Monday, Dec. 20, starts the week off with a six-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, Monday, Dec. 20
Sunday saw three games postponed and already a game has been postponed today as well as one tomorrow. More players have returned positive COVID tests or are close contacts which means everything is in flux.
Yahoo Play of the Day — Rudy Gobert: Utah Jazz vs. Charlotte Hornets
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 41.86 | DraftKings: 42.02
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 21.6% | FanDuel 12.9% | DraftKings 16.1%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $38 | FanDuel $9,400 | DraftKings $9,200
Joel Embiid is questionable, and Nikola Vucevic and Jakob Poeltl both played yesterday. That makes Rudy Gobert and Christian Wood stand out as the two best point-per-dollar options at the center position today. Gobert has been chugging along with metronomically consistent production, posting at least 37 Yahoo points in eight of his last nine games. In this stretch he is averaging 32.4 minutes with 15.8 points, 15.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 2.4 blocks. The Stifle Tower leads the league in blocks and rebounds, and while it would be nice to see him average more than 7.4 field goal attempts per game, he leads the league in success rate with 73.8% there as well. If Embiid is in, he would be the top option tonight and then Gobert would be the pivot away.
Gobert’s NBA player props for rebounds have been soaring. Tonight, his rebound prop is over/under 15.5, while Awesemo’s expert projections have him set for 14.7 rebounds, making the UNDER a great bet on this NBA player prop tonight.
Tyrese Haliburton: Sacramento Kings at Golden State Warriors
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 38.63 | DraftKings: 38.28
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 44.2% | FanDuel 24.3% | DraftKings 32.3%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $25 | FanDuel $7,700 | DraftKings $7,000
This is a back-to-back for Tyrese Haliburton, who was phenomenal last night, and it is also the third game in four days for the short-handed Kings. In the last three games without De’Aaron Fox, Haliburton is averaging 37 minutes and 15.7 field goal attempts. This has culminated in 18.7 points, six rebounds, 10 assists and three combined blocks and steals. That works out to just shy of 47 Yahoo points per game. Golden State is fully rested after they did not send most of their starters to the Toronto game on Saturday, and they are 14.5-point favorites. The Warriors have been phenomenal on defense this season, though if they build up enough of a lead as expected, the Kings may get to face the reserve unit for a good portion of the game.
Josh Giddey: Oklahoma City Thunder at Memphis Grizzlies
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 33.2 | DraftKings: 33.84
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 7.4% | FanDuel 22.7% | DraftKings 8.7%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $25 | FanDuel $6,100 | DraftKings $7,200
Rookie Josh Giddey has been a fantasy goldmine this season with his well-rounded game. Though he is still looking for his first 20-point performance, he fills up the box score in every category. Over his last five games he is averaging 32.3 minutes, 11.2 points, 9 rebounds, 7.2 assists and one combined blocks and steals. He is a near nightly lock for 30 fantasy points and is a threat for 40 or more if his shot is falling.
Golden State Warriors vs. Sacramento Kings
Both Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole are in the health and safety protocol. Golden State is heavily favored tonight, and some of their understudies should get some extra run. Damion Lee, Kevon Looney, Nemanja Bjelica and Gary Payton II are all at the Yahoo minimum salary of $10 and provide punt options at every position. If Jonathan Kuminga draws another start, he is in play as a tournament long shot with the most upside of this bunch.
On the other side, if Richaun Holmes misses a seventh game with an eye injury, Chimezie Metu is an excellent option across the various DFS sites as long as he continues to start. Harrison Barnes and Buddy Hield are solid mid-tier options, though there will likely be better plays on the main slate, and they are best left for the late slate.
Philadelphia 76ers at Boston Celtics
Furkan Korkmaz, Andre Drummond, Georges Niang, Shake Milton and Jade Springer are all out for the 76ers. Tyrese Maxey (quad), Joel Embiid (knee) and Danny Green (hip) are all questionable. The game against New Orleans was postponed yesterday, so the last time Philadelphia was in action was on Thursday when they had only eight available players. Depending on where the dust settles, tonight could be a similar situation.
Boston is also missing most of their reserves, with Al Horford, Grant Williams, Juancho Hernangomez, Sam Hauser, Brodric Thomas and Jabari Parker all out. Jayson Tatum is dealing with a sore ankle, Dennis Schroder has a non-COVID related illness, and Romeo Langford has a neck issue. Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown are players to target, as is Tatum if he is starting tonight. C.J. Miles has been signed for depth, and gamers should see how things shake out with the questionable players to find additional value options.
Final Thoughts on NBA DFS picks for the Monday, Dec. 20 Slate
It would not be a surprise if the Philadelphia – Boston game is cancelled should there be more positive COVID tests from either team. Houston – Chicago also pits two more short-handed teams against each other, though these squads should have enough active players for tonight’s action. 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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