NBA DFS Picks Breakdown (Tuesday, Dec. 27): Nikola Jokic is Unstoppable

Tuesday features a 10-game slate starting at 7 pm ET.

Let’s dive into some of the top plays on the slate using the FantasyLabs tools and metrics.

Also, don’t forget that for large-field tournaments, you can utilize our Lineup Optimizer to effortlessly create up to 150 lineups, or use our Lineup Builder if you like to hand-build your lineups.

Note: Projections and Leverages Scores/Ratings may change throughout the day after this article is posted. The NBA DFS landscape changes quickly.

Consult the NBA Player Models directly for any updates as we get closer to lock. Use the PrizePicks promo code LABS to get a $100 sign-up bonus for NBA player props.

NBA DFS Point Guard Picks

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After two smaller slates, the NBA is back in full swing with 10 games to choose from on Tuesday. The matchup between the Hawks and Pacers stands out as one of the best. The 238.5-point total is the third-highest mark on the slate, while the Hawks are listed as just 1.5-point favorites.

Tyrese Haliburton stands out as an excellent stud target on DraftKings, where his $9,000 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 91%. Haliburton has been one of the best point guards in fantasy this season, averaging 1.37 DraftKings points per minute. That ranks fourth at the position, and the three players who have averaged more โ€“ Luka Doncic, Yes Morantand Shai Gilgeous-Alexander โ€“ are all at least +$1,000 more expensive. Haliburton has at least 46.5 DraftKings points in four of his past six games, and he has at least 52.75 DraftKings points in two of his past three. That gives him an excellent combination of consistency and upside at his current salary.


Value

If you’re looking for a pure punt at point guard, Duane Washington is a viable option at the minimum on DraftKings. The Suns are going to be without Devin Booker, Cam Payneand Cam Johnson once again on Tuesday, and Landry Shamet will also join them on the sidelines. Shamet has been one of the primary replacements for Booker in recent games, so his absence is a pretty big deal.

Washington is capable of racking up fantasy points quickly, averaging 1.12 DraftKings points per minute over the past month. He’s scored at least 18.0 DraftKings points in back-to-back games, including 26.25 in just 19 minutes vs. the Grizzlies on Christmas.


Fast Break

LaMelo Ball remains priced at a massive discount on FanDuel, where his $8,900 price tag comes with a Bargain Rating of 96%. He leads the position with 12 Pro Trends, and he also draws a phenomenal matchup vs. the Warriors. They’ve played at the fastest pace in the league this season, giving Ball an Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.21.

Tre Jones has been a steady source of value for the Spurs this season, and he has posted a positive Plus/Minus in three of his past four games. He’s averaged 0.99 FanDuel points per minute this season, and he’s currently projected for more than 31 minutes in our NBA Models. That should be enough to pay off his $6,300 salary.

NBA DFS Shooting Guard Picks

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Is Clay Thompson ready to break out? That remains to be seen, but he has been a decent source of fantasy value of late. He’s scored at least 34.75 DraftKings points in six of his past nine games, including 42.75 DraftKings points in his last outing. He shot just 8-25 from the field and 3-12 from 3-point range in that contest, so he has the potential for an even bigger performance if he ever remembers how to shoot.

Thompson should continue to carry an expanded role given the team’s injury situation. Steph Curry and Andrew Wiggins remain sidelined, and Thompson has increased his usage, rebound, and assist rates in games without both players.


Value

Cole Anthony is starting to re-establish himself in Orlando’s rotation. He’s played a limited role since returning to the lineup on Nov. 30th, but he’s coming off a monster showing in his last outing. He racked up 23 points, 10 boards, and nine assists across 30.5 minutes, resulting in 51.0 DraftKings points. He had 32.5 DraftKings points in the previous game, and he averaged a stout 1.1 DraftKings points per minute over the past month. That gives Anthony an excellent ceiling for his $5,000 price tag on DraftKings.


Fast Break

I’m getting a bit bored of writing about how underpriced Jaylen Brown is on FanDuel. He’s posted an average Plus/Minus of +5.33 over his past 10 games, yet his salary refuses to budge. He’s averaged 1.25 FanDuel points per minute over the past month, and he’s projected for the third-most minutes at the shooting guard position on FanDuel. He leads the position with 13 Pro Trends, and his current salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 93%. Add in a juicy matchup vs. the Rockets, and there’s not much to dislike with Brown on Tuesday.

Malik Monk is someone who is capable of erupting every time he takes the floor, and he’s coming off 30.0 FanDuel points in his last outing. He’s priced at just $4,600 on FanDuel for Tuesday’s matchup vs. the Nuggets, who rank just 26th in defensive efficiency. The total on this game sits at 240.5 points, so Monk is an affordable way to get some exposure to it.

NBA DFS Small Forward Picks

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LeBron James has been absolutely rolling of late, scoring at least 30 points in seven straight games. At this pace, he’ll pace Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer within the next 20-25 games.

The fact that Anthony Davis is expected to miss a significant period of time should only secure LeBron’s workload. He posted a usage rate of 41.5% on Christmas, and he averaged 1.48 DraftKings points per minute with Davis off the floor this season.

LeBron remains underpriced at $10,600 on DraftKings, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 93%, but he’s expected to fly under the radar on this slate. He’s currently projected for just six percent ownership, and LeBron is always going to have appeal at that figure.


Value

The Thunder have more appeal than usual Tuesday given their matchup vs. the Spurs. San Antonio has been one of the best matchups in fantasy this season, ranking ninth in pace and dead-last in defensive efficiency. The Thunder’s implied team total of 121.75 ranks third on the slate, and it’s a massive increase from their season average of 115.4.

Lou Dort hasn’t gotten much attention for the Thunder when the team has been at full strength, but he’s played monster minutes in his past two games. He’s tallied 38.5 and 39.8 minutes in back-to-back contests, and Dort has averaged 0.82 DraftKings points per minute this season. That gives him plenty of appeal at $4,900 on DraftKings.


Fast Break

Eric Gordon is expected to sit out for the Rockets on Wednesday, which means KJ Martin will likely move into the starting lineup. He’s played well in relief of Gordon this season, averaging 24.5 DraftKings points in five contests. You’ll gladly take that type of production at $4,500 on DraftKings and $4,200 on FanDuel.

Paolo Banchero hit a bit of a rookie wall, but he’s back to providing big fantasy value for the Magic. He’s posted an average Plus/Minus of +4.71 over his past 10 games on FanDuel, and that number would be significantly higher if not for a blowout loss in their last game. His price has decreased by -$400 following that performance, so this is an excellent buy-low opportunity.

NBA DFS Power Forward Picks

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Has Julius Randle re-established himself as someone worth considering on every slate? It’s definitely possible. He’s been phenomenal for the Knicks of late, posting an average Plus/Minus of +8.37 over his past 10 games on DraftKings. The only game where he failed to return value during that stretch was a 38-point blowout win over the Warriors.

Randle can be expected to play massive minutes in competitive contests, and he leads the position with 38.11 projected minutes on Tuesday’s slate. He’s increased his production to 1.38 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, so that’s a pretty lethal combination. The Mavericks aren’t an ideal matchup, but Randle has proven that his current price tag isn’t accurate.


Value

Jeremy Sochan has gotten plenty of minutes for the Spurs in his rookie year, and he’s starting to find his groove. He’s increased his production to 0.96 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, and he’s scored at least 25.25 DraftKings points in three of his past four games. He struggled in his last outing, scoring just 17.75 DraftKings points, but he did play 31.1 minutes. As long as he sees a comparable workload vs. the Thunder, he should be able to bounce back with a much stronger showing.


Fast Break

It’s impossible to trust Alexey Pokusevsky‘s minutes, but he’s played at least 20.1 minutes in five straight games. That includes 31.6 minutes in his last contest, and if he’s going to continue to play that much, he’s a massive value at $4,300 on DraftKings. It results in a Bargain Rating of 99%, and very few players in this price range can match Poku’s upside.

Domantas Sabonis is currently questionable, and his matchup vs. the 76ers isn’t ideal even if he’s able to go. Still, it’s impossible to ignore what he’s done recently. He’s posted an average Plus/Minus of +11.09 over his past 10 games on FanDuel, and he’s scored at least 52.0 FanDuel points in five straight games. He’s capable of racking up fantasy points in multiple ways, and he’s posted back-to-back triple-doubles.

NBA DFS Center Picks

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Nikola Jokic is attempting to become the fourth player to win three straight MVPs, joining Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, and Larry Bird. Those are inner-circle Hall of Famers, and that’s the kind of company that Jokic is keeping at this point.

After a somewhat slow start to the year, Jokic is back to doing ridiculous things on a nightly basis. He’s increased his production to 1.88 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, which is the top mark on the slate by a wide margin. He’s gone for at least 80.5 DraftKings points in four of his past seven games, and he hasn’t scored below 55.75 DraftKings points in any of them. That gives him an elite floor and ceiling, and it’s hard to beat that combo for fantasy purposes.

Jokic also gets an elite matchup Tuesday vs. the Kings, with the Nuggets’ 121.75 implied team total ranking tied for third on the slate. That makes him a very tough fade.


Value

Clint Capela has been ruled out for the Hawks, which means Onyeka Okongwu should have the center minutes to himself on Tuesday. He’s projected for more than 33 minutes in our NBA Models, and he’s averaged 1.03 DraftKings points per minute over the past month. Add in an outstanding matchup vs. the Pacers, and Okongwu is one of the best values โ€‹โ€‹of the day at just $5,500.


Fast Break

Deandre Ayton has had to take on more of a scoring role with Booker out of the lineup, and he’s proven that he’s up to the task. He posted a usage rate of at least 30.7% in two of his past three games, and he scored at least 47.75 DraftKings points in both. He’s underpriced at just $7,500 on DraftKings.

Thomas Bryant was limited to just 18.9 minutes on Christmas, but he’s expected to return to 30+ minutes on Tuesday. He averaged 1.08 FanDuel points per minute this season, so he can provide excellent value in that scenario at just $5,900.

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