Tuesday, Dec. 14, brings a three-game main slate tipping off at 7:30 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, Tuesday, Dec. 14
Yahoo Play of the Day — James Harden: Brooklyn Nets vs. Toronto Raptors
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 46.89 | DraftKings: 50.49
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 41.0% | FanDuel 40.9% | DraftKings 32.3%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $48 | FanDuel $10,400 | DraftKings $11,200
James Harden should be quite popular tonight on the three-game slate, particularly since teammate Kevin Durant was downgraded to questionable with a sore ankle this afternoon. Harden did not play in the Nets last game, as he got his first night off of the season. That means he has four days of rest and now gets a matchup against a Toronto squad that has been all over the place with their defensive efforts, having had a plethora of regulars missing time this season. Whether or not Durant plays, Harden is a steal at $48 on Yahoo tonight.
Awesemo’s NBA projections have Harden coming in at 9.5 assists tonight, while his player prop over/under is sitting at 11.5. Taking the under 11.5 assists on Harden’s NBA player prop tonight is expected to win 79% of the time, making it a great bet tonight.
Fred VanVleet: Toronto Raptors at Brooklyn Nets
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 37.76 | DraftKings: 38.62
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 28.2% | FanDuel 27.2% | DraftKings 22.3%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $31 | FanDuel $8,500 | DraftKings $8,600
This is a back-to-back for the Raptors, though they so thoroughly crushed the hopes and dreams of the Kings last night that the only starter to set foot on the court in the final quarter was rookie Scottie Barnes. Fred VanVleet leads the league in minutes with 37.7 per game, but he only played 26 minutes last night. It is important to realize that that unfortunate fantasy performance was on the prior slate, and now he should be less fatigued than he typically would be under normal circumstances when playing on consecutive nights. His salary is unchanged on Yahoo, and he may even be less popular than warranted after his backers got burned last night.
Damian Lillard: Portland Trail Blazers vs. Phoenix Suns
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 42.18 | DraftKings: 45.01
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 31.2% | FanDuel 34.8% | DraftKings 23.3%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $35 | FanDuel $8,700 | DraftKings $9,700
After missing nearly two weeks, Damian Lillard rejoined the Trail Blazers on Sunday, playing a hefty 37 minutes in a 116-111 lost to the Timberwolves. Lillard has been dealing with an abdominal injury that has plagued him since the Olympics. In addition to the time off, he also received a cortisone injection to help alleviate the pain and soreness. He is clearly not 100%, though with C.J. McCollum out with his own injury, Lillard is stepping back into the fray. This is a reasonable salary for someone who should flirt with 40 fantasy points, though gamers need to understand Lillard’s 50- to 60-fantasy-point outings are unlikely to happen with any regularity until he is healthy.
For those not interested in Lillard, Chris Paul is at a similar salary on most DFS sites, and he is a fine pivot. This is a back-to-back for the Suns, though none of their starters played heavy minutes in last night’s loss to the Clippers in Los Angeles.
Yahoo Discount Dandies
Anfernee Simons: Portland Trail Blazers vs. Phoenix Suns
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 25.2 | DraftKings: 26.97
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 15.2% | FanDuel 14.6% | DraftKings 14.9%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $12 | FanDuel $5,800 | DraftKings $5,600
Anfernee Simons is shaping up as one of the better bargains on Yahoo tonight. He returned to action on Sunday after missing three games and played nearly 33 minutes, taking an eye-popping 20 field goal attempts, which was the second most of his career. With McCollum out and Lillard dinged up, Simons should be in the mix for 32 to 34 minutes most nights with upside for more in close games. Teammate Larry Nance Jr. drew his first start of the season, and if he remains in the starting lineup, he is worth a flier at the Yahoo $10 minimum salary.
Chris Boucher: Toronto Raptors at Brooklyn Nets
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 29.92 | DraftKings: 29.23
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 21.6% | FanDuel 26% | DraftKings 26.1%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $14 | FanDuel $5,100 | DraftKings $4,800
The only question for Chris Boucher is, will he ever see 30 minutes of action? If he does, then he will likely be a slate-breaker with his proclivity for scoring fantasy points quickly. However, coach Nick Nurse does not view things through a fantasy lens, and for whatever reason, he seems content to keep Boucher at 25 or fewer minutes. Boucher has been in the starting lineup the last three games, and even with O.G. Anunoby, Khem Birch and Precious Achiuwa all out, he has averaged just under 24 minutes in this timeframe. Tonight he has more value on sites where he qualifies as a power forward since there are plenty of options who are only eligible as centers.
Final Thoughts on NBA DFS picks for the Tuesday, Dec. 14 Slate
Chicago has had their next two games postponed due to a COVID outbreak among the players and staff, so that is why there are only three games tonight. The other pending news will be the status of Kevin Durant and whether or not Deandre Ayton returns from his non-COVID illness after missing the last two games. 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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