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

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

This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Basketball series.

This next week is the strangest week of scheduling I've ever seen. We don't have any games tomorrow, and most slates next week have two games or fewer. That's frustrating from a DFS perspective but it's clearly to showcase the NBA In-Season Tournament. It's been fun watching these teams battle in that tourney, but we're looking at regular-season matchups here. There are 10 games starting at 7 p.m. EST, making it one of the largest Saturday evening slates all year! 

Guard

Malcolm Brogdon, POR at UTA ($29)

This Portland team is pitiful, but it's no fault of Brogdon. The veteran playmaker is having a bounce-back season for the Trail Blazers, taking over as the starting point guard in the absence of Anfernee Simons. The struggles of Scoot Henderson have also allowed Brogdon to do more, and he's averaging 34 Yahoo points per game. He's also scored at least 27 Y! points in all 12 games he's finished, flashing a 50-point upside twice this year. One of those ceiling games is more likely against Utah, ranked 23rd in defensive efficiency and 25th in points allowed. Portland actually pummeled them last week, and Brogdon provided 39 Y! points, despite being limited to 24 minutes in that lopsided game. 

Duncan Robinson, MIA vs. IND ($15)

This is some of the most egregious pricing on the slate. Robinson is having a revival season in Miami, stepping up in the absence of Tyler Herro. That makes D-Rob even more tempting here because Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler are on the injury report as well. Even with a full roster, Robinson is averaging 28 Yahoo points per game across 33 minutes over his last eight outings. That's all you can ask for at this salary, and the good times should continue if Robinson keeps getting 30-35 minutes and 10-15 shots a game. Facing the fastest-paced team in the NBA only adds to his appeal, with Indiana ranked 29th in defensive efficiency and last in points allowed. 

Guard to Avoid

Trey Murphy, NOP at CHI ($20)

Murphy missed the opening 19 games because of offseason knee surgery, but he made his return to action Friday. That means he's playing the second half of a back-to-back set, and it would be shocking to see him suit up. Even if he does play, Murphy should have his minutes limited. What's equally as scary is his role because he was only successful when this roster was shorthanded. Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum are all healthy right now, so Murph may not be a good value with all of these studs swallowing up so much usage, even when he's allocated a full workload. 

Forward

Kevin Durant, PHX vs. MEM ($45)

This Suns team cannot stay healthy, but KD can. The Slim Reaper has been dominant no matter who's been on the floor with him, but he's been a different animal when Bradley Beal and Devin Booker have both been out. That looks like what will happen here, and Durant has posted a 37 percent usage rate with those two off the floor. He's also averaging 1.5 Y! points per minute in those circumstances, which would equate to 56 Yahoo points if he plays the 37 minutes he's become accustomed to. That adds up because KD has at least 44 Y! points in 12 consecutive outings while generating a 52-point average in that span. I don't mind the matchup either, as Memphis has allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing PFs. 

Khris Middleton, MIL vs. ATL ($20)

This is risky, but Middleton's increased workload is encouraging. What's funny is that he has been a strong fade numerous times this season, but I said he'd be a good value once the minutes crept up. That's what's happening, with Middleton playing at least 27 minutes in two of his last three games he's finished. All this guy needs is 25-30 minutes to be an immense value because he was a $35 player in that sort of role in the past. The matchup is a great way for him to go off in limited minutes anyway, with Atlanta ranked 26th in defensive efficiency and 27th in points allowed. That's on full display with Mid scoring at least 33 Y! points in six straight matchups with the Hawks, dropping 39 and 50 Yahoo points in their two most recent meetings! 

Forward to Avoid

Ausar Thompson, DET vs. CLE ($27)

This rookie has been one of Detroit's best players, but the Pistons don't seem to care. They went winless in the month of November and that earned Thompson a spot on the bench in their most recent outing. In that relegated role, Ausar had 8.4 Y! points across 13 minutes. That's laughable from a player at this salary, but his production was already waning over the last two weeks. He's scored 25 or fewer fantasy points in six of his last seven games and is due for a massive market correction. The matchup couldn't be much worse either because Cleveland has been a top-five defense in every metric over the last three years. 

Centers

Nikola Jokic, DEN at SAC ($59)

The two-time MVP is playing some of the best basketball of his career right now. The big man is leading the league with 61 Yahoo points per game. He's been even better over the last few weeks, scoring at least 63 Y! points in 11 of his last 14 outings. Only a handful of players will score 63 fantasy points once all season, and it's become Jokic's floor in what's turning into a historical season. Joker has sliced through this Sacramento defense over the last three years as well, posting a 62-point average in their nine matchups. You have to pay to use Jokic, but he's worth every penny! 

Nikola Vucevic, CHI vs. NOP ($29)

With Zach LaVine, Lonzo Ball and DeMar DeRozan all nicked up, Vooch is the focal point of this offense. That was on full display in Chicago's most recent win, collecting 29 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. The boosted role is what really matters because Vucevic should be looking at 35 minutes, 15-20 shots, double-digit rebounds and a 30 percent usage rate with all of these guys off the floor. That's the player who thrived in Orlando, and he was a $40 player in those All-Star seasons. New Orleans is not a scary matchup either, surrendering the fifth-most fantasy points to centers. 

Center to Avoid

Clint Capela, ATL at MIL ($21)

Capela has been one of the most reliable centers, but splitting minutes with Onyeka Okongwu has killed his fantasy value. While he's been successful in a 25-minute role in the past, his workload has begun falling well below that. Cap has played 23 or fewer minutes in five of his last six outings, scoring 30 or fewer fantasy points in 14 of his last 16 games. That's a limited floor from a player who doesn't have much of an offensive game, and it's terrifying that he's losing so many minutes to Okongwu right now. Milwaukee is no easy matchup either, surrendering the eighth-fewest fantasy points to centers.

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. Joel Bartilotta plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: Joelbartilotta Yahoo: Joelbartilotta.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Joel Bartilotta
Joel has 20 years of Fantasy experience, and can recall riding a young Daunte Culpepper to a championship in the 2003-04 season in his inaugural fantasy year. He covers NBA, NFL, daily fantasy, EPL, and MLB for RotoWire.
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