• What is going on Hoop Ballers? Hope everyone enjoyed Thanksgiving with their loved ones and saved room for some DFS. Here at Hoop Ball we can’t be thankful enough for our supporters. You are the ones who grease the wheels of our fantasy community and allow us the opportunity to do what we love.

    It is Friday, November 23 and I am back with another edition of my DFS picks for the night. Again, we apologize that we were unable to offer our weekly Wednesday DraftKings’ contest, but I will be hosting a special private contest on DraftKings today to give us our fix for the week. There are only 30 spots open in this contest, so jump in while you can because it is always a great time. It also gives readers a chance to see some of the plays I am interested in early on and how my lineup progressed and panned out by lock. We have to remember that this is an early look at the slate and things change and value opens up as the day progresses. Your lineup should never be locked in early and if it is you are not taking advantage of all of the information we provide here at Hoop Ball throughout the day and not utilizing the late-swap feature properly.

     

    We have 12 games to focus on tonight, but as you all know there are a few games we could cross out or pay little to no attention to so try not to get overwhelmed by the player pool. We have a lot of games and players to look at, so let’s not waste anymore time and get right to it.

     

    Point Guard

     

    Trey Burke vs. Pelicans $4,400– Trying to peg the Knicks’ point guard is a situation I have been avoiding all season, but we can’t ignore what Burke has been doing over the last few games. In the last week games Burke has averaged 26 minutes per game, but is boasting a massive 36.6 usage rate; 4.2 percent higher than Tim Hardaway Jr. This game is going to bleed fantasy production and regardless of the score Burkes’ minutes and usage feel safe. After his last performance he will likely draw ownership, but we are much less worried about ownership percentages on massive slates like this.

    Lonzo Ball vs. Jazz $5,100- Ball finally saw the minutes we have been expecting him to play since Rajon Rondo broke his hand. In the first two games with Rondo out, Ball played 28 and 22 minutes, but in a closer game versus the Cavs he managed to see 35 minutes. We know Ball is capable of stuffing the stat sheet and while it isn’t the best matchup against the Jazz, it is a home game and Ball’s splits between home and away have been night and day. He is still priced as though he is not going to see 30-plus minutes and should easily hit value if he does.

    Damian Lillard vs. Warriors $9,000- This is a spot I always turn to Lillard. Last season Lillard averaged 37.0 points, 6.0 assists and 3.7 rebounds against the Warriors across three games. The pace will be increased against the Warriors and without Stephen Curry and Draymond Green we are much less worried about a blow out. Lillard is from Oakland, California giving us an added narrative that he generally delivers on. He will likely have friends and family in the stands giving some added motivation and I am expecting another huge game from Lillard tonight.

     

    Shooting Guard

     

    Klay Thompson vs. Trailblazers $6,700- I am very high on Lillard tonight and in this type of matchup it makes sense correlation wise to run it back with a Warrior. Durant is the obvious great play and you do not need me to tell you that, but Klay often gets overlooked and his price tag is more than fair given his expected usage with Curry and Green already ruled out. We know that Klay isn’t going to stuff the counting stat department, but he has taken at least 20 shot attempts over the last three games and we know how hot he could get. He feels like a safe cash play and he always provides GPP upside.

    Donovan Mitchell vs. Lakers $7,400- Mitchell has been hit or miss as of late scoring less than 20 DK points in two of the last five games, but this is a matchup we cannot ignore. In those other three games he has scored at least 40 DK points and has taken at least 21 shot attempts. This will be a high-tempo game and I am expecting Mitchell to take advantage of the pace. We are going to want some exposure to and if it’s not Mitchell it may be another member of the Jazz I’ll mention later.

    Jrue Holiday vs. Knicks $8,300- Holiday has been absolutely crushing since he began manning the point guard duties for the injured Elfrid Payton. Over his last six games he is averaged 47.7 DK points and a lot of that is due to the 10.2 assists he is averaging across that span. This game presents risk, but the Knicks kept the game intact last time these teams met up and Holiday hung up 49 DK points on this poor Knicks backcourt. He feels more than safe for any format.

     

    Small Forward

     

    Marcus Morris vs. Hawks $4,900- I originally wrote this article up only mentioning Hayward, but after report came out saying Al Horford (knee) is unlikely to play we have to consider other options. Morris has been playing phenomenally for the Celtics this season and should see his minutes in the low-30’s tonight. We saw his price tag reach close to $6,000 not too long ago and that was with Horford playing. I’d be foolish not to mention Aron Baynes as a value play at $3,300.

     Gordon Hayward vs. Hawks $5,600- Don’t look now, but we are starting to see Hayward’s minutes rise over the last few games. Hayward has admitted that he is still lacking his usual bounce and energy, but at this price tag against the Hawks it is hard to imagine he does not hit value. I am less concerned about the blow out risk associated with Hayward compared to the other Celtics as Celtics’ head coach Brad Stevens will likely play Hayward at least 28 minutes regardless to help shake the rust off. With Horford unlikely to play we may also see a shift where Hayward plays even more in small ball lineups.

    Josh Richardson vs. Bulls $7,300- Richardson has evolved into the scorer the Heat wanted him to be this season averaging 20 actual points per game. He is flaunting a 25.4 percent with Goran Dragic and Tyler Johnson off of the floor and we know he is going to see a fair share of Zach Lavin defense. Richardson let us down last game, but I am not afraid to go back to the well in this matchup. If you are looking for a contrarian option on the Heat side you could look Dwyane Wade’s way. He only played 13 minutes last game, but it was after returning from an eight-day layoff and was likely being eased back in. Wade is from Chicago so there is some narrative in there, but I’d only reserve him as a high-risk GPP option if I am playing multiple lineups.

     

    Power Forward

     

    Noah Vonleh $4,300 vs. Pelicans- Vonleh is likely to be chalky for cash games tonight and for good reason. Over the last three games has played at least thirty minutes and in two of those produced over 40 DK points. It is a matchup that we know that Knicks will have to play big in and barring another wild David Fizdale lineup change Vonleh is expected to draw the start. I would say ease with caution; as much as I think Vonleh is in play I tend to review my lineups over and over again when I am playing Knicks, as it never feels comfortable.

    Juancho Hernangomez vs. Magic $4,700- Since entering the starting lineup Hernangomez has been one of my favorite plays for DFS. His minutes are secure and he has taken double-digit shots attempts in each of the last four games. He offers a safe enough floor, but has flashed some GPP upside scoring 40 DK points in two of those four games. I am not in love with power forward position as a whole tonight and it is likely a spot I use to save some cash.

    Blake Griffin vs. Rockets $9,200– Griffin has been playing on another level this season, we just got a taste of this matchup a few days ago. In that matchup Griffin dropped 37 points with 11 rebounds scoring almost 60 DK points and somehow his price has dropped $200 since that game. It is hard pegging Andre Drummond and Griffin’s big games, as they could sometimes eat into each others value regarding rebounding, but this is a matchup that Griffin has licked his chops for. He gets up for the matchup against his former teammate Chris Paul and even in two games last season Griffin has averaged 28 points, 10 rebounds and assists against the Rockets.

     

    Center

     

    John Collins $4,900 vs. Celtics- Collins has been seeing his minutes increase after working his way back from a tough ankle injury, but let’s not forget the beast we all drafted early in our season long leagues. It is obviously not a great matchup against one of the NBA’s better defensive units, but Collins his going to be a key cog for this Hawks’ team and should be locked into at least 25 minutes regardless of the score. I would only look to play Collins in a lineup where I am targeting some Celtics on the other side. I spoke on Hayward being a great value before, but we could be paired with Kyrie Irving in a great matchup.

    Steven Adams vs. Hornets $7,100- Adams has been one of my highest targeted center plays on the year thus far and as long as DraftKings refuses to price him to where he should be I will continue to ride him. This is a great matchup and we have seen the Hornets play at a much faster pace this year than they have in the past. This is another spot where I am anticipating a double-double bonus for Adams, as the Hornets have struggled against the center position all season.

    Rudy Gobert vs. Lakers $7,500- For some reason Gobert always tends to go low-owned on larger slates. He offers a safe floor with massive upside on those big double-double nights. A matchup against the Lakers is a picture perfect one and there should be a high-volume of shots taken offering Gobert plenty of block and rebounding upside. I mentioned another Jazz player other than Mitchell I was high on and here he is. If I were to only play one it would Rudy over Mitchell for me, but the center position is always deep.

     

    As always thank you guys for the support and if there are any questions or comments you can always find me on Twitter @MikeApotria. Let’s fill this contest up tonight and continue the smack talk and bragging rights. You could find the link to the tournament here.

Fantasy News

  • 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

  • LeBron James
    SF, Los Angeles Lakers

    On a call with the Board of Governors on Friday, Adam Silver and the league office confirmed July 31 as a target date for the resumption of the NBA season, according to a report from Shams Charania.

    We have to imagine that this is just one of the possible options on the table, as the league still has much to figure out. Charania adds that the league has four scenarios for the return: 16 teams move directly to the playoffs, 20 teams engage in group/stage play, 22 teams have games to determine seeding with a play-in tournament, and all 30 teams reconvene for a 72-game season with a play-in tournament. It's seemed unlikely that we'll have a full 30-team return given the stated priorities for player safety. There are still tons of logistical hurdles to clear but the NBA is getting its ducks in a row for a potential return.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • Andre Iguodala
    SF, Miami Heat

    Andre Iguodala returned to South Florida after living in California since the NBA season was suspended.

    Iguodala returning to the market where his team is could mean that he believes team workouts will begin soon. However, there is no official timetable on when team workouts will begin and Jimmy Butler has yet to return to Miami.

    Source: Ira Winderman on Twitter

  • Zach LaVine
    SG, Chicago Bulls

    K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune reported that the Bulls were cleared by the Governor of Illinois and are in talks with city officials to open practice facilities on Friday for voluntary workouts that would follow the NBA guidelines.

    The NBA's guidelines currently state that a maximum of four players are allowed in the facility at any given time and there can only be one player per hoop. The Bulls are currently eight games behind the Orlando Magic for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. The Bulls may not play again this season given how far behind they are in the standings and the recent reports of proposals to not continue the regular season.

    Source: K.C. Johnson on Twitter

  • Luka Doncic
    PG-SF, Dallas Mavericks

    Marc Stein of the New York Times has reported that the Mavs plan to open their practice facility on Thursday.

    This news would make the Mavs the 23rd team to have their facilities open for "voluntary and socially distanced player workouts". Continue to monitor the wire as we should learn more about the potential of the league resuming in early June.

    Source: Marc Stein on Twitter