Saturday, Dec. 4, wraps up the week with a six-game main slate tipping off at 8:00 p.m. ET. Let’s look at the player pool and discuss the top NBA DFS picks for DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo lineups. Do not forget to head over to the Awesemo NBA DFS home page for more great written daily fantasy basketball content.
NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks, Saturday, Dec. 4
Yahoo Play of the Day — Luka Doncic: Dallas Mavericks vs. Memphis Grizzlies
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 48.87 | DraftKings: 52.43
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 20.8% | FanDuel 28.8% | DraftKings 20.7%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $49 | FanDuel $10,500 | DraftKings $11,500
While this is a back-to-back for Luka Doncic, he played 35 minutes last night in a loss to the Pelicans and just 27 minutes on Wednesday leading a 139-107 drubbing of the Pels in New Orleans. Dallas came out flat for the second half while the Pelicans could not miss racing out to an insurmountable lead on the strength of a 24-6 run during which they made 9-of-12 field goal attempts. Doncic remains remarkably consistent with or without Kristaps Porzingis on the court averaging 1.46 Yahoo Fantasy points per minute in either scenario. If Porzingis misses a second game, then Doncic will see a bump in his field goal attempts and rebounding rate, though his own effectiveness decreases with more field goal attempts. However, in a one-game sample size, he could easily have find success, which would push him into 50-fantasy-point territory.
Jrue Holiday: Milwaukee Bucks vs. Miami Heat
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 39.68 | DraftKings: 40.73
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 41.2% | FanDuel 26.0% | DraftKings 26.9%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $28 | FanDuel $7,900 | DraftKings $7,700
Giannis Antetokounmpo is doubtful with a calf injury that has already cost him one game. On tap tonight is a matchup against the Heat who are on a back-to-back having bested the Pacers in Indiana on Friday. They will again be without Bam Adebayo, who just had thumb surgery and Jimmy Butler, who is dealing with a bruised tailbone. Since the beginning of last year, Jrue Holiday averages a tick shy of one Yahoo Fantasy point per minute when playing alongside Giannis. When the two-time NBA MVP is off the court, his production soars to 1.32 Yahoo Fantasy points per minute. This is related to his usage increasing from 19.9% to 28.7% since he sees a dramatic increase in field goal attempts.
Khris Middleton: Milwaukee Bucks vs. Miami Heat
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 36.82 | DraftKings: 38.69
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 27.4% | FanDuel 24.9% | DraftKings 27.2%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $29 | FanDuel $7,400 | DraftKings $7,500
Similar to Holiday, Khris Middleton also sees a major increase in opportunities when Antetokounmpo is on the sideline. Reaching back to the beginning of last year, Middleton goes from 1.01 Yahoo Fantasy points per minute alongside Giannis to 1.26 without. The increase in usage is significant from 22.1% to 32.3% along with a boost in assists and rebounding rate. We can make both Middleton and Holiday core options on Saturday in all formats.
Middleton was one of the names popping up all over our NBA DFS lineup optimizer today. Check out all of our free NBA DFS picks from our NBA cheat sheets.
Kyle Lowry: Miami Heat at Milwaukee Bucks
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 34.9 | DraftKings: 37.06
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 17.0% | FanDuel 27.8% | DraftKings 13.1%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $28 | FanDuel $6,600 | DraftKings $7,800
Clearly we will want to tune in to the Bucks and Heat game tonight since that seems to be the primary source of the best Yahoo Fantasy plays. Kyle Lowry will turn 36 years old in March and we know what we are getting with the veteran of 17 NBA campaigns. When his core teammates are around him, he is happy to defer and set them up while choosing his spots on offense when necessary. However, when he is called upon to be the primary option, he can still answer the bell. This year with his new team he is posting 0.80 Yahoo Fantasy points with Adebayo and Butler on the court and just over a fantasy point per minute without them. That is a 25% increase in his production, which is not reflected in his current salary. Enjoy!
Yahoo Daily Fantasy Basketball Discount Dandies
Norman Powell: Portland Trailblazers vs. Boston Celtics
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 29 | DraftKings: 29.7
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 47.6% | FanDuel 39.8% | DraftKings 38.0%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $17 | FanDuel $5,400 | DraftKings $5,200
Damian Lillard and Anfernee Simons are both out tonight, which means we are likely to see C.J. McCollum and Norman Powell picking up the slack as the primary facilitators on offense. After missing two games with a quad injury, Powell came back on Thursday to play 29 minutes in a loss to the Spurs. In this game the starters only played two minutes in the fourth quarter as coach Chauncy Billups had clearly seen enough and he emptied the bench in dramatic fashion wrapping up the final five minutes with C.J. Elleby, Keljin Blevins, Greg Brown and Trendon Watford along with a lucky fan from Section 116. If the game had been competitive, Powell would have seen something in the 34-36 minute range, which would make him a steal at his current salary. This is also the same range where Awesemo is projecting his minutes to land tonight.
Final Thoughts on NBA DFS picks for the Saturday, Dec. 4 Slate
Keep an eye on the status for Kristaps Porzingis, if he is out again tonight then Jalen Brunson and Maxi Kleber are fine options. The Clippers played last night so it would not be a shock if Marcus Morris or even Paul George ended up getting a night off and we know that news rarely comes early from that franchise. Also in the nightcap we are awaiting the status of Jaylen Brown who did not play last night in Salt Lake City while dealing with a hamstring issue. Keep in mind that salaries and scoring formats differ across the various fantasy sites, and a slam-dunk play on Yahoo may be a below-average NBA DFS pick on DraftKings or FanDuel.
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