NBA DFS Core Plays LIVE: Friday, December 2nd

Andy Means (meansy53) will be bringing Premium subscribers his top NBA DFS plays to build around for the upcoming slate. A former Duke basketball walk-on, Meansy will also give you his thoughts on the slate as a whole from a macro perspective. On weekends, the GPP maestro you all know and love, STLCards, takes the reins.

GENERAL SLATE THOUGHTS

3:30 PM ET: Initial run of the tables is up now; going back in shortly to add some relevant notes.

2:35 PM ET: Add another mid-day downgrade to questionable: Jamal Murray. (I am working on the tables now.)

1:07 PM ET: Ummmm yeah, about that Atlanta Hawks situation? Trae Young has just gotten the mid-day downgrade to questionable.

11:22 AM ET: This more or less confirms earlier reports that Jimmy Butler will make his return tonight.

7:45 AM ET: This might be a somewhat different big slate (11 games, by the way) than we are accustomed to. I say that for a few different reasons:

1) Exactly zero of the 22 teams playing tonight are on the second night of a back-to-back. A slate this size usually sees at least 2-3 of them. And since that is the case, we already have injury reports submitted for every team.

2) Which brings me to reason number two. There aren’t exactly a ton of uncertain situations when factoring in the size of the slate. I see ‘only’ 4 Questionable tags in The Situation Room that have an Impact Rating of an 8, 9, or 10. One of those is Tobias Harris, who didn’t return to their game on Monday with an “illness”. Or perhaps more accurately, he was sick of getting drubbed by 30 points. Another is Jimmy Butler, who has missed the last seven games with a knee injury. This is one of those situations where all of the Heat have generally been priced up due to Butler’s absence, so his return would make them even less appealing than they already are. Maybe Jimmy himself would be appealing at sub $9k price tags, but how many minutes can we realistically expect for a guy who hasn’t played since November 16th?

My point being in all of this is that maybe…MAYBE!…the news cycle today is a gradual, intermittent supply of relevant moving parts, as opposed to a constant barrage of news-bombs like Buddy the Elf taking out all of those bullies in Central Park with snowballs. Famous last words, I know.

The few situations we are monitoring that could really raise the eyebrows today are: 1) Tyrese Haliburton 2) the Atlanta Hawks.

Haliburton has yet to miss a game this season, and leads the team in minutes per game (33.4), assist rate (52.6%, which also is the highest in the league in several years, by the way), and is second in usage rate (23.5%). So obviously, his absence would be a pretty big needle-mover, especially since his teammates are not priced for said absence. Guys like T.J. McConnell ($4,200 FD / $3,800) would be a big winner in the minutes department (assuming he is announced as the starter), whereas someone like Bennedict Mathurin ($5,600 on both) would be one of the big winners (amongst others) on a per-minute basis. With Haliburton off of the court this season, CourtIQ tells us that Mathurin sees an absurd bump of 8.8 percentage points to his usage rate (bringing it up to 35.3%). The sample ain’t exactly small either (252 minutes), and a 35.3% usage rate is Top-5-highest-in-the-league type of ish.

As for the Hawks, they are all about just waiting to see where all of these moving parts land (some of which are new). John Collins hasn’t missed a game all season and now finds himself on the shelf for a bit with an ankle injury. De’Andre Hunter joins him on the sideline tonight with a hip injury, as does Justin Holiday (protocols). Bogdan Bogdanovic, on the other hand, hasn’t played a game all season (offseason surgery) but has been upgraded to questionable for tonight. He is joined on the questionable list by Clint Capela, Jalen Johnson, and Frank Kaminsky.

Think we might have some interest in Onyeka Okongwu if literally all of the other frontcourt bodies are sidelined? Mmmmmmhmmmm!

Soooo, let’s wait and see what today has in store for us. Any guesses as to what random news drops today that will undoubtedly make me look like a fool for even insinuating that an 11-game slate could possibly be (relatively) quiet? I will go with “{insert player you hate here} has a ravaging case of hemorrhoids, which is affecting his ability to run and jump; he will be out 2-4 weeks for further evaluation.”

Ok yeah, might be time to tie a bow on the intro section! Catch y’all later on when news starts breaking and I can start filling in the tables.

NOTE: The closer we get to the slate locking, the less likely it is that I will have the necessary time to update the tables below. For the most up-to-date information, make sure you are watching Crunch Time and monitoring LineupHQ for my Core Play tags and our Premium NBA Projections.

Andy Means (meansy53) will be bringing Premium subscribers his top NBA DFS plays to build around for the upcoming slate. A former Duke basketball walk-on, Meansy will also give you his thoughts on the slate as a whole from a macro perspective. On weekends, the GPP maestro you all know and love, STLCards, takes the reins.

GENERAL SLATE THOUGHTS

7:45 AM ET: This might be a somewhat different big slate (11 games, by the way) than we are accustomed to. I say that for a few different reasons:

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About the Author

  • Andy Means (meansy53)

  • Andy Means, aka meansy53, was a walk-on with the esteemed Duke University basketball team for three years before graduating in 2004. He has a Masters in Accounting from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business and has been playing DFS since 2014 – professionally since 2016. He is a featured contributor for RotoGrinders who has qualified for multiple live finals and displays his extensive basketball knowledge as the lead host of our top premium show – NBA Crunch Time.

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