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Fantasy Basketball Picks Today: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Targets, Values for December 21

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

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at New Orleans Pelicans Matthew Hinton-USA TODAY Sports

We have six games for tonight’s slate. The LAL/MIN and WAS/POR games are off the main slate. Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,000), Zion Williamson ($7,600) and Jonas Valanciunas ($7,200) are questionable. Jalen Duren and Shaedon Sharpe are out. Keep track of all the pertinent updates at DK Live.

As for back-to-backs, CHI, CLE, IND, LAC, ORL and UTA played last night. None of the teams on the main slate play tomorrow.

DraftKings Sportsbook has one game with a total of at least 240 - IND/MEM (247). There are no double-digit favorites. There are two games within 2 points - UTA -1 over DET and NO -2 over CLE. There are two home dogs - DET and CLE.

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


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Guard

Stud

Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies vs. Indiana Pacers ($9,500) – Morant made his season debut on Tuesday and....well, was he good? No. Was he fantabulous? Ja. He played 35 minutes and went for 34 points, six rebounds, eight assists, two steals and one block while garnering a ridiculous 42.3% usage rate! Am I excited? Ja. But not as giddy after seeing who he plays tonight: The Indiana Pacers aka fantasy nirvana, as they play fast and eschew defense. Over/Under numbers have been high in games with Indiana, and tonight is no different as the number is a robust 247. Morant isn’t returning from an injury and has been practicing with the team all season, so he’s in shape, doesn’t need any ramp up and has fresh legs. The only thing that would get me off Morant is if the projected ownership comes in high because there are plenty of pivot options and anything can happen.

Other Options - Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($10,200), Damian Lillard ($9,100), Coby White ($8,300), Collin Sexton ($7,700), Talen Horton-Tucker ($7,000), Khris Middleton ($6,600)

Value

Jaden Ivey, Detroit Pistons vs. Utah Jazz ($5,600) – It’s been an up-and-down season for Ivey. Some of it is due to production, but the playing time has been inconsistent as well. He’s come off the bench. He’s started. Over the last three games, though, he’s played 29, 28 and 29 minutes, with the most recent game as a starter. He’s put up 21.5, 25.5 and 30 DKFP over that span, so it looks like some consistency has been established. The usage rate has been over 25% in all of those games and he’s been chipping in a little something something across the board. Could this all come crashing down and burning? Monty Williams is smiling from ear to ear right now, so know that is well within the range of outcomes. I’ll lean towards this being a real thing and the matchup is fantastic as the Jazz have boosted the FPPM to shooting guards by a league-leading 21.09%.

Other Options - Sam Merrill ($4,500), Julian Champagnie ($3,400) if Vassell is out


Forward

Stud

Victor Wembanyama, San Antonio Spurs at Chicago Bulls ($9,000) – It got to a point with Nikola Jokic that I would write him up and then just leave the same words for each subsequent slate, just altering the stats a bit. That’s how dominant he was. There are only so many ways I can write that he’s great, will likely triple-double and put up the highest raw points on the slate. We are not quite there yet with Wembanyama, but I have a not-so-sneaky suspicion that the time will arrive sooner than later. With his height, length, agility and athleticism, there are just things that he can do that no one else in the game can. As a result, he stuffs the stat sheet across the board. And not just with a little something something. He is often elite everywhere sans assists. But I can see that getting there at some point.

On the season, Wembanyama has exceeded point expectations 80% of the time. Over the last 10 games, he’s exceeded 50 DKFP in all but three with two over 60.

Other Options - Kawhi Leonard ($9,200), DeMar DeRozan ($8,400), Brandon Ingram ($7,900) if Zion and/or Valanciunas are out, Keldon Johnson ($7,200)

Value

Georges Niang, Cleveland Cavaliers vs. New Orleans Pelicans ($4,400) – Niang was brought in to space the floor for the Cavs. So far, he’s only shooting 33% from downtown after notching marks above 40% in the prior five seasons. By the end of the season, he will probably be close to that 40% mark. I always crack up watching Niang play because he’s like a sloth out there, yet he finds a way to get his shot off and get to the bucket when needed. He and Kyle Anderson need to have a Slo-off. Anyway, over the last two games, Niang has seen a few extra minutes due to injuries. He’s played 23 and 25 minutes, producing 18.75 and 16 DKFP. It’s not exciting but it ain’t bad for the price, yo.

Other Options - Isaac Okoro ($5,600), Vince Williams Jr. ($5,200)


Center

Studs

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks vs. Orlando Magic ($11,000) – Giannis is questionable, so keep abreast of all the news. He is truly a fantasy force of extraordinary magnitude. Over the last 10 games, he’s gone for at least 50 DKFP in nine with seven of those over 60. He’s expensive and there are other cheaper options listed that could come close to matching his production. That said, none of them can hang if Giannis puts up a ceiling score, which he did four games ago with 95.5 DKFP! Giannis faced Orlando back in mid-November and went for 68.5 DKFP.

Other Options - Nikola Vucevic ($8,100), Chet Holmgren ($7,400), Jonas Valanciunas ($7,200) if he plays, Brook Lopez ($6,100)

Values

Tristan Thompson, Cleveland Cavaliers vs. New Orleans Pelicans ($3,800) – For full transparency, I was not paid by the Kardashians or any of their affiliates to write up Thompson. With the Evan Mobley injury, Thompson has entered the rotation. The minutes haven’t been robust but he’s been getting somewhere in the teens. He’s scored double-digit DKFP in three straight and is coming off a 30.25 DKFP performance. That shouldn’t be expected but double-digit DKFP isn’t bad for the price if looking for lower-priced options.

Other Options - Bobby Portis ($5,500), Andre Drummond ($4,800)

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.