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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Targets, Values for December 21

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

As usual, the NBA is offering up plenty of basketball on Wednesday. There’s an 11-game main slate starting at 7 p.m. ET, so there a plenty of DFS options to choose from.

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

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA $400K Fadeaway [$100K to 1st]


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Guard

Studs

Jordan Poole, Golden State Warriors at Brooklyn Nets ($8,200) – Poole has gotten priced up over the past few days, but he remains one of the best pure values in the backcourt. He’s posted a usage rate of at least 40.4% in back-to-back games, and he racked up 55.75 DKFP two games ago vs. the Raptors. He wasn’t nearly as good Tuesday vs. the Knicks, but he played just 29 minutes in a blowout loss.

With Klay Thompson set to rest on the second leg of a back-to-back, Poole should be looking at another monster workload vs. the Nets. He’s increased his usage rate by a team-high +6.4% with Thompson, Steph Curry and Andrew Wiggins off the floor, so he has elite upside if this game stays competitive. There’s always going to be some blowout risk with the Warriors when Curry isn’t playing — they own a brutal net rating with Curry off the floor this season — but the Nets haven’t blown out a ton of teams. They’re riding a six-game winning streak, but only one of those wins has been by more than six points.

Russell Westbrook, Los Angeles Lakers at Sacramento Kings ($7,400) – The Lakers are going to be without Anthony Davis for at least a month, which means the rest of the roster is going to have to step up in his absence. Westbrook figures to be one of the biggest beneficiaries. He’s increased his usage rate by +3.2% with Davis off the floor this season, resulting in an average of 1.22 DKFP per minute.

Westbrook has gotten plenty of hate on social media in recent years — most of it deserved — but he remains an extremely effective fantasy producer. He’s scored at least 53.25 DKFP in two of his past three games, and while he failed to return value in his last contest, he played just 22.9 minutes. Westbrook missed Monday’s matchup vs. the Suns due to left foot soreness, so it’s possible that’s the reason for the reduced minute count.

Westbrook is also questionable vs. the Kings, but it’s an elite matchup if he’s able to suit up. They rank fifth in pace and 23rd in defensive efficiency, and the total on that game sits at a massive 240 points.

Other Options – LaMelo Ball ($8,900), Kevin Porter Jr. ($7,100)

Value

Alex Caruso, Chicago Bulls at Atlanta Hawks ($3,800) – Caruso isn’t the most exciting DFS option on Wednesday, but he stands out as one of the best pure values in the backcourt. He’s returned positive value in five of his past seven games, including 24.5 DKFP in his last outing. He did that in just 22.6 minutes, and he has the potential for a few additional minutes on Wednesday. The team could be without Javonte Green and Derrick Jones Jr., while Ayo Dosunmu played just 5.4 minutes in their last contest. If Dosunmu continues to slip out of the rotation, Caruso should be able to provide nice value at his current price tag.

Other Options – Markelle Fultz ($5,700), Jaden Ivey ($4,800)


Forward

Studs

LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers at Sacramento Kings ($9,900) – James is in his 20th season, but he has shown no real signs of decline. He’s averaged 1.41 DKFP per minute thanks to averages of 27 points, 8.5 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game. James took the night off on the second leg of a back-to-back on Monday, but he scored at least 50.75 DKFP in each of his three previous contests.

With Davis sidelined, James’ production should only increase. He’s seen one of the largest bumps in fantasy scoring with Davis sidelined this season, increasing his production to 1.47 DKFP per minute. That alone makes him underpriced at $9,900 in a juicy matchup vs. the Kings.

If Westbrook is also ruled out, James would become a borderline must-play. He’s seen a 5.7 percentage-point usage bump with both players off the court this season.

Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls at Atlanta Hawks ($7,200) – LaVine’s price tag remains a bit lower than usual at $7,200, and that has historically been a good salary to target the Bulls’ stud. He’s exceeded salary-based expectations by an average of 2.28 DKFP in games with a comparable salary as a member of the Bulls.

The Hawks also represent a nice matchup for LaVine. They’ve played at the seventh-fastest pace this season, and they’ve been an average team in terms of defensive efficiency. The total on that game sits at 235.5, which is the second-highest mark on the slate.

Other Options – DeMar DeRozan ($8,500), RJ Barrett ($6,800)

Value

Tari Eason, Houston Rockets vs. Orlando Magic ($3,400) – Eason is dirt cheap at the moment, and while he isn’t playing a ton of minutes, he makes the most out of his time on the floor. He has a very fantasy-friendly skill set, resulting in an average of 1.05 DKFP per minute. He’s expected to see around 20 minutes on Wednesday, and that should be enough to pay off his current salary in a strong matchup. The Magic are tied for 21st in defensive efficiency, so the Rockets should be able to put some points on the scoreboard.

Other Options – Patrick Williams ($4,000), Eric Gordon ($3,500), Moses Moody ($3,300)


Center

Stud

Domantas Sabonis, Sacramento Kings vs. Los Angeles Lakers ($10,300) – Sabonis is currently questionable, and he’s also been priced up to $10,300. That’s obviously not a great combination, but Sabonis is still worth considering if he’s in the lineup.

The Lakers are going to be soft on the interior with Davis sidelined, and Sabonis has played as well as anyone not named Nikola Jokic recently. He’s averaged 1.39 DKFP per minute over the past month, and he racked up 71.25 DKFP in his last outing. He now has at least 51.25 DKFP in six of his past eight games, so his increased price tag is 100% deserved.

Other Options – Nikola Vucevic ($7,100), Mitchell Robinson ($5,100)

Value

Jalen Duren, Detroit Pistons at Philadelphia 76ers ($4,700) – Duren has been a rebounding fiend ever since being inserted into the starting lineup. He’s pulled down at least 11 boards in his past six contests, which gives him a great shot at a cheap double-double. The scoring is the bigger question mark, but he’s gotten to double-digit points in three of those contests. Regardless, he’s priced at a point where he can return value almost entirely with his rebounding numbers, so anything he does in the other categories is just a cherry on top.

Other Options – Onyeka Okongwu ($4,900), Kevin Love ($3,800)

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA $400K 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.