• We face a true dilemma tonight. Should we spend up for Russell Westbrook, or take our chances with a collection of other good (not super-human) options on this slate of games? I vote the latter and this article will focus on solid, mid-range targets who can collectively argue against an expensive play like Westbrook. Let’s get started!

    POINT GUARD

    GEORGE HILL – UTAH JAZZ (FD- $6,300, DK- $6,300)

    George Hill gets a great match-up against a Cleveland defense ranked second to last on tonight’s slate versus the point guard position. He has been a little banged up, but has been great when on the floor, including a 34 point night against the Nets less than two weeks ago. Hill can produce even when he doesn’t score, and his price tag makes him a safe, quality option tonight.

    It will be worth monitoring Hill’s game status as Thursday will be the second game in as many days for the guard.

    DENNIS SCHRODER – ATLANTA HAWKS (FD- $7,200, DK- $6,400)

    Hill’s match-up is second only to Dennis Schroder‘s. The talented young guard faces the 27th ranked defense against his position in the Memphis Grizzlies who have been in a tail-spin for the past two weeks, losing five of their last six. Schroder has been trending in the opposite direction over his last seven, averaging 21.9 points per, and he gets the minutes to keep it rolling against the Grizz. I will be rostering Schroder in every league tonight.

     

    SHOOTING GUARD

    COURTNEY LEE – NEW YORK KNICKS (FD- $5,000, DK- $5,200)

    Speaking of players who are trending in the right direction, Courtney Lee is on fire. He is very reasonably priced, is playing a terrible Nets defense, and plays 34 minutes per game. He has scored 12 or more in each of his last six games, and I see no reason why that stops tonight. He can rebound as well as score, and should exceed value.

    Despite coming off a mediocre outing on Tuesday, Lee will be the first player I add when constructing my lineups tonight.

     

    DEMAR DEROZAN (FD- $9,300, DK- $8,300)

    DeMar DeRozan has been an almost must-play for me since Kyle Lowry went down with injury. He is expensive, but is still over 3,000 less than Westbrook. He is a scoring machine who, barring a blowout, is going to get a lot of minutes and shots. He will probably be guarded by a solid defender in Andre Roberson, but I still think Derozan has a big night in what should be an up-tempo contest against the Thunder.

     

    SMALL FORWARD

    CARMELO ANTHONY – NEW YORK KNICKS (FD- $8,400, DK- $8,100)

    I really struggled filling the small forward spot tonight, but I always feel confident in Carmelo Anthony. Melo has handled trade rumors and character attacks with pure class, and has performed in a solid fashion throughout the ordeal on the floor as well. He is getting 35 minutes per night, and in his last game against the Nets he posted a 27 point, 7 rebound, 3 assist stat-filler. He gets Brooklyn again tonight, and should be able to put up another big line.

    RONDAE HOLLIS-JEFFERSON – BROOKLYN NETS (FD- $4,400, DK- $4,000)

    Rondae Hollis-Jefferson put up a double-double against the Knicks when they faced each other just four days ago, and although he carries significant bust potential, he is also the kind of player who could blow past value. RHJ scored six points in the game before his double-double, but if he stays hot, he could be well worth the risk.

    NOTE: Joe Johnson has been listed as the starter for the injury plagued Utah Jazz, as Rodney Hood and  Derrick Favors are both sidelined. Johnson should see 25 plus minutes and is a great, cheap play at small forward on FanDuel or Draftkings.

     

    POWER FORWARD

    SERGE IBAKA – TORONTO RAPTORS (FD- $6,000, DK- $5,900)

    Serge Ibaka is one of my favorite players on the board for a number of reasons. Aside from a rough night in a blowout win over the Mavs, Ibaka has been scoring at a nice clip since joining the Raptors and his minutes (34 per game) make him very appealing. The Thunder are not great against opposing power forwards, and Ibaka looks to be a fairly dependable option; albeit one with a relatively low ceiling.

    ZACK RANDOLPH – MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES (FD- $5,800, DK- $5,400)

    Despite the recent turmoil surrounding the Grizz and their ever-in-flux lineup, Zach Randolph has been a consistent producer for Memphis over the past 2 weeks. He has scored in double figures in five of his last seven games, and has two double-doubles during that stretch.  He is very affordable and has been getting around 25 minutes per game.

    I will be playing Randolph in both FanDuel and Draftkings tonight.

    Note: Marreese Speights makes an excellent play with Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan both out tonight for the Clippers.

     

    CENTER

    RUDY GOBERT – UTAH JAZZ (FD- $7,700, DK- $6,800)

    If healthy, Rudy Gobert is a wonderful option tonight. He has double-doubles in each of his last three games, playing 3o or more minutes in every contest during this span. Cleveland is ranked near the bottom of the slate against centers, setting Gobert up for a big night. I expect him to continue his double-double streak against the Cavs.

    WILLY HERNANGOMEZ – NEW YORK KNICKS (FD- $6,000, DK- $6,200)

    Willy Hernangomez definitely comes with risk because of the Knicks minute fluctuations, but his upside and match-up negate any concerns I have about the budding center. Brooklyn is awful against opposing centers, and even without a big points line, Willy can still reach value for his price.

     

    Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or comments, atbuckner2121@live.com. Thanks for reading and good luck!

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