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NBA DFS Picks: FREE 12/5 Cash Building Blocks: Joel Embiid, Value Plays and MORE

Eric MacPherson



EMac gives his favorite NBA DFS picks for DraftKings + FanDuel daily fantasy basketball lineups including Fred VanVleet for Sunday 1/10

Thursday, Dec. 5 presents an interesting 10-game main slate for all the big daily fantasy sites. Before you lock in your NBA DFS lineups and NBA DFS picks on DraftKings, FanDuel, Yahoo and FantasyDraft, make sure to check out check out Awesemo’s NBA DFS rankings and projections. Let’s dig into some NBA DFS Picks, including Joel Embiid, Fred VanVleet and more.

Hey! Check out our Twitter account for loads of FREE giveaways.

Don’t forget to check out the NBA DFS Strategy Show featuring Josh Engleman and Adam “ShipMyMoney” Scherer as they break down the NBA DFS slate and give out their thoughts on Bradley Beal, Kyle Lowry, Joel Embiid, injury news and analysis.

Also, check out Chris Spags’ Switch and Hedge for more NBA DFS picks.

NBA DFS Picks: Prime Time Players

Joel Embiid: Philadelphia 76ers vs. Washington Wizards

DraftKings $9,700, FanDuel $10,700, Yahoo $46 Ownership Rating (preliminary run): DraftKings 35.9%, FanDuel 34.0% Yahoo Fantasy 25.6%

Joel Embiid gets an amazing matchup against the Wizards who are ill-equipped to slow him down. Thomas Bryant is out for at least three weeks, not that it really would impact Embiid. Moritz Wagner is dealing with a sprained ankle and is questionable. On a fun note, Wagner leads the league with 7.2 fouls per 36 minutes. We may also see Ian Mahimni make his debut as he has been dealing with an Achilles injury. Please note that Mahimni is probably not worth playing as he has appeared in just three games since Jan. 31 of last year.

Back to Embiid, the only thing that would cap his upside is if this is a monster blowout which is a definite possibility. Washington is playing at the fastest pace in the league with the worst defensive efficiency. For perspective, the Wizards have allowed 125 or more nine times including 150-plus twice in 19 games this season. THESE GAMES WERE ALL IN REGULATION!

Whatever the record for quickest 20/10 game is, there is a chance Embiid breaks it tonight.

NBA DFS Picks: Good Value

Fred VanVleet: Toronto Raptors vs. Houston Rockets

DraftKings $6,600, FanDuel $8,000, Yahoo $33 Ownership Rating (preliminary run): DraftKings 28.8%, FanDuel 13.9% Yahoo Fantasy 5.5%

Clearly, the DraftKings/FantasyDraft price is going to be hard to pass. On FanDuel we need to roster two shooting guards and ideally the $8,000 price tag keeps Fred VanVleet’s popularity suppressed there. On Yahoo, I would be shocked if we do not see his 5.5% triple in the upcoming ownership runs.

Three of the four games tonight have a 230-plus projected point total, so I do think that the former Wichita Shocker will be overlooked on Thursday. If you are not impressed by his production this season, you can always turn to Lonzo Ball who is cheaper and should see 30-ish minutes against the Suns. Turning to Kyle Lowry is also a fine pivot.

Lowry returned and played 40 minutes in an overtime game in which VanVleet still topped him by three minutes. If anything, the return should help VanVleet somewhat as it puts another offensive threat on the floor.

Are you a revenge truther? How many of you remember that Lowry actually was with Houston for three-plus seasons once upon a time?

NBA DFS Picks: Risky Value

New York Knicks

This is a horrible spot for the Knicks going against the Nuggets who play at the fourth-slowest pace with the fourth-best defense. The fantasy goodness is going to be very tough to identify before tip-off tonight. Even with just eight teams in our player pool, I do not have any issues with looking elsewhere. The Nuggets are nearly double-digit road favorites and I would actually consider their secondary players before anyone from New York.

FantasyCruncher Tip of the Day

Use promo code PRIMETIME to receive 50% off any one-month premium subscription (including FantasyCruncher options).

With the incredibly user-friendly and flexible rules creation feature on FantasyCruncher, we can take our lineup construction to the next level.

Today we have the Wizards and Nuggets on the docket and they provide some unique situations where we can have FantasyCruncher do the heavy lifting. Denver has a very steady rotation with most of the players having direct backups. We know that these pairings will likely be splitting 48 minutes, so it is not optimal to have both players on the same roster.

We can create special groups that help handle this for us automatically.

By including the players I want to limit and using the rule using at most one from the group, I do not have to worry about overlap. Checking the “save this group for other days” option will carry this forward so I do not need to build it from scratch each time Denver is on the schedule.

For the Washington players, there is redundancy with Isaiah Thomas, Ish Smith and Jordan McCrae. I have created a group and named it “WAS Backcourt” and set a rule to not play more than one of this trio.

Similarly, the Wizards frontcourt is in a similar situation so I have created a group with Davis Bertans, Moritz Wagner, Troy Brown Jr and Rui Hachimura. My setting here limits these players to no more than two for each roster.

This is one of the more underrated features of FantasyCruncher.

Final Thoughts

With three games topping 230 projected points and two of the slower teams in the league squaring off in a lopsided battle, I have no issues looking towards some game stacks in the hope of catching and overtime game.

As always, you can reach out to me in Premium Slack or on Twitter @EMacDFS if you have any NBA DFS questions about DraftKings, FanDuel, Yahoo or FantasyDraft.

Good Luck NBA DFS Gamers! ~ EMac

If you haven’t signed up for Yahoo Fantasy DFS, click this link and use the promo code Awesemo when making your first deposit and you will be eligible for $30 of free play, which Yahoo will match through the first $30 of your deposit (this bonus will be received in Yahoo Sports Rewards Points, a.k.a. YSRP which can be used to enter any paid contest immediately).

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

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