Welcome back guys. Alex here, and I am back with my DraftKings NBA picks for December 1st, 2017. Friday night’s slate is a solid slate with eight games on tap . Be sure to follow all of the injury news tonight, all the way up until the 7:00PM EST lock, to see if any new injury news comes up. As always if any of these picks help you win or if you need any advice, let me know on Twitter. @Hunta512.
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PG: Russell Westbrook: (11,400) Westbrook has been dominating as of late, averaging 66.5 DK points over his last five starts. His rates have slowly been on the rise, as he is averaging a 34.8% usage and a 41.8% assist percentage during this span, resulting in an excellent 1.6 DK points per minute. Westbrook was initially listed as questionable for tonight’s game with a hand injury, but he went through a full practice Thursday and is expected to be a full go for tonight’s match-up vs The Wolves. The Wolves may have some big names, but they have been a weak defense this season, ranking 24th in defensive efficiency.
His individual match-up may also get even better, if Wolves’ starting PG Jeff Teague (Achilles) is out for his third straight game, putting the smaller Tyus Jones as The Wolves starting PG. Regardless if its Jones or Teague starting opposite of Westbrook, he has a great chance of continuing this run vs this Wolves defense. (1.83 opponent +/-) His price tag is increasing to where it should be, but he still is a very strong value at this high salary that presents tremendous safety and upside. If spending up, Westbrook is by far my favorite option on Friday night.
PG: Michael Carter-Williams: (4,400) Starting PG Kemba Walker hasn’t been officially ruled out, but all signs are pointing to him sitting out another game with a shoulder injury that is still apparently bothering him. Wednesday, in Walker’s first missed game of the season, Carter-Williams drew the start and shot an abysmal 1-10 from the field, but still managed a solid 21.5 DK points in 32 minutes of action. His rates were very encouraging as a starter, posting a team high 27% usage rate, and a very solid 23.8% assist percentage.
In the event that Walker sits tonight’s game out, which I think is very likely, MCW should get the starting nod once again. His match-up at a first glance is ugly, as The Heat allow the fifth least DK points to PGs this season, but they just lost starting center Hassan Whiteside (knee) for a few weeks. Whiteside missed their last game, and their defense looked lost, allowing 115 points to a Knicks team that had lost their best player, PF Kirstaps Porzinigs (ankle) early in the game. Carter-Williams is scoring 0.88 DK points per minute with Walker off the court and if he can find any rhythm with his shot, he should easily top five times value in 30-35 minutes.
C: Bam Adebayo: (4,100) It wasn’t anything flashy, but Adebayo was solid starting for Hassan Whiteside (knee) Wednesday night, putting up 18.75 DK points vs The Knicks. The most encouraging thing about this was that he logged 30.3 minutes in this loss, even though the game got out of hand towards the end. Whiteside has been officially ruled out again for tonight, which will keep the rookie out of Kentucky as The Heat’s starting center vs The Hornets. The individual matchup vs Hornets starting center Dwight Howard obviously isn’t appealing (1.52 opponent +/-), but Adebayo is the only player left on this roster that can truly matchup with Howard physically. If he can stay out of serious foul trouble, which is likely as he is only averaging 3.3 fouls per 36 minutes, the rookie should approach 30 minutes once again on Friday night. He is scoring 0.73 DK points per minute this year, and with the amount of playing time I am expecting, Adebayo should top 20 DK points, with 30-35 DK point upside. His PF/C edibility makes him a friendly option for this slate, and I am fine with him in both cash games and GPPs this evening.
Back up center Kelly Olynyk is also in play at $4,400. He had a productive game in Whiteside’s absence on Wednesday, putting up 28.75 DK points in 25 minutes off the bench. He is the better fantasy player, averaging just over one DK point a minute and his usage has increased 2.9 in the games that Whiteside has missed this year. Olynyk has the better upside and is the better GPP target, but in cash games, I prefer taking the discount with the starter, in Adebayo.
PG: Elfrid Payton: (6,100) Payton was huge in Wednesday’s win over The Thunder, putting up a line of 19 points, six assists, five rebounds, four steals, and a block in 31 minutes. (43.25 DK points) Tonight, The Magic will remain at home to take on another tough Western Conference team, The Warriors. The spread of this game is scary, with The Warriors favored by 11 points, but this is the highest O/U game total of the night at 227 points. Over the last two seasons when Payton has competed in a home game that has an O/U game total of at least 220 points, he is averaging 36.8 DK points, in a sample size of four games.
The Warriors are one of the better defenses in the league (-0.73 opponent +/-), but they play at a faster pace than The Magic, which is perfect for Payton’s game. This is a 3.1 possession increase for The Magic, and in the last 20 games Payton has seen a possession increase of three or more, he is exceeding expectations by 3.94 DK points. He is a very hard player to predict, making him a better GPP option, but the upside is immense for Payton at this decently cheap price in this high scoring affair.
Also Consider: Lance Stephenson (his role is growing, and he has now scored 20+ DK points in five straight games), Alec Burks (if Raul Neto and Rodney Hood are out again, Burks becomes a very intriguing play at $3,600. Last night with both guards out, went off for 53.25 DK points in 28 minutes off the bench in the win over The Clippers), Andrew Harrison (only if Chalmers is out, 24 DK points in 24 minutes last game without Rio), Tyreke Evans (also better if Chalmers is out), Kris Dunn, Otto Porter Jr., Nicholas Batum (better if Walker out), Domantas Sabonis (would likely start if Myles Turner was out and would become a strong value play. He is averaging 32 DK points in the seven games Turner missed this year), James Johnson (GPP play with Whiteside out), Kelly Olynyk (above), Ricky Rubio (better if Hood and Neto are out), and Nick Young/Andre Iguodala (if Klay Thompson is out, the three other Warriors who were questionable have already been upgraded to probable, but Thompson has not).