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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Targets, Values for December 30

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

NBA: Orlando Magic at Atlanta Hawks Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Thursday’s NBA slate is on the smaller side, with only four games to choose from. Still, there’s plenty of money to be won on DraftKings, so let’s dive into some of the top studs and values at each position.

Editor’s Note: Tonight’s game between the Denver Nuggets and the Golden State Warriors has been postponed, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

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Point Guard


James Harden, Brooklyn Nets vs. Philadelphia 76ers ($11,100)Kevin Durant ($11,200) is expected to return to the lineup on Thursday, which means Harden could be a bit of an afterthought. He’s dominated with Durant out of the lineup recently, scoring at least 75.5 DKFP in each of his past two games, but his production has been mediocre when sharing the court with Durant. He averages just 1.21 DKFP per minute in that situation.

However, Harden still owns the top ceiling at a relatively thin position on Thursday. There’s also a chance that Durant could be limited in his return to action, so Harden could see more minutes than usual.


R.J. Hampton, Orlando Magic vs. Milwaukee Bucks ($3,900) – The Magic are still dealing with a host of absences. They’re without Cole Anthony (ankle), Terrence Ross (conditioning) and Chuma Okeke (health protocols) on Thursday, while Jalen Suggs remains out with a long-term thumb injury.

That leaves Hampton to handle most of the point guard responsibilities. He’s increased his production to 0.83 DKFP per minute with Anthony, Ross and Suggs off the court this season, and he has the potential to play much more than usual. He’s a steal at just $3.9K.

Other Options – Tyrese Maxey ($5,600), Kevin Pangos ($3,800)

Shooting Guard


Will Barton, Denver Nuggets vs. Golden State Warriors ($5,700) – Shooting guard doesn’t stand out as a great position to spend up at on Thursday. Barton is probably the most appealing “stud” at $5.7K. He’s scored at least 30.25 DKFP in three straight games, and he should continue to serve as the Nuggets’ No. 2 option behind Nikola Jokic ($11,900). He’s fared well in that role this season, averaging 0.94 DKFP per minute. His price tag has also dropped by $1,000 over the past week, so he doesn’t need to do quite as much to return value.

Other Options – Andrew Wiggins ($6,900), Gary Harris ($5,100)


Isaac Okoro, Cleveland Cavaliers at Washington Wizards ($4,400) – The Cavaliers are getting desperate at point guard. They’ve now lost both Collin Sexton (knee) and Ricky Rubio (knee) to season-ending injuries, and Darius Garland remains out due to health and safety protocols. That means they’re going to have to look at some unconventional options at the point on Thursday.

Okoro could be one of them. He played 30.6 minutes in his return to the lineup on Tuesday, and he was starting to come into his own before being shut down for health and safety protocols. He’s increased his production to 0.73 DKFP per minute over the past month, and he should see plenty of playing time vs. the Wizards.

Other Options – Grayson Allen ($4,100), Facundo Campazzo ($4,100)

Small Forward


Franz Wagner, Orlando Magic vs. Milwaukee Bucks ($7,000) – Wagner continues to play well in his rookie season. He’s coming off the best game of his career on Tuesday, finishing with a career-high 38 points and 56.25 DKFP. That game came in a 17-point loss vs. the Bucks, and he’ll be facing the same opponent on Thursday. I wouldn’t expect a repeat performance, but he should carry another sizable workload for the shorthanded Magic. He’s averaged 1.05 DKFP per minute over the past month, so he should be able to pay off his $7K price tag.

Other Options – Kevin Durant ($11,200)


Lauri Makkanen, Cleveland Cavaliers at Washington Wizards ($5,800) – Markkanen stands out as a nice option for the shorthanded Cavaliers. In addition to all their absences in the backcourt, Jarrett Allen ($9,800; conditioning) and Cedi Osman (health protocols) are also expected to miss Thursday’s contest. That opens up a few additional minutes for Markkanen. His production has waned a bit recently, but he’s still averaged a respectable 0.86 DKFP per minute this season.

Other Options – Denzel Valentine ($3,300)

Power Forward


Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks at Orlando Magic ($11,600) – Antetokounmpo has suited up in each of the past two games for the Bucks, but they haven’t really needed to unleash him. He’s played less than 30 minutes in both contests, which obviously caps his upside.

Still, Giannis is capable of doing some serious damage in limited minutes. He racked up 63.0 DKFP vs. the Celtics on Christmas in less than 30 minutes, so he still has one of the highest ceilings on the slate. The Magic are a poor defensive team, ranking 26th in defensive efficiency, and the Bucks’ implied team total of 116.0 is the top mark on the slate.

Other Options – Wendell Carter ($7,600), Kevin Love ($6,700)


Dean Wade, Cleveland Cavaliers at Washington Wizards ($3,700) – Wade is another player worth considering for the Cavaliers. He should also see a bump in playing time in the frontcourt, and he’s extremely cheap at just $3.7K. He should see at least 30 minutes on Thursday, which is a ton of playing time for someone who costs less than $4K. Wade has also seen a nice uptick in production recently, averaging 0.79 DKFP per minute over the past month.

Other Options – Matisse Thybulle ($3,400), Mo Wagner ($3,200)



Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets vs. Golden State Warriors ($11,900) – Center is easily the strongest position on today’s slate. There are great options at each level of the pricing spectrum, starting with Jokic up top. Jokic is coming off a “disappointing” 59.5 DKFP in his last outing, but he’s still been the clear top player in fantasy this season. He’s averaged a dominant 1.82 DKFP per minute, and he’s been at his best recently. Prior to his last outing, he had scored at least 61.5 DKFP in eight of his previous ten games. His salary has decreased by $500 for Thursday’s rematch vs. the Warriors, so he’s an outstanding buy-low target.

Other Options – Joel Embiid ($11,000)


Daniel Gafford, Washington Wizards vs. Cleveland Cavaliers ($5,000) – The Wizards have split the center minutes evenly between Gafford and Montrezl Harrell (health protocols) this season, but Harrell is currently out of the lineup. That means Gafford gets a massive bump in value. He logged 36.4 minutes in his last outing, and he unsurprisingly racked up 36.25 DKFP. Gafford has averaged 1.04 DKFP per minute this season, so I would expect similar production on Thursday’s slate. He’s one of the strongest options regardless of position.

Other OptionsKevon Looney ($3,600)

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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.

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