• 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.

    Center

    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

  • 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

  • Kawhi Leonard
    SF, Los Angeles Clippers

    On Tuesday afternoon, AmicoHoops reported (via Twitter) that an unidentified NBA GM told them the league has seriously discussed resuming the current NBA season on Wednesday, July 22.

    Nothing has been officially announced, by any means, and this is the first we've heard of specific target date(s) from anyone. It's looking like the continuation of the season will occur in Orlando at Walt Disney World at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex, which has accommodations for at least some of what the NBA has planned for a resuming activity. As we have relayed numerous times recently, the next week or two seem to be a likely window for some decisions from Adam Silver and Co. at the NBA league office to start to come down. Stay tuned, hoops fans.

    Source: AmicoHoops on Twitter

  • Damian Lillard
    PG, Portland Trail Blazers

    Damian Lillard announced on Tuesday evening that, in the event of a continuation of the NBA season, he would not be participating if the Blazers are scheduled to play 'meaningless games' with no shot at making the playoffs.

    "If we come back and they're just like, 'We're adding a few games to finish the regular season,' and they're throwing us out there for meaningless games and we don't have a true opportunity to get into the playoffs, I'm going to be with my team because I'm a part of the team. But I'm not going to be participating," Lillard told Yahoo! Sports on Tuesday morning. It's hard to blame him, as it is quite easy to see the potential situation from his point of view. There have been countless scenarios tossed around by the league office during the pandemic period, but nothing is set in stone so far. Lillard, for his part, is only interested in returning to action if there exists a legitimate shot for his Blazers to reach the NBA Finals. Fair enough.

    Source: Yahoo! Sports

  • Joel Embiid
    C, Philadelphia Sixers

    The Sixers, who have their practice facility located in nearby Camden, NJ, will allow voluntary player workouts at the facility beginning on Wednesday, raising the number of NBA teams who have been able to do so to 22.

    The Celtics, Knicks, Bulls, Pistons, Wizards, Mavericks, Spurs and Warriors are the final teams remaining who are unable to return to their practice facilities. The NBA seems to be inching ever so close to, at the very least, announcing a plan for a continuation of the current season. This next week or two should be very eventful on that front.

    Source: Marc Stein on Twitter