FanDuel NBA Picks – December 12th

A Kyrie Irving injury opened the door for Boston value picks last night, but none of them really worked with the Celtics getting housed by 33 in Chicago. That was tough to see, but guys like Terry Rozier, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart were still solid plays.

They ultimately helped my team cash, but I had to make changes since Irving was initially part of my FanDuel NBA DFS picks and that led me to pairing studs like Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins. They didn’t really end up being must-own options, as neither topped 52 fantasy points.

It’s not like they failed, however, while value plays like Rajon Rondo and Josh Richardson both worked out. Jrue Holiday was amazing, too, while Steven Adams and C.J. McCollum were both decent enough if you had to use them.

It wasn’t an amazing night, but I switched to Boogie and KD due to the scratches of both Irving and The Brow and it helped me cash. Hopefully you were able to do the same and I actually stopped in before lineups locked to give some updates.

Last night served up a reminder, though. With Draymond Green and Danilo Gallinari also both being random late scratches, it seems NBA reporting is regressing and it’s dangerous to roll with anyone who is on the injury report these days.

Some guys won’t even be listed with an ailment and will still be taken out of the lineup. Dante Cunningham was literally penned as Anthony Davis’ replacement in the starting lineup last night, just 10 minutes before the game, yet was ultimately ruled out.

That’s insane. Just be sure to be careful about which guys you commit to and try to stay on top of team and player news as much as you can ahead of lineup lock.

Either way, tonight is upon us and it’s another fun slate with a solid 7 games on tap. Let’s see what kind of lineup my favorite studs and value picks get me tonight at FanDuel:

PG: De’Aaron Fox – Sacramento Kings ($4.7k)

This is a tentative FanDuel daily fantasy fantasy basketball lineup just because there is a ton of injury news that needs to be sorted out. Regardless, John Wall is too expensive to trust even if he does return tonight, as he’ll probably be on some type of a minutes limit against the Nets.

I am certainly looking at guys like Jeff Teague and J.J. Barea due to that, but I see no reason not to take a dive to help my roster out elsewhere. Fox can crater badly, but anytime you can get a talented guy against the Suns, it’s worth a shot in GPPs. The run is shaky and he’s not always on top of his game, but it’s worth noting the only time Fox went up against Phoenix, he poured in 39 fantasy points.

The Suns are one of the worst team defenses in all of basketball and specifically rank 29th against point guards. I like other options more in terms of safety, but Fox has a lot of upside at a low price tonight.

PG: Lonzo Ball – Los Angeles Lakers ($7.3k)

Dennis Schroder is also on the table tonight, but I’m not so sure I trust Atlanta’s second trip to Cleveland to stay close. Vegas agrees, as the Cavs are 10-point favorites at Bovada and this game will likely be a blowout.

That has me turning to Ball, who is impossible to trust but randomly turns in a gem when people least expect it. I actually can see it coming today, as everyone gets a bump when they play at the Madison Square Garden. I am never on the right side of this kid, but he has triple-double upside and his matchup looks great (Knicks rank 27th vs. PGs) on paper.

SG: Bradley Beal – Washington Wizards ($8.6k)

John Wall could be back tonight, but I’m not letting that scare me off of Beal. Beal is either going to face less pressure with his stud teammate coming back or he’ll retain a massive offensive workload if Wall stays sidelined. Either way, Beal leads a terrible shooting guard crop and has more upside than anyone else at his position.

Beal feels like a must on this slate, as he could easily match the top stud (LeBron James) and is an astonishing $4k cheaper. I’ll tell you right now that I don’t feel obligated to pay up for King James tonight, but I do think Beal might be necessary to take down a GPP.

The Nets actually guard the SG spot (10th) fairly well, but I can’t put much stock in those numbers when Brooklyn sports the league’s 20th best defense and runs as fast as anyone. Beal is going to get his points in this one and you’re probably going to need him to win big tonight.

Will Barton ($7.8k) is a fine pivot off of Beal, but due to the terrible selection at SG, I’m not so sure he’s going to be much more contrarian. At just $800 more, I absolutely prefer Beal.

SG: Buddy Hield – Sacramento Kings ($5.5k)

Shooting guard is a wasteland, but I oddly enough don’t see many viable punts. I don’t mind going cheap with guys like Buddy Hield or J.J. Redick, though, as they have been playing well and have solid matchups by the numbers.

Redick is probably slightly more stable usually, but Hield has topped 17+ actual points in four straight games and gets the Suns. Phoenix ranks dead last against shooting guards this year so I’ll play the matchup card and hope Hield can stay hot. I’m not expecting the world, but if he can get me 30+ fantasy points it’ll be a big win.

SF: Wilson Chandler – Denver Nuggets ($4.4k)

The Nuggets remain banged up and will again be without both Nikola Jokic and Paul Millsap tonight. That should continue to hand a lot of opportunities to Wilson Chandler, who finally got his run up to where you’ll want it (37 minutes) in his last outing. That also equated to sound offensive production and a strong 33-point fantasy outing.

Chandler is very appealing on this slate, as there aren’t many must-have SF options beyond LeBron James and he’s dirt cheap. There is always going to be the late-scratch risk with Chandler, but he seems to be healthy and could benefit from a killer matchup (Pistons rank 28th against small forwards).

SF: Josh Jackson – Phoenix Suns ($4.7k)

I don’t really trust Josh Jackson, as he’s a raw rookie playing on a bad team. However, with Devin Booker (groin) still out, he should continue to start and log around 27-30 minutes. Maybe his run even increases tonight, as he has a chance to fare well against a shaky Kings defense.

Sacramento has been better of late, but this is still the league’s 29th best defense. The Kings also rank just 22nd against small forwards, so there’s a chance Jackson can get hot in this one.

PF: Taj Gibson – Minnesota Timberwolves ($5.3k)

I first had eyes for Ben Simmons, but Minnesota ranks 10th against power forwards and I’m wondering if he’ll draw Jimmy Butler’s defense. It certainly makes some sense, but either way, I’m souring on Simmons a bit tonight.

I also like LaMarcus Aldridge, but the potential return of Kawhi Leonard could create a dent in his overall value. I think at one PF spot I’ll just drop down to Taj Gibson, who gets steady run and is actually a double-double threat every time he steps onto the court.

His court time makes him a viable play every day this year and it can’t hurt that Philly ranks just 20th against power forwards. Philly runs with a lot of size, so I’m sure he stays out there for 35+ minutes. Anything close to a double-double would help him smash this reasonable price tag.

PF: Kristaps Porzingis – New York Knicks ($9.7k)

I want one stud PF tonight and my favorite is Zinger. Taps finally blew up again in his last outing and tonight has a great matchup at home against a Lakers defense that doesn’t stop big men (26th vs. PF). Zinger is pretty much matchup proof, regardless, while I always like to try him at home (+6 fantasy point differential).

This is another guy that I can’t seem to get right this year, but Zinger had been dealing with some health issues. He is looking better and with Tim Hardaway Jr. still sidelined, he could be in for a monster workload. This is a solid game as a whole to target, too, as Vegas projects a decent 213 Total and only favors New York by three points.

C: Karl-Anthony Towns ($9.7k)

I really like Kevin Love tonight, but he was a late scratch in his last game and remains questionable to play tonight. I’m not sure I can back him, but at $8k he’s probably my favorite center, dollar for dollar.

If Love isn’t in, I don’t mind paying up for KAT. He can be a monster at times and faces a Philly defense that oddly ranks just 24th against centers. A healthy Joel Embiid would probably change that, but Towns played plenty fine against Embiid last year and that wouldn’t scare me away.

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