Monday, Dec. 6, has a rollicking 10-game main slate tipping off at 7 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, Monday, Dec. 6
Yahoo Play of the Day — Deandre Ayton: Phoenix Suns vs. San Antonio Spurs
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 37.36 | DraftKings: 38.64
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 24.8% | FanDuel 16.0% | DraftKings 21.0%
DFS Salary: Yahoo $28 | FanDuel $7,700 | DraftKings $7,400
Deandre Ayton has averaged a double-double in each of his first four seasons in the league, which gives him an excellent fantasy floor. While he does not block as many shots as one would expect from such a good defensive center, he usually does not get played off the court. The one missing variable is that he generally does not look for his own shot. However, with Devin Booker sidelined there are quite a few field goal attempts to go around. Including the game in which Booker went down, Ayton has averaged 15.3 field goal attempts, including two games with 16 or more. The matchup tonight against Jakob Poeltl is a solid one since he is a more traditional center and the Suns will need Ayton on the court for at least 32 to 36 minutes to secure the victory. That should give him enough time to lock in a double-double and 40 Yahoo points, with an outside chance at the 50-fantasy-point plateau.
Charlotte Hornets vs. Philadelphia 76ers
Today’s slate is somewhat unique in that there are a host of moving parts and variables that have not yet settled down. Also, with so many top-shelf players dealing with injuries and several poised for potential returns to action, it makes more sense to look at some of the situations that will be the driving force for tonight’s analysis and decisions.
Charlotte will be without LaMelo Ball, Terry Rozier, Mason Plumlee and Jalen McDaniels, who are all in the health and safety protocol after testing positive for COVID-19. While the team recalled Vernon Carey Jr., Kai Jones and James Bouknight from the G-League and two-way players Arnoldas Kulboka and Scottie Lewis, last night Bouknight was the only member of this group to play, and he saw just six minutes. Nick Richards started at center but played only seven minutes, and rookie reserve J.T. Thor played 12 minutes off the bench.
The point is that there are plenty of bodies here, but also that the Hornets managed to beat the Hawks 130-127 in Atlanta relying on major minutes from starters Miles Bridges (40), Kelle Oubre Jr. (39), Gordon Hayward (33) and Ish Smith (32), while P.J. Washington (38) and Cody Martin (32) saw significant run off the bench.
Bridges is showing up highly in the Awesemo premium projections and Zach Brunner wrote about that in his NBA DFS Picks, Grades & Values article today.
Smith and Martin are excellent discount options, while Bridges and Oubre should see 35 or more minutes tonight. Hayward is likely to stay in the 30 to 33 range, and Washington is the wild card depending on how the Hornets decide to guard Joel Embiid. This will probably be some variation sending double-team help, but that would place increased foul trouble risk on Bridges, Oubre and Washington, so it will be interesting to see how coach James Borrego approaches this matchup nightmare.
Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Atlanta Hawks
Karl-Anthony Towns missed Saturday’s game with a sore back, and he is questionable tonight. D’Angelo Russell filled in on offense for Towns admirably, though he is questionable with an ankle issue. Patrick Beverley has missed five games with a groin injury, but he is close to returning to action. If Towns is out, then Naz Reid and Jarred Vanderbilt will become excellent options, as will Anthony Edwards. Edwards is coming off a dismal performance on Saturday, though if Russell is out, he will become a phenomenal play regardless of Towns’ status. Finally, if Towns plays, he should be considered a full-go, and he is only $39 on Yahoo.
Memphis Grizzlies at Miami Heat
Ja Morant is out for the next two weeks, and Kyle Anderson is out tonight as well. Brandon Clarke is doubtful and not expected to play. This trio leaves behind a major void of minutes and fantasy opportunities. Tyus Jones becomes a primary option who is also a potential pivot away from a very popular Ish Smith. Steven Adams should get all the minutes he can handle, and while that likely will cap out around 28 to 30, that is enough time for him to post a tournament-viable fantasy score.
Desmond Bane has made great strides on offense as well as with his all-around game this season, and he is intriguing as a shooting guard, where things are a little thin tonight. Jaren Jackson Jr. is in play, though he is always a risk for foul trouble, Dillon Brooks is very scoring dependent, and Miami still plays good team defense, even without Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler.
Final Thoughts on NBA DFS picks for the Monday, Dec. 6 Slate
There are a lot of moving parts, and it should be easy to construct stars-and-scrubs lineups. Just be sure to understand that a lot of the value tonight is at point guard and center, which means there will be decisions to make when it comes to Embiid, Nikola Jokic, Stephen Curry and Trae Young. 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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