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Friday Slate Starter: NBA DFS Strategy for DraftKings & FanDuel Lineups Today | 12/3/21

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The Slate Starter is a daily first look at to get your daily fantasy basketball lineup-building process started before lock tonight. Each day, we will go through some of the best NBA DFS picks, top stacks and optimal lineup construction for DraftKings and FanDuel. Be sure to check Awesemo’s NBA Starting Lineups page, as it will be updated throughout the day as the NBA injury reports are released and breaking news surfaces. Let’s dive into some players who stand out as key options on Friday’s nine-game slate.

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Want to see how your lineup stacked up against yesterday’s winning NBA DFS lineups on DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo? Check out our Optimal Lineup Review, which uses Fantasy Cruncher Rewind to analyze the winning plays from the night before.

NBA DFS Picks & Optimal Lineup Construction | Dec. 3

Jayson Tatum, SF/PF, Boston Celtics

Tatum has gotten very pricy across the industry, so much so that it has been hard to roster him lately. He has been a bit disappointing over his past five contests, scoring 42.4 FanDuel points or less in four of them. That’s caused his price tag to come back to reality a bit. He’s priced at $9,500 on FanDuel, representing a decrease of $500 from his peak.

Tatum will take the court in a tough matchup against the Jazz, but he will benefit from Jaylen Brown being out of the lineup. He’s increased his usage rate to 33.6% with Brown off the court this season, resulting in an average of 1.25 FanDuel points per minute. Expect him to be near the top of our NBA Projections.

Tyler Herro, PG/SG, Miami Heat

The Heat are another team that should provide some value on Friday. They’re going to be without arguably their two best players in Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, which will open up plenty of shot attempts and minutes.

Herro figures to be one of the biggest beneficiaries. He moved into the starting lineup in place of Butler on Wednesday, and finished with 36.5 minutes of playing time. He didn’t exactly take advantage, finishing with just 30.25 DraftKings points, but the opportunity is there for a better performance. He increased his usage rate to 35.5% in that contest, and he’s averaged 1.11 DraftKings points per minute with Butler and Adebayo off the court.

The only potential issue with Herro is his ownership. He’ll likely be a popular target, and if he’s over-owned, he’ll be worth some fade consideration. Make sure to check out his leverage score using the Boom/Bust Probability tool.


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Chris Duarte, SG/SF, Indiana Pacers

The Pacers’ injury situation isn’t quite as evident as the Heat’s, but it’s important nonetheless. T.J. McConnell and Justin Holiday are both out, and those two players have combined for 52.3 minutes this season, and those minutes have to be absorbed by someone.

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Duarte should absorb some of them. He returned to the Pacers’ starting lineup in their last game and ultimately finished 35 minutes. He struggled in that game, shooting just 5-of-13 from the field, making him a clear bounce-back candidate on Friday. Duarte racked up 14 points on just 21.4 minutes in his previous contest, so he’s capable of improving in that department.

I’ll also be interested in targeting Duarte in the player prop market. His scoring prop could be a bit lower than usual, so I’ll be ready to fire if the over fares well in the Awesemo Player Prop tool.


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View our FanDuel ownership projections, our DraftKings ownership projections and our Yahoo! ownership. Check out our DFS rankings NBA for fantasy points and values that are derived directly from Alex Baker's own NBA daily projections. Our NBA DFS projections DraftKings are updated regularly, including whenever any relevant news breaks. We also have FanDuel NBA ownership rankings, DraftKings rankings and Yahoo! rankings for today's slate. Looking for more NBA DFS lineups and the best free NBA DFS tools?
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