The NBA will take Christmas Eve off on Saturday, meaning we have a jam-packed 14-game slate on Friday, Dec. 23. In other words, it’s time to get into DraftKings NBA DFS contests while the gettin’ is good, and we’ll outline a few value plays to get you started. Unlike NFL DFS, where one pick can make or break your lineup or it’s tough to find quality low-tier value, NBA DFS differs.
In NBA DFS, you can find quality value plays $5K or under that can give you a quick 10 points off the bench, grab some rebounds, or stuff the stat sheet. It does not matter if you are playing a 50/50 or Double-Up contest, we are going to provide you with three players that you need to put in your lineup.
Jalen Duren, Detroit Pistons, $5,000
Duren flopped in a tough matchup against Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers last time out. That’s pretty understandable. The rookie was averaging 35 fantasy points per game prior to a 22 fantasy-point showing against Philly. Duren should get back to his productive ways against the Atlanta Hawks, who rank 22nd in rebound rate and 28th in defensive efficiency to centers.
Austin Rivers, Minnesota Timberwolves, $3,800
Rivers has held a prominent role for the banged-up Timberwolves, averaging 33 minutes and 31 fantasy points over his last four games. There’s a good chance Minnesota will need him to log 30+ minutes once again while facing the Celtics on the road. Rivers’ salary hasn’t risen enough to offset his surge in production, making him an interesting value play on Friday’s DFS slate.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Denver Nuggets, $4,400
Caldwell-Pope is another example of a player who is seeing more minutes, and the salary is lower than expected when considering that change. KCP’s role has been all over the map this season, but he’s firmly back in the Nuggets’ rotation while averaging 33 minutes in his last five games. The DFS production has followed with 28+ fantasy points in three of those contests. It wouldn’t be surprising if Caldwell-Pope hovered in that range against the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday.