COVID has been ravaging the pro sports leagues, so make sure you’re on top of all the latest entries into the health and safety protocols lists, as it will shape your lineups. Tonight we’ve got a nice six game slate, which will give us plenty of opportunities for value. Because the tournaments are bigger on Draftkings, I’ll focus on those prices, so be mindful if you’re using Fanduel, Yahoo, or any other competitor, that varying prices will also change the attractiveness of each play.
Playing NBA DFS can be incredibly rewarding, but it can also make your head spin. It’s our job to make sure you’re winning as much as possible! There are countless variables that can lead to a player’s individual performance, but I’ve found it’s best to focus on just a few that can lead to better predictability.
My favorite factors to track for NBA DFS targets: Matchups (Offensive/Defensive Ratings), Opportunity (expected player minutes, game pace), and Recent Form.
This is the AM VERSION of a living article that will be updated throughout the day, as news comes through the wire.
LET’S GET INTO THE SLATE!!!!
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NBA DFS Targets and Preview for December 20
76ers (15-15) vs. Celtics (15-15)
Offensive Rating: 20th vs. 19th in the league
Defensive Rating: 18th vs. 6th in the league
Net Rating: 19th vs. 11th in the league
Pace: 29th vs. 21st in the league
Predicted Outcome: While these teams may have the same record, the stats will tell you that the 76ers are the better team. What they don’t account for is that Jaylen Brown is back in the Celtics lineup, after having missed most of the season with a hamstring injury. In the NBA, usually star power is strong enough to get you the win. The Celtics have more in Tatum and Brown. The 76ers just have Embiid. I’ll roll with the Celtics.
DFS Targets: The 76ers are facing one of the league’s top defenses and play with a slow pace, so I’ll be avoiding all of their guards and just targeting Embiid ($11600) and Harris at $8700. With Drummond in the protocols, Charles Bassey provides great value at $3500. For the C’s, let’s roll with Tatum and Brown ($10500, $9000), and Robert Williams at $5700. Pritchard is a nice dart throw at $3700.
Rockets (10-20) vs. Bulls (18-10)
Offensive Rating: 27th vs. 15th in the league
Defensive Rating: 29th vs. 7th in the league
Net Rating: 27th vs. 7th in the league
Pace: 2nd vs. 12th in the league
Predicted Outcome: Come on. The Bulls got this. I know the Rockets have been on a nice run, and I’ve been calling for the Rockets to make the playoffs all season, as I think they are severely underperforming with their roster, but the Bulls are a certified playoff team. They should have no problem with the Rockets.
DFS Targets: These two teams love to play with pace, so let’s target the guards in this one, primarily from the Bulls as they are playing the league’s second worse defense. I like DeRozan ALOT in this one. He’ll be in all my lineups at $9300. Ball is an elite play also with LaVine out, at $7300. Caruso will provide great salary relief at $5100. Houston has some nice value plays with Christopher, a starter, at $3900. DJ Augustin is still doing it, and might be worth a dart throw at $3500. I’ll probably avoid the Wood’s and Tate’s in this one.
Thunder (9-19) vs. Grizzlies (19-12)
Offensive Rating: 30th vs. 5th in the league
Defensive Rating: 20th vs. 19th in the league
Net Rating: 30th vs. 9th in the league
Pace: 16th vs. 13th in the league
Predicted Outcome: Much like Bulls/Rockets, this game is pretty much on blowout watch. The Thunder are the worst offense in the league, an din the bottom tercile in defense. The Grizzlies have a top five offense, and while their defense is bad, they don’t have to worry about it against the worst offense in the league. Expect the Grizzlies to handle this one with ease.
DFS Targets: Everyone is in play on Memphis. I particularly like Bane, Brooks, and Anderson ($6100, $6400, and $5200). On the Thunder, I like high usage players that would still play in a blowout. because they’re young (e.g. Josh Giddey at $7200).
Hornets (16-16) vs. Jazz (20-9)
Offensive Rating: 2nd vs. 1st in the league
Defensive Rating: 30th vs. 9th in the league
Net Rating: 18th vs. 2nd in the league
Pace: 3rd vs. 19th in the league
Predicted Outcome: A middling team vs. the 2nd best team in the league relatively picks itself. The Hornets are all offense and no defense, while the Jazz are all everything. Expect Utah to handle this one, but not necessarily with ease as LaMelo Ball is back and has the ability to take over a game.
DFS Targets: Obviously LaMelo Ball, as I believe him to be matchup proof, but I’ll certainly be underweight the field at $9600. The same goes for Bridges at $8000. On the Jazz I like Mitchell, Gobert, Conley, and Clarkson ($9700, $9200, $6000, and $5200). Jazz low-priced players are worth a dart throw against the league’s worst defense, as well.
Kings (13-18) vs. Warriors (24-6)
Offensive Rating: 10th vs 4th in the league
Defensive Rating: 28th vs. 1st in the league
Net Rating: 25th vs. 1st in the league
Pace: 5th vs. 10th in the league
Predicted Outcome: Warriors. Don’t fool around with this one.
DFS Targets: I hesitate to pick anyone from this game as I believe it’s a blowout on paper and in practice. If you disagree, I’d target Steph at $11800 and Halliburton, Barnes, and Hield at $7000, $6000, and $5800, respectively.
Spurs (11-18) vs. Clippers (16-14)
Offensive Rating: 14th vs. 25th in the league
Defensive Rating: 21st vs. 4th in the league
Net Rating: 20th vs. 15th in the league
Pace: 7th vs. 11th in the league
Predicted Outcome: This game favors the Clippers, but I’ll be honest, the Spurs are tough to predict. They have enough talent and a great coach to surprise on any given night. At the end of the day, I’ll trust the numbers and the Spurs’ best bet is their offense and they’re going up against on of the best defenses in the league. This should be an up and down affair, but the Clippers are likely to be more efficient with their possessions. If Paul George doesn’t play, it’s the Spurs’ game.
DFS Targets: PG if he plays, at $10800. Murray scares me against this defense, but he’s been playing as if he’s matchup proof. Reggie Jackson is too cheap at $7600. So is Terance Mann, but he can be inconsistent at $5400. If PG doesn’t play, Derrick White is a must start at $6500.
Don’t forget to check back later in the day as Bradlee will be updating his NBA DFS preview with all the info you need to turn tonight’s slate into a resounding success!
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