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NBA DFS Building Blocks for Sunday, December 12 | Today, 12/12/21

Eric MacPherson



The best NBA DFS optimizer picks today for Yahoo, DraftKings & FanDuel daily fantasy basketball lineups | Nikola Jokic tonight 1/16/22

Sunday, Dec. 12, brings a five-game main slate tipping off at 6:00 p.m. ET with Yahoo beginning an hour later with a four-game main slate. 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. 12

Yahoo Play of the Day — Jalen Brunson: Dallas Mavericks at Oklahoma City Thunder

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 39.05 | DraftKings: 40.58
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 61.2% | FanDuel 63.3% | DraftKings 71.0%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $19 | FanDuel $5,800 | DraftKings $5,300

Luka Doncic is out with an ankle injury and he has been taking some flack this week for still not being in basketball shape and carrying an extra 15-20 pounds. Jalen Brunson is a solid player and he will be stepping into the void left behind by Doncic. In mid-November we saw Brunson perform well in a three game stretch without Doncic. In this timeframe he averaged 35.4 minutes with 16.7 field goal attempts. This culminated in 18.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, 9.0 assists and 1.3 steals. Tonight he has a tremendous matchup against the Thunder and he should be in the mix for 40-45 Yahoo Fantasy points. Kristaps Porzingis ($34) is also a fine option on Yahoo as well as the other DFS sites.

Brunson was popping in the Awesemo expert projections and models today, as well as the lineup optimizer. Check out all of our free NBA DFS picks today for DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo in our NBA cheat sheets.

Brandon Ingram: New Orleans Pelicans at San Antonio Spurs

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 38.54 | DraftKings: 40.72
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 23.4% | FanDuel 16.0% | DraftKings 12.4%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $34 | FanDuel $8,600 | DraftKings $9,000

In his last four games, Brandon Ingram has been stellar averaging 38.2 minutes with 19.8 field goal attempts including 6.5 from beyond the arc. This has resulted in 26.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 2.4 combined blocks and steals. While some will be snarky and point out that there was an overtime game in this stretch, Ingram is averaging 1.29 Yahoo Fantasy points per minute in these games which is well above his 1.06 full season per minute rate.

Kevin Durant: Brooklyn Nets at Detroit Pistons

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 53.14 | DraftKings: 55.41
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo N/A | FanDuel 41.1% | DraftKings 38.1%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $51 | FanDuel $10,800 | DraftKings $11,000

James Harden has been ruled out for rest which should give plenty of opportunities to Kevin Durant and the other available players. This game is on the DraftKings and FanDuel main-slate and it is available via the Yahoo expanded contests, though not their featured main slate.

Tonight marks the first absence for Harden who is leaving behind 20.8 points, 7.9 rebounds, 9.8 assists along with 36.2 minutes and 14.7 field goal attempts. Since Harden joined Brooklyn, Druant has averaged nearly 1.5 fantasy points per minute when he was off the floor. The increase comes in the form of assists, field goal attempts as well as an expected uptick in usage. Cameron Thomas, Bruce Brown, Patty Mills and James Johnson are the likely beneficiaries of Harden’s absence.

Yahoo Discount Dandies

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves

Even if Damian Lillard returns after a five-game absence, C.J. McCollum is still out along with Cody Zeller. If Lillard remains out, then Anfernee Simons, Norman Powell and Dennis Smith Jr. are priority plays. If he returns, then Smith falls off of that list. Norman Powell, Robert Covington, Jusuf Nurkic and Nassir Little are all at appealing salary levels on Yahoo and they likely would get an uptick if Lillard returns with improved facilitation.

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Orlando Magic

Do we really think all three of Russell Westbrook, LeBron James and Anthony Davis will be playing tonight? While this is the third game in four nights and both James and Davis missed one of the prior two, it would be a shock if they both play tonight. Perhaps that is being cynical, but we know that even with their next game not until Wednesday, this would be the perfect chance for extended rest. The tricky part is that this is our nightcap and we are unlikely to have news of the Lakers plans prior to lock. Fortunately, the Minnesota Timberwolves are in Portland facing the Trail Blazers and that game tips off only 30 minutes before the Lakers. That will give us an extended player pool with additional pivots should we choose to believe that someone is likely sitting between the two Los Angeles superstars.

Final Thoughts on NBA DFS picks for the Sunday, Dec. 12 Slate

Once again tonight’s slate is going against Sunday Night Football so do not lose track of any breaking news and there always seems to be something unexpected happening after lock on Sundays. 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.

Eric "EMac" MacPherson won the 2007 Fantasy Baseball grand prize (trip for two to the MLB All-Star game) in the Roto format on ESPN. He won again in 2008, this time in the H2H format. As one of the early adopters of daily fantasy sports, EMac has been providing content for baseball and basketball as well as both professional and college football since 2012 for a variety of websites including DraftKings Playbook, FanVice, RotoWorld, Daily Fantasy Bootcamp, and RotoGrinders. He is well into his third decade of fantasy sports and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Follow him on Twitter @EMacDFS or contact EMac by emailing [email protected].

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