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

    Studs

    Chris Paul (PG) – Los Angeles Clippers $8,800

     

    CP3 draws arguably the best PG matchup in the league vs. the Nuggets.  Denver ranks dead last in defensive efficiency vs. point guards, 8th in pace, and 29th in defensive rating.   Chris Paul is one of the greatest pick and roll point guards of all time, and though he will be without his usual partners of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, he is facing the 2nd worst team at defending the pick and roll ball handler.  With the usage bump he should see with Blake sitting out, he will no doubt be popular as a cash game building block.

     

    Carmelo Anthony (SF/PF) – New York Knicks $8,100

     

    No matchup boosts fantasy scoring more than the Brooklyn Nets.  Nets are the fastest paced team not only this season, but also the past 10 seasons.   They also rank 28th in defensive efficiency, 30th in defensive efficiency vs. small forwards, and are below average at defending isolations.  Kristaps Porzingis will miss the game with a thigh injury, solidifying Carmelo’s usage.  Everything lines up for a huge game from Melo.

     

    Stephen Curry (PG) – Golden State Warriors $9,500

     

    The 2-time MVP is the most logical pivot off of Chris Paul in GPPs.  The Warriors have been making it a point to turn Steph back into his old MVP self, and this might just be the game it can happen.  The Magic do not represent the type of smash matchup Carmelo and Chris Paul are facing but Steph has found success against Orlando in the past.  Last season he had two huge games over 70 fantasy points in the season series vs. the Magic.  Steph’s upside with KD still sidelined is immense.  We know what he is capable of, and if he returns to last year’s form, this will be the cheapest price we see Steph at until KD returns.

     

    Midrange

    Gordon Hayward (SF) – Utah Jazz $6,900

     

    Gordon Hayward comes in at a very enticing bargain.  Coming off of a 47 dk point game, he faces a Cavs team whose defense has became a dumpster fire as of late.  While LeBron James’ teams in the past have represented tough matchups for opposing small forwards, this has not been the case this year.  Cleveland has been middle of the pack vs. small forwards this year and have given up their fair share of big games to the position.  At a $900 discount on DK compared to fanduel, I will get my Hayward exposure mostly in DK cash games.

     

    Rudy Gobert (C) – Utah Jazz $6,800

     

    Rudy Gobert comes in as our 2nd under-priced Jazz player.  Gobert has averaged 37 DK points per game for the season, well past a 5x value threshold for the salary.  Even better, this is only in 33.4 minutes per game.  Recently he has been seeing 36 minutes a game as the Jazz try to lock up home court advantage in the first round.  Until they raise his price, he will be a great cash game play in all but the very worst matchups.  His matchup tonight is better than it first appears, as Cleveland has been one of the worst rebounding teams in the league while Kevin Love has been out.  Though LeBron can represent foul trouble risk, I expect an extremely high floor for the $6800 price tag in a competitive game.

     

    Derrick Rose– Chicago Bulls $6,700

     

    I love playing Derrick Rose in GPPs whenever he pops.  He is rarely a player you have to worry about becoming too popular.  His game log does not inspire much confidence, and he almost never represents a must-have in cash.  He draws the dream matchup vs. the Nets, a matchup that turns players much worse than Rose into viable cash plays.  Brooklyn rankes 27th in defensive efficency vs. point guards.  If he goes a little overlooked with the strong options at PG, he could make for an elite tournament play.

     

    Cheapies

    Marreese Speights (PF/C) – Los Angeles Clippers $3,300

     

    With both Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan sitting out this matchup with Denver, Marreese Speights is a smash play in all formats.  Speights is an extremely efficient fantasy player with a Massive 1.11 fantasy point per minute output.  To put that in context, Speights’ per minute production is on par with Draymond Green, Carmelo Anthony and Kyle Lowry, players on this slate who cost over twice as much as Mo Buckets.  If you need another reason to play him, he draws a matchup with the Nuggets.  Denver is 8th in pace, and 2nd-to-last in defensive rating.  Speights has a great chance to see 30 minutes or more, and if he does, he will be arguably the best value play of the season thus far.  I will have him 100 percent.

     

    Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (PF) – Brooklyn Nets $4,000

     

    More of a GPP play, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson represents perhaps the best way to get exposure to the Brooklyn side in this Juicy Knicks-Nets matchup outside of Brook Lopez.  He should be low owned.  His minutes are not stable enough for cash on a slate that should be rich with great value plays, but facing a match up with Carmelo might encourage Kenny Atkinson to give RHJ a little extra run.  If he can get the minutes, he has a very high ceiling in what could easily turn into the highest scoring game of the night.

     

    Brandon Bass (PF) – Los Angeles Clippers $3,000

     

    No doubt today will be Marreese Speights’ chalk night by the time lock rolls around.  Brandon Bass might go overlooked as a result.  A decent fantasy scorer himself, he should be a pretty safe bet to hit value tonight.  The game is very likely to play more on the small side, so I don’t see much of a path to him seeing huge minutes.  I like Bass more as a cash game punt than a GPP play because of the lack of huge minutes, but if he ends up getting very low ownership, he could make sense as a possible pivot off of Marreese Speights for those crazy enough to try to fade Speights.  Because both players are so cheap, it is perfectly fine to play both in the same lineup, a path I favor over fading Speights.

Fantasy News

  • 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

  • Daryl Macon
    PG, Miami Heat

    The Heat have signed Daryl Macon.

    Macon getting picked up by another NBA squad after a solid Summer League campaign is not a shocker. If he were to crack the rotation he would post a nice assist rate, but it is unlikely Macon will be getting playing time unless something goes terribly wrong for the Heat this season.

    Source: NBA

  • Tahjere McCall
    F, Atlanta Hawks

    The Hawks signed Tahjere McCall from their Summer League team.

    This is just a depth signing for the Hawks. He shouldn't see much court time on the NBA floor if he makes the main roster out of camp

    Source: Kevin Chouinard on Twitter

  • Thabo Sefolosha
    SF, Houston Rockets

    Marc Stein is reporting that the Rockets will sign Thabo Sefolosha.

    Sefolosha was among the names at a recent mini camp, and he should make for a nice fit as a defensive stopper off the bench. The Rockets have a pretty thin group of reserves so we'd expect Sefolosha to be a regular rotation player, which puts him on the board as a steals specialist in deep leagues.

    Source: Marc Stein on Twitter

  • Tyler Zeller
    C, Denver Nuggets

    The Nuggets have signed C Tyler Zeller to the training camp roster on Thursday.

    Zeller played all of six games last season with the Hawks and Grizzlies. Zeller will try to latch on as a third-string C for the Nuggets' deep frontcourt. Zeller is off the fantasy radar.

    Source: Chris Dempsey on Twitter

  • Luke Kennard
    SG, Detroit Pistons

    Coach Dwane Casey said that he is not sure if he will start Luke Kennard or have him run a lot of the second-team offense.

    In addition, Casey mentioned that Kennard dealt with some knee tendinitis earlier this summer. Kennard is likely competing with Bruce Brown Jr. for the starting two-guard spot. We'll see how the rotation starts to shape in the preseason, but both players will get minutes either way.

    Source: NBA