• It’s always an easier slate when we don’t have to make the tough decision of fading or playing Westbrook/Harden. Luckily, only Westbrook plays today on the second half of a back-to-back set versus the Mavericks — who he’s struggled against this season. Let’s dive into this six-game slate.

    Editor’s Note: Hoop Ball Premium Subscribers get access to even more info, articles, live chats, tools and more.  Subscribers to our Hoop Ball Fantasy Pro Service get in-depth analysis on a one-on-one basis from our pros.  Check it out!

    Point Guard

    Stud: Kyrie Irving ($7,900)

    With Kevin Love back in the lineup, we’re not going to see as many big games from Kyrie Irving. The Cavs are now tied with the Boston Celtics for the first seed in the East and that bodes well for Irving, especially tonight against the Spurs. This game should remain close and Irving should see minutes in the 37-40 range. The matchup isn’t great but this game has the highest O/U and there’s a good chance he’s the leading scorer for the Cavs.

    Value: George Hill ($5,900)

    Gordon Hayward is in serious jeopardy of missing tonight’s game versus the Pelicans. Derrick Favors has already been ruled out and that would leave just George Hill, Rudy Gobert, and Rodney Hood as the healthy starters. Hill doesn’t see a massive usage spike with Hayward and Favors off the court, but he’s still a solid option with Shelvin Mack also on the shelf.

    Shooting Guard

    Stud: DeMar DeRozan ($8,600)

    I’m not a fan of DeRozan at this price, but he’s the only SG that is in a decent spot tonight with upside. He’s a fine cash play, but if you play him in tournaments, you’re gonna need 40 actual points from him. I’d recommend spending down at SG tonight, though.

    Value: Joe Ingles ($4,100) 

    Joe Ingles is always the primary beneficiary when Gordon Hayward sits and there’s nothing different tonight. The issue with Ingles is that if Hayward ends up suiting up, he’s likely going to kill your lineup. Ingles has a very low ceiling, but he has a decent floor and is worth deploying at an ugly position.

    Small Forward

    Stud: Kawhi Leonard ($9,500)

    It’s one of the best matchups in all of the NBA: Kawhi vs. LeBron. This is going to be a great game and look for Leonard to make a statement. He’s played very well against LeBron in the past and is likely going to play well again. He’s a great play in both formats and Leonard may end up being a cash game lock for me tonight.

    Value: Mindagaus Kuzminskas ($4,200)

    This value play obviously hinges on the availability of Carmelo Anthony. Even if Melo suits up, he’ll still get minutes in the mid-20’s but that’s not what we want. Kuz needs to be in your lineups if Melo sits. Luckily, the Knicks game is at 7:30, so we’ll get confirmation on his status before lineups lock. Also, Lance Thomas’ availability is something to monitor as well. Joe Johnson is a good pivot option of Melo suits up and Hayward does not.

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    Power Forward

    LaMarcus Aldridge ($7,000)

    Yes, another player from the marquee matchup of the night. LaMarcus Aldridge is easily the top PF play of the night, in terms of players over $6,000. He’s played 37.5 mpg over the last three contests and Pop will play him heavy minutes yet again versus the Cavs. Locking him into cash games is not a bad idea at all.

    Value: P.J. Tucker ($4,400)

    There are a few other options as value PF’s if Tucker doesn’t start such as; Zach Randolph, Willie Cauley-Stein, JaMychal Green. The key player in regards to Tucker’s usefulness as a DFS play today is DeMarre Carroll. If he sits, Tucker is arguably the top value play at the PF position and he should be able to hit value.

    Center

    Stud: Rudy Gobert ($8,000)

    The title of the article gave it away and that’s unfortunate because I’m all for surprises. Rudy Gobert sees a three percent increase in his usage rate with Favors and Hayward out. He’s been scoring the basketball in ways we’ve never seen him do it before. He’s scored a combined 61 actual points over the last two games and he could keep it up tonight. The scoring barrage is going to end sooner rather than later, but Gobert could still score 20 points or so tonight. Oh yeah, he’s probably going to get you a double-double with a couple of blocks too.

    Value: Pau Gasol ($5,200)

    I’m likely going to try and play Vucevic and Gobert in a few lineups but for the other lineups, Gasol could be an interesting value play. We haven’t seen him play the Cavs this season and who knows what Pop will do against the Cavs. It’s a bit of a mystery play, but Gasol is a great per-minute player so if he sees 30 minutes or so, you can almost lock in 6-7x value. He’s more of a tournament play tonight.

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    Good luck!

     

     

     

Fantasy News

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo
    PF, Milwaukee Bucks

    In a recent fan question session Bucks' GM Jon Horst hinted towards signing Giannis Antetokounmpo to a supermax extension when eligible.

    Horst mentioned that he cannot technically discuss an extension until he is eligible, but said Antetokounmpo will be a Buck for a long time. The Greek Freak will be eligible next summer and is all but sure to get a supermax extension.

    Source: Fox Sports Wisconsin on Twitter

  • Tacko Fall
    C, Boston Celtics

    Tacko Fall (mild knee sprain) is expected to miss one week after a collision in workouts.

    With training camp two weeks away, Fall should be ready to roll by then. He is currently on an Exhibit 10 contract, battling for the final roster spot with Javonte Green (partially guaranteed) and Kaiser Gates (Exhibit 10). Fall is an intriguing talent at 7'7" but is not expected to be fantasy relevant in his first season even if he does make the team with the Celtics already carrying four center eligible players on guaranteed contracts.

    Source: Jared Weiss on Twitter

  • Nicolas Batum
    SG, Charlotte Hornets

    According to Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer, Nicolas Batum and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist have been informed that, "The agenda is youth and development."

    The article adds that both players will have a chance to compete for minutes but the Hornets' top priority will be to develop their younger players which bodes well for Dwayne Bacon, Miles Bridges, Devonte Graham, P.J. Washington and Willy Hernangomez. Miles was already putting up near top-100 value to close the season at around 25 minutes per game while the rest of the players could all produce fantasy value if given the minutes so they should at least be put on the watch list to see how the preseason plays out.

    Source: Charlotte Observer

  • Bogdan Bogdanovic
    SG, Sacramento Kings

    Bogdan Bogdanovic finished with 32 points on 10-of-17 shooting and drained seven triples as Serbia topped Czech Republic 90-81 to finish in 5th place.

    Bogdanovic also added four rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block and was certainly one of the most impressive players in the tournament. Although he has the talent to be a successful full-time starter, the 27-year old will likely be relegated to a similar 25-27 minute, off-the-bench role he played last season with Buddy Hield, Harrison Barnes and newly added Trevor Ariza also on the wings. Nikola Jokic also did his usual thing this game with seven points, 14 rebounds and seven assists. Boban Marjanovic and Nemanja Bejlica were not really involved in this one, playing only two and eight minutes, respectively.

    Source: FIBA

  • Donovan Mitchell
    SG, Utah Jazz

    Donovan Mitchell scored 16 points with 10 assists as US beat Poland 87-74 on Saturday to finish seventh place in the tournament.

    Mitchell was an efficient 5-of-6 from the field and 4-of-4 from downtown but the bigger story of course was USA's disappointing showing as this was only the second time that they finished outside the top-3 in the FIBA World Cup since 1978. Kemba Walker (neck), Jayson Tatum (ankle) and Marcus Smart (hand/quad/calf) all sat out the final game as they now have two weeks to rest before the start of training camp.

    Source: FIBA

  • Evan Fournier
    SF, Orlando Magic

    Evan Fournier scored 16 points to lead France in their semifinal loss to Argentina by the score of 80-66.

    This was a really poor showing all around in an elimination game by the French team. Fournier scored an inefficient 16 and was joined by Frank Ntilikina's 16 as two of just three French players in double figures.

  • Rudy Gobert
    C, Utah Jazz

    Rudy Gobert was invisible in France's loss to Argentina in the semifinals of the FIBA World Cup, scoring just three points and pulling down 11 rebounds in 29 minutes.

    This just wasn't enough from Gobert, who couldn't impose his will against a weaker Argentina squad on paper. Joining him in the "forgot there was a game" club was Nicolas Batum, who consistently finds a way to do nothing in heavy minutes. Batum's line in this one was a paltry three points (1-of-6 shooting), five boards, one assist and a block.

  • Patty Mills
    PG, San Antonio Spurs

    Patty Mills was the star for Australia, scoring 34 points and hitting four triples against Spain, but Australia fell in double overtime 95-88.

    Mills did as much as he could but he just didn't get enough help from his supporting cast. Joe Ingles couldn't find the basket and only had four points (to go along with 10 rebounds and seven assists). With that off night of shooting from Ingles, the Aussies needed someone like Matthew Dellavedova (six points) or Aron Baynes (six points) to step up.

  • Ricky Rubio
    PG, Phoenix Suns

    Ricky Rubio approached a triple-double in the semi-final win over Australia with 19 points, seven boards and 12 assists in 38 minutes.

    It was another big line for Rubio in the semis, who has been a stalwart for this Spanish run to the finals. He was inefficient from the field (6-of-19) but ran the offense well and should be a factor again in the final game.

  • Marc Gasol
    C, Toronto Raptors

    Marc Gasol carried Spain to the FIBA World Cup Final in a double-OT win over Australia, finishing with 33 points, six rebounds and four assists.

    Gasol had a great outing to lift Spain here and they should have a great shot at winning the title against Argentina. We'll see how this high workload summer affects him going into the new season.