• Welcome back Hoop-Ballers. It is Friday and I am here to help you break down this loaded 11 game slate. It may seem like a ton of games, but by the end of this article it will seem like a much shorter four to five game slate. It is an early look, so as of now we are not looking a whole lot of value to fit in multiple superstars, so I am feeling fair and balanced until some more value opens up throughout the day. The theme will be finding ceiling players that are underpriced. There are a few options too many that are appearing underpriced despite their recent performances before the All-Star break. So let’s not waste any more time and jump in.

    Point Guard

    Tomas Satoransky $5,700– The return of Tim Frazier did not affect Satoranksy’s production in the slightest. Satoransky is averaging 34 minutes over his last four games and producing an average of 37 DK across that span. The matchup is solid against Kemba Walker and the Hornets and the Wizards look comfortable with Satoransky handling the reins with John Wall out. The floor feels safe and we have seen what his ceiling can be.

    Goran Dragic $6,400- The dragon seems underpriced in what should be a pace-up game for the Heat. He should draw Rajon Rondo out of the gates as a defender, which is only a positive. Dragic has 40 point upside on any given night and the usage has been there. I find it hard to believe he doesn’t reach value if he takes at least 15 shots.

    Dennis Smith Jr. $7,000– This will be one of my favorite games to target. Most teams without playoff hopes shift gears following the All-Star break and the Mavs were showing their cards just before as well. We just saw this matchup before the break and DSJ dropped 33.75 DK points in 34 minutes on 5-of-12 shooting. A few more shot attempts and we would have been looking at a 40 DK point game. Like I said before, there are a few options around this price range, but I love this game and will be looking to get exposure to it.

    Shooting Guard

    Austin Rivers $5,700– All season long we have been targeting guards against the Suns and the addition of Elfrid Payton is not scaring me off now. The Suns versus the Clippers is another game I will be overweight on tonight. This one should be be fast paced and if we have word on Avery Bradley’s (sports hernia) status before tip-off it should be simple to figure out. I am guessing he sits another one out, but it seems it is more about pain management and monitoring. Either way we know Rivers will get his minutes regardless. The price tag is a fair one and he doesn’t have the same upside that he did when the Clippers were depleted, but he may see some extra run at point guard if Milos Teodosic (plantar facitis) is limited at all on the back to back.

    Eric Bledsoe $6,900– He is just too cheap.  Bledsoe is averaging 43 DK points over his last six games and has an average of 37 DK points against the Raptors this season. There are a few point guards in a similar price range on the board as well tonight, so I expect Bledsoe to fly under the radar for another game.

    Devin Booker $8,000– The way I am looking at the slate from an early perspective is fair and balanced. I am not seeing a whole lot of value, but what we are seeing are mid-ranged plays with 50 point upside. Booker fits the mold and draws a fantastic matchup against a Clippers team who cannot defend shooters. Yes Bradley is a great perimeter defender, but he may not play and could be limited if he does. We have seen the upside Booker has when he catches fire and is taking shots and I think coming off a 3-point contest victory Booker will be looking to chuck. Do not forget about Elfrid Payton. I do not know if I would play him and Booker in the same lineup, but I will definitely have exposure to both.

    Small Forward

    Tyrone Wallace $3,600– Wallace could be a source of elite value on tonight’s slate if the Clippers are thin at guard again tonight. Bradley is a question mark and Teodosic is on a back to back. I love the matchup and it helps us fill a weak small forward position. He didn’t start last night, but it appears it was due to disciplinary actions. He eventually started the second half over Teodosic.

    Kyle Kuzma $5,900– The shot attempts are there for Kuzma. In the Lakers’ last game before the All-Star break Kuzma played only 19 minutes, but managed to get up 12 shots in that time. He is the scorer off of the bench for this team and when hot will find himself getting minutes in the thirties. It is great exposure to the late game hammer and Kuzma has shown he can provide DFS value in multiple ways.

    Power Forward

    Nikola Mirotic $6,600– Mirotic is the definition of a GPP play. He can blow up a lineup or an entire slate. The matchup is not the best. The Heat tend to slow games down and James Johnson is capable of chasing Mirotic out to the 3-point line. But I just look at the usage and shot attempts off of the bench. He is averaging 17 shot attempts over his last three games and his minutes seem safe hovering right around thirty. Again, I would have liked a better matchup, but there is plenty of juice to squeeze at $6,600.

    Julius Randle $7,300– The Mavericks are one of the league’s worst rebounding teams. Randle is pretty much good at one thing, rebounding. He has crushed the Mavs this season with an average of 43 DK points in two games against them. My favorite play at power forward on the slate.

    Center

    Alex Len $4,800– It looks like Tyson Chandler is more on the doubtful side, which means we may see another heavy dosage of Len. Last game Len finally got to see heavy run and played 38 minutes. The Suns may need his big body against DeAndre Jordan tonight and if we know he is going to get more than 30 minutes at that price I am all in.

    Al Horford $6,700– I think this is a little too cheap for Horford. The Celtics will be forced to play big throughout the game so Horford should see plenty of time at both power forward and center. In two games earlier this season Horford is averaging just over 35 DK points per game. You can slot him at power forward as well making lineup construction a breeze. I’d feel like a fool if I didn’t mention that this is also a revenge spot for Marcus Morris. I say this here because I would not recommend playing both Morris and Horford, but I expect a great game from one and a solid one from the other.

    Karl-Anthony Towns $9,300– Towns owns the Rockets. It feels like every time these two teams meet he drops at least 60 DK points. It is just a great pace up spot for the Wolves and whenever Towns has an opportunity to run the floor we want to take advantage of that. Even though it is a dream spot, he may still go under owned with Andre Drummond having an equally good matchup at a similar price.

    As always if you have any questions or comments you can reach me on Twitter @MikeApotria. Good luck tonight!

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: SNY.tv

  • 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