FanDuel & DraftKings NBA Daily Picks: Fantasy lineup & advice 12/26/17
Christmas might be over, but these stars may still deliver a belated gift if selected for DFS tonight.
PG – Elfrid Payton, Orlando Magic @ Miami Heat
The Magic are down to their bare bones at the moment. Aaron Gordon and Evan Fournier are still questionable to return while Nikola Vucevic is the latest to go down to a long-term injury after breaking a bone in his hand. Someone has to put up numbers given all their injuries and Elfrid Payton is stepping up to the plate.
Payton put up a season-high 30 points with ten assists, five rebounds, and four steals in 36 minutes in their blowout defeat to the Washington Wizards. Over his last four games, he is averaging 19.3 points, 4.0 boards, and 7.8 assists. With the lack of top-line point guard options in tonight’s slate, Payton is definitely a worthwhile pick at the position.
Also consider: Tyler Johnson, Miami Heat vs. Orlando Magic
On the other side, Tyler Johnson will likely get more playing time for the foreseeable future with Dion Waiters still sidelined. Johnson has averaged 16 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 1.8 steals in 35.8 minutes over his last four games and should have a good chance of reaching those impressive numbers against a depleted Magic team.
SG – Khris Middleton, Milwaukee Bucks vs. Chicago Bulls
Shooting guard will be a stacked position tonight with a handful of top options in action. Victor Oladipo and DeMar DeRozan are dependable top-line options, while Austin Rivers and Lou Williams have shown they also have a lot of upside. However, Khris Middleton might be the best play of all because of two factors.
1) He is remarkably consistent. He has dipped below 30 fantasy points in FanDuel just once in his last ten games. He has been on a particularly strong scoring binge recently, as is averaging nearly 26 points with 4.4 rebounds, 4.6 assists, and 1.8 steals over his last five games.
2) He also has a highly advantageous matchup tonight against the Chicago Bulls, who are giving up the second-most fantasy points to opposing shooting guards. He completely capitalized on that matchup in his first meeting with the Bulls as he burned them for 29 points, six boards, six assists, and four steals a couple weeks ago and should be a good bet to do so again.
Also consider: Buddy Hield, Sacramento Kings @ Los Angeles Clippers
If you are looking for a low-price, high-upside play at shooting guard, Buddy Hield will be an interesting choice. Hield has been a frustratingly inconsistent fantasy player this season, but has gone for at least 24 points (and 38 fantasy points in FanDuel) in two of his last three games. He also went for a season-high 27 points with seven three-pointers in his first meeting against the Clippers, who do not defend shooting guards well.
SF – Wilson Chandler, Denver Nuggets vs. Utah Jazz
The Nuggets have recorded back-to-back impressive blowout wins and Wilson Chandler played a big part in both. The veteran forward averaged 18 points, ten rebounds, and two three-pointers in those two wins and has consistently exceeded his fantasy value over his last eight games. He will have another great matchup to do so as he takes on a Utah Jazz team which has had a lot of trouble guarding opposing small forwards recently.
Also consider: Mario Hezonja, Orlando Magic @ Miami Heat
Apart from Payton, Mario Hezonja could also continue to benefit from all the Magic’s absentees. Hezonja had 16 points, four rebounds, three steals, and two threes against the Wizards, the third time he easily exceeded his fantasy value when playing over 30 minutes. If Gordon and Fournier remain out, he will be worth picking up once again even though his matchup against Miami is not the most ideal.
PF – LaMarcus Aldridge, San Antonio Spurs vs. Brooklyn Nets
There are not a ton of great power forward options tonight, so why not spend on the closest thing to a sure thing in LaMarcus Aldridge? After a rare off-night against the Jazz, Aldridge bounced back in a big way with 29 points and ten rebounds against the Kings. Aldridge is usually reliable to over 20 points and around nine rebounds per game, but he could very well surpass those usual numbers against a Nets team which is giving the most fantasy points to power forwards.
Also consider: Zach Randolph, Sacramento Kings @ Los Angeles Clippers
At his best, Randolph offers comparable fantasy production to Aldridge at a significantly lower price. Z-Bo has not been as consistent lately but a matchup against the undersized Clippers could be just the game he needs to get back on track. Randolph had a solid line of 17 points, seven assists, and three assists in his first meeting against the Clips, but could easily top those numbers now that Blake Griffin is no longer around.
C – Marc Gasol, Memphis Grizzlies @ Phoenix Suns
Marc Gasol is still not shooting the ball as consistently well, but he is still putting up solid fantasy numbers. He has topped at least 40 fantasy points in FanDuel in each of his last four games, one of which was against the Phoenix Suns. Gasol went just 6-of-19 in that game but did also have 11 rebounds, five assists, and three blocks to go with his 13 points. If he can improve those shooting numbers, he could easily reach 50-point territory in DFS, especially with the Suns’ weakness against opposing centers.
Also consider: DeAndre Jordan, Los Angeles Clippers vs Sacramento Kings
DeAndre Jordan is seemingly an automatic 18 rebounds per game these days, but his fantasy score can still fluctuate since he doesn’t score or block shots as consistently. Nevertheless, he still possesses some decent upside as he faces a Kings team which is giving up the second-most fantasy points to opposing centers.
What are your thoughts about tonight’s NBA DFS landscape? Share them in the comments below!