Tuesday, Dec. 21, has a five-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. 21
The Washington Wizards at Brooklyn Nets has become the fifth postponed game in the last three days. Today several teams have more players with positive COVID tests or who are close contacts, which means everything is in flux.
Yahoo Play of the Day — Julius Randle: New York Knicks at Dallas Mavericks
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 43.25 | DraftKings: 46.0
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 45.2% | FanDuel 42.0% | DraftKings 20.3%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $37 | FanDuel $8,800 | DraftKings $10,300
The Knicks will be without Immanuel Quickly, R.J. Barrett, Obi Toppin, Kevin Knox, Quentin Grimes and Miles McBride. Derrick Rose is questionable with an ankle injury, and he missed the last game. Kemba Walker ($12) is a tremendous option if he is starting tonight, and there is a chance he could go overlooked on Yahoo. Matt Mooney and Damyean Dotson have been signed to help fill in some of the holes.
New York is nearly double-digit favorites against the Pistons, who have been a disaster on defense this season. Over their last seven games they are allowing 111.2 points per 100 possessions. Julius Randle has had to pick up the slack, and over his last three games he is averaging 36.6 minutes and 19.3 field goal attempts, including 7.7 from beyond the arc. This has resulted in 24 points, 7.3 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 1.3 combined blocks/steals. In this matchup Randle is all but assured of scoring 40 Yahoo points, and he should flirt with 50 if he has a little luck on his side.
Awesemo projections have Randle for 10.3 rebounds in tonight’s matchup against the Mavericks. His NBA player prop tonight is sitting at over/under 9.5, making the over a solid NBA bet tonight and has an expect win rate of 59%, according to Awesemo’s projections.
Jalen Brunson: Dallas Mavericks vs. Minnesota Timberwolves
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 33.56 | DraftKings: 34.54
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 31.8% | FanDuel 30.7% | DraftKings 24%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $24 | FanDuel $7,300 | DraftKings $7,400
Luka Doncic is out, and Kristaps Porzingis is a game-time decision with a toe issue. Jalen Brunson should continue to start while Doncic is out, and he has performed well in this role. Across 10 starts this season Brunson is averaging 34.3 minutes, 20.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, 7.2 assists and 0.8 steals per game for 37.1 Yahoo points. Minnesota is short-handed tonight, and defense has not been a priority for them in years. This is a nice spot to roll out Brunson, even with his surging popularity.
Brandon Ingram: New Orleans Pelicans vs. Portland Trail Blazers
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 38.55 | DraftKings: 40.55
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 24.6% | FanDuel 24.8% | DraftKings 23.4%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $35 | FanDuel $8,700 | DraftKings $8,900
Portland is dinged up with Damian Lillard (hamstring), Jusuf Nurkic (ribs) and Nassir Little (illness) all questionable, and C.J. McCollum and Cody Zeller are still out. On the season Portland has the fourth-worst defensive efficiency in the league while playing at an above-average pace. Brandon Ingram has been filling all categories of the box score, and he has been in the zone over the last seven games. During this stretch he is averaging 37.4 minutes and nearly 20 field goal attempts. This has culminated in 27.2 points, 5.9 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 1.6 combined blocks and steals. He has topped 50 fantasy points four times, which shows his tremendous upside.
Minnesota Timberwolves at Dallas Mavericks
Anthony Edwards, Patrick Beverley, Jarred Vanderbilt, Taurean Prince and Josh Okogie are all in the health and safety protocol. That is opening up major minutes for Naz Reid, Jaylen Nowell and Malik Beasley. Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell will also have more scoring responsibilities, and this is a situation to target at a variety of positions and salary levels.
Miami Heat vs. Indiana Pacers
Tyler Herro will be returning after missing the last three games, but P.J. Tucker is out with a leg injury, and Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo are out as well. While better value options will likely appear, Dewayne Dedmon and Omer Yurtseven are the only frontcourt players left for Miami who will need size to deal with Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis. The return of Herro will also cut into Gabe Vincent, Max Strus and Duncan Robinson, so tread lightly with the non-Kyle Lowry guards and wings.
Final Thoughts on NBA DFS picks for the Tuesday, Dec. 21 Slate
Minnesota and Dallas are both running thin, but they have each signed a couple of players for depth, so their game is likely to stay on the schedule 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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