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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Targets, Values for December 28

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

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Boston Celtics Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Wednesday features an eight-game NBA 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 $400K Fadeaway [$100K to 1st]


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Guard

Studs

Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn Nets at Atlanta Hawks ($8,400) – Irving may be a complete headache off the basketball court, but don’t forget that he’s one of the most talented scorers in the league. He’s put his scoring prowess on display a lot recently, averaging 30 points per game over his past seven contests. That has unsurprisingly led to excellent fantasy numbers, with Irving scoring at least 44.25 DKFP in six of those contests.

Irving also takes the floor in an excellent spot on Wednesday. The Hawks have played at an above-average pace this season, and the Nets are currently implied for a slate-high 120.75 points. The Nets have rattled off nine straight wins, and if Irving keeps playing like this, they’re a serious threat to win the title.

Jamal Murray, Denver Nuggets at Sacramento Kings ($7,200) – The matchup between the Nuggets and Kings was a bit disappointing on Tuesday. The total was listed at more than 240 points, but the two teams combined for just 219. The total for the rematch on Wednesday has dropped to 236 points, but that’s still the top mark on the slate.

Murray is often overlooked playing alongside the back-to-back MVP, but he deserves some attention for his recent play. He’s racked up at least 46.75 DKFP points in three straight games, including 58.5 DKFP vs. the Blazers.

Murray is not known as a traditional point guard, but he’s averaging a career-best 5.7 assists per game this season. That number has been even higher of late, with Murray averaging 7.5 dimes over his past eight contests. Murray can score the ball with the best of them, so if he can continue to provide some value in the peripheral categories, he stands out as an excellent value at his current price tag.

Other Options – Jordan Poole ($8,600), Chris Paul ($8,300)

Value

Alec Burks, Detroit Pistons vs. Orlando Magic ($3,800) – The Pistons are once again one of the worst teams in basketball, but they have a few things working for them. They’re going to be in the race for Victor Wembanyama, they’re getting plenty of minutes for their promising young players and they have a few veterans to sell off before the trade deadline.

Burks is one of those veterans. He’s played well in limited minutes this season, averaging 1.03 DKFP per minute, and he racked up 32.25 DKFP across 28.2 minutes on Monday. There’s no guarantee he sees that many minutes again on Wednesday, but he doesn’t need to at just $3,800. He’s a good bet to return value.

Other Options – Killian Hayes ($5,600), Duane Washington Jr. ($3,200)


Forward

Studs

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks at Chicago Bulls ($11,500) – Antetokounmpo has had another excellent season. But unfortunately, he’s been unplayable in fantasy for a while now. He’s been priced up above $12,000, which has made it extremely difficult for him to return value. He’s underperformed salary-based expectations by an average of -9.18 DKFP over his past 10 contests, so he has struggled to provide any fantasy value.

Fortunately, Antetokounmpo’s salary is back to a reasonable $11,500 for Wednesday’s matchup vs. the Bulls. He can still rack up fantasy points like very few players can, averaging 1.69 DKFP per minute this season. The Bulls have been a mediocre defensive squad, and they rank 21st in team rebound rate. Antetokounmpo should also benefit from the continued absence of Khris Middleton, so this is a great opportunity to buy low on one of the best producers in fantasy.

Ben Simmons, Brooklyn Nets at Atlanta Hawks ($6,200) – Simmons has had an up-and-down season in his first year with the Nets. He came out of the gates slowly, and right as he was starting to heat up, he went down with an injury. However, he’s played in each of the team’s past six games, and he finished with 34.3 minutes in their last contest.

As long as Simmons is back to playing 30-plus minutes, he deserves to be much more expensive. Simmons has increased his production to 1.18 DKFP per minute over the past month, and he’s capable of stuffing the stat sheet. He still has some deficiencies as a scorer, but a double-double or triple-double is always in play.

Other Options – DeMar DeRozan ($8,900)

Value

Vlatko Cancar, Denver Nuggets at Sacramento Kings ($3,000) – Cancar is going to need a bit of help to be relevant on this slate, but if it happens, he’s going to be tough to ignore at the absolute minimum. He played 29.5 minutes Tuesday with Aaron Gordon and Bruce Brown sidelined, and it’s possible that both players are out again on the second leg of a back-to-back. Cancar has averaged a respectable 0.77 DKFP per minute this season, so he should provide value if he sees a similar workload on Wednesday.

Other Options – Rui Hachimura ($3,900), Saddiq Bey ($3,700)


Center

Stud

Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets at Sacramento Kings ($11,700) – We may never see another player like Jokic. There is nothing that he can’t do on a basketball court. He’s capable of doing all the typical big man stuff — he’s averaged 25.3 points and 11 rebounds per game — but he’s also one of the best passers in basketball. He’s averaged 9.5 assists per game this season, which ranks third in the league. When he puts it all together in the same game, no one in the league can match his upside.

Jokic has been so good recently that Tuesday’s stat line of 20 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds actually felt disappointing. He finished with “just” 51.25 DKFP, which was his lowest output in his past nine games.

Still, that gives Jokic one of the safest floors in fantasy, and we know all about his ceiling. He has four games with at least 80.5 DKFP in that nine-game stretch, and he can definitely reach that level vs. the Kings. They rank eighth in pace and 23rd in defensive efficiency, and the Nuggets’ implied team total of 119.25 ranks third on the slate.

Other Options – Deandre Ayton ($7,400), Rudy Gobert ($7,300)

Value

Onyeka Okongwu, Atlanta Hawks vs. Brooklyn Nets ($5,200) – As good as Jokic is, there are some very strong value options at center on Wednesday. It starts with Okongwu, who should continue to see the bulk of the center minutes with Clint Capela sidelined. Okongwu has increased his production to 1.04 DKFP per minute over the past month, but unfortunately, foul trouble has limited him to less than 21 minutes in back-to-back games. He has the potential to play more than 30 minutes on Wednesday if he can avoid hacking everything that moves, making him one of the best values of the day at $5,200.

Other Options – Jalen Duren ($5,100), Isaiah Stewart ($4,800)

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.