• Although Thursday’s small slate gives us James Harden, I am steering clear of the triple-double machine. His lingering wrist injury, coupled with the other excellent (cheaper by comparison) point guards on the slate, could easily be interpreted as signs from the NBA gods to avoid “The Beard”. Even with Harden out of the mix we have some heavy hitters available, so let’s pair them together and win some money!

     

    POINT GUARD

    CHRIS PAUL – LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS (DK-$ 8,600, FD-$ 8,800)

    Chris Paul is almost always a top tier option. He gets an amazing match-up against the Phoenix Suns who rank last in the league against opposing point guards. Paul should see around 30 minutes in an up-tempo game, making him a near must-play, especially in Draftkings where he can be paired with another high-end point guard.

    DAMIAN LILLARD – PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS (DK-$ 9,200, FD-$ 9,300)

    Speaking of high-end point guards, Damian Lillard has been lights out of late. Over his last five games, Dame is averaging 26.6 points, 6.4 assists and 5.6 rebounds. The Rockets struggle mightily against points guards, and with an over-under of 228.5, conditions are perfect for a monstrous Lillard line.

     

    SHOOTING GUARD

    PAUL ZIPSER – CHICAGO BULLS (DK-$ 4,000, FD-$3,700)

    Paul Zipser is not a sexy option, but he gets a great match-up against the struggling Cavs. Cleveland hasn’t fared well against shooting guards and with Dwyane Wade out, Zipser is the starter by default. He is super cheap and gets good minutes. Over his last five, Zipser has averaged 8.6 points, 2.0 assists and 4.2 rebounds. While those may not seem like daunting numbers, the guard’s low price makes value very attainable.

    I will be playing Paul Zipser in a lot of lineups tonight.

    Note: Paul Zipser is listed as small forward on FanDuel. 

    C.J. MCCOLLUM – PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS (DK-$ 7,600, FD- $ 7,200)

    Houston is ranked 27th in the league against shooting guards and C.J. McCollum is one of the best. He is averaging 25.0 points in 33.2 minutes over the Blazers previous five games, and this game should be a shootout (especially if James Harden plays). McCollum is coming off a 39 point game against the Denver Nuggets and I expect him to have another big night against the Rockets.

     

    SMALL FORWARD

    ANDREW WIGGINS – MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES (DK-$ 7,100, FD-$ 7,000)

    Despite the fact that Minnesota has lost its last five games, I will be playing several T-Wolves tonight. Andrew Wiggins is the definition of athleticism and he has been playing extremely well down the stretch. He is averaging 24.0 points and 3.4 rebounds in 37.0 minutes for the Wolves, and even though the spread for this game is the widest on the slate, Wiggins gets an excellent opportunity against an awful Lakers defense.

    TOBIAS HARRIS – DETROIT PISTONS (DK-$ 6,000, FD-$ 5,400)

    I am a fanboy of Tobias Harris. Tobias is playing over 30 minutes per game (even when he comes off the bench) and is averaging 16 points per night. He is due a big game, and the Nets are just the team to accommodate. He is affordable and makes a great, mid-range option on this slate.

    Note: Tobias Harris is listed as power forward on FanDuel. 

     

    POWER FORWARD

    GORGUI DIENG – MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES (DK-$ 5,900, FD-$ 5,200)

    Gorgui Dieng is another mid-range option to give stability and upside to your lineups. He is affordable and has been playing extremely well lately tallying 12.6 points, and 6.4 rebounds over the Timberwolves last five games.  The Lakers are HORRIBLE against opposing power forwards and Dieng should be able to blow past value.

    The young power forward gets the minutes needed to produce, and I will be using him as a salary saver, especially on the tight Draftkings budget.

    BLAKE GRIFFIN – LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS (DK-$ 8,100, FD-$ 8,600)

    Super athlete? Check. Playoff push? Check. Fantastic match-up? Check. Blake Griffin faces a Phoenix team ranked last in the league against power forwards and the Clippers are trying to get things figured out before the playoffs. If you can afford him, play him.

     

    CENTER

    KARL ANTHONY TOWNS – MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES (DK-$ 10,900, FD-$ 10,600)

    Do 27.2 points, and 10.0 rebounds per game sound good to you? What if you give those stats to a player who faces one of the worst defenses in the league? Karl-Anthony Towns is on a tear over his last five and he should be in your lineups. KAT could easily be the high scorer on this slate and is a priority for me.

    DEANDRE JORDAN – LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS (DK-$ 6,900, FD-$ 7,900)

    DeAndre Jordan has four double-doubles in his last five games. He is averaging 13.0 rebounds over that stretch and it’s unlikely that the 26th ranked defense against his position will be able to keep him off the boards. DeAndre is just too cheap, should get a double-double again tonight and is a must-own in your lineups, especially on Draftkings.

     

     

     

    If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact me at atbuckner2121@live.com. Good luck tonight everyone!

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