The NBA is back with its usual Christmas Day goodness in 2020, a five-pack of games featuring the league’s biggest stars. That creates some exciting possibilities for DFS lineups, and we’re here with our FanDuel tournament advice to figure out how to best use your available salary from a huge listing of superstars.
One thing to take advantage of on FD’s five-game slate is that the players who opened their season on Tuesday haven’t seen price changes from opening night. That means someone like Kevin Durant is a huge bargain, making him a lock for our lineup. Beyond that, we’ve taken Giannis Antetokoumpo and Kawhi Leonard as our other two superstars, but there are enough options that creating multiple lineups and getting a piece of all the big names isn’t a bad idea.
NBA Christmas DFS: FanDuel Picks
PG Jeff Teague, Celtics vs. Nets ($5,800). With Kemba Walker out, Teague is the main point guard in Boston. Every other option the Celtics have is young and inexperienced, so unless they want to frequently run things through Marcus Smart, Teague should see plenty of floor time. He’s still capable of putting up double-digit points with five-plus assists per game in a starting role.
PG Lonzo Ball, Pelicans @ Heat ($6,600). Ball is the type of player who does just enough of everything to be a great DFS option despite not being a dominant scorer. That means his price stays a little depressed relative to the better scoring point guards — so much so that when Ball does have an occasional big scoring day, it’s a huge value. The Heat are a solid defensive team, but that’s not especially apparent in their backcourt, where Ball should feel comfortable all Christmas Day.
SG Dennis Schroder, Lakers vs. Mavericks ($5,000). If FD had adjusted its pricing after opening night, Schroder wouldn’t be this cheap. It will make him a popular play, but he was a surprise start for the Lakers rather than coming off the bench and went for 14 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists. The boards won’t always be there, but the scoring and passing should be.
SG Duncan Robinson, Heat vs. Pelicans ($4,400). Robinson is streaky — or risky, depending on your view. But when he’s hitting threes, he piles up fantasy points in a hurry. New Orleans’ backcourt will suffer defensively after trading away Jrue Holiday, so it will have an even tougher time accounting for one of the planet’s best pure shooters.
SF Kawhi Leonard, Clippers @ Nuggets ($9,500). The $1.5K discount from LeBron James is worth it here to get two dominant players in our lineup at FD’s power forward spot. Leonard isn’t flashy but almost always winds up with a very good statline, and the Clippers will be looking for revenge against Denver after getting bounced in last season’s playoffs by the Nuggets.
SF Joe Harris, Nets @ Celtics ($4,300). Until the DFS sites catch up that Harris is starting for an offensive juggernaut and will continue to get good looks all season, we’ll keep playing him. Harris is also a sneakily consistent rebounder who has enhanced his ball-handling to be an all-around threat.
PF Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks vs. Warriors ($11,600). Especially if Draymond Green remains out, Giannis should have a field day against a Warriors team that’s missing its best defenders in Green and Klay Thompson. They wouldn’t be big enough to guard Antetokounmpo by themselves, but they’d at least slow him down. Someone like Eric Paschall or Juan Toscano-Anderson doesn’t present the same worry.
PF Kevin Durant, Nets @ Celtics ($8,500). Durant’s price wasn’t altered after Tuesday, which makes him a major discount after everyone saw he’s perfectly healthy and back to his old self. This price likely means Durant’s ownership will be high, but you won’t want to miss out on that party.
C James Wiseman, Warriors @ Bucks ($4,200). Wiseman put up most of his stats in garbage time on opening night, but he also flashed the tantalizing ability that had the Warriors start him for his NBA debut. There’s no one close to this talented at this cheap a price.