• It’s another Friday night and of course, another great day for DFS. We have an eight-game slate ahead of us and there’s plenty of value to sift through for today. Let’s go position-by-position to identify today’s top plays.

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    Point Guard

    Stud: Ricky Rubio ($7,700)

    Well, I thought Rubio’s increase in scoring was just a trend, but it appears Rubio’s offensive game has actually improved quite a bit. He’s scored in the double-digits in eight straight games and he’s scored over 20 points in the last three games. Rubio has a more difficult matchup tonight against the Heat so it’s unlikely he scores over 20 again. However, expect Rubio to still play well as he hasn’t scored below 34 fantasy points in over 10 games.

    Value: Terry Rozier ($3,000)

    It’s unclear how many extra minutes Rozier will pick up without Thomas on the floor, but we can back to the last time Thomas was out back in December. Rozier played 26 MPG and scored in the double digits in three out of the four games. He’ll likely see his minutes in the low 20’s in this one and he’s just $3,000 so he’s a fantastic value play today. Expect around 20-25 fantasy points.

    Shooting Guard

    Stud: Jimmy Butler ($8,800)

    Butler has been extremely inconsistent lately; he’s scoring 55 fantasy points one game and 20 the next. It’s extremely aggravating, but with Dwyane Wade out for the season, we should see the Butler we all know and love. Despite his recent inconsistencies, he’s a fine play in cash games and we should get the 50-fantasy point Butler.

    Value: Marcus Smart ($4,900)

    Marcus Smart already named the starter earlier in the day and Smart is one of the best value plays of the day. He should see minutes in the low 30’s and he’s averaging 12.1 points, 4.4 assists, 4.1 rebounds, 2.6 steals and 1.3 three-pointers in 34.3 minutes per contest as a starter this season. Smart has a favorable matchup against the Nets and it would be surprising if he fails to hit value.

    Small Forward

    Stud: Giannis Antetokounmpo ($9,900)

    Personally, I can’t seem to be able to play the Greek Freak today in cash. But he’s still a solid play against the defensively-challenged Lakers. You’re paying nearly $10,000 for a guy who hasn’t scored over 40 fantasy points in three straight games, but that’s just a case of recency bias. He’s an excellent tournament play and he could easily break out of his funk and score 60-70 fantasy points.

    Value: Shabazz Muhammed ($3,700)

    Nemanja Bjelica — a personal favorite of mine — injured his foot and will now miss the remainder of the season. Shabazz Muhammed played 31 minutes last game and basically assumed Bjelica’s role. Muhammed only makes his money through scoring and light rebounding, so his ceiling is fairly low. But he’s just $3,700 and we’ll take 25-30 fantasy points all day — which is very doable for a high-volume scorer like himself. I’d rather play a guy like Hollis-Jefferson, but if you need a cheap SF, Muhammed is your guy.

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    Power Forward

    Stud: Anthony Davis ($10,200)

    The Pelicans and Rockets game is by far the highest total of the night and the spread is just 4.5. AD is a decent play tonight as long as the Pelicans can keep it close. The Rockets have struggled all season against big men, but for what it’s worth, they’ve held Davis in check in their first two meetings. DMC had a monster performance against the Rockets in their last time out so he’s also in play as he’s a bit cheaper.

    Value: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson ($4,000)

    Even with Trevor Booker out, RHJ only saw 25 minutes, but he still managed to notch a double-double. He’s in another great spot tonight against the Celtics and Trevor Booker is out once again. Expect his minutes to remain in the mid-20’s and he’s a solid cash game play again as he’s still way too cheap.

    Center

    Stud: Hassan Whiteside ($8,200)

    Whiteside has been rolling as of late and I don’t see him slowing down against the Wolves. He’s going to be fairly low owned tonight so he makes for a solid play in both formats. The Wolves have struggled mightily against opposing centers and Whiteside will look for his 11th straight double-double. To be clear, he’s a better cash play than a GPP.

    Value: Clint Capela ($5,500)

    Capela is one of my favorite value plays of the day against the Pelicans. Nene Hilario is expected to rest tonight, but that doesn’t mean too much for Capela, anyways. The only potential issue for Capela tonight is foul trouble. Both DMC and AD get to the line a ton and Capela has some fouling issues as it is. However, he should be able to rack up stats in a hurry against them as they’re both vulnerable on the defensive end.

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    Good Luck!

     

     

     

     

     

Fantasy News

  • Tahjere McCall
    F, Atlanta Hawks

    The Hawks signed Tahjere McCall from their Summer League team.

    This is just a depth signing for the Hawks. He shouldn't see much court time on the NBA floor if he makes the main roster out of camp

    Source: Kevin Chouinard on Twitter

  • Thabo Sefolosha
    SF, Houston Rockets

    Marc Stein is reporting that the Rockets will sign Thabo Sefolosha.

    Sefolosha was among the names at a recent mini camp, and he should make for a nice fit as a defensive stopper off the bench. The Rockets have a pretty thin group of reserves so we'd expect Sefolosha to be a regular rotation player, which puts him on the board as a steals specialist in deep leagues.

    Source: Marc Stein on Twitter

  • Tyler Zeller
    C, Denver Nuggets

    The Nuggets have signed C Tyler Zeller to the training camp roster on Thursday.

    Zeller played all of six games last season with the Hawks and Grizzlies. Zeller will try to latch on as a third-string C for the Nuggets' deep frontcourt. Zeller is off the fantasy radar.

    Source: Chris Dempsey on Twitter

  • Luke Kennard
    SG, Detroit Pistons

    Coach Dwane Casey said that he is not sure if he will start Luke Kennard or have him run a lot of the second-team offense.

    In addition, Casey mentioned that Kennard dealt with some knee tendinitis earlier this summer. Kennard is likely competing with Bruce Brown Jr. for the starting two-guard spot. We'll see how the rotation starts to shape in the preseason, but both players will get minutes either way.

    Source: NBA

  • Blake Griffin
    PF, Detroit Pistons

    Coach Dwane Casey revealed that although the team's training staff is easing him into things, Blake Griffin (knee) is back on the court and playing.

    Coach Casey added that the team expects Griffin to be at 100% with "no lingering effects." It looks like Griffin is progressing nicely in his return and should be all systems go for the start of the season. With Griffin's extensive injury history, the team may manage him more this year. Coming off a career year, he's expected to be an early middle-round selection.

    Source: NBA

  • Victor Oladipo
    SG, Indiana Pacers

    Coach Nate McMillan said that Victor Oladipo (knee) probably wouldn't play on opening night.

    Videos have surfaced this summer of Oladipo doing on-court work, and by all accounts, he is progressing well. Coach McMillan said that Oladipo isn't playing live yet and it would seem he still has hurdles to climb. Even when Oladipo does return, he will likely be facing minute restrictions and frequent days off, at least initially. Jeremy Lamb figures to be the biggest beneficiary of Oladipo's absence.

    Source: NBA

  • Nikola Vucevic
    C, Orlando Magic

    In an interview Wednesday, Magic head coach Steve Clifford said he could see Nikola Vucevic improving across all areas of his game, and echoing his player's belief that he is in his prime.

    One of the areas Clifford thought Vucevic could improve upon was his 3-point shooting percentage, and also seemed to indicate that he could contonue to up his play on defense. He's unquestionably solidified himself as the anchor of this team, and the Magic as a whole are likely eyeing to improve upon their momentum as a rising young playoff team in an Eastern Conference that looks pretty weak after the top four to five teams. Expect Vucevic to produce safe second-round value this season.

    Source: NBA.com

  • Deandre Ayton
    C, Phoenix Suns

    Suns General Manager James Jones said in a recent interview that Deandre Ayton is capable of playing PF if needed.

    One could chalk this up to either Ayton continuing his development in becoming a more dynamic offensive player, or the Suns covering up for the lack of depth on their roster at PF. In reality it's likley a mix of both, and is a positive for Ayton's value heading into this season. If he does end up spending meaningful time at the four, it would not bode well for the value of Dario Saric, who is already barely going at the end of drafts in 9-cat leagues.

    Source: NBA.com

  • DeMarcus Cousins
    C, Los Angeles Lakers

    The Lakers have been granted a $1.75 million Disabled Player Exception for DeMarcus Cousins (torn left ACL).

    This now officially rules DeMarcus Cousins out for the season. The Lakers will now have the ability to go out and acquire a player that will in all likelihood occupy the end of their bench. Because they signed Dwight Howard, using this cap space on a center isn't necessarily as big a priority as it once was when Cousins initially went down.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • Mohamed Bamba
    C, Orlando Magic

    Mo Bamba will enter training camp second on the depth chart behind Nikola Vučević.

    Head coach of the Magic, Steve Clifford, told a reporter that he plans on having Bamba as his primary backup center while Khem Birch will be third on the depth chart. The Magic also have Vučević, who was re-signed in the offseason to a four-year, $100M contract. As long as Bamba is backing up Vučević, his fantasy ceiling is capped outside of standard redraft leagues.

    Source: NBA