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Fantasy Basketball Value Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Bargain Plays for December 23

Garion Thorne breaks down his top DraftKings value plays for Friday’s NBA slate.

San Antonio Spurs v Miami Heat Photo by Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images

Remember how the last day of school before Christmas break used to drag on forever? Tonight is that, but in NBA form. It’s a massive 14-game slate, meaning almost every team in the league is taking the court before a day-off on December 24. Value shouldn’t be too hard to come by with a schedule this large, but allow me to narrow down the list. It’s the least I can do.

Let’s dive in.

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


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C Willy Hernangomez, New Orleans Pelicans at Oklahoma City Thunder, $3,000

The viability of Hernangomez hinges on the status of his teammate Larry Nance Jr. ($5,100; Achilles). If Nance is forced to miss this third straight contest this evening — joining the likes of Zion Williamson (health protocols) and Brandon Ingram (toe) on the bench — it would open up a massive opportunity for the veteran big man. Like most centers, Hernangomez is a hyper-efficient DFS asset, averaging 1.21 DKFP per minute so far this season. Heck, in 22.2 minutes of work in Thursday’s victory over the Spurs, Hernangomez translated a 23.6% usage rate into 13 points, seven rebounds, five assists and 33.25 DKFP. That’s likely the 28-year-old’s ceiling, but priced at the bare minimum, Hernangomez is attractive on tonight’s slate even when baking in a little regression.


PF Jeremy Sochan, San Antonio Spurs at Orlando Magic, $4,000

Editor’s Note: Spurs SF Keldon Johnson (hamstring) does not carry an injury designation for tonight’s game vs. the Magic.

It’s currently unclear if Keldon Johnson ($7,600; hamstring) is going to be ruled out once again for tonight’s tilt with the Magic. However, the forward was initially doubtful for Thursday’s loss to the Pelicans, and he’s now missed back-to-back games. Considering this will be the second contest in two days for San Antonio — and what’s the team’s “goals” are this season — I wouldn’t be shocked if Johnson’s sidelined. In fact, you might see a few Spurs veterans get the night off. It is the NBA in 2022, after all. Anyway, with Johnson unavailable in New Orleans, it was Sochan who led San Antonio in minutes (31.0), field goal attempts (14), points (23), rebounds (9), assists (6), potential assists (12) and usage rate (26.6%). I probably don’t have to tell you that doing all those things with a $4K price tag is wild. With the lottery pick getting this type of offensive freedom, he’s an easy target for your lineups this evening.


SG/SF Caris LeVert, Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Toronto Raptors, $4,600

I’ve simply got a hunch about LeVert on Friday night. The wing can be a frustrating DFS asset. His highs are incredibly high, as evidenced by six games with over 35.0 DKFP this season — including 64.5 DKFP versus the Celtics back in October. However, the lows can be just as low, which we saw last weekend, when LeVert somehow managed to register only 9.0 DKFP in 38.0 minutes against the Mavericks. Still, you like to see a player consistently logging a heavy workload, and LeVert is averaging a robust 32.5 minutes of action in Cleveland’s past eight contests. Then there’s the matter of matchup. The Raptors tend to have some of the most aggressive regular season defensive game plans, all which tend to revolve around taking away a team’s No. 1 offensive threat. These have generally backfired this season, with opponents shooting 48.9% versus Toronto — the highest rate in the East. If the Raptors plan on doubling Donovan Mitchell ($9,000) or Darius Garland ($7,800), LeVert should have some wide open shots.

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 theglt13) 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.