Hopefully you all had a lovely holiday weekend but the NBA waits for no man or woman with six games tonight for our NBA DFS picks. It’s an interesting slate with some value likely to open up thanks to some injuries and some games that seem less obvious than we’ve encountered recently. So let’s kick off this home stretch of the holiday season with the 12/2 NBA DFS Switch and Hedge!
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Be sure to also check out EMac’s Cash Building Blocks for more NBA DFS picks and analysis.
Follow me and tweet me @chrisspags with any feedback or questions you have! Otherwise, let’s get to what I see so far for tonight’s slate.
Man Are We Really Paying This Much For Trae Young?
Trae Young has been an NBA DFS monster to start the year with a 44% assist rate to go along with 34% usage and sustainable 45% shooting from the floor. He’s also had at least 52.25 FP in four out of his last five games. He projects well to me in this spot against the poor 111 defensive efficiency rating that Golden State brings to the table. The weak defense offers assist upside and Young has put up at least 23 shot attempts in four out of his last five games that could fall more easily as well. It feels scary to pay this much for Young but it’s hard to argue he doesn’t deserve it.
Jabari Parker is a less bankable play after a couple down plays in a row. His 25% usage should give him a shot at his upside in this spot with a lot more ownership on him. DeAndre Hunter is a less trustworthy play but he shot 15 times last time out versus Houston. Cam Reddish’s status could affect the opportunity DeAndre Bembry sees, though Bembry was quiet with no Reddish available over the weekend versus Houston. And Damian Jones should see some decent rebound opportunities inside in a “revenge” game but his foul prone nature and penchant for unproductive minutes makes his minutes insecure. There’s opportunity for Atlanta’s side but it’s hard to feel confident in anyone besides Young and Parker.
On the other side, Alec Burks should have the key to the castle with no Draymond Green available and his price reasonable. He and Eric Paschall have the highest usage rates in court time without Green, D’Angelo Russell and Steph Curry. Ky Bowman also should start without Green available, a decent chance given his ownership and Atlanta’s even worse 112.4 defensive efficiency rating. The bigs are tougher to trust with Kevon Looney likely back in the rotation to cut opportunity for Willie Cauley-Stein, Omari Spellman, and Marquese Chriss.
A Potential Chalk Dennis Smith Day
Dennis Smith played 38 minutes last game with Frank Ntilikina knocked out of the game in the first quarter. He could see big run in this pace-up spot that does seem worth the lofty exposure projected for him given a very low price. It’s Smith and David Fizdale so there are some ways for this to go sideways but the opportunity should be there for him if the currently questionable Ntilikina is ruled out. Marcus Morris is also out and that opens a starting spot for Kevin Knox but he ended up with only 22 minutes in this situation last game despite a solid 21.75 FP effort in that time frame. Damyean Dotson was mostly Knox’s direct backup with Morris out and could see NBA DFS opportunity if Knox can’t take and make threes in the matchup.
It’s a pace-down for Milwaukee but there’s a decent probability of a blowout given the 16-point spread favoring them at home. The usual cast of characters look fine but the NBA DFS value represented by Robin Lopez might be the most appealing. Brook Lopez is doubtful again and Lopez saw 24 minutes and 33 FP versus Charlotte despite the blowout limiting his minutes down the stretch.
A Curious NBA DFS Situation In Charlotte
Phoenix and Charlotte have the top combined total on the slate with 224 points projected by Vegas. But the prices are at a level that makes it hard to love anyone from road favorite Phoenix. Ricky Rubio had a nice game with Aron Baynes back in the fold, a positive for Rubio on a per-minute basis, with 37.25 FP in 33 minutes versus Dallas last time out. Baynes was limited to 25 minutes last game but could have highly effective NBA DFS stints given Charlotte’s poor center defense on the year. From a price perspective, these guys look like the only appealing options on Phoenix’s side.
Charlotte could have more guys to want despite a tougher defensive matchup. P.J. Washington has seen 33 or more minutes in his last two games and he showed 45.75 FP upside on Friday versus Detroit. He also showed his NBA DFS downside versus Milwaukee with just 17.75 FP in his game after that. Miles Bridges has been fairly solid with at least 27 FP in five out of his last six games. Devonte Graham and Terry Rozier are priced up but both have also performed well in their last couple of weeks. A game stack here could be a more appealing option than the ownership currently indicates even though it feels odd to stack this game without the pricey guys like Devin Booker and Kelly Oubre.
Indiana Could Smash A Banged Up Memphis Squad
Memphis has some absences including Ja Morant, Kyle Anderson and Brandon Clarke but the questionable Jonas Valanciunas seems like a key news item. Valanciunas has at least 32 minutes in his last two games but the Grizzlies’ center situation was a mess without him over the weekend. Jaren Jackson would be a major foul risk against Indiana’s bigs and there isn’t much size behind him with Clarke out. There will be more minutes for guys like Solomon Hill and Bruno Caboclo but no one seems bankable if Jonas is out. It may be a situation to hope the priced-up Tyus Jones and Dillon Brooks are solid with both likely to pick up usage and assist opportunity for Jones.
The Pacers meanwhile should romp as long as the game remains competitive. Malcolm Brogdon will see more assist opportunities thanks to the pace Memphis plays at. Domantas Sabonis could feast on the boards with his 21% rebound rate, particularly if Valanciunas sits. I don’t mind either of those guys despite high prices and I’d be willing to play Jeremy Lamb too in this spot. Indiana is in a really strong spot but you need Memphis to stay alive for them too fully pay their elevated salaries off.
A Battle Of The NBA DFS Dumpster Fires
Utah-Philadelphia is a great real-life game that seems tough to want much of from a fantasy perspective. But Chicago-Sacramento seems like a brutal real-life game where you’d think there may be fantasy upside but there may not be much. The game projects for a low 102.4 pace and neither team’s defense is as bad as it seems. Kris Dunn is still decent value after starting last game, a move that bumped Shaq Harrison entirely out of the rotation. Zach LaVine could get there with 24 shot attempts in his last two games but the pace could cut into that a bit with his price up. Tomas Satoransky has at least 30.25 FP in four out of his last six games so maybe he’s fine with a decent price. There just isn’t a lot to love for Chicago on paper.
Sacramento looks slightly more appealing with Buddy Hield shooting at least 20 times in 40-plus minutes in his last three games. Bogdan Bogdanovic could get back on track with his recent injury woes. Richaun Holmes could have rebounding upside given the slate-high 49.1 boards per game Chicago allows opponents. Maybe even Harrison Barnes can keep it rolling after he somehow had 40.75 FP in 45 minutes with 19 shot attempts versus Denver last game. It feels hard to trust these guys but, as painful as it looks on paper, you may need some Sacramento in lineups tonight as an exceedingly weak “late night hammer”.
Follow me on Twitter @ChrisSpags and I’ll see you guys next time for more NBA DFS picks in the Four Corners and Switch and Hedge!