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Fantasy Basketball Value Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Bargain Plays for December 2

Garion Thorne breaks down his top DraftKings value plays for Friday’s NBA slate.

We are just over three weeks away from Christmas. The season is truly speeding past us. Still, while you’re all fretting over gifts for friends and family, I’m focused on the present. I’m focused on the gift that is affordable, high-ceiling DFS assets. You’re welcome, America.

We’ve got an 11-game slate on Friday night. Let’s dive in.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA $350K Fadeaway [$100K to 1st]

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SF Jarrett Culver, Atlanta Hawks vs. Denver Nuggets, $3,700

Remember Culver? He’s back. In pog form. We are almost four years removed from the night Culver was selected sixth-overall in the 2019 Draft, but the 23-year-old, now on his third NBA team, is still trying to carve out a role in the league. Well, thanks to a boatload of injuries in Atlanta, he might’ve found his golden opportunity. On Wednesday, with Justin Holiday (health protocols) sidelined and both De’Andre Hunter (hip) and John Collins (ankle) limited due to injuries, it was Culver who led the Hawks’ reserves in minutes played (29.9). It wasn’t empty volume, either. Despite an underwhelming 15.1% usage rate, Culver managed to post 29.0 DKFP due primarily to his work on the glass — the forward grabbed 12 rebounds. While the possible return of Bogdan Bogdanovic ($5,200; knee) could add another healthy body to Atlanta’s depleted rotation on Friday, I still think Culver gets a good amount of run for the second straight contest.

C Mamadi Diakite, Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Orlando Magic, $3,000

Even with Wendell Carter Jr. (foot) injured, you know the Magic are going to play big on Friday evening. It’s just what they do. So, to combat that, I’d have to assume that Diakite gets his second start of the season for Cleveland. The Virginia product was solid in his first go-around in the Cavaliers’ starting five on Wednesday, registering 16.0 DKFP in 22.6 minutes of action. Heck, the big man even hit a pair of three-pointers in the blowout win against the 76ers. Is Diakite’s upside particularly high? No. However, he’s at the absolute bare minimum price point, and Cleveland is desperate for some help in the frontcourt with Jarrett Allen (back) ruled out and Kevin Love ($4,900; thumb) doubtful. Plus, it’s a fantastic matchup for every single Cavaliers player. Over its past five games, no Eastern Conference team is surrendering more points per 100 possessions than Orlando (122.1). Yikes.

PG/SG Andrew Nembhard, Indiana Pacers at Utah Jazz, $3,700

There’s a couple things to mull over when it comes to Nembhard’s viability. First and foremost, the rookie guard has been playing quite a bit since returning from a four-game absence due to a knee injury. In fact, Nembhard is averaging 27.5 minutes in his past two games — a span that includes his impressive performance against the Lakers. Still, the young Canadian won’t truly be an option on this slate until we find out the status of Tyrese Haliburton ($9,600; groin). If the soon-to-be All-Star is forced to sit, look for Nembhard to see pretty notable gains in both usage and minutes against a Jazz squad that owns the worst defensive rating in basketball across its last eight contests (121.2). T.J. McConnell ($3,800) would also be a great option if Haliburton is ruled out. McConnell is averaging 1.01 DKFP per minute with Haliburton off the floor in 2022-23.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA $350K Fadeaway [$100K to 1st]

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) 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.