Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Jerry Vanderwoude

FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Picks - Tuesday, 12/17/19

Welcome back lovers of games of skill! Tuesday night in the NBA brings us a six-game slate full of excitement and intrigue! We've got value plays, studs, and the will he or won't he drama of Anthony Davis all packed into one evening of hoops action! So why are we wasting time up here in the intro? Let's jump into the picks!!

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Point Guard

Spencer DinwiddieSpencer Dinwiddie FD - $8300 DK - $7500
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 41.31 DK - 42.45
We'll get things started with a little bit of "Din-sanity!" Spencer Dinwiddie and the Nets hit the Big Easy high off of a statement win against the Sixers at home on Sunday. Dinwiddie led the charge for Brooklyn with a game-high 24 points in just 29 minutes of play. It was his fourth-straight contest with that total. The Pelicans have been straight-up terrible defending against the point this season, allowing more fantasy points than any other team to the position. Of the four games that I have opening lines on as of this writing, this game promises to be the marquee matchup with a projected total of 230.5 and a mere 1.5 point differential. I'm expecting a big night for Dinwiddie and love him as a cash option.

Trae YoungTrae Young FD - $10000 DK - $9900
Opponent - NY
Proj Pts FD - 46.8 DK - 49.66
Last night, the theme at the point was to get in and get out on the cheap, not so tonight. Our NBA projection system loves the big money plays tonight and it's not hard to see why. Trae Young has exploded on the scene in his sophomore season, filling out the stat sheet night in and night out. In 36 minutes against the Lakers, he dropped 30 points, the third time in six games he has hit that total. Mix in six rebounds and seven dimes and we have the makings of a solid evening of fantasy production. The turnovers can be a problem, but that's not something to be overly concerned with against the Knicks. This is another game with a 1.5 point differential in the spread so anticipate a healthy helping of Young on the floor tonight in MSG and be sure to get yourself plenty of exposure.

If you're looking for something a little cheaper at the position, our system is leaning towards Elfrid Payton and Rajon Rondo in the middle tier.

Shooting Guard

Jrue HolidayJrue Holiday FD - $8300 DK - $7700
Opponent - BKN
Proj Pts FD - 41.19 DK - 41.28
Jrue Holiday picked up 40 minutes against the Magic on Sunday, it was the fourth time in his last nine games seeing that much run on the boards and in all but one of those games he's gone for at least 34. Sunday saw Holiday drop 29 points while dishing out 8 assists on his way to a 5.75X points per dollar (PPD) performance. It's been an ugly season to this point for the Pelicans, but Holiday delivers on a consistent basis and that should certainly be the case once again tonight in a game with a combined 105.7 pace factor against a league-average defense versus opposing SGs. I love Jrue in cash tonight and might slip him into a tournament line or two as well.

RJ BarrettRJ Barrett FD - $6300 DK - $4500
Opponent - ATL
Proj Pts FD - 29.38 DK - 29.88
From time to time as I'm writing one of these pieces, the system presents me with a "How am I supposed to justify that guy?!" type of play. This is that guy. RJ Barrett is just, not appealing in any way. The man gets minutes though. And minutes mean opportunity. Opportunity leads to the 22 points and ten boards he posted against the Warriors last week. It also leads to the 7/3/1 line he posted against the Nuggets on Sunday, so it goes both ways. Barrett has seen at least 31 minutes in four of his last five games and reached 46 in the aforementioned Warriors game. This is in no way a play I will consider on FanDuel for $6K but on DraftKings, that $4500 is something to consider. If nothing else, you have to like Barret's prospects in GPP's but even cash isn't too far fetched on the DK tag.

Buddy HieldBuddy Hield FD - $7700 DK - $7200
Opponent - CHA
Proj Pts FD - 37.27 DK - 39.6
Strongly consider Buddy Hield at the two tonight. Hield has paid at or above 5X PPD in four of his last five contests, and is seeing a steady run of 33-39 minutes per game. This game doesn't hold a ton of fantasy appeal with a 207.5 projected total between two of the NBA's slowest paced teams, but Hield has a solid floor and is definitely worthy of your cash game consideration.

Small Forward

LeBron JamesLeBron James FD - $11000 DK - $10900
Opponent - IND
Proj Pts FD - 55.32 DK - 58.67
At this point what can I tell you about LeBron James that you don't already know? This writeup isn't really about James anyway. It's more about Anthony Davis. James is a solid option tonight regardless, but if Anthony Davis sits, then James becomes a must play and as of this writing, AD is questionable after tweaking his Ankle Sunday night in Atlanta. I suppose the good news is the game is in Indiana and is one of the first to tip-off, so we will know for sure by the time lineups lock if Davis is a go or not. If not, then lock James and build around him. If Davis plays, then still strongly consider the King in a solid matchup.

De'Andre HunterDe'Andre Hunter FD - $5200 DK - $4500
Opponent - NY
Proj Pts FD - 24.54 DK - 25.27
Like his teammate RJ Barrett, this is another "better on Draftkings" play. Unlike Barrett, I'm not opposed to De'Andre Hunter on FanDuel either. Hunter struggled in the loss to the Lakers on Sunday, but two night's earlier against the Pacers, Hunter scored 21 points, four boards, and two assists in 36 minutes, paying over 6X PPD for the second time in his last five games. For the time being it seems Hunter is going to stay locked into a steady run of minutes, and in case you need reminding: minutes=opportunity.

Kelly Oubre Jr.Kelly Oubre Jr. FD - $6700 DK - $6700
Opponent - LAC
Proj Pts FD - 35.63 DK - 35.14
Devin Booker missed his second straight contest last night with a forearm injury, and right now I have no updates as to his status for tonight. If he sits again, consider Kelly Oubre Jr. Oubre has been putting on some impressive performances recently. Even before Booker's injury, Junior was averaging 36 minutes, 16 points and eight rebounds per game in recent weeks. Now with Booker out, Oubre picks up nearly 3% in usage. This play loses some appeal with the return of Booker, but if he remains sidelined, definitely think about some Oubre exposure against the Clippers.

On the other side of the Phoenix/L.A. Clippers contest, it's worth mentioning that Paul George sees an increase of over 10% in usage with Patrick Beverley and Lou Williams sidelined, and both are currently listed as questionable.

Power Forward

Domantas SabonisDomantas Sabonis FD - $8000 DK - $8000
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 39.27 DK - 41.41
Domantas Sabonis has been blowing up the stat sheet on a nightly basis this season. He has double-doubled in twelve straight contests, ranks among the top rebounders in the game, and is eating up the clock with at least 31 minutes in 12 of his last 13 games. The Lakers don't play the fastest pace in the NBA, but they will force Indiana to speed things up a bit. Vegas is slow to release an opening line, likely due to AD's questionable status, but I'd anticipate plenty of opportunity for Sabonis here regardless.

Jarrett AllenJarrett Allen FD - $6500 DK - $6400
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 33.72 DK - 34.23
The Nets completely dominated the Sixers for the full 48 on Sunday night. Jarrett Allen, however, struggled. He scored just eight points, and his eight rebounds marked his lowest total in nearly a month. All in just 21 minutes of run time. I think we'll see the minutes tick back up tonight against the Pelicans. This promises to be the fastest-paced game of the slate, creating plenty of opportunity for Allen to get back on track. New Orleans is an average defense against opposing fours, allowing an average of 23 points and 12 rebounds per game to the position. Don't let that one game scare you off. On the season, Allen has been a solid play at these prices and our system loves him to bounce back in a big way tonight.

Will Anthony Davis play? Maybe yes, maybe no. If he does, he's a solid pick tonight against the Pacers.


Bismack BiyomboBismack Biyombo FD - $5400 DK - $4800
Opponent - SAC
Proj Pts FD - 27.4 DK - 26.94
Cody ZellerCody Zeller FD - $5700 DK - $5400
Opponent - SAC
Proj Pts FD - 28.86 DK - 29.33
Cody Zeller slipped into the starting five alongside Bismack Biyombo on Sunday while P.J. Washington was sidelined with a finger injury. Washington had surgery today, and will likely remain on the shelf throughout the holidays, so, for the time being, we have two very strong options to consider at the five coming from Charlotte. In their first game starting together, Biyombo and Zeller saw 27 and 29 minutes respectively with each posting a double-double. For Zeller, it was his best performance in well over a month since being relegated to a bench role, and a performance he is priced well below making him a tremendous value if he can replicate it tonight against the Kings. Biyombo was equally as impressive snagging 17 rebounds, a season-high in that department. Since that's where his bread is buttered, Biyombo can be relegated to a cash game option, but as long as Zeller remains in the starting rotation, at these prices he has upside for days and is an excellent option in both cash and GPP. I mentioned earlier, this isn't a game I will overexpose myself to, but in a rather ugly position, these two certainly lead the pack, and if I have to play this game, this is where I'll do it.

After the two Hornets, there just isn't much being offered up at the five to get excited about. Gobert and Harrell are both overpriced, though the latter may be considered on DraftKings. There's nobody else I'm even willing to touch.





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