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FanDuel NBA DFS Strategy Advice: Thursday (12/31)

by Zachary Hanshew | @ZaktheMonster | Featured Writer
Dec 31, 2020

Julius Randle has been on fire and needs to be in DFS lineups tonight

It’s New Year’s Eve, and if you’re looking to ring in the new year with some daily fantasy hoops, we’ve got you covered. Because of the holiday and the rock-solid schedule of college football games on tap, NBA games begin at 3pm and conclude at 9pm. FanDuel’s main slate includes just four games that begin at 7pm, and those are the ones we’ll focus on here. As always, we’ll name values, studs, and fades for the day’s DFS festivities. Let’s get right to it!

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Value Plays

Point Guard

Cameron Payne (PHO) UTA $4,700 ⭐⭐ Medium
Elfrid Payton (NYK) POR $5,200 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low


  • Payne has scored at least 21 FD points in three of his last four outings, including totals of 25.9 and 28.0 in his last two. He’s played important minutes for Phoenix’s second unit and should continue to do so in a favorable matchup with Utah tonight.
  • Don’t look now but Payton has averaged 20.5 points, 7.0 assists, and 5.5 rebounds across his last two games, averaging over 35.0 FD points in the process. He’s got a great matchup with Toronto and comes very reasonably priced.

Shooting Guard

Tyrese Haliburton (SAC) HOU $4,900 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Reggie Bullock (NYK) TOR $3,600 ⭐⭐ High


  • Haliburton has gotten his NBA career off to a hot start, and he’s averaged 23.8 FD points across four games, including a season-best 32.6 FD points Tuesday against Denver. The matchup between the Kings and Rockets easily has the highest over/under on the slate at 229.5, and Haliburton should have plenty of opportunities to smash at this price point.
  • Bullock logged his best game of the season Tuesday, going for 17 points and seven boards across 40 minutes while scoring 28.4 FD points. Bullock drew a start thanks to the absence of Alec Burks, and Burks is considered a GTD tonight. If Burks is out, Bullock makes a highly-valuable play at just $3.6K.

Small Forward

Cameron Johnson (PHO) UTA $4,400 ⭐⭐ Medium
Mikal Bridges (PHO) PHO $5,800 ⭐⭐ Low


  • Johnson is coming off his best game of the season (29.4 FD points), and he’ll look to build on that momentum in tonight’s matchup with Utah. The second-year man is averaging 24.1 FD points through four games, thanks in large part to 2.5 triples on 40.0 percent shooting from downtown.
  • Bridges has met his new starting role head on, posting solid numbers while logging over 30 minutes per contest. He’s averaged 30.2 FD points and comes in as a value with a salary under $6K.

Power Forward

Bojan Bogdanovic (UTA) PHO $4,900 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Royce O’Neale (UTA) PHO $3,800 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium


  • Bogdanovic is arguably the best value on the slate this evening, as he’s averaged just under 26.0 FD points through three games. He’s always a threat to heat up from three, and the sub-$5K price tag is one to exploit in a great matchup with Phoenix.
  • O’Neale has posted at least 20 FD points in each of his last two games, and he’s averaging over 30 minutes per contest this season. This is more of a GPP play, but if you’re looking for plenty of minutes at a rock-bottom price, O’Neale is your man.


Chris Boucher (TOR) NY $5,900 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ High
Richaun Holmes (SAC) HOU $5,300 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low


  • New York has hemorrhaged points to opposing centers this season, and whoever gets primary run at that position for Toronto could be in for a big game. After two solid showings (including a 22/10/7 performance), Chris Boucher was given just four minutes Tuesday against the 76ers. It’s possible this was just based on matchup, and if he can see minutes in the low-to-mid 20s tonight, he could smash value. If you’re looking for a cheaper GPP option, Aron Baynes ($4.3K) has seen the most consistent playing time among Toronto’s bigs, and is worth a look.
  • Holmes’ production has increased in each game thus far, surging to 38.5 FD points scored against the Nuggets on Tuesday. The big man hasn’t seen his numbers dwindle with Hassan Whiteside in the rotation, and Holmes could be in line for another big day against a Houston defense that has been extremely kind to opposing centers.

Studs Worth Their Salary

  • De’Aaron Fox (SAC) $7,900: As mentioned above, Houston/Sacramento sports the highest over/under on the slate, and Fox has scored over 40 FD points in three of four games this season.
  • Julius Randle (NYK) $8,000: He’s averaged 45.9 FD points this season, and there’s no way you’re benching him, especially with a juicy matchup against Toronto on tap.
  • Brandon Ingram (NO) $9,400: Ingram has alternated blowup games with so-so performances, but when he gets hot, that’s all she wrote. In four games this season, he’s posted FD point totals of 60.3, 30.9, 50.2, and 28.2. He’s got an excellent matchup with Oklahoma City, and he’s the only true stud at SF tonight. This is the shallowest position on the slate, and it’s worth paying up for BI.

Notable Players to Fade

  • John Wall (HOU) $7,000: It’s an excellent matchup and certainly one to target, but this will be Wall’s first competitive NBA game in two years… and he’ll be playing it with a new team. There’s certainly a chance he has a great showing, but I’d rather he do that in someone else’s lineup than risk him bombing in mine. I’ll spend my money elsewhere.
  • DeMarcus Cousins (HOU) $6,500: Ditto John Wall (see above). Boogie’s got a great matchup, but he hasn’t played since the 2018 season, and it’s unclear what his role will be behind Christian Wood in the rotation.
  • Donovan Mitchell (UTA) $7,900: For nearly $8K, I really want upside, and that’s not what we’ve seen from Mitchell this season. He’s averaged just 34.9 FD points across three games, and I’m not comfortable dropping so much coin with such little potential ROI.

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Zachary Hanshew is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Zachary, check out his archive and follow him @zakthemonster.

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