What’s up my peeps. Happy Wednesday!
Note: The Houston & Oklahoma City game has been postponed.
The NBA tipped off last night, but tonight we have a massive slate on deck with 12 games. There is plenty of news to keep an eye on today with lots of players in question. The good thing is that we already have a lot of news to work with. The Hawks, Grizzlies, Cavaliers, and Pacers are among some of the teams that could be without key players.
Remember NBA differs from all other sports because one piece of news can change the entire look of a slate. Monitoring news throughout the day and keeping an eye on starting lineups is a key part of the daily process for those playing NBA DFS.
For the purpose of this article, I’ll be using FanDuel positions as they are less flexible than they are on DraftKings, but you should have plenty of options at each position to build on DK as well given the roster flexibility and multi-position eligibility of many players on their site.
Let’s jump right into it!
Top Projected Total
- 76ers 118.25
- Suns 117.75
- Grizzlies 117
- Hawks 116.75
- Nuggets 116.75
- Mavericks 116.75
- Pacers -8
- Nuggets -8
- 76ers -7.5
- Timberwolves -5
Position By Position
Luka Doncic (DK $10000/ FD $11400) – It’s difficult not to consider Doncic anytime he is on the slate. Not only does he offer a solidified floor, but also an incredible ceiling. Doncic led the NBA last season in triple-doubles with 17. Tonight, he faces off against a Suns team that was top 10 in pace and one he has had success against throughout his career. In six games against the Suns the last two seasons, he has topped 50 DK points three times, including two 65+ DK points performances. Doncic averages well over a fantasy point per minute and should see minutes in the mid-30’s tonight. Kristaps Porzingis will not play tonight, which bodes well for Doncic who saw a two percent usage bump whenever Porzingis was off the court. When considering a pay up option, Doncic truly checks off all the boxes.
Damian Lillard (DK $9000/ FD $9200) – Lillard is coming off one of his better seasons in the NBA, which says a lot for a player that has been consistently good. Last season, he averaged 30 points, eight assists, and 4.1 three-pointers per game, all of which were career best. In addition, he shot a career high 46.3 percent from the field and 40.1 percent from beyond the arc. Lillard comes in at a fair price considering where his pricing was towards the end of last season and that is something that I want to take advantage of tonight. The matchup against the Jazz is one he has fared well in. Going back to the last 15 meetings against Utah, Lillard has a consistency rating of 67 percent and has averaged 52.3 DK points per game, exceeding expectations by an average of 10.6 points. He scored no less than 54 DK points in each of his last meetings against this unit. If you can’t find a way to fit in Doncic tonight, Lillard would be my next option.
Chris Paul (DK $7000/ FD $7300) – Paul is dealing with ankle soreness but is considered probable for tonight’s game and is fully expected to play with no limitations. That being the case, he is firmly in play this evening against Dallas. Despite being past his prime, Paul remains an efficient player, offering a solid floor and upside. He can score, is a great distributor, and rebounds well, so he should stuff the stat sheet this evening. Paul shot poorly in two preseason games, but still averaged seven dimes and five boards in two games. Considering his affordable price tag, I am willing to roster Paul in cash tonight.
Coby White (DK $6500/ FD $6200) – White led the Bulls in minutes per game during the preseason, playing 28.3 minutes per game. He also led in field goal attempts and was second in points per game. He picked up right where he left off at the end of last season, where he averaged 32.5 minutes, 20.9 points, 4.8 assists, 4.0 rebounds, and 0.9 steals per game in his finals 14 games. White will be a big part of the Bulls offense this season and he could go overlooked tonight at a very affordable price.
Dejounte Murray (DK $5600/ FD $6200) – Murray can be a streaky player, so he does come with some risk. However, he is also affordable and should play plenty of minutes. In the NBA bubble last season, he averaged 30 minutes, 12.6 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 1.4 steals per game. We should see him play at least 30 minutes tonight, which would be great considering his per minute production. Last season, Murray averaged well over a fantasy point per minute. Tonight, he will be in a pace up spot against Memphis, who was top six in pace of game last season.
Darius Garland (DK $4100/ FD $4400) – Garland is entering his second season in the NBA and showed some promise as a rookie. His inconsistent shooting is certainly concerning, as it calls for volatile results, and normally we try to stay away from that in cash. That said, the Cavs are dealing with injuries to the point guard position, which all but locks Garland in for heavy minutes tonight. He comes at an incredibly cheap price on both sites and does not need to do much to pay off his price tag. In four preseason games, Garland owned a 30.4 percent usage rate, while averaging 22.7 minutes, 13 points, 2.3 assists, 2.0 rebounds, and 1.3 steals per game. His floor is volatile, but he averaged 0.7 fantasy points per minute last season and should play at least 30 minutes tonight, which equates to 21 potential fantasy points tonight. That is close to 5x on both sites, which puts him in conversation for cash games.
Devin Booker (DK $8900/ FD $8400) – This should be a great game environment for Booker. Not only does this contest have the highest over/under of the slate, but also just a one-point spread. Booker is coming off a great season and had a strong preseason. The addition of Chris Paul should be helpful for Booker, as Paul is a great facilitator and should create opportunities for Booker, especially going at the rim. Booker has topped 50 DK points in two of his last three meetings against the Mavs. He is a high usage player and averages well over a fantasy point per minute and should see his regular allotment of minutes. Booker gives us a steady floor with incredible upside, making him a strong play in all formats.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (DK $7500/ FD $8100) – If you have watched Gilgeous-Alexander play this preseason, expectations should be through the roof. This is clearly the best player for the Thunder, and I am fully expecting him to be a high usage player. It begins this evening in a paced-up spot against the Rockets, who played at a top three pace last season. Gilgeous-Alexander should play upwards of 30 minutes tonight. He averaged just shy of a fantasy point per minute last season, but considering the positive regression expected this season, that number should only go up. He is listed as a PG on DK, but an SG on FD.
Colin Sexton (DK $6100/ FD $6000) – Sexton was dealing with an ankle injury that prevented him from seeing much action in the preseason. He played in just one game, logged in 20 minutes, and shot a lousy 18 percent from the field. That said, he is a much better shooter than that and he averaged a 47 percent field goal percentage last season. Sexton should log in upwards of 30 minutes in this contest, especially with all of the injuries to the Cavs frontcourt. The Hornets were bottom six in defensive rating last season and this remains a young team, so this is a matchup Sexton should exploit.
Dillon Brooks (DK $5400/ FD $5100) – The Grizzlies will be shorthanded tonight which should create additional opportunities for some of their players. Brooks is locked in as a starter and he had a strong preseason, averaging 16.5 points, while playing 22.6 minutes per game. He did shoot 48.2 percent from the field, which is not the norm for him, though he did average 14 shots per game which was good to see. Brooks should play 28-30 minutes tonight, with upside for more. He does not give you peripheral stats, which is not ideal, but he should be one of Memphis’ top scorers early in the season. The matchup against the Spurs is a good one being that this team is no longer the defensive juggernaut it once was and ranked bottom six in defensive rating last season.
Giannis Antetokounmpo (DK $10200/ FD $11500) – What exactly can I say about Antetokounmpo that you don’t already know? He is one of the best players in the NBA and whenever he is on the slate, he is in play. Antetokounmpo faces a Celtics team he is familiar with and one he has had success against. In his last 20 meetings against Boston, Antetokounmpo has a 60 percent consistency rating and has averaged 55.3 DK points against them. He is all but a lock for a double-double and has triple-double upside. Please note, on FD he is SF eligible and on DK he is listed as PF/C.
Tobias Harris (DK $6200/ FD $6600) – Harris is not a flashy player, but he is efficient and does a little bit of everything. Now that he has reunited with Doc Rivers, we could see Harris’ numbers improve. The matchup tonight will be up in pace against a Wizards team that was top five in pace and just added Russell Westbrook. Washington was also bottom five in defense rating last season. Harris might not offer the ceiling GPP players are looking for, but in cash he is safe and comes at an affordable price this evening.
Larry Nance (DK $5900/ FD $5100) – Listed as a SF on FD, Nance is PF/C eligible on DK. With Kevin Love sitting tonight’s game out, Nance is expected to get the start and should play anywhere between 29-32 minutes. In 10 games as a starter last season, Nance averaged 35.5 minutes, 14.6 points, 10.6 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. The Cavs will be shorthanded tonight, so Nance should see an ample number of opportunities in what should be a short rotation for Cleveland.
Jerami Grant (DK $4700/ FD $5800) – Grant had an awful preseason, shooting just 29 percent from the field. The good news is that he led Detroit in minutes per game and was tied with Derrick Rose for most shot attempts per game. He is definitely more volatile than the players I am typically considering in cash, but his role on this offense should be significant and he should play heavy minutes. Therefore, at this price, Grant is worth the volatility that he brings to the table.
Isaac Okoro (DK $3700/ FD $4000) – The rookie had a solid preseason, averaging 11.2 points, 2.2 assists, 1.8 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game, while playing 27.5 minutes per game. He shot 54 percent from the field and 46 percent from beyond the arc. The Cavs will have multiple key players tonight, which should create some extra opportunities for Okoro in this contest. That matchup is a good one and the minutes should be there. At this price, he won’t have to do much to pay off his salary.
Patrick Williams (DK $3000/ FD $3500) – Williams could get the start tonight and if he does, he has to be considered a strong value play at min price on both sites. The rookie averaged 27.1 minutes, 11.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, 0.8 steals, and 0.5 steals per game in the preseason, while shooting a healthy 47 percent from the field. The matchup against Atlanta is far from imposing and this will be a paced-up spot for the Bulls. Keep a close eye on lineups heading into lock and news regarding potential minutes for Williams, but right now I have him projected for 25-28 minutes, which locks him in as an incredibly strong value play this evening.
Zion Williamson (DK $7500/ FD $7700) – Williamson will reportedly play more minutes in his second season and based on the preseason that appears to be the case. Williamson averaged 33.5 minutes, 28.5 points, and 10 rebounds per game in the preseason, putting his talents on full display. Last season, he averaged 1.3 fantasy points per minute, so an increase in minutes will only help his fantasy points per game. Reports suggest he will be playing 33-34 minutes per game this season, I am projecting him for 29-31 minutes tonight, with upside for more. Chances are we will not see Williamson this cheap for much longer, so it’s time to take advantage of his price tag now before it goes up.
Bam Adebayo (DK $7300/ FD $8500) – Bam picked up right where he left off last season in the preseason. He averaged 11 points, six rebounds, six assists, one block, and one steal, across 22.1 minutes per game. He displayed his ability to stuff the stat sheet and contribute in just about every category. Not only can Bam score, but his ability to rack up on the peripheral stats gives him a stable floor in addition to plenty of upside. I’m projecting him for 31-34 minutes tonight, with potential for more. On FD he is listed as a PF, but on DK he is listed as a C.
Christian Wood (DK $6300/ FD $6400) – Wood is listed as a PF on FD and a C on DK. Tonight the Rockets could be missing some key players due to COVID-19, which means that Wood could be in for higher usage and more opportunities. Wood’s per minute production is strong, as he averaged 1.2 fantasy points per minute last season. I have him projected for 29-32 minutes tonight, but I would not be shocked if he exceeds the top end of my projection in this one. At this price tag, it would be hard to pass up on Wood if the Rockets are indeed shorthanded as expected. Darius Bazley (DK $5100/ FD $4800) – Bazley is someone I expect to have a big second year. He should see more opportunities on offense this season and I expect that to start this evening. Bazley averaged 5.1 shots per game last season, but in this preseason, he averaged 8.5 shots per game. There is room for more where that came from too. Bazley can rebound and plays good defense, so he will contribute to multiple categories. I’m projecting him for 29-32 minutes tonight, which should be more than enough for him to produce and pay off this affordable price tag. The Thunder will be in a paced-up spot tonight, making this an appealing situation game environment.
P.J. Washington (DK $4200/ FD $6000) – Washington is expected to play more minutes at center in his second season, which means he will play more minutes period. He averaged 24 minutes, 7.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.5 blocks, and 1.2 steals per game in the preseason. Washington averaged 0.85 fantasy points per minutes last year and I’m projecting him for 30-32 minutes for tonight’s contest. If he produces at that clip, he should smash his price tag on DK tonight. This is also a favorable matchup.
Joel Embiid (DK $9800/ FD $9400) – Embiid is in a great position tonight to feast on an undersized Wizards team. He continues to be one of the best centers in basketball and his ability to shoot from beyond the arc makes him dangerous. He was top 10 in usage last season and gets a paced-up matchup tonight. In his last nine games against the Wizards, Embiid has a 66.7 consistency percentage and has averaged 49.9 DK points per game. Not once did Embiid score fewer than 40 DK point in any of those contests.
Andre Drummond (DK $8000/ FD $8400) – Drummond was locked in this preseason, averaging 12.3 points and 10 rebounds per game, while playing in 19.5 minutes per game. Drummond is a walking double-double, as he has averaged a double-double in all but one of his NBA seasons. I have him projected for 30-33 minutes tonight and this is a matchup he should fare well in. He is a strong fantasy point per minute player, so he should be in for a great start to the season at an affordable price.
Wendell Carter (DK $4400/ FD $5500) – Carter comes in at a fair price and should play anywhere between 27-30 minutes in tonight’s game. The team wants him to shoot more this season, so he could be in a position to contribute more as a scorer as early as tonight. The matchup against the Hawks will be paced up and Atlanta was also one of the worst defensive units in basketball last season. If you are looking for a cheap option at the center position, Carter is your guy.
DraftKings: Luca Doncic, Patrick Williams, Chris Paul, Bam Adebayo
FanDuel: Luca Doncic, Patrick Williams, Coby White, Andre Drummond