NBA Picks: Top Fantasy Basketball Targets, Values for December 30

The recent trend is superstars on the injury report and today is no different with Joel Embiid ($10,200) questionable to play. His status impacts the outlook of the entire slate. For up-to-the-minute news, analysis and lineups, download the DK Live app, as NBA news, injury reports and betting lines can change throughout the day. We will keep you up to the minute on the DK Live app.


POINT GUARD

Stud

Ben Simmons, PHI @ POR, $8,500 — Embiid ($10,900) has stayed pretty healthy this year, but it looks like he is in danger of missing tonight’s game. He is listed as questionable and Philly has talked about wanting to sit him at times during the regular season to keep him fresh for the playoffs and Simmons will be needed to play a bigger role if Embiid is out. He played over 40 minutes and scored 52 DKFP the last time Embiid was out.

Value

Tyus Jones, MIN @ MIA, $4,900 — With both Derrick Rose and Jeff Teague doubtful to play tonight, it looks like this will be Jones’ backcourt. Three times we have seen Rose and Teague both out this year and Jones started in all of those games. He scored as many as 32.75 DKFP as a starter, so there is plenty of upside for him in a starting role. He scored 32 DKFP the last time he played against the Heat, which was last season.


SHOOTING GUARD

Stud

Brandon Ingram, LAL vs. SAC, $6,700 — LeBron James (groin) is out at least one more game, which apparently has an impact on the Lakers. Of all the players on L.A., nobody sees more of an uptick in production than Ingram with LeBron off the floor. His usage rating jumps to 28.3% and he scores 40.37 DKFP per 36 minutes without James on the court. This teams recently played each other with LeBron active and Ingram racked up 32.75 DKFP.

Value

Josh Hart, LAL vs. SAC, $4,700 —  Without LeBron, the Lakers have turned to Josh Hart in the starting lineup. He is averaging 28.75 DKFP in his two starts in place of James even though he got ejected in the game against the Clippers. Hopefully, he keeps his cool tonight and plays until the final whistle. Hart has only gotten a limited amount of starts this year because the popular opinion is that James is a more valuable player, but he averaged 13.3 points and 6.0 rebounds per game as a starter last season.


SMALL FORWARD

Stud

Jimmy Butler, PHI @ POR, $6,700 — Since coming to the 76ers, Butler leads the team in usage with Embiid off the court. His 31.3% usage rating without Embiid leads to him scoring 49.07 DKFP per 36 minutes. Jimmy is grossly underpriced if Embiid cannot play, but he is still a fine play even if Joel is active. This is Butler’s lowest salary of the season and he scored at least 37 DKFP in three of his last four games.

Value

Bogdan Bogdanovich, SAC @ LAL, $5,600 — Bogdan has had an up and down season due to injuries, but his last game was the highlight of his year. Down by two points, Bogdanovich hit a game-winning three as the clock expired over this same Lakers’ team. He is currently coming off the bench, but I expect him to move into the starting lineup ahead of Iman Shumpert ($4,300) sooner rather than later. Last game’s heroics may be the trigger to move Bogdanovich into the starting unit.


POWER FORWARD

Stud

Kawhi Leonard, TOR vs. CHI, $9,200 — The Raptors are without Kyle Lowry due to a sore back and they are coming off their worst game of the season. They lost to the Magic by 29 points and are looking to right the ship against the Bulls as the largest favorite on the slate. Prior to the debacle in Orlando, Kahwi scored at least 44 DKFP in 13 of 14 games. He is one of the most consistent fantasy producers in the league and I expect him to put the Raptors on his back with Lowry ailing. Leonard has a team high 30.4% usage rating with Lowry off the court.

Value

Kelly Olynyk, MIA vs. MIN, $3,900 —  The Heat have the flu going around the locker room. I think there is a huge business opportunity in administering flu shots to NBA players because it seems like half the league gets sick every winter. Four players are currently listed as questionable and Olynyk is one of the healthy bodies. He scores .98 DKFP per minute, so we only need 20 minutes from him to hit 5x value at his current per minute production. Olynyk figures to see extended minutes with so many guys sick.


CENTER

Stud

Jusuf Nurkic, POR vs. PHI, $7,000 — Nurkic has increased his fantasy production each year he has been in the league and he is always getting better. He is coming off back to back double-doubles against the Warriors and he averaged 47.25 DKFP in those games. Typically the 76ers are a tough matchup, but that is mostly due to Embiid. Philly allows 5.9 more points per 100 possessions with Embiid off the court, so this is a much better spot for Nurkic than the matchup appears on paper if Embiid is out or limited.

Value

Mike Muscala, PHI @ POR, $3,700 — Finally, we have the guy who stands to see the most extra playing time if Embiid cannot play. He scored 33.75 DKFP the last time Embiid was held out. Amir Johnson ($3,000) is also a candidate to start or see extra minutes in place of Embiid, but Muscala is the better fantasy producer.


I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is gehrenberg) 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 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.