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Day 2, NBA is BACK DraftKings Predictions, Injury news and Targets From Each Position

Jul 31, 2020

Injuries to Watch

Dario Saric Rank Fantasy Sports

Dario Saric, PHX, SF/PF

$5,800
Questionable, ankle
With Kelly Oubre already ruled out and Aaron Baynes doubtful, there are a lot of minutes up for grabs in the Phoenix front court. Saric should get a healthy portion of those available minutes if he ends up playing. Saric did practice today, but it was not in full. This is a situation to monitor for tomorrow for sure, because if Saric is ruled out there will be a lot of value in the Suns’ frontcourt.

Players who will receive the biggest boost if Saric does NOT play

Deandre Ayton (P, knee; $7900), Cameron Johnson ($4300), Mikal Bridges ($5600), Frank Kaminsky ($3100)

Jonathan Isaac Rank Fantasy Sports

Jonathan Isaac, ORL, SF/PF

$5,800
Questionable, Knee

Jonathan Isaac’s chances of playing in the restarted NBA season were pretty questionable when teams began arriving in the bubble. However, it now seems pretty likely that we will see him on the court tomorrow. With that being said, he is almost certainly going to be on a minutes restriction that is well below what we usually see from him. There is still a chance he doesn’t play at all, and if he doesn’t there will be some value to be had.

Players who will receive the biggest boost if Isaac does NOT play (or if it is announced his minute restriction is around 10)

Nikola Vucevic ($8500), Aaron Gordon (P, groin; $7200), Terrence Ross ($5700); James Ennis ($3400)

Kemba Walker Rank Fantasy Sports

Kemba Walker, BOS, PG

$7,100
Probable, Knee

We are almost certain that Kemba is going to play, the question is how much. The Celtics have already said that they are going to move Slowly with Walker during the seeding games as the Celtics are all but locked into a top 4 seed in the East. This injury has had some positive developments of late and Walker recently said that the knee is feeling as strong as it has since September. Stevens said on Thursday that Walker “may even be ahead of schedule”. We think it is most likely that we see Kemba play somewhere around 20 minutes on Friday. With that being the case, we recommend staying away from Kemba in DK on Friday.

Players who will receive a significant boost if Walker does NOT play

Tatum, Brown, smart and Hayward all get a boost due with Walker not hitting anywhere near his usual usage, but not enough for us to really love any of them against the tough Milwaukee D.

Favorite DraftKings Plays per Position

Center

Enes Kanter Rank Fantasy Sports

Enes Kanter BOS, C

$3,000

There are a couple of reasons we think Kanter is in a really good spot tomorrow at $3000 DK Salary. First, he had yet another season where he posted a DK Point per minute well over 1, there are not many players with roles priced at $3k that you can say that for. Second, the Celtics are playing the Bucks, and size down low is critically important when you are playing the Bucks. There are definitely downsides that come with playing the Bucks as well for somebody like Kanter, as Brook Lopez can stretch the floor and Kanter is not known for his skills guarding the perimeter. The fact that Giannis and co. attack the rim at such a high rate does lead to fouls for big men, but that could be a positive or negative for Kanter. It could be a positive if Thies is the one who gets in foul trouble early, opening more minutes for Kanter. We are not projecting Kanter for minutes higher than the upper-teens, and we feel that his floor is very high even if he ends up playing in the low teens minutes due to the matchup with Lopez or foul trouble. If Kanter helps you get some of the studs of this slate that you love into your lineup, we are all for Kanter as a DK play Friday.

Jaren Jackson Rank Fantasy Sports

Jaren Jackson Jr. MEM, PF/C

$4,900

JJJ showcased true stretch 4 and 5 ability this year shooting 39% from 3-point range. There are aspects against this matchup of Whiteside, Nurkic and Collins that are really tough for JJJ, but the main positive is that none of those guys are at their best guarding the perimeter. If JJJ’s 3 point stroke is on and the Grizzlies come out and play well, JJJ can easily pay off on his sub-$5k price.

Zach Collins Rank Fantasy Sports

Zach Collins POR, PF/C

$3,000

Zach Collins is back from his shoulder injury after the long break during the pandemic. He is arguably the best player in the second unit for the Blazers, and they are excited to have him back. With the possibility of Whiteside and Nurkic starting together, we do still see a lot of opportunities in the rotation where Collins will be in there with one of the two, and we think he does have a rock solid role around 20 minutes a night with the opportunity for more on the nights he is hot. We like the shot on Collins at $3k.

Jusuf Nurkic Rank Fantasy Sports

Jusuf Nurkic POR, C

$5,900

Like Collins, Nurkic is back and ready to roll following his injury that kept him out for the first part of the season. The injury does seem to be completely behind him and everything we have seen and heard on him has been positive. We love his price because you will almost never find a player with the DK Point per minute track record that Nurkic has under $6k. Even if he only plays in the low 20s minutes this first night back, we still see him paying off on his price with the potential to bring you well over 6x value if he breaks the mid-20’s in minutes. That looks like a real possibility considering the positive signs and the fact that he seems poised to start. We would expect that this is the least expensive you will be able to buy Nurkic on DK the rest of the season.

Deandre Ayton Rank Fantasy Sports

Deandre Ayton, PHX, PF/C

$7,900
Probable, Knee

Deandre Ayton looked really good when he came back from his suspension at the beginning of the season. He is adding the 3-point ball to his arsenal more and more and there has been a lot of positive news in camp about how that has gotten even better. Ayton has a dream match-up against our worst rated defense amongst the 22 teams in the bubble. As long as he stays out of foul trouble early and the game stays reasonably competitive, Ayton can score like a player priced much higher than sub-$8k.

Power Forward

Jaren Jackson Rank Fantasy Sports

Jaren Jackson Jr. MEM, PF/C

$4,900

JJJ showcased true stretch 4 and 5 ability this year shooting 39% from 3-point range. There are aspects against this matchup of Whiteside, Nurkic and Collins that are really tough for JJJ, but the main positive is that none of those guys are at their best guarding the perimeter. If JJJ’s 3 point stroke is on and the Grizzlies come out and play well, JJJ can easily pay off on his sub-$5k price.

Zach Collins Rank Fantasy Sports

Zach Collins POR, PF/C

$3,000

Zach Collins is back from his shoulder injury after the long break during the pandemic. He is arguably the best player in the second unit for the Blazers, and they are excited to have him back. With the possibility of Whiteside and Nurkic starting together, we do still see a lot of opportunities in the rotation where Collins will be in there with one of the two, and we think he does have a rock solid role around 20 minutes a night with the opportunity for more on the nights he is hot. We like the shot on Collins at $3k.

Deandre Ayton Rank Fantasy Sports

Deandre Ayton, PHX, PF/C

$7,900
Probable, Knee

Deandre Ayton looked really good when he came back from his suspension at the beginning of the season. He is adding the 3-point ball to his arsenal more and more and there has been a lot of positive news in camp about how that has gotten even better. Ayton has a dream match-up against our worst rated defense amongst the 22 teams in the bubble. As long as he stays out of foul trouble early and the game stays reasonably competitive, Ayton can score like a player priced much higher than sub-$8k.

Giannis Antetokounmpo Rank Fantasy Sports

Giannis Antetokounmpo MIL, PF

$10,500

This is a pretty simple one. Giannis is the best DK Point per minute player in the league by a long shot, he only needs about 30 minutes to get you 60 DK points, they are playing a solid Celtics squad that is capable of keeping the game close enough for Giannis to play into the low/mid-30s minutes, and he is not the most expensive player on the slate. We don’t see a reason not to love both Giannis’ floor and upside on Friday.

Small Forward

Lonnie Walker Rank Fantasy Sports

Lonnie Walker IV, SA, SG/SF

$3,200
Probable, Shin

The Spurs have a few big injuries that are creating room for their younger players like Walker to really get a boost to their roles during the restarted season. The main one that has us loving Walker on Friday is that Bryn Forbes will miss the game with a quad injury. We expect Walker to start, and even if he doesn’t we think he is going to have a big enough role to pay off on his $3200 price tag.

Buddy Hield Rank Fantasy Sports

Buddy Hield SAC, SG/SF

$5,200

Buddy Hield had another solid season averaging just under 20 Points P/G, 4 3-Pointers P/G and 5 Rebounds P/G. Hield’s minutes were down into the mid 20’s before the league’s pause, but we believe that Hield is one of the Kings’ top players, and we see them using him back around the 30 minute mark as they try to work their way into the playoffs. We also like that Harrison Barnes is just starting to work his way back into playing shape following his quarantine, so we see Hield having a great chance at grabbing some of his minutes if he does not play his typical workload as well. The low $5k price is a very fair discount for the chance of Hield’s minutes not reaching the 29+ mark.

Troy Brown Jr Rank Fantasy Sports

Troy Brown Jr. WAS, SG/SF

$4,700

Bradley Beal is out, Davis Bertans is out, the list of Wizards wings who are out seems to go on and on. That leaves a lot of opportunity for one of the Wizards’ most intriguing young players to touch the ball a lot while playing more minutes than we are used to seeing. Brown should be a big-time focus of the Wizards attack on Friday, and we like the idea of that for an under $5k player against a team that is missing a lot of their

Luka Doncic Rank Fantasy Sports

Luka Doncic DAL, PG/SF

$10,500

What a season Luka Doncic has had. Doncic averaged 28.7 PPG, 9.3 RPG, and 8.7 APG. He is a true point forward that has put up the numbers that even King James him self would be proud of. Luka also has a great matchup on Friday as the Rockets rank in the bottom 5 of our defensive rankings. There is a whole lot to like about Luka on Friday at a very fair price for him.

Shooting Guard

Lonnie Walker Rank Fantasy Sports

Lonnie Walker IV, SA, SG/SF

$3,200
Probable, Shin

The Spurs have a few big injuries that are creating room for their younger players like Walker to really get a boost to their roles during the restarted season. The main one that has us loving Walker on Friday is that Bryn Forbes will miss the game with a quad injury. We expect Walker to start, and even if he doesn’t we think he is going to have a big enough role to pay off on his $3200 price tag.

Buddy Hield Rank Fantasy Sports

Buddy Hield SAC, SG/SF

$5,200

Buddy Hield had another solid season averaging just under 20 Points P/G, 4 3-Pointers P/G and 5 Rebounds P/G. Hield’s minutes were down into the mid 20’s before the league’s pause, but we believe that Hield is one of the Kings’ top players, and we see them using him back around the 30 minute mark as they try to work their way into the playoffs. We also like that Harrison Barnes is just starting to work his way back into playing shape following his quarantine, so we see Hield having a great chance at grabbing some of his minutes if he does not play his typical workload as well. The low $5k price is a very fair discount for the chance of Hield’s minutes not reaching the 29+ mark.

Troy Brown Jr Rank Fantasy Sports

Troy Brown Jr. WAS, SG/SF

$4,700

Bradley Beal is out, Davis Bertans is out, the list of Wizards wings who are out seems to go on and on. That leaves a lot of opportunity for one of the Wizards’ most intriguing young players to touch the ball a lot while playing more minutes than we are used to seeing. Brown should be a big-time focus of the Wizards attack on Friday, and we like the idea of that for an under $5k player against a team that is missing a lot of their

James Harden Rank Fantasy Sports

James Harden HOU, PG/SG

$11,000

The “offseason” news that came out on Harden was that he worked as hard as anyone else on getting into even better shape than the premier shape he was already in. When you hear things like that about a player who has been torching the league for years on end now, that has to have you excited about what he can do in the restart. The Mavericks are not a top tier defensive team, and this is a big game for both teams as they are deadlocked in the win column, and neither team wants to be in that 7th seed and have sights on a top 4 seed come playoff time out West. Considering the matchup, the importance of the game, and the confidence that we have in Harden’s ability to play big minutes if needed right out of the gate, we like this play a lot. We would still choose Giannis if we had to choose between the two, but there are definitely scenarios where Harden is the top scorer of the night.

Point Guard

James Harden Rank Fantasy Sports

James Harden HOU, PG/SG

$11,000

The “offseason” news that came out on Harden was that he worked as hard as anyone else on getting into even better shape than the premier shape he was already in. When you hear things like that about a player who has been torching the league for years on end now, that has to have you excited about what he can do in the restart. The Mavericks are not a top tier defensive team, and this is a big game for both teams as they are deadlocked in the win column, and neither team wants to be in that 7th seed and have sights on a top 4 seed come playoff time out West. Considering the matchup, the importance of the game, and the confidence that we have in Harden’s ability to play big minutes if needed right out of the gate, we like this play a lot. We would still choose Giannis if we had to choose between the two, but there are definitely scenarios where Harden is the top scorer of the night.

Luka Doncic Rank Fantasy Sports

Luka Doncic DAL, PG/SF

$10,500

What a season Luka Doncic has had. Doncic averaged 28.7 PPG, 9.3 RPG, and 8.7 APG. He is a true point forward that has put up the numbers that even King James him self would be proud of. Luka also has a great matchup on Friday as the Rockets rank in the bottom 5 of our defensive rankings. There is a whole lot to like about Luka on Friday at a very fair price for him.

Russell Westbrook Rank Fantasy Sports

Russell Westbrook HOU, PG

$9,400

Westbrook’s DK Points per minute dipped about 0.2 DK Points per minute in his first year playing alongside James Harden in Houston. This is not surprising as Harden does dominate the ball and can score in isolation regularly. However, there was some news recently that Harden will “likely” play off the ball a little bit more in the restart in order to get him even better looks. We would assume that Westbrook will be the one dishing a lot of those passes to Harden, so we are anticipating a little uptick in Russ’ DK points per minute. Even if his role is pretty much the same as it was before the season went on pause, we still think $9400 is a very fair price for Russ in a big game

Chris Chiozza Rank Fantasy Sports

Chris Chiozza BKN, PG

$3,900

This is a shot-play that you will want to monitor up until lineup lock to see if there is a little more clarity on his role. Due to the depletion of the Nets roster from COVID, injuries, and opt-outs, there is a reasonable chance that Chiozza plays a pretty big role for the Nets tomorrow and might even start. He’s started the past couple exhibition games but that does not mean he will start on Friday. If he does start we would expect him to be able to eclipse the 24-minute mark, and if he does that there is a high likelihood he will pay off on his sub-$4k price, with upside on that if he is performing well and plays into the upper-20s+ minutes.

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