• Welcome to another Friday slate loaded with value. I am personally looking forward to tonight as my sweet spot for slates is between 7 to 9 games. There are a lot of interesting spots and games tonight. These are the game breakdowns followed by some value picks and plays I find to worth looking at for tonight’s slate.

    Spurs vs Magic: 207 game total, Spurs favored by 5.5 points.

    Rockets vs Hornets: 211.5 game total, Rockets favored by 2.5 points.

    Knicks vs Nets: 219 game total, Nets favored by 2 points.

    Hawks vs Nuggets: 206 game total, Nuggets favored by 8.5 points.

    Timberwolves vs Thunder: 214.5 game total, Thunder favored by 2.5 points.

    Lakers vs Raptors: 225 game total, Raptors favored by 6.5 points.

    Wizards vs Warriors: 230 game total, Warriors favored by 10.5 points.

    Let’s jump into the picks.

    Point Guard

    Ramon Sessions $4,400- The battle of New York is taking place tonight in the Garden. Sessions has been seeing solid run with the starters and averaging 29.5 minutes and 25 DK points over the past two games that Frank Ntilikina has missed. This game should play at an above average pace and I do not like a lot of other options for the Knicks tonight. He makes for a strong cash play and decent GPP option, but his ceiling is not that high.

    Spencer Dinwiddie $5,200- Dinwiddie looks to draw the start again Friday night against the Knicks with D’Angelo Russell expected to sit again. In his last start, Dinwiddie saw 31.5 minutes and chucked up 13 shots. That type of usage on a Nets team that will be starving for offense is great value at only $5,200. He figures to be pretty chalky, but after scoring 40.3 DK points against the Cavs and in a seemingly tastier matchup here, he looks almost must-play.

    Dejounte Murray $5,300- Murray always makes for an interesting tournament play. We have seen him rack up boards and take shots to get him over 30 DK points several times in 28 minutes or less. That is just the risk, the minutes. Murray has a great matchup against D.J. Augustin and if his minutes can reach the upper-20’s then he should be a lock for 30+ DK points.

    Lonzo Ball $7,100- DraftKings’s algorithm must over analyze poor shooting. The Raptors are not the best matchup, but Ball is averaging 35.75 DK points on 5-of-24 shooting over the past two games. It is pretty obvious he is struggling to find his shot in the NBA, but he is not this bad at shooting so take advantage of his while you can before he gets back on track.

    Shooting Guard

    Jamal Murray $4,500- I believe last game was a sign of things to come. Murray took 20 shots against the Hornets and now gets an up-tempo game against the Hawks. Dennis Schroder said he was targeting Friday for his return and honestly, we hope he does. Schroeder is terrible at defense and ideally he starts on Murray, before he has his minutes limited. This price is still just too low and Murray should be priced closer to $6,000 in no time.

    Evan Fournier $6,100- I can see a lot of people fading the big Magic names like Fournier And Nikola Vucevic now that Aaron Gordon is back, but these guys are going to find their shots regardless and Gordon is not shooting 14-of-18 from the field and 5-of-5 from 3-point land every game. Fournier is averaging 15.5 shots per game over his last four games and has shown he has a ceiling close to 50 DK points. He makes for a strong play because he can also be played at a weak small forward position.

    James Harden $11,000- There is no mystery to this play. Harden finally played great, but his price was lowered by $600. With no Chris Paul, Harden will be back to dishing 10+ assists a game and once the red hot Eric Gordon comes back down to earth Harden will begin to have those 30-40 point games again. He makes for a safe expensive play on a slate where I do not love the other top tier positions.

    Small Forward

    Marvin Williams $3,900- Williams comes in looking more as a tournament play. He is priced almost $2,000 less than he was last season and it looks to be because of minutes. But after I look, the only games in which Williams saw 21 minutes or less were in games they lost by 17 points or more. Basically blowouts have been limiting his production. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist should still have his minutes limited and if Williams can get hot from three-point land early he can push Frank Kaminsky for extra run at the four.

    Rondae Hollis-Jefferson $5,200- Another player from the Nets I am looking to get exposure from against the Knicks. RHJ saw a season high 34 minutes against the Cavs and a season high 36.5 DK points. RHJ has proven to be a player who can accumulate counting stats when he can stay out of foul trouble. Again, I do not love small forward tonight and I am looking to get a little exposure to this Nets team.

    Brandon Ingram $5,400- I’m looking to go back to the well with this one. When Ingram plays 35+ minutes and takes more than 12 shots it is almost impossible for him not to make value. Seeing the double-double potential entices me even more in a matchup that will likely be small with Jonas Valanciunas ruled out. 20 real life points is not out of the question tonight for Ingram and the boards, steals and blocks should come to him given his natural versatility and length in this matchup.

    Power Forward

    Ryan Anderson $4,400- This is too cheap for the rhino. He can be one of the more frustrating DFS options on any given night, but tonight all the boxes are checked. It’s an away game, Trevor Ariza and Chris Paul are out and the Hornets use a lot of power forwards who do not dominate the paint. I love Anderson in this spot and he will be in a lot of my lineups.

    Paul Millsap $6,300- Hop on. This is the spot to finally take advantage of Millsap’s price tag. It is a revenge game narrative and even without that motive, Millsap sports this highest usage rate among Nuggets this season with 26.3. I expect a smash game from Millsap tonight and hope he flies under the radar.

    Draymond Green $7,200- It is going to be hard not get some exposure to the late game hammer tonight. I’m likely avoiding the high price tags in this game and looking to get my exposure with the mid-tier players like Green, Klay Thompson, Bradley Beal and Otto Porter. Draymond comes out as my favorite as he has shown he can smash this Wizards lineup in the mouth. Over the past two seasons these teams have faced off four times and Green has averaged 13 points, 12 assists, 11 rebounds and 3.5 blocks/steals per game. Having a big lead and heading into the late game with a potential triple-double threat can win you all of the money tonight.

    Centers

    Clint Capela $6,500- Nene is likely to sit again, forcing Capela into heavy minutes. He averaged close to 17 points, 9.5 boards and 2 blocks/steals in 26 minutes per game last year going against Howard and I expect those numbers to be extrapolated throughout 30+ minutes.

    Nikola Vucevic $6,900- Ok, so you’re telling me Vucci-mane just dropped $1,500 in price tag because he shot poorly one game and Aaron Gordon shot out of his mind? Vucevic has been the Magic’s best player without a doubt and in a matchup where he is likely to draw the withered Pau Gasol I expect him to crush. Vucevic has shown that he is willing to expand his shooting game and I expect him to do just that against Gasol, who struggles with perimeter shooters.

    Dwight Howard $7,100- DK refuses to adjust Howard to the correct price so again, we will take advantage of it. Howard gets to face another former team and one that he had good success against last season. Howard averaged 22 points and 19 boards per game last season against Capela and that should be whom he is matched up against for the majority of the night. Howard is a certain double-double every night tonight is no different.

     Honorable Mentions

    Otto Porter $6,700- Porter been playing great ball for the Wizards this seasons and this is the perfect up-tempo game he succeeds in. I am not in love with his price tag, but that could benefit people who choose to roster Porter as it will likely lower his ownership.

    Marco Belinelli $4,400- The usage rate for Belinelli off of the bench is absurd. If Schroeder is forced to miss another game, I would look for Belinelli as a great value and for him to go criminally under owned for coming off of the bench.

    Pascal Siakam/Jakob Poeltl $3,000/$5,300- Jonas Valanciunas is likely to miss tonight’s game with the Raptors having the next two days off. This will throw both Siakam and Poeltl back in mix. Poeltl makes more a solid cash game play as he has shown his double-double upside in limited minutes, while Siakam makes for an interesting GPP punt as the Lakers have given up a leagues worst 20.3 rebounds per game.

    Kyle Lowry $7,600Lowry has destroyed in this spot before is his price is fair at $7,600. If you plan on winning any money you’re going to have to get exposure to this game and in what looks like a chalk DeMar DeRozan night, I like to Lowry pivot. He would have made the value section had he been $200-$300 cheaper, but nonetheless he is still a strong option tonight.

    LaMarcus Aldridge $8,200- Aldridge has been absolutely smashing without Leonard on the floor this season. Even after posting another great game, DK lowered his price by $200. While I prefer to spend down or go with Draymond at PF tonight, I will sprinkle in some of Aldridge and his 32.2 usage percentage in lineups where I am playing some guys on the Magic.

    As always you can follow me on twitter with any questions or comments @Apottreeuh and make sure you check Hoop-Ball for updates regarding playing time and injuries throughout the day. Good luck and take down a GPP!

Fantasy News

  • OG Anunoby - F - Toronto Raptors

    The Raptors are expressing optimism that OG Anunoby will be able to see the floor for their NBA Finals matchup with the Golden State Warriors.

    Anunoby's size and defensive versatility could make for a very valuable weapon against the Warriors' small-ball lineups. That being said, he has been out for nearly a month and a half, and the Raptors' eight man rotation has hit its stride in the crux of this playoff run. It remains to be seen if he will make it back, but in the event that he can, there is no guarantee that he will be able to crack meaningful minutes in Toronto's tight rotation.

    Source: Ryan Wolstat on Twitter

  • Michael Porter Jr. - F - Denver Nuggets

    As a symptom from his back surgeries, Michael Porter Jr. developed drop foot, and will wear to a leg brace to help stabilize it when he makes his professional debut in Summer League according to Mike Singer of the Denver Post.

    Drop foot makes it hard for one to lift the front part of their foot and is a common symptom of back related ailments, of which Porter Jr. has had two surgeries to address over the last year and a half. Porter Jr. remains an unknown commodity with a laundry list of health concerns as an NBA player. There has been some recent success with young guys being able to bounce back in big ways after suffering year-long injuries, but Porter Jr. will remain a mystery until we see him on the court for his inaugural season.

    Source: The Denver Post

  • Jonas Valanciunas - C - Memphis Grizzlies

    Jonas Valanciunas said that he wants to see who the Memphis Grizzlies hire as their next head coach before deciding on his $17.6 million player option.

    Valanciunas saw his role increase in Memphis after being traded from Toronto, and actually played to compete with the Grizz trying to win enough games to convert their, at the time, low-end lottery pick to Boston. Valanciunas made it clear that he doesn't want to return to Memphis if their plans are to pivot to a rebuild and not compete again next year, saying, "I want to know, how we gonna look in 82 games. I don't want to be a tourist. I want to win.". The Hoop Ball favorite will be hard pressed to find a situation that will give him as much run, and fantasy value, as Memphis did, making this a decision fantasy owners everywhere should monitor.

    Source: Dontas Urbonas on Twitter

  • Kawhi Leonard - F - Toronto Raptors

    Kawhi Leonard held Giannis Antetekounmpo to just .353 shooting from the floor with an offensive rating of 89.4 when guarding him in the Eastern Conference Finals.

    This is needed to emphasize just how dominant of a defensive player Leonard really is. For reference, Giannis shot .578 from the floor with an offensive rating of 121 through the regular season. A total swing of nearly 23 percent and 32 less points per 100 possessions is preposterous for any player, especially an MVP caliber offensive juggernaut in Antetokounmpo. Keep these numbers in mind as the debate over Leonard being the league's best player continues to heat up.

    Source: Micha Adams on Twitter

  • Kawhi Leonard - F - Toronto Raptors

    Kawhi Leonard posted a monster line in Saturday's 100-94 Game 6 win, scoring 27 points with 17 rebounds, seven assist, two steals, two blocks and six turnovers.

    Leonard put the Raptors on his back and carried them into their first NBA Finals appearance. After losing the first two games of the Eastern Conference Finals the Raptors stormed back to take the next four to seal the series. Kawhi has been simply marvelous for this team and found a way to crank it up another notch, averaging almost 30 points per game this series. He was all over the court this game and dominated the Bucks from inside the paint. A 4th quarter dunk over Giannis Antetokounmpo punctuated this dominance and sent the hometown crowd in a frenzy. The Raptors will try to keep their hot streak going as they face the Warriors in the NBA Finals.

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo - F - Milwaukee Bucks

    While Giannis Antetokounmpo will be eligible for a five-year supermax contract worth over $247 million, ESPN's Malika Andrews is reporting that the 2020 playoff run could swing whether or not Antetokounmpo stays with the Bucks long-term.

    The Bucks have three of their starters and two key bench pieces heading into free agency this summer, so they might have to make some bold choices to keep the necessary parts around while also improving the team on a budget. It's possible that this is the Antetokounmpo camp's way of encouraging Milwaukee to empty the wallet and keep the current group together, but it goes against what Giannis has said publicly about the team and city from day one. The Bucks were eliminated mere hours ago but we're already having this conversation. The NBA news cycle is perpetual.

    Source: ESPN

  • Kyle Lowry - G - Toronto Raptors

    Kyle Lowry posted a solid line in Saturday's Game 6 win scoring 17 points while adding five rebounds, eight assists, three 3-pointers, one steal and only one turnover.

    After a pedestrian series against the 76ers, Lowry stepped it up against the Bucks, averaging almost 20 points per game in the Eastern Conference Finals. He did a great job making smart plays for the Raptors and they will need him to continue to operate at this high level as they head off into the NBA Finals next week.

  • Marc Gasol - C - Toronto Raptors

    Marc Gasol scored six points, all from behind the arc, in Saturday's Game 6 win, adding three rebounds, two assists and a block/steal in 26 minutes.

    Gasol continues to do what the Raptors ask of him though the years of grinding in the paint for Memphis are long gone. He has adjusted his game play and now acts as a facilitator for the rest of the team. Gasol continues to split time in the post with Serge Ibaka (25 minutes, nine points) and will see his minutes fluctuate based on the Raptor's offensive scheme heading into the NBA Finals.

  • Fred VanVleet - G - Toronto Raptors

    Fred VanVleet was a difference maker for the Raptors' series clinching Game 6, scoring 14 points off the bench on 5-for-6 shooting while adding two assists.

    VanVleet played 34 minutes off the bench and continues to be a menace from behind the 3-point line (4-for-5 today). In the past three games he has gone an unbelievable 14-for-17 from behind the arc. The Raptors will continue to rely on his ability to stretch the floor as they head into their first NBA Finals and will square off against the Warriors and their own formidable shooters.

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo - F - Milwaukee Bucks

    Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 21 points in Saturday's Game 6 loss while contributing 11 rebounds, four assists, two steals, three blocks and two turnovers.

    Antetokounmpo did all that was asked of him on both sides of the ball but could not get past the Raptors this series. Giannis continues to operate at an MVP-level but his freethrow woes continue to plague him. He was "Shaq-esque" this series (55%) and shot 5-for-10 in tonight's loss. This is a tough break for Antetokounmpo and the Bucks as they head into the offseason with four of their five starters entering free agency.