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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Targets, Values for December 12

Matt LaMarca gives his top studs and value plays at each position for today’s fantasy basketball slate on DraftKings.

The NBA is rolling into the new week with a seven-game DraftKings slate starting at 7 p.m. ET.

Let’s dive into some of my favorite plays at each position.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA $333K Fadeaway [$100K to 1st]


For up-to-the-minute news, analysis and lineups, download the DK Live app. You also can follow DK Live on Twitter @dklive.


Guard

Studs

Tyrese Haliburton, Indiana Pacers vs. Miami Heat ($9,300) – Haliburton has put together a tremendous season in his first full year with the Pacers. He’s averaging 20.2 points, 11.0 assists, and 4.3 rebounds per game, good for an average of 1.41 DKFP per minute. He’s been even better of late, averaging 1.46 DKFP per minute over the past month while scoring at least 58.75 DKFP in two of his past three games.

Haliburton draws a tough matchup Monday vs. the Heat, but this game still stands out as one of the best of the day for fantasy purposes. The 228.5-point total is tied for the second-highest mark on the slate, while the Heat are just three-point road favorites. Games with high totals and low spreads tend to be the best targets for DFS.

D’Angelo Russell, Minnesota Timberwolves at Portland Trail Blazers ($7,500) – Russell finally failed to pay off his salary in his last contest, but only by the slimmest of margins. He finished with 35.25 DKFP at $7,300, snapping a streak of eight straight games where he exceeded salary-based expectations. He scored the ball well in that contest, but he struggled with just one rebound and three assists in the peripheral categories. Russell has averaged 3.1 rebounds and 6.3 assists per game this season, so expect him to perform better in those areas on Monday.

This game also stands out as the clear top target on Monday’s slate. The Blazers rank just 23rd in defensive efficiency, and the Timberwolves play at the third-fastest pace. That means they should get plenty of opportunities to take advantage of Portland’s poor defense. Overall, Russell stands out as a safe investment with some upside.

Other Options – Trae Young ($10,400), Kyrie Irving ($8,700)

Value

Bogdan Bogdanovic, Atlanta Hawks at Memphis Grizzlies ($4,800) – Bogdanovic returned to the Hawks’ lineup just five games ago, and there is a chance that he rests on the second leg of a back-to-back. However, if he’s in the lineup, he stands out as one of the best values of the day.

The Hawks are currently dealing with injuries to Dejounte Murray and John Collins, which has allowed Bogdanovic to take on a massive role of late. He’s posted back-to-back games with at least 28 points, and he posted a 31.7% usage rate in his last contest. He’s finished with at least 42.5 DKFP in both games, and there’s no reason to expect a ton of regression Monday vs. the Grizzlies. Memphis has a solid defense, but they’ve also played at the sixth-fastest pace this season. Atlanta is also above-average in that department, so this game should feature plenty of possessions.

Other Options – Marcus Smart ($6,100), Trent Forrest ($3,100)


Forward

Studs

Kyle Kuzma, Washington Wizards vs. Brooklyn Nets ($8,500) – The Wizards are currently playing without Bradley Beal, which has opened up some extra scoring responsibilities for Kuzma. He’s posted a usage rate of at least 33.9% in three of his past four games, and he’s scored at least 44.25 DKFP in all three contests. Kuzma has also displayed some upside as a rebounder, and he ripped down 12 boards in his last contest. He finished with 58.5 DKFP in that outing, so he has plenty of upside at his current salary.

The team has also listed Monte Morris as questionable for Monday’s matchup vs. the Nets, and his absence would give Kuzma even more appeal. He’s increased his usage rate by a team-high 7.1 percentage points with Morris and Beal off the floor this season, resulting in an average of 1.27 DKFP per minute.

Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers vs. Boston Celtics ($7,000) – It’s taken nearly 30 games, but we’re finally at a point where we can consider Leonard in DFS. The Clippers have been extremely careful with his minutes this season, but he’s played at least 30.2 minutes in back-to-back games. Leonard also posted a usage rate of 30.0% in one of those contests, but he’s struggled as a scorer in back-to-back games. He’s just 9-28 from the field in those contests, so with some improvement on Monday, he has a chance to return value at his current price tag. The Celtics are not the same defensive juggernaut they have been in the past, so this is a good spot to target the former Finals MVP.

Other Options – Jaylen Brown ($9,000), Jimmy Butler ($8,600)

Value

Deni Avdija, Washington Wizards vs. Brooklyn Nets ($4,900) – Avdija is another member of the Wizards who has benefitted from their current injury situation. He’s returned positive value in four straight games, and he’s scored at least 30.5 DKFP in each of his past three. He’s seen all the playing time he can handle over that stretch, logging at least 38.6 minutes in three straight games. Avdija has also increased his production to 0.88 DKFP per minute over the past month, so he’s simply too cheap at $4,900. He’s one of the best values of the day.

Other Options – Kyle Anderson ($5,200), Brandon Clarke ($4,200)


Center

Stud

Rudy Gobert, Minnesota Timberwolves at Portland Trail Blazers ($7,200) – Gobert has struggled to make an impact in his first year in Minnesota. His average of 14.1 points and 8.2 rebounds per game are his lowest marks since 2017-18, while his average of 1.3 blocks is his worst mark since his rookie season. Gobert has averaged just 35.3 DraftKings points per game, which represents a 6.5-point drop from his final year with the Jazz.

However, Gobert has picked things up since the injury to Karl-Anthony Towns. He’s racked up at least 39.75 DKFP in three straight games, and he’s had at least 47.75 DKFP in two of them. Gobert is in a potential smash spot Monday vs. the Blazers, who have allowed the sixth-most DKFP per game to opposing centers this season.

Other Options – Kristaps Porzingis ($9,500), Clint Capela ($6,500)

Value

Charles Bassey, San Antonio Spurs vs. Cleveland Cavaliers ($3,900) – The big question with Bassey is how many minutes he will see on a given night. If he can get to 20 minutes, he has the chance to provide excellent value at his current price tag. He’s done that in two of his past four games, and he’s delivered at least 28.25 DKFP in both contests. Bassey has averaged 1.18 DKFP per minute this season, so he’s capable of taking advantage of a few additional minutes. The status of Jeremy Sochan will be important to monitor, with the rookie big man currently listed as questionable. If he’s out of the lineup, fire up Bassey with confidence.

Other Options – Onyeka Okongwu ($3,700), Darius Bazley ($3,000)

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA $333K Fadeaway [$100K to 1st]


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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is mlamarca) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.