Basketball Lineups Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Chris Durell

DFS NBA Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - Thursday 12/16

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Point Guard

Patty MillsPatty Mills FD - $6500 DK - $6600
Opponent - PHI
Proj Pts FD - 29.52 DK - 33.15

The price has taken a big jump here which does have to do with the size of the slate but can also be contributed to how well he has been playing for the Nets. Mills is coming off arguably his best game of the season where he attempted a season-high in minutes(43), shots(20), and points(30). The opportunity for a similar performance is definitely in the cards tonight as James Harden and Bruce Brown are once again out of the lineup. The matchup is also pretty decent as the 76ers have fallen to 19th overall in defensive efficiency as they have given up 100+ points in five of their last six games. Fire up Mills in all formats.

Derrick RoseDerrick Rose FD - $6200 DK - $6300
Opponent - HOU
Proj Pts FD - 34.95 DK - 36.58

One of the issues and major decisions we will have to make tonight is at the guard position as half of them are out and the other half seem to be in bad matchups, potential blowouts, or reaching peak pricing on a small slate. Rose only checks one of those boxes as his price has reached a season-high but the good news is that he gets a tremendous matchup as the Rockets are 24th in defensive efficiency and lead the league in pace. Rose has been up and down and is by no means safe at these prices but is coming in hot in the short term with 30+ fantasy points in back-to-back games and has double-digit shot attempts in six straight. He is a multi-category contributor and if this game stays close like I think it will, he should be able to churn out another 30+ point performance putting him in play in all formats.

Shooting Guard

Armoni BrooksArmoni Brooks FD - $4500 DK - $5400
Opponent - NY
Proj Pts FD - 30.87 DK - 33.51
Eric GordonEric Gordon FD - $5700 DK - $5600
Opponent - NY
Proj Pts FD - 22.32 DK - 25.1

I would imagine most people aren't thrilled with Brooks right now as he has laid back-to-back eggs but they look much worse in the boxscore. I say that as he was held back a bit due to injury against Atlanta and was also held back last due to the Rockets getting blown out of the water by the Cavs. Before that, he looked great with the added playing time averaging 17.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and over 32 fantasy points per game.

For Gordon, he sat out the front-end of the back-to-back so should be ready to go tonight and that is great news after the Rockets got blown out last night. Gordon also comes in red-hot shooting nearly 60% from the field on 14 shots per game over his last five while averaging around 32 fantasy points. This game has the highest total on the slate and is expected to stay close which puts both these guards in play in all formats.

David Duke Jr.David Duke Jr. FD - $6100 DK - $4200
Opponent - PHI
Proj Pts FD - 20.86 DK - 22.44

Duke got the start last night and absolutely crushed it with a double-double going for 10 points and 13 rebounds which understandably leads to a price increase. The good news here is that if he starts again, the price on DraftKings is still a little low if he is going to be playing 30+ minutes again for a Nets team that is short-handed at the guard position. We likely saw his ceiling but I would gladly take 20-25 DK points at this price which also helps us pay up for the top plays.

Also Consider: Cade Cunningham(DET) in GPP formats as the price is near its peak but he has still shown upside with 50+ fantasy points in two of his last four games

Small Forward

Kevin DurantKevin Durant FD - $12000 DK - $12300
Opponent - PHI
Proj Pts FD - 56.1 DK - 60.37

Speaking of top plays, there is no way we can not lock in Durant tonight with half the Nets team out on the C-19 list even with the season-high pricing on both sites. He is the leading candidate for the MVP and has been extremely consistent lately averaging over 55 fantasy points per game over his last 10 games and has put up 70+ DK points in back-to-back games without Harden in the lineup. Tonight, he and the Nets face the 76ers who have fallen off defensively(19th in def eff) and rank 29th in fantasy points to forwards. All things considered, Durant is going to be the building block in all formats tonight.

Jae'Sean TateJae'Sean Tate FD - $6300 DK - $6500
Opponent - NY
Proj Pts FD - 31.22 DK - 33.34

It seems every team is short-handed at the moment and the Rockets are no exception with Porter, Wall, and Green out and Wood questionable. This has provided Jae-Sean Tate some added opportunities with double-digit shot attempts in back-to-back games while averaging around 30 fantasy points. Like most players on this slate, the price is inflated but Tate should continue to get some added usage and does contribute in the rebounding department(5.9 per game on season). That is more than enough for me on this small slate.

Power Forward/Center

Domantas SabonisDomantas Sabonis FD - $9200 DK - $10500
Opponent - DET
Proj Pts FD - 43.5 DK - 47.21

If you are finding it tough to jam in Durant at his $12K+ price tag, I have no issue pivoting to a more balanced build and Sabonis would be up first in this scenario. It comes down to the value he has provided averaging 20 points, 13.5 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and over 46 fantasy points per game in his last 10. There is a chance for a blowout here but the matchup may be too good to pass up as the Pistons rank 22nd in defensive efficiency and 28th in rebounding.

Deandre AytonDeandre Ayton FD - $8000 DK - $8800
Opponent - WAS
Proj Pts FD - 39 DK - 41.55

Ayton returned from an illness on Tuesday and proceeded to put up one of his best performances on the season with 28 points, 13 rebounds, and over 48 fantasy points. While I don't expect him to shoot 70% again, this is a good spot as Washington's defense has slipped to 21st in efficiency and they also rank 18th in rebounding which helps Ayton provide a very solid PTS/$. All things considered, he is my favorite center on this slate.






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