• 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

  • Salah Mejri - C - Dallas Mavericks

    Salah Mejri (illness) will not play on Saturday against the Warriors.

    Mejri has been a decent bet for per-minute blocks lately but fantasy owners will need to look for alternatives tonight. Dwight Powell and Maxi Kleber should split the center minutes against Golden State.

    Source: Chuck Cooperstein on Twitter

  • Zach LaVine - G - Chicago Bulls

    Zach LaVine (right thigh contusion) has been ruled out of Saturday's game against the Jazz.

    LaVine was questionable coming into today and went through a pregame warmup but isn't 100 percent, and with the Bulls having nothing to play for it makes sense to sit him down. So far the team seems to value its competitive spirit as part of their effort to build culture, so we wouldn't anticipate a full-on shutdown for LaVine unless his latest injury heals slowly. Antonio Blakeney might start again but Shaq Harrison is the guy that most fantasy owners will look at given his steals production.

    Source: Darnell Mayberry on Twitter

  • Robert Williams III - C/F - Boston Celtics

    Robert Williams went back into the locker room after falling on a putback dunk attempt in Saturday's game against the Hornets.

    It could be a number of things — back, hip, or even a concussion evaluation after Williams took a nasty spill. He was making his first career start tonight and hopefully he'll be okay moving forward.

    Source: Gary Washburn on Twitter

  • Kevin Durant - F - Golden State Warriors

    Steve Kerr said that it's "more than likely" that the Warriors will rest some players for Sunday's game against the Pistons, though he declined to see who might sit.

    DeMarcus Cousins, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson are the obvious candidates. Steph Curry is out on Saturday but should be good to go tomorrow. All told it's been a fairly successful week for the Warriors' big guns, who will have played in at least four of their massive five-game week. The lone exception is Cousins, who missed two games for injury reasons.

    Source: Nick Friedell on Twitter

  • Shaun Livingston - G - Golden State Warriors

    Shaun Livingston (rest) will not play on Saturday.

    Livingston and Andrew Bogut will get the night off. Their absences don't mean much for fantasy owners, but it does make Quinn Cook a viable DFS punt if you're feeling lucky. Andre Iguodala is on the board as well with some minutes at point guard headed his way.

    Source: Anthony Slater on Twitter

  • Joakim Noah - C - Memphis Grizzlies

    Joakim Noah (right knee soreness) is available for Saturday's game against the Wolves.

    Noah sat out on Friday night but it looks to be more of a rest day on a back-to-back than a serious injury issue. He's good to roll out there for rebounds and low-end lines if you'd normally plug him into lineups.

    Source: Grizzlies PR on Twitter

  • Taj Gibson - F - Minnesota Timberwolves

    Taj Gibson (left calf strain) has been ruled out of Saturday's game against the Grizzlies.

    Gibson's second straight absence opens up more time for Gorgui Dieng, Anthony Tolliver and Keita Bates-Diop, though there isn't much there for most fantasy owners. Dieng has the highest upside of the bunch but it would take some consistent playing time before he becomes a serious add consideration.

    Source: Wolves PR on Twitter

  • Zach LaVine - G - Chicago Bulls

    Zach LaVine (right thigh contusion) will determine his status for Saturday's game after going through pregame warmups.

    LaVine was a late scratch on Wednesday and it looks as though fantasy owners will need to sit tight before making a call on him tonight as well. Antonio Blakeney started on Wednesday with Shaq Harrison, Wayne Selden and Ryan Arcidiacono filling in the gaps off the bench. Harrison's a steals specialist to put him a notch above the rest, but it's a weak group in terms of fantasy value.

    Source: Cody Westerlund on Twitter

  • Kris Dunn - G - Chicago Bulls

    Kris Dunn (back) is now probable fro Saturday's matchup with the Jazz.

    Dunn is coming off a big game on Wednesday with 26 points and 13 dimes, so it's good to see that his back issue isn't serious. He's fairly safe to pencil into lineups tonight.

    Source: Cody Westerlund on Twitter

  • Wendell Carter Jr. - C/F - Chicago Bulls

    Wendell Carter Jr. (left thumb surgery) will not return this season.

    This was expected when Carter's surgery was first announced, and now the team has made it official. He remains an excellent player for dynasty and keeper formats, and should be Chicago's defensive anchor for years to come.

    Source: Cody Westerlund on Twitter