• 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.


    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.

Fantasy News

  • Henry Ellenson - F - New York Knicks

    Henry Ellenson plans to sign a 10-day contract with the Knicks.

    Ellenson has shown promise at times, but he has never really put together any fantasy-relevant stretches. Leave him on the wire for now, but it's not impossible to imagine a scenario where the tanking Knicks are missing or sitting a couple bigs, giving Ellenson some decent run.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • Clint Capela - C - Houston Rockets

    Clint Capela (thumb) returned to practice on Tuesday with no limitations, which could determine his playing status for Thursday's game against the Lakers.

    Capela underwent surgery on January 17 and was initially given a 4-to-6 week timetable, so this would be at the early end of a return. The fact that he is returning to practice without any limitations is a great sign for owners, meaning a return is imminent. Watch out for the Rockets injury report on Wednesday.

    Source: Jonathan Feigen on Twitter

  • Jodie Meeks - G - Toronto Raptors

    Jodie Meeks is signing a 10-day contract with the Raptors, per Adrian Wojnarowski.

    Meeks was waived by the Bucks following the conclusion of his 25-game suspension for violating the league's anti-drug program. He hasn't played since last season with Washington and is unlikely to see much action with Toronto. He'll give the team some extra shooting when he does see the floor.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

  • Jared Dudley - F - Brooklyn Nets

    Jared Dudley (left hamstring strain) was scheduled to be re-evaluated on Tuesday.

    Dudley has already made it known that he's planning to return right out of the All-Star break, so unless today's checkup revealed some kind of further issue we're expecting him to be ready for Brooklyn's two games this week. His biggest fantasy impact will be taking minutes from more intriguing players.

    Source: Greg Logan on Twitter

  • Caris LeVert - G - Brooklyn Nets

    Caris LeVert will undergo an evaluation from the Nets medical staff on Tuesday.

    There's no sign of any setbacks from LeVert but the team will obviously keep a close eye on him after he's returned from a dislocated foot. This shouldn't be anything more than routine maintenance, so fantasy owners don't need to worry about it.

    Source: Greg Logan on Twitter

  • Ray Spalding - F - Phoenix Suns

    The Suns are expected to sign Ray Spalding to a 10-day contract.

    Spalding was the 56th pick in last summer's draft but only appeared in one NBA game this season with the Mavs. He was waived at the trade deadline with Dallas taking on one more player than they sent away, and will look to make an impression in a crowded Phoenix rotation. His college numbers (12.3 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.7 blocks in 27.7 minutes per game) make him a name to file away in deep dynasty leagues.

    Source: Gina Mizell on Twitter

  • MarShon Brooks - G - Chicago Bulls

    Marshon Brooks has agreed to terms with the Guangdong Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association, according to Sportando.

    Brooks played 29 games for the Grizzlies this season averaging 6.6 points and he is expected to replace Malcolm Delaney. Leave him on the waiver wire.

    Source: Sportando

  • Kristaps Porzingis - F/C - Dallas Mavericks

    Mark Cuban said that Kristaps Porzingis won't play this season, even if the Mavs somehow are able to make the playoffs.

    The Mavs want to put their world-class training staff, led by Casey Smith, to work, strengthening Porzingis’ body the rest of this season and throughout the summer to hopefully prevent similar injuries in the future. And after all, given the amount of money the Mavs could be committing to KP this summer, a max salary of $158 million, there is no need to risk something happening to him in a season where making the playoffs seems unlikely. Kristaps remains a great stash in redraft leagues.

    Source: 247sports.com

  • LeBron James - F - Los Angeles Lakers

    Joe Vardon of The Athletic is reporting that the Lakers are "somehow a little concerned" about LeBron James.

    LeBron hasn’t been showing the same speed or overall movement lately and the team is concerned that he’s not fully recovered from the groin injury that cost him to miss a career-high 18 games. The Lakers are in the 10th place in the Western Conference, three games behind the Clippers for the eighth and final playoff spot and they will need LeBron to be healthy for the rest of the season. James is averaging 26.8 points, 8.6 rebounds and 7.6 assists in 35 minutes per game, while his shooting percentage (51 percent), 3-point percentage (35 percent) and free-throw percentage (68 percent) are all down from last season. He is still returning borderline top-15 value in standard leagues and owners can only hope he doesn’t suffer a setback.

    Source: The Athletic

  • Michael Beasley - F - Los Angeles Clippers

    Ex-Lakers forward Michael Beasley is finalizing a deal to play with Guangdong Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association, according to Adrian Wojnarowski.

    Beasley returns to a league he is familiar with after an up and down season with the Lakers where he failed to produce consistently. It’s the smart thing to do since the Chinese team is offering him a lucrative deal and we wouldn’t expect to see him play again in the NBA, at least this season. Drop him if you haven’t already.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter