• We are almost at the end of the season, but there is still important DFS to be played! Some teams are making final pushes for playoff seeding, some teams are tanking, and other teams aren’t exactly sure what they’re doing which can lead to wacky rotations. The plays I have outlined below all play predictable minutes and should have valuable games tonight. Let’s take a look at the locks.

     

    Point Guard

    John Wall ($9,200)

    It’s been awhile since I’ve liked a play as much as I like John Wall tonight. Clearly, his matchup tonight against Utah is not ideal, but the matchup is all that’s keeping him from being significantly more expensive. John Wall is having an awesome season, especially lately. As the Wizards try for an outside shot at the two seed, they will need Wall’s stellar play for the remainder of the regular season.

    Over his last five games, John has been a monster. His usage in those games is 34.7% with a 49.5% assist rate and a 6.8% rebound rate. If he keeps those same rates tonight, he’ll blow past 5x his price. In each of those five games, he scored 50+ DraftKings points in all except one, a game against Brooklyn in which Wall only played 24 minutes. In the four games in that span that exclude Brooklyn, Wall took 20+ shots in every game.

    Though the Jazz are a strong team defensively and play at a slow pace, John Wall is playing at a level that warrants a higher price tag. He is a terrific play in cash games and in tournaments.

     

    Shooting Guard

    Malcolm Brogdon (NOW RULED OUT: See Update) ($5,200)

    The ROY-candidate hit a beauty to help secure a win against the Celtics on Wednesday. This shot was replayed on TV and on Twitter for the rest of the night, but this was just a small glimpse into how effective Brogdon has been for the Bucks. He is locked into a starting spot and playing right about 30 minutes every night.

    Tonight Milwaukee plays Detroit in a game with big playoff implications for the Bucks. Currently, the Bucks are a 9.5 point favorite and the game has a Vegas total of 200.5. The pace in this game is going to be slow, yet Brogdon is a strong play despite the pace. Even with Giannis and Khris Middleton battling him for shots, Brogdon has averaged an 17.7% usage rate in his last nine games in the starting lineup.

    Over the last four games, his usage has averaged 20.2% which is about where I am expecting it to remain tonight. In addition to his scoring, Brogdon has been assisting and rebounding efficiently lately, averaging 7.5 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game in his last four. His balanced stat lines have led to seven straight games of 20+ DraftKings points. I like Brogdon tonight as a high floor cash game play. I will have limited exposure in tournaments.

    UPDATE: Malcolm Brogdon has unexpectedly been ruled out of tonight’s game with a back injury. Do not play him in any formats.

    Small Forward

    Paul George ($8,000)

    I really like John Wall tonight, but Paul George gives him a serious run for his money as play of the night. The Pacers are right on the playoff bubble and have a winnable game tonight against Toronto. To win, Indiana will need a strong performance from PG where he should be on the floor for 36+ minutes.

    In almost every Pacers game, George’s usage hangs around 30%. In fact, his usage has not dipped below 27% in over ten games. He also has 34+ DraftKings points in nine of his last ten games with a few huge totals like his 58.25 point night two games ago against Minnesota.

    His floor is extremely high tonight and so is his ceiling. Unless the Raptors get hot and pull away from the Pacers, George should have plenty of floor time to make an impact. I will be rostering him every format tonight. He is such an elite play that I may refer to him as Joe Flacco until the next slate.

     

    Power Forward

    LaMarcus Aldridge ($7,000)

    I just keep writing up LaMarcus almost every night. I still do not understand why his price is as low as it is on DraftKings, but I am not complaining. He has scored 31+ DraftKings points in eight straight games and his production will not slow down as the Spurs battle the Warriors for the top seed in the Western Conference.

    Tonight the Spurs take on the Thunder in what should be a fast game. Coach Pop is surely expecting a sharp game out of his squad tonight following a collapse to the Warriors on Wednesday. During that game on Wednesday, I thought Kawhi looked off and that’s not just from his shooting percentage. He was sloppy with some passes and did not look like himself. I am in no way suggesting that something is off with Kawhi moving forward, but if there is any carry-over tonight with Kawhi’s shot being off, he may look for his shot less which could mean a bump in usage for Aldridge.

    Even without any usage spike, Aldridge should be fine. He’s playing about 34 minutes per night with a usage rate around 25% and rebounding at about a 13% rate. Additionally, the Thunder are 29th ranked against power forwards in DraftKings points. I’m rolling with Aldridge yet again tonight.

     

    Center

    Enes Kanter ($4,800)

    Here is another instance of a guy whose price just won’t increase when it should. Enes is cheap again tonight because the Thunder play the Spurs, but I am still going to fire him up even in a bad matchup. His usage rate and rebounding rate are off the charts, and being awful at defense does not count against us in DFS.

    At 27.3% usage and 17.8% rebounding (season averages in each), it’s hard for Kanter to not rack up DraftKings points even in limited playing time. In nine of his last ten games, he has scored 20+ DraftKings points. One of those games was actually against San Antonio in which he scored 27 DraftKings points in 24 minutes on 6/10 shooting.

    Due to his low playing time, I’d minimize my exposure to Kanter in tournaments. But he is an excellent cash game play tonight just like many other nights.

Fantasy News

  • Jimmy Butler
    SG, Miami Heat

    Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald is reporting that a third Heat player has tested positive for COVID-19.

    Derrick Jones Jr. is the only known player, though Jackson adds that the two latest cases are both rotation players. Florida is in terrible shape at the moment and the Heat may need to enter the bubble without three of their rotation options — those players may still join the team later but will miss out on valuable practice time. The NBA is going full steam ahead on their restart plans but the virus is going to determine whether or not things actually unfold according to plan.

    Source: Barry Jackson on Twitter

  • Landry Shamet
    SG, Los Angeles Clippers

    Shams Charania reports that Landry Shamet has tested positive for COVID-19 and is unlikely to join the Clippers for their trip to Orlando this week.

    That leaves the door open for Shamet to rejoin the team closer to the season's restart, assuming he is feeling okay. Just yesterday it was announced that the Clippers closed their facilities after a positive test, so it appears Shamet's case was the culprit. The sharpshooter is averaging 27.5 minutes per game this season so if he's forced to sit out the Orlando restart it could have big ramifications on LA's backcourt rotation.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • LeBron James
    SF, Los Angeles Lakers

    The NBA has released its schedule of scrimmages for the Orlando restart, with games beginning on July 22.

    The league has tried to match up teams that are unlikely opponents for these scrimmages so nobody gets a really good look at what a potential playoff matchup might want to run. For example, the first day of scrimmages will see the Nuggets face the Wizards, the Nets take on the Pelicans, the Clippers against the Magic and the Kings vs. the Heat. Scrimmages will run through July 28.

    Source: Chris Haynes on Twitter

  • Caris LeVert
    PG-SG, Brooklyn Nets

    Caris LeVert embraces challenge of being a leader.

    LeVert has been an active participant in the racial inequality protests and admitted that basketball is very minor right now compared to everything else going on in the world but is ready for the NBA restart saying, "For me, it’s just taking on that challenge of being a leader, being the leader of that group, going down there with some of the most experience on the team, playoff experience." In the 16 games since rejoining the starting lineup, LeVert has put up All-Star numbers with 24.1 points, 4.8 rebounds and 5.3 assists, while shooting 41.7 percent from three-point range and leading the Nets to a 9-7 record over that span. The upward trajectory continues for the Nets' 20th overall pick in the 2016 draft.

    Source: Newsday

  • Jordan Crawford
    SG, Free Agent

    Jordan Crawford has agreed to a deal with Russia's Lokomotiv Kuban.

    Crawford last played in the NBA for the Pelicans in 2018 with career averages of 12.2 points, 2.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 24.4 minutes. The career journeyman has played for five NBA teams since 2010 with a few stints with China in between. Since the beginning of 2019, he has played in Israel, China, Germany and now we can add Russia to that list.

    Source: Sportando

  • Lance Stephenson
    SG, Free Agent

    Lance Stephenson is ineligible to sign with the Pacers according to Scott Agness.

    Stephenson to the Pacers was being discussed in early March and made sense now with Victor Oladipo choosing to sit out the remainder of the season but this move apparently will not happen. The 29-year old Stephenson spent this past season in China where he averaged 26.7 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.8 assists for the CBA's Flying Leopards.

    Source: Scott Agness on Twitter

  • Anthony Davis
    PF-C, Los Angeles Lakers

    Anthony Davis has high expectations for the Lakers when they resume play later in July in Orlando, citing the long layoff as a favorable development for his squad.

    As if the Lakers weren't already squarely in the hunt for an NBA championship. When speaking to ESPN's Dave McMenamin, Davis said that he believes their "chances are higher just because we’re all rested and we’re all ready to go.” Depth seems to be the most glaring issue potentially facing the Lakers as they prepare to make the trip to Disney World, as defensive stalwart Avery Bradley recently opted out of the remainder of the season. Bradley was subsequently replaced by well-traveled veteran guard J.R. Smith (who has a long history of playoff runs alongside LeBron James with the Cavs), but the team is still unsure of veteran center Dwight Howard's status the rest of the way. Other than Howard, the Lakers' roster is seemingly set for Orlando. Davis sounds like he's ready to rock, however.

    Source: ESPN

  • Deng Adel
    PF, Brooklyn Nets

    Deng Adel, who played 19 games for the Cavs last season as a two-way player, is being pursued by the Illawara Hawks of Australia's NBL, which, notably was the team 18-year-old LaMelo Ball played for last season (and has attempted to purchase).

    Adel had two short stints before last season with the Rockets and Nets in the Summer League and the preseason, respectively. He was originally a standout at Louisville but went undrafted in 2018 before hitching on with the Cavs on a two-way pact. This season he had been playing for the Long Island Nets, the Nets' G League affiliate, prior to the pause and ultimately the end of the G League season. Adel had registered averages of 11.1 points, 4.2 boards and 2.6 assists to that point. Also of note, Adel spent the lion's share of his childhood in Australia after his family moved from South Sudan around the time he was eight.

    Source: Sportando

  • Darius Miller
    SF, New Orleans Pelicans

    Darius Miller is unsure if he will be able to play in Orlando, as he continues to recover from a torn a ruptured right Achillies.

    Due to the lockdown, Miller has been unable to participate in any live-action, or else he would have played in 3-on-3 or 5-on-5 by now. At this point, it would be surprising for the Pelicans to risk his health by pushing for him to participate in the eight-game regular season.

    Source: Will Guillory on Twitter

  • JJ Redick
    SG, New Orleans Pelicans

    J.J. Redick has intentionally lost 10 pounds since the quarantine began.

    Redick's goal was to get back to his playing weight during his college days at Duke, and it's not a surprise that one of the most dedicated workers in the league was able to drop weight during the coronavirus pandemic. Redick's shooting will be sorely needed when the Pelicans try to chase down the Grizzlies for a playoff spot, but if he does not come out of the gates making an impact the Pelicans are likely to shift to another hot hand on their deep roster. Redick has only seen 26.4 minutes per game this season, and that is going to limit his impact to strictly 3-pointers (2.9 per game).

    Source: Daniel Sallerson on Twitter