• Today’s slate features 10 games including the Thunder vs. the Pacers, two teams who were trade partners for one of the offseason’s biggest deals. Tonight there are a few teams coming off playing last night and as always back-to-backs are something to monitor but it really shouldn’t affect anyone this early in the year. Also follow me on twitter @awalia100. Let’s get started.

    Point Guards

    John Wall ($10,200 FD/DK) – Wizards center Marcin Gortat has already guaranteed that John Wall will torture Lonzo Ball for 48 minutes so if we take Gortat for his word Wall will be in for a big night. The Wizards are favored by only 6 points in a game with a high over/under of 226.5 so if Vegas has it right, we are looking at a fairly competitive, high scoring game which makes Wall my top point guard play of the night.

    D’Angelo Russell ($7,800 FD/DK)D’Angelo Russell hasn’t disappointed ever since Jeremy Lin’s injury which made him the unquestioned lead guard of a Nets team that plays at one of the fastest paces in the league. Russell has gone over 30 fantasy points in each game of the year and gets a Cavaliers team tonight that struggles on the defensive side and is fresh off giving up 112 points to the Chicago Bulls. This game has an over/under of 227.5 and should remain close enough for Russell to get his full allotment of minutes. This all hinges on whether or not Russell plays through his doubtful tag, however.

    Lonzo Ball ($7,400 FD, $7,000 DK) – Someone who may have something to say about Wall torturing him for 48 minutes is Lonzo Ball himself. As stated this game is expected to be high scoring which should allow Ball plenty of opportunities. Ball’s minutes, despite being a rookie, look to be locked in around the mid 30’s at least and has been a constant triple-double threat the first few games of the year and tonight should be no different.

    Dejounte Murray ($5,900 FD, $5,800 DK)Dejounte Murray has excelled in his second year taking over lead point duties in Tony Parker’s absence. Murray makes for a fine play if you need to go for a mid-level option due to his ability to fill up the stat sheet in different ways as he showed with his 15 rebound outing against the Raptors on Monday.

    Mike James ($4,300 FD, $4,400 DK)Mike James has taken over the starting point guard job with Eric Bledsoe being dismissed for the team. James will probably be one of the most popular plays due to his price and high usage rate. There is some risk with James as he will be facing a tough defensive-minded Jazz team but with Utah coming off a game last night and his cheap price, the risk with James is mitigated.

    Other good buys: Russell Westbrook ($10,800 FD, $11,400 DK), Stephen Curry ($9,400 FD, $8,700 DK), Kemba Walker ($8,100 FD, $7,700 DK), Ricky Rubio ($7,600 FD, $6,800 DK).

    Shooting Guards

    James Harden ($11,600 FD/DK)James Harden has been solid so far this year but he hasn’t had that fantasy outburst yet that he was so prone to last year. Tonight, that may change as he gets the 76ers in what should be a fun match-up. Vegas has this as a close game as the Rockets are favored by less than 4 points in a game that has a high over/under at 220 so this seems like a good game for Harden to break out and justify his high price.

    Victor Oladipo ($7,800 FD, $7,200 DK) – I’m all about narratives so I’m all in on a Victor Oladipo revenge game as he returns to OKC after being traded away by the Thunder for Paul George. However, you don’t need a narrative to justify playing Oladipo as he’s been great so far in his role on his new team. The Pacers are coming off a blowout of the Timberwolves last night in which Oladipo played only 28 minutes so he should be fresh and ready to build off his great play to start the year.

    Jeremy Lamb ($5,600 FD/DK)Jeremy Lamb is in a good spot at home tonight against a Denver team that plays at a high pace. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will return tonight but will be on a minutes restriction so Lamb should still be able to get enough minutes to allow him to hit value at his mid-level price.

    Donovan Mitchell ($4,100 FD, $3,800) – Rodney Hood has a calf injury and Joe Ingles is dealing with an illness. If both were to miss tonight’s game against the Suns, Donovan Mitchell would make for a great play against what may be the worst defensive team in the league. Mitchell dropped 19 points on the Clippers last night in Hood’s absence but carries risk as most line-ups lock at 7pm and the Jazz don’t pay until 10pm so we may not have any news on Hood or Ingles until after line-ups lock.

    J.R. Smith ($3,900 FD, $4,000 DK)J.R. Smith is purely a dart throw for me and an option only if you need to go relatively cheap at the position. There is definitely risk attached to Smith but my recommendation of him is based off Smith getting 32 minutes last night and the Nets ability to give up big fantasy nights to even the most obscure players.

    Other good buys: Bradley Beal ($8,000 FD, $7,300 DK), Devin Booker ($7,300 FD, $6,900 DK), Eric Gordon ($6,700 FD, $6,000 DK), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($5,500 FD, $4,700 DK).

    Small Forwards

    LeBron James ($10,700 FD, $10,400 DK)LeBron James at point guard for the foreseeable future is going to be fun to watch, especially for those who play him in DFS. James controlled the ball for a lot of the game anyway but now it’s going to be for all of the game which should help his assist numbers. He looked like he tweaked his ankle last night but has already been declared a go for tonight in a golden match up with the Nets.

    Paul George ($8,700 FD, $8,000 DK) – Like I said I’m all about the narratives. Paul George faces off against his old team tonight and will be looking to show he’s better off without them. However, narratives aside George has put up good fantasy numbers through the first three games and the Pacers are a high pace team so George is a good bet to hit value tonight.

    Josh Richardson ($6,300 FD, $5,400 DK) – Dion Waiters is questionable for tonight and if he sits then Josh Richardson should be the main beneficiary on the Heat. Richardson filled up the stat sheet last time he played with 21 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks and 2 steals.

    DeMarre Carroll ($5,800 FD, $4,200 DK)DeMarre Carroll has been a great addition to the Nets through the first four games of the season. He has hit the 30 point mark in three straight games while also scoring 17 points in each of the last three games so if you’re looking for a safe play at the mid-level, Carroll is your guy.

    Shabazz Muhammad ($3,000 FD/DK) – With Jimmy Butler being declared out again tonight, Shabazz Muhammad will enter the starting line-up for the second night in a row and makes for a good play. Listed at the minimum on both sites, Muhammad should get close to 30 minutes like he did against the Pacers last night which makes him a good play despite his limited upside.

    Other good buys: Kevin Durant ($10,700 FD, $10,400 DK), Ben Simmons ($8,800 DK), Kelly Oubre ($5,000 FD, $4,200 DK), Allen Crabbe ($4,800 FD, $4,900 DK).

    Power Forwards

    LaMarcus Aldridge ($8,900 FD, $8,800 DK)LaMarcus Aldridge has shown so far that the changes coach Popovich has made to make him more comfortable are working. Tonight, Aldridge gets a Heat team without Hassan Whiteside so look for him to continue his hot start as the offensive center piece.

    Ben Simmons ($8,800 FD) – It was just a week ago where I wrote up Ben Simmons as a good play at his $5,600 FanDuel price and now even though he’s over $3,000 more expensive, Simmons still makes for a great play tonight in a great match-up with the Rockets. This should be a high scoring game and Simmons should be able to keep building off his early season success. Simmons is listed as PG/SF eligible on DraftKings for the same price where he is a recommended play as well.

    Otto Porter ($7,500 FD, $5,900 DK)Otto Porter gets a great match-up against the Lakers tonight where I think pretty much every Wizard getting heavy minutes can make for a good play. Porter is one of my favorite plays of the night, especially his DraftKings price. Porter is averaging nine rebounds per game and is always a candidate to score over 20 points. Throw in his defensive stats and a game with a high over/under Porter makes for an excellent play.

    Kyle Kuzma ($5,100 FD, $4,700 DK) – On the other side of that match-up is Kyle Kuzma, who has parlayed his strong summer league and preseason into an important role. He has gotten 28 and 30 minutes the past two games and has done well with his opportunity, hitting 15 and 20 points respectively in the two games. There’s risk here given how his minutes aren’t guaranteed but Kuzma has shown so far his summer league and preseason performance was no fluke.

    Domantas Sabonis ($4,800 FD, $5,000 DK) – Another player in a revenge spot is Domantas Sabonis but just like with Oladipo and George, you don’t need a narrative to play Sabonis. With Tuner slated to miss another game Sabonis will again get extended run and he’s done well with his added opportunity so far with Turner out, hitting a double-double in each of the last two games.

    Other good buys: Carmelo Anthony ($7,600 FD, $7,100 DK), James Johnson ($6,100 FD, $6,500 DK), Kelly Olynyk ($5,500 FD, $5,600 DK), Marquese Chriss ($4,300 FD, $4,100 DK).

    Centers

    Karl-Anthony Towns ($10,100 FD, $8,600 DK)Karl-Anthony Towns is the highest priced center on FanDuel and the second highest on DraftKings for good reason as he is as consistent as you can get in fantasy. Without Jimmy Butler for the second night in a row look for Towns to assert himself against another premier big man in Andre Drummond.

    Joel Embiid ($8,600 FD, $8,000 DK) – Tonight, Joel Embiid will be back playing in front of the home crown in Philadelphia. Even with Embiid still at a minutes restriction which places him under 30 minutes per game, Embiid is still putting up fantasy numbers that warrant a write up. Tonight, he gets a Rockets team without Nene in a game in which Embiid has plenty of blow up potential.

    Dwight Howard ($7,900 FD, $7,100 DK)Dwight Howard has been on a rebounding tear to star the year. He’s averaging over 17 rebounds per game through his first three games and will look to continue his dominance on the glass against Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets tonight.

    Jakob Poeltl ($4,900 FD, $4,500 DK)Jakob Poeltl may be in for some serious minutes tonight as both Jonas Valanciunas and Lucas Nogueira have been declared out. Poeltl has stepped up when he’s gotten the opportunity as he went for a double-double in his last game in 25 minutes. The risk of a blowout here doesn’t apply to him as he still should be able to get minutes no matter what the score is.

    Other good buys: Marc Gasol ($8,800 FD, $7,800 DK), Rudy Gobert ($8,500 FD, $7,500 DK), Kevin Love ($8,300 FD, $7,600 DK), Steven Adams ($6,900 FD, $5,800 DK), Marcin Gortat ($6,100 FD, $5,500 DK).

Fantasy News

  • Kyle Lowry - G - Toronto Raptors

    Coach Nick Nurse said Kyle Lowry is playing through a lot of pain in his left thumb.

    "Kyle's hand is not great," Nurse said, "it's hurt and it's sore and it causes him a lot of pain." Lowry hurt the thumb in the series against Philadelphia and has been wearing a protective mitt on it since. He's not on the injury report and is in no danger of missing games, which speaks to his toughness.

    Source: Tim Bontemps on ESPN

  • Kyrie Irving - G - Boston Celtics

    Dan Gilbert said he thinks the Cavaliers "killed it" in the Kyrie Irving trade.

    Gilbert preceded that statement with, "I don't know, but I think Kyrie will leave Boston. We could have ended up with nothing." Gilbert is thinking very results based instead of what went into the process of the trade. While Irving may leave Boston, he's a phenomenal player. The Cavs traded him while they still had LeBron James and received a good draft pick and a ball dominant, but injured Isaiah Thomas. It looks good now to have Collin Sexton instead of nothing, but when you have LeBron James on your team and are automatically in title contention, it's almost impossible to "kill it" by trading away a superstar.

    Source: Terry Pluto on Cleveland.com

  • Kiki VanDeWeghe - Team - Brooklyn Nets

    The NBA has cancelled the 2019 NBA Global Camp due to "logistical issues" but they plan to have it return in the future.

    The NBA Global Camp is essentially a draft combine for international players. There originally was the Adidias EuroCamp that ran from 2003-2017, but was stopped after the FBI's investigation into college basketball corruption. The NBA picked it up and had success in it's first year last year. Unfortunately, it appears the venue in Monaco was double-booked due to AS Monaco turning their season around and needing the facility for TV production and practice for their playoffs. Many international draft prospects entered the draft early with the hopes of getting to workout and interview with teams at the Global Camp.

    Source: Jonathan Givony on ESPN

  • Myles Turner - F/C - Indiana Pacers

    Myles Turner tweeted that it is a "Blatant Disrespect" he did not make an All-Defensive team.

    While Turner had a phenomenal defensive season, there are only two spots overall for centers, so someone was going to be left off. Rudy Gobert was the center on the first team and is a finalist for DPOY, while Joel Embiid was the center on the second team and had a huge impact on the defensive side of the ball for the Sixers. Turner had a marvelous season defensively and there is an argument to be made for him over Embiid, but the nature of positions on the All-Defensive teams means someone was getting left off.

    Source: Myles Turner on Twitter

  • Richaun Holmes - F/C - Phoenix Suns

    Richaun Holmes was arrested on Wednesday night for a misdemeanor marijuana charge in Miami-Dade.

    It's the second time a Suns player has been arrested in Miami-Dade, the southeastern-most county in Florida, this month – Josh Jackson was arrested at Rolling Loud, a music festival. Holmes was ironically booked as "Richard" Holmes, which we would certainly spin as an ode to how underrated he is. James Webb, who last played for the Nets in 2017-18, was also arrested. They were charged with possession of cannabis and spent a few hours in jail before posting bond. We'll see if this has any affect on Holmes' upcoming free agency.

    Source: David Ovalle on Miami Herald

  • Fred VanVleet - G - Toronto Raptors

    Fred VanVleet credited the birth of his son, Fred Jr., on Monday night for his turnaround in Game 4.

    FVV said regarding his shooting woes, "Obviously it's been rough shooting the ball. I had a pretty bad stretch, so it was good to see one go in." It would make sense that he could relax mentally now that his son, his second child, was born. A big congrats to the VanVleet family on the birth of their second child; we'll see if FVV can keep the strong play going in a pivotal Game 5 in Milwaukee.

    Source: Blake Murphy on Twitter

  • Miles Bridges - F - Charlotte Hornets

    Miles Bridges tweeted on Tuesday that he was not snubbed from the All-Rookie teams.

    "I didn't get snubbed. I played like ass all year. I don't deserve to be on any team. Next year will be different," was Bridges' full tweet. He had an alright rookie season, especially when given the opportunity. All 25 of his games played after the All-Star break were starts and he averaged 9.6 points, 5.3 boards, 1.6 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.6 blocks and 1.1 threes on 49.0%/35.1%/83.3% shooting splits in 26.2 minutes per game. There's a lot of athleticism and untapped potential that could bear fruit in year two, especially if Kemba Walker is not with the team and there's a lot more usage to go around.

    Source: Miles Bridges on Twitter

  • Kristaps Porzingis - F/C - Dallas Mavericks

    Knicks president Steve Mills claimed that Kristaps Porzingis threatened to return to Europe had the Knicks not completed a trade elsewhere according to Kurt Heln of NBC Sports

    The tense history between Porzingis and the Knicks front office has been well documented, which makes a startling headline like this one not all that surprising. It's safe to assume that Dallas' front office will not be hearing such requests, as they represent an opportunity for optimism for both Porzingis and their franchise as a whole.

    Source: NBC Sports

  • Tacko Fall - C - College

    Tacko Fall of UCF, Marques Bolden of Duke, Nick Weiler-Babb of Iowa State, Jalen Hudson of Florida, Amir Hinton of Shaw University and Myles Powell of Seton Hall will all be participants of the Kings pre-draft workout.

    All of the players that will be working out for the Kings are not projected to be drafted next month. The Kings are looking at guys for their second round selections as they have three picks in that round. Unfortunately, those are the only picks they have this year as their first round selection is owned by the Celtics. Expect the Kings to continue to look at players with high ceilings like Tacko Fall. Fall, a 7’7″ center has a 10’2″ standing reach and an 8’2″ wingspan. These measurements are why Fall will get to the NBA at some point. The question of how big of an impact he will make remains to be seen. Perhaps the Kings will draft the large center with one of their three second round picks.

    Source: Deuce Mason on Twitter

  • Patrick McCaw - SG/SF - Toronto Raptors

    Patrick McCaw (personal reasons) will remain sidelined for Thursday's Game 5 vs. the Bucks.

    McCaw has missed the entire ECF thus far due to personal reasons. The basketball community hopes the best for the youngster. Even if he were to come back, he wouldn't be in line for many minutes as Norman Powell and Fred VanVleet have established themselves as part of the team's shortened eight man rotation.

    Source: NBA Injury Report