April 4, 2017, 7:37 pm
As the season winds down, DFS is as crazy at it has been all season. With the increased variance, you may want to consider the way you wager tonight. I will be playing tournaments more heavily than usual tonight and lowering my cash game wagers. To perform well in tournaments tonight, I believe you need Harden and a few cheap value plays. Below are suggestions for you to consider when constructing your lineups.
Tyler Ulis ($7,600)
I’m thoroughly impressed with the Phoenix Suns tanking lately. They have lost 12 games in a row and can likely be chalked up for another loss tonight against the Warriors. Now, at the time this article is being written, the Warriors have announced Draymond and Andre Iguodala will be out. If more Warriors are ruled out, then this becomes a tough game for Phoenix to lose. Regardless of who the Warriors rest, Ulis is in play.
He nearly triple-doubled against the Rockets last game with a 34-9-9 line and 60.25 DraftKings points. His rebounding in that game was higher than we can expect tonight, but his usage rate and assist rate were right about his season average in each. Additionally, that game had an unbelievably high pace and Ulis shot better than he normally will (15/22) from the field. While he will likely not score 60+ DraftKings points tonight, a 40-point game is reasonable.
Ulis is running close to 40 minutes per night, so he will need to score about a DraftKings point per minute to hit value. For the season, Ulis is scoring .87 DraftKings points per minute, and considering his role expansion lately, a higher rate is probable tonight. Also, the Warriors are a fast-paced team, further increasinh the likelihood of a more productive game. I expect a strong performance from Ulis tonight and will be playing him in cash games.
James Harden ($12,500)
MVP? James Harden will look to solidify his MVP bid tonight in what should be an entertaining, high-scoring affair against the Denver Nuggets. Beard sat out last game against the Suns with illness, but he is fully expected to suit up tonight. The Nuggets rank 29th against point guards and shooting guards, so Harden does not have to worry about much defense especially since the Nuggets are no longer in contention for a playoff spot.
I expect James Harden to pop off tonight and work towards a monster stat line. He needs to compete with Westbrook’s statistics for his MVP candidacy and he knows it. Over his last three games, he is rebounding at a 15.9% rate. For the season, his rebound rate is 12.2%. Three games is a small sample size, but Harden appears to be making an effort to crash the glass in recent games. Whether you believe he is consciously trying to pad his stats or not, his production lately should convince you that he is an elite play tonight.
His shooting lately is horrendous, but his ability to pass and rebound has bailed out DraftKings owners. In his most recent two games, Harden has shot 4/18 and 11/30. Yet, Harden scored 45.5 and 46 DraftKings points in those games. Three games ago, he shot 5/20 and scored 61.25 DraftKings points. His floor is incredibly high even on a bad shooting night. If the shots are falling tonight, he could have a juicy stat line.
Matt Barnes ($3,400)
Matt Barnes could be a difference maker in DraftKings lineups tonight. Barnes is playing roughly 20-24 minutes per night with Draymond and Andre in the rotation, so I expect a bump with both guys resting. In the infamous game Draymond and Iggy rested against San Antonio, Barnes played 35 minutes. If he gets as many as 30 minutes tonight against Phoenix, he will burn you if you fade him.
Barnes is shooting more than half of his shots from behind the arc, and though his shooting is not particularly impressive, he is still scoring fantasy points because he rebounds efficiently. In that game against the Spurs, Barnes scored 33.25 DraftKings points on 4/11 shooting. His total was boosted by his 9 rebounds and 5 assists. Tonight’s matchup is much faster and easier than a game in San Antonio, so he could post 35-40 DraftKings points if given the run.
Even at a conservative minutes projection, Barnes should score 6x his price. Play him in all formats.
James Michael McAdoo ($3,000)
If you are planning to play Harden as I suggested above, you need a few cheap players to round out the lineup. McAdoo is an interesting option given the Warriors thin rotation tonight. Against the Spurs (when the Warriors rested most of their team), McAdoo played almost 23 minutes and scored 22.25 DraftKings points on 2/7 shooting.
In that game, he did have two steals and two blocks. This inflates his scoring slightly since he typically will not block and steal as efficiently, but he is an athletic player who could register a similar total tonight in each category. McAdoo’s usage for the season is 14.2% and he rebounds at a 10.6% rate. If he is on the floor for 20+ minutes tonight with similar usage and rebounding, he will easily exceed value against the Suns.
However, due to the potential unpredictability of his minutes, I recommend him tonight for tournaments only.
DeAndre Jordan ($7,100)
From a pace perspective, tonight’s matchup with Dallas is not perfect for DFS. Nonetheless, Jordan is playing exceptionally well right now and the Mavs are a terrible rebounding team. The Mavericks are going to have a tough time keeping DeAndre from racking up about 15 rebounds.
About two weeks ago, the Clippers played Dallas. In that game, Jordan had 14 points and 18 rebounds in about 35 minutes. In two of his last three games, DeAndre has played 38+ minutes. The Clippers still need to play for playoff seeding, so Doc Rivers may continue to rely on DJ for heavy minutes down the final stretch of the season. He has scored 32+ DraftKings points in 9 of his last 10 games, and tonight should be no different. Own some Jordan shares tonight.
July 4, 2020, 9:35 amCaris LeVertPG-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.
July 4, 2020, 9:16 amJordan CrawfordSG, 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.
July 4, 2020, 8:13 amLance StephensonSG, 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
July 3, 2020, 10:10 pmAnthony DavisPF-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.
July 3, 2020, 8:28 pmDeng AdelPF, 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.
July 3, 2020, 4:35 pmDarius MillerSF, 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
July 3, 2020, 4:26 pmJJ RedickSG, 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
July 3, 2020, 4:14 pmTyler HerroPG, Miami Heat
Tyler Herro said the time off allowed his right ankle to fully recover.
Herro returned to action just before the shutdown due to COVID-19. With the ankle back to 100 percent, he will face no restrictions when play picks back up in Orlando. While Herro's scoring prowess caused some increased expectations for his rookie season, he's largely been an afterthought for the Heat. He can clearly shoot the rock (2.1 treys on .391 shooting), but the rest of his game is lacking, and the Heat do not have time to devote to rookie development when the season resumes.
Source: Ira Winderman on Twitter
July 3, 2020, 4:08 pmKent BazemoreSG, Sacramento Kings
Kent Bazemore, who has been a welcomed presence since joining the Kings in January, reiterated that he'd like to stay with the team.
Bazemore had a lot of opportunity before him when the Blazers were faltering due to injuries at the start of the season and he failed to take advantage. However, a change of scenery made a significant difference, as his field goal percentage leaped from .347 with the Blazers, to .426 with the Kings, and his scoring also increased from 7.9 points to 10.3 points per contest. He sounds locked in as the Kings prepare for the Orlando bubble, but a healthy Kings' roster could handicap his opportunity for playing time when things start back up.
Source: James Ham on Twitter
July 3, 2020, 3:57 pmVictor OladipoSG, Indiana Pacers
Shams Charania is reporting that Victor Oladipo will sit out the remainder of the Pacers' season.
Oladipo decided to exercise caution as his quad tendon is still susceptible to a relapse, and the circumstances of the Orlando bubble are anything but predictable. It's a big hit to the Pacers chances when play resumes, but Oladipo should be close to 100 percent next year as he continues his rehab and seeks to further strengthen his quad tendon. This season was a flop as he only appeared in 13 games, but Oladipo should be looking to return fully recovered and seeking early-round value next year. The Pacers will continue leaning on their depth to fill the void, and Malcolm Brogdon will continue to be the lead guard running the show in Indiana.
Source: Shams Charania on Twitter