DraftKings NBA picks December 27: The Young and the rest of us

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DraftKings NBA
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DraftKings NBA early slate:

Marcus Smart and Larry Nance are both questionable and Robert Williams is out. It is generally believed that Dante Exum will be available for Cleveland. If he is, he’s a great value punt at just $1,500, but I’m getting ahead of myself. We need to look at the captain first.

Kemba is the obvious choice for a whole horde of reasons, first and foremost that he has 85 DraftKings points in two games against Cleveland. That would put him somewhere north of 60 if he hits his average against the Cavs. The problem is that we would only have $6,880 per flex slot. If you’re okay using Exum, this is totally feasible. If not, we’ll have to dredge the bottom more than we are comfortable with.

If Smart is out again, I really like Jaylen Brown as the captain. He has been huge with Smart out and is $1,200 less than Kemba. If Smart returns though, I think it takes Brown out of the equation. I’ll still use Brown as a flex if I have the capital, but the upside that makes him a great captain is mostly lost.

Then we could turn to Jayson Tatum. Despite the relative strength of Cleveland’s front, Tatum has still managed 77.75 DraftKings points in the two games against Cleveland. Using Tatum would give us $7,360 per slot.

I don’t trust anyone on Cleveland enough to use as a captain. Tristan Thompson is the only one that I would even consider. His numbers are close to Tatum’s against the opponent, and Thompson gives you $7,600 per slot. That would allow us to use Kemba and Tatum and still have $6,266 for each of the last three flex slots.

Gordon Hayward is relatively inconsistent, but he has ravaged Cleveland in both games this year. He is slightly higher than Thompson as a captain, but he’s a good pivot if you are comfortable taking some risk, but not enough to use Clarkson.

Hayward will still be in my lineup at any rate. That leaves us with a few choices to round out the last two slots with $10,400 to play with. I think we have to use Enes Kanter, but that hurts the bottom slot quite a bit. Porter than Theis are inconsistent, but they could be the better options to round out the lineup with unless you’re comfortable using Wanamaker.