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DraftKings Daily Fantasy Basketball Picks (12/22/20): NBA DFS Lineups

Happy Opening Night, RotoBallers! It feels like yesterday that we watched LeBron James and Anthony Davis hoist the NBA title in Disney World. That's also because it was only 63 days ago. As DFS players, we will have to be on our toes every night until every tip-off this season with late injury news or rest announcements. It will create some exciting values at the last second, and that is where the attentive players will thrive.

Opening Night is always crackling with anticipation, but it is ramped up another notch for Tuesday's pair of matchups. The Golden State Warriors and Steph Curry travel to face the new-look Brooklyn Nets with superstar Kevin Durant. How will Steph look after a lost season and without his wingman, Klay Thompson? The last time KD took the court, he was passing to Curry, but now faces his old teammate in his highly anticipated return. Then, in the nightcap, the Los Angeles Lakers will enjoy a banner-raising ceremony across the court from their city rivals, the Los Angeles Clippers. It seems like the teams went in opposite directions this offseason. The Lakers got stronger in almost every facet of the game, while the Clippers seem like they are one strange player interview away from the entire team imploding.

This article will provide you with my daily fantasy basketball lineup picks for DraftKings on 12/22/20. You can also check out today's FanDuel lineup picks. Please find me on Twitter @EuanOrYouOut where I am usually tweeting about all things fantasy sports. With COVID-19 a significant factor globally, remember to monitor injury news as the slate can completely change before line-up lock.

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DraftKings DFS Guards

Stephen Curry - PG, GS @ BKN ($9,300)

Please give me all the Steph Curry shares on Tuesday night. Coming off an injury-riddled season, Curry is looking to remind NBA fans precisely what they were missing out on last year. The three-time champion is the center of the Warriors' offense, and everything orbits around his playmaking and shot-making skills.

Last season, the Nets allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to combo guards. They bring back many of the same players that made up the roster last year but adding Kevin Durant will be an interesting wrinkle to their defensive philosophy. Tuesday night is the first time that Curry and Durant will be on opposite sides of the court since the 2016 Western Conference Finals. The two-time MVP averaged 25.9 points, 7.6 assists, and 1.9 steals per game from 2014-2016 (pre-KD), and it's not a far-fetched idea to see him return to that form immediately.

Dennis Schroder - PG/SG, LAL vs LAC ($5,800)

DraftKings priced Schroder in the mid-$6,000 range during the NBA bubble, and I expect his price to rise to that again once the season starts. He was instrumental in the Oklahoma City offense last year, and he may turn out to be one of the most significant acquisitions of the offseason. He joins LeBron James and Anthony Davis (ever heard of them?) at the Staples Center and should be the centerpiece of an improved second unit. So to get him below $6,000 to begin the season screams value in a two-game contest.

Based on last season's statistics, the German guard will have an easy matchup for his first game in purple and gold. The Clippers ranked as the second-easiest matchup for combo guards last year. Their defense was consistently torched for 53.48 fantasy points per game when facing combo guards, per Rotogrinders. James and AD may take the spotlight to open the season, and that will be a risk on Tuesday, but Schroder is someone to keep an eye on during the entire season for DFS.

 

DraftKings DFS Forwards

Anthony Davis - PF/C, LAL vs. LAC ($10,000)

It will be viewed as a cheat code to include the two highest-priced players on the slate in this article, but Davis will be good chalk in cash game lineups and has legitimate tournament-winning upside on a nightly basis. The Brow takes on a Clippers defense that lost Montrezl Harrell and replaced him with Serge Ibaka. I'm not sure who will stop the seven-time All-Star from scoring and rebounding at will in the battle for Los Angeles.

The 27-year old averaged 26.1 points on 50.3 percent shooting with 9,3 rebounds per game in his first season with his new team. DFS players will hope those numbers take a slight jump as Davis cements himself as a top-five player in the league. It's always going to be tough for anyone on a team with LeBron James to win MVP. However, if Davis were going to get a head start on his 2021 campaign, there wouldn't be a brighter spotlight to shine in than Opening Night against your cross-town rivals.

Joe Harris - SF/SG, BKN vs. GS ($4,800)

Joe Harris should be a massive benefactor of Kevin Durant joining the Brooklyn Nets. The seven-year veteran is known as one of the best three-point shooters in the game. With an elite talent like KD on the court, Harris should enjoy a healthy dose of open shots from behind the arc. The sharpshooter thrived in the 2018-19 season with De'Angelo Russell occupying the defensive strategy where he shot a career-high 47.4 percent from three.

Per SHRStats.com, the Warriors allowed 11.52 more fantasy points than expected to shooting guards last year. Early indications suggest that this trend will not go away this year, with Klay Thompson already lost for the 2021 season. With all the spotlights on Durant and Kyrie Irving, Joe Harris will have a massive green light to shoot away on Opening Night and rack up the fantasy points and at a fantastic price.

 

DraftKings DFS Centers

James Wiseman - C, GS @ BKN ($4,900)

Marquese Chriss - C, GS @BKN ($4,000)

On Saturday, Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr said that Wisemen would be the starter "before too long." However, the rookie is still dealing with an undisclosed injury and could sit out Tuesday's opener in Brooklyn. That would open the door for Marquese Chriss to continue the impressive form he flashed towards the end of last year. The fifth-year big man started 18 of the Warrior's final 19 games in 2020 and was averaging 13.5 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 2.3 assists before the regular season ended in March.

Still, if Wiseman plays, it will be tempting to plug him into the first lineup of the year. The Nets were the eighth-easiest defense versus opposing centers and will give the rookie a great platform to launch his NBA career. Watch this scenario as it gets closer to tip-off, but either player makes an excellent, lower-priced option at the center position. Rostering Wiseman or Chriss will allow DFS managers to load up at other, more advantageous spots in their lineups to tip off the new NBA season.



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