NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks: Paul George Once Again Looks Like A Glue Guy! (November 24)

Friday brings an enticing eight-game post-holiday featured slate, tipping off 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. Paul George is getting more offensive looks and other opportunities with Russell Westbrook coming off the bench, which is not yet reflected in his salary. Additionally there are a pair of games with 240-plus point totals, providing plenty of potential tournament winners. Let’s dig into the NBA DFS picks and core plays.

NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today: Friday, November 24

Core Play of the Day — Paul George: Los Angeles Clippers vs. New Orleans Pelicans

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Paul George is a solid building block tonight in the featured tournaments and he really stands out on the two-game late-slate. This is a decent matchup against the short-handed Pelicans and with Russell Westbrook working more with the second-unit and Terance Mann and his lower usage rate with the starters, George as well as Kawhi Leonard are getting more field goal attempts and rebounding opportunities. Additionally, James Harden is far better at setting up his teammates than Westbrook and for now, seems content to be the facilitator and tertiary scoring option.

Los Angeles has won three games in a row with Westbrook off the bench, but they are still only five point home favorites tonight. Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram and Jonas Valanciunas will bring enough frontcourt firepower to keep this game close, but it would be more of a battle if CJ McCollum was available.

Indiana Pacers vs. Detroit Pistons

Well it seems like games with projected point totals in the mid-240s are going to be a regular occurrence this season and we have two on tonight’s featured slate. Tyrese Haliburton has been sublime this season and he has helped guide the Pacers to a wildly efficient 122.7 points per 100 possessions, while the team is logging 104.8 possessions per game – both of which are the best in the league. Indiana is also sharing the fantasy love with opposing teams, with the worst defensive efficiency rating in the league, allowing 120.4 points per 100 possessions.

Through 13 games, Haliburton is averaging 10 more fantasy points per appearance than he did last year, while also leading the league with 12.3 assists per game. The salary has continued to rise, but he is bordering on being matchup-proof and he reached the 60 fantasy point plateau in four of the last five games.

In 11 games this month, Detroit has a 118.2 defensive efficiency rating, which is the eighth worst in the league. That means we are going to want to pull a few other Pacers into our player portfolios, even with 16 teams in action. Andrew Nembhard has missed the last three games with back spasms and he is questionable again tonight. Aaron Nesmith missed the last game with a sprained wrist, and could be out again tonight.

Buddy Hield moved into the starting lineup for the first time this season on Tuesday and while he is not going to continue his torrid success rate from beyond the arc, in the last two games he has converted 13 of 18 (72.2%) 3-point attempts, culminating in nearly 80 fantasy points during this stretch. He should remain in the starting lineup as long as one of Nembhard and Nesmith remain out and if that is the case, Hield is a steal on FanDuel ($5,000) and a solid play on DraftKings ($5,500).

Obi Toppin, Bruce Brown Jr. and Myles Turner are secondary plays, who would see their outlooks improved with both Nesmith and Nembhard in street clothes.

Cade Cunningham finally crossed over the 40 fantasy point threshold on Monday, for the first time in 10 days. This is the perfect matchup for his skillset, which makes him a coveted option across the DFS industry. Jalen Duren has missed the last two weeks with an ankle injury, but he is likely to return to action tonight. There are ample centers available today, but he does seem like a lock for a double-double, with so many errant field goals in the air tonight. That makes him an intriguing add to straight and same-game parlays for added upside. His return does somewhat put the kibosh on both Marvin Bagley III and Isaiah Stewart, so pay attention to the starting lineup.

Rookie Ausar Thompson is popping on FanDuel, which awards three fantasy points for steals and blocks. Fouls have been an issue, with 15 in the last three games, which has severely dropped his playing time from the mid-30s down to the mid-20s. Look for a bounceback tonight, which makes him another intriguing tournament option by himself or as part of a game-stack.

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This matchup is going to be well-represented in tournaments

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Milwaukee Bucks vs. Washington Wizards

This is the other game tonight with the lofty point total and these teams just squared off Monday in Washington, with Milwaukee winning 142-129 in regulation. Giannis Antetokounmpo dropped 70 fantasy points in 34 minutes in that matchup, but he will need the Wizards to at least be semi-frisky into the second half to be able to approach that level of production with any certainty as the Bucks are 12.5 point favorites. Antetokounmpo is on the injury report with an illness, but is expected to play tonight. Milwaukee does not play again until Sunday.

Bobby Portis is always in play as a tournament option, since he can rack up the fantasy points when he is on the court. Of course it would be better for him to have Antetokounmpo or Brook Lopez out, in order to get full-run, but he could easily post a tournament-worthy performance if he is the featured option in the final frame during mop-up duty.

Khris Middleton saw his minutes increase to a season high 29 on Wednesday, which should likely elevate his median range up to 24-to-26, with a little upside in closer games. He is appearing in optimizer generated lineups at this time, though he will likely slide out of the picture as other value options appear. Do keep him in mind for the 8 p.m. ET sub-slate, as a potential differentiation option. Lopez looks better there as well, with fewer centers to compete with.

Damian Lillard is always a threat for 50 fantasy points, particularly if his shot is falling. Milwaukee prefers to keep his minutes in the mid-30s as they will need the 33-year-old healthy this season to secure a top-seed for the playoffs. That means he could get a quick-hook if the game is out of hand, but it is hard to see him with much less than a 40-burger in this matchup. Additionally, the Bucks are hosting the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday afternoon, so Lillard will want to be well-rested for that game.

Last season the Bucks had a 110.9 defensive efficiency rating, which with the fourth best in the league. Swapping Jrue Holiday for Lillard has been detrimental to the defense, which has allowed 118.1 points per 100 possessions this year. Things are likely to tighten up a bit when necessary, though with a top-five offensive efficiency mark, the team can spend less energy against opposing scorers.

Kyle Kuzma has had back-to-back 50 fantasy point games, averaging 25 points, 6 rebounds, 11.5 assists and 3.0 combined blocks and steals, in just 33 minutes per appearance. That includes a game against Milwaukee, so we can go right back to the prolific fantasy producer. Tyus Jones gets a slight boost with backup guard Delon Wright out and while he is only a fringe option on FanDuel for the featured-slate, he does move into consideration on both of the main DFS sites for the evening sub-slate.

Enigmatic and inconsistent Jordan Poole may already have worn out his welcome in DC with his immature antics and lackadaisical effort on defense. It would not be a surprise if the team makes a concerted effort to boost his productivity, in order to make him more appealing on the post-holiday trade market. For now he is a tournament-only option, but he has to have some positive regressions… right?!

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Additional NBA Building Blocks Pick — Sports Betting Opportunities

Jacob Poeltl is one of many center options tonight in the DFS world, who likely is going to fall out of most player portfolios. However, we can still take advantage of his rebounding prowess in the sports wagering market, with a +195 on his double-double prop. NBA Bet Pro currently has him projected for 27.8 minutes, 11.39 points and 8.38 rebounds. The “True Odds” (how OddsShopper measures the potential expected ROI of a given wager) are +203, and while that indicates a slightly negative ROI just under 2%, there is still upside potential with this wager.

Poeltl actually leads the league with a 70.2% conversion rate on his field goal attempts, while averaging 10.6 points and 8.1 rebounds. There are a couple things working in his favor tonight, including Precious Achiuwa (knee) missed the last game and is questionable tonight, plus with Nikola Vucevic patrolling the paint for Chicago, Toronto is going to need to counter with some size. Poeltl has tallied four games of 30-plus minutes in his last six against Vucevic, and while those came during his days as a San Antonio Spur, it is still a decent indicator of how his coach may employ him tonight.

Final Thoughts on NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today

Ten teams in action tonight also played last night, so there will be ample updates and shifting dynamics throughout the day. 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 Vivid Picks – new users, use this link to receive a $300 first deposit match AND your first play is secured for up to $25 in Vivid credit if it loses.

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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