NBA DFS Picks: FanDuel Lineup Plays and Strategy for Saturday, December 2

NBA DFS Picks: FanDuel Lineup Plays and Strategy for Saturday, December 2

This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.

An atypical week schedule-wise continues Saturday with an extremely busy day that's capped off with a 10-game main slate beginning at 7 p.m. EST. The injury report is notably populated with multiple big names, but with 20 teams in action, there's no question we're well insulated from scarcity at any position or point on the salary spectrum.

Slate Overview

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Even with a slate as expansive as Saturday night's, we're blessed with very reasonable spreads across the board. As of early Saturday, the highest figure on FanDuel Sportsbook is the 9.5 points the Suns are favored over the Grizzlies by. Moreover, six of the other nine games sport lines of four points or less, while a seventh, the Rockets-Lakers tilt, carries a modest five-point projected advantage for Los Angeles.

On the projected total front, the majority of games sport figures in the 220s, but we have two very noteworthy outliers that will certainly be the subject of plenty of attention from DFS players. The first is the Pacers-Heat rematch in South Florida, which carries a 241-point figure. The second, the Hawks-Bucks battle at Fiserv Forum carries an even more outrageous figure – 251.5 points. Given some of the shootouts Atlanta has already been involved in this season, the number doesn't come off as unrealistic.

Injury Situations to Monitor   

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Luka Doncic, DAL (personal): QUESTIONABLE

If Doncic, who missed Friday's game due to the birth of his daughter, is out again Saturday, Kyrie Irving and the remainder of the starting five, which would likely include Josh Green in Doncic's place, would see big usage bumps.

Tyrese Haliburton, IND (knee): QUESTIONABLE

If Haliburton can't suit up, T.J. McConnell could draw a start at point guard and there would be significant usage to be soaked up for the starting five as a whole.

Devin Booker, PHO (ankle): QUESTIONABLE

If Booker is out for a second straight night, Grayson Allen is likely to draw a start at shooting guard and the rest of the starting five will see big usage increases.

LeBron James, LAL (calf): QUESTIONABLE

James is likely to suit up, but if he doesn't, Taurean Prince is likely in for a start at small forward. 

Bam Adebayo, MIA (hip): OUT

In Adebayo's absence, Thomas Bryant is likely to draw a spot start while Jimmy Butler will be due for eve more usage than usual.

Lauri Markkanen, UTA (hamstring): OUT

In Markkanen's ongoing absence, Ochai Agbaji is likely to draw another start at small forward.

Zach LaVine, CHI (foot): OUT

In LaVine's absence, Alex Caruso or Jevon Carter may draw a start at shooting guard and several others on the first unit could see bumps in usage.

DeMar DeRozan, CHI (ankle): QUESTIONABLE

If DeRozan can't suit up, Alex Caruso or Patrick Williams could draw the start at small forward.

Jamal Murray, DEN (ankle): QUESTIONABLE 

If Murray, who sat out Friday's game, is sidelined again, Reggie Jackson should remain in the starting five.

Other notable injuries:

Anthony Davis, LAL (hip): PROBABLE
Jimmy Butler, MIA (ankle): PROBABLE
Aaron Gordon, DEN (heel): GTD
Tyler Herro, MIA (ankle): OUT
Jordan Clarkson, UTA (thigh): OUT

Elite Players

We have a total of 10 players with five-figure salaries that could have a chance to suit up in Saturday's slate – Nikola Jokic ($12,500), Luka Doncic ($12,100), Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,700), Anthony Davis ($11,200), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($10,900), Tyrese Haliburton ($10,600), Kevin Durant ($10,300), De'Aaron Fox ($10,200), Devin Booker ($10,100) and Donovan Mitchell ($10,000).

Jokic may once again take the floor without Murray and hasn't scored less than 57 FD points in any of his last five games.

Doncic's status will have to be monitored, but if he's available, he'll look to build on a tally of 71.3 FD points against the Rockets on Tuesday and scores of at least 54.5 FD points in four of his last five games overall.

Antetokounmpo has been over 60 FD points in three straight games and in five of his last seven contests overall.   

Davis has been at 56.8 FD points or more in three of his last four games and isn't showing any ill effects from his lingering hip injury.

SGA has been over 50 FD points in four straight games and could be in for a wire-to-wire battle Saturday against the Mavs if Doncic is available.

If Haliburton can play through his knee injury, he'll be aiming to build on the 71.4 FD points he hung on the same Heat team he'll face Saturday in the first game between the teams Thursday.

Durant could be taking the floor without Booker again, a scenario in which he scored 62.3 FD points across 36 minutes on Friday against the Nuggets.

Fox was just under 50 FD points (49.5) for the first time in three games Wednesday against the Clippers, but he'll be one of the most well-rested superstars on Saturday's slate since that was the last time the Kings took the floor. He may also face a short-handed Nuggets backcourt if Murray remains sidelined.

If Booker can play through his ankle injury, he'll have a good matchup against an injury-hampered Grizzlies squad.

Mitchell has bounced back from a couple of down games following his hamstring injury to score 66.7 and 51.4 FD points in his most recent pair of contests.

Expected Chalk

Other likely chalk plays include:

Trae Young, ATL ($9,900)

Young should remain popular despite the large slate thanks to his price and total of 74.8 FD points in his most recent game Thursday, already his third game over 60 this season. 

LeBron James, LAL ($9,800)

Any time LeBron's salary is under $10K it catches the eye of DFS players, and he continues to play effectively through his lingering calf issue.

Zion Williamson, NOP ($9,100)

Williamson had been on a scoring heater that hit a speed bump against the Spurs on Friday, but he should remain popular after scoring 44.3 FD points or more in four of his last five games.

Damian Lillard, MIL ($9,000)

Lillard has fully hit his stride in Milwaukee and has now scored 43.5 to 52.2 FD points in five consecutive games.

Jimmy Butler, MIA ($8,600)

The combination of Bam Adebayo's absence, Butler's salary and his 50.7 FD points against the same Pacers team on Thursday should keep the veteran in plenty of lineups Saturday.

Key Values  

Jalen Williams, OKC at DAL ($6,300)

Williams racked up 40.5 FD points over 29 minutes against the Lakers on Thursday in his first game back from a three-game absence, and his salary remains very reasonable for a matchup against a Mavericks team that could once again be without Doncic on Saturday. Dallas has allowed robust 48.8 percent shooting to power forwards, along with 48.4 FD points per game to the position. The Mavs are also surrendering the third-most points per game to fours (27.7), while Williams has already delivered over30 FD points in seven of his first 15 games.

Santi Aldama, MEM at PHO ($5,800)

Aldama continued to take advantage of his expanded opportunities Friday, posting 40.9 FD points in 33 minutes off the bench while exploiting the just-mentioned vulnerability of the Mavericks to frontcourt players. Aldama will therefore be on the back end of the back-to-back set Saturday, but he draws another favorable matchup versus a Suns team that he posted 27 FD points against four games ago and that carries a No. 19 ranking in offensive efficiency rating allowed to PFs (27.3) while also surrendering 50.4 FD points per game to the position. The latter figure is partly the result of Phoenix conceding the fourth-most points (26.9), fourth-most steals (1.7) and seventh-most blocks (1.48) to the position, setting Aldama up with plenty of paths to fantasy production.

Malik Beasley, MIL vs. ATL ($5,800)

Beasley has been thriving as a complementary source of offense in Milwaukee thus far, as he's shooting a career-best 47.3 percent, including 44.3 percent from behind the arc. The veteran wing checks in averaging 30.9 FD points over his last four games, a stretch during which he's provided an impressively well-balanced line of 14.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.5 steals across 35.5 minutes per contest. Beasley is remaining extremely aggressive as well, putting up 9.5 three-point attempts per game, and the ultra-fast-paced Hawks check in allowing 48.9 percent shooting to two-guards, including 41.2 percent from behind the arc. What's more, Atlanta is allowing an Eastern Conference-high 46 FD points per game to shooting guards, and this game's 250+-point total makes it the best DFS environment of the night.

ALSO CONSIDER: Jarrett Allen, CLE at DET ($6,600); Jaime Jaquez, MIA vs. IND ($6,500)

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Juan Carlos Blanco plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: jcblanco22, FanDuel: jc_blanco22, DraftPot: jc_blanco22, FantasyDraft: jc_blanco22, OwnThePlay: jcblanco22.
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Juan Carlos Blanco
Winner of the FSWA 2016 Newcomer of the Year Award, Juan Carlos Blanco has been playing fantasy sports for over 20 years and covers NBA, MLB, NFL, CFL and Arena Football for, including serving as the beat writer for teams in multiple sports. He has previously written for and remains an avid season-long and daily fantasy player in multiple sports as well.
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