• The season is closing out and we are still here, churning away to make sure you’re the most prepared DFS player each and every main slate.  It is time for us to buckle down, apply some next level research, delve into the analysis and search for the proper pivots to win all the money.  We have an absolutely tantalizing slate ahead of us that is full of teams with something left to play for.  It will be imperative to capitalize on players who are playing in games that have meaning while avoiding players on teams who are just killing time til summer vacation.

    Point Guard

    Russell Westbrook, $13,600, MIL@OKC

    Every time Beastbrook has a price increase I think that his ownership will be lower than usual.  However, this has not been happening as he is seemingly at least 30 percent owned no matter who else is available on the slate.  At his current price his 5x value equals 68 points, a plateau he has only reached seven times in the past 25 games.  He is never a bad play but he won’t be the most optimal choice for our GPP build.  For this reason, he is an easy FADE.

    Rajon Rondo, $7,100, CHI@NY

    The Bulls have clawed their way back into the playoff picture, in part due to Rondo’s huge late surge.  Matchup aside, which is absolutely superb, the Bulls are playing their core a high number of minutes and they are soaking up the usage over the past two weeks.  Rondo has been a huge factor in their current four-game win streak.  He has scored 37-46 FanDuel points in the past four games and is currently on FIRE.

    Shooting Guard

    C.J. McCollum, $7,000, POR@UTAH

    This is a very easy FADE for anybody with even the slightest pulse on the NBA.  The Utah Jazz is a defensive juggernaut and plays at an incredibly slow pace.  C.J. has been up and down scoring-wise as of late and will be on the second leg of a back to back.  Don’t think twice about passing on C.J. or any other Blazer, for that matter.

    Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, $4,200, BKN@PHI

    TLC has scored between 25-33 points in four straight games of playing 32+ minutes.  The Sixers have really amped up his playing time since Robert Covington was shut down for the remainder of the season.  The youngster has been straight FIRE for anyone who has taken a chance on him.  His matchup is fantastic and he will be playing in a pace-up game at home.  Luwawu-Cabarrot is a lesser known commodity but with his uber cheap pricing you have to be excited about his production.  Lock him in and enjoy the cheap thrill.

    Small Forward

    LeBron James, $10,700, ORL@CLE

    How in the world could James be a fade after he just scored a Herculean 81.7 FanDuel points? He will be heavily owned coming off the double overtime game win against the Pacers. Besides the ownership concerns, LeBron has actually exceeded value only two times in the past ten games.  Big names coming off outlier games are the best kind of FADE possible.

    Jimmy Butler, $10,000, CHI@NY

    Much like LeBron James, Butler has been playing a massive amount of minutes while their respective teams are battling for positioning in the playoffs.  Jimmy has been going nuts the past two weeks since D Wade went down with an injury.  Last game he shot the ball 26 times in a tough road win against the Pelicans.  His matchup is a little easier with the faltering Knicks, who are riddled with injuries and have given up on the season.  Butler should be matched up with Carmelo Anthony, who said he will play – this is a positive thing for Jimmy.  Anthony won’t play a lick of defense and will be just trying to score the basketball while protecting his body heading into the offseason.  Butler should attempt another 20+ shots and if he catches FIRE he should be able to easily clear 5x value and reach the 60’s if the game stays close.  He is also an excellent price point pivot off of LeBron.

    Power Forward

    Draymond Green, $7,700, MIN@GS

    Draymond has reached value four times in the past ten games.  That isn’t terrible, but it isn’t what we want out of a GPP play.  There is a good chance that the Warriors will tone down the minutes for their starters with first place in the West all but locked up.  It might not be a drastic minutes reduction but even just five minutes can result in a player failing to reach value.  The time for the Warriors being used in GPP’s is winding down and Draymond is an easy FADE.

    Serge Ibaka, $5,600, TOR@IND

    The Raptors are still fighting for playoff position and play the Pacers who are fighting to stay in the playoffs.  This game will absolutely have a playoff atmosphere and should be pretty hard fought.  Ibaka has really picked up his play the last couple games and should be locked into 30+ minutes.  At his current price he shouldn’t have a hard time meeting value.  Lock him in and hope he catches FIRE.

    Center

    DeMarcus Cousins, $9,600, DEN@NO

    Cousins has a good matchup against the fast-paced Nuggets.  He most likely will reach the mid 40’s and possibly hit 50 FanDuel points in this game if he stays out of foul trouble.  He is playing massive minutes and is a good play, but we are looking for great plays.  Cousins will most likely be highly owned and when the crowd is going to overown someone it is smart to FADE the crowd.

    Jones Valanciunas, $5,500, TOR@IND

    JV has been playing great basketball as of late.  He has been playing about five more minutes per game over the past four games and that has resulted in him scoring 30-42 FanDuel points in all four outings.  This is the type of upside we want in our GPP’s.  If Valanciunas is able to reach 35 while Cousins reaches 45, we aren’t too far behind the 25 percent of the field that will likely own Cousins.  With only a 10 point difference and $4,000 saved we would be able to pay up for someone like Giannis Antetokounmpo, who has nearly scored 70 points in each of his last two games.  That is the GPP winning approach that we are looking to take on a night full of superb players in prime spots.

    I wish you the best of luck tonight.  Please tweet me any questions or your big money wins on Twitter at @DFSnDONUTS.

Fantasy News

  • LeBron James
    SF, Los Angeles Lakers

    According to Shams Charania, the NBA has informed players that they will not be able to travel with their respective teams in Orland, should they fail to be tested on one of two days before the scheduled travel date.

    The report also says that if the player does indeed miss the said window to be tested, he will need to register three consecutive tests before traveling. This is a strict protocol, but one the league needs to enforce in order to ensure the safety of all of the players and staff who will be entering the "bubble" in Walt Disney World in preparation for the resumption of the 2019-20 season. There has been a lot of concern, especially with the growing number of cases being recorded in Florida.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • Jimmy Butler
    SG, Miami Heat

    Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald is reporting that a third Heat player has tested positive for COVID-19.

    Derrick Jones Jr. is the only known player, though Jackson adds that the two latest cases are both rotation players. Florida is in terrible shape at the moment and the Heat may need to enter the bubble without three of their rotation options — those players may still join the team later but will miss out on valuable practice time. The NBA is going full steam ahead on their restart plans but the virus is going to determine whether or not things actually unfold according to plan.

    Source: Barry Jackson on Twitter

  • Landry Shamet
    SG, Los Angeles Clippers

    Shams Charania reports that Landry Shamet has tested positive for COVID-19 and is unlikely to join the Clippers for their trip to Orlando this week.

    That leaves the door open for Shamet to rejoin the team closer to the season's restart, assuming he is feeling okay. Just yesterday it was announced that the Clippers closed their facilities after a positive test, so it appears Shamet's case was the culprit. The sharpshooter is averaging 27.5 minutes per game this season so if he's forced to sit out the Orlando restart it could have big ramifications on LA's backcourt rotation.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • LeBron James
    SF, Los Angeles Lakers

    The NBA has released its schedule of scrimmages for the Orlando restart, with games beginning on July 22.

    The league has tried to match up teams that are unlikely opponents for these scrimmages so nobody gets a really good look at what a potential playoff matchup might want to run. For example, the first day of scrimmages will see the Nuggets face the Wizards, the Nets take on the Pelicans, the Clippers against the Magic and the Kings vs. the Heat. Scrimmages will run through July 28.

    Source: Chris Haynes on Twitter

  • Caris LeVert
    PG-SG, Brooklyn Nets

    Caris LeVert embraces challenge of being a leader.

    LeVert has been an active participant in the racial inequality protests and admitted that basketball is very minor right now compared to everything else going on in the world but is ready for the NBA restart saying, "For me, it’s just taking on that challenge of being a leader, being the leader of that group, going down there with some of the most experience on the team, playoff experience." In the 16 games since rejoining the starting lineup, LeVert has put up All-Star numbers with 24.1 points, 4.8 rebounds and 5.3 assists, while shooting 41.7 percent from three-point range and leading the Nets to a 9-7 record over that span. The upward trajectory continues for the Nets' 20th overall pick in the 2016 draft.

    Source: Newsday

  • Jordan Crawford
    SG, Free Agent

    Jordan Crawford has agreed to a deal with Russia's Lokomotiv Kuban.

    Crawford last played in the NBA for the Pelicans in 2018 with career averages of 12.2 points, 2.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 24.4 minutes. The career journeyman has played for five NBA teams since 2010 with a few stints with China in between. Since the beginning of 2019, he has played in Israel, China, Germany and now we can add Russia to that list.

    Source: Sportando

  • Lance Stephenson
    SG, Free Agent

    Lance Stephenson is ineligible to sign with the Pacers according to Scott Agness.

    Stephenson to the Pacers was being discussed in early March and made sense now with Victor Oladipo choosing to sit out the remainder of the season but this move apparently will not happen. The 29-year old Stephenson spent this past season in China where he averaged 26.7 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.8 assists for the CBA's Flying Leopards.

    Source: Scott Agness on Twitter

  • Anthony Davis
    PF-C, Los Angeles Lakers

    Anthony Davis has high expectations for the Lakers when they resume play later in July in Orlando, citing the long layoff as a favorable development for his squad.

    As if the Lakers weren't already squarely in the hunt for an NBA championship. When speaking to ESPN's Dave McMenamin, Davis said that he believes their "chances are higher just because we’re all rested and we’re all ready to go.” Depth seems to be the most glaring issue potentially facing the Lakers as they prepare to make the trip to Disney World, as defensive stalwart Avery Bradley recently opted out of the remainder of the season. Bradley was subsequently replaced by well-traveled veteran guard J.R. Smith (who has a long history of playoff runs alongside LeBron James with the Cavs), but the team is still unsure of veteran center Dwight Howard's status the rest of the way. Other than Howard, the Lakers' roster is seemingly set for Orlando. Davis sounds like he's ready to rock, however.

    Source: ESPN

  • Deng Adel
    PF, Brooklyn Nets

    Deng Adel, who played 19 games for the Cavs last season as a two-way player, is being pursued by the Illawara Hawks of Australia's NBL, which, notably was the team 18-year-old LaMelo Ball played for last season (and has attempted to purchase).

    Adel had two short stints before last season with the Rockets and Nets in the Summer League and the preseason, respectively. He was originally a standout at Louisville but went undrafted in 2018 before hitching on with the Cavs on a two-way pact. This season he had been playing for the Long Island Nets, the Nets' G League affiliate, prior to the pause and ultimately the end of the G League season. Adel had registered averages of 11.1 points, 4.2 boards and 2.6 assists to that point. Also of note, Adel spent the lion's share of his childhood in Australia after his family moved from South Sudan around the time he was eight.

    Source: Sportando

  • Darius Miller
    SF, New Orleans Pelicans

    Darius Miller is unsure if he will be able to play in Orlando, as he continues to recover from a torn a ruptured right Achillies.

    Due to the lockdown, Miller has been unable to participate in any live-action, or else he would have played in 3-on-3 or 5-on-5 by now. At this point, it would be surprising for the Pelicans to risk his health by pushing for him to participate in the eight-game regular season.

    Source: Will Guillory on Twitter