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Fantasy Basketball Value Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Bargain Plays for December 15

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

This is a classic monkey’s paw scenario. The sad truth about value on NBA slates is that it tends to be driven by injuries and absences. Well, with the amount of additions we’ve had to the league’s COVID protocols in the last 48 hours, there should be no shortage of value opportunities this evening. In the end, it makes finding bargain assets relatively easy, though knowing which values are the right values is difficult with the sudden abundance.

That’s why I’m here to help. Let’s break down a few of my favorite plays for tonight’s 11-game slate.

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SG/SF Duncan Robinson, Miami Heat at Philadelphia 76ers, $4,400

With the news that Tyler Herro (quad) will not be available for tonight’s contest against the 76ers, the Heat are down to 10 healthy bodies. It should also be pointed out that one of those bodies is Udonis Haslem ($3,000), so Miami will essentially be taking the court with nine players and one human mascot on Wednesday evening.

All this means someone has to pick up the slack, and you’d have to assume Robinson will shoulder a bit of the offensive burden. After signing a massive contract extension this past summer, Robinson’s been underwhelming to start 2021-22. However, prior to a 1-for-7 showing from distance in the Heat’s loss to the Cavaliers on Monday, Robinson’s shot has slowly been coming around. In fact, in the five games Robinson started from Dec. 3 to Dec. 11, the 27-year-old was 16-for-33 (48.5%) from three-point range. With 30-plus minutes of run seemingly guaranteed, if Robinson’s shot is falling tonight, he’ll have little issue bringing back value.

PG D.J. Augustin, Houston Rockets at Cleveland Cavaliers, $3,500

The Rockets could be incredibly shorthanded on Wednesday. We already know that Kevin Porter Jr. (thigh), Jalen Green (hamstring) and Eric Gordon (groin) have been ruled out for tonight’s tilt, while Christian Wood ($8,900; knee) is also a question mark. In general, I think that Jae’Sean Tate ($5,800) and Garrison Mathews ($4,700) will be the safest values on Houston’s roster, but let’s give a little love to Augustin.

The veteran made his first start of the season Saturday in Memphis with the aforementioned Gordon unavailable, logging 26.5 minutes. Augustin then followed that up by dropping 22 points and 29.0 DKFP in 22.6 minutes in Monday’s victory over the Hawks. It would be a surprise to not see Augustin get a second start this evening and his usage rate could be massive with the Rockets likely missing their top-four scorers by points per game. Even in a tough matchup, I’m intrigued by the guard.

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PF/C Sandro Mamukelashvili, Milwaukee Bucks vs. Indiana Pacers, $3,000

I’ll be 100% honest: There’s almost no way to know what the Bucks’ rotation is going to look like this evening. We do know that Giannis Antetokounmpo (health protocols), DeMarcus Cousins (health protocols) and Brook Lopez (back) will be unavailable, though. We also know that the Pacers have one of the biggest frontcourts in the NBA with Domantas Sabonis ($9,500) and Myles Turner ($6,200). Milwaukee is going to need what little size it has left.

That’s where Mamukelashvili comes into the picture. The last time Antetokounmpo missed time — a two-game stretch in early December — Mamukelashvili averaged 21.9 minutes and 20.1 DKFP per contest. Heck, the rookie even started one of those nights. Considering how lopsided Wednesday’s script might get, especially if Khris Middleton ($7,200; knee) ends up inactive, I could see a scenario where Mamukelashvili logs anywhere from 20-30 minutes. At the absolute minimum salary, it’s difficult to ignore a role like that.

PG Davion Mitchell, Sacramento Kings vs. Washington Wizards, $3,600

Technically, this is the first asset I’ve listed that really isn’t all that impacted by injury or the league’s health protocols. Still, having said that, make sure to keep an eye on the Kings throughout the day. Head coach Alvin Gentry tested positive for COVID-19 this morning and if we all learned any lesson Tuesday with the Nets, it’s that this stuff can unravel quickly.

Anyway, Mitchell has been the lone bright-spot for Sacramento the past couple of weeks, as the rookie has averaged 11.2 points and 25.9 minutes across the Kings’ past 10 games. It’s a span where Mitchell has also managed to exceed 20.0 DKFP six times, including four of his last six appearances. In terms of this evening’s matchup, the Wizards own the NBA’s second-worst defensive rating over their last 10 contests (116.4). With Sacramento possessing the league’s highest pace within that same stretch, I’d expect big things from Mitchell once again in an enticing environment.

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and customer (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.

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