DFS NBA Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings – Saturday 12/18/21
Before we start, know that this slate is already quite strange. We have a few teams that play their games to the fullest and are sitting superstars. Other teams have players in protocols (or both) and will work with different formations. I covered the two biggest situations to watch out for in their own section.
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Jrue Holidays FD – $ 9,300 DK – $ 8,200
Opponent – KEY
Project points FD – 47.41 DK – 50.37
The Bucks will still do without Giannis Antetokounmpo in this game which should, once again, provide a great opportunity for Holiday. The Bucks lost in overtime on Friday without Chris Middleton’s Giannis and it remains to be seen whether they decide to limit Jrue here as he ran 44 minutes in all. Fantastically speaking, he was all you wanted, dropping 40 points while adding five rebounds and assists each. The price has moved on both sites, but not enough, especially on DraftKings. If he starts tonight, even though Middleton is back, I think you’ve got a pretty easy game here.
Donovan mitchell FD – $ 8,300 DK – $ 9,300
Opponent – HAS BEEN
Proj points FD – 44.01 DK – 47.73
It looks like Utah will be without Mike Conley in this game and in the past this has resulted in an increase in the use of Donovan Mitchell. With Conley off the field this season, Mitchell has a 35% use rate and the assist rate is also increasing by around 6%. I think we’re going to have plenty of ways to save on this slate and there aren’t a ton of high end gains on either site. With that in mind, we’re probably forced to play with guys on the upper floors and round up the pay to the bottom of the ladder. This is the case of Mitchell here who is well placed.
The next two positions are shorter because I’m going to be addressing a ton of guys at the same time who are qualifying at SG and SF with the Nets and Warriors.
Franz Wagner FD – $ 6,000 DK – $ 6,700
Opponent – BKN
Project points FD – 35.74 DK – 37.81
Wagner played a lot on Friday night because the Magic really needed his minutes. This could still be the case here against Brooklyn who are playing without any of their main players. The Magic have brought in a few difficulty exemptions so the squad aren’t thin as paper, but they’re still not very good at all. Wagner was a popular option on Friday and tends to turn chalk again. He made 23 shots, a record for the team, 10 more than the player closest to the team. That kind of increase in usage should be in place for the talented rookie again. The price of DraftKings is getting a little steep, but it’s still a good option. On FanDuel, it is close to a lock.
Jayson tatum FD – $ 9,700 DK – $ 9,800
Opponent – New York
Project points FD – 46.2 DK – 49.91
On a list like this, at some point, we’ll just have to spend enough money to keep the salary up there. This is the case with Tatum here which presents itself as a good option. But in terms of the raw point game, that’s where we are at with this slate. He’s been solid this season, scoring 27 points per game and adding nine rebounds. Solid numbers considering the minutes have been higher, although his three-point shot doesn’t quite live up to his career numbers. He’ll face a Knicks team who are actually below par on defense this season, although they are also playing on the slower side. The thing to watch out for here is that Tatum is coming back to back and playing a lot on Friday night.
Brooklyn Nets and Golden State Warriors
I’ve never really done this before but I’m just adding a whole section here to talk about situations in these teams. Both teams have opted to basically sit all the players who get the important minutes and they go with a small team for each. This will open up opportunities for a group of guys who don’t normally understand.
For the Nets, we will wait for their starting XI but David Duke Jr. (FD 5400 DK 4600), Kessler edwards (FD 5900 DK 4800), Cam Thomas (FD 5400 DK 4700), Nicolas claxton (FD 5900 DK 4400) and maybe others are all laying. We’re going to have to wait and see who the starters are, but chances are you have at least one or two of these dudes in what is always a good game. They’re going to need a lot of minutes.
Meanwhile, the same goes for the Warriors playing without Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Andrew Wiggins, and more. Their starting XI is also a mystery, but we could save a lot of minutes Gary Payton II (FD 4200 DK 3300), Nemanja Bjelica (FD 4000 DK 3400), Damion lee (FD 3900 DK 3600) and Juan Toscano-Anderson (FD 3700 DK 3200). There are others in the mix as well. Let’s wait for each team’s starting lineup, but there will certainly be value here.
Front / center power
Chuma okeke FD – $ 4,200 DK – $ 3,800
Opponent – BKN
Project points FD – 33.49 DK – 35.14
Robin lopez FD – $ 3,800 DK – $ 3,300
Opponent – BKN
Project points FD – 30.1 DK – 32.21
As we said, this game will have a lot of saves and Okeke will probably be heavily owned on both sites. It was pretty much a chalk game for the shorthanded Magic on Friday night and it should be so again. He also played a big role against the Heat, playing 39 minutes and finishing with 18 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and six steals. Defensive stats are definitely an outlier, but the rest of the production really isn’t minutes based. With the Magic playing this game again without Mo Bamba, and possibly without Wendell Carter Jr., it stands to reason Okeke is playing almost 40 minutes again.
And then there’s Robin Lopez who should be in the starting XI again with the Magic’s front yard in shambles. He got the green light on Friday and played 33 minutes in total. He finished with 18 points and seven rebounds. The price really hasn’t budged at all and it again looks like a great clearance game against a Brooklyn Nets team that basically only plays rookies. It’s an easy place for Lopez to stack if the Magic wants to run him some important minutes.
Jarrett allen FD – $ 8,200 DK – $ 8,700
Opponent – MIL
Proj points FD – 44.08 DK – 45.98
Allen only played 18 minutes in the last game because the team didn’t need a lot of him. He had a little foul problem and then the blowout came against the Rockets. I don’t think it will be the same here and we should see it hit the minutes again in the mid-30s. The Bucks bring a lineup that will likely include DeMarcus Cousins ââin the Five and then after that they’re very thin on the front ground. Allen is in a good position to rebound here and has doubled in 10 of his previous 12 games. With the salaries as they are, I think it’s another one of those top games we’ve been talking about.
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