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Fantasy Basketball Picks Today: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Targets, Values for December 18

Stan Son gives his top studs and value plays at each position for Monday’s fantasy basketball slate on DraftKings.

NBA: New York Knicks at Los Angeles Clippers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

We have a massive eleven-game slate tonight. That means many paths to victory but also a robust injury report. While this can be a pain to manage, it could also provide plenty of opportunities for value and pivots. Keep track of all the pertinent updates at DK Live.

As for back-to-backs, HOU and WAS played last night. MEM is the only team that plays tomorrow.

DraftKings Sportsbook has three games with a total of at least 240 - LAC/IND (245.5), DET/ATL (246) and WAS/SAC (248). There are five double-digit favorites — PHI -11 over CHI, ATL -11 over DET, TOR -11 over CHA, OKC -10.5 over MEM, and SAC -12.5 over WAS. There is one game within 2 points - MIN -1.5 over MIA. There are three home dogs - IND, MIA, and UTA.

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


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Guard

Stud

Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks at Denver Nuggets ($12,100) – Luka is the most expensive player on the slate, but this is a case of getting what you pay for. The floor/ceiling combo is one of the best and he is one of three players who can put up a “have-to-have-it” score. Translation: 90+ DKFP. Despite the high price, Doncic has exceeded point expectations 80% of the time this season. He’s a threat to mess around on any given night, will often play close to 40 minutes and garner a usage rate in the 40% range. Over the last eight games, he’s gone for at least 60 DKFP in seven with four above 70 and a high of 93.25. As always, it comes down to value and roster construction.

Other Options - Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($10,500), Trae Young ($10,000), Desmond Bane ($8,900), James Harden ($8,500), Paul George ($8,100), Collin Sexton ($7,000), Malik Monk ($6,800), Tyus Jones ($6,600), Caris LeVert ($6,600)

Value

Jacob Gilyard, Memphis Grizzlies at Oklahoma City Thunder ($3,800) – Ja Morant is still serving a suspension while Derrick Rose suffered an injury and is out for a few weeks. That means Gilyard should get the start and soak up most of the point guard minutes. On the season, he’s averaging a yawn-stipating 0.7 DKFP per minute. He has started seven games this season, averaging 22.2 minutes, 6.1 points, 1.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists and .85 steals. During the span, he scored double-digit DKFP five times with two over 20 and a high of 34.

Other Options - Norman Powell ($5,000)


Forward

Stud

Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers at Indiana Pacers ($8,600) – Beep. Boop. Bop. The Kawhibot2000 has been humming along consistently all season, like what a good robot should be doing. The joints have been properly oiled and the guidance chips have been upgraded. Kawhi has not missed a game yet this season and is shooting 51% from the field and 44% from downtown, a career-high. There have been some adjustment periods for the Clippers due to injuries and roster additions, but they seem to have figured things out, with Kawhi being the Alpha. He’s gone for over 50 DKFP in three of the last five games and now gets the creme de la creme matchup for fantasy, the Indiana Pacers. Indiana plays at the fastest pace, is 28th in defensive efficiency, and has boosted the FPPM to power forwards by a whopping 29.47%!

Other Options - Desmond Bane ($8,900), Paul George ($8,100), Keegan Murray ($7,000) if Fox doesn’t play, Bojan Bogdanovic ($6,700), Tobias Harris ($6,600), Caris LeVert ($6,600), Onyeka Okongwu ($6,300), Tari Eason ($6,000)

Value

Vince Williams Jr., Memphis Grizzlies at Oklahoma City Thunder ($4,300) – Williams is a low-usage player who often garners a usage rate in the teens. He won’t make the eyes go googly in any statistical category, but he does contribute a little something-something across the board. He has started the last two games, though, playing 30 and 28 minutes, producing 31.5 and 23.25 DKFP. That ain’t bad, yo! He should get the start again. Minutes are gold and half the battle. Yo, Joe!

Other Options - Norman Powell ($5,000), Derrick Jones Jr. ($5,300)


Center

Studs

Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers vs. Chicago Bulls ($11,500) – Embiid and Jokic sit on the pantheon of the center landscape tonight. Actually, they sit on the pantheon at the position on any night they play. Jokic usually gets the edge due to his ability to triple-double at a higher rate because of his passing ability, but Embiid has been so consistent, especially lately while Jokic has “struggled” a bit. Jokic has exceeded point expectations only 40% of the time. If you take out the game he got ejected from, he’s scored at least 50 DKFP in each of the last 11 games with seven over 60, four over 70, and two over 80. Embiid, on the other hand, has exceeded point expectations 100% of the time this season. Over the last 11 games, he has only one game below 60 with four over 70.

*** Editor’s note: Embiid has been downgraded to questionable

Other Options - Nikola Jokic ($11,700), Domantas Sabonis ($9,800), Jarrett Allen ($7,400), Onyeka Okongwui ($6,300), Daniel Gafford ($6,000), Kelly Olynyk ($6,000)

Values

Precious Achiuwa, Toronto Raptors vs. Charlotte Hornets ($4,600) – On the season, the Hornets have boosted the FPPM to opposing centers by 15.8%. These teams played four games ago and I recommended Poeltl for that one, but the Raptors played more small ball with Achiuwa getting 22 minutes. He went for 17 points, 10 rebounds, and one assist, which translated to 32 DKFP. A similar outcome is unlikely but it’s within the range of outcomes. Just know that Achiuwa won’t play more than 24 minutes.

Other Options - Isaiah Hartenstein ($5,700), Dwight Powell ($4,200), Daniel Theis ($3,700)

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 sontzu) 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.