NBA DFS DraftKings.com & FanDuel.com Lineups & Picks for Christmas Day
Happy Holidays! For the NBA DFS slate on 12/25, Christmas Day, and for the rest of the season, we’ll be writing up the best picks for guards, forwards, and centers we’ll be considering for our Cash and GPP lineups on DraftKings and FanDuel. The info below can also be used for crafting your strategy on Draft.
Please note the advice below is relevant for daily fantasy purposes. A player or team might be better or worse from a fantasy perspective than in real life due to matchup, price, and lots of other factors. This is important to consider when constructing a roster.
Injuries play a huge role in NBA DFS on a nightly basis, and value plays at the various daily fantasy sites can arise at a moment’s notice. Always, always check the starting lineups and injury news right before tipoff.
12/25/17 NBA DFS CHRISTMAS TOURNAMENTS
Holiday Classic: $8 buy-in, $700k guaranteed (DraftKings)
Triple Threat: $33 buy-in, $200k guaranteed (DraftKings)
Sharpshooter: $3 buy-in, $100k guaranteed (DraftKings)
Layup: $9 buy-in, $77k guaranteed (FanDuel)
Egg Nog Shot: $4 buy-in, $400k guaranteed (FanDuel)
Santa Slam: $33 buy-in, $400k guaranteed (FanDuel)
PLAYERS RULED OUT
Lonzo Ball (shoulder)
Brook Lopez (ankle)
Stephen Curry (ankle)
Tim Hardaway Jr. (leg)
INJURY NEWS TO MONITOR
Draymond Green (elbow)
Chris Paul (abductor)
Clint Capela (heel)
Joel Embiid (back)
Brandon Ingram (quad)
J.J. Redick (hamstring)
Marcus Morris (knee)
Best NBA DFS Picks for Christmas Day, 2017
James Harden @ OKC ($11.1k DraftKings, $12.0k FanDuel)
You can go with LeBron James as your high-priced stud this Christmas Day if all you want is safety, but James Harden seems to be the superstar with the highest floor-ceiling combination. His price tag remains reasonable on DK despite the fact that he’s dropped 51 points in consecutive outings and should continue to pile up the points with Chris Paul (abductor) doubtful tonight. Harden’s rocking a career-high 36.3 percent usage rate this year and while his 45.3 percent assist rate is down from last season (50.7%), he’s averaging 0.28 assists and 1.64 FPs per minute with a 39.8 percent usage rate when CP3 is off the floor. Plus, he’s always turned it up against his former team in the Thunder.
Jordan Clarkson vs. MIN ($4.7k DraftKings, $4.0k FanDuel)
If you’re using Harden and perhaps trying to fit in a superstar forward as well, you’ll need to find some great values and Jordan Clarkson is a candidate for greatly increased production as the Lakers likely starting PG tonight. Lonzo Ball (shoulder) is expected to miss about a week and Clarkson was already comfortable playing on the fastest-paced team in the NBA with averages of 22.8 points and 4.8 assists per 36 minutes this year. He should see 30-plus minutes of run with Ball out and is facing a Wolves team that coughs up the most APG (9.69) to opposing PGs and ranks 25th in defensive rating this season.
You should also strongly consider rookie Josh Hart ($3.7k, $3.5k), who played 34 minutes in a loss to Portland on Saturday and could serve as more of a traditional PG with Clarkson playing more at SG in Ball’s absence.
Additional Notes: John Wall ($8.0k, $8.5k) is a great tournament option at this price tag. He was on an apparent minutes restriction when the Wizards played B2B games over the weekend, but should be all systems go ahead of a key litmus test against the Celtics.
Pairing Wall with Kyrie Irving ($8.5k, $8.9k) is a strategy that could pay off in GPP formats as the two proud PGs go head-to-head. Bradley Beal might struggle in a matchup against elite defenders Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown ($5.2k, $5.8k), who has been hot lately since shedding his protective mask.
Others to Consider: Russell Westbrook, Jeff Teague, Eric Gordon, Dwyane Wade, Jarrett Jack
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LeBron James @ GSW ($11.0k DraftKings, $12.0k FanDuel)
The other elite option worth paying up for tonight is likely just ahead of James Harden in the MVP race, as LeBron James continues to post eye-popping numbers with averages of 28.4 PPG, 8.2 RPG and 9.2 APG while shooting a career-best 57 percent from the floor. He’s plateaued at around 60 FPs over a sustained period, but might flash even more upside while giving extra effort in a grudge match against the Warriors and Kevin Durant, who outplayed him in the finals this past June. LeBron went for 31 points, 13 rebounds and four assists over 40 minutes against the Dubs last Christmas and he could sacrifice his body while playing that much again.
Andre Iguodala vs. CLE ($3.9k DraftKings, $4.5k FanDuel)
LeBron’s likely adversary for extended stretches today can serve as an excellent value. With Steph Curry (ankle) out and both Shaun Livingston (knee) and Draymond Green (elbow) questionable, Andre Iguodala will likely play more point guard than starter Quinn Cook, especially in a finals rematch that should have an intense atmosphere. Iggy is averaging 5.8 APG and 3.3 RPG over his last five appearances and while he’s only scored 3.3 PPG during that span, it’s encouraging to note his rise in playing time (27.2 MPG) recently. He’s a big-game player and should step up against LeBron and the Cavs.
Additional Notes: Kristaps Porzingis ($8.6k, $8.8k) is a boom-bust option right now and will be worth stronger consideration if Joel Embiid (back) is inactive for the Sixers.
If Embiid is out, Ben Simmons ($9.3k, $9.4k) will become a popular play, but it might be wiser to target mid-tier forwards such as Robert Covington ($6.1k, $6.6k) and Dario Saric ($6.2k, $6.9k).
Kyle Kuzma ($7.3k, $7.5k) is clearly the best player on the Lakers right now and he’d become an even better play if Brandon Ingram (quad) is out in addition to Brook Lopez (ankle). Kuzma averages 0.54 points per minute with those players and Lonzo Ball off the floor this season.
Marcus Morris ($4.6k, $4.7k) hopes to return from a knee injury to face his brother Markieff Morris ($4.4k, $4.3k), although both forwards might cede to Mike Scott ($4.5k, $4.2k), who has been the Wizards best reserve lately and is in better shape than either of the Morris twins.
Others to Consider: Kristaps Porzingis, Dario Saric, Kyle Kuzma, Paul George, Jayson Tatum, Larry Nance Jr.
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Karl-Anthony Towns @ LAL ($8.9k DraftKings, $10.7k FanDuel)
The centerpiece of the Wolves offense once again, Karl-Anthony Towns is rolling with averages of 20.7 PPG and 11.6 RPG while shooting 53 percent from the floor this month. He was on fire before slowing down in relative terms against Portland, Denver and Phoenix, but now faces a Lakers team that gives up the sixth-most FPPG (54.52) and seventh-most PPG (24) to opposing centers this year. With Brook Lopez out, Julius Randle is logging most of the minutes at the five and he’s a solid offensive player, but should struggle to defend the bigger Towns.
Additional Notes: Joel Embiid seems likely to sit out the noon game, opening up playing time for Richaun Holmes ($4.5k, $4.0k) as a very solid value play. If Embiid is out, Enes Kanter ($6.1k, $6.5k) would have more appeal with a chance to dominate the paint for the Knicks.
The aforementioned Julius Randle ($5.0k, $5.9k) has some appeal at that price tag with Lopez out.