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DraftKings DFS NBA Strategy: Tuesday (12/22)

Dec 22, 2020

It feels like the NBA has been gone for just a few weeks, but I’m as happy as anyone to be covering opening night! What’s nice about the quick turnaround is the fact that these teams are fresh on the memory. That means we have a pretty good idea of what the rotations look like, and that’s a major key to DFS success. With that in mind, let’s get into these first two games of the year!

If you have any comments or questions, reach me on Twitter @Bartilottajoel

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Value Plays: Point Guard

LeBron James (LAL) vs. LAC $9,600 ⭐⭐⭐ Low
Stephen Curry (GSW) vs. BKN $9,300 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Kyrie Irving (BKN) vs. GSW $8,500 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium

  • James is hard to fade on a two-game slate, but we’ll get into that deeper later on.
  • Curry was a beast in the preseason and looks well on his way to a monster year for the Dubs.
  • Irving averaged 47.6 DK points per game last season and would be a huge value here if that continues.

Shooting Guard

Kawhi Leonard (LAC) vs. LAL $9,100 ⭐⭐⭐ Low
Paul George (LAC) vs. LAL $7,800 ⭐⭐⭐ Low
Dennis Schroder (LAL) vs. LAC $5,800 ⭐⭐⭐ Medium

  • Kawhi killed the Lakers last season and should be a great cash-game play at just $9,100
  • George is one of the best values out there, and we’ll go over that later.
  • If Schroder starts for the Lakers and plays 30-plus minutes, he’d be a great value below $6K.

Small Forward

Andrew Wiggins (GSW) vs. BKN $7,000 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Kelly Oubre Jr. (GSW) vs. BKN $6,700 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Nicolas Batum (LAC) vs. LAL $4,100 ⭐⭐⭐ High

  • Wiggins has been frustrating for fantasy managers over recent years, but he could be in for a monster season with Klay Thompson injured and Curry taking all of the attention.
  • Oubre is one of the best role players around and is one of the best bets to reach 4X.
  • Batum could find his way into the Clippers’ starting lineup, and if he plays 20-plus minutes in that role, he’d be a great value at this price tag.

Power Forward

Anthony Davis (LAL) vs. LAC $10,000 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Kevin Durant (BKN) vs. GSW $9,800 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Eric Paschall (GSW) vs. BKN $3,800 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ High

  • AD is my favorite play on the board, and we’ll discuss that at the end of the article.
  • Durant is finally back, and he looked fully healthy in the preseason. Look for him to be hungry against his former team.
  • With Draymond out, Paschall could play 25 minutes in his role.


Serge Ibaka (LAC) vs. LAL $5,200 ⭐⭐⭐ Medium
James Wiseman (GSW) vs. BKN $4,900 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Marquese Chriss (GSW) vs. BKN $4,000 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium

  • This is the worst position on the slate, but Ibaka is back to being a starter for the Clippers.
  • Wiseman is one of the top rookies from the draft and could be a nice value if he gets the minutes.
  • Chriss is another guy who benefits from Green being out, and he’s probably the best value in their frontcourt.

3 Studs Worth Their Salary

  • Anthony Davis (LAL) $10,000: The Clippers’ biggest weakness is their frontcourt, and that means AD should feast. That was certainly the case when Davis provided 34 points, eight rebounds, and four assists in the Lakers’ first game of the bubble. Imagine how good that could look with a handful of steals and blocks, which is standard for a guy like Davis.
  • Stephen Curry (GSW) $9,300: Curry was one of the league leaders with a 33% usage rate in the preseason, and that should be the norm with Klay Thompson sidelined. That’s awesome for the former MVP, and he could be on his way to some more votes this season if he maintains his preseason form.
  • Paul George (LAC) $7,800: George really struggled in the postseason last year, and it’s led to this $7,800 price tag. This is a dude who regularly sits around $9K, though, and that was certainly the case when he averaged 44 DraftKings points per game in three meetings with the Lakers last season.

3 Notable Players to Fade

  • LeBron James (LAL) $9,600: This is certainly one of the riskiest fades out there, but something worries me here. Not only did the Lakers have the shortest turnaround for any team, but the superstar is also entering his 18th season. That means his minutes could be held back a bit, which would likely be the case even more in the opener. Not to mention, James struggled with this Clippers defense last season and averaged just 21.3 points per game on 37 percent from the field.
  • Caris LeVert (BKN) $6,500: With Durant and Kyrie now in the picture, LeVert’s usage is going to fall. He had a breakout year as the Nets’ go-to playmaker last season, but it’d be hard to imagine him playing more than 25 minutes or providing a usage rate north of 20 percent.
  • Jarrett Allen (BKN) $6,200: Allen is losing minutes like crazy. Splitting with DeAndre Jordan is bad enough, but it’s possible that Durant will take some center duties as well. That means 20 minutes could be his ceiling, which becomes even scarier when you consider how much small-ball the Warriors run.

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Joel Bartilotta is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Joel, check out his archive and follow him @Bartilottajoel.

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