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NBA DFS Picks: FanDuel Lineup Plays and Strategy for Friday, December 23

Slate Overview

We have spreads all across the board, but there are no double-digit favorites as of early Friday. In terms of totals, we have five games over 230 projected points and another five between 225 and 229 to make it an appealing night for DFS.

Injury Situations to Monitor

For all the latest updates, visit RotoWire's NBA Injury News page and our comprehensive NBA Injury Report.

Zion Williamson, NOP (COVID-19 protocols): OUT If Williamson is sidelined again, Willy Hernangomez and Naji Marshall could be due for some extra run at power forward. Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL (knee): PROBABLE Antetokounmpo is fully expected to play through his minor knee soreness and is likely to once again take the floor without Khris Middleton (knee). LeBron James, LAL (ankle): PROBABLE James is fully expected to play through the pain while filling another especially high-usage floor due to the absence of Anthony Davis (foot). Kristaps Porzingis, WAS (illness): GTD If Porzingis were to sit, Daniel Gafford would step into the starting five and the usage for the likes of Bradley Beal and Kyle Kuzma would be elevated. Devin Booker, PHO (groin): OUT In Booker's ongoing absence, Landry Shamet and Damion Lee should handle the majority of shooting guard minutes while the usage of the other starting five remains extremely elevated. Tyrese Haliburton, IND (wrist): QUESTIONABLE If Haliburton is sidelined, Andrew Nembhard and T.J. McConnell would be set for extra run and the usage of the remainder of the starting five would see a sizable boost. Rudy Gobert, MIN (ankle): QUESTIONABLE If Gobert can't go, Naz Reid would be primed for a potential spot start. Other notable injuries: Damian Lillard, POR (wrist): PROBABLE Jusuf Nurkic, POR (calf): PROBABLE Russell Westbrook, LAL (foot): PROBABLE Karl-Anthony Towns, MIN (calf): OUT Anthony Davis, LAL (foot): OUT Brandon Ingram, NOP (toe): OUT Tyrese Maxey, PHI (foot): OUT Khris Middleton, MIL (knee): DOUBTFUL Keldon Johnson, SAN (hamstring): GTD Jamal Murray, DEN (knee): QUESTIONABLE Desmond Bane, MEM (toe): QUESTIONABLE Evan Mobley, CLE (knee): QUESTIONABLE Elite Players We have 13 players with five-figure salaries that have a chance to play on Friday's slate – Nikola Jokic ($12,200), Giannis Antetokounmpo ($12,000), Luka Doncic ($11,800), Joel Embiid($11,600), Jayson Tatum ($11,200), LeBron James ($11,000), Kevin Durant ($10,600), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($10,400), Zion Williamson ($10,400), Pascal Siakam ($10,300), Domantas Sabonis ($10,200), Ja Morant ($10,100) and Jimmy Butler ($10,000). The entire group is generally in good health, with only Williamson in any danger of missing out due to COVID-19 protocols. Even the ones at the highest end of the range could well justify their extremely elevated salaries considering Jokic boasts three tallies between 78.4 and 88.4 FD points in his last five and Antetokounmpo just dropped 71.8 against the Cavs on Wednesday - his fifth of more than 60 this season. Expected Chalk Other likely chalk plays include: Trae Young, ATL ($9,700) Young has posted between 41.6 to 56.1 FD points from his last four and has notched three straight 30-point efforts, which should keep him popular despite the large slate. Fred VanVleet, TOR ($9,600) VanVleet has produced of 45, 55 and 69.1 FD points within the last five, which will keep him in plenty of lineups Friday. Tyrese Haliburton, IND ($9,500) If Haliburton is able to play through his wrist injury, he's primed to be a popular selection considering he's scored between 45.8 to 56.9 FD points across five of his last eight games - production befitting a five-figure salary. CJ McCollum, NOP ($8,800) McCollum has registered 51.1 and 67.1 FD points in his last two and could be taking the floor without Zion Williamson again, which is in line to keep him extremely viable at this salary. Chris Paul, PHO ($7,900) With a reasonable salary and a pair of 50-FD-point tallies in the last four games alone, Paul should be in quite a few lineups Friday since Devin Booker remains out. Key Values Thomas Bryant, LAL vs. CHA ($6,100) Bryant has been excellent as Anthony Davis' replacement so far producing between 27.5 to 36 FD points in his first three starts and also putting up 34.7 over 24 minutes four games ago when Davis exited early with an injury. The big man now draws what may be the most enticing matchup for centers in the league, as the Hornets are allowing the highest offensive efficiency rating to centers (36.3) and an NBA-high 61.8 FD points per game to the position, including 67.8 in the last seven. Charlotte also ranks bottom-five in points, rebounds and assists to the position, and no team has allowed more blocks per game than the Hornets' 6.8. Onyeka Okongwu, ATL vs. DET ($5,800) Clint Capela is listed as a game-time decision due to a calf injury that's already kept him out the last three, but Okongwu could be a very appealing option regardless of his teammate's status. He just scored 46.7 FD points across 40 minutes versus the Bulls on Wednesday in a starting role and also managed between 26.5 to 30.2 FD points in four of the previous five despite drawing starts in only two. Okongwu faces a Pistons team that's given up the fifth-highest offensive efficiency rating to centers (33.8) and third-most FD points per game to centers in the last seven (57.6) along with the fourth-most rebounds (54.9) and third-most blocks (5.9) per road contest on the year. Herbert Jones, NO at OKC ($5,100) Jones scored 25.6 FD points without Williamson available Thursday, and the big man could well sit out again Friday as already mentioned. Jones also recorded 25.9 and 25.8 FD points in two of the previous three games with Zion available, and he's now due for a matchup against a Thunder side he already posted 37.1 FD points against in 39 minutes during his one prior encounter with them. He's capable of contributing across the stat sheet and OKC is giving up just under 42 FD points per game to small forwards and the most steals per game to the position (2.0). In turn, Jones is averaging 1.3 steals and boasts multi-steal counts in three of his last seven. ALSO CONSIDER: Tre Jones, SAN at ORL ($6,300); Jalen McDaniels, CHA at LAL ($5,600)



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