NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks: Julius Randle and Jalen Brunson Are Strong Plays! (December 5)

Tuesday brings the second wave of knockout games for the NBA In-Season Tournament, beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET on DraftKings and FanDuel. There are several options in the player pool worth analyzing to find the top NBA DFS building blocks and NBA DFS picks. Julius Randle, Jalen Brunson and Brook Lopez are the trio to target from the first game tonight. Let’s dig into the NBA DFS picks and core plays.

NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today: Tuesday, December 5

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Julius Randle: New York Knicks at Milwaukee Bucks

Tonight gamers are going to be looking to Giannis Antetokounmpo, Damian Lillard, Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis and, of course, LeBron James. Last night we saw the knockout games take on a bit of a playoff atmosphere, with the key players logging heavy minutes and tightened rotations from all four teams. Defense was still mostly optional, but on a two-game slate with limited discount dandies, we are going to want to be creative.

Julius Randle should be on the court for at least 36 minutes, and he could approach 40 if he stays out of foul trouble. Last year Milwaukee had a 110.9 defensive efficiency rating, but now that Lillard has replaced Jrue Holiday, that has slipped to 115.1 this season, which is in the bottom third of the league.

When these teams squared off one month ago in Milwaukee, the Bucks held on to a 110-105 victory. While that is not an eye-popping total, Randle played 39 minutes, and despite going 5-for-20 (25.0%) from the field, he still had 16 points, 12 rebounds, five assists and a pair of steals. Teammate Jalen Brunson played a whopping 42 minutes, and he was the primary scorer, with a career-high 45 points while also adding five rebounds, four assists and a steal. This duo is the driving force for the Knickerbockers and as such carry strong floors, with access to the 50-fantasy-point plateau. They can be employed together on the same roster.

Brunson currently is tied with LeBron for the best fantasy-point-per-dollar ratio on FanDuel, and the duo trails only Davis on DraftKings. This does have Brunson as the most popular player on FanDuel at 68.7%, though he falls out of the top 5 on DraftKings. From experience of playing hundreds of NBA short slates, it is likely that Randle sees a drop in his popularity closer to tipoff, with James and Davis moving ahead of him.

Isaiah Hartenstein is one of the better value plays, as he should see 14 to 16 minutes backing up Mitchell Robinson. If Robinson ends up in foul trouble, there is a path for Hartenstein to see minutes in the low-20s.

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Brook Lopez: Milwaukee Bucks vs. New York Knicks

This recommendation is geared towards the large-field tournaments tonight. Brook Lopez is having another strong campaign, even though the 35-year-old has been in the league for 16 seasons. He is averaging a career-best 2.8 blocks per game, while his 4.9 rebounds per game are below his already anemic 6.2 career rate.

Though it is hard to compare player versus player games with how wide open and free-wheeling things have become over the last five years, Lopez does have a good history against Robinson. In their last four meetings over the last year and change, Lopez has played between 33 and 36 minutes in each game, with 37 or more fantasy points in three of the four tilts. This has been buoyed by 16 blocks, including eight in the game last month.

Looking for more NBA DFS picks and advice? You’ve come to the right place. Sign up for our NBA DFS Premium Package for access to our player projections, ownership projections and our state-of-the-art NBA DFS simulation tools.

Additional NBA Building Blocks Pick — Sports Betting Opportunities

Julius Randle is a strong option in the DFS world, but he also looks good in the sports wagering market for the +105 line to record a double-double. Per the +104 “True Odds” (how OddsShopper measures the potential expected ROI of a given wager), this is essentially a neutral proposition.

NBA Bet Pro has Randle projected for 35.3 minutes, 20.3 points and 9.93 rebounds. He has logged double-doubles in 12 of his 19 (63.2%) games, as well as in three of his four games against the Bucks. In these games, he has averaged 37.3 minutes and 20.8 field goal attempts, culminating in 18.3 points, 12.0 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.3 steals.

Get ONE FREE MONTH of OddsShopper Premium, when you signed up through this link for BetMGM. There is also a First Wager bonus promotion of up to $1,500 back in credits if the bet loses. Check out this link for full details.

Final Thoughts on NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today

That is likely to add to the wonky nature of what is now the default level of chaos that is NBA DFS. Be sure to get all the latest news and analysis by tuning into the Stokastic Deeper Dive and Live Before Lock Shows at 5:30 p.m. ET on YouTube, brought to you by Betr Picks– new users, use this link to receive a first deposit match up to $500! Full details here.

Eric MacPherson
Eric "EMac" MacPherson won the 2007 Fantasy Baseball grand prize (trip for two to the MLB All-Star game) in the Roto format on ESPN. He won again in 2008, this time in the H2H format. As one of the early adopters of daily fantasy sports, EMac has been providing content for baseball and basketball as well as both professional and college football since 2012 for a variety of websites including DraftKings Playbook, FanVice, RotoWorld, Daily Fantasy Bootcamp, and RotoGrinders. He is well into his third decade of fantasy sports and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Follow him on Twitter @EMacDFS or contact EMac by emailing [email protected].

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