NBA DFS Plays for Monday, 12/30: Jimmy Buckets
I wasn’t a big fan of Friday’s slate but we ended up with some solid picks. While Giannis Antetokounmpo was rested as our highlight player, we still got great performances from players like Aaron Holiday, Khris Middleton, Devin Booker, and Brook Lopez. We have a six-game slate ahead of us here, so, let’s go ahead and get into our 12/30 NBA DFS plays of the day!
If you have any comments or questions, reach me on Twitter @Bartilottajoel
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12/30 NBA DFS Point Guards
Damian Lillard, POR vs. PHX
DK ($8,500) FD ($8,900)
Lillard was in a minor slump when Carmelo Anthony joined the team but he’s had enough of that nonsense. That’s evident when you see that Lillard has scored at least 47 DraftKings points in five of his last six games while taking at least 20 shots in six of his last seven fixtures. That’s the Lillard of old and it makes it shocking that his price hasn’t risen at all. That pairs beautifully with this matchup, with the Suns owning a 27th OPRK against opposing point guards this season.
Spencer Dinwiddie, BRK at MIN
DK ($7,700) FD ($8,000)
Ever since Kyrie Irving went down, Dinwiddie has been one of the best guards in the Eastern Conference. What’s really amazing about Dinwiddie is his consistency, scoring at least 33 DraftKings points in all 20 starts he’s made for Irving. That’s led to a 41.3-point average in that stretch which is no surprise when you see that he has a usage rate approaching 30 percent. We love that 33-point floor against a defense like this, with the T’Wolves sitting 26th in points allowed.
12/30 NBA DFS Shooting Guards
Jimmy Butler, MIA at WSH
DK ($7,800) FD ($8,700)
I really thought we’d be seeing a five-figure price tag with Butler in a matchup like this and I’m truly blown away that he’s below $8,000 on DraftKings. Let’s start with that matchup, facing a Wizards club who sits dead-last in both points allowed and defensive efficiency. That’s scary with Butler averaging 22.5 points, 7.9 rebounds, 7.1 assists and 1.6 steals over his last 13 games, taking over this offense. He actually played this horrid defense once in that span, dropping a season-best 64 DK points in that amazing outing.
Jordan McRae, WSH vs. MIA
DK ($4,600) FD ($4,000)
With so many injuries in Washington, McRae is being forced into one of the biggest roles of his career. That’s all we can ask for from a per-minute producer like this. Let’s take a look at McRae’s per-36 numbers, averaging 19.5 points, 4.9 rebounds, 5.2 assists, and 1.6 steals per-36 minutes played. That’s about a fantasy point-per minute which is no surprise when you see that he’s averaging 19.2 DK points across 18 minutes a game this season. Playing at least 26 minutes in two of the last three games shows just how injured this team is right now and he should continue to play 25-30 minutes for this shorthanded roster and provide elite fantasy value at these price tags.
12/30 NBA DFS Small Forwards
Joe Ingles, UTA vs. DET
DK ($6,100) FD ($5,600)
Ingles has been spectacular since Mike Conley got injured and it’s clear he’s the primary play-maker with him off the floor. Not only does Ingles have at least 30 DK points in nine of his last 10 games, but he’s also averaging 33.1 fantasy points per game in that span. That makes both of these price tags surprising, playing at a $7,000-level. We’re certainly not worried about this matchup either, with the Pistons sitting 22nd in defensive efficiency while having one of the worst wing rotations in the NBA.
Robert Covington, MIN vs. BRK
DK ($5,900) FD ($5,100)
Covington is the model of inconsistency but he has too much upside to be priced this cheaply. He’s shown that upside the last two games, scoring at least 35 DK points in both while averaging 38 minutes a game. If we can just keep those minutes above 30, Covington should provide plenty of value through his three-point shooting, rebounding and steals. Those sorts of statistics become very attractive against a team like the Nets too, with Brooklyn owning a 22nd OPRK against opposing small forwards this season.
12/30 NBA DFS Power Forwards
John Collins, ATL at ORL
DK ($8,700) FD ($8,300)
With Trae Young missing this game, it’s going to be tough to fade Collins. With the star point guard off the floor, Collins leads the team with a 27 percent usage rate while averaging 1.3 DK points per minute. That’s really been evident since his return from action, averaging over 47 DraftKings points per game across his last three outings. What we love is that he took 26 shots across 33 minutes in the last game, indicating that he’s the focal point of this offense with Young out.
Ersan Ilyasova, MIL at CHI
DK ($5,600) FD ($5,000)
Ilyasova has been majestic the last two games without Giannis Antetokounmpo and he’s a must-use player if he’s out yet again. In the last two starts for Giannis, Ilyasova has collected 35 points and 31 rebounds en route to 81.7 DK points in total. That’s an absurd average from a player in the $5,000-range and it’s clear that he’s a near guarantee for a double-double if Antetokounmpo remains out. We happen to love the matchup too, with Chicago surrendering the most fantasy points in the league to opposing PFs this season.
12/30 NBA DFS Centers
Nikola Vucevic, ORL vs. ATL
DK ($7,900) FD ($7,900)
This is my favorite price tag on the board and there may be no better bet for a player to reach 5X value on this slate. Since returning from injury on December 15, Vucevic is averaging 42.4 DK points across 32 minutes a game. That’s on par with what he did last season and it’s amazing just how easily this dude stuffs the stat sheet while flirting with double-doubles through points and rebounds. The thing we really love here is this matchup though, with Atlanta sitting 29th in defensive efficiency and 28th in points allowed.
Brook Lopez, MIL at CHI
DK ($5,900) FD ($5,000)
While this DraftKings price is appropriate, this FanDuel price is way too cheap. We’re talking about a player who’s scored at least 30 FanDuel points in five of his last six games while averaging 34.1 FD points per game in that span. That’s just shy of 7X value at this dirt-cheap price tag and he’s done that without rebounding a whole lot. That form becomes very enticing against the Bulls, with Chicago allowing the second-most fantasy points to opposing centers this season.
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