NBA DFS First Look For DraftKings And FanDuel – 12/17/2021

NBA DFS First Look For DraftKings And FanDuel - 12:17:2021

The NBA, just like the NFL and NHL, is pretty crazy right now with all of the unfortunate stuff going on with the health protocols. We’re getting a lot of news and players ruled out, causing much chaos and creating immense value in DFS. Let’s get into today’s eight-game slate as it stands for the moment.

MIA (107.25) @ ORL (100.25)

With Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler still out, Miami has plenty of meat on the bone in this battle of the two Florida teams. Tyler Herro is currently questionable. If he plays, he will be one of their primary offensive weapons. If not, Gabe Vincent and Max Strus benefit. Omer Yurtseven is also questionable. I would never have thought I would see the day that the availability of Omer Yurtseven would be much worth discussing in NBA DFS, but I digress. Their options will be limited at the center position behind Dewayne Dedmon if he sits. They could choose to go smaller, and KZ Okpala could benefit. For the moment, P.J. Tucker, DeWayne Dedmon, Omer Yurtseven, Kyle Lowry, Duncan Robinson, Gabe Vincent, and Tyler Herro are all solid plays here on DraftKings. Lowry, Herro, Dedmon, and Robinson are the best FanDuel options.

For the moment, Terrence Ross is the only standout value for Orlando on DraftKings. Wendell Carter Jr., Cole Anthony, and Franz Wagner are somewhat in play. Anthony, Mo Bamba, and Gary Harris are all questionable. R.J. Hampton will benefit if Anthony sits. Chuma Okeke will likely start if Bamba sits while Carter Jr. plays center. Terrence Ross and R.J. Hampton look better if Harris doesn’t suit up. As it stands right now, Franz Wagner is the only Magic play standing out on FanDuel. This is a situation to monitor as we could get a lot of good options opening up.


Due to health protocols, Terrence Ross, R.J. Hampton, and Moe Wagner are out. This will flip the slate, especially if some of the already questionable guys sit. We could have a very short rotation and a lot of value.

GSW (109) @ BOS (106)

Jordan Poole is out for Golden State due to health protocols, but they are otherwise healthy and have a lot of bodies getting some minutes. Damion Lee is the biggest direct beneficiary of Poole’s absence. It may also benefit Gary Payton Jr. and Andrew Wiggins may get more usage. We could see Otto Porter Jr. benefit somewhat. Kevon Looney offers decent DraftKings value, and Draymond Green is also playable. Stephen Curry is too expensive to look good as a points-per-dollar play, but you can always give him a look. Poole’s absence may put even more weight on his shoulders. The only standout FanDuel play outside of Damion Lee with Poole out is Andrew Wiggins.

Al Horford and Grant Williams are out for Boston due to health protocols. Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart are looking good for Boston at their respective DraftKings prices. On FanDuel, Marcus Smart is the best play for the Celtics. This doesn’t look like one of the better spots to target based on Boston being relatively healthy and having a tough matchup with Golden State.

DEN (109.5) @ ATL (113.5)

The Nuggets are a rare team that has no significant players out. Maybe it is that Colorado air or something else about the state. In any event, Facundo Campazzo is a decent punt value play on DraftKings at $3,900. JaMychal Green will sit due to an ankle injury which opens up some minutes for Zeke Nnaji, who you could also consider for savings. The only other guy worth playing is Nikola Jokic, who is on an absolute tear. He’s 12K on DraftKings, yet he’s projecting well on a points-per-dollar basis, which is insane. His median projection looks like a ceiling projection. Jokic is the only play on FanDuel, and he’s even better there at $11,600.

Delon Wright is a decent extreme value punt for the Hawks on DraftKings. John Collins and Cam Reddish are the best Atlanta options outside of Wright. Clint Capela, Trae Young, Danilo Gallinari, Kevin Huerter, and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot could be considered, but none stand out immensely. Capela and Young would be the best of the bunch. The Hawks are a lot of okay plays outside of Collins, Reddish, and to an extent Capela and Young. Huerter and Collins are the best Hawks FanDuel options.

MIL (110.5) @ NOP (108)

The Bucks are a total mess right now due to health protocols. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Bobby Portis are the most prominent names they will miss. Khris Middleton, Sandro Mamukelashvili, Jrue Holiday, Demarcus Cousins, and Grayson Allen become strong plays in their depleted rotation. George Hill and Pat Connaughton are also playable. This will be one of the best spots on the slate to target, and some of these guys will be popular. They are all in play on FanDuel, although Hill and Connaughton fall out of contention.

The Pelicans have no new injuries or health protocol-related absences to report. They are priced pretty well on DraftKings, with Josh Hart, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Herbert Jones, Devonte’ Graham, and Jonas Valanciunas looking like decent plays. Brandon Ingram is not a good choice for his price but always has some potential in tournaments. Graham, Valanciunas, and Hart are the best FanDuel options.

SAS (107) @ UTA (118.5)

The Spurs are healthy outside of Lonnie Walker IV (questionable) with a non-COVID illness. Due to this in part, there is no real value on DraftKings. Derrick White will be the best play if you must roster a Spur, while Dejounte Murray always has a tournament ceiling. Murray is the best option for San Antonio on FanDuel. This is a tough matchup, no one is mispriced, and mostly everyone is healthy.

Utah is also healthy, and they have the highest team total on the board. Their pricing on DraftKings is very odd today, and every player in the rotation is a good value. Generally, it is quite the opposite for Utah. You can literally play any of them, with Royce O’neale and Jordan Clarkson really standing out for value on DK. O’Neale, Donovan Mitchell, Bojan Bogdanovic, and Clarkson are the strongest FanDuel plays.

MEM (114.25) @ SAC (108.25)

We’ve got a lot of good value for Memphis. Dillon Brooks, Jaren Jackson Jr., Desmond Bane, Steven Adams, Tyus Jones, and Xavier Tillman come at friendly price points. They haven’t been priced up enough as a team without Ja Morant and Brandon Clarke on the court. It is the same on FanDuel, although Adams is less of a play and Tillman is not a real option.

Sacramento has been hit very hard with health protocols and injuries. They will be a primary source of value today. Play the whole team, basically. Davion Mitchell is likely the play of the day at $3,600 on DraftKings. Other top options include Tristan Thompson, Buddy Hield, Tyrese Haliburton, Chimezie Metu, Harrison Barnes, and Damian Jones. Halliburton and Metu are questionable. If one or both sit, it gets even more ridiculous. It is similar on FanDuel, although Damian Jones falls out of contention.

LAL (110) @ MIN (112.5)

The Lakers have been hit with the health protocol bug, with Russell Westbrook and Talen Horton-Tucker being the biggest guys to sit. They’ll also miss Dwight Howard and Avery Bradley. We have a lot of value for the Lakers on DraftKings. Lebron James and Anthony Davis get bumps with Westbrook out. Carmelo Anthony and Malik Monk are in play, and DeAndre Jordan is better with Howard out. Any of Austin Reaves, Wayne Ellington, and Rajon Rondo also stand to benefit. It is hard to say how they will run their rotations and who will get the minutes. Rondo likely has the most upside if he does get run. Ellington is not much of a DFS producer when on the court. We don’t totally know what we are getting with the young Reaves if he does see a lot of playing time. The situation is similar on FanDuel.

The Timberwolves are entirely healthy. Patrick Beverley, Jarred Vanderbilt, and D’Angelo Russell stand out as the best plays on DraftKings. You can always take a shot on Karl-Anthony Towns for his upside. Vanderbilt and Beverley are the FanDuel options to look at.

CHA (113.75) @ POR (116.25)

This one has a high total and a close spread and should be a great game to target for DFS. Yet, LaMelo Ball (questionable) may return tonight, and Charlotte has too many mouths to feed. No one is an excellent points-per-dollar play on either site if Ball suits up. You can always take a shot on Gordon Hayward, Miles Bridges, Terry Rozier, or LaMelo. Still, they are not good plays tonight at their respective prices due to the spread-out usage.

Portland has some injuries and is working with a very condensed rotation. This means we have a lot of good DraftKings options for the Trail Blazers. Nassir Little, Norman Powell, Larry Nance Jr., Damian Lillard, Jusuf Nurkic, and Anfernee Simons are all in play. The same applies to FanDuel outside of Simons at his FD price. This is a one-sided game for DFS, with Portland being the team to target, although it should be close in real life.

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