FanDuel & DraftKings NBA Daily Picks: Fantasy lineup & advice 12/22/17
The absence of Damian Lillard makes Blazers teammates C.J. McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic a lot more attractive for DFS tonight.
PG – Jamal Murray, Denver Nuggets @ Portland Trail Blazers
It is a good night for point guards, with several strong options to choose from. However, Jamal Murray might have the highest bang-for-your-buck potential of anyone on the slate. Murray is coming off a spectacular 30-point performance against the Minnesota Timberwolves en route to 43 fantasy points per FanDuel scoring. Murray has had 33 or more fantasy points in four of his last five outings, which is strong value given his price.
Murray admittedly has a much lower floor than those other point guard options, but with Lillard out and the Blazers struggling at home lately, there is a more than decent chance that Murray reaches his high ceiling tonight.
SG – C.J. McCollum, Portland Trail Blazers vs Denver Nuggets
CJ McCollum’s streak of six straight games with 20 or more points was unceremoniously snapped by the Spurs. Still, it was a terrific run by McCollum, who averaged close to 24 points on 52 percent shooting during that stretch. His chances of starting a new streak tonight should be sky-high, though.
Not only will he face a Denver Nuggets team which has struggled to contain lead guards, but the absence of Damian Lillard due to a knee injury will instantly make McCollum the team’s top offensive option. McCollum was placed in a similar situation right around this time last year when Lillard missed time. Unsurprisingly, McCollum thrived to the tune of 31.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, 4.6 steals, and 2.6 3-pointers over five games. Do not be the least bit surprised if he approaches those types of numbers tonight.
SF – Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors vs Los Angeles Lakers
Kevin Durant finally let up from the ridiculous pace he has been on recently as he had a mere 22 points, eight boards, and two assists against the Memphis Grizzlies. But with the Warriors still likely to be shorthanded, he cannot afford to have another semi-night-off, especially against a frisky Lakers team that’s taken the Warriors to two overtimes in two meetings this season.
The last time K.D. faced the Lakers, he went off for a ridiculous 36 ponts, 11 rebounds, eight assists, and three blocks. And it could have been so much more had he not shot just 10-of-29. It should be safe to expect the Durant who had averaged 34.2 points, 10.4 rebounds, 7.4 assists, and 3.0 blocks in five games prior to the Grizzlies game to make a return against L.A.
PF – Kyle Kuzma, Los Angeles Lakers @ Golden State Warriors
Kyle Kuzma continues to kill it. The Lakers rookie broke out for a career-high 38 points against the Houston Rockets and added seven boards, seven three-pointers, and four assists to make it a monstrous fantasy night. Over a four-game stretch, Kuzma is averaging 25.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 3.8 3-pointers per game.
With Brook Lopez and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope out, the Lakers need Kuzma to keep scoring and he seems more than happy to oblige. He dropped 25 points, six boards, and three assists on the Warriors off the bench a couple days ago, and there’s no reason to think why he cannot do so again.
C – Jusuf Nurkic, Portland Trail Blazers vs Denver Nuggets
Jusuf Nurkic has been frustratingly inconsistent this season. His minutes have been down this month, especially after he returned from a three-game absence following an ankle sprain. However, tonight could be one of his better nights as he takes on his old team, the Denver Nuggets.
Aside from the fact that the Nuggets have not been great defensively against opposing big men, Nurkic could once again have that extra bit of motivation as he faces his old team. The last time Nurkic hosted the Nuggets in his new home in Portland, he dropped a career-high 33 points with 15 rebounds on them.
While it might be wishful thinking to expect those types of monstrous numbers, the upside is there, especially with Lillard’s absence likely to require him to step up his game significantly.
What are your thoughts on tonight’s daily fantasy landscape? Share them in the comments below!