NBA DFS Core Plays LIVE: Friday, November 25th

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

6:54 PM ETClint Capela is ruled out so tagging Onyeka Okongwu as a core play across all sites.

6:30 PM ET – It’s 30 minutes to lock and we still don’t have some major injury news (Beal still a GTD). I’m going to turn it over to the Crunch Time guys but will keep an eye on news and will update my tags in LineupHQ as needed. If Beal gets ruled out, I’m going to start playing more Porzingis/Kuzma/Deni in GPPs. Good luck tonight.

6:00 PM ET – One hour before lock and still waiting on a lot of news. I did add Mo Bamba to my FanDuel center list as the Magic just also ruled out Terrence Ross, so they are getting thin on bodies and Bamba’s blocks/steals ability plays better on FanDuel.

5:20 PM ET – Finally some news. Wendell Carter and Chuma Okeke are both out, meaning we should see Mo Bamba stick in the starting lineup. I still don’t know if this does much for DFS purposes with Paolo Banchero back. We did get word Max Strus is also out, so that thins Miami a bit. Still waiting to see what happens with Tyler Herro and Gabe Vincent though before I feel the Heat are solid targets.

4:40 PM ET – Just providing an update here…that I have no updates. It’s been quiet on the news front and with so many questionable players out there, I anticipate the news to come in a hurry this afternoon. Stay tuned but just wanted to circle back here that I’m waiting just like everyone else for the dominoes to fall.

1:20 PM ET – First round of tables are in. I’ve tagged Jose Alvarado and Collin Sexton as core plays across all sites as they are just too cheap. They are both cash game locks for now. I did put in my blurb some reservations I have about Sexton at high ownership in GPPs, but that’s something I’ll continue to explore as the day goes on. In terms of news, Steven Adams is now questionable so his potential absence would be a boost for Jonas Valanciunas on the other side. Eric Gordon got ruled out so that should help Tari Eason. Max Strus got upgraded to questionable which makes me like MIA less now if he plays (we’re still waiting on Herro news). The Spurs ruled out both Doug McDermott and Josh Richardson while Zach Collins will play, but that doesn’t really move the needle for me.

8:40 AM ET: Good Morning, Grinders. Hope you had a good Thanksgiving Day. I’m filling in for Andy once again and we have a massive 13-game slate on our hands.

Let’s take a quick overview of this slate. As always, you can find the latest injury news on our Situation Room page. Here are some key spots I’m eyeing:

PHI vs ORLJames Harden, Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey and Matisse Thybulle all remain out. The 76ers have been a team I’ve been targeting lately but it looks like the sites have adjusted the pricing for everyone’s new roles. On DK, both De’Anthony Melton and Tobias Harris are now in the $8K range, while Shake Milton is now $6,000 and Paul Reed is up to $4,800. There’s still potentially value in Milton’s and Reed’s price tags if they have ceiling games, but they will absolutely need to break their median projections now to pay off these salaries. On FD, we see a similar price surge with Harris at $8,000, Melton at $7,900, Milton at $6,400 and Reed at $6,000. Holy Inflation! This might be a spot where we look elsewhere on such a big slate for value. On the Magic side, Paolo Banchero is probable to return with Wendell Carter questionable, meaning if both return we could also be looking at the end of value in Orlando.

WAS vs MIA – These two teams played each other on Wednesday and the Wizards were down several key players in that game. All of Bradley Beal, Monte Morris and Rui Hachimura enter Friday with questionable tags. Below is the Game Flow Tracker from that game for the Wizards’ side and we see Jordan Goodwin and Corey Kispert starting for Monte Morris and Bradley Beal, while Will Barton pushed for 30 minutes to help fill the Rui Hachimura role. One big takeaway for me is that Goodwin didn’t close and finished with just 24 minutes, so even if he starts again should one or both of Beal/Morris sit, there’s a chance his ceiling is somewhat capped if he continues to lose a final rotation. Perhaps the big winners here if Beal can’t go are Kristaps Porzingis, Kyle Kuzma and Deni Avdija, who nearly posted a triple-double. On the Miami side, the Heat have already ruled out Jimmy Butler, Victor Oladipo and Omer Yurtseven, while both Max Strus and Duncan Robinson are doubtful. Tyler Herro, Gabe Vincent and Dewayne Dedmon are all questionable and the big name to monitor here is Herro. If he can’t go, I’ll have some interest in Bam Adebayo, although both he and Kyle Lowry have seen their salaries rise like 2022 gasoline prices because of all the injuries in Miami.

NOP vs MEM – This game is interesting because both sides are dealing with injuries to their rotation. Memphis has listed both Santi Aldama and John Konchar as questionable, while Desmond Bane remains out, so the Grizzlies could be looking at a thinner rotation. The big one here is on the Pelicans side with CJ McCollum entering H&S Protocols. Jose Alvarado started and played 30 minutes last game for McCollum, and assuming he starts, there’s some appeal here at just $3,800 on DK (he’s $4,700 on FD so slightly less exciting there although his ability to rack up steals plays better on that site). If you’re also into narratives, both Alvarado and Ja Morant got into it when these teams last faced off after they traded “too small” insults with each other (you can view it here on the RG Instagram account). Trey Murphy is also questionable and if he can’t suit up, that opens up even more usage for the rest of the team. CourtIQ shows that when McCollum has been off the court this season, Zion Williamson has received a team-high 5.6% usage increase and has averaged 1.45 fantasy points per minute, Jonas Valanciunas has averaged a team-high 1.52 fantasy points per minute, while Brandon Ingram has been at 1.26 fantasy points per minute. This is a spot to monitor whether 1) Murphy plays and whether 2) Jose Alvarado starts again. Here’s the CourtIQ run for you with McCollum out for reference.

UTA vs GS – It’s worth noting Mike Conley remains out, meaning we likely get another Collin Sexton start. Sexton is coming off a 35-minute, 36-fantasy point performance where he dished out a career high 12 assists yet his price remains just $4,600 on DK and $4,700 on FD so he should get some ownership. I’m still skeptical about this outlier performance as he didn’t even record any rebounds, blocks or steals in those 35 minutes and this is someone who has averaged a career 3 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 0.8 steals and 0.1 blocks per game. He’s scoring dependent but the good news is he’s facing a Warriors team that ranks 25th in defensive efficiency, so the matchup isn’t a daunting one. My initial thought is he’s going to be a strong cash game play but someone I may want to be underweight on for tournaments if his projected ownership gets out of hand, but I’ll wait to see where the industry buzz lands on him throughout the day.

DEN vs LAC – Both sides are dealing with injuries but the Nuggets are expected to get Jamal Murray back for this game after he sat last game. Michael Porter is also questionable and if he’s out, we could see Davon Reed get another start. Bruce Brown exploded like diarrhea last game but that was with the Nuggets all missing Murray, Porter and Bones Hyland. Hyland remains out but the potential return of Murray and Porter make Brown less appealing as he’d shift back to his bench role. As for the Clippers, they remain without Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Luke Kennard so players like Marcus Morris, Terance Mann, Norman Powell, Ivica Zubac and Reggie Jackson all hold some appeal at their price points.

I’ll be updating the charts no later than 2pm ET for the first round and will continue to update this article and my tags in LineupHQ throughout the day as news drops. Thanks for hanging with me today. Let’s hope variance is on our side this Friday.

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

8:40 AM ET: Good Morning, Grinders. Hope you had a good Thanksgiving Day. I’m filling in for Andy once again and we have a massive 13-game slate on our hands.

Let’s take a quick overview of this slate. As always, you can find the latest injury news on our Situation Room page. Here are some key spots I’m eyeing:

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About the Author

  • Allan Lem (fathalpert)

  • Allan Lem (aka “fathalpert”) began playing fantasy sports in high school and transitioned to DFS in 2015. He graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Economics and lives in California with his wife and two kids. Allan got his break in the industry covering Preseason NBA content and has since helped with NBA, Summer League, MLB, and Preseason NFL content as well as overseeing the RotoGrinders blog program. He dreams of winning a big tournament so he can try cashing one of those giant cardboard checks at his local bank. You can follow Allan on Twitter @allanlemdfs.

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