Daily Fantasy Basketball 2015: NBA DFS DraftKings Optimal Rankings for Dec. 9

Brian Mazique@@UniqueMaziqueCorrespondent IIIDecember 9, 2015

Dec 5, 2015; Houston, TX, USA;  Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) dribbles against the Sacramento Kings in the second quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Despite the fact that James Harden ($10,600) and the Houston Rockets played on Tuesday night and lost on the road to the Brooklyn Nets 110-105, The Beard is still the top-ranked DraftKings player on the board for Wednesday night.

The Rockets are again on the road, this time facing the Washington Wizards. Defense hasn't been the Wizards' calling card this season. They are allowing an Eastern Conference-worst 104.7 points per game.

Harden didn't have his normal production on Tuesday in the loss to the Nets (10 points, three rebounds, nine assists and three steals), but he rarely strings together two stinkers in a row. Against a defensively challenged squad like the Wizards, you have to expect Harden to score big. 

His DK salary is sizable, but he'll be worth it.

Here's a look at the rest of the top 10 projected performers for Wednesday night's schedule.

Top-Ranked DraftKings Players for Wednesday, December 9
RankPos.PlayerOpponentProjected PointsSalary
1SG/GJames HardenWashington64$10,600
2CDeAndre JordanMilwaukee58$7,100
3PG/GJohn WallHouston56$8,700
4CKarl-Anthony TownsL.A. Lakers52$6,800
5SG/GJimmy ButlerBoston51$7,700
6CDwight HowardWashington50$7,000
7CAndre DrummondMemphis48$9,400
8PF/FBlake GriffinMilwaukee46$9,300
9PG/GChris PaulMilwaukee44$8,400
10PF/FDerrick FavorsNew York42$7,900
Salaries per DraftKings, rankings by Mazique

Dwight Howard ($7,000)

Dec 5, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard (12) warms up before the game against the Sacramento Kings at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Harden won't be the only Rocket feasting on the Wizards' defense. Washington is very thin on the inside with injuries to several big men, including  Nene, Drew Gooden and Kris Humphries. Nene and Gooden missed the 114-103 win over the Miami Heat on Monday. Humphries played, but was ineffective for 17 minutes with two points, two rebounds and an assist.

Assuming all or a portion of the trio misses time again, Howard should have his way on the inside. Despite the loss, the Heat's Hassan Whiteside was 7-7 from the field against the smaller Wizards lineup, but he didn't rebound as well as he should have. He finished with just four in 23 minutes and added three blocked shots.

Expect a double-double from Howard, even if Harden chucks up his usual plethora of shots from beyond the arc.

Jimmy Butler ($7,700)

Nov 3, 2015; Charlotte, NC, USA; Chicago Bulls guard forward Jimmy Butler (21) during the first half of the game against the Charlotte Hornets at Time Warner Cable Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports
Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bulls have lost two games in a row, and Jimmy Butler isn't happy about it. Per Nick Friedell of ESPN Chicago, Butler talked about the Bulls' killer instinct—or lack thereof:

Nick Friedell @NickFriedell

Jimmy Butler on the Bulls' killer instinct, or lack thereof. "Hell, I think you either got it or you don't. RIght now we don't have it."

Butler is a hard-nosed player who excels offensively when he's being aggressive and taking the ball to the basket. That means attacking and getting to the free-throw line.

In Butler's five best-scoring games this season, he's averaged eight free-throw attempts per game, according to stats taken from ESPN.com.

On Wednesday, the Bulls are on the road against the Boston Celtics. The C's are minus-73 in free-throw-attempt differential this season, per ESPN.com. Mix that in with what figures to be an aggressive, attacking Butler, and the Bulls shooting guard is poised for a big day.

DeAndre Jordan ($7,100)

Dec 5, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan (6) looks on during the third quarter against the Orlando Magic at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Bucks are the worst rebounding team in the NBA, per ESPN.com. Mind you, the Los Angeles Clippers are not much better at 24th, but that's because DeAndre Jordan doesn't get much help on the glass.

He's still second in the NBA in rebounding with a per-game average of 13.1. Jordan's season-high in rebounds is 24 against the Portland Trail Blazers on November 30. He may set a new high-water mark on Wednesday.

You could probably get away with tabbing him and Howard on your squad for two of the biggest producers among big men on the evening.

Karl-Anthony Towns ($6,800)

Jim Mone/Associated Press

As inside-outside threats go, the Minnesota Timberwolves' Karl-Anthony Towns has quickly established himself as one of the league's premier threats. He's shooting just under 54 percent from the field in his last three games and he's made four of his last six three-point attempts in that time, per ESPN.com.

Towns and the Wolves will be hosting the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night. The Lakers are one of the league's worst defensive teams allowing 105.5 points per game, according to ESPN.com.

In his only game against the Lakers, Towns tallied a double-double (14 points and 12 rebounds) with 30.5 fantasy points. That was on opening night, and Towns has improved quite a bit since then.

A 20-and-10 performance is likely on tap for the Rookie of the Year candidate as he faces L.A. on his home floor.

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