• 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.




    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

  • Collin Sexton
    PG, Cleveland Cavaliers

    Cavs coach John Beilein wants Collin Sexton to understand how being used off the ball can be beneficial to him and by giving the sophomore more opportunities to score, as opposed to running the offense, the results have been encouraging.

    Through nine games, Sexton is averaging 18.8 points on 44.3 percent shooting from the field and 42.2 percent from 3-point range, numbers that have gone up from last season. With rookie Darius Garland running the point, Sexton is providing an explosive scoring punch and developing into more of a combo guard. The lack of steals and the low assists contribute to him being a borderline top-150 asset for the year and he should be viewed as more of a scoring specialist right now.

    Source: Cleveland.com

  • Dennis Smith Jr.
    PG, New York Knicks

    Dennis Smith Jr., who has missed seven straight games after the death of his stepmother, could get back on the court against the Bulls on Tuesday.

    DSJ practiced on Monday for the first time since he left the team to be with his family in North Carolina two weeks ago. He has been working out on his own during his leave, but he said on Sunday that nothing could obviously simulate real games and practices. Frank Ntilikina has played well as the starting point guard and it appears to be his job to lose, but Smith can be helpful for the struggling Knicks that could use any help right now.

    Source: NY Post

  • Kristaps Porzingis
    PF-C, Dallas Mavericks

    After a 1-of-11 shooting night when he had more fouls (five) than points (four), Kristaps Porzingis was fine getting benched at the end of game.

    KP has struggled to find his form to start the season, something that shouldn’t be a surprise for a guy who went 19 months without playing competitive basketball following his torn ACL. He is averaging 18.3 points and 7.9 rebounds per game but is shooting just 40.1 percent overall and 37.5 percent from behind the 3-point line. This is still good for top-75 value in standard leagues and Porzingis looks to be a nice bounce-back candidate as long as he can remain healthy.

    Source: ESPN

  • Luke Kennard
    SG, Detroit Pistons

    Luke Kennard kept it rolling in a loss to the Wolves on Monday, scoring 25 points (8-for-17 FGs, 5-for-5 FTs) and adding seven rebounds, two assists, one steal and four treys in 40 minutes.

    Kennard has now scored at least 24 points in four of his last five games. Some of that success can be attributed to Blake Griffin, Derrick Rose and Reggie Jackson missing the first four of those games. But this Griffin and Rose were back for this game, so it's nice to see Kennard keep it up. He probably won't continue to put up sixth-round value as the Pistons get healthier, but he's certainly worth keeping around.

  • Landry Shamet
    SG, Los Angeles Clippers

    Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports is reporting that Clippers guard Landry Shamet will undergo an MRI on his sprained left ankle on Tuesday morning in order to determine the severity of his injury.

    Shamet left the game on Monday after suffering the non-contact injury. It didn’t look good and it’s safe to assume that he will miss some time, so managers should prepare accordingly. The Clippers expect to get Paul George back as soon as this week and his return will help cover for Shamet’s potential loss. In the meantime, Rodney McGruger, Terrence Mann and Jerome Robinson will get the extra minutes but no one deserves serious consideration unless in deeper leagues.

    Source: Chris Haynes on Twitter

  • Lou Williams
    SG, Los Angeles Clippers

    Lou Williams kept his foot on the gast with 21 points on 7-of-15 shooting to go with four rebounds, four assists, a steal and two triples against the Raptors on Monday.

    Williams played 36 minutes and was struggling to start this one, but finished strong. He's still a prime sell-high guy, especially with Paul George (shoulder) returning this week.

  • Kawhi Leonard
    SF, Los Angeles Clippers

    Kawhi Leonard couldn't get his shot to fall in Monday's 98-88 win over the Raptors, scoring 12 points on 2-of-11 shooting while adding 11 rebounds, nine assists and three blocks.

    Leonard went 0-for-4 from deep and didn't make his second field goal until midway into the fourth quarter. The Raptors sent traps and doubles at Leonard all night and he made the right play, passing out to open teammates which is how he was so close to a triple-double. Leonard has evolved as a playmaker and is evidenced by him averaging a career-high 5.4 assists this season.

  • Montrezl Harrell
    PF, Los Angeles Clippers

    Montrezl Harrell scored 14 points with 11 rebounds while adding two assists, two steals and three blocks on Monday.

    Harell shot 7-for-15 from the floor which is actually a bit low for his standards and missed both free throws, but the added defensive stats make tonight a great one for him.

  • JaMychal Green
    PF, Los Angeles Clippers

    JaMychal Green scored 10 points on 3-of-11 shooting and added 12 rebounds, one assist and a block to his line on Monday.

    Green played 24 minutes off the bench and had his usual rebounding numbers, but went 0-for-5 from deep. In contrast, Patrick Patterson logged 15 minutes and went 4-for-8 from deep. Both players are too hard to own, especially with Paul George (shoulder) likely to return this week

  • OG Anunoby
    SF, Toronto Raptors

    OG Anunoby scored zero points with an assist before exiting Monday's game early with an eye injury.

    He was inadvertently poked in the eye by Kawhi Leonard and had to leave due to some bleeding. It's unclear how much time he'll miss, but we saw Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (29 minutes, nine points, nine rebounds, one assist, three steals and a block) pick up the bulk of the minutes. He's worth a short-term stream and Anunoby will see an eye doctor on Tuesday to determine the severity of the injury.

    Source: Doug Smith on Twitter