• It is Friday, November 30 and I am back once again to help break down some of my favorite value plays for tonight’s 11-game NBA slate. As some of you may know we are partnered with DraftKings and will be using their scoring and salary format.

    Tonight is also special because we will be running another “Hoop Ball Beat the Expert” contest on DraftKings. The contest entry fee is only $3 and top 10 take home prize money, with first place also receiving a glorious Hoop Ball t-shirt. These contests are loads of fun to do. And you can join by clicking right here!

    Tonight is going to be an important night to monitor news and players heading into lock and even after lock. We have a few game-time decisions that could drastically impact the way we view the slate and plenty of value to choose from and more expected to open up. DFS is a fluid motion and your lineups and plays should be subject to change as the news rolls in and utilizing the late swap feature may be essential tonight. We have a lot of studs in good spots tonight, so I am going to focus more on the cheaper options to fit those guys and throw in two of my top high-priced options as well. Let’s jump right into some of my favorite value plays to target.

    Point Guard

    Elie Okobo vs. Magic $3,000 – This one is a little risky given how late the game starts, but if we get the word that Okobo will draw a start we have to look at him. In 32 minutes last game he shot 8-of-12 and managed 33.5 DK points. At minimum salary we are not looking for a whole lot and I find it hard to believe Okobo does not make value if starting.

    Ryan Arcidiacono vs. Pistons $4,400 – There may not be much juice left in the orange to squeeze, but we’ve seen the upside Arcidiacono has when playing 30-plus minutes. I do not expect another five steals, but he is running point and has taking double digit shot attempts over the past two games. We have a lot of value in a similar price range tonight

    Kemba Walker vs. Jazz $8,800 – This is the lowest we have seen Walker priced in quite some time and this is a good spot to take advantage of it. The Jazz’s defense is good, but the volume in which Walker has been shooting virtually makes him matchup-proof.

    Shooting Guard

    Marcus Smart vs. Cavs $4,300 – No Jaylen Brown means we are looking at Smart being inserted back into the starting lineup. Smart is not someone who absorbs a ton of usage, but he played 40 minutes in the last game that Brown sat and he could accumulate defensive and counting stats quickly. This a great matchup and even in a blowout I expect Smart to play close to 30 minutes.

    Jordan Clarkson vs. Celtics $5,300 – David Nwaba has already been ruled out and Kyle Korver has been traded to the Jazz and we do not know if Alec Burks will play tonight even if he’s available; this leaves Clarkson and Andrew Harrison as the lone bench guards for the Cavs. Clarkson played 32 minutes coming off of the bench in the Cavs’ last game and took 22 shots from the floor for 35.8 DK points. He makes very a solid pivot off of Collin Sexton, but both are fantastic plays tonight. If Burks is confirmed to get minutes tonight it would make me lean slightly more towards Sexton compared to Clarkson.

    D’Angelo Russell vs. Grizzlies $7,300 – I’ve seen all I need to see to throw Russell into my player pool on a nightly basis. Since Caris LeVert has gone out we have seen Russell’s minutes and usage spike massively. Over his last two games he has taken 25 and 28 shots from the floor. In one of those games he shot 57 percent and dropped over 60 DK points and even in the game he shot poorly (24 percent) he still managed 35 DK points. The upside is there and barring a blowout so is the floor. I don’t love the fact the Mike Conley will be defending Russell for most of the game, but the usage is just too enticing to steer me away.

    Small Forward

    Juancho Hernangomez vs. Blazers $4,700 – Would it be a Friday DFS article if I hadn’t mentioned Hernangomez? If you look at his game logs you will immediately be turned off, but there is a ton of upside available at his price. We have seen him drop multiple 40-plus DK point games in a row and If Gary Harris were forced to sit out again we could look to him for more usage as well. He is going to get overlooked on this massive slate. I’d likely reserve him for GPP’s as we have safer cash options around this price range.

    Markieff Morris vs. Sixers $5,500 – Dwight Howard has already been ruled out, leaving Thomas Bryant and Markieff Morris to man the center position. Bryant hasn’t played more than 18 minutes since being inserted into the starting lineup, leaving Morris to shoulder the load. In the past, Morris has struggled grasping usage playing alongside of John Wall and Bradley Beal, but that is a thing of the past now that he is coming off of the bench. He’s averaging 34.3 DK points over his last five games and the Wizards will need their bigger bodies.

    Power Forward

    Larry Nance Jr. vs. Celtics $5,600 – In both games that Nwaba has missed we have seen Nance play 36 and 38 minutes and Nwaba is out again tonight. I do not love this matchup but we know Nance is a point-per-minute producer and he gets to face a slightly weaker frontcourt without Al Horford. Tristan Thompson is another great player, but I have a lot of love for multiple center options on tonight’s slate and sliding Nance in at one of the forward spots makes more sense as of now.

    JaMychal Green/ Jaren Jackson Jr. vs. Nets $4,300/ $5,800 – Marc Gasol practiced in full on Thursday, but is currently being listed as a game-time decision for Friday’s game. If he were forced to sit out we have a ton of value that opens up. If becomes almost imperative that you have one of either Green or JJJ. I’d lean Green for the savings and small forward eligibility, but he probably doesn’t possess the same upside JJJ could offer with his blocks. Mike Conley would also position himself as one of the top point guard plays with Gasol out.


    Joel Embiid vs. Wizards $10,900 – Embiid is expensive, but warrants every dollar in this matchup. Dwight Howard has already been ruled out for the Wizards, leaving them extremely thin in the frontcourt. The Wizards do not have any bodies on their team with the size and strength to guard Embiid and if this game stays close he should have his way in the paint. Jimmy Butler has not impacted Embiid’s usage since he’s been there.

    Jusuf Nurkic vs. Nuggets $6,800 – This is a revenge spot for Big Nurk against his former team, but also a spot were we may assured of his minutes. We know Jokic is the Nuggets’ best player and as long as he is on the court we should have a fair dose of Nurkic barring foul trouble. His price tag is more than fair given his upside and it allows us to get some exposure to the late game. We have a ton of centers on the board to choose from, but Nurkic is one of my favorite plays in terms of points per dollar.

    Aron Baynes vs. Cavs $3,200 – Honestly, I probably won’t have a ton of Baynes on tonight’s slate. I love a lot of the center options and even though he is a value play he takes up one of those spots. We saw him go off in only 22 minutes against the Hawks the last time Horford was out, so I feel the need to mention him if you are looking to construct a lineup paying up for guards or multiple studs.

    Thank you all again for the support and if you have any questions or comments you could find me on Twitter @MikeApotria. Don’t forget to reserve your entry into tonight’s “Hoop Ball Beat the Expert” contest. It’s one you won’t want to miss out on.

Fantasy News

  • Jeremy Lin - G - Atlanta Hawks

    Jeremy Lin was able to do a little bit of work at Monday's practice but the team hasn't decided if he'll travel to Dallas for Wednesday's game.

    Lin missed Saturday with a back injury, and we'll need to wait another day or so to see if he'll be ready for Wednesday. The long layoff should help but you never know with back issues. DeAndre' Bembry will be the main beneficiary if Lin misses another game.

    Source: KL Chouinard on Twitter

  • Robert Covington - F - Minnesota Timberwolves

    Robert Covington (knee) is good to go for Monday's matchup with the Warriors.

    Covington was listed as probable and says he feels good enough to play, so we're considering him a go for this big game. You might want to check back just to be sure nothing pops up in shootaround but he's a fairly safe play tonight. Derrick Rose should return to the bench while Josh Okogie takes the biggest hit and may fall out of the rotation.

    Source: Jon Krawczynski on Twitter

  • Allonzo Trier - G - New York Knicks

    The Knicks are expected to convert Allonzo Trier's two-way deal to a standard contract this week.

    It's hardly surprising as Trier emerged as a coaching staff favorite back in training camp and has played well into the regular season. He's been a great find in another lost year for New York, and the only question is which player gets the axe. Trier is definitely worth owning in deeper formats, though his inconsistencies might make it tougher to hold onto him in 12-team formats.

    Source: Adam Zagoria on Twitter

  • Stanley Johnson - F - Detroit Pistons

    Stanley Johnson (left knee contusion) is questionable for Monday's game with the Sixers.

    Johnson has missed the last two games but figures to jump right into the starting lineup if he can go tonight. With Reggie Bullock out there are a lot of minute available on the wings, so it'd be a nice chance for Johnson to log a ton of playing time. Glenn Robinson III, Langston Galloway, Luke Kennard and Bruce Brown would divvy up Johnson's minutes if he can't play. This situation should only be of concern to deep-league players.

    Source: NBA.com

  • Reggie Bullock - F - Detroit Pistons

    Reggie Bullock (sprained left ankle) is listed as out for Monday's game.

    Bruce Brown has been starting with Bullock out but the Pistons are banged up on the wings and without Blake Griffin tonight, so pretty much everyone on the roster is a candidate to play more. Langston Galloway is the choice if you have to play one of your non-obvious Pistons tonight.

    Source: NBA.com

  • Anthony Davis - F/C - New Orleans Pelicans

    Anthony Davis (right hip contusion) is questionable to play on Monday.

    Davis left last night's game with the hip issue but did end up returning, though he was limited to 26 minutes and only six points. The Celtics are already missing Kyrie Irving and Aron Baynes and both Gordon Hayward and Al Horford are doubtful, so this game could be missing most of its starpower if Davis also sits out. Julius Randle would start in his place and Nikola Mirotic would likely draw back into the starting lineup, and both are automatic plays at all times. Cheick Diallo and Jahlil Okafor might see extra work off the bench.

    Source: NBA.com

  • Blake Griffin - F - Detroit Pistons

    Blake Griffin (rest) will sit out on Monday night.

    Griffin played yesterday but also hit the injury report with a knee contusion, so a day off in this back-to-back scenario isn't unexpected. Detroit's already fairly thin up front so they could either go small and move Glenn Robinson III to power forward or plug Jon Leuer into the starting lineup. Either way, wing players like Luke Kennard, Langston Galloway and Bruce Brown figure to see more minutes than usual. Look for Reggie Jackson and Andre Drummond to get a lot of shots up tonight.

    Source: NBA.com

  • Ish Smith - G - Detroit Pistons

    Ish Smith will miss the next 3-to-6 weeks with a right adductor tear but is still drawing interest on the trade market.

    Smith would be a nice add for a number of teams, as a high-quality backup who can really change a team's look with his speed. It also helps that he's on an expiring deal. Of course, the flip side of that is why the Pistons would be motivated to move Smith in the first place given that Reggie Jackson is occasionally prone to injuries — especially when they're in the playoff race. While Smith is out, Jose Calderon and Luke Kennard will see extra minutes backing up Jackson.

    Source: Vince Ellis on Twitter

  • Eric Moreland - C - Phoenix Suns

    The Suns will sign free agent Eric Moreland.

    Moreland was with the Pistons last season and spent the summer with the Raptors, who liked him enough to acquire his G-League rights as well. He's an excellent defender and a great rim protector, while also providing great energy on the glass. Moreland should fill the Tyson Chandler role in Phoenix, although he actually gives them youth, upside, and a number of other things that could be useful in the future. He probably won't play much behind Deandre Ayton and Richaun Holmes but it's a nice flier for the Suns.

    Source: Michael Scotto on Twitter

  • Nick Young - G - Denver Nuggets

    The Nuggets have signed Nick Young, and he'll be available to play in Monday's game after already passing his physical.

    The Nuggets need some help with Will Barton, Gary Harris and Paul Millsap all out but Young is added to a backcourt group that's actually gotten some solid play out of its bench from Monte Morris and Malik Beasley. He doesn't figure to play much but is a nice source of scoring punch on a roster that's suddenly down three of its biggest offensive pieces.

    Source: Harrison Wind on Twitter