• It appears that we will have one incredible slate to create the greatest roster in the history of DFS.  Many people will inevitably fall into the same trap tonight and blur the line of skill. Vegas is projecting some massive totals and several competitive games that feature teams in excellent pace-up spots.  Will you grab yourself a nice piece of chalk and create chalky team on the chalkiest of nights or will you rise above the rest and have your name echoed for eternity in the Hall of Champions?  Put down the chalk, grab your apple fritter, and let’s get to work.

    Point Guard

    Steph Curry, $9,900 FD, GS@HOU

    This is going to be a tough fade for a lot of fish tonight.  He is in a pace-up spot, a highly competitive game, and has a Vegas implied score of 116 points.  This game will absolutely have a playoff atmosphere and hopefully will be more fun to watch that the Spurs vs. Cavs game, or should I say bloodbath, that was on last night.  This is a nationally televised game and a lot of people will want a piece of action while watching this game.  For ownership purposes I think Steph Curry is a fantastic, albeit frightening FADE.

    Damian Lillard, $9,400 FD, DEN@POR

    Dame is the reason why I am fading Steph Curry tonight.  He is the best price point pivot in recent memory.  Not only does Damian have the best DvP match-up on the night against the Nuggets backcourt, he also has a +6 implied team total compared to their season average.  The Blazers have a team implied total of 114 points, which is only two points less than the Warriors.  Dame has a better match-up, similar team total, and is in a pace-up game.  He is a lock tonight and absolute FIRE tonight at the point guard position.

    Shooting Guard

    Klay Thompson, $7,000 FD, GS@HOU

    Klay is in an excellent spot here tonight.  He has a good chance to make value tonight and score 5x his salary which results in 35 FanDuel points.  That is nothing to scoff at, but hardly what we are looking for in our GPP approach.  Even if he does exceed that he might top off at 40 points while carrying 25% ownership.  I am not impressed.  If he fails to reach value tonight you could leap a quarter of the field by deciding to FADE Klay.

    Tim Hardaway Jr., $5,900 FD, PHO@ATL

    Hardaway Jr. is in an excellent spot tonight against the defensively deficient backcourt of the Suns.  The Hawks have a massive projected team total that is +8 above their season average and rounds off at 111 points.  They are in a pace-up game and Hardaway has been shooting between 16-20 shots per night over the past week.  At his current price he has exceeded value in two of his last three games.  He recently popped off for 42 FanDuel points and the Hawks are still injured up and down the roster.  Lock him in tonight and hope that this FIRE pivot doesn’t gain traction as the day progresses.

    Small Forward

    Paul George, $8,700 FD, MIN@IND

    PG13 is the highest priced SF tonight and for good reason. In the DFS world, he is known as a player who lacks consistency.  Over the past six games he has scored over 40 points four times with three of those totals being between 48-52.  That is excellent production.  However, there are choices at this position tonight at lower price points that offer similar upside and are locked into massive minutes.  He’s an easy FADE.

    T.J. Warren, $6,400 FD, PHO@ATL

    T.J. has been serving as the number two scoring option for the Suns over the past two weeks ever since the team shut down Eric Bledsoe.  He is playing massive minutes now as the Suns are rolling out an incredibly young lineup and letting them play until their wheels fall off.  Over Warren’s past five games he has played 37+ minutes in four of them and has scored between 33 and 44 in each of those games.  With his current situation he is almost guaranteed to make value at 5x and offers 7x upside by scoring in the mid 40’s. He’s easily a FIRE pick and don’t overthink this position.

    Power Forward

    Nikola Jokic, $10,300 FD, DEN@POR

    Jokic has been gaining some serious popularity in the DFS and social media world with his fancy passes and smooth presence with the basketball.  The Nuggets are getting healthier and Jokic has played under 30 minutes in three of his last five games.  At his current price point and with the concern of playing time, he is an easy popularity FADE tonight.

    Richaun Holmes, $5,700 FD, PHI@BKN

    Richaun has the opportunity to shine vs the Nets.  They are an incredibly fast paced team and turn the ball over frequently.  Holmes is incredibly athletic and Jahlil Okafor has already been ruled out of this one, meaning Holmes should be locked into 30-ish minutes.  In three out of his last four games, when playing 29+ minutes, Richaun has scored 31, 37, and 51 fantasy points.  That type of massive upside at a sub-6k price is exactly what we are looking for in our GPP approach. Holmes is a great guy to FIRE up tonight.

    Center

    Jusuf Nurkic, $6,700 FD, DEN@POR

    Jusuf is playing the team that traded him at the deadline and has a feel of the ultimate narrative street pick.  I encourage you to avoid falling into this trap.  Nurkic has played less than 30 minutes in the past five games and the foul prone center has a difficult match-up tonight.  He does possess massive upside and still could easily make value tonight, but we want more for our GPP build. He’s a FADE.

    Cody Zeller, $5,300 FD, MIL@CHA

    This is a FIRE pick tonight.  In four out of his last five games Zeller has played 29+ minutes and scored 29-37 points.  In his one down game he scored 18 points, which at $5,300 will not sink your lineup.  He is safe, has upside, and is consistent.  Lock and load the best of the Zeller family.

    Best of luck to all of you tonight.  You can find me on Twitter @DFSnDONUTS and send me screen shots of all of your winnings, I have a feeling tonight is our night!

Fantasy News

  • 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

  • Nerlens Noel
    C, Oklahoma City Thunder

    Brett Dawson of The Athletic believes that Nerlens Noel could see a slight bump in minutes if the Thunder limit Steven Adams' usage.

    Noel is a great per-minute producer of steals and blocks but only appeared in 13.7 minutes per contest last season. Additional playing time would make him more useful in deeper leagues.

    Source: Brett Dawson of The Athletic

  • Joel Embiid
    C, Philadelphia Sixers

    In a video, Joel Embiid announced that he lost about 25 pounds over the summer.

    Embiid is one of the best fantasy players around but has struggled at times with conditioning. The Sixers will gladly accept any improvements from last season's averages of 27.5 points and 13.6 rebounds.

    Source: NBC Sports

  • TJ Warren
    SF, Indiana Pacers

    According to Pacers beat writer Scott Agness, Pacers forward T.J. Warren has no injury worries heading into the season.

    Warren has missed 56 games during the last two seasons, but he hopes to stay healthy for all of 2019-20. Warren is likely to start for the Pacers and could hold top-100 value if he can stay on the court.

    Source: Scott Agness on Twitter

  • Damian Lillard
    PG, Portland Trail Blazers

    Damian Lillard expects to play for Team USA during next year's Summer Olympics.

    Lillard skipped this year's World Cup but is planning to play in Tokyo. He should be a late first-round or early second-round fantasy pick this year.

    Source: news.com.au

  • Stephen Curry
    PG, Golden State Warriors

    Warriors guard Stephen Curry expects to play at next year's Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.

    Curry will have a busy year ahead of him. Still, it's no surprise that many potential members of Team USA skipped this year's FIBA World Cup in favor of an Olympics appearance. Curry will be a popular early first-round pick in fantasy drafts.

    Source: ESPN

  • Isaiah Thomas
    PG, Washington Wizards

    Wizards guard Isaiah Thomas will be sidelined for 6-8 weeks after undergoing surgery on his left thumb.

    This is rough news for the Wizards, who already have John Wall on the shelf. Thomas was a candidate to start at point guard, but instead he'll have to recover from yet another injury. Thomas averaged 8.1 points and 1.9 assists in limited action for the Nuggets last campaign.

    Source: Washington Wizards on Twitter