DraftKings DFS NBA Strategy: Friday (12/25)

Welcome to the first Friday edition of DraftKings DFS NBA advice, which just so happens to be on one of the biggest days of the NBA season; Christmas Day! The quintuple header features 12 straight hours of NBA action. It’s one of the most fun slates of the season but we only have a small, one-game, sample size so far this season. With all that in mind, let’s take a look at some Christmas Day DFS strategy!

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Value Plays

Holiday joining Milwaukee was one of the biggest acquisitions of the offseason and he didn’t disappoint in his debut Wednesday night. He scored 25 points and commanded a healthy 22.8% usage rate over a team-high 38 minutes of play. He offers plenty of value in what should be a high-scoring shootout with Golden State.

Teague didn’t draw the start for Boston in the opener, but he logged a team-high 25 minutes off the bench and put up 19 points in the process. He’s far too cheap at just $4,200 given his role while Kemba Walker is sidelined.

Augustin was held out of the season opener but is listed as probable to play Friday as of this writing. He was brought to Milwaukee this offseason to lead the second unit and offers big upside for his price, though he’s definitely a risky play given we haven’t seen his defined role in the Bucks rotation.

Brown exploded in the season opener Wednesday night with a team-high 33 points and his price hasn’t caught up with him yet. He should really be priced closer to $8,000 and is an absolute smash value against the Nets at just $7,000.

Robinson is a three-point specialist that plays starter’s minutes and also offers some rebounding potential. At just $4,400 he’s basically everything you look for in a DK value play.

Take everything you just read about Duncan Robinson and copy-paste it for Redick. He wasn’t in the starting lineup for the season debut Wednesday but he still played 28 minutes and scored 23 minutes off the bench, including shooting a strong 6-11 from three-point range. 

Wiggins, and Golden State as an entire team, had a disappointing debut on Wednesday. It was encouraging, however, that Wiggins led Golden State in minutes and carried a solid 26.3% usage rate. He has the potential to turn the usage into a big game against Milwaukee on Christmas Day.

Porter began the season in the starting lineup Wednesday and didn’t disappoint, He dropped 24 points and posted a 26.5% usage rate. Much like Wiggins, his ceiling is much higher than his $6,700 price tag Friday.  

Harris is another example of what you look for in a DK value play. He’s in the starting lineup, specializes in three-point shots, and offers just enough in the peripheral stats to warrant a spot in your lineup.

Tatum isn’t cheap in the grand scheme of things Friday, but as the ninth-highest priced player on the slate, he seems underpriced. We saw him come on strong in the bubble playoffs when he averaged a double-double and he picked up right where he left off in the league opener Wednesday. The 22-year-old is primed to take another step into NBA stardom this season and you should get him in your lineups before his cost enters the five-digit range.

Harrell has been a DFS darling over the past few seasons and that doesn’t look to be changing now that he’s switched his L.A. allegiance to the purple and gold. He notched a double-double in his Lakers debut Tuesday in a team-high 32 minutes off the bench and there’s no reason to believe he can’t repeat that performance against Dallas on Christmas Day.

Batum drew the start for the Clippers in the season opener and while he didn’t score huge points, he played big minutes and contributed solid rebounds and assists. At just $4,500 he can easily hit value.

Adebayo broke out last season and started off this season better than ever with a 25-point, 11-rebound double-double. For some reason he’s still priced under $8,000, which seems criminally low.

Lopez was disappointed in the season opener Wednesday, but Milwaukee’s starting center did rack up the second-most blocks in the NBA last season. He’s also capable of getting hot from deep in any game. His combination of shot-blocking and three-point shooting puts him in play at just $6,000

Adams isn’t flashy, but the new starting center in New Orleans should continue to play solid minutes and have the opportunity to put up low-end double-doubles on a nightly basis. His $5,900 price tag at the center will allow you to pay up elsewhere in your lineup. 

5 Studs Worth Their Salary

Giannis Antetokounmpo (SF – MIL), $10,900
He’s the most expensive player on the slate and he showed us exactly why in the season opener. He’s practically a guaranteed double-double and even showed improved three-point and free-throw shooting in the first game of the season. We should expect nothing less against the Warriors on the national stage.

Luka Doncic (PG -DAL), $10,700
Doncic has more triple-double upside than almost any player on the slate. I get that you can’t fit all of these studs into your lineup but if your shooting for the moon, Luka against the Lakers is your guy.

Nikola Jokic (C – DEN), $10,100
When I mentioned above that Luka Doncic has more triple-double upside than almost any other player on the slate, I qualified it because Jokic has the most. He started the season with a ridiculous 29-point, 15-rebound, 14-assist outing against the Kings. It’s rare to find a center that could average a triple-double on the season, but Jokic can be that guy.

LeBron James (SF – LAL), $10,000
Don’t fade LeBron on Christmas Day. It really is as simple as that. He shines on the big stage and could be a difference-maker in tournaments if people are foolish enough to fade him based on the “Q” next to his name. It doesn’t sound like his minor ankle injury will be holding him back. 

Kevin Durant (SF – BKN), $9,400
I’ll admit I was worried about Durant on a new team after such a long layoff, but he looked like his old self Tuesday night. It won’t be long before he’s back in the five-digit price range so take advantage while you can.

5 Notable Players to Fade

Anthony Davis (PF – LAL), $10,300
It’s not that Davis isn’t a solid play, but he’s going to be immensely popular on this slate. I’d prefer to pay down a bit for Jokic in tournaments or pay up a bit for Antetokounmpo in cash.

Kawhi Leonard (SF – LAC), $9,800
Leonard put up a respectable 26 points in the season opener, but shot just 1-8 from deep and 38% overall. He also only contributed two rebounds and three assists. He’s out of my lineups until his efficiency increases or his price decreases.

Kyrie Irving (PG – BKN), $8,900
Irving is another player that put up decent points but disappointed in peripherals in his opening game. Four assists just won’t do it for a point guard that isn’t the top scoring option on his team. He could definitely turn it around in a more competitive game but for now, I’m out on Irving.

Paul George (SG – LAC), $8,700
George had a huge game in the season opener and is likely to be highly rostered on Christmas Day. He isn’t the worst play, but I’d rather set myself apart in tournaments or pay down and save some salary in cash games.

Zion Williamson (PF – NO), $8,100
Zion is becoming a great NBA player but isn’t a must roster DFS option. His salary isn’t terrible but I’d rather take a slight discount for players like Jimmy Butler or Bam Adebayo in a similar price range.

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Beyond our daily fantasy basketball content, be sure to check out our Daily Fantasy Basketball Tools. From our Lineup Optimizer – which allows you to build winning DFS lineups in seconds for Cash and GPP contests – to our DFS Cheat Sheets – that helps you get a quick read on the day’s players – we’ve got you covered this fantasy basketball season.

Aaron Larson is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Aaron, check out his archive and follow him @aalarson.