• Welcome back to another Friday edition of my Hoop Ball DFS plays. It is February 8 and we have eight games to look at for tonight’s card. Things could seem a little foggy following the trade deadline, but paying attention and monitoring the news could be key to capitalizing on depressed salaries and guys in new roles.

    As of now, we are still waiting on some pretty important news that will dictate the slate. This is whether or not Paul Millsap and Joel Embiid will suit up. For this reason I left any players in this game out of my analysis. Just know if Embiid sits we will see Jimmy Butler and Ben Simmons get a massive boost. Tobias Harris is underpriced on his new team and, if playing, would make another solid value play. Now, I am really only looking at these guys if Embiid sits. If Paul Millsap sits we have to look towards Mason Plumlee and Trey Lyles once again. Obviously Embiid is in play if he suits up and so is Nikola Jokic. These are two guys I will never argue against playing, but as of now I think I am headed in a different direction.

    Now that we got that out of the way, let’s jump right into my favorite value plays on the slate. You will also notice plenty of pivots on the same team. This is because I love the opportunity and matchups these players are in. I expect both players to see upticks and play well, but the pivots are also priced apart, making construction easier to tinker with.

    Point Guard

    Eric Bledsoe vs. Mavs $6,700 – Khris Middleton has already been ruled out for tonight’s game due to rest and we have seen Bledsoe take on a heavier role when this has been the case in the past. His price is slightly elevated, but Bledsoe has been crushing it over the last four games and that is with Middleton in the lineup. We will have another solid option on the Bucks later if you can’t afford Bledsoe.

    Dennis Smith Jr. vs. Pistons $5,800 – It feels like DSJ has faced the Pistons multiple times over the last few weeks and that is because he has. The Pistons are pretty lousy at defending point guards and it feels like DSJ is just starting to ramp things up on his new team. Knicks head coach David Fizdale said he is giving DSJ the keys to the car and letting him do what he wants while he is out there. I’d expect another big one from him, so long as he sees 30-plus minutes.

    Collin Sexton vs. Wizards $4,500 – Finally, we can breathe knowing some of these guards are out of Cleveland. Sexton should continue seeing a boatload of minutes and last game we saw him take 24 shot attempts from the floor with Cedi Osman out. You read that tight, I said 24 shot attempts. This is massive usage and an amazing matchup for pace. I will also take a long look at a slightly more expensive Jordan Clarkson. It’s hard to imagine one, if not both of these guys going nuts for their price in a close matchup. Kevin Love (foot) is currently a GTD, but him playing would not have much of an impact on the guards other than a few less shots for Sexton.

    Shooting Guard

    Dwyane Wade/Dion Waiters vs. Kings $5,000/$3,900 – I listed both Waiters and Wade because I think they both have a solid chance to see a few extra minutes following the trade deadline. It is a great matchup for shooting guards and the Kings just recently shipped their best perimeter defender (Iman Shumpert) off to Houston. These are both tournament plays, but Wade has quietly been crushing as of late, scoring over 37 DK points in three of four games. Waiters offers some upside if he shoots like he wants to. We have a lot of value on tonight’s slate and may not need to go there, but he will surely be low-owned in the late-night hammer.

    Tomas Satoransky vs. Cavs $5,700 – Let’s not beat around the bush on this one. Sato feels safer in cash, but in a matchup versus the Cavs he could easily crush and pay off his salary for tournaments as well. I am targeting this game quite heavily, but we are also going to want all of the news before making too many decisions. It helps that he is small forward eligible.

    Malcolm Brogdon vs. Mavericks $5,600 – Brogdon is in a similar boat to Bledsoe tonight with Khris Middleton out. They should both play more than thirty minutes and both see increased usage. I don’t think I would play both Brogdon and Bledsoe in the same lineup, so it is going to come down to construction and salary.

    Small Forward

    Andrew Wiggins vs. Pelicans $6,000 – This is merely a usage play. The Timberwolves may be without both Teague and Rose again and we have been seeing Wiggins take advantage of the usage. Strictly a tournament play.

    Tim Hardaway Jr. vs. Bucks $4,900 – THJ came out and played 26 minutes in his first game with the Mavericks. The days of Hardaway taking 24 shots from the floor are likely gone, but so are DSJ and Harrison Barnes and someone is going to take some shots other than Luka Doncic. I imagine he will see a few extra minutes and that will lead to some extra shot attempts. The Bucks have a stellar defense, but they have struggled against shooting guards in the past.

    Power Forward

    Lauri Markkanen vs. Nets $7,000 – The only reason I am not starting center for the Chicago Bulls is because I had to be up early this morning to provide content. No, but seriously, Lauri is by far their best option at center and we are always looking to target bigs versus the Nets. We do not have word at the moment on whether or not Otto Porter will suit up for the Bulls, but Zach Lavine is currently being listed as questionable and if either one or both were to sit out Markkanen would absorb massive usage. He is in play for me regardless of who is in or out and the Bull I feel the most comfortable playing.

    Thomas Bryant vs. Cavs $5,200 – Bryant cooked last game for over 50 DK points, but now we have Bobby Portis coming into town to mooch some minutes. I am only playing Bryant if we hear Portis is out and hoping for another 30-plus minute game. Bryant is an excellent point per minute producer and as I mentioned before this is a matchup we just cannot ignore. If Portis does suit up I think we have to consider him.

    Dwight Powell vs. Bucks $4,400 – We saw Kleber draw the start at center last game, but with Harrison Barnes shipped off to Sacramento we may see Kleber slide down to power forward. If this is the case Powell would likely draw the start. Both of these guys are in play, but for me I’d lean Kleber is cash and Powell in tournaments.

    Center

    Karl-Anthony Towns vs. Pelicans $10,000 – I feel as though Towns has been overlooked as of late in the DFS community. Tonight will probably be similar as we have a lot of top tier centers on the board tonight and Towns is expected to be guarded by Anthony Davis. The Timberwolves are depleted and desperately need a big game from him to stay alive. These two teams have faced off three times this season and Towns is averaging 67 DK points in those games.

    Hassan Whiteside vs. Kings $6,800 – Shhhh, keep it down, Whiteside has quietly played over 30 minutes over the last two games. Heat head coach Erik Spolestra mentioned switching up the lineup and trying new things. One of these switches was inserting Kelly Olynyk into the starting lineup. Now, pivots have been the theme of the article and this is another one for you. I will likely have exposure to either Kelly O or Whiteside in most lineups.

    Robin Lopez vs. Nets $4,000 – Well, for now it doesn’t look like Lopez will be bought out and that leaves him as one of the last remaining centers on the roster. Cristiano Felicio is bad, end of discussion. The Bulls do not seem concerned with developing him. Lopez played 29 minutes last game and if he sees those minutes against a weak Nets’ frontcourt I see a big rebounding game coming his way. I probably would not play Lopez and Lauri in the same lineup.

    As always you could find me on Twitter @Mike Apotria with any of your questions or comments.

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