NBA DFS Picks Breakdown (Friday, Dec. 9): It’s Trae Young Season

Friday features a 10-game slate starting at 7 pm ET.

Let’s dive into some of the top plays on the slate using the FantasyLabs tools and metrics.

Also, don’t forget that for large-field tournaments, you can use our Lineup Optimizer to effortlessly create up to 150 lineups, or use our Lineup Builder if you like to hand-build your lineups.

Note: Projections and Leverages Scores/Ratings may change throughout the day after this article is posted. The NBA DFS landscape changes quickly.

Consult the NBA Player Models directly for any updates as we get closer to lock. Use our FanDuel promo to get three months of free NBA League Pass.

NBA DFS Point Guard Picks


Dejounte Murray suffered an injury in the Hawks’ last game, and he’s expected to miss at least the next two weeks. Murray has posted a 25.8% usage rate and a 26.7% assist rate this season, so his absence is going to open up plenty of opportunities for the rest of the roster.

Trae Young figures to be the biggest beneficiary. He already leads the team in usage and assist rate, and he’s seen significant bumps in both departments with Murray off the floor. He’s averaged 1.52 DraftKings points per minute with Murray off the floor this season, which is a sizable increase compared to his mark of 1.32 for the year.

Young’s matchup vs. the Nets isn’t ideal – it results in an Opponent Plus/Minus of -2.32 on FanDuel – but he’s too cheap at $9,700. He leads all point guards with 12 Pro Trends on FanDuel, and he owns a Bargain Rating of 94%.


The Wizards draw one of the best possible matchups Friday vs. the Pacers. Indiana ranks first in pace and 23rd in defensive efficiency, and this game ranks second on the slate with a 233-point total.

The Wizards also have the potential to be shorthanded. Bradley Beal has already been ruled out, while Kristaps Porzingis and Will Barton are questionable.

Mount Morris should provide more value than usual in that scenario. He’s averaged 0.91 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, and he’s seen a +2.8% usage bump with Beal off the floor. If Porzingis or Barton is also ruled out, it would be very tough to ignore Morris at his current price across the industry.

Fast Break

The Knicks have played in a lot of blowouts recently, which has had an impact Jalen Brunson‘s fantasy numbers. He’s dropped to just $6,800 on DraftKings, and he’s a nice buy-low target at that number. Brunson has posted an average Plus/Minus of +3.95 with a comparable salary as a member of the Knicks (per the Trends tool).

Donovan Mitchell is currently questionable for the Cavaliers, and Darius Garland would get a massive bump if he’s ruled out. Garland erupted in his only game without Mitchell this season, finishing with 70.5 DraftKings points against the Timberwolves. He posted a 40% usage rate in that contest, and he’s increased his usage rate by +4.3% with Mitchell off the floor this season.

NBA DFS Shooting Guard Picks


D’Angelo Russell has been a strong target for the Timberwolves recently, posting a positive Plus/Minus in seven straight games on FanDuel. His price tag has remained pretty stagnant during that stretch, so he’s firmly in play in what should be one of the best fantasy matchups of the night. The game between the Jazz and Timberwolves features the highest total on the slate, and both of these teams rank in the top seven in peace. Utah has also been exploitable defensively, ranking 25th in defensive efficiency.


Immanuel Quickley hasn’t provided much value of late, posting a negative Plus/Minus in five of his past six games on DraftKings. However, his minutes are trending in the right direction. He’s played at least 24.2 minutes in three straight games, and he’s currently projected for more than 26 minutes in our NBA Models. Quickley has averaged 0.95 DraftKings points per minute this season, so he should be able to pay off his current salary with that much playing time.

Fast Break

Markelle Fultz has SG eligibility on FanDuel, and he’s tough to pass up at just $4,600. The Magic have wasted little time throwing him into the fire, and he’s played at least 27.8 minutes in three of his past four games. Fultz has historically had a comparable salary and minute projection in 14 previous games, and he’s averaged a Plus/Minus of +6.96 in those contests.

Mikal Bridges routinely carries one of the largest workloads in basketball, and he’s currently projected for more than 38 minutes in our NBA Models. His price tag has dipped to just $6,000 for Friday’s matchup vs. the Pelicans, and he has plenty of buy-low appeal at that figure. Bridges has played reduced minutes in three straight blowouts, but he’s averaged 33.31 FanDuel points in 15 games with at least 36 minutes this season.

NBA DFS Small Forward Picks


Like Russell, Anthony Edwards has put together an impressive stretch recently. He’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in six straight games, and he’s scored at least 56.75 DraftKings points in two of his past three. He has also been the biggest beneficiary from the absence of Towns this season. He’s seen a team-high 3.1% usage bump with Towns off the floor, resulting in an average of 1.28 DraftKings points per minute. Among small forwards, only LeBron James and Kevin Durant have averaged more than 1.28 DraftKings points per minute this season. Edwards is significantly cheaper than both players, and he also has arguably the best individual matchup vs. the Jazz.


If Porzingis and Barton are out for the Wizards, Deni Avdija would become one of the best values ​​on the entire slate. Avdija is already a strong option with just Beal sidelined, and he racked up 33.25 DraftKings points over nearly 39 minutes in his last outing. In his lone game without Beal and Porzingis this season, Avdija increased his usage rate by +8.7%, and he responded with 26.5 DraftKings points in 32.2 minutes. He didn’t even shoot the ball well in that contest – he was just 4-13 from the field – so he has the potential for a better performance on Friday.

Fast Break

Bogdan Bogdanovic is another player who should benefit from the absence of Murray. He’s played limited minutes since returning to the lineup three games ago, but he’s projected for 26.1 minutes on Friday’s slate. Bogdanovic has increased his usage rate to 33.1% with Murray off the floor, so he could serve as the Hawks’ No. 2 scoring threats vs. the Nets.

The Hornets have been super banged-up all season, and Jalen McDaniels has stepped into a more prominent role of late. He’s played at least 33 minutes in three straight games, and he’s scored at least 31.8 FanDuel points in each. His FanDuel price tag has yet to reflect his increased workload, so he remains firmly in play vs. the Knicks.

NBA DFS Power Forward Picks


Pascal Siakam is starting to get his mojo back. He’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in three straight games, and he’s scored at least 53.0 DraftKings points in two of them. The scary part is Siakam has played 32.5 minutes or less in both contests. Nick Nurse has no problem playing Siakam closer to 40 minutes in competitive matchups, so he has the potential for improvement moving forward.

Siakam has taken his game to another level in 2022-23. He’s averaging 1.45 DraftKings points per minute this season, and only Giannis Antetokounmpo has been better among Friday’s power forwards. Siakam leads the position in Pro Trends on both DraftKings and FanDuel, and he’s in a potential smash spot vs. the Magic. They rank 26th in defensive efficiency, and the Raptors’ implied team total of 115.0 represents a nice increase from their season average of 111.4.

Siakam also isn’t expected to carry much ownership on this slate, so he’s an excellent GPP target.


Jaden McDaniels is coming off 36.8 minutes in his last game, and that’s a lot of playing time for someone who costs just $4,500 on DraftKings. His salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 85%, and players with comparable salaries and minute projections have historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +2.73. Stacking the McDaniels brothers is definitely viable on Friday’s slate.

Fast Break

Julius Randle absolutely bullied the Hawks’ frontcourt on Friday. He stuffed them into a locker to the tune of 34 points, 17 boards, and five assists, resulting in 69.25 DraftKings points. He has the same kind of upside vs. the Hornets, who rank merely 23rd in points in the paint allowed per game.

Kyle Kuzma is way too cheap on FanDuel, where his $7,500 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 94%. If Porzingis joins Beal on the sidelines, he’s going to be asked to do a lot of the heavy lifting on offense.

NBA DFS Center Picks


Joel Embiid has been rolling of late. He’s increased his production to 1.76 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, and he’s scored at least 56.5 DraftKings points in seven of his past eight games. The return of James Harden in the 76ers’ last game did little to slow him down, as Embiid posted a 45.0% usage rate en route to 39 points scored.

Embiid is in a great spot to keep rolling Friday vs. the Lakers. They’ve played at the fourth-fastest pace this season, and Embiid owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of +4.87. Only Luka Doncic has a higher ceiling projection in our NBA Models, but he’s considerably more expensive than Embiid on Friday’s slate.


Mitchell Robinson has been an excellent source of value, posting a positive Plus/Minus in six of his past seven games. He finished with 23.5 DraftKings points in just under 26 minutes vs. the Hawks, and he has the potential to play more if Friday’s game is more competitive. He’s averaged 1.04 DraftKings points per minute, so he’s simply too cheap on DraftKings at $5,000.

Fast Break

On the other side of that matchup, Mason Plumlee is also worth considering. He’s also been a fantastic source of value recently, and his $5,500 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 85%.

The Hawks have a few key absences in the frontcourt, which has allowed Clint Capela to play around 30 minutes on most slates. Capela is an outstanding per-minute producer, so that’s more than enough for him to return value at just $6,200 on FanDuel.

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