Sunday, Dec. 26, wraps up the weekend with a seven-game main slate tipping off at 6:00 p.m. ET. Let’s look at the player pool and discuss the top NBA DFS picks for DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo lineups. Do not forget to head over to the Awesemo NBA DFS home page for more great written daily fantasy basketball content.
NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks, Sunday, Dec. 26
Yahoo Play of the Day — Brandon Ingram: New Orleans Pelicans at Oklahoma City Thunder
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 41.64 | DraftKings: 43.93
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 32.0% | FanDuel 35.9% | DraftKings 22.1%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $35 | FanDuel $8,700 | DraftKings $9,800
The Yahoo salary algorithm is giving a post-Christmas discount on Brandon Ingram who has a nice matchup against Oklahoma City. Just over one week ago, Ingram dropped 50 Yahoo points in this same matchup, and he has reached that mark four times in his last nine games. Both of these teams play at an above average pace with subpar defense. New Orleans is without Jonas Valanciunas, Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Naji Marshall which means more usage and fantasy opportunities for Ingram. The Thunder are missing key defender Darius Bazley which increases the appeal of this matchup.
DeMar DeRozan: Chicago Bulls vs. Indiana Pacers
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 39.32 | DraftKings: 39.88
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 24.4% | FanDuel 27.6% | DraftKings 11.8%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $38 | FanDuel $8,900 | DraftKings $9,600
This will be just the third game for Chicago, as they have had three of their last five games postponed because of their COVID related issues and Toronto’s which were the scheduled opponent for two of those games. Zach LaVine is returning from the health and safety protocol right as Lonzo Ball, Alfonzo McKinnie and Tony Bradley have been placed on it. Coach Billy Donovan is also under quarantine as well. The Bulls last game was on Monday which will have given DeMar DeRozan nearly a week to continue to recover from his time on the COVID list. In his two games back, he played 34.3 and 32.3 minutes and should be in the 34 to 36 range tonight. Derrick Jones and Alex Caruso are also out, and with Troy Brown Jr., Ayo Dosunmu and Matt Thomas all rejoining the team, there will still be plenty of available players. However, DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic are going to have to do a lot of the heavy lifting after LaVine’s long layoff. Indiana has a bottom-10 defensive efficiency rating, and this is a solid spot to roll with DeRozan.
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Toronto Raptors
Cleveland is without Jarret Allen, Evan Mobley, Lamar Stevens, Ed Davis, Isaac Okoro, Cedi Osman and Dylan Windler. They are facing an equally shorthanded Toronto team missing Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, Scottie Barnes, O.G. Anunoby, Khem Birch, Gary Trent Jr., Precious Achiuwa and Malachi Flynn.
For the Cavaliers Darius Garland and Ricky Rubio are core options in all formats. Kevin Love and Tacko Fall are interesting, though there are so many centers on tonight’s slate they slip down the list. Lauri Markkanen and Dean Wade are tournament options only. The Raptors are not overly appealing since they are missing their top eight options, though from a fantasy perspective there is an abundance of minutes to be absorbed with Yuta Watanabe and Chris Boucher being the most intriguing plays. Dalano Banton will be the starting point guard, though he is just off the COVID list and has not played in a fortnight.
Philadelphia 76ers at Washington Wizards
Danny Green, Shake Milton and Andre Drummond are out for the 76ers. Washington is missing Bradley Beal and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. The Wizards have been frisky having beaten the Jazz in Utah and then knocking off the Knicks in New York without Beal. Spencer Dinwiddie had a 50-fantasy-point outing in the last game without Beal and Kyle Kuzma nearly had 40 himself. That duo along with Deni Avdija who is at the Yahoo $10 minimum salary are the only appealing Wizards.
Joel Embiid should have a field day against Daniel Gafford and Montrezl Harrell and he is a key player to target in all formats and very well could outproduce Nikola Jokic tonight. Tobias Harris and Tyrese Maxey are also in play and they both have tremendous tournament upside at reasonable salaries.
Final Thoughts on NBA DFS picks for the Sunday, Dec. 26 Slate
The NBA has ramped up testing heading into game days for the holiday stretch, so there could be additional players ruled out tonight. Keep in mind that salaries and scoring formats differ across the various fantasy sites, and a slam-dunk play on Yahoo may be a below-average NBA DFS pick on DraftKings or FanDuel
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