We have a quality five-game NBA DFS Slate on Christmas, beginning with the Sixers taking on the Knicks at Madison Square Garden at noon ET (ABC/ESPN) and ending with the Suns heading to the Mile High City to play the Nuggets at 10:30 p.m. ET (ABC/ESPN). Our DraftKings daily fantasy basketball lineup has a good mix of veterans, a young power forward, and an All-Star center, who should play well despite a not-so-great matchup.
Before we break down all of our picks, here are the most notable scoring rules for DraftKings contests: Made three-point shot (+0.5 points), rebound (+1.25 points), assists (+1.5 points), steals and blocks (+2 points), double-double (+1.5 points — max one per player) and triple-double (+3 points — max one player).
Sunday’s NBA DraftKings Picks: Christmas NBA DFS lineup for GPP tournaments
Sunday main slate, $50,000 budget
PG Jrue Holiday, Bucks @ Celtics ($8,100). Holiday will get overlooked by most DFS players due to the abundance of talent at point guard on Christmas. However, we will not do that, as Holiday will be in our NBA DFS lineup. The veteran floor general is playing at a high level this season for the Bucks, averaging 18.8 points.,7.6 assists, 5.3 rebounds, and 40.8 DraftKings points per game. He’s also shooting 45.2 percent from the field and 36.1 percent from three-point range. Holiday has been on a tear this month, averaging 44.4 DraftKings per game. He doesn’t have a favorable matchup on Christmas against the Celtics, who allow the third-fewest DraftKings points per game to PGs this season. Milwaukee doesn’t lean on Holiday to score, as they have Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton. The veteran point guard affects the game in multiple ways, which makes him a good option at only $8K.
SG Malcolm Brogdon, Celtics vs. Bucks ($5,300). To round out our starting backcourt, we will stay in that Bucks-Celtics contest and roll with Brogdon. The veteran combo guard has been an excellent addition to this Boston squad off the bench. Brogdon is shooting an efficient 48.2 percent from the field and 45.1 percent from three-point range. He’s also averaging 26.6 DraftKings points per game, which isn’t bad for a backup guard on a team with Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart. Unlike Holiday, Brogdon has a better matchup, as the Bucks’ backup guards don’t present that big of a problem defensively. In his past five games, Brogdon is averaging 27.8 DraftKings points per game.
MORE NBA: Best Bets for Christmas
SF Bruce Brown, Nuggets vs. Suns ($5,800). The small forward position is another spot loaded with talent, as you have Jayson Tatum, LeBron James, Jaylen Brown, R.J. Barrett, and Andrew Wiggins. However, we will save some salary and put Brown into our lineup. The veteran wing is producing 26.4 DraftKings points per game and has scored 20 or more DraftKings points in six games this month. Brown will be facing the Suns, who allow the second-fewest DraftKings points per game to SFs this season. It’s not an ideal matchup, but you do like that Brown can stuff the sheet by picking up rebounds and assists.
PF Jaren Jackson Jr., Grizzlies @ Warriors ($6,600). Jackson Jr. should have a huge performance against the Warriors on Christmas. This season, the young power forward is averaging 16.4 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 3.2 blocks per game. Jackson has been a stalwart on defense for the Grizzlies and should give Golden State some issues on both ends. The Warriors allow the 15th-fewest DraftKings points per game to PFs this season but give up the fifth-most points to the position. If JJJ can establish himself inside the paint, it will be a long night for the Warriors.
C Joel Embiid, Sixers @ Knicks ($11,400). Embiid will be one of the anchors for our lineup, despite the matchup not being favorable for him. This season, the five-time All-Star center has played outstanding hoops for the Sixers, averaging 32.5 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 4.7 assists per game. He’s also producing a casual 57.1 DraftKings points per game. Embiid has been dominating the competition recently, recording a double-double in five out of his past six games and averaging 59.4 DraftKings points per game. He might not score 50-plus DraftKings points on Sunday, as the Knicks allow the second-fewest DraftKings points per game to Cs this season. However, it’s tough to imagine Mitchell Robinson or Isaiah Hartenstein slowing down the big man on the national stage.
G Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Nuggets vs. Suns ($4,600). If you are searching for a value play at the guard spot, Caldwell-Pope is a good option against the Suns. This season with the Nuggets, KCP has been shooting the lights out from behind the arc at 45.8 percent on 4.5 attempts per game. The veteran wing player is averaging 21.8 DraftKings points per game this year. Phoenix has struggled to defend the three this season, allowing teams to shoot 36.7 percent from distance. This is a prime spot to play Caldwell-Pope, who let it fly on Christmas night.
F Brandon Clarke, Grizzlies @ Warriors ($4,400). Clarke has quietly played well this month for the Grizz, scoring in double figures in nine-straight games. He’s also been a factor on the glass, averaging 6.9 rebounds per game over that span. We expect Clarke to continue his solid play on Christmas night against a Warriors’ team that has allowed the ninth-most rebounds to PFs in their last seven games.
UTIL Patrick Beverley, Lakers @ Mavericks ($3,700). Our final pick for tonight’s slate will be Beverely, who has scored 20-plus DraftKings points in four out of his past five games. Earlier this week against the Kings, he produced 27 DraftKings points (13 points, three assists, and two rebounds) in 37 minutes. If you are putting the veteran combo in your DFS lineup, do not expect him to score a lot of points. However, you want to see Beverley stuffing the stat sheet and providing a spark for a lackluster Lakers’ starting lineup.