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NBA DFS Selection Breakdown (Saturday, Dec. 31): Ring in the New Year with Joel Embiid

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Saturday features an eight-game slate starting at 7 p.m. ET.

Let’s dive into some of the best games on the slate using the Fantasy Labs Tools and metrics.

Also, don’t forget that for large field tournaments, you can take advantage of our Range Optimizer to effortlessly create up to 150 lines, or use our range creator if you like to build your lines by hand.

Note: Projections and leverage scores/ratings may change throughout the day after the publication of this article. The NBA DFS landscape is changing rapidly.

Consult the NBA Player Models Directly for any updates as we get closer to lockdown. Use the PrizePicks promotional code LABS to get a $100 sign-up bonus for NBA player accessories.

NBA DFS Point Guard Picks


I think it’s safe to say that Luka Doncic the guy is pretty good. He’s been one of the top fantasy producers this season, averaging 1.74 DraftKings points per minute, and he’s taken his game to another level recently. He’s averaged 1.78 DraftKings points per minute over the past month and he’s scored at least 81.0 DraftKings points in three of his last four games. That includes a ridiculous 110.75 points DraftKings vs. the Knicks, who is the most of any player since the start of 2014-15 (by the Trends Tool). The only other players to hit triple digits in that time frame are Joel Embiid, DeMarcus Cousins ​​and James Harden (twice).

Doncic is in a great position for another big game on Saturday vs. the Spurs. They rank dead last in defensive efficiency this season, and the Mavericks total team implemented of 119.25 ranks fourth on the list. Doncic leads all players in DraftKings 13.5+ point ceiling projection, and he has the potential to break a slate like few others.


The Pistons are going to be without Killian Hayes again on Saturday, which means Alec Burk should maintain a slightly higher workload. He posted a positive review More less in three straight games, and he’s averaging 1.07 DraftKings points per minute for the year. It is currently screened for over 26 minutes in our time NBA modelsand his $4,500 salary comes with a 98% bargain mark.

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The Timberwolves have a lot of appeal on the other side of that match. The Pistons rank dead last in defensive efficiency, and the Timberwolves are involved for 119.5 points. D’Angelo Russel has posted an average Over/Under of +3.05 in its last 10 games on FanDuel, and is undervalued at $7,100.

speaking of sub-tariff, LaMelo ball stands out as one of the best pure values ​​to position on FanDuel. His $9,300 salary comes with a 96% bargain odds, and Ball leads the position with 14 pro tendencies. He’s averaged 1.34 FanDuel points per minute since returning to the roster, and he’s posted a positive/less positive in all but one game. That includes 58.5 FanDuel points in its last outing, and the Hornets vs. Nets game leads the list with a total of 237.5 points.

NBA DFS Shooting Guard Pick


James Harden saw a pretty steep drop in value in his first game with Tyrese Maxey back in line. He only had eight field goal attempts, and although he finished with 20 points and 10 assists, he still had just 36.25 DraftKings points. Harden had at least 62.25 DraftKings points in each of his previous three games, which was a significant drop in production.

However, the 76ers are playing the second leg a back-to-back, and there’s a chance Maxey will sit out. It would be a significant boost for Harden, especially in a positive game against Harden. the Thunder. They’ve been playing at fourth pace this season, so Harden has some rebounding appeal.


The Knicks are another team that will be important to watch on Saturday. The team is already playing without RJ Barrettand Jalen Brunson is questionable after missing the last two games with a hip injury.

If Brunson stays on the sidelines, Emmanuel Quickley can continue to trust DFS queues. He’s taken on a monstrous charge in their absence, recording 50.6 and 43.3 minutes in his last two games. Quickley is also an outstanding producer per minute, averaging 0.93 DraftKings points per minute, so he unsurprisingly racked up at least 42.75 DraftKings points in both contests. He’s currently projected for 34 minutes in our NBA templates, and it would be hard to pass up Quickley in that scenario.

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Desmond Scourge is still picking up the pace for the Grizzlies, but he played 28.5 minutes in their last game. He’s seen a slight increase in playing time in the four games since returning to the roster, so there’s a chance he’ll be approaching 30 minutes on Saturday. Bane is averaging 1.09 FanDuel Points per minute this season, making him a viable option at $6,100.

Darius Garland is questionable for the Cavaliers, and his absence would Donovan Mitchell a quality stud target. He saw a 3.5% usage increase with Garland of the ground this season, which averages 1.24 FanDuel points per minute. The Bulls also stand out with a quality game, resulting in an Opponent Over/Under of +3.63.

Small NBA DFS forward picks


Kevin Durant could be a contrarian stud target on Saturday’s slate. It is only projected for about 10% ownership on DraftKings, but the Nets are arguably in the best spot of the day against. the hornets. They rank 10th in pace and 23rd in defensive efficiency, and the Nets’ implied team total of 122.25 ranks first on the list.

Durant is coming off a dominating performance in his last outing, racking up 26 points, 16 boards and eight assists against. the Falcons. He’s not quite on par with guys like Doncic from a minute standpoint, but his average of 1.39 DraftKings points per minute is the best mark among Saturday’s small forwards by a comfortable margin. He also leads the position with 10 Pro Trends on DraftKings.


sadik bey came down to earth a bit in his last contest, finishing with just 22.0 DraftKings points in 30.6 minutes. Still, the playing time is very encouraging for his hopes on Saturday. Bey is very cheap at $4,000 on DraftKings, which translates to 99% bargain odds, and he’s averaged 0.90 DraftKings points per minute over the past month. If he continues to play around 30 minutes, he should have no problem paying his current salary.

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Zach LaVine is another undervalued potential target at the position. The Cavaliers set up as a perfect game for him, with no basketball team allowing more than 3 points per 100 possessions. LaVine is easily the Bulls’ best 3-point shooter, so this could be a game where he thrives and DeMar DeRozan struggles. LaVine is a particularly attractive option on FanDuel, given its bargain odds of 89%.

Anthony Edwards had to take on a bigger role with Karl Anthony Towns recently discarded. He’s increased his fantasy production to 1.26 FanDuel points per minute, and he’s averaged an Over/Under of +7.53 in his last 10 games on FanDuel. He has three games with at least 60.5 FanDuel Points in his last seven outings, so he also has a $9,200 cap.

NBA DFS Forward Picks


Julius Randle has become a fantastic stallion again this season. He’s always been a great producer by the minute, but he suffered a lot last year. However, he’s averaging 1.28 DraftKings points per minute this year, and he’s increased that to 1.41 over the past month.

Randle draws a great game Saturday vs. the Rockets, who rank only 28th in defensive efficiency. They defended the paint better, but Randle is able to do damage in a number of ways. He’s increased his assist rate by +5.0% with Brunson sidelined the past two games, so Randle doesn’t necessarily need to dominate inside to return value there. .


Naz Reid has dual PF/C eligibility on DraftKings, and if Rudy Gobert is sidelined again, he should be in your lineup somewhere. Reid has been a monster when given the opportunity to play this season, and he’s averaged 1.26 DraftKings points per minute over the past month. He had 31.25 DraftKings points in 29.8 minutes on Friday, and he’s scored at least 40.25 DraftKings points in his previous four games with that much playing time.

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Jabari Smith Jr. starts to burst. The no. The world No. 3 in the 2022 NBA Draft has averaged 1.13 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, and he’s posted positive/less positive in three of his last four games. He also posted a cap of over 45 DraftKings points during that span, but his price dropped to just $4,900 for Saturday’s game against . the Knicks.

Keldon Johnson he’s had dismal shooting numbers for Spurs lately, but he knocked down 11 of 21 shots on Thursday. Maybe he’s starting to turn things around, and if he does, he’s definitely undervalued at $6,800. It should also benefit from the expected absence of Devin VasellJohnson increasing his utilization rate by +3.1% with Vassell off the ground this season.

NBA DFS Center Pick


Joel Embid didn’t get as much attention as Doncic or Nikola Jokic lately, but he’s been playing outstanding basketball lately. He posted at least 42.0% usage rate in four consecutive games and he scored at least 55.1 FanDuel points in three of them.

I have no idea how Oklahoma City plans to keep him, given their current roster. Their only real center option is Mike Muscala, and I think it’s pretty safe to say it’s a mismatch. Overall, Embiid owns a +7.85 plus/minus opponent, with the Thunder allowing the second-most points in the paint per game this season.


Jalen Duren is coming off a lackluster performance in his last contest, but he continues to gobble up rebounds at an elite pace. He posted a 22.6% rebound rate since entering the starting lineup, which would be the second-highest full-season mark in the league. Only Clint Capela (23.3%) caught a higher percentage of boards than Duren as a starter.

Duren has shot double-digit boards in nine of his last 10 games, making him a candidate for a cheap double-double. Its scoring numbers haven’t been quite as impressive, but it provides solid ground and a decent ceiling at its current price.

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Spurs have relaxed Jacob Poeltl back in action, but he played 28.6 minutes in their last outing. Poeltl is averaging 1.17 DraftKings points per minute this season, so he can do damage in under 30 minutes. Its price has also been reduced to just $5,700 on DraftKings, giving a bargain odds of 96%.

Nick Claxton has posted an average Over/Under of +7.70 in its last 10 games on FanDuel, and it has increased its production to 1.20 FanDuel points per minute over the past month. He has at least 45.1 FanDuel points in two of his last three contests, so he has plenty of appeal at $6,800 in a juicy matchup against. the hornets.

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