• Welcome to the first Friday DFS article of the regular NBA season. Friday tends to be one of the more popular nights for NBA throughout the industry for multiple reasons. This means extra research is essential and I will taking a few moments to explain why before jumping into some value plays for Friday night’s 10 game slate.

    Firstly, most people do not have work tomorrow. Why is this good for us? Fish tend to play DFS on nights where they can watch the games. It becomes a way for a casual NBA fan to be a little more interested and invested into teams they might otherwise ignore and a way for you to cash in.

    Fridays tend to always be larger slates. Sharks capitalize off of their hard work and research on these large slates. Not saying they don’t on smaller slates, but in a pool of over 130 players options and 10 games to choose from, deciphering which games and players to target can make it feel like more like 50 players and five or six games.

    Friday is the only day of the weekend where the NBA is the primary televised sport. On Saturday we see college football all afternoon and night. On Sunday we see the same with the NFL. Even on Monday and Thursday we see ratings and attention shift over to football. On top of that, MLB DFS just ended. This means anyone and everyone will be playing DFS tonight. It’s always a great time to play NBA DFS on football days or days with other major events. You get people who play multiple sports and divide their attention amongst them, while us NBA junkies sit on our laptops giving our NBA lineups more attention than our first-born child.

    I am excited to announce that DraftKings has become a partner of Hoop-Ball! My selections will be based primarily off of their pricing and scoring format. That being said, if a player is in a dream spot or if you are playing 50/50’s then the price difference should not affect you too much. Everyone listed in this article is someone who I would consider a value play and under $8,000. You will see a few familiar names and it is likely because they had rough openers so their prices were either lowered or stayed the same. These plays allow you to fit the sure fire studs in great matchups.

    Point Guards

    Elfrid Payton $7,100 – This seems like a dream spot for Payton. Brooklyn plays at one of the fastest paces in the league and just got over a game on Wednesday versus the Pacers that had a whopping 271 total. Payton is a walking triple-double threat and last season he averaged 17.3 points, 9.0 assists and 7.0 rebounds per game against the Nets. He figures to be a popular play, but for good reason, as at $7,100 he has the upside to get 45-50 DK points on what is one of the more favorable games on the slate with an over/under of 220.5 points.

    Jordan Clarkson $4,300 – KCP is still suspended and Lonzo Ball was “limited” heading into Thursday night’s game and will likely be limited again or possibly more on the back-to-back. The pace is great against the Suns and we just saw what a C.J. McCollum-less Blazers team did to them. Clarkson received 26 minutes last night and I believe we can expect that for a floor.

    Jeff Teague $5,600 – The matchup isn’t the best versus the Jazz and the pace will much slower than the Wolves normally play at, but the price is just too good. Gobert stifles opposing big men in the paint leading me to believe the Wolves will rely on their guards and wings on the wings tonight for perimeter scoring.

    Eric Bledsoe $7,400 – The Suns are coming of a putrid blowout and after the game Bledsoe shouldered most of the responsibility. I expect him to come out with a chip on his shoulder this game in what is a tasty matchup vs the Lakers. This will be one of the faster paced games of the night and is coming in with an over/under of 222 points.

    D’Angelo Russell $7,300 – What a Nets debut from Russell. This is his team and he plans on taking on even more responsibility with Jeremy Lin sidelined for the season. He gets a solid matchup against the Magic and should have a salary of around $8,000. He will be very high owned.

    Shooting Guards

    E’Twuan Moore $3,700 – The Pelicans draw the Warriors tonight and benefit from the fast pace they play at. With Rondo sidelined we got to see more of Moore. He played 31 minutes Wednesday night and is a scrappy player who benefits in these quick paced games. I wouldn’t expect 40 points from him, but ‘7-8x ‘ value is definitely on the board.

    Avery Bradley $5,400 – Ok, let’s try this again. He is too cheap and draws a favorable shooting matchup. Bradley shot well Wednesday night, but got into early foul trouble, which limited his production to only 18 DK points. He will likely go overlooked tonight after the poor performance. He only grabbed two rebounds, one assist and no steals or blocks. Like I said last week, do not expect those crazy double-doubles to return from last season, but 20-5-4 with a couple of steals is not out of the realm of possibility.

    Yogi Ferrell $4,200 – The Mavs started Ferrell at shooting guard on Wednesday night and will look to do so again against the Kings. Seth Curry is still sidelined and the tragic news regarding Devin Harris’ brother will likely force Ferrell and Dennis Smith JR. into heavy minutes.

    J.J Redick- $4,500 – Going against a young Boston team who has noticeably left a little too much room for 3-point shooters? Sign me up. This is another player who should be about $1,000 more expensive. Redick is still getting integrated into Sixers offense, but he is by far their best shooter and on DraftKings we can’t forget about that juicy 3-point bonus.

    Devin Booker $7,000 – We have seen Booker’s ceiling and it is not $7,000. He gets the late night hammer against a Lakers team coming off of a back-to-back. After what the Suns did Wednesday night I am expecting their stars to come out firing. I will be looking to get some exposure to this game in either the form of Bledsoe or Booker.

    Small Forward

    Robert Covington $5,700 – Ok, DraftKings, It’s been about two years since everyone has realized Robert Covington is good at basketball. He can rebound, hit threes and rack up defensive numbers. Boston will run a lot of small lineups with Jayson Tatum at power forward, allowing Covington to see time at power forward as well and this price is just too cheap.

    Larry Nance $4,300 – Nance held his own against the Clippers Thursday night, scoring 14 points and grabbing 12 boards. With Brandon Ingram sliding over to shooting guard while KCP is suspended, Nance has been seeing time at small forward, power forward and even center. He played 29 minutes last game and should see similar, if not more minutes against the Suns who will roll out combinations of stretch fours and wings.

    Jeremy Lamb $5,700 – Lamb had a solid game in the opener, but that is not what we’re paying $5,700 for. Lamb gets to face the weak Hawks who remain vulnerable from just about anywhere on the court. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist remains out for tonight’s game so I expect Lamb to see plenty of run at shooting guard and small forward. Someone has to help Kemba Walker with the shooting load.

    T.J. Warren $5,000 – Forget about Wednesday’s game. It was a blowout and everyone’s minutes were affected. Warren shot poorly, but had tough matchups against Al-Farouq Aminu and Moe Harkless. Look for him to have a solid bounce back game against a team that he averaged 16.7 points, 7.3 boards, 3.0 assists and a combined 3.0 steals/blocks per game.

    Power Forward

    Kevin Love $7,500 – He was poorly underused against the weak Boston frontcourt Tuesday night and we should expect to see him bounce back and take plenty of shots against the Bucks’ below average bigs. Love is starting at center now and the Bucks tend to run smaller lineups anyway. He will be dealing with the likes of Thon Maker, John Henson and Greg Monroe on defense. While there are a lot of great options at power forward, Love figures to be a middle-tier guy who flies under the radar and is fully capable of 50 point games.

    Jordan Bell $3,800 – The Warriors are facing off against the twin towers of DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis and will likely have to throw two bigs of their own out there for good run. Bell was the first off the bench for Golden State on Tuesday and with Draymond Green entering the game a little banged up (currently listed as probable) could see increased run. I personally do not trust Zaza Pachuila to be athletic enough to run with the likes of Davis or Cousins, so a Bell dart throw in a tournament lineup seems warranted.

    Trevor Booker $4,700 – I hate uttering his name, almost feels like looking in the mirror and saying, “Bloody Mary” three times. All jokes aside the Nets gave Booker most of the run at center against the Pacers and with limited options for rebounding, will likely do the same against the Magic and Nik Vucevic. I wouldn’t expect him to shoot 7-for-10 again, but the rebounds seem legit and another double-double seems to be on the horizon.

    Draymond Green – $7,300-Like I said before, he clearly isn’t healthy, but he said he felt better after a practice and is now listed as probable. If Green can play full minutes he will be a steal at his price and I expect many to be scared off by his injury tag and the late game.

    Center

    Marcin Gortat $5,600 – I know it seems like I am chasing, but hear me out. Mid-tier price, facing Andre Drummond and the possibility of Jason Smith missing the game is a recipe that sets Gortat up for another night of value. I don’t expect him to put up some of the same rebounding numbers against Drummond, but I expect solid minutes up front. Last season in 28 minutes against Detroit Gortat averaged 10 points, 9.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game.

    Dwight Howard $6,700 – Next stop, Narrative Town! Hop aboard another fantastic revenge game for Howard. It seems like every year we get one of these matchups and Howard gets his former Hawks team in his hometown. With Cody Zeller already hurt, the opportunity outweighs the narrative and you can look for Charlotte to feed Howard early and often. He’s a sure fire double-double and you know we love our bonuses on DraftKings.

    Dewayne Dedmon $4,700 – On the opposite side of the matchup and similar to Gortat’s situation, Dedmon will have to play minutes up front against Howard. He did not show much in his 25 minutes on Wednesday, but that was also against a Mavericks team who rolls out small lineups often.

    Al Horford $6,800 – A matchup versus the Sixers isn’t what it once was. Joel Embiid figures to play 25-ish minutes and has proven to be a great defender, but Boston has no one up front and have used Horford at the four and five in the first two games. With Gordon Hayward down, Horford is eventually going to have to shoulder some of the scoring load. It seems every night Horford is going under-owned and at this price tag I think he is worth taking a shot on to get some exposure against the Sixers.

    Nikola Vucevic $7,600 – Can you tell I love the second-tier centers tonight? Vucevic draws another fantastic matchup against the Nets frontcourt. Like the heat, Vucevic has crushed the Nets in the past and look for him to do so again in what should be a high scoring game.

    Many of these players are eligible at multiple positions making lineup construction much more unique, and taking advantage of it can be key. There are many other players who I have interest in under the $8,000 price tag, but just waiting to hear updates and news on. Here are a few situations to keep your eye on through out the day.

    Aaron Gordon – I love Gordon in this matchup and if we hear he is at full health and good to go before tip off I can guarantee you I’ll have some shares. If he were forced to miss the game, look at Jonathan Issac to pick up the slack and be an elite value play on this slate.

    Myles Turner – he popped up on the injury report with a sore neck. It doesn’t seem to be a huge deal but if Turner were to be forced to miss the game we would see Thad Young and Domantas Sabonis step up and both be huge value plays.

    Stanley Johnson – Johnson missed practice Thursday with back soreness after playing 40 minutes during Wednesday’s opener. At Johnson’s price tag and minutes load DK are bound to fall into his lap against the Hornets. Keep an eye an him heading into tip off and if he plays he should be a solid cash game option.

    Marcus Smart – If Smart sits it puts the Boston wings back into play even with their increased salaries. We would also likely see Aron Baynes start at center and Horford shift to the power forward spot.

    Hope the value plays help you win some contests. As always you can reach me on twitter @Apottreeuh or look for me in the forums. Good luck and research hard.

Fantasy News

  • Tacko Fall - C - College

    Tacko Fall of UCF, Marques Bolden of Duke, Nick Weiler-Babb of Iowa State, Jalen Hudson of Florida, Amir Hinton of Shaw University and Myles Powell of Seton Hall will all be participants of the Kings pre-draft workout.

    All of the players that will be working out for the Kings are not projected to be drafted next month. The Kings are looking at guys for their second round selections as they have three picks in that round. Unfortunately, those are the only picks they have this year as their first round selection is owned by the Celtics. Expect the Kings to continue to look at players with high ceilings like Tacko Fall. Fall, a 7’7″ center has a 10’2″ standing reach and an 8’2″ wingspan. These measurements are why Fall will get to the NBA at some point. The question of how big of an impact he will make remains to be seen. Perhaps the Kings will draft the large center with one of their three second round picks.

    Source: Deuce Mason on Twitter

  • Patrick McCaw - SG/SF - Toronto Raptors

    Patrick McCaw (personal reasons) will remain sidelined for Thursday's Game 5 vs. the Bucks.

    McCaw has missed the entire ECF thus far due to personal reasons. The basketball community hopes the best for the youngster. Even if he were to come back, he wouldn't be in line for many minutes as Norman Powell and Fred VanVleet have established themselves as part of the team's shortened eight man rotation.

    Source: NBA Injury Report

  • OG Anunoby - F - Toronto Raptors

    Head coach Nick Nurse told the media that OG Anunoby (appendectomy) is still without a timetable to return but said that he's doing more every day.

    Anunoby has missed the entire playoffs after suffering an emergency appendectomy. Now that Game 6 is necessary and there is a greater likelihood that there will be a Game 7, the chances improve that we see Anunoby return to the court to face the Bucks. The Raptors could use another long versatile defender to throw at the Greek Freak and his teammates. Continue to stay tuned to how Anunoby continues to progress on the court to see if he will be able to return this series.

    Source: Michael Grange on Twitter

  • Kawhi Leonard - F - Toronto Raptors

    Danny Green never believed Kawhi Leonard was anything but legitimately hurt last year and back-to-back brilliant performances the last two games reinforces how serious the injury was.

    “He’s playing through pain,” Danny Green said to a handful of reporters, long after Leonard left the locker room. “He can’t even celebrate baskets because of how painful it is.” For the last couple games Kawhi has dragged around his right leg like there was a nail hammered into it while the Raptors won’t admit there is a problem. Toronto’s bench was brilliant yesterday carrying the team to a victory and with Game 5 set to take place on Thursday Leonard won’t have much time to rest.

    Source: Sports Illustrated

  • Pau Gasol - C/F - Milwaukee Bucks

    Pau Gasol made it official by confirming that he won’t be playing for Spain at the upcoming FIBA Basketball World Cup due to his foot fracture.

    “I would have loved playing with Spain, with my teammates. It has been always important playing for my National Team”, Gasol said. The big man added that he would love to end his international career by playing in the Olympics in Tokyo but after finishing the worst statistical season of his NBA career we have to wonder whether injuries will allow him to continue competing at the highest level.

    Source: ACB

  • Kyrie Irving - G - Boston Celtics

    Brian Windhorst of ESPN is reporting that Kyrie Irving is open to joining the Lakers but they aren’t as high on his list as a few other teams.

    Irving will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st and he has the Celtics, the Knicks and the Nets all ahead of the Lakers as potential destinations. Joining the Lakers would mean reuniting with LeBron James, his former teammate with the Cavs. Kyrie and LeBron overcame a 3-1 deficit against the Warriors to win the championship in 2016 but their relationship went south leading to Irving’s trade to the Celtics last year.

    Source: ESPN

  • Kevin Durant - F - Golden State Warriors

    Warriors star Kevin Durant has not made a decision on where he’s taking his talents next season, according to his manager Rich Kleiman.

    “Kevin is 100 percent undecided,” Kleiman told the Wall Street Journal. “He really doesn’t know, and I really don’t know.” KD has strongly been linked to the Knicks, while the Clippers and the Nets seem to have increased their odds as well, but it’s hard to know what Durant really has in his mind.

    Source: Wall Street Journal

  • Anthony Davis - F/C - New Orleans Pelicans

    FS1’s Chris Broussard suggested that the Nets could be a dark horse when it comes to landing Anthony Davis.

    Brooklyn could offer the Pelicans a package that includes D’Angelo Russell (as part of a sign-and-trade), big man Jarrett Allen and their two first-round picks in the June 20 NBA Draft, the No. 17 and No. 27 overall selections. The Nets’ hope is to bring both AD and free agent-to-be Kyrie Irving to Brooklyn as Sean Marks seems determined to build a contender. AD and his agent Rich Paul are expected to meet with David Griffin in Los Angeles soon, so we should know more about the All-Star’s’ future once this meeting finally takes place.

    Source: FOX Sports

  • Tobias Harris - F - Philadelphia Sixers

    Keith Pompey of the Phily Inquirer is reporting that Tobias Harris will be on the radar of at least five teams, including the Kings, the Mavs, the Jazz, the Nets and the Pacers, all of which have room to add a maximum-salary free agent.

    The Sixers will have a full plate this offseason as they have three starters headed toward unrestricted free agency this summer in Jimmy Butler, Tobias Harris and J.J. Redick. Philadelphia owns Harris’ Bird rights, meaning they can offer him the most-lucrative deal, a five-year, $188 million pact while the most another team could offer would be a four-year deal at $141 million. Harris will soon be turning 27 and entering his prime and his services will absolutely be in demand even thought he averaged just 15.5 points and 9.2 rebounds in 12 playoff games this year.

    Source: Phily Inquirer

  • Kevin Durant - F - Golden State Warriors

    Marc Stein of the New York Times wrote on his newsletter on Tuesday that the Clippers have emerged as an equally dangerous threat to the Knicks to sign Kevin Durant away from the Warriors.

    KD is expected to enter free agency this offseason by declining his $31.5 million option for 2019-20. The 30-year-old All-Star will be in high demand once he hits the open market, and the Knicks, the Nets and the Clippers all have more than $50 million in practical cap space this summer. Durant will likely consider how well each team is set up for success, which would seem to favor the Clippers and the Nets, both of whom made the playoffs last season. Meanwhile, Warriors owner Joe Lacob remains confident about the team re-signing KD and Klay Thompson this summer.

    Source: New York Times