• Wow, what a Game 1 for the NBA finals.  We had everything we could have asked for between an overtime game, an incredible LeBron James performance and a few oddball moments from JaVale McGee and J.R. Smith. But as one game ends we find ourselves preparing for Game 2 and the DFS contests associated with it. When we look on DraftKings we find ourselves with only one option, the Showdown Captain Mode. This is relatively new and similar to the regular Showdown mode with the small exception that each user selects one “captain” at an elevated salary who produces 1.50 more points than their other players available. This will be my first article regarding this play style and will be broken down into two categories: Captain picks and regular salary picks.

    Captain Picks

    LeBron James $22,500- It is no secret; if you are choosing a Cavs player to be your captain it is James. He dropped 51-8-8 during Game 1 and has every right to be priced $6,000 more than the next highest-priced option (Stephen Curry). Playing LeBron at this salary is either sink or swim. If he has another spectacular performance like Game 1 and he isn’t your captain you will probably sink, but if the game gets out of hand early or James receives some help from his supporting cast you could leap in the standings due to ownership. Nonetheless he’s The King for a reason.

    Draymond Green $12,600- I am locking in Green throughout this series whether he is my captain or not. Green stuffs the stat sheet and is always at a discount compared to Curry and Kevin Durant. He does not need to score actual points to provide DFS value and proved that in Game 1 after narrowly missing a triple-double by one assist. Playing both Green and James seems like the most optimal approach, but having Green as your captain instead of LeBron could offer a savings of $3,300. That savings could be the difference maker on a slate like Sunday’s.

    Regular Salary Picks

    Larry Nance Jr.- $3,200- At this price he seems like almost a lock for some salary relief. In Game 1 Nance Jr. managed nine points and 11 rebounds in only 19 minutes. He matches up well against the mobile bigs that the Warriors use and should maintain a similar role and provide solid rebounding upside. At this salary we are not looking for much and Nance gives us that safe floor, but still offers double-double upside.

    George Hill $4,600- It looks like most of the value offered is going to be on the Cavs side on the ball and we are basically hoping that two or three other players will hit value on the team beyond LeBron James. I think Hill is the next-safest bet to reach that value. He is not a scorer, but his defense will keep him on the floor and I expect the Cavs to tighten their rotation a bit and that could provide a few more minutes for Hill. He will draw a matchup with Steph Curry, who is arguably the worst defender in the Warriors’ starting lineup. Do not expect 20 actual points from Hill, but I wouldn’t rule out a solid 12-4-5 with a steal or two.

    Thanks for reading and as always you could reach me on Twitter @MikeApotria with any of your questions or comments. Good luck in all of your contests.

Fantasy News

  • Kz Okpala
    F, Miami Heat

    Kz Okpala's offensive game has come a long way since January according to Heat Vice President and Assistant GM, Adam Simon.

    Okpala is already viewed as an NBA-ready defender, and once his offensive game is up to speed the Heat will have a hard time not getting him into the rotation. He spent 20 games in the G League and five with the Heat before the suspension slowed down his progression in 2020. Okpala got off to a slow start due to injuries, and a trade on draft day took away his chance to play in summer league. While this season is unlikely to amount to anything, Okpala is someone to watch in deeper leagues next year.

    Source: Miami Herald

  • Gabe Vincent
    PG, Miami Heat

    Heat Vice President and Assistant GM, Adam Simon, stated that Gabe Vincent's knee is "good to go".

    It sounds like Vincent would have no problem being NBA ready if the Heat decided to call up the two-way guard when play hopefully resumes July 31. Vincent is a strong 3-point shooter with the ability to attack a closeout, but it is still unlikely the Heat will need to put him on the floor for the remainder of the 2019-20 season.

    Source: Miami Herald

  • Shake Milton
    SG, Philadelphia Sixers

    According to projections by Mike O'Connor and Derek Bodner of The Athletic, Shake Milton will be a starter for the Sixers whenever play relaunches.

    Milton was thriving for the Sixers when the season was suspended due to COVID-19, and some risk remains that Ben Simmons will bump him from the rotation when the stoppage in play is lifted. In 16 starts with the Sixers, Milton averaged 14.1 points, 2.2 3-pointers, 3.6 assists, 3 rebounds and 1.1 steals. As a 3-pointer specialist along, Milton has earned a slot in 12-team formats, but things are going to be more difficult when he is forced to play off-ball in a fully healthy lineup in Philadelphia

    Source: The Athletic

  • Kevin Durant
    SF, Brooklyn Nets

    On a recent ESPN podcast featuring Adrian Wojnarowski and his colleague Zach Lowe, Wojnarowski stated that Kevin Durant (torn Achilles) would not play for the Nets this year.

    Wojnarowski went onto say that he had no source that had relayed that information to him. The Nets have largely been deferring to Durant and the medical staff when it comes to his prospects for playing this year. While the organization may get hopeful that KD will lace it up for a playoff run, all signs are still pointing to him waiting until 2020-21.

    Source: Anthony Puccio on Twitter

  • Eric Gordon
    SG, Houston Rockets

    Rockets guard Eric Gordon has improved his diet, focused on sprints, and has apparently shed 12 pounds in the process, according to Kelly Iko of The Athletic.

    Gordon has battled knee ailments for essentially his whole career and has dealt with his fair share of nagging injuries this season as well. Losing weight to create a lighter frame would seem sensible, especially with the knee issues. The Rockets, remember, fully adopted the "small ball" lineup and move fast so Gordon is smart to keep his endurance and fitness at high levels. He's going to have to play well and make shots for the Rockets when the NBA returns to action, otherwise coach Mike D'Antoni won't be able to justify giving Gordon minutes. We don't anticipate much fantasy value out of him if and when the league starts back up.

    Source: The Athletic

  • LeBron James
    SF, Los Angeles Lakers

    Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN is reporting that the NBA is planning for a Board of Governors vote on Thursday, during which they are expected to approve Adam Silver's proposal for re-starting the season in Orlando.

    The trend lines are all moving in this direction, and this adds another bullet point on the schedule as the league prepares for launching games on July 31. Adam Silver has been able to bridge any divides between ownership and the players, and has been taking into account all his key constituent's views as we approach approval of a plan for moving forward. We still have plenty of items to resolve before we see game action, but the NBA is gaining momentum as these details come into place.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

  • Bradley Beal
    SG, Washington Wizards

    On Friday, the Wizards resumed holding voluntary workouts at their practice facilities.

    The Wizards have joined a chorus of teams that are returning in limited capacities to their facilities at this point. The NBA as a whole is continuing its march towards the resumption of play with a target date of July 31 now established. The District of Columbia also entered phase one of reopening today, and it makes sense for the team to proceed on a similar trajectory.

    Source: Candace Buckner on Twitter

  • Julius Randle
    PF, New York Knicks

    Part of the Knicks' off-season thinking is to shape the roster around RJ Barrett, and it unclear where Julius Randle will fit in those plans.

    Barrett and Randle have similar offensive styles, as they typically have an advantage relying upon their strength to attack the basket, but neither has a component deep ball at this stage in their careers. As Barrett is the younger option it makes sense that the Knicks want to sign shooters to give him more space to operate with. Randle's lousy percentages and turnovers has made for a disappointing season with the Knicks thus far, and Barrett will also need to make some strides in the shooting department to become a 12-team asset. Randle is under contract for next season is owed at least $4,000,000 in 2021-22.

    Source: https://www.sny.tv/knicks/news/heres-who-knicks-could-target-as-leon-roses-front-office-reshapes-roster/313481746

  • Jayson Tatum
    SF, Boston Celtics

    On Friday, the Celtics' announced that their practice facilities would reopen on June 1.

    That leaves us with four NBA teams without access to their facilities. Things are beginning to accelerate throughout the league as teams ramp up activities in hopes of resuming competition in Orlando on July 31. So far so good, but the NBA still has many hurdles to overcome on the path to resuming the season.

    Source: Celtics PR on Twitter

  • RJ Barrett
    SF, New York Knicks

    The Knicks reopened their practice facility for voluntary workouts on Friday.

    Another step in the right direction for the NBA's return to action at the end of July. It's still unclear if the Knicks will even be involved in whatever plan is agreed upon, but it is good to learn that the players can now access their facilities in New York. Only five team facilities have not opened up in some capacity at this point.

    Source: Knicks PR on Twitter