FanDuel NBA DFS Picks – December 20th

Last night’s daily fantasy basketball picks never got off the ground, as J.J. Redick exited with an injury and T.J. McConnell was a total turd. Frank Mason was actually fantastic with George Hill out, but there were some weak links in the overall lineup that ultimately couldn’t be overcome.

Your lineups were probably shaken up at the last second, too, as Joel Embiid was randomly ruled out before tip off. That personally got me off of Jae Crowder, but Amir Johnson was an easy swap-out option for you if you wanted to go that route.

From a small three-game NBA DFS slate, we go to an insane 12-game schedule on Big NBA Wednesday. It’s primed to be a crazy slate based on sheer volume, but there are a lot of injuries to consider, as well as several elite options. I’m rolling out an uber GPP unit for this slate, so aim high with me, if you dare:

PG: Russell Westbrook – Oklahoma City Thunder ($11.4k)

I don’t seem to ever be on the right side of Westbrook, but I’ll try him again after he went nuts (66 fantasy points) in his most recent outing. He has run very hot and cold this year, but he still posts fantastic peripherals and has elite scoring upside.

A date with Utah isn’t always the time to fire up Russ at an expensive price tag, but the Jazz haven’t stopped him this year and they’ll be without star defensive ace, Rudy Gobert. With a better matchup than usual and this game going down in OKC (where Russ averages +5 fantasy points), I love Westbrook’s upside. With so many options tonight and a scary matchup in theory, there’s mild hope he’ll go lower owned than usual, too.

If you’re not into paying up for Russ, Chris Paul is over $1k cheaper and looks like a fine try against the Lakers.

PG: Jeff Teague – Minnesota Timberwolves ($6.4k)

I’m rarely enamored with Teague, but he’s a solid value at his current price and has nice dime/steal potential on any given night. He’ll also be in a solid spot against the Nuggets, who don’t defend well up front (26th against point guards).

Teague admittedly runs hot and cold, but he’s safer than some cheaper dives and has actually been fairly steady (30 fantasy points per game) on the year. He’s a guy I avoid usually, but tonight the matchup and value make him a fun play that should go overlooked on such a huge slate.

If you don’t want Teague, you could save money by dropping down to Yogi Ferrell. He’s been getting loads of run and Dennis Smith Jr. could be out again tonight.

SG: Lou Williams – Los Angeles Clippers ($7.7k)

I am certainly into James Harden and Victor Oladipo tonight, but I’m not sure I can stomach their prices when Sweet Lou is so much cheaper. Williams (probable) is slated to return to action tonight and barring a minutes restriction, he’s going to have a killer role at home against the Suns.

All of that sounds even better when you note Phoenix is terrible defensively (27th against point guards, 30th against shooting guards). Needless to say, if you can expect Williams to take on his usual hefty workload, he should be in for a big night.

SG: Justin Holiday – Chicago Bulls ($5.1k)

I like Holiday as a value shooting guard tonight. He finally got going again in his last game, as he scored 20 actual points and logged 37 minutes. That gave him two straight games with 37+ minutes, so it appears his mild funk is behind him.

Tonight Holiday will be at home against the Magic, who don’t defend well and specifically rank 28th against shooting guards. The rise of Nikola Mirotic could take some shots away from Holiday, but it actually helps Chicago’s offense and should pull the defense off of Holiday more. He’s a risk, but this is a GPP lineup and I like his upside based off this cheap price tag.

There isn’t much tantalizing value at SG tonight. It’s possible Luke Kennard ($3.6k) could be worth a look at a deep flier if he starts in place of Avery Bradley (out).

SF: Kevin Durant – Golden State Warriors ($11.9k)

KD feels like a must on this slate, as Stephen Curry remains sidelined and it’s possible Draymond Green will also not suit up. His matchup against the Grizzlies isn’t great, in theory, but he’s had little trouble producing against Memphis (29 points, 13 rebounds in only meeting this year) and has such a massive role right now.

I can understand wanting to save money with Jimmy Butler or even Paul George, but Butler has a tough matchup on paper and PG-13 has been really tough to trust lately. I think I’ll just eat the money tonight, especially since there is enough value to allow it.

SF: Mario Hezonja – Orlando Magic ($4.8k)

Jonathon Simmons ($6.6k) is the top Orlando option with Aaron Gordon already ruled out and Evan Fournier also possibly missing tonight’s contest. The only problem there is Hezonja is way cheaper and also happens to be benefiting from an expanded starting role.

Mario has flat out wrecked (42+ fantasy points) in 2 of his last 3 contests and tonight he’ll be facing a weak Bulls defense that ranks 19th against small forwards and 24th against shooting guards. No matter where he lines up, I think he’s got the matchup and role to dominate at this price.

If you’re looking for even more savings, consider Detroit’s Stanley Johnson ($3.8k), who could also benefit with Bradley out for the Pistons.

PF: Jordan Bell – Golden State Warriors ($4.4k)

Draymond Green has been hurt for a while now and is again iffy to suit up tonight. You’ll certainly want to catch official word on his status if possible before lineups lock, but if he’s out, Bell will start and be a great chalk play across all formats.

Bell is seeing around 25 minutes per game and gets his hands in a number of starts, so the upside and value are ripe for the taking.

Power forward is just not the postion to spend salary cap cash on, even if Dray plays. Guys like Nikola Mirotic, Zach Randolph and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson arguably have inflated prices.

The only pricey PF I’d really have interest in is LaMarcus Aldridge. A revenge game in Portland with Kawhi Leonard sidelined could be a lot of fun.

PF: Jamil Wilson – Los Angeles Clippers ($3.7k)

I’m down for pairing Bell with another cheap PF option, as power forward just isn’t enticing tonight. Wilson is a viable punt option, as he’s ultra cheap, starting and getting 22-27 minutes right now. He also has a dream matchup against the Suns, who rank dead last against power forwards this year.

There is risk here, but L.A. doesn’t have a ton of competent bigs with Blake Griffin sidelined. Wilson has been filling that role admirably lately and it’s helped him top 22+ fantasy points in 2 of his last 4 games. I think there’s a chance he pushes for 30 in this matchup tonight.

C: Ekpe Udoh – Utah Jazz ($4.4k)

Let’s just keep paying down so I can afford the studs I covet. I can do that with Utah center Udoh, as Rudy Gobert (knee) is out for a while and Derrick Favors is also questionable. If Favors returns Udoh is off the table, but if he’s again the main man for the Jazz, I think you need to take the dive.

He isn’t exactly reliable, but the run (27+ minutes in 3 straight contests) is there and he’s displayed some upside (48.9 fantasy points versus Cleveland). I love the value and upside here, but you’ll need to make sure there is a clear path to the role he’s been seeing.

If Favors is back and Udoh isn’t an option, you can consider altering things to pay up at center. Clint Capela went nuts (55 fantasy points) in his last outing and feels like one of the better values on the board ($7.9k) as he takes on a Lakers defense that ranks just 27th against centers.

Nikola Vucevic ($10k) and Andre Drummond ($9.7k) are probably my two favorite options up top at center. Vucevic has been insane and should continue to be worth your money with Aaron Gordon sidelined. Drums just has an awesome matchup against a weak Mavs interior defense.

KAT is also in consideration, but I like the opposite of that matchup (Nikola Jokic at $8.7k) if there is any word of his minutes cap being lifted.

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