DFS Basketball: December 20th Slate

Ken Mahoney, Contributor from Turning 2 Sports (@Turning2Sports)


Welcome back! It’s time for another DFS Basketball preview, brought to you by Turning Two Sports, where we DO care about your fantasy team!

This is arguably me favorite slate of the year so far. If you aren’t up to date on the latest news of the night, there are A TON of minimum salary punt plays that figure to be in for heavy minutes tonight. I want to play all of them, allowing me to really pay up for 3 or 4 studs. The value guys all have high floors for me tonight, and I expect all of them to see 20-30 minutes. That makes them difficult to pass up. You’ll see more details shortly.

In order to set a perfect lineup on DraftKings, we want to look for players who will provide 5x their salary in returning point output. So if Steph Curry comes in at $9,000 and James Harden comes in at $9,600, Curry needs 45 points to return value while Harden needs 48. To think about it on the fly, just do this:

(Salary * .001 * 5) <= DFS Points

Now with that said, here is the overall record for the season. I’m considering a miss as anything less than 4x value (Blue snowflake on DraftKings). A hit is anything at or above 5x value (Red flame on DraftKings). Displayed below is the format “Hits – Misses”

Season Record: 136-79 (63.3% hit rate)

Top Game Stack: Los Angeles Lakers @ Houston Rockets (-14): Over/Under 225


Point Guard

Russell Westbrook $11,400 – Let’s start things out with Mr. Reliable himself Russ Westbrook. He’s very expensive, but you will have absolutely no trouble fitting him in on this slate. The matchup is a good one against Utah. Normally, Utah is lethal on opponents for DFS purposes because of their slow play. What many may not know is that when Rudy Gobert is not on the floor, the Jazz play an incredibly different, and much more up-tempo pace of basketball. Don’t let the price on Russ scare you. There’s much less blowout risk here than there is on James Harden. Target: 57


Shooting Guard

Chris Paul $9,800 – DraftKings is allowing Chris Paul to play SG, which is wonderful for tonight’s slate. He has arguably the best matchup of the night against an atrocious Lakers squad on the defensive end, and will see boatloads of Lonzo in this game. Lonzo is nowhere near ready for the CP3 test. His price is really climbing, but it’s warranted. In his last four games, he’s got a pair of 60 point performances and a 52 point performance. Target: 49

Josh Hart $3,000 – Who? The replacement start for KCP that’s who. We know KCP has already been ruled out in the fast-paced matchup with Houston. That is going to give Hart an incredible opportunity to be near the top of the NBA in points per dollar on DraftKings. He saw 32 minutes against Cleveland and produced a point per minute. That has me salivating. I will most definitely have exposure to Hart in a plus matchup with Harden and Eric Gordon. Target: 15


Small Forward

DeMar DeRozan $8,300 – As the NBA season evolves we start to develop new trends to look out for in DFS contests on DraftKings. One such trend now is to pick on off-guards on the Hornets. For whatever reason, Charlotte has been brutal against opposing shooting guards. I call it a combination of Batum not being healthy and Kemba just not being a good defender. DeMar is the type of shooter you look for in this spot. He’s a very high volume shot, on a good team, in a great matchup. He’s a great play on DraftKings where he might be slightly under owned given his struggles against Sacramento on Sunday. Target: 41.5


Power Forward

Ryan Anderson $4,200 – Clint Capela has already been ruled out, which opens up a whole new world for DFS tonight. There are several Rockets who instantly receive boosts, and Anderson is the most likely to benefit. In Capela’s last missed start, Anderson grabbed the start but saw just 23 minutes. I’m hoping the combination of increased workload and awful opponent is enough for him to hit 20 DK points tonight. Target: 21

Jordan Mickey $3,700 – Another fantastic punt play tonight is Mickey against his old team. Mickey has seen a significant usage bump the last three games with the absences of James Johnson and Hassan Whiteside. Both are set to miss tonight’s game as well, so I look for Mickey to receive another 20-25 minutes, and ideally net another 25-27 DK points. He’s done so in each of his last two, and cached value in the game prior to that in 15 minutes. Target him tonight for your forward spot. Target: 18



Zach Randolph $6,200 – We did mention the new trend of picking on Hornets guards, but let’s revisit an “oldie” but “goodie” and slot in Z-Bo against Brooklyn tonight. This game will be a shootout, as both of them love to shoot and both of them hate to play defense. Z-Bo has been incredibly consistent as of late, having gone over 30 DK points in seven of his last eight. He also is a surefire lock for 30 minutes almost every night. Target: 31

Nene Hilario $3,300 – Talk about a dog huh? Well, not so far. Nene was rested on Monday against the Jazz, so you know he’s coming into this contest extremely well rested and ready for a normal workload. For him, I would expect that to be roughly 20-25 minutes. He received that on Saturday and amassed 8x value. I think he’s a lock for value tonight because somebody on the Rockets is going to need to eat minutes, and the Lakers can’t stop anybody. Target: 16.5


Lineup 1:

PG – Russell Westbrook $11,400

SG – Chris Paul $9,800

SF – DeMar DeRozan $8,300

PF – Ryan Anderson $4,200

C – Nene Hilario $3,300

G – Josh Hart $3,000

F – Jordan Mickey $3,700

U – Zach Randolph $6,200


Best of luck everyone. Thanks for reading and appreciate the support. Go make some money!

Follow Ken and the Turning2Sports crew on Twitter @Turning2Sports for more great DFS advice; and much more!

Published by

Matt Hicks

Matt’s writing is focused on dynasty and devy fantasy football. He loves blending his experience writing research in the field of education with fantasy football stats. Matt currently lives in Baltimore, MD and graduated from Eastern Connecticut State University and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. You can follow Matt on Twitter: @TheFF_Educator

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