FanDuel NBA DFS Picks – December 18th

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<p>Last night’s NBA DFS picks were far from perfect thanks to a bunch of blowouts, but I did rack up some stellar plays. Targeting that Suns/Knicks game was one smart move, as Devin Booker, Emmanuel Mudiay, T.J. Warren and Enes Kanter were all fantastic.</p>
<p>They might have been even better had Phoenix not housed New York, too. On the other side, THJ was a late scratch and Noah Vonleh was a bust due to foul trouble. If you pivoted up to Kevin Knox, though, you would have been pleased.</p>
<p>It wasn’t perfect, but my daily fantasy basketball picks could have nudged you in a winning direction last night. Let’s slow things down for Tuesday’s four-game slate and see what my favorite team looks like at FanDuel tonight:</p>
<p><strong>PG: Lonzo Ball – Los Angeles Lakers ($6.8k)</strong></p>
<p>I love this game in Brooklyn tonight. I am taking L.A. in my <a href=Lakers vs. Nets pick, but I still anticipate a pretty close game and a good amount of points. Three of four games have tight spreads and solid Totals tonight and this is probably the best one on the board, overall.

Ball is a big reason why, as he can get his hands in all kinds of stats and won’t face much defensive resistance. Brooklyn also is just a middle of the road perimeter defense (14th), so hopefully Ball can actually knock down some long balls.

You can safely use Lonzo even if you’re fearful he won’t score, as he’s got a solid floor and showed two games ago (59 fantasy points!) what his upside looks like.

Spencer Dinwiddie and Trae Young are viable pivots, but I prefer Ball tonight. Dinwiddie could draw Lonzo’s underrated defense, while Young is just a roller coaster option I’d rather not deal with.

PG: Jamal Murray – Denver Nuggets ($8.1k)

You can certainly pay all the way up for John Wall tonight, and I don’t hate Dinwiddie or Young, but I like a late-game hammer and Murray has a good matchup.

He’s a value compared to Wall and he feels a little safer than the other options after Ball. Murray has proven to be a much more reliable scorer (+4 points per game) when he’s at home and this is not a tough matchup for him.

SG: Luka Doncic – Dallas Mavericks ($7.6k)

I’ll take another late-game hammer in Doncic, who has been feeling it as a scorer lately with 24+ points in two of his last three games. Denver on the road is not an easy matchup, but he can score in bunches and also gets his hands on peripherals.

D’Angelo Russell has the revenge narrative, Brad Beal gets the Hawks and Victor Oladipo has the best matchup on the board. All of those guys are viable, but I love Doncic as a closer tonight.

SG: Torrey Craig – Denver Nuggets ($4.2k)

Craig isn’t as alluring as some of the other shooting guard options and teammate Monte Morris is the far superior offensive player. However, he’s getting a lot of run for two reasons; Denver is severely banged up and he defends well.

This is a cheap price for a guy who has been getting rock solid run and has the ability to do a little bit of everything. He’s a mild gamble, but you need to take risks in GPPs and I’d like to spend my money in other ways tonight.

SF: LeBron James – Los Angeles Lakers ($11.5k)

King James is the main way I’ll be spending my cash. I don’t like the price and he burned me in his last outing with a weak 23.7-point display, but he’s in a smash spot against the Nets.

The Nets don’t defend all that well and L.A. will look to push the pace as they hope to rebound from an embarrassing loss to the Wizards. The Lakers should win tonight and James is likely to be a huge reason why.

I know you’ll want Wall and Nikola Jokic in your lineups, but fading King James on this slate could prove costly.

SF: DeMarre Carroll – Brooklyn Nets ($4.4k)

The other reason to start your NBA DFS lineup building process with James is the fact that he’s the only viable small forward option you can use at FanDuel. Trevor Ariza is inexplicably not in the player pool, so you’re left with Harrison Barnes as the next best play.

That simply will not do, but luckily there are a couple punt options. Joe Harris ($4.9k) is one of them, but I prefer Carroll under the assumption he’ll be tasked with trying to slow down James. He did notch 31 minutes in his last game and can fill up the stat line, so he’s a viable value play at SF tonight.

Lance Stephenson ($4.3k) has also been seeing 20+ minutes a game lately and isn’t the worst GPP dart.

PF: Domantas Sabonis – Indiana Pacers ($6.7k)

Power forward has some guys to consider up top, but I don’t feel great about paying a premium for John Collins or Kyle Kuzma. I honestly have half the mind to completely punt the PF position. More on that in a bit.

For now, I will pay for Sabonis, who isn’t priced too egregiously for his explosive upside off the bench. I hate his run, but the Pacers are projected to crush the Cavs (as they should) and that could mean big minutes for Sabonis.

He can smash even in limited action, though, so I have no qualms with rostering him whether the game stays close or not.

You can consider dropping down further to RHJ or Rodions Kurucs if you’d like. Allen Crabbe is iffy for tonight and if he’s out, Kurucs looks like a fine value play at $4.4k. I just don’t know if I want to load up on Nets, as they don’t tend to see crazy minutes.

PF: Ante Zizic – Cleveland Cavaliers ($3.5k)

I also am warming up to the idea of Dirk Nowitzki as a punt play, as PF just doesn’t look attractive to me tonight. Zizic feels like the better option, though, as he started last game and could do the same again tonight with Tristan Thompson on the shelf.

Even if Zizic comes off the bench, a possible blowout still keeps him in play. Worst case, his score will be dropped thanks to FanDuel’s new NBA product.

You could dive deep and pair Zizic with Dirk and hope Nowitzki gets more than eight minutes tonight. It’s a bold move, but you’d really just be banking on one of them paying off and you’d get a ton of extra salary to work with.

C: DeAndre Jordan – Dallas Mavericks ($7k)

I’d much rather roster Nikola Jokic tonight, but he’s very expensive and DJ isn’t a cakewalk matchup. Jordan is coming off of a monster 23-rebound night, too, so you know he doesn’t need to get a bunch of buckets to pay off against the Nuggets.

This isn’t the best matchup out there, but DJ is a really good price and can pay off rather easily thanks to his ability to clean the glass and block shots.

Jokic is worth paying up for, but I don’t see him as a priority tonight. I’d instead focus on James and then Wall.

Want to save even more? Thomas Bryant ($4.6k) should be cheaper, but he’s looking at nice run against Atlanta’s string of bigs. It’s not the worst matchup and he certainly would save you some extra cash.

Summary

Overall, I’m largely targeting the Lakers vs. Nets and Nuggets vs. Mavs games. The Hawks/Wizards game has sneaky blowout potential and I don’t really want to pay for Cavs/Pacers in what absolutely should be a housing.

Specifically on FanDuel, King James figures to be the top priority. You could always fade James and pay up at both PF spots if you want to be really contrarian, but that might be getting too cute tonight.

Whether you use my NBA DFS lineup as it stands or just mix my daily fantasy basketball picks in with your own, I wish you luck tonight. Enjoy the games!

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