• 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

  • Furkan Korkmaz
    SG, Philadelphia Sixers

    After an injury-plagued sophomore campaign for the Sixers, Furkan Korkmaz knows this season will be crucial for his future and he is hoping to make big strides this year.

    The one thing Korkmaz has going for him is his shooting ability and that is something the Sixers could surely utilize on this roster. It did not click last season, but Korkmaz will get another chance to prove his worth at some point this season. Still, it is hard to picture him coming out of the gate with a big role on opening night.

    Source: Sixers.com

  • Nikola Mirotic
    PF, Milwaukee Bucks

    On Sunday, Nikola Mirotic dropped 14 points on 6-of-14 shooting for Barcelona.

    Mirotic's opening appearance for his new EuroLeague club, Barcelona, resulted in a victory, and he did not have to work too hard for most of his buckets at the Supercopa Endesa versus Valencia. Mirotic should find quick success during his return to European basketball, but NBA fantasy players will surely be missing his presence stateside.

    Source: Eurohoops

  • Bruce Brown
    SG, Detroit Pistons

    Coach Dwane Casey spoke highly of Bruce Brown’s defensive play, calling him an ‘elite defender.’

    Brown remains in contention for a starting spot with the Pistons, but he is not a high-usage player, and the Pistons have stocked up with offensive threats such as Derrick Rose and the immortal Joe Johnson. It will be tough for Brown to rack up enough touches or minutes this season.

    Source: Pistons.com

  • Kevin Durant
    SF, Brooklyn Nets

    There is some optimism in league circles about Kevin Durant's (Achilles) chances of playing this season, according to Brian Lewis of the New York Post.

    Looking back on Durant's decision to return during the Finals, the Nets may want to exude caution when considering KD's return to action. However, Durant is pursuing his rehab with a sense of purpose, and it would be great to see him get back on the court this season. We'll keep you posted when a real timeline on Durant's rehab emerges. This news does not make him a target on draft day for standard leagues.

    Source: New York Post

  • Larry Nance Jr.
    PF, Cleveland Cavaliers

    Larry Nance Jr. is the presumed favorite to start at PF heading into training camp according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com.

    Fedor went on to speculate that Nance Jr. could see a lot of time at the four while Kevin Love starts at center and Tristan Thompson and John Henson compete for back up minutes behind those two. Any uptick in playing time would be a huge boost to the per-minute dynamo that Nance Jr is, and a starting role with a new coaching staff bodes well for that. He's trending in the right direction.

    Source: Cleveland.com

  • Kevin Knox
    SF, New York Knicks

    Coach Fizdale told the Knicks players that no starters have been determined and players had to earn their minutes.

    Kevin Knox will battle with veteran Marcus Morris for the starting small forward spot. Knox has been working on getting his body stronger to be able to take on more contact on drives to the basket. Last season as a rookie, he averaged 12.8 points on a putrid 37 percent from the field. Knox will look to get more looks closer to the basket and increase his field goal percentage to more respectable levels. Knox provided little else outside of points and rebounds last season and will need to improve his shooting and defense to be considered a standard-league player.

    Source: New York Post

  • Bol Bol
    C, Denver Nuggets

    According to Nick Kosmider of The Athletic, Bol Bol could spend his entire rookie season in the G-League.

    Bol Bol was not drafted to be an immediate impact player, but just fell too late fore the Nuggets liking. The 44th overall pick needs to bulk up and show that he could take the bumps and bruises before having his chance on the big stage.

    Source: Nick Kosmider of The Athletic

  • Kawhi Leonard
    SF, Los Angeles Clippers

    After speaking with Doc Rivers and Lawrence Frank, Dan Woike's takeaway is that Kawhi Leonard's "load management" will not be as strict as it was last year.

    It was reported in July that Kawhi said he wants to play all next season fully and approach load management on a game-to-game basis so this is further confirmation that he will most likely play more than the 60 games he played last year but surely won't play all 82 either. Kurt Helin of NBC Sports speculates that this could be for several reasons. One could be that Leonard can take on more now that he is a little healthier while he believes the Clippers might also limit his per-game minutes to help him play more games. The other idea is that because the Western Conference is so deep, the Clippers will not be able to get a good seed if Leonard sits too many games. Fantasy wise, Leonard finished last season seventh in per game value but 18th in total value since he played only 60 games. Near the top of the second round would be a great place to snag him if he plays around 70 games this season.

    Source: Dan Woike on Twitter

  • Malik Beasley
    SG, Denver Nuggets

    The Nuggets want to extend Malik Beasley and Juan Hernagomez before the October 21 deadline.

    The Nuggets already locked up one of their 2016 first-round picks (Jamal Murray) to a long-term deal and now want to do the same with their other two 2016 first-round picks, Hernangomez and Beasley. If not, the two will likely become restricted free-agents at the end of the season. Both players saw stretches of big minutes last season due to injuries but at full health, Beasley was around 20 minutes per game while Hernangomez was at around 10. Fantasy wise, neither player puts up big defensive stats but Beasley is a very efficient shooter with low turnovers, knocking down 2.0 triples per game last year, putting him near top-150 value at only 23.2 minutes per game. Hernangomez is a decent rebounder and knocked down 0.9 triples per game but he would need closer to 30 minutes per game to be a factor in standard leagues.

    Source: Denver Post

  • OG Anunoby
    SF, Toronto Raptors

    Coach Nick Nurse intends to put OG Anunoby "back out there in a primary role."

    With Kawhi Leonard vacating the starting small forward spot, Anunoby is the leading candidate to take the role. Before the arrival of Leonard, Anunoby started 62 games in his rookie season. Last season he started 6 out of 67 games, and missed the entire playoffs due to an emergency appendectomy. He averaged 7.0 points, 2.9 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 0.7 steals and 0.3 blocks over 20.2 minutes per game, while shooting 45.3 percent from the floor, 33.2 percent from 3-point range and 58.1 percent from the free-throw line. He can be picked up as a late round flier in drafts.

    Source: The Athletic