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NBA DFS: Ghost’s Gems 12/19

As we approach the holiday period, many players will be sitting out games. It is common for NBA teams to make sure their key contributors are rested heading into the new year. Thus, new rotations will be key in elite game environments. It’s a Mojito Monday edition of the Gems – let’s ride.

Be sure to use our proprietary NBA projections and cheat sheet to build your lineups as the news rolls in. Moreover, join the conversation in the Win Daily Discord to get the insight you need from both subscribers and staff.

Orlando Magic @ Atlanta Hawks (-6.5)

Orlando Magic (+6.5)

Despite numerous injuries, the Magic have reeled off six straight wins. No Orlando player has been as impressive as the #1 overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft, Paolo Banchero. Over his last seven games, Banchero has scored 20 or more points in each one. Moreover, he has averaged 22.4/7.4/4.6 on 41.3% shooting. During that same stretch, he has also led the team in both usage rate and minutes played per game. With the Hawks currently ranked 26th in the league against power forwards and 27th in points allowed in the paint, Banchero has massive upside in this matchup.

Atlanta Hawks (-6.5)

Exposure to the Hawks offense remains to be seen, depending on their final injury report. After missing multiple weeks, both John Collins (ankle) and Dejounte Murray (ankle) are questionable to make their returns to the lineup. Should both miss this game, there are options all over the pricing grid. At the top, Trae Young gets a friendly matchup versus a Magic defense that ranks 24th in the NBA in defensive rating, while also ranking 20th against primary ball handlers. Moreover, the duo of Bogdan Bogdanovic and Onyeka Okongwu figure to be popular options if both Collins and Murray miss another game. Over his last four games, Bogdanovic has averaged 26/5.8/2.8 on 54.4% shooting, including 54.8% from deep on over ten attempts per night. On the other hand, Okongwu will continue to fill in at the ‘5’ for Clint Capela, who remains out.

Portland Trail Blazers @ Oklahoma City Thunder (OTB)

Portland Trail Blazers (OTB)

While most will avoid the Blazers tonight versus a shorthanded Thunder roster, it’s the wrong approach. There is certainly a possibility that this game gets out of hand given the injuries to OKC’s two best players. However, they just pulled off a victory against the Grizzlies with this same rotation. Even with Morant getting tossed after 16 minutes of that game, it’s an impressive victory nonetheless. If you want to play Lillard at the top of the pricing grid tonight, I won’t talk you off of it. But with Lu Dort lining up on him, Simons and Nurkic are in better spots. The Thunder rank 27th in the NBA against true centers, while struggling versus off-ball guards as well. This rotation is risky but makes for an intriguing tournament play.

Oklahoma City Thunder (OTB)

This rotation will be one of, if not the most popular one on the entire NBA slate. Both Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey have been ruled out for a second straight game. Thus, there are plenty of viable options. Of the players of interest, pick your poison with any combination of Lu Dort, Isaiah Joe, Aaron Wiggins, and/or Aleksej Pokusevski. The four not only figure to play the bulk of minutes, but are in one of the best game environments on the slate.

Charlotte Hornets @ Sacramento Kings (-8.5)

Charlotte Hornets (+8.5)

Since making his return to the lineup, LaMelo Ball has looked great. Despite the concerns around his efficiency, he has still shot 50% from the field in his two games played since returning. During that span, Ball has logged 33 and 34 minutes, leaving no concern for any restrictions. Moreover, he has averaged 25/1.5/7 on 50% shooting, including 46.2% from deep on a whopping 13 attempts per night. With the Kings ranked 6th in the NBA in pace, this game environment is meant for Ball.

Sacramento Kings (-8.5)

Despite a lofty spread on this game, the Kings offense is in the best spot on the NBA slate. The Hornets currently rank 13th in pace, while being 27th in defensive rating. As expected, the main contributors of interest are De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis. However, the latter figures to be one of, if not my favorite play of the slate at the top of the pricing grid. In his last six games, Sabonis has scored 20 or more points in five appearances. Moreover, he has averaged 21.2/14.2/6 on 71.2% shooting during that stretch. The Hornets have always been a frontcourt to pick on, and they currently rank last in the league against centers, allowing over 60 fantasy points per game to the position.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Milwaukee Bucks @ New Orleans Pelicans (OTB)
  • San Antonio Spurs @ Houston Rockets (-3.5)
  • Los Angeles Lakers @ Phoenix Suns (OTB)

You can find me on Twitter @BetsByGhost and in the Win Daily Discord