Inside the Bubble

During August, Inside the Bubble will be a blog discussing daily baseball, basketball and maybe even some golf. As long as these sports last, which will hopefully be all month.

Dame Time. Dolla Dame. Primetime. He Who Shall Not be Named. The Man Who Demands Respect. Whatever you want to call him, Damian Lillard is on another level. After putting up 51 points versus the Sixers on Sunday, Dame popped off for 61 points last night in a victory over the Mavs. After Paul George and Patrick Beverly called him out, Dame has silenced everyone. Everyone in the league is scared of his talent right now. PatBev is so scared that he won’t even play tonight and PG will likely put up a pedestrian line as a potential chalk player. Dame has been so good that I want to roster him tonight even though he ISN’T EVEN PLAYING. But, you know what? He is playing tomorrow. In a game that matters. In a game that Portland needs to win. Against the Nets. And Dame is going to be crazy expensive on DK and maybe even FanDuel. That will scare people off. Don’t be one of those people. As soon as you can, lock him in to every one of your lineups tomorrow. Pay up for him and pay down for some of the 25 cheapos that will emerge tomorrow in what will be meaningless games for a number of teams. I know that we have a NBA slate today and I am already talking about tomorrow, but frankly today’s slate stinks. 4 games without a lot of meaning to them, yet we should see relatively low levels of value open up today. Maybe I’ll be wrong, but the only news I’ve seen here since noon (it is now 1:45pm) is that Joel Embiid is playing. So, let’s look at a bit of yesterday, a bit of today and a bit of tomorrow in today’s blog.

Harden is the Alpha. Westbrook is the Beta. Don’t ever forget this. The Rockets are James Harden team. He knows it. GM Morley knows it. Their terrible coach knows it. But, I don’t think that Russ knows this. Harden can shoot. Russ can’t. Russ always needs guys around him who can score so he can get his assist numbers up. Harden creates for everyone. And we all saw this yesterday when Russ scored less fantasy points than TLC of the Nets and maybe even Sterling Brown. Russ was bad, the Rockets were bad and they are going to go out early in the NBA playoffs since the team just isn’t special. Now, Regular Season James could be special today. Russ is out and without Westbrook on the floor, Harden has a 43.8% usage and averages 1.78 fantasy points per minute. Plus, Harden lives for the regular season and putting up gaudy numbers. I doubt he plays on Friday, so this is likely the last regular season game for him to shine.

All the Sixers are in. Forget the Sixers today. News just broke that Tobias and Horford are playing today, though Burks is out. So, the Sixers will be at fullish strength in a tough matchup versus the Raptors. I want no part of this team today, so I am dubbing them a scratch off team this afternoon.

Will we get crazy Pacers value today? We already know that TJ Warren will be out. Dipo, Turner and Brogdon are listed as questionable right now. We will get the definitive info before the slate locks since this is the first game. We could get some nice value here if 2 of the 3 Q tagged players sit out. I don’t expect it, but keep your eyes open. Warren being out does create more usage for Dipo and Aaron Holiday, but let’s wait until the final injury news comes out before getting all giddy about the Pacers.

In MLB, start Maeda and stack Coors early. That’s all.

That does it for now. Watch the NBA injury news and best of luck in your contests tonight.

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