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- American basketball player
COVID has been wreaking havoc on our country for over 18 months, and it's obliterating the NBA right now. It feels like 10 different players get put in COVID protocols every day, making it tough to figure out what these rotations will look like. The only bit of good news about it is that it opens up some value for some cheaper guys, making DFS lineups a little easier to fill out. We certainly have some of our recommendations stepping into more prominent roles, so let's go ahead and get into it!
Jrue Holiday, MIL vs. CLE ($34)
Holiday is one of my favorite players in the NBA, and I can't tell you how excited I am to see him play without Giannis Antetokounmpo Khris Middleton and Bobby Portis. The former MVP is one of the best players around, but his absence allows Holiday to feast. With Giannis off the floor, Holiday leads the team with a 36 percent usage rate while averaging an absurd 1.5 Y! points per minute. That would equate to 53 fantasy points if he plays 35 minutes, making him one of the best values out there at just $34. He showed that on Wednesday and Friday, dropping season-best performances in both.
Reggie Jackson, LAC at OKC ($20)
Like every other team in the NBA, the Clippers are trying to cope without half of their roster. The players they're missing are huge, though, with Kawhi Leonard out for the year and Paul George missing the last week. That has forced R-Jax into the playmaking role, with Reggie registering at least 25 Yahoo points in eight of his previous nine games. He's got a 30-point average in that span, scoring at least 28 Y! points 19 times this season! All of that makes him extremely enticing against his former team, with OKC surrendering the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing PGs this year.
Guard to Avoid
Spencer Dinwiddie, WAS at UTA ($19)
Dinwiddie was one of the surprises through the first month of the season, but regression has hit him like a rock. He has reached 20 Y! points four times over his last 12 games, averaging 8.9 points, 4.3 rebounds ad 4.4 assists per game in that span. He's also got just six combined blocks and steals in that stretch en route to a terrible 20-point average. That won't get it done at this salary, and it's hard to imagine it getting any better against a top-five Utah defense.
Kessler Edwards, BKN vs. ORL ($11)
I honestly didn't even know who this guy was this time last week, but that's where we are in this COVID era. Edwards has filled in for these absences, with Brooklyn missing Kevin Durant, Patty Mills, Bruce Brown, Jevon Carter, James Johnson, Kyrie Irving, Joe Harris, DeAndre' Bembry, and Paul Millsap. That's essentially the whole roster, and it's forced Kessler into 76 combined minutes over the last two games. That makes him impossible to avoid at this price, especially with Edwards scoring 58 Yahoo! points in those two outings. He did that damage with KD, and it's honestly possible that Edwards will be in line for 45 minutes for this shorthanded team.
Jordan Nwora, MIL vs. CLE ($11)
We just talked about how Milwaukee is without Giannis, Middleton and Portis, but they're also missing Donte DiVincenzo and Brook Lopez as well. That has forced some random guys into big minutes, with Nwora being the biggest beneficiary. With those guys off the floor, Nwora has a 28 percent usage rate, averaging 0.9 Y! points per minute. In a start for those guys on Wednesday, he dropped 31.2 Yahoo points across 27 minutes of play. That's an astounding total from such an affordable player, and he's pretty much a guarantee for 30-35 minutes with how shorthanded this team is right now. He was even better on Friday, tallying 38 Y! points in one of the best games of his career.
Forward to Avoid
Bojan Bogdanovic, UTA vs. WAS ($17)
Bojan can shoot the ball with anyone, but I've got as many peripheral statistics as this guy sitting on my couch. Over his last eight games played, Bogdanovic is averaging 2.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.5 steals and 0 blocks per game. That equates to 7.1 Y! points between all of those disastrous numbers. That's a terrifying thought because he needs at least 20 raw points to reach any value behind those horrific peripherals. Failing to provide peripherals numbers outside of scoring limits upside of any kind, and it's nightmarish to see Bogey doing so little outside of dropping buckets.
Rudy Gobert, UTA vs. WAS ($38)
Rudy is one of the most reliable players in DFS, leading the NBA in rebounding. Dominating the boards like that has established an enormous floor, with Gobert gobbling up at least 27 Yahoo points in 25 of 27 games this season. He's also cracked 40-plus in 14 of those, making him one of the safest options on the board. We love all of that against Washington, with the Wizards ranked 19th in defensive efficiency while surrendering the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing centers. In their last meeting, Rudy registered a double-double (34.2 Y! points), despite playing just 28 minutes in a 123-98 Utah beatdown.
Blake Griffin, BKN vs. ORL ($12)
The Nets are having one of the worst COVID breakouts of any team, but it's forcing BG into a role that made him a stud in LA. Missing Harden and Aldridge is one thing, but Brooklyn is also trying to play without most of their players. In his first start on Thursday, Griffin dropped 33 Yahoo! points across 31 minutes of action. As long as he gets that sort of workload, Griffin should be $10 more. Not to mention, Orlando ranks 27th in points allowed and 29th in defensive efficiency.
Center to Avoid
Mo Bamba, ORL at BKN ($23)
Bamba is dealing with an ankle issue right now, and it seems unlikely that he'll play both ends of a back-to-back here. Even if he does, he has been struggling mightily. Bamba has 24 or fewer fantasy points in six of his last 10 games, failing to crack double-digits in three of those. That's a terrible average and an even more horrifying floor, making Bamba tough to trust with an ankle issue. The matchup with Brooklyn makes him even more off-limits, with the Nets running a ton of small-ball with this dismantled lineup. That means Bamba might play second-fiddle to Wendell Carter Jr, and it could force him to sit over half of this game. Entering COVID protocols on Friday certainly doesn't help either.