DraftKings Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Thursday 12/31/20

With five games to choose from on Thursday's slate -- which locks at 6:30 pm Eastern, let's look at the top options across all five positions for daily fantasy NBA.

Be sure to check out our projections, which are updated throughout the day as news breaks, and our other DFS tools such as advanced stats and a matchup heat map.

Here are some of the top plays on DraftKings for today's slate. As always, good luck.

Point Guard

Tyrese Haliburton ($4,900) -- Haliburton has had back-to-back strong efforts for the Sacramento Kings, recording 26.75 and 32.25 fantasy points. He's played at least 25 minutes in all four games this season, and versus the Houston Rockets, he could see 30-plus. Houston ranks in the bottom 12 in points (28.38), rebounds (8.05), three-pointers made (3.83), blocks (1.15), and fantasy points (52.23) to allowed to point guards. They aren't much better versus shooting guards, so his ability to play both guard spots is critical. Haliburton has five or more assists in three straight games and has scored double-digits in three of four to start.

Markelle Fultz ($6,300) -- Revenge games are always fun, and Fultz has one on his hands tonight. Against the Philadelphia 76ers, Fultz will look to keep this little hot streak alive. Fultz is averaging 18.3 points, 5.8 assists, and 3.8 rebounds for 33.8 fantasy points through four games. The 76ers allow 10.52 assists (7th) and 7.75 rebounds (3rd) per game to point guards, so Fultz is in a favorable spot despite facing a tough overall 76ers defense. Fultz has played 29 minutes or more in all four games to start his second season with the Orlando Magic, and he posted his first double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds versus the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Shooting Guard

James Harden ($11,000) -- Through two games, Harden has recorded 55.5 and 78.5 fantasy points versus Denver and Portland. He opened the season in limbo with COVID issues but responded with 44 points, 17 assists, and 4 rebounds in 43 minutes. This will be the season-opener for Houston, and Harden's 1.60 fantasy points per minute is a must-have in tonight's short slate. Harden averaged 34.1 points, 7.7 assists, and 7.3 rebounds at home last season and, according to our model, is the best available player. Harden is predicted to record the most fantasy points tonight with 58.4 on 33.7 points, 8.1 assists, and 6.9 rebounds.

Luguentz Dort ($5,100) -- Dort is one of the main contributors to the Thunder, and his development throughout the season will be fun to watch. He's averaging 27.8 fantasy points per game with a 33.0-point fantasy outing versus the Utah Jazz with 26 points, 2 rebounds, and 1 assist being his best performance. Luckily for him, his three-ball has been falling, and the New Orleans Pelicans don't defend the trey versus shooting guards all that well to start the season. The Pelicans allow the 2nd-most made three-pointers (4.61) to shooting guards and the 5th-most assists (5.14). Dort has gone 8 of 15 from deep in his past two games, so there's a good chance he could find the bottom of the net versus New Orleans. He has three assists on the season, and the Pelicans' defense will allow him to earn a few more than usual.

Small Forward

Buddy Hield ($6,800) -- Hield has a favorable matchup tonight versus the Rockets. Houston has allowed the most points in the league to shooting guards (34.62) and three-pointers made (6.37), both scary marks when facing Hield. He's failed to score more than 17 points since the season-opener, but tonight is an excellent chance to get back to getting buckets for the Kings' 2nd-leading scorer (16.9 points per game). Hield has posted one game above 30 fantasy points this season, and our model predicts 28.8 tonight, but I'll take a flier on what could be his best fantasy outing of the season tonight. The Rockets allow the most fantasy points per game (57.70) to shooting guards; the next closest squad is Indiana at 48.21.

Bojan Bogdanovic ($5,800) -- Bogdanovic has been trending up over the season's start, and his last outing was his best. He totaled 27.3 fantasy points on 23 points, 3 rebounds, and 1 assist in 35 minutes. He nailed four three-pointers in his last game, and one area he's been in solid in is rebounding. Bogdanovic averages 5.3 boards with games of 3, 6, and 7. The Phoenix Suns allow small forwards to grab the 3rd-most rebounds per game (10.28). Our model predicts Bogdanovic to score 19.2 points and record 3.9 rebounds versus the Suns for 27.2 fantasy points.

Power Forward

Tobias Harris ($7,100) -- Harris is facing one of his former squads tonight in Orlando, and he's coming off his best game of the season. Harris recorded 53.75 fantasy points versus Toronto on his first double-double of 2020-21 with 26 points and 11 rebounds. On the defensive end, Harris added three rebounds, two steals, and two blocks. Harris played Orlando three times last season and averaged a double-double of 18.3 points and 12.0 rebounds in 35.7 minutes. He's averaging 1.04 fantasy points per minute to start the year and 1.11 over the last 10 games dating back to 2019-20.

Zion Williamson ($7,900) -- The power forward position isn't deep for DFS tonight, so taking Harris, Brandon Ingram ($8,000), or Zion seems like the ideal route. Of course, Julius Randle ($8,800) has been lighting it up as well, so he's worth a look in this spot. For Zion, however, he started the season with three straight double-doubles and is averaging 21.3 points and 9.3 rebounds through four games. The former number-one overall pick has shown flashes with 5 steals versus the Spurs, and the Thunder allow top-six numbers to opposing power forwards in blocks and steals. If Zion is making a difference on defense, he is going to have a monster DFS game.


Christian Wood ($7,300) -- Through two games, Wood has played at least 37 and 44 minutes and used his minute increase wisely. The Rockets' center has averaged 27.0 points and 8.0 rebounds to start the season. In his first game with Houston, Wood recorded 33 points, 13 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 block for 53.75 fantasy points. The Kings allow the 7th-most points per game to centers (23.37) and the 6th-most fantasy points total (58.52). Wood could have another big game versus a young interior big in Marvin Bagley III ($5,300). This should be a fun matchup and one that Wood wins.

Steven Adams ($5,700) -- This one could be fun as well. Adams will face his former Thunder squad where he spent all of his career up until the past few games. Adams is averaging 8.3 points and 8.5 rebounds to start the season and has yet to double-double, but tonight seems like a good time for that. Oklahoma City allows the 8th-most fantasy points per game to centers (55.34) and the 9th-most points per game (21.67). He played 30-plus minutes for three straight games and only 23 in the previous outing, so he should be ready to go for 30-plus versus his former squad. Our model predicts 32.1 fantasy points on 12.1 points and 10.4 rebounds, his first double-double of the season.

Vaughn Dalzell is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Vaughn also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his account, username vdalzell. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of