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With nine games on the slate, I can already tell you that the Pelicans-Kings will be one of the higher scoring contests. I'm also eyeing the Celtics-Hornets game for assured value, but I will be mostly focusing on three games, NOP @ SAC, CHA @ BOS, and LAC @ GS. The Pelicans should have no problem scoring on the Kings defense, while Sacramento has the athleticism to successfully run the floor against New Orleans. Both offenses should be fast-paced and that should really limit the impact of Anthony Davis' defense in the half court. The Kings will need to convert from the field extremely efficiently to keep up, but I'm confident that won't be a problem. Sacramento scored 129 points the first time these two met and I expect a similar outcome. The Celtics-Hornets game is much more unpredictable, but seeing how the first game between the two revolved around Kemba Walker and Kyrie Irving, I expect more distribution and other shooters to actually produce this time around.

The last game that really needs to be monitored is the Warriors and Clippers. Kevin Durant is coming off a big-game and carries momentum well, so there is no real need to fade him tonight. He is always capable of exploding any night, which can be said about teammates Steph Curry and Klay Thompson as well, but Durant easily has the most upside. As weird as it may seem, it's hard to just bank on the Warriors having great games every night, so use this game for value rather than a reason to stack superstars.

In this article, I will be providing you with my daily fantasy basketball lineup picks for DraftKings on 12/23/18. These DFS lineup picks can vary from higher-priced players and elite options to lower-priced players and value picks on DraftKings. You can also check out today's FanDuel lineup picks. As always, don't set your lineups to early and check player statuses before the opening tip. Find me in the NBA Chat Room or @HalfCourtJester on Twitter for questions.

Editor's Note: Get our full-season NBA and DFS Premium Pass for 50% OFF. Plus, you also get our full-season NFL Premium and DFS Pass for free! Take advantage of our lowest pricing all year, and get an edge on your competition. Sign Up Now!

 

DraftKings DFS Guards

Terry Rozier - PG/SG, vs. CHA ($3,900)

It's hard to really gauge Terry Rozier's minutes and how he will fare each game. Last game against the Hornets, Rozier hit his value basically through steals in less than 20 minutes, despite getting four fouls as well. The injuries surrounding Boston at this time make it hard to not play Rozier 20-25 minutes, but there is still a massive log-jam at the guard position. I expect him to be more efficient from the field this game, but do be cautious of the idea that he might just not play. The Celtics went from being the team to beat to being the team to wait and watch fall apart. Injuries caused massive holes to open up in the defense and Boston needs to find the right amount of offense to make up for it. Rozier should play this game and get plenty of chances, but this team has turned into a Spurs-like dynamic where it's nearly impossible to predict the best contributor each outing.

Rodney McGruder - PG/SG, @ ORL ($3,500)

Whether you want to admit it or not, Rodney McGruder has been one of the most consistent options the Heat have. His minutes have yet to really fall one way or another, but his shot attempts have taken an important role in Miami's offense. Much like Wayne Ellington last year, McGruder is a player that offers spacing and is used as a security blanket by the rest of his teammates. By doing most of his work off-ball, it limits his ceiling to how he shoots that night, but it also leads to him getting extra attempts when his teammates can't find their groove. He hasn't established himself as an lethal perimeter threat just yet, but he has shown massive improvements in his offense. He won't be running point guard at all and his usage will stick between 10% and 20% each night, but that is more than enough given his role.

 

DraftKings DFS Forwards

Cedi Osman - SF/PF, vs. CHI ($4,000)

His previous stat lines are not overly impressive, but it's clear Cedi Osman has a cemented role in the Cavaliers offense. He plays more than enough minutes to justify him exceeding his projected, he just needs to score. He offers across-the-board production, but I'd be lying if I said he offers that on a nightly basis. On his better nights, he is the perfect sleeper pick. His price is never too high and because he is a playmaker first, he always makes the extra pass. The Bulls have been struggling all year long and the Cavaliers aren't a broken team like everyone thought they would be. All in all, the Cavaliers have the edge this game and while it won't be up to Osman to win this game, he will have a ton of usage this game and exceed projected.

Jerami Grant - PF/C, vs. MIN ($4,500)

Jerami Grant always feels like a good pick. He has the strength to keep up with some of the league's best rebounders and has the length to impact just about anyone's shot. He hasn't managed to double-double but one time this season so that type of ceiling seems out of the question. Even then, he will get rebounds and his scoring has taken a massive increase recently. The defensive stats will only help and he should keep his field goal attempts up around the 10-11 range for the next few games. Tonight, hoping that he faces either Taj Gibson or Dario Saric makes him that much better of an option. Neither Saric or Gibson is a prolific defender so expect Grant to get to his spots and get his fair share of rebounds.

 

DraftKings DFS Centers

Jarrett Allen - C, vs. PHO ($5,400)

Much like Jerami Grant, its hard to fade someone that offers a quality mix of strength and length. Seeing how the Phoenix Suns barely have a frontcourt defense, Jarrett Allen has maximum upside. The Suns had their longest winning streak in years ended by the Wizard last night, meaning they will be somewhat fatigued going into this game. Allen tends to produce against more difficult frontcourts, which is a great sign for development and all that fun stuff, but for DFS it's really annoying. That has been a notable trend that should end today. He thrives when he shouldn't, but his price makes it's hard not to play him against one of the worst frontcurt defenses in the league.

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