Check out Thad’s NBA Post COVID-19 Report on the state of centers for DFS!
What’s up y’all? I hope this article finds everyone safe, happy and most importantly, at home. If you would’ve told me two weeks ago every major sport on the planet would be canceled or suspended, I would have said you were crazy. Then again, here we are.
The NBA season has come to a screeching halt. There’s no definite plan with regard to when the suspension of the season will end, let alone what the rest of the season will be like. No matter when the NBA starts up again, and it will start up again, you can rest assured the DFS floodgates will open. There are a number of guys who you’ll want to keep an eye on while things get settled, as their post-apocalyptic salaries could be in our favor. Until things get back to normal, there are only two things we can do, from an NBA DFS standpoint. The first thing is to be prepared. The second thing is to simply wait.
NBA Post COVID-19 Report
Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN): Oddly enough, this NBA DFS season has left us starved for quality players at the center position. When healthy, Towns has been one of those quality players we’ve been looking for in DFS. He missed the last 12 games prior to suspension of league play with a wrist injury and was two weeks away from being reevaluated when the NBA hit the “pause” button on its season. When he’s on the court, Towns is a force to be reckoned with, having posted 40 or more fantasy points in nine of his last 10 games. I expect him to be a “full go” when the league resumes play.
Clint Capela (ATL): The case with Capela is a strange one indeed. Not because of the player, but because of the current situation he finds himself. He’s missed 20 of the last 21 games due to a heel injury, however, he was traded prior to the deadline and is now a member of the Atlanta Hawks. His injury has kept him from making his team debut, so it will be interesting to see how he meshes with his new teammates. We’ve seen him dominate, at times, as a member of the Houston Rockets. If Capela can do that with both Russell Westbrook (HOU) and James Harden (HOU) on the court, he should be able to thrive with Trae Young (ATL) and John Collins (ATL) as his new teammates.
Marc Gasol (TOR): Gasol has missed 16 of the Toronto Raptors’ last 17 games with a hamstring injury and was ready to make his return to the court prior to suspension of league play (he did play 16 minutes against the Sacramento Kings on March 8, however, I’ll toss that one out). Returning to a healthy Raptors team will keep many DFS’ers away, however, Gasol’s upside is without question. He did put up 44.3, 41.2 and 47.0 fantasy points in three of his last five games, so he should be ready to contribute once he returns to the starting five.
Wendell Carter Jr. (CHI): Although Zach LaVine (CHI) is the “heart and soul” of the Chicago Bulls, Carter Jr. is arguably their best player (don’t @ me). He missed 22 games with an ankle injury, so he hasn’t been in a position to prove me right. He did start the last five games prior to the NBA going on lockdown, however, he has yet to carry a full workload since his injury. He hasn’t had an opportunity to build an extensive resume, just yet, but he does have 40+ fantasy-point upside. Expect him to flash that upside when league play resumes.
Richaun Holmes (SAC): Holmes is another player who was just starting to make his return from injury prior to suspension of league play. He missed a whopping 25 games due to a shoulder injury but was able to take the court for two games before everything was shut down. He played 19 minutes in each of those two games. However, prior to getting injured, it wasn’t unusual to see him put in over 33 minutes each night. Like Carter Jr., I expect a full workload for Holmes when play resumes. Don’t make the mistake of letting a guy with 50 fantasy-point upside fall off your radar.
Jusuf Nurkic (POR): Remember this guy? With Hassan Whiteside (POR) putting in work for the Trail Blazers this season, Nurkic has become an afterthought. He has yet to make his season debut due to a leg injury, so that certainly doesn’t help. Prior to league suspension, he was only a few games away from returning to his team and was scheduled for G-league action to get him in shape. Nurkic averaged 38.55 DraftKings points/37.78 FanDuel points per game last season, so it will be worth waiting to see how he and Whiteside share the frontcourt duties in Portland. You might want to jump on him early in tournaments, because once he starts putting up 40 fantasy-point games, it will be too late.
NBA All COVID-19 Team (Centers)
Rudy Gobert (UTA): It was announced earlier today Gobert and teammate Donovan Mitchell (UTA) were fully cleared of coronavirus by the Utah Department of Health. That’s awesome news! Gobert will always be known as the first NBA player to test positive for COVID-19. That being said, being the first player to test positive and being the first player to contract the virus are two different things. The video clip of Gobert touching the microphones of all of the beat writers at the end of his interview will haunt him for the rest of his life, however, I think his testing positive was an “eye-opener” for most of us. He probably ended up doing us a really big “favor” and we will never even realize it.