What’s up everyone. Alex here, and I am back with my DraftKings NBA sleeper picks for December 20th, 2016. Tonight we get a full slate with 11 games on tap. Be sure to follow all the injury news up until the 7:00 PM EST lock tonight, 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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PF/C: Marreese Speights: (4,200) With Blake Griffin out tonight (knee), Speights should see a few extra minutes off the bench vs The Nuggets. He only averages 15 minutes a game this season, but tonight he should play around 20 minutes with The All Star big man out. Just ten days ago Griffin was rested vs The Pelicans and Speights went off in only 25 minutes, scoring 17 points (season high), 12 rebounds (season high), and four assists. (40.5 DK points) This is an unrealistic expectation with some with some of this great performance coming in garbage time, but roughly 20 DK points is a fair expectation with Speights averaging a great 1.19 DK points per minute this season.
Speights will never play heavy minutes, but he has always been an elite fantasy point per minute producer his whole career. This isn’t the greatest matchup vs The Nuggets who rank 13th vs centers this season. But I am not worried about this team’s second unit defense at all, especially with Nikola Jokic recently moving to the starting five the past three games. Chris Paul and Deandre Jordan benefit the most from this situation and are core plays for me tonight, but I also think Speights is a great value who will come with a significantly lower ownership.
PF/C: Montrezal Harrell: (3,300) Nene is expected to draw the start tonight with starting center Clint Capela out (leg), but I think Harrell is the better option even though he will still come off the bench. Harrell is the more efficient fantasy player averaging 0.96 DK points per minute vs Nene’s 0.87 DK points per minute this season. Nene is an older player and he rarely ever sees over 20 minutes which really hurts his upside. I think Nene should play 15-20 minutes with Harrell soaking up the other 20-25 minutes with Capela out.
He only averages 13 minutes a game this season, but in the last three games that he has played over 20 minutes, he is averaging a solid 23.3 DK points. I think he is a pretty safe bet to play 20 or more minutes tonight vs The Spurs who tend to always have a natural center on the floor. The Spurs are a strong defense, but they can be vulnerable inside allowing the 7th most DK points to centers this season. Harrell is usually a risky option because we never what Coach D’Antoni will do with his rotations, but tonight I think he is worth the risk at his almost minimum price tag.
PG: D’Angelo Russell: (5,300) After missing Saturday night’s game vs The Cavs with a “sore knee’” Russell surprisingly is not expected to have a minutes limit tonight vs The Hornets. The last game he played in was last Friday against The Sixers and in 26 minutes he scored 31.25 DK points. Tonight with no restrictions, he will likely play similar minutes and has serious upside if he plays over 30 minutes after resting for the past few days.
In the last two games, Russell has topped 30 minutes he has had great fantasy nights, scoring 46.5 DK points vs The Hawks in 31 minutes, and 56 DK points vs The Nets also in 31 minutes. Tonight the matchup is difficult with The Hornets ranking 6th vs PGs this season, but the upside is clearly there, if the minutes are high. This is a very tricky situation because we don’t really know if Saturday was because he was hurting or if it was a planned rest to get him ready to play higher minutes going forward. At $5,300 he is an excellent GPP play tonight with a great ceiling that he has shown if he plays starter like minutes.
Also Consider: Alexis Ajinca, Guillermo Hernangomez, Austin Rivers, Brandon Jennings (only if Rose is out), Jeremy Lin, Brandon Ingram, Ryan Anderson, Patrick Beverly, Garrett Temple (better if Gay or Cassipi are out, great value if both out), Matt Barnes (better if Gay or Cassipi are out), Channing Frye (nice value with Love out), J.J. Redick, Eric Gordon, Sam Dekker, Rodney Hood, Avery Bradley, Jonas Valanciunas, Cory Joseph, Pau Gasol, Boris Diaw, Kenneth Faried, and Luol Deng.