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Max’s Picks NBA Mon Dec 23rd

With the big Christmas contests coming up on DraftKings and DraftStreet, tonight is a good night to get in some practice for the big day and get a feel for NBA DFS. There are 11 games tonight, but I find myself liking some unconventional players tonight even though I have the choice to go with some name-brands. Here are some picks for both sites.

Brandon Jennings –
He’s a high salary player on DraftKings and DraftStreet, but he has absolutely a ton going for him tonight. He’s matched up with Cleveland who allow a bunch of fantasy points to PGs. The line for the game is very close with Cleveland being favored by only 1, which means Jennings will be getting a ton of minutes. But may be my favorite reason for this play is a couple of stat I’ve been researching: FG% on drives and FG % allowed by bigs. These are some of the new advanced stats on NBA.com and I think combined could be an intriguing indicator for guard performance.

Jennings drives to the basket over 7 times a game and has a paltry 33.3 FG% when driving to the hoop. Both Al Jefferson and Mcroberts allow a 60% and 56.6% at the rim this season, which means they are one of the worst post defense tandems in the league. Because of this, I suspect Jennings will make a few more points off of drives. But what I also like is that when a PG is successfully driving to the hoop, that motivates him to drive more and opens his game up to more assists as well. I’ve been tracking these indicators for a while and so far they’ve been pretty successful, I’m looking forward to seeing if this could provide some great hidden value.

Miles Plumlee – A lot of people look at Phoenix’s matchup with the Lakers tonight and think “The Lakers allow a lot of points to big men, I should play Frye, the Markieff Morris, or Plumlee!” But I think this thinking is a little too simplistic. The reason the Lakers allow a lot of points to big men is because they are small and weak in the post, and are terrible rebounders. Plumlee is really the only true post player on the Suns, Frye likes to play outside and Morris is more of a combo SF/PF. I like Plumlee here because he’ll be insides the entire game. Also, because he’s the starter, if he gets off to a good start (which I suspect he will) it’s much more likely they will continue to give him minutes throughout the game, which may keep Morris on the bench. I think Plumlee is the pick here, but if you have to disagree with me I like Morris over Frye.

Dwight Howard –
It’s hard to ignore Howard who just put up a 73 fantasy point day on DraftKings Saturday night, but I’m not just riding the hot hand here, there’s a lot in Howard’s favor. James Harden is out which makes Howard the go to scorer on Houston. He’s also matched up with Dallas, who Howard absolutely man-handled last time they played scoring 33/11. I also like that Jeremy Lin is back. Lin adds to Howards value because Lin is a pure pick-and-roll guard. He should set Howard up consistently throughout the game for easy slams and offensive rebounds.

Speaking of Lin…

Jeremy Lin –
This is one of the easiest picks one can ever make on DraftKings. Lin is the starting PG tonight with Beverley and Harden out and will be the 2nd option to score on the team next to Howard. We all know that Lin can produce when he has the ball in his hand and he’ll be handling it all game. I could make more supporting arguments here but the bottom line is that if you don’t play Lin tonight you are missing out. He’s only $11,230 on DraftStreet and $5800 on DraftKings. Use him.

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View all posts by Max J Steinberg
Max J Steinberg

About the Author

Max J Steinberg Max Steinberg is a professional poker player and a top Daily Fantasy player who uses his creativity and mathematical abilities he cultivated as a poker player to win money on both DraftKings and FanDuel. He already has several big tournament scores to his name including the Victiv Bowl and countless MLB Monster wins. Follow him on twitter @maxjsteinberg.

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