35 minutes, Ariza is scoring 34.32 DK PPG.
PG: Monte Morris: (4,600)
Morris continues to be huge off the bench for The Nuggets (28.5 DK PPG in L4) and he could see a nice boost if Malik Beasley (questionable, ankle) is forced to miss this game vs The Suns. (1.63 opponent +/- and 27th in defensive efficiency)
PF/C: Luke Kornet: (4,200)
On Thursday night, HC David Fizdale elected to start Kornet at center, over Enes Kanter, vs The Bucks. The productive Kornet (1.05 DK PPM) didn’t disappoint with the extra playing time, scoring 39.25 DK points in 34 minutes. He saw a solid 22.4% usage rate and knocked down 7/11 shots from beyond the arc. The impressive three point shooting isn’t going to last, but Kornet should still bring value as the starting center again tonight, vs The Jazz. Even with them improving as a defensive unit (6th in efficiency), The Jazz still present a solid spot for opposing centers. (1.73 opponent +/-) They are very strong at defending the three ball (4th least opponent made 3PPG), and I would temper your expectations after Thursday, but Kornet should still grind out at least five times value. In the six contests he has cracked 20 minutes this season, Kornet is averaging 28.8 DK PPG.
SF/PF: Jeff Green: (3,900)
With Wall, Porter, and Morris out on Friday, Green scored 25.25 DK points in 32.6 minutes vs The Bulls. He will be in the same role tonight, making him one of the point per dollar values of this slate. In the last six Green has logged 30+ minutes, he is averaging 29.8 DK PPG.
PF/C: Thomas Bryant: (3,900)
With Morris out last night, Bryant was The Wizards main big vs The Bulls. He played 29.4 minutes and scored 33 DK points in the loss. He will have to play 25+ minutes again and in the three games he has gone over 25 in 2018, Bryant is averaging 38.3 DK PPG. All in all, I wouldn’t be shy about how many Wizards you use tonight. They will only go about nine deep and all of their top five players are excellent values.
*Please note some of these stats are from FantasyLabs.com