NBA DFS Core Plays LIVE: Wednesday, November 23rd

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

6:30 PM ET – That’s it for me, I’ll turn it over to the Crunch Time team. I’ll monitor my tags throughout lock. Thanks for hanging with me today and may variance be on your side. Happy Thanksgiving!

6:15 PM ET – Okay, charts are updated. The main takeaway is the Raptors are down to 10 players, with no guard depth now. All of Barnes/VanVleet/Banton out means we should see as much Gary Trent and Malachi Flynn handling the ball as possible. I’ve tagged Flynn as a core play across the industry assuming he starts, and our projection team is projecting him that way. On DK I removed the core tag on Shake Milton (who I still like) and placed it on Paul Reed. I think Reed on DK makes sense as a punt play while you can focus your guard punt play on someone like Flynn. We’ll need to wait to see who starts for Toronto but they become the team to target for value now.

6:00 PM ET – Here comes the news. Jayson Tatum is in with no limitations. Fred VanVleet and Scottie Barnes are now out. Going to wait for projections to update but this leaves the Raptors with 10 players and guys like Malachi Flynn are going to shoot up the rankings.

5:30 PM ET – I really thought we’d be getting more news by now but we haven’t. Isaiah Jackson is ruled out, which makes Jalen Smith a stronger GPP option in my mind. Dalano Banton was ruled out but the Raptors are still listing Scottie Barnes as questionable. Stay tuned as I expect a bunch of news coming soon but so far, nothing has shaken this slate up.

4:20 PM ET: – Nothing groundbreaking here but the Spurs upgraded Jakob Poeltl to available but downgraded Zach Collins and Josh Richardson to out. This basically makes the Spurs uninteresting to me as their main guys should play here and there’s not much value we can target.

1:30 PM ET: First round of tables are in, and I’ve tagged my core plays in LineupHQ. I’ve tagged Marcus Morris and Jordan Clarkson on FD, while I’ve tagged Shake Milton and Ben Simmons on DK. We’re still waiting on news but so far we’ve heard that Spencer Dinwiddie is expecting to play, which means that massive usage bump I was eyeing for Luka Doncic likely won’t come. We also got word Max Strus is out, which thins the Heat a bit more (we’re still waiting to see what happens with Tyler Herro and Gabe Vincent).

9:00 AM ET: Good Morning, Grinders. I’m going to be filling in for Andy today and Friday during this holiday weekend to give him a much needed break. We have a massive 12-game slate on tap for tonight so it’s fair to expect a chaotic slate. Let’s start with a macro view of this slate. There are five teams on the backend of a back-to-back: PHI, BKN, SAC, DEN and DET.

PHI has already ruled out James Harden, Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey for this game against the Hornets, so they remain short-handed. All of Tobias Harris, Shake Milton and De’Anthony Melton have appeal given the lack of bodies, and Paul Reed posted a monster 19 point, 10 rebound double-double over 31 minutes off the bench yesterday so he’s firmly on the GPP radar. My guess is Reed gains steam over the day as people notice what he did yesterday, while someone like Shake Milton also gains steam as a popular cash game option as he’s the cheapest starting piece on the 76ers.

DEN actually had all of Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray and Bones Hyland play on Tuesday, meaning they are getting close to full health with the exception of Jeff Green (O) and Ish Smith (Q). DEN has been a team we’ve been targeting for value via Bones Hyland and Bruce Brown, but with their prices rising and the Nuggets now getting their stars back, the value has disappeared.

As for BKN, SAC and DET, there’s nothing too notable here but we’ll have to monitor if they decide to sit any players on the B2B, in which case we could get some value. Stay tuned here.

Let’s touch on some news and notes from other teams:

BOSJayson Tatum is questionable with an ankle sprain. If he can’t suit up, it’s likely one of Malcolm Brogdon or Derrick White starts in his place. This season with Tatum off the court, Jaylen Brown has averaged a ridiculous 37.5% usage rate and averages a team-high 1.31 fantasy points per minute. He’d be my primary target if Tatum can’t go. You can find the CourtIQ run here with Tatum OFF: https://rotogrinders.com/courtiq/SRT0K.

CHALaMelo Ball remains out so Terry Rozier and Gordon Hayward should be locked into bigger roles, but their prices don’t offer much value.

CLECaris LeVert is out and Kevin Love is questionable, which isn’t too impactful other than provide us with some value options in guys like Cedi Osman, who should see an expanded role in the second unit.

DALSpencer Dinwiddie is questionable due to a dislocated shoulder. CourtIQ shows that when Dinwiddie has been off the court this season, Luka Doncic has seen a 3.1% usage increase, which is crazy considering it brings his usage rate up to 41.5%. My guess is Frank Ntilikina, Tim Hardaway and Josh Green all see additional minutes to cover his role if he’s out, but the real winner here would be Luka. Here’s the CourtIQ run with Dinwiddie OFF if you wanted to dig into it further: https://rotogrinders.com/courtiq/AQDRU.

LAC – The Clippers will be without Paul George, Kawhi Leonard and Luke Kennard, meaning LAC will be a team we should be able to target for some salary relief. Our Starting Lineups page is projecting a starting lineup of Jackson, Mann, Powell, Morris and Zubac, with Powell being a strong option in all formats coming off two strong performances and just $5,300 on DK and $5,100 on FD.

MIAJimmy Butler remains out but all of Tyler Herro, Max Strus and Gabe Vincent are now questionable. The Heat have been a team we’ve been targeting due to them being short-handed but if one or more of the questionable players return, it does make it harder to target the Heat as their prices have been rising during this period. If all three get ruled out, I’d have interest in Bam Adebayo while Kyle Lowry is still somewhat GPP-relevant but would need a ceiling game to pay off his price tag.

PORDamian Lillard remains out making Anfernee Simons a GPP-option, although his price tag reflects his new role. Simons is still potentially underpriced but I’d much prefer taking shots on him on DK at $7,600 as opposed to on FD at $8,300.

SASJakob Poeltl is questionable and if he can’t go again, we likely see Gorgui Dieng start while Zach Collins and Charles Bassey soak up the backup center minutes. On such a big slate I don’t think this moves the needle, especially with Collins now back to add more depth in their rotation.

TORScottie Barnes and Dalano Banton are both questionable, which is pretty big news considering the Raptors are already without Pascal Siakam, Precious Achiuwa and Otto Porter. I ran some CourtIQ data when all of Siakam/Achiuwa/Porter/Barnes have been off the court this season and the sample is just too small to draw many conclusions from. I’d wait to see what our projections team lands on if Barnes can’t go, but my guess is Fred VanVleet would start to pop while guys like OG Anunoby, Chris Boucher and Gary Trent enter the GPP conversation. This is a spot we’ll want to monitor closely.

UTAMike Conley remains out, making Collin Sexton an interesting punt option as he likely continues to start. Talen Horton-Tucker and Malik Beasley would also hold more appeal off the bench but they might be thin value plays on such a large slate. This is a wait-and-see spot for me.

WASBradley Beal, Monte Morris and Rui Hachimura are all questionable. Obviously all eyes will be on Beal’s status, as his absence would open up a ton of usage for the Wizards. This season when Beal is off the court, CourtIQ shows Kristaps Porzingis has averaged 1.3 fantasy points per minute while Kyle Kuzma has averaged 1.1 fantasy points per minute. Someone like Jordan Goodwin could also be an interesting GPP dart throw if Beal is out. Here’s the CourtIQ run for Beal OFF but we’ll want to wait for more news here: https://rotogrinders.com/courtiq/7NG8X.

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.

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

9:00 AM ET: Good Morning, Grinders. I’m going to be filling in for Andy today and Friday during this holiday weekend to give him a much needed break. We have a massive 12-game slate on tap for tonight so it’s fair to expect a chaotic slate. Let’s start with a macro view of this slate. There are five teams on the backend of a back-to-back: PHI, BKN, SAC, DEN and DET.

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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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