• Welcome back to another Friday edition of my DFS picks. Yes, it is the All-Star break, but that doesn’t mean DFS gets a break! We have a fun little game to keep us entertained and why not have a little action on it. Let me start by saying do not use a lot of bankroll tonight. It’s a crapshoot with these games and on one-game showdown slates I generally take the approach of going with a cheaper option as my leader and fitting studs in the other spots.

    Tonight is slightly different though, we can’t guarantee than any one player will see more minutes than the other. We are going to be taking stabs at who we think could have the biggest games in limited minutes and I think targeting what the players who have had high usage rates during the regular season and are in good matchups is the way to go.

    So here we are, these are some of my favorite players to target in tonight’s game.

    Ben Simmons $8,200 – Simmons shined during last year’s rising stars game, dropping 11 points, 13 assists and 6 rebounds. We can’t really expect big minutes from anyone in this game, so I am targeting the players who could stuff counting stats or get hot from the field.

    Deandre Ayton $5,800 – You are going to see a theme of playing a lot of players from the World Team. It’s not for any particular reason; I just like the matchups and believe they have some of the better producers in limited minutes. This does not mean I am going to play all of these guys. Ayton draws a start against Jarret Allen and we know from DFS the Nets are putrid against bigs. The same could be said for Ayton’s defense as well, so this firmly places John Collins and Allen in play as well. But Ayton is cheaper than Allen, so in my initial lineup that is the direction I am going.

    Trae Young $7,800 – Young was tearing it up heading into the All-Star break and this is the type of game suited for him; little defense and crazy shots from all over the floor. We know Young has unlimited range and could easily take the MVP award if he gets hot.

    Luka Doncic $9,200– I don’t really feel the need to elaborate too much on Donic. The kid is a stud and loves to put on a show for the fans. He is going to be the highest-owned player for sure, which warrants a fade, but that is going to be hard to do unless you’re trotting out multiple lineups.

    Bogdan Bogdanovic $7,600- Another player who exploded in last year’s game, Bogdanovic is not shy about shooting and figures to be the most explosive player off of the World Team’s bench. I don’t know if we could expect another 26 actual points, but I love the fact that he dialed up 13 shots from distance in last year’s game.

    So there you have it. Like I said, I will have most of my ownership invested in these guys, but I will still have plenty of shares of other players. I will mostly avoid players such as Josh Okogie, Cedi Osman, OG, SGA, Kevin Knox and Rodions Kurucs (if he plays).

    As always you can reach me on Twitter @MikeApotria with any of your questions or comments. Good luck and don’t forget to save your bankroll, don’t go overboard tonight!

Fantasy News

  • Andre Roberson
    SG, Oklahoma City Thunder

    Andre Robertson (left knee) went through contact practice on Sunday.

    Coach Billy Donovan still didn’t have a solid answer regarding Robertson’s availability for the Thunder’s season opener vs. the Jazz but this is good news. He’ll be a very big piece of OKC’s defensive scheme but won’t really provide much for fantasy owners outside of steals and a few blocks.

    Source: Erik Horne on Twitter

  • JJ Redick
    SG, New Orleans Pelicans

    Coach Alvin Gentry wants to stick with J.J. Redick to begin the season .

    This is good news for Redick as he’ll continue to start even with Zion Williamson out. The Pels will likely move Brandon Ingram down to power forward and keep the rest of the lineup the same.

    Source: Will Guillory on Twitter

  • Christian Wood
    PF, Detroit Pistons

    The Pistons want to award Christian Wood with a regular season roster spot for his strong preseason play.

    Wood and Joe Johnson had been competing throughout the entire preseason and the Pistons might end up keeping them both. The Pistons have got to move some things around to make him fit but he’ll be a valuable piece for them to hang onto going into the season.

    Source: Chris Haynes on Twitter

  • Moritz Wagner
    PF, Washington Wizards

    Moe Wagner (sore back) missed Sunday's practice but is expected to return soon.

    Wagner left Friday's preseason finale after taking a hard fall, but the Wizards think it's a short-term injury. He's a decent late-round target if you're in a 14- or 16-team league and should play a legitimate role backing up Thomas Bryant, Davis Bertans and Rui Hachimura.

    Source: Fred Katz on Twitter

  • Austin Rivers
    PG, Houston Rockets

    Austin Rivers is dealing with shoulder soreness but is expected to play in Thursday's regular-season opener.

    It's the first we've heard of Rivers' injury, so we expect him to be fine. He's not much of a fantasy target but will carry a big role with the Rockets likely losing Gerald Green for the season.

    Source: Salman Ali on Twitter

  • Russell Westbrook
    PG, Houston Rockets

    Mike D'Antoni is anticipating that Russell Westbrook (dislocated finger) will be able to play on Thursday.

    The Rockets revealed the injury late in the preseason, and Westbrook suffered another dislocation in Friday's preseason finale. It hasn't affected him yet outside of a precautionary removal from that contest, and we wouldn't hold this against Westbrook in any last-minute fantasy drafts.

    Source: Salman Ali on Twitter

  • Isaiah Thomas
    PG, Washington Wizards

    Isiah Thomas (left thumb surgery) practiced in full on Sunday.

    According to Candace Buckner of the Washington Post, coach Scott Brooks said "I'd love to have him for that first game but we'll see. Probably not but we'll see". It sounds like Thomas is close to returning but we likely won't see him in the Wizards' Oct.23 opener. He's worth taking a flier on later in drafts because he should have a good amount of opportunity with the Wizards roster lacking much talent.

    Source: Candace Buckner on Twitter

  • Khyri Thomas
    SG, Detroit Pistons

    According to Keith Smith , a handful of teams who need help at point guard have reached out to the Pistons about acquiring Khyri Walker.

    The Pistons are considering trading the young lead guard rather than having his contract take up space on their books for the next two years. He'd be better off in place with less point guard depth than the Pistons but it's unlikely he holds much fantasy value regardless.

    Source: Keith Smith on Twitter

  • Aubrey Dawkins
    PG, New Orleans Pelicans

    The Pelicans have signed and waived Aubrey Dawkins.

    This was a move to get Dawkins eligible for the Pel's G-League team and doesn't have much significance in fantasy.

    Source: Keith Smith on Twitter

  • Troy Williams
    SF, Phoenix Suns

    The Suns both signed and waived Troy Williams on Sunday.

    He spent last season on a two-way contract with the Kings and this was a move done to make him eligible to play for the Suns in the G-League. He won't hold any fantasy value this season.

    Source: Keith Smith on Twitter