NBA DFS Core Plays LIVE: Monday, December 5th

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

4:27 PM ET: All of the notes are in and Andrew Wiggins has officially been ruled out. Unless something happens in the next little bit, I will catch you all on Crunch Time tonight!

3:33 PM ET: Initial run of the tables is up…I will go back in now to add some more notes. Any good cheap plays out there tonight??

2:08 PM ET: And Memphis coming in hot with our first big news-bomb of the day. On their injury report that was just released, the Grizzlies have all of these players either doubtful or out:

Ja Morant
Desmond Bane
Jaren Jackson
John Konchar
Jake LaRavia
Ziaire Williams
Danny Green

Note that Steven Adams is not on that list, so the expectation is that he will be available tonight.

1:14 PM ET: News is starting to trickle in a little bit. First there were some small pieces like Kenrich Williams (ruled out) and Justin Holiday (upgraded to available after clearing HS&P). And then the Celtics released their injury report, which has Al Horford (out) and Malcolm Brogdon (questionable) on it. Notably absent from it is Marcus Smart, so he should be good to go tonight.

8:55 AM ET: We start off the week with a right-in-my-wheelhouse eight-game slate. Four of the 16 teams are on the second night of a back-to-back, so let’s start there to see what we might be dealing with when it comes to injury/rest situations. Remember, injury reports for these teams are due in no later than 1:00 PM local time (of where the game is being played).

Boston Celtics: In last night’s win in Brooklyn, the Celtics continued to be without Robert Williams and Danilo Gallinari. Marcus Smart also sat out with a hip contusion, so it remains to be seen if that was just a back-to-back thing. Speaking of back-to-back things, Al Horford (33.25 minutes last night) hasn’t played on both legs of a back-to-back all season, so we are calling him doubtful and keeping him out of projections. It’s not entirely out of the question that we see one of the J’s pop up as questionable either. The last time the Celtics had a back-to-back set (11/27 & 11/28), Jayson Tatum sat out the first leg and Jaylen Brown sat out the second leg.

Memphis Grizzlies: In last night’s win in Detroit, the Grizzlies were without Desmond Bane, Danny Green, Ziaire Williams, Steven Adams, and Jake LaRavia. The first three of those are dealing with longer term injuries, so we already know they are out tonight. We’ll have to see about Adams and LaRavia though. I’m also curious if any of the guys that played last night pop up on tonight’s injury report. Ja Morant played 35 minutes last night, so it’s always possible they could take the cautious route with their franchise cornerstone. As for Jaren Jackson, this will be the first back-to-back set he will encounter this season since returning from injury. Will they sit him out tonight after he played 30 minutes last night? We shall see.

Phoenix Suns: In last night’s demolishing of the Spurs, the Suns were without the usual suspects Chris Paul, Cameron Johnson, and Jae Crowder. Torrey Craig also missed his second straight game with a groin strain. We know Crowder is out since he still is not with the team (and never will be again, apparently). Johnson is still recovering from his meniscus tear. CP3 has now missed 13 straight games with heel soreness as a result of getting caught with strays from Ye, so we are assuming he is out until we hear something to the contrary. The most likely scenario for them tonight is that we see the same bodies available that we saw last night, but we’ll wait and get confirmation on that later in the day.

Indiana Pacers: It was actually the Pacers who ended up being the newsiest team on last night’s slate. In their loss in Portland, they were without all of Tyrese Haliburton, TJ McConnell, Chris Duarte, and Daniel Theis. We know the latter two are out until further notice, and it was also announced prior to last night’s game that Haliburton would be out tonight as well. So that leaves us just monitoring McConnell (and any other random names that might pop up) when it comes to tonight’s game in Golden State. It will be a similarly tricky situation as last night, with this game starting 90 minutes after all seven other games will have tipped off. The Warriors are adding another layer of complexity to this too, as they have listed two of their top six guys as questionable (Wiggins & Poole).

So as you can see, there are plenty of moving parts on this slate if we simply focus in on those four teams. And then of course we still have a handful of other Q tags that we already know about: Paul George Kawhi Leonard, Luke Kennard, James Harden (although it sounds like he is definitely set to return tonight), Jimmy Butler, the two Warriors noted above, Mo Bamba, Brook Lopez, Grayson Allen, Christian Wood, and on and on and on.

That being said, we know the Pacers situation is going to result in them being the primary focus of the slate, specifically when it comes to salary relief. The price tags on guys like Andrew Nembhard, Bennedict Mathurin, and TJ McConnell (if he plays) are not even close to being accurately adjusted for life without Hali. So, we should already be feeling really good about where we are heading for cheap plays tonight.

But what about who we are spending up on? I think a lot of that discussion is going to depend on what happens in the news today. As a result, let’s see what the day brings us in that regard so we know who exactly we want to be surrounding our cheap Pacers.

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

8:55 AM ET: We start off the week with a right-in-my-wheelhouse eight-game slate. Four of the 16 teams are on the second night of a back-to-back, so let’s start there to see what we might be dealing with when it comes to injury/rest situations. Remember, injury reports for these teams are due in no later than 1:00 PM local time (of where the game is being played).

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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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