Saturday Night NBA DFS features a full-size slate this weekend. It’s a big one and you’re going to need a lot of screens. Let’s dig into some research and make some picks, as we gear up for the 10-game main slate that starts at 7 p.m. ET.
Tyrese Haliburton, Indiana Pacers at Miami Heat, $11,200 — It’s time to label Tyrese Haliburton as a superstar. The Pacers are not NBA Finals contenders, but they’re DFS heroes. The Pacers play at a breakneck speed and play little defense. They’re a DFS gift. The bow on top is Tyrese Haliburton. Miami presents a paced-down spot, but there isn’t such a thing for Indiana. Haliburton scored 72 DKFP against Miami on Thursday night. That was the fourth time he exceeded 65 DKFP in the last seven games. NOTE: Haliburton is listed as questionable Saturday. Download the DK Live app for lineup information and follow DK Network on Twitter @DKNetwork for breaking news around the NBA.
Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks at Milwaukee Bucks, $10,300 — This is the same as the Haliburton Saturday Dec. 2 NBA DFS Pick. The Hawks are fast paced and don’t play defense. Young’s game log is green, and it could get greener. The Bucks are a much better team, but they’re in the bottom 10 in Defensive Efficiency Rating. The Bucks also play at the sixth-fastest pace. The Hawks-Bucks game is a great matchup for targeting fantasy basketball studs on Saturday December 2.
Craig Porter Jr, Cleveland Cavaliers at Detroit Pistons, $3,500 — Here are the facts. There are 10 games on Saturday’s DraftKings NBA DFS main slate. Sunday is an off day for every team. Some players want an extended break. The NBA DFS value picks at the time of publish will be different than 30 minutes before lock. Nonetheless, Porter Jr. is the early fantasy pick at guard. Caris LeVert ($5,500) and Dean Wade ($3,400) are out on Saturday. That’s at least 50 minutes of action that must go somewhere. There are some massive over/unders on this slate, so targeting the Cavs-Pistons game is not idealistic. However, the total isn’t that low (224.5) and the Pistons aren’t great defensively.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks vs. Atlanta Hawks, $11,300 — As mentioned above, Hawks v. Bucks is for the studs. Neither team plays defense. Both teams push the pace. That’s all we need in NBA DFS. Giannis Antetokounmpo has scored over 60 DKFP in three straight and five of the last seven with a high of 75.75 DKFP.
Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat vs. Indiana Pacers, $9,100 — The story is the same here. Monitor the injury report. That’s always the case for Miami. Saturday’s report is significant. If Butler is in, he might be the best NBA DFS pick on the December 2, 2023 slate. The Pacers are the fastest team in the NBA and have the worst defense. Normally, a 241.0 total is extreme. Not this year. Not even today — the Bucks-Hawks game currently sits at 251.5. C Bam Adebayo ($9,300) is out and Tyler Herro is still out. Someone for the Heat is going to step up. The three-point spread suggests that this game will be close. That’s going to require Butler’s buckets. One last note about this game: The over is 15-2 (88.2%) in Pacers games this season. There will be points.
Patrick Williams, Chicago Bulls vs. New Orleans Pelicans, $5,400 — This game — like them all — will require close attention before lock on Saturday night. Most of the pieces have already fallen into place. Zach LaVine is out and DeMar DeRozan ($7,800) is questionable. With limited lineups, the lowly Bulls have allowed their lesser players to go off — Williams and C Andre Drummond ($4,300). Williams has exceeded 6x value in four of the last five games. He hit 7.4x on Tuesday Nov. 28 in a blowout loss to Boston. Last but not least, the Pelicans are on the second game of a back-to-back. There is a good reason to believe that New Orleans will sit their stars in this matchup. The Bulls could face a soft defense and an inadequate offense that provides opportunities for DFS stats.
Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets at Sacramento Kings, $12,700 — Domantas Sabonis ($9,900) is an elite big man, but he doesn’t play the best defense (115.0 Def. Eff. Rating). Regardless of the situation, Jokic is matchup proof. He’s averaging 1.8 fantasy points per minute. He’s closing in on an unheard of 2.0 FPPM this season. The Joker ranks inside the top 10 in points (eighth), rebounds (first) and assists (third). What more can you ask for?
Walker Kessler, Utah Jazz vs. Portland Trail Blazers, $6,000 — This game could fly under the radar. It all depends on the injury report. The initial injury report favors Jazz value. Kelly Olynyk ($4,900) is questionable, and Lauri Markkanen and Jordan Clarkson are out. The Jazz are two-point favorites at home. Someone is going to score DFS points on Saturday. Kessler is an efficent performer. He averages 1.2 FPPM across 24.5 minutes per game. That’s a normal night when his minutes are limited and his role is limited by the stars in the rotation. Those limitation will not be in place on Saturday night.
Kevin Love, Miami Heat vs. Indiana Pacers, $5,100 — There are a ton of studs on this slate. There are high-scoring games on this slate. Savings are necessary. There will be plenty and hopefully less risky options. C Bam Adebayo is out for the third game this week. C Thomas Bryant ($4,500) has started two of those games. He hit once and flopped last Saturday vs. the Nets on Nov. 25. Love has scored over 23 DKFP in five of the last seven games. He scored 26 DKFP on the Pacers on Thursday Nov. 30. He did not exceed 20 minutes but that’s a lot of points for a 6.5% usage rate. Love rarely flashes upside, but he still has it and this is a matchup — before a day off — where Love could unload the clip.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is greenflagradio2) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.