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Fantasy Basketball Picks Today: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Targets, Values for December 25

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

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Dallas Mavericks Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas. We have an interesting slate today, as there are five games, but all island games, starting at 12 pm ET with the last game tipping of at 10:30 pm ET. For those eschewing family responsibilities, edges could be gained late swapping. In addition, these teams are the creme de la creme of the NBA and the intensity, especially on defense, is ratched up on Christmas. Since 1991, all Christmas games are 35-52-5 O/U. There has been no official injury report submitted as of yet, so keep track of all the pertinent updates at DK Live.

There are no back-to-back situations to worry about.

DraftKings Sportsbook has one game with a total of at least 240 - MIL/NYK (241.5). There is no double-digit favorite. There is one game within 2 points - PHI -1.5 over MIA. There are three home dogs - NYK, LAL and MIA.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA $750K Holiday BBall Special [$200K to 1st]

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Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks at Phoenix Suns ($11,400) – Luka is a one-man army, trying to carry the Mavericks to the Promised Land on his shoulders. Over the last six games, the usage rate has been at least 35% in all with two over 40%. He has messed around three times over that span and is a threat to do so on any given slate. He has one of the highest floor/ceiling combos on the slate. It’s probably between him and Embiid. Value may be tough to come by on this slate, since most of the stars will likely play in these marquee games. If roster construction allows for Doncic, then he becomes my favorite, especially since he plays in the last game of the night and late swap could be very valuable. If you put Luka into the UTIL slot, you could pivot to Booker of Durant if need be.

Other Options - Jalen Brunson ($8,400), Jamal Murray ($7,400), Derrick White ($7,100)


Dante Exum, Dallas Mavericks at Phoenix Suns ($5,800) – Due to injuries, Exum was given a shot and he’s run with it. He has started the last nine games and averaged 31.1 minutes, 16.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 2 treys and 0.9 steals. He’s gone for at least 25 DKFP in all but one with four over 30 and two above 40. He has been such an important piece for the Mavericks due to his all-around game and ability to relieve pressure off of Doncic.

Other Options - Brandin Podziemski ($5,500), Payton Pritchard ($4,700), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($4,600)



Khris Middleton, Milwaukee Bucks at New York Knicks ($6,400) – There are so many good options at forward tonight. Since I lean towards building around Luka, I will highlight Middleton. When he first returned to action this season, the Bucks kept him under 20 minutes a night. Slowly, but surely, the playing time increased. On Saturday, he played 33 minutes, tied for the season-high, and only the third time eclipsing 30. On the season, Middleton is averaging a more-than-respectable 1.15 DKFP per minute. Outside of the first three games this season when he played only 17 minutes, Middleton has exceeded 20 DKFP in all but one contest with nine over 30.

Other Options - Giannis Antetokounmpo ($10,700), Anthony Davis ($10,100), LeBron James ($10,000), Jayson Tatum ($9,900), Kevin Durant ($9,600), Tim Hardaway Jr. ($6,500)


Grayson Allen, Phoenix Suns vs. Dallas Mavericks ($5,400) – Allen has started every game he’s played in this season, averaging 33.1 minutes. His job is to space the floor for Booker and Durant, and he’s been fantastic in that role, converting 45% of his 4.9 three-point attempts per game. He hasn’t been a zero in the other categories either, grabbing 4.6 rebounds, dishing out 2.7 assists and racking up 1 steal per contest. In 23 games, he’s put up at least 20 DKFP in all but six and has a high of 51!. He’s gone for at least 30 DKFP five times.

Other Options - Dante Exum ($5,800), Jaime Jaquez Jr. ($5,700), Duncan Robinson ($5,600), Caleb Martin ($5,500), Bobby Portis ($5,400), Trayce Jackson-Davis ($5,300), Derrick Jones Jr. ($4,900), Taurean Prince ($4,800)



Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers at Miami Heat ($11,100) – The spread for this game was at MIA -1 then bounced to PHI -1.5 on Saturday night. Embiid suffered an ankle injury during Friday’s game and didn’t practice, so that’s the likely reason for the uncertainty. I’m not too worried about it, but it’s definitely something to monitor. If he plays, Embiid and Luka provide the best floor/ceiling combo in the game. You are also paying for it, so roster construction and value will determine if you can get there. If so, Embiid has been on quite the heater, going for at least 60 DKFP in 13 straight with six of those over 70. He has 80 or even 90 DKFP upside if things break right.

Miami has been tough on opposing centers this season, neutralizing the FPPM by 16.62% and they did hold Embiid in check last season, although one of those was a blowout at the end of the season. So there are paths to disappointment. That said, Embiid seems to be seeing the game like Neo in the Matrix right now.

Other Options - Nikola Jokic ($10,900), Giannis Antetokounmpo ($10.700), Anthony Davis ($10,100), Brook Lopez ($6,000)


Kevon Looney, Golden State Warriors at Denver Nuggets ($4,400) – The minutes have been all over the map for Looney, and at times it’s looked like he’s getting fazed out of the rotation. Over the last four games, he’s played 11, 14 and 15 minutes. That said, he did play 22 minutes on Saturday and received 27 minutes five games ago. I think he plays a ton tonight because of Jokic. Over the last seven games that Looney has played Denver, he’s averaged 26 minutes per contest. He averages 0.97 DKFP per minute on the season, so if he gets the minutes, he should be in good position to pay off his salary.

Other Options - Isaiah Hartenstein ($5,800), Bobby Portis ($5,400), Trayce Jackson-Davis ($5,300), Kevon Looney ($4,400), Dwight Powell ($3,800), Richaun Holmes ($3,400)

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA $750K Holiday BBall Special [$200K 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.