December 5, 2018, 3:44 pm
December 3, 2018, 4:04 pm
November 30, 2018, 2:58 pm
It is Friday, November 30 and I am back once again to help break down some of my favorite value plays for tonight’s 11-game NBA slate. As some of you may know we are partnered with DraftKings and will be using their scoring and salary format.
Tonight is also special because we will be running another “Hoop Ball Beat the Expert” contest on DraftKings. The contest entry fee is only $3 and top 10 take home prize money, with first place also receiving a glorious Hoop Ball t-shirt. These contests are loads of fun to do. And you can join by clicking right here!
Tonight is going to be an important night to monitor news and players heading into lock and even after lock. We have a few game-time decisions that could drastically impact the way we view the slate and plenty of value to choose from and more expected to open up. DFS is a fluid motion and your lineups and plays should be subject to change as the news rolls in and utilizing the late swap feature may be essential tonight. We have a lot of studs in good spots tonight, so I am going to focus more on the cheaper options to fit those guys and throw in two of my top high-priced options as well. Let’s jump right into some of my favorite value plays to target.
Elie Okobo vs. Magic $3,000 – This one is a little risky given how late the game starts, but if we get the word that Okobo will draw a start we have to look at him. In 32 minutes last game he shot 8-of-12 and managed 33.5 DK points. At minimum salary we are not looking for a whole lot and I find it hard to believe Okobo does not make value if starting.
Ryan Arcidiacono vs. Pistons $4,400 – There may not be much juice left in the orange to squeeze, but we’ve seen the upside Arcidiacono has when playing 30-plus minutes. I do not expect another five steals, but he is running point and has taking double digit shot attempts over the past two games. We have a lot of value in a similar price range tonight
Kemba Walker vs. Jazz $8,800 – This is the lowest we have seen Walker priced in quite some time and this is a good spot to take advantage of it. The Jazz’s defense is good, but the volume in which Walker has been shooting virtually makes him matchup-proof.
Marcus Smart vs. Cavs $4,300 – No Jaylen Brown means we are looking at Smart being inserted back into the starting lineup. Smart is not someone who absorbs a ton of usage, but he played 40 minutes in the last game that Brown sat and he could accumulate defensive and counting stats quickly. This a great matchup and even in a blowout I expect Smart to play close to 30 minutes.
Jordan Clarkson vs. Celtics $5,300 – David Nwaba has already been ruled out and Kyle Korver has been traded to the Jazz and we do not know if Alec Burks will play tonight even if he’s available; this leaves Clarkson and Andrew Harrison as the lone bench guards for the Cavs. Clarkson played 32 minutes coming off of the bench in the Cavs’ last game and took 22 shots from the floor for 35.8 DK points. He makes very a solid pivot off of Collin Sexton, but both are fantastic plays tonight. If Burks is confirmed to get minutes tonight it would make me lean slightly more towards Sexton compared to Clarkson.
D’Angelo Russell vs. Grizzlies $7,300 – I’ve seen all I need to see to throw Russell into my player pool on a nightly basis. Since Caris LeVert has gone out we have seen Russell’s minutes and usage spike massively. Over his last two games he has taken 25 and 28 shots from the floor. In one of those games he shot 57 percent and dropped over 60 DK points and even in the game he shot poorly (24 percent) he still managed 35 DK points. The upside is there and barring a blowout so is the floor. I don’t love the fact the Mike Conley will be defending Russell for most of the game, but the usage is just too enticing to steer me away.
Juancho Hernangomez vs. Blazers $4,700 – Would it be a Friday DFS article if I hadn’t mentioned Hernangomez? If you look at his game logs you will immediately be turned off, but there is a ton of upside available at his price. We have seen him drop multiple 40-plus DK point games in a row and If Gary Harris were forced to sit out again we could look to him for more usage as well. He is going to get overlooked on this massive slate. I’d likely reserve him for GPP’s as we have safer cash options around this price range.
Markieff Morris vs. Sixers $5,500 – Dwight Howard has already been ruled out, leaving Thomas Bryant and Markieff Morris to man the center position. Bryant hasn’t played more than 18 minutes since being inserted into the starting lineup, leaving Morris to shoulder the load. In the past, Morris has struggled grasping usage playing alongside of John Wall and Bradley Beal, but that is a thing of the past now that he is coming off of the bench. He’s averaging 34.3 DK points over his last five games and the Wizards will need their bigger bodies.
Larry Nance Jr. vs. Celtics $5,600 – In both games that Nwaba has missed we have seen Nance play 36 and 38 minutes and Nwaba is out again tonight. I do not love this matchup but we know Nance is a point-per-minute producer and he gets to face a slightly weaker frontcourt without Al Horford. Tristan Thompson is another great player, but I have a lot of love for multiple center options on tonight’s slate and sliding Nance in at one of the forward spots makes more sense as of now.
JaMychal Green/ Jaren Jackson Jr. vs. Nets $4,300/ $5,800 – Marc Gasol practiced in full on Thursday, but is currently being listed as a game-time decision for Friday’s game. If he were forced to sit out we have a ton of value that opens up. If becomes almost imperative that you have one of either Green or JJJ. I’d lean Green for the savings and small forward eligibility, but he probably doesn’t possess the same upside JJJ could offer with his blocks. Mike Conley would also position himself as one of the top point guard plays with Gasol out.
Joel Embiid vs. Wizards $10,900 – Embiid is expensive, but warrants every dollar in this matchup. Dwight Howard has already been ruled out for the Wizards, leaving them extremely thin in the frontcourt. The Wizards do not have any bodies on their team with the size and strength to guard Embiid and if this game stays close he should have his way in the paint. Jimmy Butler has not impacted Embiid’s usage since he’s been there.
Jusuf Nurkic vs. Nuggets $6,800 – This is a revenge spot for Big Nurk against his former team, but also a spot were we may assured of his minutes. We know Jokic is the Nuggets’ best player and as long as he is on the court we should have a fair dose of Nurkic barring foul trouble. His price tag is more than fair given his upside and it allows us to get some exposure to the late game. We have a ton of centers on the board to choose from, but Nurkic is one of my favorite plays in terms of points per dollar.
Aron Baynes vs. Cavs $3,200 – Honestly, I probably won’t have a ton of Baynes on tonight’s slate. I love a lot of the center options and even though he is a value play he takes up one of those spots. We saw him go off in only 22 minutes against the Hawks the last time Horford was out, so I feel the need to mention him if you are looking to construct a lineup paying up for guards or multiple studs.
Thank you all again for the support and if you have any questions or comments you could find me on Twitter @MikeApotria. Don’t forget to reserve your entry into tonight’s “Hoop Ball Beat the Expert” contest. It’s one you won’t want to miss out on.
November 28, 2018, 5:38 pm
Kemba Walker ($9,700 FD, $9,300 DK) – Kemba Walker looks primed to have a career year as he gets ready to hit free agency in the summer. Tonight he matches up with the Hawks who struggle to contain point guards.
Spencer Dinwiddie ($6,500 FD, $6,200 DK) – Dinwiddie has stepped up nicely since Caris LeVert went down with his injury and tonight he gets the Jazz, who are nowhere the same defensive unit they were last year. Look for him to hit value tonight.
Other good buys: John Wall ($9,300 FD, $9,100 DK), Ryan Arcidiacono ($4,200 FD, $3,900 DK).
James Harden ($11,600 FD, $11,600 DK) – If Chris Paul is ruled out again, Harden becomes a better play then he already is. Last time out Harden dropped 54 points against the Wizards and faces off against the Mavericks tonight in a soft matchup.
Jeremy Lamb ($6,600 FD, $6,400 DK) – Lamb has played really well lately and grabbed six or more rebounds in his last eight games. He has an easy matchup against the Hawks tonight so he makes for a great play tonight at his price.
Other good buys: Devin Booker ($8,800 FD, DK), Bradley Beal ($8,200 FD, $8,000 DK).
T.J. Warren ($6,600 FD, $6,500 DK) – Warren’s price has come down a bit since I last spoke about him here which may be due to his ejection cutting his night short against Detroit. However he had a bounce-back game last night and continues to play well so I think he makes for a great play against the Clippers.
Jonathan Isaac ($4,700 FD, $3,700 DK) – Isaac got extended minutes against the Warriors his last time out as Aaron Gordon was forced out early. If Gordon is ruled out later tonight, Isaac becomes a great play at his cheap price.
Other good buys: Jabari Parker ($7,400 FD, $6,600 DK), Otto Porter ($6,600 FD, $5,900 DK).
Anthony Davis ($12,500, $11,400) – There are a few studs on tonight’s slate but I think Davis is the one to go with. The Pelicans played the Wizards a few nights ago and it turned out to be a high-scoring affair. AD missed that game but is a go for tonight in a matchup where he should be able to rack up fantasy points.
Noah Vonleh ($6,700 FD, $5,700 DK) – Vonleh has put up a couple of big games since his insertion into the starting lineup. Tonight he gets the Sixers who like to push the pace so he’ll have plenty of opportunities to put up fantasy points.
Other good buys: Markieff Morris ($6,500 FD, $5,1000 DK), P.J. Tucker ($4,300 FD, $4,400 DK).
Nikola Vucevic ($9,500 FD, $8,300 DK) – Vucevic has been putting up some big numbers lately and will look to stay hot against the Blazers tonight. Adding to Vucevic’s appeal is the possibility of Gordon missing tonight’s game.
Tristan Thompson ($7,100, $6,300) – Thompson has played great since Love went down and his price has skyrocketed. His offensive rebounding ability adds to his value as it often leads to an easy put-back. Thompson has a touch matchup against Steven Adams tonight but he’s worth it at this price.
Other good buys: Rudy Gobert ($8,500 FD, $7,700 DK), Steven Adams ($7,400 FD, $6,700).
November 23, 2018, 12:06 pm
What is going on Hoop Ballers? Hope everyone enjoyed Thanksgiving with their loved ones and saved room for some DFS. Here at Hoop Ball we can’t be thankful enough for our supporters. You are the ones who grease the wheels of our fantasy community and allow us the opportunity to do what we love.
It is Friday, November 23 and I am back with another edition of my DFS picks for the night. Again, we apologize that we were unable to offer our weekly Wednesday DraftKings’ contest, but I will be hosting a special private contest on DraftKings today to give us our fix for the week. There are only 30 spots open in this contest, so jump in while you can because it is always a great time. It also gives readers a chance to see some of the plays I am interested in early on and how my lineup progressed and panned out by lock. We have to remember that this is an early look at the slate and things change and value opens up as the day progresses. Your lineup should never be locked in early and if it is you are not taking advantage of all of the information we provide here at Hoop Ball throughout the day and not utilizing the late-swap feature properly.
We have 12 games to focus on tonight, but as you all know there are a few games we could cross out or pay little to no attention to so try not to get overwhelmed by the player pool. We have a lot of games and players to look at, so let’s not waste anymore time and get right to it.
Trey Burke vs. Pelicans $4,400– Trying to peg the Knicks’ point guard is a situation I have been avoiding all season, but we can’t ignore what Burke has been doing over the last few games. In the last week games Burke has averaged 26 minutes per game, but is boasting a massive 36.6 usage rate; 4.2 percent higher than Tim Hardaway Jr. This game is going to bleed fantasy production and regardless of the score Burkes’ minutes and usage feel safe. After his last performance he will likely draw ownership, but we are much less worried about ownership percentages on massive slates like this.
Lonzo Ball vs. Jazz $5,100- Ball finally saw the minutes we have been expecting him to play since Rajon Rondo broke his hand. In the first two games with Rondo out, Ball played 28 and 22 minutes, but in a closer game versus the Cavs he managed to see 35 minutes. We know Ball is capable of stuffing the stat sheet and while it isn’t the best matchup against the Jazz, it is a home game and Ball’s splits between home and away have been night and day. He is still priced as though he is not going to see 30-plus minutes and should easily hit value if he does.
Damian Lillard vs. Warriors $9,000- This is a spot I always turn to Lillard. Last season Lillard averaged 37.0 points, 6.0 assists and 3.7 rebounds against the Warriors across three games. The pace will be increased against the Warriors and without Stephen Curry and Draymond Green we are much less worried about a blow out. Lillard is from Oakland, California giving us an added narrative that he generally delivers on. He will likely have friends and family in the stands giving some added motivation and I am expecting another huge game from Lillard tonight.
Klay Thompson vs. Trailblazers $6,700- I am very high on Lillard tonight and in this type of matchup it makes sense correlation wise to run it back with a Warrior. Durant is the obvious great play and you do not need me to tell you that, but Klay often gets overlooked and his price tag is more than fair given his expected usage with Curry and Green already ruled out. We know that Klay isn’t going to stuff the counting stat department, but he has taken at least 20 shot attempts over the last three games and we know how hot he could get. He feels like a safe cash play and he always provides GPP upside.
Donovan Mitchell vs. Lakers $7,400- Mitchell has been hit or miss as of late scoring less than 20 DK points in two of the last five games, but this is a matchup we cannot ignore. In those other three games he has scored at least 40 DK points and has taken at least 21 shot attempts. This will be a high-tempo game and I am expecting Mitchell to take advantage of the pace. We are going to want some exposure to and if it’s not Mitchell it may be another member of the Jazz I’ll mention later.
Jrue Holiday vs. Knicks $8,300- Holiday has been absolutely crushing since he began manning the point guard duties for the injured Elfrid Payton. Over his last six games he is averaged 47.7 DK points and a lot of that is due to the 10.2 assists he is averaging across that span. This game presents risk, but the Knicks kept the game intact last time these teams met up and Holiday hung up 49 DK points on this poor Knicks backcourt. He feels more than safe for any format.
Marcus Morris vs. Hawks $4,900- I originally wrote this article up only mentioning Hayward, but after report came out saying Al Horford (knee) is unlikely to play we have to consider other options. Morris has been playing phenomenally for the Celtics this season and should see his minutes in the low-30’s tonight. We saw his price tag reach close to $6,000 not too long ago and that was with Horford playing. I’d be foolish not to mention Aron Baynes as a value play at $3,300.
Gordon Hayward vs. Hawks $5,600- Don’t look now, but we are starting to see Hayward’s minutes rise over the last few games. Hayward has admitted that he is still lacking his usual bounce and energy, but at this price tag against the Hawks it is hard to imagine he does not hit value. I am less concerned about the blow out risk associated with Hayward compared to the other Celtics as Celtics’ head coach Brad Stevens will likely play Hayward at least 28 minutes regardless to help shake the rust off. With Horford unlikely to play we may also see a shift where Hayward plays even more in small ball lineups.
Josh Richardson vs. Bulls $7,300- Richardson has evolved into the scorer the Heat wanted him to be this season averaging 20 actual points per game. He is flaunting a 25.4 percent with Goran Dragic and Tyler Johnson off of the floor and we know he is going to see a fair share of Zach Lavin defense. Richardson let us down last game, but I am not afraid to go back to the well in this matchup. If you are looking for a contrarian option on the Heat side you could look Dwyane Wade’s way. He only played 13 minutes last game, but it was after returning from an eight-day layoff and was likely being eased back in. Wade is from Chicago so there is some narrative in there, but I’d only reserve him as a high-risk GPP option if I am playing multiple lineups.
Noah Vonleh $4,300 vs. Pelicans- Vonleh is likely to be chalky for cash games tonight and for good reason. Over the last three games has played at least thirty minutes and in two of those produced over 40 DK points. It is a matchup that we know that Knicks will have to play big in and barring another wild David Fizdale lineup change Vonleh is expected to draw the start. I would say ease with caution; as much as I think Vonleh is in play I tend to review my lineups over and over again when I am playing Knicks, as it never feels comfortable.
Juancho Hernangomez vs. Magic $4,700- Since entering the starting lineup Hernangomez has been one of my favorite plays for DFS. His minutes are secure and he has taken double-digit shots attempts in each of the last four games. He offers a safe enough floor, but has flashed some GPP upside scoring 40 DK points in two of those four games. I am not in love with power forward position as a whole tonight and it is likely a spot I use to save some cash.
Blake Griffin vs. Rockets $9,200– Griffin has been playing on another level this season, we just got a taste of this matchup a few days ago. In that matchup Griffin dropped 37 points with 11 rebounds scoring almost 60 DK points and somehow his price has dropped $200 since that game. It is hard pegging Andre Drummond and Griffin’s big games, as they could sometimes eat into each others value regarding rebounding, but this is a matchup that Griffin has licked his chops for. He gets up for the matchup against his former teammate Chris Paul and even in two games last season Griffin has averaged 28 points, 10 rebounds and assists against the Rockets.
John Collins $4,900 vs. Celtics- Collins has been seeing his minutes increase after working his way back from a tough ankle injury, but let’s not forget the beast we all drafted early in our season long leagues. It is obviously not a great matchup against one of the NBA’s better defensive units, but Collins his going to be a key cog for this Hawks’ team and should be locked into at least 25 minutes regardless of the score. I would only look to play Collins in a lineup where I am targeting some Celtics on the other side. I spoke on Hayward being a great value before, but we could be paired with Kyrie Irving in a great matchup.
Steven Adams vs. Hornets $7,100- Adams has been one of my highest targeted center plays on the year thus far and as long as DraftKings refuses to price him to where he should be I will continue to ride him. This is a great matchup and we have seen the Hornets play at a much faster pace this year than they have in the past. This is another spot where I am anticipating a double-double bonus for Adams, as the Hornets have struggled against the center position all season.
Rudy Gobert vs. Lakers $7,500- For some reason Gobert always tends to go low-owned on larger slates. He offers a safe floor with massive upside on those big double-double nights. A matchup against the Lakers is a picture perfect one and there should be a high-volume of shots taken offering Gobert plenty of block and rebounding upside. I mentioned another Jazz player other than Mitchell I was high on and here he is. If I were to only play one it would Rudy over Mitchell for me, but the center position is always deep.
As always thank you guys for the support and if there are any questions or comments you can always find me on Twitter @MikeApotria. Let’s fill this contest up tonight and continue the smack talk and bragging rights. You could find the link to the tournament here.
November 21, 2018, 3:50 pm
Ben Simmons ($9,700 FD, $8,600 DK) – Simmons and the Sixers get the Pelicans tonight, who have played at a blistering pace ever since Cousins went down with his injury last year. This bodes well for Simmons who is at his most comfortable when in the open court. His all-around game and the pace should help him put up big numbers tonight.
Kemba Walker ($9,300 FD, $9,800 DK) – Kemba has been red hot to start the year, especially his last two games. The Pacers are a tough matchup but the way that Walker has been rolling I feel comfortable plugging him into my lineup.
Other good buys: Spencer Dinwiddie ($6,300 FD, $5,900 DK), Shaquille Harrison ($4,500 FD, $3,700 DK).
Jrue Holiday ($8,800 FD, $8,100 DK) – Holiday is another player who has been hot lately as he’s strung a few big games together. Holiday gets the Sixers tonight in what should be a high-scoring affair so look for another big game from him.
D’Angelo Russell ($7,400 FD, $7,200 DK) – Since Caris LeVert went down with his injury, Russell has had to shoulder most of the offensive responsibility and he has responded well by putting up big numbers in his last two outings. Tonight, Russell gets a soft matchup against the Mavericks so look for him to have another productive game.
Other good buys: Devin Booker ($7,900 FD, $8,700 DK), Klay Thompson ($6,800 FD, $6,600 DK).
Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,400 FD, $11,200 DK) – Giannis has been his usual self, putting up big numbers as he’s jumped to become the MVP frontrunner early on. Giannis is back home tonight where he is most comfortable and should be able to produce against the Blazers.
T.J. Warren ($7,000 FD, $6,700 DK) – Warren has been very consistent since his insertion into the starting lineup. He provides a high floor and high enough ceiling to make his current price still too cheap, especially with his cake matchup against the Bulls tonight.
Other good buys: LeBron James ($11,500 FD, $11,600 DK), Joe Ingles ($5,700 FD, $5,300 DK).
Pascal Siakam ($7,500, $6,600) – Like Warren, Siakam has become a consistent performer night in and night out, ever since his minutes became consistent. Look for Siakam to keep his bid for Most Improved Player going tonight as he gets an easy matchup against the Hawks.
Domantas Sabonis ($7,100 FD, $6,500 DK) – If Myles Turner were to miss tonight’s matchup, Sabonis would become my favorite play tonight. He has gobbled up rebounds at a high rate and even when he doesn’t get big minutes, he still produces and usually exceeds value. With Turner looking like he will be out there, Sabonis loses a little shine but should still be a high quality option.
Other good buys: Anthony Davis ($12,200 FD, $11,4000 DK), Blake Griffin ($9,200 FD, $9,500 DK).
DeAndre Jordan ($7,500 FD, $7,100 DK) – Before every roster construction I check if the Nets are playing and who the opposing center is. Jordan gets an ultra-soft matchup against the Nets tonight and he’s a nice pivot off the elite centers tonight.
Jarrett Allen ($6,800, $5,600) – Allen has put up some good numbers in his last the games and gets the Mavericks tonight. I like him at his mid-level price and his high floor which should allow him to hit value.
Other good buys: Brook Lopez ($5,600 FD, $5,300 DK).
November 16, 2018, 5:21 pm
Welcome Back everyone! It is Friday, November 16 and we have eight games to look at for the main slate on DraftKings. I just wanted to say thank you for everyone who came out and helped fill out weekly contest! We had a great showing and a ton of fun and I look forward to next Wednesday’s contest.
Tonight should be an interesting night with only a few high-priced superstars who are in tough spots due to potential blowouts. Both Anthony Davis and Giannis Antetokounmpo are at risk tonight. I will never tell someone to fade a game because of a potential blowout, but if I play anyone from these games it would be the cheaper options available on both sides. Let’s get started breaking down some spots I believe we have some potential value.
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Jeff Teague $5,900 vs. Trail Blazers – Teague has been making the most of his opportunity with Derrick Rose off of the floor the past two. For this spot I would love to see Rose sit again as Teague has dropped at least 40 DK points and has taken double digit shot attempts with both Rose and Jimmy Butler off of the floor. The Blazers are no slouches on defense though, and currently rank third in the league in defensive efficiency at 105.8 so I’d reserve Teague for tournaments if Rose does play.
Mike Conley vs. Kings $7,000 – This is sneakily one of my favorite games on the night. The game total of is not the highest at 214 but Conley smashed this spot earlier in the season, dropping 44.5 DK points on 10-of-22 shooting. I love the shot attempts this season and Conley has really taken a step forward as a scorer. This price tag is too cheap for him and he is in play in cash games and GPP’s.
Damian Lillard vs. Timberwolves $9,100 – His price tag is up there, but his recent play warrants it. I want some exposure to this game and wouldn’t mind hitting it with the two high-priced studs in hopes of a back and forth game. Lillard managed almost 35 DK points in 28 minutes the last time these two teams met up and if stays closer this time and Lillard sees the fourth quarter I am expecting that both numbers rise.
Jrue Holiday vs. Knicks $8,300 – Holiday has manning the starting point guard role while Elfrid Payton has missed time. Payton is questionable once again and him playing would suppress my love for Holiday slightly, but we there is also a chance that Nikola Mirotic sits again and that opens up usage for the starters all-around.
This is a game I am a little worried about, but I am not fond of a lot of the options at shooting guard tonight and if the news falls the right way I think we could look Holiday’s way for a safe cash play with some tournament upside.
Evan Turner vs. Timberwolves $4,400 – Turner has been someone I have been turning to on shorter slates for value and on a night where we do not have a ton of guaranteed value open early he is an option again. His minutes have been floating between 25-30 over the past few games and with Moe Harkless and Seth Curry ruled out he should continue to see good run. I will mention a few players on the Blazers because I am looking to run it this game back with a few options in each lineup.
Kevin Knox vs. Pelicans $4,300 – Knox has seen his minutes increase in each game since returning from injury and now he is back in the starting lineup in what should be an extremely fast-paced game. He’s struggled with his shot this season, but over his last three games Knox has taken double-digit shot attempts and hasn’t even played over 30 minutes. I feel safe saying that even if this game gets out of hand we will still see Knox in the fourth quarter as Knicks head coach David Fizdale is looking to getting him ramped back up following his injury absence.
Kyle Anderson vs. Kings $4,800 – SloMo is finally seeing the minutes we anticipated when drafting our season-long teams in the preseason. Over the last five games Anderson has averaged 34 minutes and that has led to him averaging 26.7 DK during that span. Anderson is not a guy who needs to score to make us money and on a slate with little value (some will open up throughout the day) his name pops. He is a solid option for both cash and GPP’s.
Robert Covington vs. Trail Blazers $5,300- Covington looks like he is going to be one of Thibs’ guys. He played 41 minutes in his debut with the Sixers and slotted right into Jimmy Butler’s role at small forward. He won’t have the same usage that Butler did, but Covington is playing on a team that plays faster than the his previous team and bleeds points defensively, leading to higher scoring games. All of this makes a guy like Covington more valuable as his value comes with his hustle stats.
Jaren Jackson Jr. vs. Kings $5,300 – Clicking on JJJ’s name on DK will leave you wondering why he is on this list, but ignore the game logs. Jackson’s issue with playing time has been directly correlated with foul trouble with season. When these two teams met earlier in the season JJJ played 30 minutes and dropped 30.75 DK points, and he still accumulated six fouls in that game.
The Kings play big and Jackson will need to play big minutes tonight. I expect him to play until he fouls out, if he does. I listed three players from the Grizzlies and I’d feel comfortable playing two in a lineup.
Julius Randle vs. Knicks $6,700- There is a ton of potential for a blowout in this game and Randle is only play for me if Nikola Mirotic (ankle) sits out. In that case Randle would draw the start and have his way with a poor Knicks frontcourt. In the past games that Mirotic has missed we have seen Randle smash and even if this game gets out of hand we have seen Randle hit value in limited minutes. He would likely be a chalky play if Mirotic is ruled out, but would warrant looks in all contests.
Ed Davis vs. Wizards $4,300 – Davis has filled in admirably for Jarret Allen (illness) and now we have the news that Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (ankle), who was playing backup center, is questionable. It is an early take and we do not have the news yet, but if Allen is out we could fire Davis up as a safe play and if both are out he becomes an elite value play.
Jusuf Nurkic vs. Timberwolves $7,100 – I would be beside myself if I had not mentioned Nurkic on tonight’s slate. If you read my articles often you know I love targeting centers against KAT and his poor defense. Nurkic has been on a tear, averaging 41 DK points over his last four games.
Our problem with playing Nurkic is not knowing how many minutes he will see. KAT could easily get him into foul trouble, but even in limited minutes Nurkic could produce. When these two teams met earlier this money Nurkic only managed to play 23 minutes in a blowout win, but still managed to drop 39 DK points. I’d likely reserve him four tournaments due to his slightly inflated price tag over the recent games and the minutes risk, but this is still a smash spot for the Bosnian.
Karl-Anthony Towns vs. Trailblazers $9,500 – Basketball is a game of emotions and once Butler bounced KAT looks to be back to his normal self. His usage has been off of the charts and his price tag is just slightly too cheap for him on a slate where I am avoiding the $11,000-plus players. This is a game we are going to want to get exposure to and paying up for KAT is a solid way to go.
Thank you again and if you have any questions or comments you could find me on Twitter @MikeApotria and I would be happy to answer them. Good luck guys, now go take down a GPP!
November 16, 2018, 3:59 pm
November 14, 2018, 3:41 pm
Before we get into tonight’s picks, take the time to join our latest Beat the Expert contest on DraftKings! See if you can beat our own Mike Apotria, with a payout for the top 10 slots pay out and a Hoop Ball T-Shirt for the winner. You get a free entry with a first deposit of $5 or more. This week’s contest runs tonight, and you can join the contest by clicking right here!
Good luck out there.
Kyrie Irving ($8,900 FD, $8,000 DK) – Irving looks like he’s all the way back from his knee injury and he has been lighting it up recently. He has an easy matchup on tap with the Bulls that may look like a blowout, but the Celtics have struggled this year, even against inferior teams.
Derrick Rose ($7,200 FD/DK) – What year is it? Derrick Rose is back to being a significant contributing member of a team and he has had some big games. Jeff Teague is questionable again but even if he does play I like Rose tonight to at least hit value.
Other good buys: Ricky Rubio ($6,500 FD, $5,800 DK), Collin Sexton ($5,800 FD, $5,000 DK).
Bradley Beal ($8,700 FD, $7,500 DK) – Beal has backed up his All-Star selection from last year with a strong start to the year. Tonight he gets the Cavaliers in an excellent matchup he should be able to take advantage of.
Dennis Schroder ($7,900 FD, $7,800 DK) – Schroder has played great in Russell Westbrook’s absence and should continue that trend tonight against the Knicks with Westbrook slated to miss another game. Those who roster him have to just hope the Knicks can keep it close enough so Schroder plays his full load of minutes.
Other good buys: Evan Fournier ($6,500 FD, $6,200 DK), C.J. McCollum ($6,400 FD, $6,600 DK).
T.J. Warren ($6,400 FD, $5,800 DK) – Warren has been putting up some big numbers since he got inserted into the starting lineup and his price still hasn’t risen by that much. He does have a tough matchup tonight but Warren is still too cheap right now for me to pass up.
Joe Harris ($4,800 FD, $4,700 DK) – The Nets will need to fill some wing minutes with Caris LeVert’s injury and it looks like Harris will be the one to fill that void for now as he played 34 minutes against the Wolves in their last game. I like Harris at this price with the real chance of him receiving extended minutes.
Other good buys: Kawhi Leonard ($9,200 FD, $8,600 DK), Josh Richardson ($7,400 FD, $6,800 DK).
Blake Griffin ($8,800 FD, $9,400 DK) – Griffin has been a fantasy MVP so far this year and has put up some monster numbers. He has a tough matchup against the Raptors but he has shown he can have his usual big outings against tough opponents.
Pascal Siakam ($6,400, $5,900) – The player most likely to defend Griffin will be Siakam, who has really come into his own this year. He has had a few breakout games this year and his production has been consistent so I like him at his price tonight against the Pistons.
Other good buys: Anthony Davis ($12,300 FD, $11,3000 DK), Aaron Gordon ($7,800 FD, $7,700 DK).
Hassan Whiteside ($9,200 FD, $8,400 DK) – Whiteside is hot right now as he’s put up some monster numbers the last few games. He gets the Nets tonight, who have been a fantasy gold mine for centers over the past few years.
Tristan Thompson ($6,100, $5,800) – Speaking of monster numbers, have you seen Thompson’s rebounding numbers lately? I would jump on Thompson right now as this may be the last time you get him this cheap.
Other good buys: Mitchell Robinson ($5,100 FD, $4,100 DK).
November 14, 2018, 3:13 pm
November 9, 2018, 12:51 pm
Welcome back to another edition of my Friday DFS picks. It is November 9 and I just wanted to start by saying thank you to everyone who competed in last night’s “Beat the Expert” DraftKings contest. It was a ton of fun and we got to enjoy bringing this HoopBall community a little closer while introducing a new way to be involved with fantasy basketball. Congratulations to our big winner Kingmook5 with a score of 307.25. His lineup involved pivoting off of the high-priced Warriors and opting to play the cheaper Klay Thompson with some other big names. It worked out perfectly when Stephen Curry had an unexpected groin injury, as any lineups with him were basically sunk and Thompson saw a massive increase in usage with him off of the floor.
Now I have to stew on the fact that I lost out on an opportunity to own another HoopBall t-shirt for an entire week. I had a blast despite getting smoked and look forward to doing this again with our readers and listeners. It is not about the money and it’s just a ton of fun to interact with this community. Let’s try to increase the lobby for the next contest so recruit your friends and family and use your knowledge against them!
Tonight we have seven games on the slate and it is not one overwhelmed by superstars. As I am writing this the news broke that Goran Dragic (knee) and Kyrie Irving (personal) have been ruled out and this puts a lot of the Heat and Celtics into consideration for builds tonight. A lot of the analysis of this article was written with the anticipation of not knowing the news and before we get started I wanted to mention this now. I still have the same stance on all of the players’ analysis, but we now have a ton of value as to opposed to when I began writing. Let’s not waste anytime more and jump right into some of my favorite players to target on tonight’s slate.
De’Aaron Fox vs. Timberwolves $6,900- You will hear me mentioning throughout this article how I want to have exposure to this game and there has only been one game this season where Fox has not taken double-digit shot attempts. Jeff Teague has already been ruled out, giving Derrick Rose the starting point guard duties. We know Rose has turned back the clock offensively, but has yet to make up ground on the defensive end. I think it is a good idea to look at one of the guards on the Kings’ side of the ball and as of now I am leaning towards Fox over Buddy Hield. Even though the usage has been off of the wall for Hield, we have to factor in the return of Bogdan Bogdanovic and the regression that is due.
Derrick Rose vs. Kings $6,800- How could we ignore Rose anymore? His usage with Teague off of the floor is unreal and tonight he draws a great matchup against De’Aaron Fox and the Kings. Jimmy Butler (general soreness) played in the Timberwolves’ last game against the Lakers so there is a chance he sits this one out and if he does Rose becomes close to a must-play. It is the late game so odds are we won’t have the news before lock, but DraftKings allows us to late-swap and having the availability to switch Rose in after finding out the news could prove to be extremely beneficial. Either way Rose is in play regardless of whether Butler plays or not, just understand his ownership will likely be up there.
Terry Rozier vs. Jazz $4,900- Following writing up the article I saw that Kyrie Irving would not be in Utah for the game. Cue up the Terry Rozier chalk. The news came out that he recently complained about his playing time and now he has the opportunity to make the most out of the increase. A lot of the starters played big minutes in last night’s overtime win versus the Suns, but Rozier should be fresh as he only played 20 minutes.
Donovan Mitchell vs. Celtics $7,100– I was tentative about playing Mitchell in his first game returning since his ankle injury, but he moved well, played over 30 minutes and shot the ball at his usual rate. We have seen Mitchell’s price tag over $8,000 in the past and normally I do not target the Celtics with guards or wings, but Boston is on the second half of a back-to-back and played an overtime game last night. On top of that the Celtics are traveling into Utah and that tends affect players’ stamina and energy. For me this is a spot where I completely fade the entire Boston side and look at one or two players from the Jazz.
Gary Harris vs. Nets $5,900- Mr. Consistent all season long, Harris remains one of the most underrated players in the NBA. He draws a solid matchup against the Nets tonight and comes in at a more-than-fair price tag. Anytime Denver is in a good matchup I look to the guard position between Jamaal Murray and Harris. Murray generally gets more volume, but for the price per dollar I usually lean Harris. He’s averaging 31 DK points on the season, making him a solid cash play, but we have also seen the flashes of 40-45 DK points too, making him viable for tournaments. I expect him to garner low ownership as well as he is often overlooked.
Spencer Dinwiddie vs. Nuggets $4,600- I am sort of a Spencer Dinwiddie guy and I think Nets’ head coach Kenny Atkinson is too. We have seen throughout the course of the season that when D’Angelo Russell is struggling, whether it’s on offense or defense, Atkinson has no problem pulling the plug and playing Dinwiddie. We do not have a ton of value available as of now and at $4,600 Dinwiddie feels like a safe cash option with a little room for tournament upside.
Jaylen Brown vs. Jazz 4,600- Originally I had Terrence Ross at $4,700 in this spot, but I can’t in my right mind recommend him over Brown once I saw that Irving would be missing the game. Ross is still a solid play, but Brown’s floor and ceiling are much higher given the 1.8 percent uptick in usage. The news of Irving being ruled out and the fact that the Celtics are traveling on a back-to-back makes me wary of a blowout, but they are still deep enough to compete and we still have options to pivot to in Miami. I am currently leaning towards Brown over Rozier in large-field tournaments if the expected ownership is overweight on Scary Terry.
Justise Winslow vs. Pacers $5,600- The News I mentioned we were waiting on above was that status of Goran Dragic (knee). With The Dragon sitting again we have some value at small forward on a night with very few options I feel overly confident in. Winslow will likely draw the start again and we have seen him pile up counting stats with the increased usage he receives. There are many ways we could go at small forward with the Dragic news and I believe that all of Josh Richardson, Wayne Ellington and Winslow are in play and could fit any builds due to their vast differences in prices.
Jae Crowder vs. Celtics $5,300- This is purely a narrative play and Crowder is probably the third-ranked Jazz player I would look to on tonight’s slate, but he has some revenge to take care of against the Celtics as they traded him as part of the Kyrie Irving deal and generally upset him as he gave his all to the city of Boston. This price tag is fair and I think he is a solid cash option. I do like him better when we know Derrick Favors is ruled out, but knowing he may play with some extra fire has me enticed enough to consider him in tournaments.
Nemanja Bjelica vs. Timberwolves $5,700- I’ve been riding the ups and downs of playing Bjleica all season and will continue to do so. I’ve mentioned in the past that when the games are close Bjelica will see 30-plus minutes. I am targeting this game quite heavily tonight and I do believe it will stay close. We also have the bonus of a revenge narrative for him as he used to play for the Timberwolves. Again, if you are on the page of this game staying close we are going to want some action in the Kings frontcourt against Karl-Anthony Towns.
Taj Gibson vs. Kings $4,900- I generally avoid playing Gibson in tournaments, but we do not have a ton of value and the forward spots on the slate are weak overall. Gibson has played more than 30 minutes in the past two games and I think the trend will continue tonight against a Kings’ team will a plethora of frontcourt members.
Andre Drummond vs. Hawks $9,600- This is a smash spot for Drummond. There is not much to say. The Hawks are poor defensively and play at one of the fastest paces in the NBA. They are going to be throwing Alex Len, Dewayne Dedmon and Miles Plumlee at him and it’s hard to imagine any of them doing anything other than get steamrolled. We have a ton of center options on the board tonight, but it is hard to imagine building multiple lineups and not having Drummond.
Willie Cauley-Stein vs. Timberwolves $6,600- I always mention centers going against KAT and it’s for good reason, they smash him. WCS is in a solid spot against his former college teammate and he is another Kings’ player that is directly affected by the game’s score. If its close and he plays over 30 minutes I think there is a very good chance of him seeing 40 DK points. With that being said, I do love playing Bjelica as well and it is tough playing them both in the same lineup due to correlation.
Dwight Howard vs. Magic $6,000- I think with the options we have at center tonight Howard is the lowest I am willing spend. At $6,000 we know we are getting a safe floor with potential 40 DK point upside. The shot attempts have been low, but I think we are going to see that change tonight, as he tends to have an extra spark when playing against his former team in Orlando.
Wayne Ellington vs. Pacers $3,700- I mentioned Ellington before and he becomes one of the chalkier value plays if Dragic is ruled out again. We saw him inserted into the starting lineup and he played 37 minutes against the Spurs dropping 31 DK points. Again, it is going to be determined by the news and your lineup build, but with Dragic is out it is going to be hard to ignore all of the value and usage that opens up in Miami and Ellington moves up from an honorable mention. Note* Tyler Johnson is a solid pivot to Ellington at a slightly increased price tag.
Rudy Gobert vs. Celtics $7,700- I talked about with Mitchell earlier and I believe this a fantastic spot to target some Jazz players. We know the Celtics have struggled with rebounding for some time now and tonight they have to face one of the league’s best at just that. We have so many options at center tonight that it is going to be hard to not have a few builds involving two of them on DraftKings.
Kemba Walker vs. Sixers $9,400- We are not used to seeing this price tag for walker in the past, but this season he has warranted the increase. His usage is out of this world and has been carrying this Hornets team on his back. When these teams faced off earlier in the season Walker went off for 37 points, six rebounds and six assists on a whopping 31 shot attempts. We may need some of the Heat value to open up, but regardless Walker is an elite play on any slate he is on, tonight especially.
Well that’s all I have for you guys and as always you could reach me on Twitter @MikeApotria with any questions or comments regarding DFS or season long fantasy NBA. Again, I had a great time competing with you guys in DFS and look forward to doing it again soon. Good Luck!
November 8, 2018, 3:28 pm
November 6, 2018, 3:20 pm
November 5, 2018, 4:44 pm
November 2, 2018, 2:02 pm
It is the first Friday of November and now that most of us are stomach sick on our couches from a candy binge we can take the time to look over tonight’s eight game slate. We do not have a lot of excitement on tonight’s slate. A few games have a chance to be blowouts and Vegas isn’t projecting a lot of scoring on the night overall. We have a few high-priced studs to look at tonight and deciding which ones to play is going to be justified by which games you are targeting.
The main priced-up options I am targeting are Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry. As of this morning Golden State is being favored by 11 points, leaving the risk of a blowout, but the game total is 238 and points will be scored and if the Golden State studs manage to play four quarters they could explode. I do not believe it is optimal to play either Curry or Durant as a one-off without playing any of the studs on Minnesota. The Thunder are facing the Wizards and there is a player across from Westbrook that I am all about tonight. I am not in love with the Raptors on this slate due to risk of blowout and I think CP3 and Paul George are just a little out of my price range.
Now that we have sorted out the Studs let’s jump into where the value lives.
Dennis Smith Jr. vs. Knicks $5,500- Smith is coming off of one of his worst performances of the season and his price is reflective of just that. He does not have the best matchup on paper with Frank Ntilikina starting point guard for the Knicks and I am going to be honest, this feels like a gut play. A lot of people will be on Ricky Rubio for a similar price range and Rubio’s usage and DK points per minute actually drop massively with Donovan Mitchell off of the court and he draws a tough matchup himself against Mike Conley. I am not saying fade Rubio. If he and Gobert could get the pick and roll going he could easily pile up assists and sneak in a double-double, but Smith will come at a much lower ownership and still possess 35-plus DK point upside. This is strictly a tournament play.
Mike Conley vs. Jazz $7,000- Conley has been the primary offensive cog for this Grizzlies team. He has taken 73 shot attempts over his last four games and we know we are targeting this game for value. Conely is averaging 36.2 DK points per game and has scored over 40 in three out of six games, providing tournament upside and a rock solid cash floor.
John Wall vs. Thunder- $8,100- Wall is in a fast-paced matchup against the Thunder, who are on the second half of a back-to-back, and is just priced way too cheap. I am all over Wall tonight and I am expecting a big game in the assists category with Dwight Howard expected to return. He is only $1,000 more than Bradley Beal and has so many other avenues to produce points. He will draw Russell Westbrook on defense and as energetic as he is, Russ bleeds fantasy points on defense. Great play for cash games and tournaments.
Dante Exum vs. Grizzlies $3,700- Donovan Mitchell (hamstring) has already been ruled and there is going to be a ton of usage to go around. Exum closed the fourth quarter after Mitchell got hurt and played 25 minutes. He is going to be the chalk of the night, but unless we get some amazing value that opens up as the day goes on we have to consider him. It is a small sample size, but with Mitchell off of the court this season Exum is seeing a usage increase of 4.9 percent and is averaging .09 DK points more per minute. He should see time at both backup point guard and shooting guard and has a chance to draw the start.
Jimmy Butler vs. Warriors $8,000- First of all we need to make sure Butler is actually going to suit up for this one, but he said he expects to play after he held himself out of the last game due to “general soreness.” If he does play, Butler is priced far too cheaply for this matchup. This game has one of the higher implied totals on the board and if it manages to stay close we have to imagine Butler has a large part to do with it.
P.J. Tucker vs. Nets $4,500- Tucker has quietly been producing value all season and is averaging almost 25 DK points per game. He draws a fantastic matchup versus the Nets and could be played in lineups with Carmelo Anthony or Eric Gordon and still produce value. He is not someone we are going to expect to score a whole lot, but Tucker has the ability to fill up the defensive categories and grab double-digit rebounds; any scoring is a bonus to what we expect.
Carmelo Anthony vs. Nets $5,800- After mentioning Tucker I have to mention Anthony. They are both in play and while I do like Melo a little more, Tucker offers us a slight discount. Melo’s upside with James Harden out has been on full display. Over the last three games Anthony has taken 47 shots and the trend should lead to more chucking against the Nets. His floor for his price is as good as Tucker’s, but for tournaments we have to consider the upside of Melo even if he hits only 40 percent of his shots.
Tobias Harris vs. Magic $7,300- I have been writing up Harris all year long and will continue to do so. He is another player who I believe is slightly underpriced and he is forced to do so much for this Clippers team. The shot attempts are there and this season he is proving to be the Clippers’ most reliable rebounder as well. He is eligible at both forward spots and if you are looking to get any Clippers in your lineups I would be looking towards the forwards with Harris at the top.
Noah Vonleh vs. Mavericks $4,800- Vonleh has been quietly winning sharks money across DFS platforms. I’ll be honest here and say that I only managed to get him one night over the last few games and missed out on his big double-double last game. The minutes look secure and real and as long as Enes Kanter is coming off of the bench we need to consider Vonleh for his rebounding upside. We are going to have to monitor the situation up until game time, but it seems Knicks head coach David Fizdale is committed to seeing what he has from his younger players.
Draymond Green vs. Timberwolves $6,900- Targeting big men versus the Timberwolves is something I do often and if you think this game stays close than jump on Green. Karl-Anthony Towns is a putrid defender and Draymond’s game stacks simple, as he does not rely upon scoring to make his value.
Wendell Carter Jr. vs. Pacers $5,000- Another player I am a day late and a dollar short on. Carter exploded last game versus the Nuggets for 55 DK points. More importantly, he played 38 minutes. His upside is tremendous and if we know he is getting at least 30 minutes he also provides an excellent floor for both cash games and tournaments. His is likely to somewhat chalky making him a slightly better cash game play.
Jarret Allen vs. Rockets $5,100- between blowouts and foul trouble Allen has not been given a fair chance in DFS. The only thing we worry about is minutes and I imagine he sees enough to hit value tonight. The Nets need Allen to run the floor against Clint Capela. The Rockets tend to push the pass and Allen’s defense could slow down the transition and force the Rockets to make their jump shots. Even in limited minutes we have seen Allen hit what his current ‘5x’ value is, making him safe for cash games and his upside with 30-plus minutes makes him a tournament play as well.
Rudy Gobert vs. Grizzlies $8,200-Gobert has been on a Go-tear and even with a minus matchup against Marc Gasol, I do not see him stopping tonight. Donovan Mitchell has already been ruled out and although it is a small sample size Gobert has seen an increase in usage of 7.3 percent. Basically we are going to see a lot of pick and rolls. Gobert now has double-digit field goal attempts over his last three games and in all of those games he has scored at least 50 DK points.
Royce O’Neale vs. Grizzlies $3,300- O’Neale is the pivot play to Exum for me. He does not see a big increase in usage, but his DK points per minute increase by .25 with Mitchell off of the floor. He is slightly cheaper than Exum and the ownership is guaranteed to be much lower barring the news of who is in the starting lineup.
Ricky Rubio vs. Grizzlies $5,700- I am not in love with Rubio tonight. He is going to garnish high ownership and could easily bust in this spot. Rubio actually sees a massive dip in usage and DK points per minute with Donovan Mitchell off of the court, but the sample size is small and he is still a valuable tournament play as he crushed the Grizzlies in their two meetings last season averaging 22 points, nine rebounds and four assists, but did so without Mike Conley playing. It is for all of these reasons I list Rubio in my honorable mention’s section rather than my top plays. He is definitely in play tonight with Mitchell being out, but there are many factors that also point to him being worth a fade.
Jabari Parker vs. Pacers $5,800- Parker let a lot of people down in his return to the starting lineup, but seeing him play 36 minutes and 34 minutes in two out of the last three games encourages me. I wouldn’t load up on this game too much as the Pacers defense is not one to be taken lightly, but he may see depressed ownership after a stinker and still provides 35-plus DK point upside for tournaments. He makes for a solid pivot to Wendell Carter Jr.
As always you can give me a follow @MikeApotria on Twitter and reach out with any questions or comments. Good Luck and take down a tournament!