- Picks for every position and price point for NBA DFS contests on Saturday, December 23.
Saturday night in the NBA brings us a pre-Christmas Eve slate of 13 games. With that many studs to choose from, finding the right value players will be key to a winning lineup. We’re here to help you do that. Try LineupLab's powerful PlayerLab Tool, where you can gain an edge over your opponent by filtering for the statistics that you believe matter most. Minutes anyone?
Eric Bledsoe, vs. Hornets (FD: $7,200, DK: $6,400)
Projected Points: FD: 35.25, DK: 35.68
Bledsoe obliterated the Hornets in Friday night’s victory, and gets another matchup with them on Saturday. Bledsoe put up a season-high 55 DK points against Charlotte on Friday, and his usage rate has climbed to 27.5%, second only to the Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Tyler Johnson, vs. Pelicans (FD: $6,000, DK: $5,400)
Projected Points: FD: 32.18, DK: 31.97
With as many injuries as the Heat currently have (Goran Dragic, Dion Waiters, James Johnson, Hassan Whiteside and Justise Winslow) it makes all the sense in the world to buy an active player on Miami at a low price player. Johnson is averaging 38.4 minutes per game over his last three contests, thanks largely to all his teammates in the infirmary. Over his last five games, he has put up an average of 15.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists.
Khris Middleton, vs. Hornets (FD: $7,700, DK: $7,600)
Projected Points: FD: 37.32, DK: 38.21
Middleton scored a team-high 28 points against the Hornets Friday, proving once again that he is a consistent threat, even with Giannis Antetokuonmpo and Eric Bledsoe leading the way in usage rate. In the last three outings against Charlotte, he has averaged an extraordinary 45 DraftKings points per game. It seems that Charlotte simply doesn't know how to defend this position at all, allowing t 24.37 points per game to shooting guards, second-most in the league.
Get further analysis of Saturday's NBA DFS slate, lineup optimizers and more at Lineup Lab, your home for all your NBA, NFL and MLB DFS lineup needs.
C.J. McCollum, vs. Lakers (FD: $7,400, DK: $7,700)
Projected Points: FD: 37.15, DK: 38.54
When is sidelined Damian Lillard, as he will be Saturday with a hamstring injury, McCollum's usage rate spikes to 31.2%. He gets a favorable matchup with the Lakers, who rank 27th in the league against two-guards, allowing 30.4 fantasy points per game to the position. The Lakers also play at the fastest pace in the league, which should translate into plenty of scoring opportunities for McCollum.
Kevin Durant, vs. Nuggets (FD: $11,600, DK: $11,500)
Projected Points: FD: 54.91, DK: 55.18
Averaging 62.3 Draftkings points over the last seven games, Durant is putting fantasy teams on his back, along with the Warriors. The Nuggets historically have done a better job against Durant in the paint than the average team, but with Steph Curry still nursing an ankle injury, Durant will continue to take on a role that has him resembling his superstar point guard teammate, at least in style of play. Already first on the team in usage rate (31.1%), he climbs towards the top of the league (35.3%) when Curry is out of commission.
Josh Richardson, vs. Pelicans (FD: $6,000, DK: $6,400)
Projected Points: FD: 29.57, DK: 29.4
Richardson has made the perfect lineup on DraftKings in each of his last four games, taking advantage of a higher usage rate while remaining at a low price. Over his last 13 games, he has averaged 17.5 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 2.3 assists. Not only has Richardson been an offensive machine of late, but he can protect the basket, as well, averaging 1.0 blocks and 1.2 steals over the same 13-game span.
Anthony Davis, vs. Heat (FD: $11,300, DK: $10,400)
Projected Points: FD: 52.56, DK: 52.69
The Pelicans, especially Davis and DeMarcus Cousins, should be able to take advantage of the injury-depleted Heat on Saturday. I don't see a way that the Heat can keep up with two monsters under one basket. Davis has made it into the perfect lineup both times he has played Miami this season, and even with the slight injury to his wrist, he’ll be a threat to make it 3-for-3 on Saturday.
Kyle Kuzma, vs. Blazers (FD: $6,800, DK: $6,700)
Projected Points: FD: 31.32, DK: 31.82
Kuzma is on a run, the likes of which hasn’t been seen in Los Angeles in more than 50 years. Kuzma has scored at least 25 points in three straight games, making him the first Lakers rookie to do so since Jerry West achieved the feat in 1961 (Lonzo who?). In Kuzma’s last five games, he has averaged 24.2 points per game, 5.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists, translating to 39.05 DraftKings points per game, and landing him in the perfect lineup three times. He’ll continue to take advantage of the minutes bump resulting from Brook Lopez’s injury.
Karl-Anthony Towns, vs. Suns (FD: $10,700, DK: $9,500)
Projected Points: FD: 46.1, DK: 47.61
Minnesota has a positive pace differential in this game, and Towns is a good bet to exploit that. He has put up 55.4 DraftKings points per game the last two times the Timberwolves and Suns have gotten together, has a league-high 26 double-doubles, and is fifth in the league in minutes. It’s a perfect recipe, even at this price point. He should fare well in both websites in cash and tournaments.
Taj Gibson, vs. Suns (FD: $5,900, DK: $5,900)
Projected Points: FD: 28.13, DK: 27.69
Unless this game ends up being a blowout there's no reason at all not to play both bigs for the Timberwolves down low. Gibson is on one of the best runs of his career, averaging 38 DraftKings points per contest with his minutes running into the high 30s, and reaching 40 a couple times (never change, Thibs). With the highest total of the day (217.5), we're going to see some substantial fantasy totals on the board from the Timberwolves.