NBA December 16th Starting Five

The NBA season has been here, but it is now December which means it's CHRISTMAS TIME! We have such an exciting season up ahead and plenty of opportunities to win some money! There are four key things I look for in a player to have the highest probability of being optimal!
1. Price
2. Opponent DvP
3. Recent Minutes/Rotation Time
4. Usage Rate
These four statistics paired together are the best suitors to find a gem. Almost everyone I mention below hits on atleast 2 of these if not all of them! Hopefully this will help you be more successful while building lineups and give you a higher chance of winning the big bucks!
I would also like to note that I write these articles early in the day. It is always beneficial to check @FantasyLabsNBA for lineup changes. Those changes could have a direct effect on some of my "favorite plays" in the sense that if a cheap guy that was one of my favorites doesn't start, then they might no longer be a favorite play or even a play at all. Check out my Twitter @HeatingUpDFS for any updates on favorite play changes!
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PG: David Duke Jr. ($4,200)

So Brooklyn is playing today which means we get another 8 man rotation from them and likely almost everyone of importance getting 30+ minutes. That now includes David Duke who got 38 minutes last game and put up a scorching 40 DK points in a slate breaking performance. He should draw the start again, get similar run and is still cheap enough to consider safe. I would have said Patty Mills here, but he got jacked up to $6,600 which is a bit steep for my liking. Duke's matchup isn't going to be too hard with it against either Tyrese Maxey or whoever the Sixers slot in at SG. Their DvP's at the PG and SG position over the last two weeks have been 15th and 23rd respectively, so nothing that stands out to me as a bad matchup. I just think on a small slate you have to take what Draftkings gives you so I am going to do that here with Duke.
High: Chris Paul ($9,700)
Mid: Derrick Rose ($6,300)
Low: Saban Lee ($4,200) or DJ Augustin ($3,700)

SG: Cameron Payne ($5,200)

Devin Booker is still out here which means Cam Payne is in line to have big minutes and solid usage. The price got jacked up, but so did most everyone producing right now so he kind of just moved up with the crowd. Even off the bench, he has put up 24+ DK points in his last 3 games with two games of 28 and 30 DK points. You will need to find some value today with Durant and Embiid in smash spots and I think Payne can be one of those guys. I think the kicker for me is that Washington has had the 7th worst PG DvP over the last two weeks. Payne can be efficient, get solid minutes/usage and is still at a favorable price. What more is there to like!
High: Bradley Beal ($9,500)
Mid: Patty Mills ($6,600) or Eric Gordon ($5,600)
Low: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($4,000)

SF: Kevin Durant ($12,300)

Durant has back to back 70+ DK point games... his last game against Philly was a 70+ DK point performance. There really isn't much to say other than lock in Durant here. The usage and minutes he gets in an 8 man rotation is just insane and even against a tougher defensive team it shouldn't matter. They have had the 7th worst SF DvP over the last two weeks which just further confirms my wanting to lock him in. Don't get cute here and just take the Durant chalk.
High: N/A
Mid: Cameron Johnson ($5,100)
Low: Hamidou Diallo ($4,300) or Kessler Edwards ($4,000)

PF: Alperen Sengun ($5,500)

No Wood which means big minutes for Sengun. He has 30, 38, and 47 DK points in his last 3 games even with Wood in the 30 and 38 point performances. The field will likely be all over him given his performance last night and the bigs rotation for the not changing. Even if he doesn't start again I still like his upside and ceiling. The only concern is the Knicks have been pretty good lately against PF/C type players. I think volume and usage alone will still get him to value so I am all for taking the Rocket's C tonight.
High: Domantas Sabonis ($10,500)
Mid: Blake Griffin ($5,000)
Low: KJ Martin ($4,100) or Kevin Knox ($3,800)

C: Nicolas Claxton ($3,900)

This was a tough decision between Claxton and Embiid, but I truly think Claxton is the better value. He scored 28 DK points in 26 minutes last game and the Nets should be with only 8 active guys so he should be in for 25+ minutes again. My biggest fear is foul trouble against Embiid, so maybe tread lightly here. Regardless, if he can avoid that he has a 30+ DK point ceiling and is one of the other guys not to get priced up tonight. Take advantage of that here with Claxton.
High: Joel Embiid ($11,400) or DeAndre Ayton ($8,800)
Mid: Daniel Gafford ($4,800)
Low: Day'Ron Sharpe ($3,500) or Daniel Theis ($3,000)


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Thanks for reading, best of luck, and I hope you enjoy the holidays!
Heating Up DFS