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Fantasy Basketball Value Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Bargain Plays for December 18

Garion Thorne breaks down his top DraftKings value plays for Monday’s NBA slate.

In-Season Tournament - Philadelphia 76ers v Detroit Pistons Photo by Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images

It might be a week till Christmas, but I’ve decided to give out my gifts a little early — and by “gifts” I mean value plays for tonight’s 11-game featured NBA slate on DraftKings. Remember, it’s the thought that counts. No exchanges or refunds, either.

Let’s dive in.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA $200K Fadeaway [$50K to 1st]


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C Marvin Bagley III, Detroit Pistons at Atlanta Hawks, $4,900

I know. How much do you really want to invest in any part of the Pistons? The team has lost 23 consecutive games and Monty Williams’ rotations have been notably difficult to track. Still, Bagley is back in Detroit’s starting lineup and, with Jalen Duren (ankle) and Isaiah Stewart (shoulder) sidelined, Williams doesn’t have all that many options at the five-spot. Expect Bagley to log around 25 minutes in what should be a very advantageous matchup for the former lottery pick. Not only does this contest have one of the slate’s highest implied totals, but the Hawks are surrendering the second-most DKFP per game to opposing centers so far this season. For his part, Bagley is producing a respectable 1.01 DKFP per minute in 2023-24 as a whole and 26.3 DKFP in his last five chances to start.


SF Vince Williams Jr., Memphis Grizzlies at Oklahoma City Thunder, $4,600

This is the last night for the foreseeable future that’ll you be able to exploit the Grizzlies’ roster for cheap assets, as Ja Morant is expected to return from his suspension on Tuesday. In the meantime, with Marcus Smart (foot), Luke Kennard (knee) and Derrick Rose (hamstring) all sidelined due to injury, there are a ton of minutes currently available in Memphis’ backcourt. That’s where Williams comes into the picture. The former second-round pick has started each of the Grizzlies’ past two games, registering a season-high 31.5 DKFP in 30.2 minutes during Friday’s loss to the Rockets. It was the third straight contest where the sophomore wing has managed double-digit points. Also keep an eye on Xavier Tillman ($4,800) in this matchup, as Bismack Biyombo ($5,100; back) is doubtful to suit up on Monday.


PG Keon Ellis, Sacramento Kings vs. Washington Wizards, $4,700

Ellis’ viability is completely tied to the health of De’Aaron Fox ($9,600; shoulder), who is questionable for this evening’s contest against Washington. Still, considering the matchup, it’s more than worth exploring the hypothetical. Fox sat out Saturday’s win over the Jazz, forcing Ellis into his third start of the season. The 23-year-old hasn’t been a featured element of Sacramento’s rotation many times in 2023-24, logging in excess of 25 minutes in only three games, yet he’s averaged 24.6 DKFP in those opportunities. We’re also talking about a matchup with the Wizards. Washington ranks second in the NBA in pace (104.4) and 29th in defensive rating (120.9). Its conceded the second-most DKFP per contest to opposing point guards. At less that $5K, Ellis would be a steal if Fox sits once again.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA $200K Fadeaway [$50K to 1st]


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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.