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NBA DFS: LeBron James and top DraftKings, FanDuel daily Fantasy basketball picks for Dec. 28, 2021

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After missing eight games (tailbone, health and safety protocols), Miami’s Jimmy Butler returned to action in a win against the Orlando Magic on Sunday. The Heat star has always been more of a volume producer than an efficient one, and that held true in his first game back after a sizable layoff. He still scored 17 points and had 11 rebounds with five assists and three steals, but is he a top choice to lead NBA DFS lineups on Tuesday as well?

The Heat take on the Washington Wizards, which started the season as one of the league’s best defensive teams, but have cooled off as of late and have been without their own star in Bradley Beal (protocols). In Washington’s most recent game, Philadelphia’s Tobias Harris hit 62 percent of his shots to score 23 points. Can Butler hang another big performance on Washington to emerge as a top player in Tuesday’s NBA DFS player pool? Before finalizing your NBA DFS picks for Tuesday, be sure to check out the NBA DFS advice, player rankings, stacks and top daily Fantasy basketball picks from SportsLine’s Mike McClure

McClure is a DFS professional with nearly $2 million in career winnings. He’s also a predictive data engineer at SportsLine who uses a powerful prediction model that simulates every minute of every game 10,000 times, taking factors like matchups, statistical trends and injuries into account. 

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This allows him to find the best NBA DFS values and create optimal lineups that he shares only over at SportsLine. They’re a must-see for any NBA DFS player.

On Monday, McClure included Nets superstar James Harden as one of his top NBA DFS picks on both DraftKings and FanDuel. The result: Harden matched his season-high scoring total against the Clippers, with 39 points in addition to 15 assists, eight rebounds and two steals. His performance returned 77.5 points on DraftKings and 74.1 points on FanDuel. Anybody that included him in their lineups was well on the way to a profitable day.

Now, McClure has turned his attention to the Tuesday, December 28 NBA DFS slate and locked in his top daily Fantasy basketball picks. You can only see them by heading to SportsLine.

Top NBA DFS picks for Tuesday, December 28

One of McClure’s top Tuesday NBA DFS picks is four-time league MVP LeBron James at $11,300 on DraftKings and $10,900 on FanDuel. The Lakers are on a five-game losing streak, but not because of a drop-off in James’ production. During that stretch, he’s hit 55.8 percent of his attempts from the field and averaged 31.6 points per start.

The Lakers have a great chance to end their skid on Tuesday against the Houston Rockets, who have lost eight of their last 10 games. Los Angeles has already faced Houston twice this season in consecutive games on Halloween and November 2. In those matchups, James scored 45 total points, had 18 assists and six steals. Houston is woefully thin at point guard and power forward, so an already difficult defensive matchup for the Rockets against James will be all the more difficult on Tuesday.

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Another part of McClure’s optimal NBA DFS strategy includes rostering Pelicans point guard Devonte’ Graham ($6,000 on DraftKings and $6,300 on FanDuel). Over his last five starts, Graham has been on fire from three-point range and has hit 23-of-50 attempts (46 percent) from beyond the arc. During that stretch, he’s also averaged 17.2 points and 6.2 assists per game.

New Orleans takes on the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday, who could be a candidate to come into the game flat after winning a 144-99 blowout over a hodgepodge Toronto side on Sunday. Cleveland also hasn’t had a significant point guard matchup since it had to contend with Miami’s Kyle Lowry on December 13. In three starts against the Cavs last season, Graham finished with his highest assists per game average against any single team, with nine per outing.

How to set NBA DFS lineups for Tuesday, December 28

McClure is also targeting a player who could go off for massive numbers on Tuesday because of a dream matchup. This pick could be the difference between winning your tournaments and cash games or going home with nothing. You can only see who it is here.

So who is DFS pro Mike McClure putting in his optimal NBA DFS lineups for Tuesday? Visit SportsLine now to see optimal NBA DFS picks, rankings, advice, and stacks, all from a professional DFS player who has almost $2 million in career winnings, and find out.

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How to watch Fulham vs. Brentford: Premier League live stream info, TV channel, time, game odds

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The Premier League returns to action on Saturday.

Who’s Playing

  • Brentford @ Fulham
  • Current Records: Brentford 1-0-1; Fulham 0-0-2

Paramount+ is the only place to watch every minute of every Serie A match this season, not to mention select games in Italian. Sign up now with offer code ITALY to get a special one month free trial. A subscription also gives you access to other sports content including every UEFA Champions League and Europa League match, the NFL on CBS, and countless movies and shows. Get it all free for 1 month with promo code ITALY.

What to Know

Fulham will look to defend their home turf on Saturday against Brentford at 10 a.m. ET.

This past Saturday, Fulham and Wolverhampton tied 0-0, good for one point each.

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Meanwhile, Brentford got themselves on the board against Manchester United this past Saturday, but Man United never followed suit. Brentford took their game against the Red Devils by a conclusive 4-0 score. The Brentford offense checked out after the first half but had enough goals banked to take the match anyway.

After their draw, Fulham will be looking to earn the full three points in this match.

Craving even more coverage of the world’s game? Listen below and follow ¡Qué Golazo! A Daily CBS Soccer Podcast where we take you beyond the pitch and around the globe for commentary, previews, recaps and more.  

How To Watch

  • Who: Fulham vs. Brentford
  • When: Saturday at 10 a.m. ET
  • Where: Craven Cottage
  • Online streaming: Peacock
  • Caesars Sportsbook odds: Fulham +145; Draw +240; Brentford +190

Featured Game | Fulham vs. Brentford

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‘Ticked off’ Yankees shut out again: ‘We need to play better’

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NEW YORK (AP) — Rather than break out, Aaron Judge and the New York Yankees were shut out.

Again.

Kevin Gausman and the Toronto Blue Jays became the latest team to blank the Yankees, holding the AL East leaders to four measly singles Friday night in a 4-0 win

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The Yankees didn’t get a runner beyond second base as they lost for the 14th time in 18 games.

New York have been shut out three times in the last six games and five times in the last 13. Judge and his teammates were shut out just six times in their first 107 games.

“I feel like we’re pressing a little bit,” Yankees infielder DJ LeMahieu said. “Ticked off, frustrated, all of it.”

New York saw its lead over second-place Toronto shrink to eight games, its smallest since June 13.

“We can talk about that — eight, nine, seven, 10 — we need to play better. If we play like this, it’s not going to matter anyway,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.

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The Blue Jays won their third in a row. In that span, their starting pitchers have combined to allow only one earned run in 20 innings.

Gausman allowed four hits in seven innings, striking out seven with one walk. He pitched after Ross Stripling carried a perfect game into the seventh inning Wednesday and after Jose Berrios opened the Yankees series by giving up two runs in 6 2/3 innings.

“We say hitting is contagious, pitching can be, too,” interim manager John Schneider said. “You watch ‘Strip’ and you watch Jose and then Kevin’s about as good of a competitor as there is. So he kind of wanted to come out and kind of make a statement and keep the ball rolling.”

It was the third scoreless effort in four starts for Gausman (9-9), a span in which he has a 1.75 ERA.

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“Kind of sounds bad to say, but we’re always trying to pitch better than the guy the night before,” Gausman said.

The right-hander issued a one-out walk to Judge in the first and gave up a two-out single to Josh Donaldson before retiring 10 in a row.

Gausman induced Isiah Kiner-Falafa to hit into a double play in between fifth-inning singles by Gleyber Torres and Oswaldo Cabrera and struck out Donaldson to strand Anthony Rizzo following a two-out single in the sixth.

“At times when the offense is struggling, we have a lot of guys who can put runs on the board with one swing, so I think at times we can get a little — I feel like we need to play the hero a little bit too much,” Yankees catcher Kyle Higashioka said.

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Yimi Garcia threw a perfect eighth and Jordan Romano tossed a hitless ninth in a non-save situation.

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. had an RBI groundout in the third before Alejandro Kirk led off the fourth by singling against Jameson Taillon (11-4). Teoscar Hernandez followed with a long homer to left-center — the 14th surrendered in the last 11 starts by Taillon, who gave up just six homers in his first 12 starts.

Danny Jansen had a sacrifice fly in the ninth for the Blue Jays, who have outscored the Yankees and Baltimore Orioles 19-3 over the last three games.

Taillon allowed six hits and walked none with five strikeouts over five-plus innings. He has a 5.35 ERA since carrying a perfect game into the eighth inning against the Los Angeles Angels on June 2.

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CABRERA’S BIG CATCH

Cabrera made an immediate impression in his first big league start in right field by leaping at the eight-foot wall and robbing Gurriel of a homer on the first pitch of the game by Taillon.

The rookie punctuated the catch by flexing and yelling before firing the ball back into the infield and exchanging an enthusiastic hand slap with Judge, the center fielder.

It was just the fourth professional start in right field for Cabrera, whose versatility — he is the first player in Yankees history to make his first three starts at three different positions, he started at third base and shortstop earlier this week — and energy has already impressed manager Aaron Boone.

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VLADDY 500

Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who turned 23 on March 16, collected his 500th career hit by doubling to lead off the sixth. His Hall of Famer father had 305 hits prior to turning 24.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Blue Jays: OF/DH George Springer didn’t play after fouling a ball off his knee while going 5-for-5 in Thursday’s win. … LHP Tim Mayza (dislocated right shoulder) will begin a rehab assignment at Triple-A Buffalo Saturday. He was injured Aug. 6 following a collision at home plate with the Minnesota Twins’ Nick Gordon.

Yankees: OF/DH Giancarlo Stanton (left Achilles tendinitis) worked out prior to the game and is expected to begin a rehab assignment with Double-A Somerset on Saturday. Boone said Stanton could return as the Yankees’ DH as soon as Wednesday. … RHP Luis Severino (right lat strain) threw 30 pitches Thursday and is scheduled to throw again Saturday before throwing batting practice against Stanton on Tuesday.

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Blue Jays: RHP Mitch White (1-3, 3.72 ERA) will make his third start since being acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Yankees: RHP Gerrit Cole (9-5, 3.30 ERA) is 0-3 with a 4.35 ERA in five starts since the All-Star break.

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Patriots’ Matt Patricia calls offensive plays in preseason game vs. Panthers, possibly answering OC questions

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USATSI

This offseason, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick stayed quiet about who his offensive and defensive coordinators would be for the 2022 season. Bill Belichick? Not giving anything away? Not very shocking.

Usually teams have distinct coordinators, but leave it to Belichick to switch things up. “I’m not big on titles,” he said this offseason when asked about the roles.

Well, someone has to call the plays, and in the team’s Week 2 preseason game against the Carolina Panthers, it was former Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia who was trusted with the role.

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During the first two offensive drives, Patricia stood next to Belichick, both holding play sheets, as the team went three-and-out both times. Belichick later stepped off with former New York Giants head coach Joe Judge while Patricia appeared to tackle the play-calling and speak with officials on his own — without the shadow of Belichick. 

In a change from last week, where Judge and Patricia both called plays, it was just Patricia running the show Friday night. His offense saw three quarterbacks: starter Mac Jones and backups Brian Hoyer and Bailey Zappe

Patricia and Judge are tag teaming calling plays, causing some chaos and confusion all around. Patricia appears to have the inside track to the play-calling job based on Friday night, but with Belichick running the show, nothing is ever set in stone, especially with a less than impressive offensive start for the Patriots.

This is not Patricia’s first run with the Patriots, but the last time he was on the sidelines for the team he was its defensive coordinator. Judge and Patricia have never been offensive play-callers, and both are recently coming off head coaching positions during which their teams struggled. 

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