clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Fantasy Basketball Value Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Bargain Plays for December 17

Zach Thompson breaks down his top DraftKings value plays for Friday’s NBA slate.

It’s been a wild and crazy week in fantasy basketball, with multiple big-name players entering the health and safety protocols and several teams dealing with outbreaks. Almost every team has major roster uncertainty, which should open tons of value options on the DraftKings eight-game main slate. With so much still up in the air, make sure you're following @dklive on Twitter and download the DK Live app to keep up with the latest news as the slate changes throughout the day.

There are some great value options listed below that are already set up for success based on their form, matchup and expected workload. These four players enter the day with a good chance to outproduce their bargain-basement salaries. To find more good plays under $4K and keep up with emerging value throughout the day, follow me on Twitter @ZT_Sports, where I pick four to play under $4K every day of the NBA season.

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


PG/SG Davion Mitchell, Sacramento Kings vs. Memphis Grizzlies, $3,600

The Kings have been giving Mitchell extensive playing time throughout his rookie season since grabbing him with the No. 9 overall pick. He has averaged 20.2 DKFP on 25.7 minutes per game in his 29 games this season, but he has been able to increase his production when given a larger role. He moved into the starting lineup for the first time this season on Wednesday and contributed 13 points, five assists and 24.5 DKFP in 29 minutes vs. the Wizards.

Since that game, De’Aaron Fox (doubtful) has entered the NBA’s Health and Safety Protocols, so there should be even more usage available for the rookie. Mitchell has produced over 22 DKFP in four of his past five games and in six of his past nine. Unlike some of the options listed here, he does have a regular role, which makes him a little lower risk stepping into an expanded role than some players going from no role at all to heavy involvement.


PF Jordan Nwora, Milwaukee Bucks at New Orleans Pelicans, $3,300

Nwora is one of those players going from uninvolved to being a key contributor as a result of all the players unavailable for Milwaukee. He showed some promise early in the season but had only played in five of the Bucks’ nine most recent games before Wednesday and never logged more than nine minutes.

That radically changed on Wednesday when he entered the starting lineup for the first time this year. He played a season-high 27 minutes and produced 32 DKFP on 15 points, three steals, six rebounds, an assist and a block. He will likely start again in this matchup vs. the Pelicans, which should allow him the opportunity to return massive value once again.


SG/SF Austin Reaves, Los Angeles Lakers at Minnesota Timberwolves, $3,300

The Lakers found a new hero on Wednesday night when 23-year-old rookie Austin Reaves hit a game-winning 3-pointer in overtime vs. the Mavericks. He finished with an impressive stat line of 15 points, seven rebounds, two assists and a steal in 32 minutes. He was mostly filling in for Malik Monk, who has cleared the NBA’s Health and Safety Protocols, but now he could also be asked to cover for Russell Westbrook and Avery Bradley, who entered the NBA’s Health and Safety Protocols on Thursday.

Reaves has played over 25 minutes in each of the Lakers’ three most recent games, averaging 21.7 DKFP per contest. The Timberwolves rank in the top five in the NBA in pace, so this is a great spot to try and get some value from the Lakers’ rotation that should get plenty of possessions and points on their trip to the Twin Cities. Reaves has a very high ceiling and should get a chance to build on his sudden hype.


PG/SG R.J. Hampton, Orlando Magic vs. Miami Heat, $3,200

Editor’s Note: Magic PG/SG R.J. Hampton (health protocols) has been ruled out for tonight’s game vs. the Heat.

The Lakers, Kings and Bucks are all dealing with COVID-19 issues that have adjusted their rotations to allow opportunities for the first three players on this list, but the Magic are just dealing with “typical” injury issues. Starting guards Cole Anthony ($7,800; ankle, questionable) and Gary Harris ($3,900; hamstring, questionable) are both dealing with injuries while Jalen Suggs (thumb) and Markelle Fultz (knee) are out with longer-term issues.

When Harris was a late scratch Wednesday, Hampton stepped into the lineup and produced 15 points, four assists and 22.5 DKFP. If Harris, Anthony or both are out for this contest, Hampton brings good upside since the Magic will need to replace a lot of offensive production from the backcourt.

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


Place your NBA bets at DraftKings Sportsbook and bet online by downloading the DraftKings Sportsbook app.


Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.


I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is z.thompson) 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.


If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL).

Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (IN/MI/NJ/PA/WV/WY), 1-800-522-4700 (CO/NH), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), 1-888-532-3500 (VA), 1-800-NEXT STEP (AZ), call/text TN REDLINE 1-800-889-9789 (TN), or 888-789-7777/visit ccpg.org/chat. (CT).

21+ (18+ NH/WY). AZ/CO/CT/IL/IN/IA/MI/NH/NJ/PA/TN/VA/WV/WY only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions.