• 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

  • Kyle Kuzma
    PF, Los Angeles Lakers

    Kyle Kuzma is out for Team USA's tuneup up game vs. Australia with a sore left ankle.

    Kuzma is being held out of this one for precautionary reasons. There's clearly no need for USA Basketball to risk him further injuring the sore ankle. This does not sound like a serious injury and should not affect his fantasy ADP on draft day.

    Source: USA Basketball on Twitter

  • Dwight Howard
    C, Memphis Grizzlies

    Dwight Howard has agreed with the Grizzlies on a buyout, and will sign a non-guaranteed contract with the Lakers.

    The Lakers are giving Howard an opportunity to be fantasy relevant. When given minutes, Dwight can produce double-doubles with the best of them, but he has been changing teams for years now. He will be worth a gamble at the end of your draft if camp with the Lakers goes well, but this is a non-guaranteed deal, and he only played nine games last season.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • Marcus Derrickson
    PF, Atlanta Hawks

    The Hawks signed Marcus Derrickson to an Exhibit 10 contract on Friday.

    It looks like Derrickson will be a G-League option for the Hawks, so there's nothing to see here. At one point he was competing for the last roster spot on the team. We don't need to keep of track of every computer-generated player.

    Source: Chris Vivlamore on Twitter

  • Marreese Speights
    C, Free Agent

    Marreese Speights will work out for the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday according to Alex Kennedy of Hoopshype.

    Speights spent last year playing in China and will attempt his NBA comeback with the Lakers. who are in desperate need of an additional center. He is among three centers the Lakers are looking into, the others being Dwight Howard and Joakim Noah. Of those three, Speights unquestionably has the best floor spacing ability, which would be his strongest bet to eke out those other two for the job.

    Source: Alex Kennedy on Twitter

  • Trevor Booker
    PF, International

    Trevor Booker has worked out for the Nuggets and has workouts planned with the Bucks and Clippers, according to Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype.

    Booker was out of the NBA in 2018-19, spending the season in China after he didn't get any offers in free agency. He did return to the US to undergo a procedure on his foot but is apparently fully recovered. The last time we saw Booker he split 68 games between the Nets, Sixers and Pacers in 2017-18. If he does make a successful comeback he'll have no fantasy relevance.

    Source: Alex Kennedy on Twitter

  • John Henson
    PF, Cleveland Cavaliers

    In a recent Q & A on Cleveland.com, beat writer Chris Fedor said that the Cavs are "excited" to have a healthy John Henson.

    Henson underwent surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left wrist last November and missed the rest of the season. He was limited to 14 games with Milwaukee before getting traded to the Cavs, averaging 5.6 points, 5.1 rebounds and 0.8 blocks in 13.4 minutes per game. The Cavs do have a crowded rotation at center with Tristan Thompson, Kevin Love and Larry Nance Jr. all candidates to see minutes, but Henson gives them an element of rim protection and could factor in. He's a name to remember for deep-league owners hunting blocks.

    Source: Cleveland.com

  • Robert Covington
    SF, Minnesota Timberwolves

    Robert Covington (right knee bone bruise) will reportedly be "good to go" for the start of training camp in October.

    Well, this is good news that we didn't hope we would need. Covington played 35 games last year and couldn't get over the bone bruise injury that kept him out for a majority of the year. We expected him to be ready to go, and the fact that we're even discussing this is slightly less than ideal.

    Source: Dane Moore on Twitter

  • Kemba Walker
    PG, Boston Celtics

    Team USA has named Kemba Walker, Marcus Smart and Donovan Mitchell as captains for the FIBA World Cup.

    Congratulations to Mitchell, Walker and Smart on the tremendous honor of being named captains for the USA men's team. This won't have any impact on their upcoming fantasy seasons, but it is a major accomplishment nonetheless. Team USA has an exhibition rematch against Team Australia on Saturday.

    Source: Boston.com Celtics News on Twitter

  • Isaiah Canaan
    PG, International

    Isaiah Canaan has signed a contract with the Shangdong Heroes of the Chinese Basketball Association.

    The veteran journeyman played for the Suns, Wolves and Bucks last season, appearing in 30 games total. Canaan will be looking at a more prominent role and payday overseas as he attempts to build his value back up before trying to latch on to a team towards the end of the year. Canaan is off the fantasy radar.

    Source: Zhang Duo on Twitter

  • Patty Mills
    PG, San Antonio Spurs

    Patty Mills put up 19 points, three assists, two steals, a block and three 3-pointers in Thursday's international exhibition between Team Australia and Team USA.

    The Boomers figure to be one of the chief threats to the Americans in the World Cup and put forth a competitive effort in today's exhibition. Mills has typically been a steady, late-round fantasy option for deep-league play but that may change this season as the Spurs will need to mix in both Derrick White and Dejounte Murray in the backcourt. Chris Goulding tied for the team lead in points, also scoring 19 while hitting four 3-pointers in 22 minutes off the bench.