Preseason NBA DFS Value Picks For Sunday, 12/16
Our journey through the madness that is the Preseason NBA DFS schedule continues on Sunday. On a day where most people are worried about their daily fantasy football contests, we’re looking ahead to a fun three-game slate.
Sunday marks the return of Paul Millsap (back), while we could also see some stars come out via Russell Westbrook, Damian Lillard and others. Let’s see what we can probably expect in the daily fantasy basketball preseason realm as we break down all three matchups and single out our favorite value picks at DraftKings:
Atlanta Hawks @ Orlando Magic
- Elfrid Payton, PG, Magic ($5k)
- Dennis Schroder, PG, Hawks ($6.1k)
- Aaron Gordon, PF, Magic ($6.1k)
- Nikola Vucevic, C, Magic ($6.3k)
Paul Millsap makes his return and could obviously be a nice play, while Evan Fournier has been hot all preseason and Dwight Howard has been great down low for the Hawks, as well.
Those are the top dollar guys to go after in this game, to be sure, but if you want some value, these four guys should be fun daily fantasy basketball preseason options.
Payton was brutal in his preseason debut, but remains dirt cheap and has a versatile skill-set. He should play a little more and find a way to hit value as long as he’s out there.
Schroder was lights out in his last game, yet still is quite cheap considering the light slate. He’s probably the top PG value on the night.
Gordon is extremely versatile and explosive and it sounds like Orlando wants to see more in regards to what he can do with the ball in his hands. He’ll man both forward spots and he can do a little bit of everything, so he’s very much on the radar.
The top overall value in this game might be Vucevic, who doesn’t have an easy matchup with Dwight, but it’s certainly not an unbeatable one. He has a nice mid-range stroke and can rebound well, so at this price you ignore the matchup and hope he fares well.
Minnesota Timberwolves @ Oklahoma City Thunder
- Ricky Rubio, PG, Wolves ($5k)
- Kris Dunn, PG, Wolves ($4.9k)
- Andrew Wiggins, SG, Wolves ($6k)
- Zach LaVine, SG, Wolves ($5.8k)
- Shabazz Muhammad, SF, Wolves ($4.5k)
- Gorgui Dieng, PF, Wolves ($4.9k)
Everyone will be on Russell Westbrook and Victor Oladipo in this one if they suit up, but on such a small slate, it could make sense to look elsewhere in big GPP tournaments.
Rubio and Dunn both offer painful inconsistencies, but both also possess versatile skill-sets that at their price tags, could lead to awesome upside. Dunn might be the preferred play, as he should play more and won’t be tasked with going up against Westbrook as a starter. His shot has not arrived yet, either, so the odds are increasing he finally gets going offensively in this one.
Sticking with Minnesota, their top two wing scorers are super cheap when you compare them to Oladipo, who was dreadful in his last outing. Both of these guys can really fit it up, but Wiggins just got going last game and when hot, tends to be the more reliable NBA DFS performer.
Muhammad deserves a look, as SF is pretty thin on tonight’s slate and he can score in bunches. He’s not getting a ton of run right now, but his has a lot of upside as a scorer and should at least be considered. Most people will be on Danilo Gallinari, so going Muhammad here could be a key pivot.
Dieng needs to be mentioned, but he hasn’t been amazing during the preseason and doesn’t have a big offensive role. He needs a big night of blocks and rebounds to pay off. He is one of the better PF options on this slate, but he’s not exactly reliable.
Denver Nuggets @ Portland Trail Blazers
- Jameer Nelson, PG, Nuggets ($4k)
- Jamal Murray, SG, Nuggets ($5.3k)
- Evan Turner, SG, Blazers ($5.2k)
- Danilo Gallinari, SF, Nuggets ($6.2k)
- Mason Plumlee, C, Blazers ($5.1k)
The last game of the night could very well be the funnest, as Damian Lillard looks to defend the Portland turf against the visting Nuggets. Denver coach Michael Malone said earlier in the week he wouldn’t rest anyone for the rest of the preseason unless it was absolutely needed, so for the most part we can go full speed ahead with the top Nuggets plays.
Denver’s big men don’t really represent value here (although they’r every much in play) and star point guard Emmanuel Mudiay is already out of this one. That puts Jameer Nelson somewhat in play, but really should give us another long look at versatile combo guard, Jamal Murray.
The big guy to target here for Denver should continue to be Gallo, who is a top shelf scorer and can get you rebounds and assists when he’s cooking, too.
Turner should be considered, as well, as he’s a good price, is playing solid minutes and does a little bit of everything.
Plumlee feels underrated, as he’s got a favorable matchup on paper and is a nightly double-double threat when the run is there.
The top targets on the night are undoubtedly Russell Westbrook, Damian Lillard and Jusuf Nurkic. The goal should be to hopefully stack those three guys and fit the right mix of value plays around them.
Regardless of what your path is tonight, we wish you luck in your NBA DFS preseason contests!
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