Daily Fantasy

NBA DFS Picks: Yahoo plays and strategy for Dec. 23

RotoWire takes you through the best player values for Yahoo on Friday's 14-game slate.

Paolo Banchero, Magic

Keep an eye out for Paolo Banchero as the Magic host the Spurs tonight.

After a quiet Thursday, the NBA comes roaring back with 14 games on the schedule. One of the more interesting matchups features the Knicks hosting the Bulls, who have won back-to-back games. They faced off two times in Chicago less than two weeks ago, with the Knicks emerging as the winners in both. Grizzlies-Suns should be a marquee matchup, but Phoenix will be fighting an uphill battle with Devin Booker (groin) having already been ruled out. Let’s help narrow down the field on Yahoo by highlighting some players to consider for your lineups, as well as a few to possibly avoid.


LaMelo Ball, CHA at LAL ($36): Despite the Hornets’ loss to the Clippers on Wednesday, Ball recorded a triple-double and saw 37 minutes. He’s produced at least 45.0 Yahoo points in each of the last three games and has logged at least 33 minutes in four of five since returning from injury. Expect Ball to remain busy in a matchup against a Lakers team without their defensive anchor in Anthony Davis (foot).

Jalen Brunson, NYK vs. CHI ($27): Brunson played well in both previous meetings with Chicago by scoring 43.9 and 39.4 Yahoo points. He’s been everything the Knicks could have hoped for when they signed him, having averaged 20.4 points, 3.2 rebounds, 6.3 assists and 1.1 steals. With the Bulls set to be missing their top defensive guard in Alex Caruso (concussion), Brunson offers the potential for another valuable stat line.

Guard to Avoid

Dillon Brooks, MEM at PHX ($24): Brooks has been quiet of late by only recording 28.9 Yahoo points or fewer in five of his last seven games. Whenever Ja Morant is out, Brooks can step in to provide added offense. But with Morant healthy and Desmond Bane (toe) possibly returning for this matchup, Brooks’ scoring upside could be limited.


Paolo Banchero, ORL vs. SAS ($32): This is a great matchup for Banchero. The Spurs have played at the eighth-fastest pace and carry the worst defensive rating allowing 119.7 points per game. Banchero continues to thrive in a leading role having averaged 21.9 points, 6.9 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.0 steals.

Tim Hardaway Jr., DAL at HOU ($15): This is another favorable matchup as Houston maintains the third-worst defensive rating. Hardaway usually doesn’t provide much in terms of rebounds or assists, but he’s contributed enough offense to post at least 25.1 Yahoo points in four of his last five games.

Forward to Avoid

Saddiq Bey, DET at ATL ($16): Bey’s role with the Pistons is dwindling. He was first replaced in the starting lineup by Marvin Bagley III, who ultimately struggled in the role. Instead of moving Bey back to the unit, Jalen Duren was installed over Bagley. Duren has done well in that role and Bagley is still seeing some run off the bench, which has resulted in Bey only logging 22 minutes a night in the last five outings. With so many other viable options for a busy slate, Bey is an unfavorable choice.


Domantas Sabonis, SAC vs. WAS ($43): Sabonis is on some kind of heater after averaging 19.9 points, 16.2 rebounds and 7.2 assists across nine games. He’s also grabbed at least 20 rebounds in three of the last four. Look for Sabonis to stay hot against a Wizards team that could be tired on the second game of a back-to-back set.

Thomas Bryant, LAL vs. CHA ($19): The Hornets are a team to attack with centers because they’ve given up the second-most rebounds per game. Bryant has already been producing in place of Anthony Davis with at least 29.0 Yahoo points in three of the last four. For those who want to fade the top-tier centers, Bryant is a great option at a reduced salary.

Center to Avoid

Myles Turner, IND at MIA ($25): It’s been a tough stretch for Turner with 25.2 Yahoo points or fewer in five of his last seven games. It won’t get any easier against the Heat, who boast the eighth-best defensive rating. While Turner’s salary won’t destroy your budget, his recent production makes him someone to fade.


Mike started covering fantasy sports in 2007, joining RotoWire in 2010. In 2018, he was a finalist for the 2018 FSWA Basketball Writer of the Year award. In addition to RotoWire, Mike has written for Sportsline, Sports Illustrated, DK Live, RealTime Fantasy Sports, Lineup Lab and KFFL.com.