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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Targets, Values for December 18

Alex Hunter gives his top studs and value plays at each position for Saturday’s fantasy basketball slate on DraftKings, which starts at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Milwaukee Bucks v Miami Heat Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

On the menu for Saturday night is a six-game slate, and DraftKings continues to offer a plethora of huge tournaments. Below are some of my favorite studs and values at each position.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA $300K Fadeaway [$100K to 1st]


Point Guard

Stud

Jrue Holiday, Milwaukee Bucks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers, $8,200

Jrue Holiday is an outstanding value with Giannis Antetokounmpo (health protocols) out of the lineup. Including a season-best 56.25 DKFP explosion last night against the Pelicans, Holiday has generated 48.3 DKFP per game with a 31.2% usage rate in the five contests Antetokounmpo has sat out this season.

Also, Khris Middleton (knee) was inactive last night, and if the forward remains sidelined for Saturday, Holiday would become a must-play. When Middleton and Antetokounmpo have been off the court since the start of last season, Holiday has produced 1.44 DKFP per minute, thanks to a 34.3% usage rate.

Other Options: Fred VanVleet ($9,000), Cole Anthony ($8,400, if active), Scottie Barnes ($8,100, if OG Anunoby is out)

Value

David Duke Jr., Brooklyn Nets vs. Orlando Magic, $4,600

Tonight, the Nets will be without James Harden, Bruce Brown, LaMarcus Aldridge, Deandre Bembry, Jevon Carter, James Johnson and Paul Millsap due to health protocols. Plus, Kevin Durant (ankle) will also be out, and Nicholas Claxton (wrist) is questionable. Even with Durant and Patty Mills — who was initially ruled out for rest but the team announced on Saturday morning will actually play — available, Duke Jr. has started and logged 34.8 minutes per game in the last two. Now, thanks to Nets’ crowded inactive list, Duke Jr. should be forced to handle a solid usage rate. Specifically, in the minutes that the rookie has played with Durant off the floor, Duke Jr. has posted an 18.4% usage rate and scored 0.8 DKFP per minute.

As one of the most important players left for the absurdly understaffed Nets, Duke Jr. has to be considered at this low salary.

Other Options: Dennis Schroder ($6,400, if active and starting), Cameron Thomas ($4,700), Gary Payton II ($3,300), Chris Chiozza ($3,000)


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Shooting Guard

Stud

Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Milwaukee Bucks, $8,300

Facing a Bucks’ team that is down a slew of key players, Garland is appealing for GPPs tonight. Since the Cavs lost Collin Sexton (knee) for the season back in early November, Garland has led the team with a 27.2% usage rate and 34.4% assist percentage, resulting in 1.1 DKFP per minute.

The Vanderbilt product has topped 50 DKFP four times in his past 12 starts and should come with single-digit ownership at this season-high price point.

Other Options: Donovan Mitchell ($9,300)

Value

Pat Connaughton, Milwaukee Bucks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers, $5,400

Regardless of Middleton’s status, Connaughton should see heavy playing time tonight, making him a viable target at this salary. In the five contests that Antetokounmpo has missed this season, Connaughton has supplied 26.1 DKFP in 33 minutes per game. The wing records 0.8 DKFP per minute with Antetokounmpo off the court this season and has amassed 26.3 DKFP per game when given over 30 minutes.

Albeit in a tough matchup against the Cavs, who rank second in defensive efficiency, Connaughton should be able to grind out over five-times value.

Other Options: Marcus Smart ($5,600, better if Schroder is out), Grayson Allen ($4,500, better if Middleton is out), Gary Harris ($4,300)


Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA $300K Fadeaway [$100K to 1st]


Small Forward

Stud

Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks, $9,800

Tatum has been playing excellent basketball as of late, tallying over 50 DKFP in six of his past eight starts, and tonight, the Celtics will be without Al Horford (health protocols) and Grant Williams (health protocols), and possibly Dennis Schroder (questionable, illness). Take Horford and Williams off the court this season, and Tatum’s usage and assist rates have increased 2.1 and 2.6 percentage points, respectively.

This is a plus spot, going against a Knicks defense that ranks 21st in efficiency, and Tatum is standing out as one of the best high-end spends at this sub $10K price.

Other Options: Paul George ($10,500, if active), Jaylen Brown ($9,100)

Value

Chuma Okeke, Orlando Magic at Brooklyn Nets, $3,800

Last night, the Magic were missing Anthony (ankle), Jalen Suggs (thumb), Mo Bamba (health protocols), Terrence Ross (health protocols), R.J. Hampton (health protocols) and Moritz Wagner (health protocols). Then, Wendell Carter Jr. appeared to seriously injure his knee in the second quarter and did not return after being taken to the locker room in a wheelchair. With his team short on bodies, Okeke stepped up and finished with a career-high 53.5 DKFP in 38.4 minutes against the Heat. The 23-year-old was brilliant on the defensive end, collecting six steals and setting a new season-high minute total.

After hurting his knee, Carter Jr. is doubtful for Saturday, and of that group that sat out last night, Anthony (questionable) is the only player that has yet to be ruled out. In this situation, Okeke should get another spot start and approach 40 minutes against a Nets squad that is also running out a G League-like roster this evening. While we can’t expect another performance over 50 DKFP, Okeke should smash value at his low salary and value play that needs to be utilized.

Other Options: Franz Wagner ($6,700, better if Anthony is out), Terance Mann ($5,200, if George is out), Kessler Edwards ($4,800), Damion Lee ($3,600)


Power Forward

Stud

Julius Randle, New York Knicks at Boston Celtics, $10,100

Like every team in action tonight, the Knicks have a very crowded injury report that features RJ Barrett, Kevin Knox, Immanuel Quickley, Quentin Grimes, Miles McBride and Obi Toppin all out due to health protocols. Additionally, Derrick Rose ($7,200; ankle) exited Thursday’s contest after only 12 minutes and is listed as questionable. The former MVP is a very fragile player, and even if he does suit up Saturday, there is a strong chance Rose will be limited.

By default, Randle should take on a massive role with his team beat up, against this Boston team that ranks 11th in pace and is playing their second game in two nights. The forward has 50 DKFP upside in this spot and has to be considered with this slate lacking studs.

Other Options: Pascal Siakam ($8,500, if Anunoby is out)

Value

Blake Griffin, Brooklyn Nets vs. Orlando Magic, $5,200

Automatically, Griffin should garner a huge role with the Nets deploying a skeleton staff tonight. As we have seen in the last two games, Griffin should log over 30 minutes tonight against the short-handed Magic, and in the six contests he received at least 25 minutes this season, the former All-Star has provided 29.3 DKFP per game.

Barring an unexpected move that Griffin is inactive or not starting, the forward is one of the best values on the board.

Other Options: Marcus Morris Sr. ($5,700, if George is out), Jordan Nwora ($3,600, if Middleton is out), Juan Toscano-Anderson ($3,200)


Center

Stud

Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz vs. Washington Wizards, $8,800

Gobert brings tremendous upside in this juicy spot against the Wizards. This season, Washington ranks 22nd in defensive efficacy and they are yielding the second-most points in the paint. On DraftKings Sportsbook, this contest’s total is up to 220.5 points, and when Gobert has competed in a total of at least 220 points this season, the center has responded with 43 DKFP per game.

As per usual, Gobert shouldn’t be a common name in GPPs and is a very appealing way of paying up to be contrarian.

Other Options: Jarrett Allen ($8,700)

Value

Nemanja Bjelica, Golden State Warriors @ Toronto Raptors, $3,400

Stephen Curry (rest), Draymond Green (hip), Otto Porter Jr. (foot), Andrew Wiggins (knee) and Andre Iguodala (knee) have all been ruled out, making Bjelica an elite punt with the Warriors down to only nine available players. The veteran is supplying 1.1 DKFP per minute this season, and 27.9 DKFP per game in the past 10 in which he has cracked the 20-minute mark.

Bjelica should handle around 30 minutes tonight and is a legitimate threat for eight to 10 times value.

Other Options: Robert Williams ($5,700), Nicolas Claxton ($4,400, if active), Hassan Whiteside ($4,000), DeMarcus Cousins ($3,800)

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA $300K 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 Hunta512) 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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