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NBA DFS Building Blocks for DraftKings & FanDuel | 12/ 31 New Year’s Eve

Eric MacPherson



According to a report, the New Orleans Pelicans have switched their culinary team with hopes of getting Zion Williamson in better shape

The New Year’s Eve NBA DFS action on Thursday, Dec. 31 locks at 6:30 p.m. EST on DraftKings with a manageable five-game main slate. FanDuel is going with a four-gamer locking at 7:00 p.m. EST. Before you lock in your NBA DFS picks and favorite lineups on DraftKings, FanDuel, Yahoo and SuperDraft, make sure to check out Awesemo’s daily fantasy basketball rankings and projections. Let’s dig into some NBA DFS picks, including Julius Randle, Zion Williamson and more.



NBA DFS Picks: Key Building Blocks | New Year’s Eve

Julius Randle: New York Knicks at Toronto Raptors

DraftKings $8,800, FanDuel $11,200, Yahoo $31
Ownership Rating (preliminary run): DraftKings 9.0%, FanDuel 29.6% Yahoo 33.2%

We definitely want to keep going back to Julius Randle until the pricing algorithms catch on that coach Tom Thibodeau is going to roll with his best player 35+ minutes a night. Apologies to R.J. BarrettThrough the first four games Randle is averaging 37.5 minutes, 24.8 points, 10.5 rebounds, 7.5 assists and 0.8 combined blocks and steals while regularly flirting with the fifty fantasy point plateau. There is a chance that Alec Burks (ankle) is out once again which will boost the offensive volume allocated to Randle. If Burks is out, look for Elfrid Payton as a bonus recommendation.

Zion Williamson: New Orleans Pelicans at Oklahoma City Thunder

DraftKings $7,900, FanDuel $8,300, Yahoo $37
Ownership Rating (preliminary run): DraftKings 25.3%, FanDuel 30.3% Yahoo 22.4%

Feel free to ignore the last game when the Pelicans got worked over by the Suns. Coach Stan Van Gundy emptied the bench in the fourth quarter which cost Zion Williamson about four or five minutes. In the two previous games, the former number one draft pick saw twin 38 minute performances. This is a far cry from what we saw last season. Keep in mind that Williamson is only 20 years old and still honing his skills. He will be in the mix every night for a double-double and if his shot is falling he will flirt with 30 points. At this reasonable price point he is a core building block for our cash game rosters.


NBA DFS Picks: Good Value

Marvin Bagley: Sacramento Kings at Houston Rockets

DraftKings $5,300, FanDuel $5,100, Yahoo $25
Ownership Rating (preliminary run): DraftKings 27.8%, FanDuel 21.9% Yahoo 7.8%

The pricing is not appealing on Yahoo for Marvin Bagleyhowever you can find several discount dandies below for that site. On FanDuel we can only play two power forwards and I have now recommended three, but at least two of them should be appealing to everyone so we are good there. On DraftKings it is looking like my cash lineup will be featuring three power forwards. Of course, that is subject to change based on breaking news, but these are my three favorite plays on this slate.

In his four games, Bagley has played 23, 27, 21 and 23 minutes. Looking at NBA rotations on we can see that coach Luke Walton has been tinkering with his rotation, but one thing has been clear is that Bagley has not been with the closing unit yet. This is where we have both risk and upside. If Bagley gets 5-6 fourth quarter minutes he should be a great value. If he does not, we are probably looking at a 25ish fantasy point performance instead of something in the 30s. Caveat emptor.

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NBA DFS Picks: Risky Value

Royce O’Neale: Utah Jazz vs. Phoenix Suns

DraftKings $3,800, FanDuel $3,800, Yahoo $10
Ownership Rating (preliminary run): DraftKings 23.7%, FanDuel 10.9% Yahoo 20.2%

The knock on Royce O’Neale is the lack of fantasy upside. Yes, he should see minutes in the mid-30s as he is a solid defender and a good three-point shooter. However, this year he is averaging 4.0 field goal attempts per game in 32.0 minutes. This should be no surprise as last year he averaged 28.9 minutes with 5.1 field goal attempts per game. When Donovan Mitchell, Mike Conley, Bojan Bogdanovic and Jordan Clarkson are on the court, they get all the shots. In cash games you can consider O’Neal

 Yahoo Daily Fantasy Basketball Discount Dandies

  1. DeMarcus Cousins: HOU vs. SAC – $10
  2. Hamidou Diallo: OKC vs. NOP – $11
  3. Cameron Johnson.: PHX at UTA – $13

SuperDraft Daily Fantasy Basketball Picks

  1. Zion Williamson: NOP at OKC – 1.4x multiplier
  2. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: OKC vs. NOP – 1.45x multiplier
  3. Rudy Gobert: UTA vs. PHX – 1.3x multiplier

Final Thoughts

Once again, we will have plenty of value, so we can facilitate a stars-and-scrubs build. Just keep in mind that it is not necessarily going to be the same players across all of the sites.

Be sure to into the Awesemo NBA Deeper Dive and Live Before Lock show beginning at 4:30 p.m. EST for all of your up-to-date information and analysis.

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Looking for more NBA DFS picks content? We have loads of daily fantasy basketball articles, data, cheat sheets and more on the Awesemo NBA home page. Just click HERE.

Eric "EMac" MacPherson won the 2007 Fantasy Baseball grand prize (trip for two to the MLB All-Star game) in the Roto format on ESPN. He won again in 2008, this time in the H2H format. As one of the early adopters of daily fantasy sports, EMac has been providing content for baseball and basketball as well as both professional and college football since 2012 for a variety of websites including DraftKings Playbook, FanVice, RotoWorld, Daily Fantasy Bootcamp, and RotoGrinders. He is well into his third decade of fantasy sports and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Follow him on Twitter @EMacDFS or contact EMac by emailing [email protected].

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