It’s December 21. A day that is very much not Christmas, yet happens to be quite close to Christmas. Because of that proximity, December 21 tends to be a day that’s looked down upon or even just forgotten. But not here. Not this December 21. Did you know Marie Curie discovered radium on December 21 in 1898? Now you do.
In that vein of great discovery, let’s find a couple value plays for tonight’s 11-game NBA slate. It’s what Marie would have wanted.
SG/SF Moses Moody, Golden State Warriors at Brooklyn Nets, $3,300
We don’t officially know the Warriors’ injury report for Wednesday — they played on Tuesday night — but Steve Kerr gave us all a pretty nice window into his mind following his team’s loss to the Knicks. According to Kerr, Klay Thompson (injury management) won’t suit up, meaning the veteran will join Steph Curry (shoulder) and Andrew Wiggins (groin) on the pine. The status of Donte DiVincenzo ($6,400; illness) is also in question, as the guard was unable to suit up at the Garden. If you’re keeping track at home, that doesn’t leave many healthy bodies. In such a desperate scenario, I’d expect Moody to thrive. The sophomore started in place of DiVincenzo versus New York, logging an extremely notably 31.4 minutes of action. Moody’s usage rate was only 13.2%; however, once you remove Thompson’s 28.8% figure, there should be a lot more opportunity up for grabs against Brooklyn.
C Jalen Duren, Detroit Pistons at Philadelphia 76ers, $4,700
I’m going to keep this short and sweet — unlike Duren, who is quite tall and ferocious on the glass. Until the DraftKings algorithm spits out a price for the rookie center that’s well-above $5K, I’m just going to keep putting Duren into lineups. We’ve now seen Dwane Casey maximize his utilization of Duren for exactly two weeks. In the seven games the big man has played since Dec. 7, six of which he started, Duren is averaging 29.1 minutes per night. He’s also managed to pull down double-digit rebounds in all seven of those contests, culminating with a 15-point, 14-rebound double-double on Tuesday evening. It was the fourth time in this recent span that Duren’s exceeded 30.0 DKFP. Honestly, aside from Joel Embiid ($11,500) getting him into early foul trouble, it’s difficult to envision Duren disappointing in this spot.
SF/PF Jalen Williams, Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Portland Trail Blazers, $4,600
It would seem that Williams has found a permanent place in the Thunder’s starting five. After an inconsistent beginning to 2022-23, Williams has now started seven of Oklahoma City’s past eight games, which includes each of its past five. This has translated into a rather large role for the lottery pick, as Williams has logged 30-plus minutes in four of those five contests. That’ll certainly play with a price tag below $5K and with Josh Giddey (illness) and his 23.9% usage rate sidelined. I’d also keep an eye on Isaiah Joe ($4,000), who has seen the most noteworthy increase in minutes with Giddey unavailable the past two games. In fact, Joe is averaging 1.11 DKFP per minute in the 436 possessions he’s played without Giddey on the floor this season.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.