The NBA returns after the All-Star Break with a seven-game $25,000 Draftstars slate on Friday where form arguably has gone out the window and sides will get back to fielding their best line-ups.
LAST GAME LEARNINGS
It feels like a while ago but plenty of coaches went heavy on Brooklyn Nets players in last Friday’s slate only to be let down. Seth Curry (SG|SF $11,940) had the second highest ownership at 55% but returned 23 DS points.
Andre Drummond (C $10,090) didn’t fare much better for his 30% ownership with 19.25 DS points, while Bruce Brown (SF|PF $9,960) only managed 22.25 DS points for his 26% ownership having impressed earlier last week.
Denver’s MVP Nikola Jokic (C $23,070) top scored in last Thursday’s slate with 70.75 DS points with Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (PG $17,930) next best, only one point behind him with 69.75, yet he was almost $5k cheaper.
Plenty of cheapies got opportunities before the All-Star break too, with Denver’s Bryn Forbes (SG $6,720) and Golden State’s Gary Payton (PG|SG $6,020) adding 25.5 and 30.5 DS points for their basement $6,000 prices.
Donte DiVincenzo (SG|SF $8,250) was traded by the Bucks to the Kings a fortnight ago and attracted 38% ownership in his last slate, after a spike of 35.5 DS points in second game for Sacramento, only to deliver 22.25 DS points which was basically his average with Milwaukee.
“It feels like a while ago but plenty of coaches went heavy on Brooklyn Nets players in last Friday’s slate only to be let down. Seth Curry had the second highest ownership at 55% but returned 23 DS points.”
Cavs pair Caris LeVert and Darius Garland are both out of Friday’s game with the Pistons with a sprained foot and lower back soreness respectively, opening up some opportunities while forward Lauri Markkanen (PF|SF $10,420) could return from an ankle injury sustained last month.
The Nets will still be missing star trio Kevin Durant, Ben Simmons and Kyrie Irving against the Celtics, while new signing Goran Dragic needs to build up his conditioning before he debuts too. All that means there’s likely some value among the Brooklyn line-up.
The Suns have a few backcourt issues against OKC, with Cameron Payne ruled out with a wrist injury, while Chris Paul is expected to miss 6-8 weeks with a right thumb issue, so his likely replacement should get improved minutes.
Alex Caruso and Lonzo Ball are still out for the Bulls, while John Collins is doubtful with a foot problem for opponents, Atlanta.
The Blazers have all sorts of personnel issues ahead of Friday’s game with the Warriors with guard Eric Bledsoe ruled out with an Achilles injury, while center Jusuf Nurkic has been diagnosed with left foot plantar fasciitis and will miss four weeks.
Forward Andre Igoudala will not face Portland due to a back problem, while fellow big man Draymond Green is still weeks away from a return too.
Nuggets center DeMarcus Cousins, who has been signing short-term deals with Denver, will miss the Kings clash due to a contract issue.
Portland point guard Anfernee Simons (PG $15,420) remains under-priced on recent form, with a three-game average of 48 DS points, way up on his 28.1 season average. He seems a bona fide star, having risen with the depleted Blazers. Consider his Portland teammate Justise Winslow (SF|PG $12,250) too.
Similarly, Chicago’s Coby White (PG|SG $13,280) found form prior to the break, with a season-high 50.75 DS points during a three-game run averaging 43.4, up on his average of 24.3.
OKC guard Tre Mann looks like a ripe pick after back-to-back scores of 37.5 and 39.5 DS points, which is a major jump on his season average of 15.
Everyone may be burnt by the Nets, but the opportunities are still there with their stars out, so consider the aforementioned players who are among our Stats Bible’s value picks, along with James Johnson (PF $7,710) who scored 30.8 DS points last time out, along with the under-priced Blake Griffin (PF|C $6,430) who wasn’t getting many minutes pre-break but should be freshened up.
OKC may attract some attention this slate, with guard Tre Mann (PG|SG $9,080) looking like a ripe pick after back-to-back scores of 37.5 and 39.5 DS points, which is a major jump on his season average of 15. Theo Maledon (PG | $6,000) was a huge shock last time out with a season-high 34.8 DS points too.
Consider Boston forward Grant Williams (PF|SF $7,360) after scoring 30.8 DS points, while Minnesota’s Jaden McDaniels (PF|SF $9,330) had been on a decent run prior to the break. Veteran Rajon Rondo (PG $8.390) is getting decent minutes after his move to the Cavs too.
PREMIUM PLAYS & FADES
Jokic (C $23,070) remains out of reach due to price which is almost $4k more than the next most expensive player, so fade him, especially given the vastly-cheaper Morant almost matched his score last slate. He’ll likely score big but he’s not the value for money you need, as you must to spread your money to succeed in Draftstars.
Morant (PG $17,930) looms as good value, even if he struggled in the All-Star Game and had a minor niggle prior to the break. His price is flattened, but he scored a season-high 69.75 DS points in his last NBA slate, with 44 points, five rebounds and 11 assists.
Bulls center Nikola Vucevic (C $18,210) has enjoyed a good run of form, with a three-game average of 51.3 DS points up on his season average of 43.3, so warrants consideration even if he’s priced quite high. Vucevic scored 51 and 65.75 DS points against Friday’s opponents Atlanta in his past meetings with them too.
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