• Every Thursday Moose highlights some of the best core plays at each price tier for both Cash Games and GPPs.  Feel free to reach out to Moose on Twitter at @MooseBeLoose9 if you have any questions.

    Studs

    Jusuf Nurkic (C) – Portland Trail Blazers $7,600

     

    Nurkic has been great since he joined the Blazers.  Always an elite per minute producer, Portland fans have been enjoying the great production out of their new big man that DFS players always knew Nurkic was capable.  Tonight, he draws a great matchup at home vs a weak New York front court.  He carries very high rebounding upside vs a Knick’s team ranking 30th in defensive rebounding.  Facing a bottom six defense with a healthy 114.5 team total, Portland is a team I will be looking to get exposure to on this 5-game slate.

     

    C.J. McCollum (PG/SG) – Portland Trail Blazers $7,200

     

    Vegas projects Portland for the highest team total on the slate along with the second highest team total compared to season average.  The third highest projected team is projected to score almost 13 points less than the Blazers.  The Knicks have given up their fair share of monstrous games to shooting guards this season.  On a slate void of many studs in great spots, C.J. McCollum at a great price of $7,200 on DraftKings has upside to be the highest scoring player on the slate.   This potential at such a cheap price at the shooting guard position is very enticing for GPPs.

     

    Damian Lillard (PG) – Portland Trail Blazers $9,800

     

    Lillard ranks as both the 3rd best player to spend up on, and the 3rd Blazer to make this write up.  The spread indicates possible blowout risk.  However, in late season NBA DFS we are looking for teams that have something to play for.  We can expect Lillard to have nearly a 0% chance of resting and upside to play 40 minutes with Portland looking to make a playoff push.  He is easier to fit in on FanDuel where it is very reasonable to play all three Blazers in cash.

    Midrange

    Alan Williams (C) – Phoenix Suns $5,700

     

    Big Sauce produces 1.29 fantasy points a minute.  For comparison, this level of fantasy production places him up there with Chris Paul (1.33) Kawhi Leonard (1.28) and Lillard (1.21) as one of the highest per minute fantasy producers on the slate.  Williams does carry some risk, however, having missed Tuesday’s game in Miami with a stomach flu.  This risk is mitigated by how highly he projects in a dream matchup with Brooklyn.  Underpriced at $5,700, he faces a Brooklyn team that is first in pace, 23rd in Defense, and 22nd in defensive efficiency versus Centers.  Brooklyn’s 28th ranking in offensive put-backs sets up as a smash spot for the elite offensive rebounder.  If 100% healthy, Big Sauce is far and away the best play on the slate.  If Williams should miss, Len steps in as the highest per dollar projected play on the slate and Marquese Chriss becomes an elite tournament and cash play.

     

    Jeremy Lin (PG) – Brooklyn Nets $5,600

     

    Very rarely does Vegas rate Brooklyn as a favorite.  Facing a tanking Phoenix team, the Nets come in as a 4-point favorite with the second highest team total of the night.  There should be tons of fantasy goodness in this game as both rank in the top five in pace and towards the bottom of the league in defense.  Phoenix has been awful against point guards, ranking in the bottom five in defensive efficiency vs. point guards and bottom five vs. pick and roll ball handlers.  They have only gotten worse since sitting Eric Bledsoe for the season.  Lin’s minutes could get limited, making him more of a tournament play, but if he can see up to 27 minutes he carries a 40 point ceiling in this premier matchup.

     

    Brook Lopez– Brooklyn Nets $6,900

     

    The less violent of the Lopez brothers faces an extremely beatable matchup against a somewhat undersized and foul-prone Phoenix front court.   Center does not pop statistically as the softest spot to attack the Phoenix defense but they’ve fallen off greatly since Tyson Chandler got shut down for the season.  Normally not a great rebounder, Brook might be able to grab some more boards against the team that gives up the most points on offensive put backs in the league.  As the highest usage player on the Nets, Brook stands to benefit more than any other Net from the great Vegas total in this game.

    Cheapies

    Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (PF) – Brooklyn Nets $4,400

     

    The fast-paced game environment sets up well for Rondae, who does most his damage on the boards and in transition.  While Lin and Brook carry risk from being Veterans playing for nothing late in the season, the Nets have big incentive to develop Hollis-Jefferson.  He is a strong per minute producer who has only seen 20 minutes per game this season.  In the past two games, he has played 30 and 27 minutes in two close contests against Detroit and Dallas with little success.  Expect a huge game from RHJ if he sees the same minutes in a much better matchup.

     

    Alex Len (C) – Phoenix Suns $4,500

     

    A borderline must-play if Alan Williams is unable to suit up, Alex Len rates as a viable salary relief play even if he’s coming off the bench.  He carries massive upside for the price tag in this matchup even in less than 25 minutes.  All the reasons Allan Williams is in a great spot also apply to Len.  Also, a matchup with a Brooklyn bench frontcourt that does not draw a ton of fouls should help mitigate his fouling risk.

     

    Quincy Acy (SF/PF) – Brooklyn Nets $3,500

     

    Brooklyn has been encouraging Acy to start shooting more threes.  His 3-point volume has the potential to increase his career fantasy production.  Should no additional value open up, Acy will at least make for a decent cash game punt.  He does not carry enough upside for GPPs as he is likely to only see about 22 minutes.  On the other hand, in this dream matchup 22 minutes is enough to project him as a good enough value to punt in a cash game.

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