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Welcome to the Daily Dribble where we serve up the latest Fantasy Basketball news and insight so you can make BBQ chicken of your competition. We’ll focus on Daily Fantasy Site (DFS) play, but we will sprinkle in some weekly, season long, and/or dynasty/keeper league insight that should help shape your decision making going forward, as well.
Wednesday, February 19th
Revenge. The word just screams with intensity and passion. You saw the “revenge factor” in play last night as LeBron James evidently still holds a grudge against the Mavs organization that defeated he and the Heat to win the 2011 NBA Championship. James was quoted as saying, “The Mavericks are probably the reason why I am who I am today.”
I bring this topic of revenge up for a couple reasons. One, is that I am a believer in the revenge factor. Two, LeBron showed us that players will carry this motivation with them years after the initial event whether it be losing in the NBA Finals, a player facing a team that bypassed them in the draft as we saw just before the All-Star break when Michael Carter-Williams, the 11th pick in last year’s draft, was facing the Utah Jazz who took Trey Burke at pick nine instead of him, (which MCW came out after the game and said was a motivating factor going into that game to play well), or a player taking on their former team as I am sure you will hear all about it today as Dwight Howard and the Rockets travel to LA to take on Howard’s former team the Lakers. While Howard’s return to LA is an obvious revenge factor game, as LeBron showed us last night it is not always obvious, but if you can find a situation that present the possibility that a player will be a little more focused and determined, playing with something to prove, then there is a good chance that will translate into a little bit more fantasy production. For example, while Howard’s trip to LA will get all the media’s attention, Deron Williams returns to Utah tonight to play his former team, Tyson Chandler and the Knicks travel to New Orleans to take on Chandler’s former team, and Gerald Green, who has been a on fire of late averaging 29 points (59 FG%) over his last three games including dropping a career-high 36 points on the Nuggets last night, welcomes the team he started his career with, the Boston Celtics to the US Airways Center in Phoenix tonight.
These are just a few examples of where the “revenge factor” may show itself tonight, but it is something that has proven to be worth keeping an eye out for as it could provide you with a slight edge in your DFS contests and have your opponents responding as Dirk did to LeBron’s comments last night, “Good for him,” or in this case good for us.
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I will focus on any injury news that pertains to this evening’s slate of games, but be sure to visit our Player News section to catch up on other injuries and player insight that will give you a head start when it comes to planning future lineups.
Mike Scott Pero Antic is out again with a sore ankle and Gustavo Ayon injured his right shoulder last night and will NOT play against the Wizards in Atlanta. Elton Brand will likely start but it you may want to consider Mike Scott as the discounted play this evening even if he does not start as he has scored in double-figures in 16 of his last 20 games. From Washington's side of the ball, Marcin Gortat and Nene should be on your radar with this news as you construct your DFS lineups this evening.
Dion Waiters is OUT due to a hyperextended knee. Jarrett Jack started at shooting guard yesterday for the Cavs, but I would be leery of using him tonight (see below). With Waiters out Matthew Dellavedova, C.J. Miles, rookie Anthony Bennett, and Alonzo Gee are all likely to see some extra minutes but good luck guessing which one gets the minutes and produces.
Andrew Bogut (shoulder) is questionable to play against the Kings night. If Bogut is out Jermaine O’Neal would get the start at center for the Warriors.
Amar'e Stoudemire (sore left knee) will not play Wednesday against the Pelicans.
LaMarcus Aldridge is out for the remainder of the week with a groin injury and Meyers Leonard and Joel Freeland are out indefinitely. In the theme of “revenge” laid out above, Thomas Robinson could see some extended run against his former team and he has double-double potential if you were looking for a darkhorse option tonight.
Tony Parker is not expected to play versus Portland so upgrade Cory Joseph and especially Patty Mills who scored a team-high 25 points off the bench last night versus the Clippers and is averaging 19 points, 2.2 three pointers, 3.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and a steal per game over his last five games and is another player going against his former team.
Anderson Varejao will miss another game tonight. Tyler Zeller got the start last night and finished with 18 points, a career-high 15 boards (six offensive), and an assist and a blocked shot in just 25 minutes while Tristan Thompson posted a double-double.
It’s that time of year where we see more rumors than in a Star magazine, some true, some possible, and some that seem ludicrous. In case you are like many people who tend to try and ignore the rumors and are of the ilk of “just let me know when a deal is done,” I figured I would point out some players that seem like they have a higher than 50/50 chance of changing teams before the Thursday’s trade deadline. Obviously, much of this is speculation, but it is better to error on the side of safety, especially on a night with 11 games, then it would be to roster a player who ends up missing a game because they are involved in trade.
Jazz Gordon Hayward
Hawks Jeff Teague (I’m not sold on these rumors, but would consider playing it safe using him in a GPP more so then I would in a cash game).
Cavs Jarrett Jack
Lakers Jordan Hill
Magic Glen Davis (call this one a hunch more so than something based on rumors)
Pistons Greg Monroe
There are some other names being floated around in trade rumors, but for the most part they are players who are not very DFS relevant for example, Tayshaun Prince or their team is not in action tonight.