Basketball Lineups Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Joel Bartilotta

FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Picks - Sunday, 12/18/22

This should be an interesting Sunday slate. We have seven games in total, and that's the perfect amount for DFS. I always love when we have between 6-8 games because it leaves us with plenty of players to talk about without oversaturating the field. There's still plenty to discuss, though, so let's go ahead and get into it!

Head on over for your chance to get DFSR PRO, which will give you access to our NBA FanDuel and DraftKings optimizer, our MLB Optimizer, and NHL Projections as well. Plus, our new player lab! Get started for free by clicking the button below.

First time with NBA or NFL? Read our free NBA and NFL Ebooks on building lineups, general strategy, and more. We've got you completely covered.

Point Guard

Fred VanVleetFred VanVleet FD - $9400 DK - $8300
Opponent - GS
Proj Pts FD - 44.79 DK - 45.72

VanVleet got off to a rough start this season, but he's been crushing it recently. The All-Star has scored at least 35 DraftKings points in five straight fixtures, posting a 49-point average in that span. His last two games have been even more absurd, scoring 56 and 67 DraftKings points in both of those. That makes him a heck of a value at just $8,300, but it's no surprise since he's being asked to do more in the absence of OG Anunoby. It was just a matter of time before this dude started rolling, and we expect it to continue against Golden State. The Warriors rank 26th in total defense, with FVV dropping 66.3 DK points in their most recent matchup.

LaMelo BallLaMelo Ball FD - $8000 DK - $8500
Opponent - DEN
Proj Pts FD - 43.83 DK - 46.47

Ball just made his return from an injury a week ago, and it's strange these DFS sites kept him in this $8K price range. This guy can be a $10K player, and it's just a matter of time before he gets there. The former Top-3 pick has at least 33 DK points in all five games he's played, posting a 39-point average in that span. We expect that to be his floor for most of the season, averaging 43 DK points per game last year. Denver used to be a challenging matchup, but the Nuggets rank 28th in defensive efficiency. LaMelo averaged 45 fantasy points per game in their two matchups last season, which is all you need for Ball to be an excellent value!

Jaylen Nowell (FD $5300 DK $4900) could see a massive role with Karl-Anthony Towns, D'Angelo Russell, and Rudy Gobert all nicked up.

Shooting Guard

Anthony EdwardsAnthony Edwards FD - $8800 DK - $9000
Opponent - CHI
Proj Pts FD - 44.13 DK - 44.98

The Timberwolves have been struggling with injuries, but it's allowed Edwards to showcase his elite ability. The former top pick is flirting with a 35 percent usage rate in this expanded role, seeing more minutes, shot attempts, and ball-handling duties with D'Angelo Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns nicked up. That's led to ANT averaging 45 DraftKings points per game across 37 minutes a night over his last 15 games. You can't ask for any more from a $9K player, and this kid is only scratching the surface of what he could become. We also don't mind the matchup, with Chicago posting a 22nd OPRK against opposing wings.

Klay ThompsonKlay Thompson FD - $7300 DK - $6800
Opponent - TOR
Proj Pts FD - 33 DK - 35.02

Thompson is one of the greatest shooters of all time, and he's starting to return to that player. What's really added to his value is the usage, and that should keep rising with Andrew Wiggins and Stephen Curry both out of the lineup. That's awesome since Thompson is averaging 18 shots and 33 minutes across his last 20 games played. That role should be his floor going forward with Wig and Curry both out, which is impressive since his shot is starting to fall too. Klay has scored at least 29 DK points in 13 of his last 17 games, averaging 33 DraftKings points per game in that stretch. Look for them to lean on him more as long as Chef Curry remains out.

Zach LaVine (FD $7200 DK $7000) has seen a massive price drop over recent weeks and remains a good value around $7K.

Small Forward

LeBron JamesLeBron James FD - $11000 DK - $10000
Opponent - WAS
Proj Pts FD - 53.74 DK - 55.28

It will be tough to fade LeBron with Anthony Davis already being ruled out. With AD off the floor this season, LeBron has a 34 percent usage rate while averaging over 1.5 DK points per minute. That's an elite rate, equating to 55-60 DK points if he plays the 35-40 minutes we've become accustomed to. James has one of the best floors around, scoring at least 37 fantasy points in every game this season. Reaching 50 fantasy points should be a breeze against Washington, with King James averaging 67 DK points per game in their two meetings last season. Just use LeBron and then build your lineup from there!

Deni AvdijaDeni Avdija FD - $5800 DK - $5600
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 27.68 DK - 27.38

I've really become enamored with Avdija, and I truly believe this kid could be a great role player in the near future. He's already showing flashes of that, scoring at least 30 DraftKings points in five of his last six games. What's made him so valuable is his role, playing over 35 minutes a night in that span. That's far fr0m surprising with how beat up this roster is right now, and it's clear Washington wants to figure out what this Top-10 pick brings to the table. Facing this lackluster Lakers defense is the icing on the cake, with LA ranked seventh in pace and 24th in points allowed.

Kyle Anderson (FD $5500 DK $5800) has been starting since KAT went down and remains a good value below $6K.

Power Forward

Aaron GordonAaron Gordon FD - $6500 DK - $6400
Opponent - CHA
Proj Pts FD - 32.04 DK - 32.11

The Nuggets have been one of the best teams in the NBA, and a bounceback season from Gordon is one of the primary reasons why. The versatile forward has scored at least 27 DK points in 11 of his last 12 games, with the one outlier being shortened due to injury. He's also generating a 35-point average in that span, which is incredible since he has such a small usage. Charlotte is a sensational matchup, too, with the Hornets ranked 23rd in defensive efficiency and 28th in points allowed. AG showed that in their most recent matchup, registering 41 DraftKings points in another sparkling performance.

P.J. WashingtonP.J. Washington FD - $5700 DK - $5500
Opponent - DEN
Proj Pts FD - 0 DK - 0

Washington missed Charlotte's most recent game, but expectations are that he'll be ready to go here. The big man has been a nice GPP play all season, scoring at least 28 DraftKings points in 16 of 28 games. That's the sort of total you're looking for from a sub-$6K player, and it looks even better since he has a 60-point ceiling. The absence of Miles Bridges is the thing that's really allowed him to thrive, guaranteeing him a 30-minute role. That makes him a great sell against this disastrous Denver defense, owning the third-worst defensive rating in the NBA.

Thaddeus Young (FD $5000 DK $3400) is way too cheap on DK. He's playing 20 minutes with OG Anunoby out and can be a great value at just $3,400.


Nikola JokicNikola Jokic FD - $12200 DK - $12000
Opponent - CHA
Proj Pts FD - 60.4 DK - 62.67

Fading Jokic would be a huge mistake. This has been the best cash game player for three years now, scoring at least 39 DraftKings points in all but seven games since 2020. That's truly ridiculous, especially since he's averaging over 60 DraftKings points per game in that span. The two-time reigning MVP got off to a slow start this year, but he's been unstoppable recently. The Joker has scored at least 58 DK points in five of his last six games and has 81 or more in two of his last three. Only a handful of players will drop 80 DK points at any point this season, and that sort of ceiling game seems more likely since Charlotte is surrendering the most fantasy points to opposing centers.

Naz ReidNaz Reid FD - $6000 DK - $4600
Opponent - CHI
Proj Pts FD - 36.29 DK - 35.81

This might be an unpopular opinion, but I genuinely believe Reid can be a stud in this league if he gets a full-time role. That seems like an impossibility with Rudy Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns swallowing up all of the center minutes, but with those two nicked up, Reid is finally getting the role we've been waiting for. In a start for those guys over the weekend, Naz dropped 52 DraftKings points in one of the best games of his career. This is simply an elite per-minute producer, and he could be a $7K player in a 30-minute role. Chicago is not a scary matchup either, surrendering the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing centers.

Jalen Duren (FD $5800 DK $4800) has season-highs in back-to-back games and has started in five straight. This rookie will only get better as the season progresses.





Our free NBA and MLB eBooks, and picks to your inbox every day!

Your eBooks are on their way!