NBA daily fantasy picks: Five players who could help your lineup for Dec. 21

With nine games tonight, there's plenty of ways to win. Our NBA fantasy expert dishes his daily advice.
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The NBA kicks off Christmas week with a nine-game Monday slate that includes a pair of five-figure players in James Harden and Russell Westbrook. That means that Kevin Durant, of all people, costs less than $10,000 on Monday. That alone makes him even more intriguing than he usually is on a nightly basis. Of course, he’s not the only big-name small forward who appears to be a great bargain on Monday.

All prices are courtesy of FanDuel and based on a $60,000 budget.

PG: Kemba Walker ($7,900) @ HOU: Walker isn’t at the top of the point guard food chain on Monday, but he still should eat against the Rockets. They’ve surrendered the seventh-most fantasy points per game to point guards this year, and the over/under on the game is a robust 209. Even though Walker has struggled a bit of late, this should be a good spot to get him active.

SG: Arron Afflalo ($5,200) vs. ORL: Afflalo is beyond the hamstring woes that plagued him over the last few weeks, scoring 31.8 fantasy points per game in his last three contests. He’s giving the Knicks the secondary scorer they need behind Carmelo Anthony, and that’s making him a daily fantasy bargain at $5,200.

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SF: Paul George ($9,400) @ SA: George has come a bit back toward earth after a torrid opening six-week stretch of the season, and his daily fantasy price has come down along with it. That just serves to make him a great value at $9,400. He is over the illness and minor injury that slowed him last week, averaging 26 points in his last two games. Even with Kawhi Leonard on the other side, he makes a great play on Monday.

PF: Paul Millsap ($8,300) vs. POR: Millsap is always a bankable fantasy play because he rarely falls beneath the production floor you need to justify his price tag. Portland is essentially league average against the power forward position, so the matchup won’t hold Millsap down on Monday. There’s no reason to believe he’ll come up short of the 35 fantasy points you need to be happy that you rostered him.

C: Brook Lopez ($7,700) @ CHI: The Bulls have struggled against big men all season, allowing the seventh-most fantasy points per game to the center position. Lopez is about as skilled an offensive center in the league today, which makes him a nightmare cover for Chicago. He had 20 points, 12 rebounds and five assists his last game, a performance he should build on at the United Center on Monday.