FanDuel NBA Christmas Slate Value Plays

FanDuel NBA Christmas Slate Value Plays

This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.

FanDuel's five-game Christmas Day slate starts early at 12:00 p.m. ET, so if you miss that tip-off, there is still a three-game slate available for the later games.  We will cover all five, but we will hit targets that will be useful for the later slates.


NYK (-6.5) vs. ATL O/U: 210

MIL (-7) vs. BOS O/U: 221.5

PHO (-6.5) vs. GSW O/U: 215.5

LAL (-1.5)  vs. BKN O/U: 224.5

UTA (-12.5)  vs. DAL O/U: 215

A stars-and-scrubs approach is easy to recommend due to the tendency for big names to smash in the traditional nationally-televised holiday slate. Next to the playoffs, it's probably the NBA's most visible night, and if the big names are available, they'll want to put on a show. Luckily, the myriad COVID absences provide enough value to make room for 2-3 elite players.


ATL Trae Young (COVID-19 Protocols) - OUT

ATL Cam Reddish (ankle) - PROBABLE

ATL Kevin Huerter (COVID-19 Protocols) - OUT

ATL Delon Wright (ankle) - PROBABLE

ATL Danilo Gallinari (COVID-19 Protocols) - OUT

ATL Onyeka Okongwu (COVID-19 Protocols) - OUT

Although Reddish's numbers decreased by half after a standout game in Young's absence, he'll be a force to be reckoned with if he suits up. Okongwu's absence outs a ton of pressure on one individual that we'll highlight in a moment.

NYK Derrick Rose (ankle) - OUT

NYK RJ Barrett (conditioning) - QUESTIONABLE

NYK Immanuel Quickley (conditioning) - QUESTIONABLE

NYK Nerlens Noel (COVID-19 Protocols) - OUT

NYK Miles McBride (COVID-19 Protocols) - OUT

Reports indicate Barrett will be back, but Qickley will likely be a scratch Saturday.  Barett's return is great news for the Knicks.  While Kemba Walker ($6,600) turned things up in Barrett's absence, he might not be as worthwhile at the guard position, but he's less expensive than Alec Burks ($5,600), who should continue to produce. Mitchell Robinson ($5,700) will continue to hold down the fort inside for New York and could enjoy a productive day without Capela to pester him.

BOS Al Horford (COVID-19 Protocols) - OUT

BOS Marcus Smart (hip) - QUESTIONABLE

BOS Enes Freedom(COVID-19 Protocols) - OUT

BOS Josh Richardson (COVID-19 Protocols) - OUT

BOS Romeo Langford (Achilles) - QUESTIONABLE

If Horford is clear to play, he'll play a significant role inside with Freedom out, but Robert Williams ($5,600) would once again play a substantial role if Horford can't go. If Smart misses, Dennis Schroder ($5,700) would likely start and see the biggest boost in production.

MIL Giannis Antetokounmpo (COVID-19 Protocols) - QUESTIONABLE

Giannis has cleared protocols, and despite some expected conditioning work, it would seem likely for him to give it a go in a high-profile Christmas game. Jordan Nwora ($6,500) and DeMarcus Cousins ($6,000) would step up if Giannis sits.

GSW Andrew Wiggins (COVID-19 Protocols) - OUT

GSW Jordan Poole (COVID-19 Protocols) - OUT

GSW Damion Lee (COVID-19 Protocols) - OUT

GSW Andre Iguodala (knee) - QUESTIONABLE

Otto Porter ($4,500) appears to be the most consistent budget pivot in this injury scenario.

MIL Kevin Durant (COVID-19 Protocols) - OUT

MIL LaMarcus Aldridge (COVID-19 Protocols) - OUT

MIL Kessler Edwards (COVID-19 Protocols) - OUT

MIL Cam Thomas (COVID-19 Protocols) - OUT

MIL David Duke  (COVID-19 Protocols) - OUT

Since Brooklyn missed a game in the current injury situation, it's hard to say who will benefit as a pivot, but Nicolas Claxton ($5,900) and Bruce Brown ($4,100) will almost certainly start and have an impact.

LAL Anthony Davis (knee) - OUT

As the Lakers learn to live without Davis for a while, Dwight Howard ($4,500) is still the top pivot, but Carmelo Anthony ($5,500) will also pitch in. The Lakers are giving Isaiah Thomas ($5,000) minutes, but I'd wait for more solid numbers before rostering him. 

DAL Luka Doncic (COVID-19 Protocols) - OUT

DAL Kristaps Porzingis (toe) - QUESTIONABLE

DAL Tim Hardaway (COVID-19 Protocols) - OUT

DAL Maxi Kleber (COVID-19 Protocols) - OUT

DAL Trey Burke (COVID-19 Protocols) - OUT

DAL Randy Bullock (COVID-19 Protocols) - OUTj\\

Porzingis will obviously be a great call if he plays. Frank Ntilikina ($3,900) and Sterling Brown ($4,400) are the new fixtures in the starting lineup amid the current absences.


The big names tend to shine on Christmas Day, so I'm keen to give LeBron James ($10,900), Stephen Curry ($10,000) and James Harden ($10,200) an extra boost on this slate. Giannis Antetokounmpo ($10,800) could also be in play depending on how his warmup goes. Rudy Gobert ($9,200) has an excellent double-double opportunity against the Mavericks, but Julius Randle ($8,700) might carry the best salary with dual eligibility against the depleted Hawks. 

Due to the slate size, we will move down a little further in this section. John Collins ($8,500), Donovan Mitchell ($8,400) and Chris Paul ($8,100) are all poised to shine in the prime-time network limelight

Also consider: Jayson Tatum ($9,500) and Jaylen Brown ($7,800), BOS @ MIL


We will combine these two sections due to the size of the slate. When considering budget plays in your lineup construction, keep the injury pivots in mind.

Devin Booker, PHO ($7,600) vs. GSW

This potential Western Conference Final preview is my favorite game on the slate. While I like every starter for Phoenix tonight, Booker gets a special mention at a salary that you have to consider a bargain. Since his return to action, he's averaged 23.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 6.3 assists.

Jalen Brunson, DAL ($7,400) @ UTA

Brunson's salary is getting up there, but he'll be very valuable as Doncic's replacement and will carry even more value if Porzingis fails to make the floor. Runson has averaged 20.2 points. 7.5 assists and 3.7 rebounds during Doncic's six-game absence.

Cameron Johnson, PHO ($5,400) vs. GSW

I've already rendered glowing reviews for the Suns starters, but I would be remiss in leaving out Johnsonson's stellar contribution off the bench in the past couple of weeks. While the slashing sharpshooter depends on his three-pointers for fantasy relevancy, his secondary numbers haven't been bad at all. You can expect him to have an easy time against a Golden State defense that depends on Draymond Green far too much. Green will likely have his hands full trying to contain Paul, Booker and Deandre Ayton, making Johnson the forgotten man at the wing, where he can get hot from long range.

Jordan Clarkson, UTA ($5,000) vs. DAL

It could be a long night for the Mavericks, as the Jazz are fully healthy and have talent advantages all over their roster. The injury-riddled Mavs will also wither once they run their second unit out, and they'll meet one of the best sixth-men you can find in Clarkson, who can take over a game when it's his turn. He'll also make an extended appearance in garbage time if the game gets out of hand, which is certainly a possibility if Porzingiis doesn't suit up.

DeAndre' Bembry, BKN ($4,300) @ LAL

Bembry could be in for a heavy load against the Lakers, as the team will need a dependable pivot for Durant.  Bembry is the most sensible fit there, and although Nicolas Claxton and Blake Griffin will lend a helping hand, Bembryhas a better size/speed mix and can better mimic Brooklyn's usual scheme. He also has dual eligibility at PF and C.

Skylar Mays, ATL /($3,500) @ NYK

Even though Cam Reddish should be back tonight, Mays could still see more play before he's forced back to the G-League. He's performed very well during Atlanta's numerous absences, and it's highly unlikely that they'll ship him back to the G-League on a holiday. It's a business, but that would be Scrooge-level harsh.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire.
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Jeff Edgerton
Jeff has provided sports content for numerous sports outlets and has played fantasy sports since scores had to be tabulated via newspaper. He started working with RotoWire in 2017. Originally from South Carolina, he's a lifelong Clemson fan now enjoying the sun in Los Angeles.
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