Wednesday, Dec. 15, marks the middle of the week and the month with a nine-game main slate beginning at 7:00 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, Wednesday, Dec. 15
Yahoo Play of the Day — Kyle Lowry: Miami Heat at Philadelphia 76ers
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 40.81 | DraftKings: 44.43
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 40% | FanDuel 46.4% | DraftKings 28.2%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $29 | FanDuel $7,000 | DraftKings $8,100
By now DFS gamers know that Kyle Lowry is from Philadelphia. In his last 11 games in the City of Brotherly Love Lowry has averaged 34.9 minutes and just over 14 field goal attempts per game, half of those coming from behind the arc. This has resulted an excellent 39.2 Yahoo points per game on 21.5 points, five rebounds, 5.5 assists and 2.1 steals. Even better, his Mom should be in attendance, as she was when her son’s former Toronto teammates beat the 76ers early this season.
However, the main reason to look to Lowry tonight is his favorable salary and his increased offensive role when Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo are out. Joining them on the sidelines will be Tyler Herro (quad) and Caleb Martin (health and safety). NBA WOWY shows that with Butler and Adebayo on the court, Lowry averages 0.79 Yahoo points per minute. Without that duo he averages 1.02 Yahoo points per minute for a 20% increase. In his last three games as the leading offensive option, Lowry is averaging 35.5 minutes, 20 points, 2.7 rebounds, 10 assists and 1.6 combined blocks/steals.
In great recent form, Lowry will likely be the key cog for the Heat again tonight with so many injuries. With his NBA player prop today for point scored sitting at 17.5, the OVER is a great bet tonight and Awesemo has him projected to exceed 17.5 points more than 75% of the time.
Nikola Jokic: Denver Nuggets vs. Minnesota Timberwolves
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 59.21 | DraftKings: 62.42
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 23.4% | FanDuel 26.7% | DraftKings 26.1%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $56 | FanDuel $11,500 | DraftKings $12,200
The NBA has joined the NFL this week in seeing a major uptick in COVID cases. This is creating an inordinate amount of value plays, which in turn easily facilitate the coveted stars-and-scrubs roster construction. Will Barton missed the last two games with a non-COVID illness and is expected to return tonight. That at least gives Nikola Jokic one teammate who can share the scoring and facilitation duties. In his last 18 games, Jokic has topped 49 Yahoo points 16 times. Across his last five games he is averaging 34.5 minutes, 28.2 points, 14.4 rebounds, 10.6 assists and 2.4 combined blocks/steals. Even if Karl-Anthony Towns actually played defense, he would be a minor nuisance for Jokic.
Jrue Holiday: Milwaukee Bucks vs. Indiana Pacers
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 37.92 | DraftKings: 38.92
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 37.2% | FanDuel 25.8% | DraftKings 33.7%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $29 | FanDuel $8,000 | DraftKings $7,500
Giannis Antetokounmpo is in the health and safety protocol and will miss at least the next week. Khris Middleton is dealing with a hyperextended knee and is questionable for tonight. Since the beginning of last season, Jrue Holiday has averaged 0.98 Yahoo points per minute alongside Antetokounmpo. Without Giannis Holiday sees his efficiency increase to 1.30 Yahoo points per minute. If Middleton plays, he too sees a very similar increase in his production. Be ready to pivot if there are any more positive COVID tests among the team; otherwise any Bucks taking the court tonight are solid options in all formats. If Middleton is out, Bobby Portis, Pat Connaughton and Grayson Allen move from reasonable to exceptional options.
Yahoo Discount Dandies
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Miami Heat
Joel Embiid was a late scratch with sore ribs after tip-off on Monday, and he is questionable tonight. Coach Doc Rivers can never be trusted with his injury reporting, but with Seth Curry also missing the last game and Georges Niang and Furkan Korkmaz listed as questionable, there could be some excellent discount dandies from Philadelphia, depending on who is actually available tonight. Miami is also severely short-handed, which means Gabe Vincent, Max Strus, Duncan Robinson and Dewayne Dedmon join Lowry as viable options to varying degrees depending on positional need and salary cap constraints. P.J. Tucker has averaged just over 37 Yahoo points over the last three games with so many Miami players missing. However, at some point the music is going to stop and his backers will be left holding the bag on a sub-20-fantasy-point performance.
Houston Rockets at Cleveland Cavaliers
Houston is missing Kevin Porter Jr., Eric Gordon, Jalen Green and Danuel House. Christian Wood is dealing with a sore knee, though gamers should assume he is a full-go if he starts since there is no reason for the Rockets to risk further injury. If he is out, that means even more usage and opportunities for Armoni Brooks, Garrison Mathews and Alperen Sengun, who are all near the minimum salary on Yahoo.
Final Thoughts on NBA DFS picks for the Wednesday, Dec. 15 Slate
Tonight there are 18 teams in action and a fair amount of news yet to come out. Additionally, there could be surprise scratches or additional COVID issues that create even better player opportunities than what existed in the early afternoon today. 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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