The season could have gotten off to more exciting start in Brooklyn last night but things did pick up in Los Angeles. That was just the beginning. Tonight we have a mammoth 13 game slate for our enjoyment and the important thing to remember is that that NBA is back. There are few things better than a nice NBA GPP sweat but obviously we want that to end in victory.
For those who have yet to subscribe, what are you waiting for? Until then you will get one free pick to whet your appetite. One of the highest scoring games on the docket features the Grizzlies and Spurs which leads us right to Ja Morant ($8,400 DK, $7,800 FD). Everything relating to the Memphis offense runs right through Morant as he looks to improve on an explosive rookie campaign. With an extended off-season we should notice some improvements in Morant’s game after he averaged 18.1 points and 7.3 assists per game last year. The fact that it will be both a high scoring (232 over/under) and close (two-point spread) game means there will be plenty of opportunity for Morant to rack up the DFS production. Perhaps more important when it comes to building a roster, Morant is $2,000 cheaper than the most expensive guard option on Draft Kings but we will get to that later.
Subscribers can now expect us to continue digging into today’s slate. There are two rookies we are monitoring as value options along with some old faces in new places. So, keep on going and take a look at what we have to offer. This is just the beginning though. For a one-time fee of $99 per year we have all sports covered here including NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, PGA, NASCAR, and League of Legends. We know how profitable these picks can be so you can even try it out for one month for free.
We mentioned the expected offense between the Spurs and Grizzlies but there is one game with an even higher over/under that will be prevalent across DFS lineups; Dallas at Phoenix with an over/under of 237 in what is expected to be a one-point game. Another high scoring game features Atlanta and Chicago in a game where defense will likely be hard to find in another close game. The two largest point spreads we are seeing in Wednesday’s slate feature the Pacers over the Knicks and the Nuggets over the Kings.
It goes without saying that we are looking to target close, high scoring affairs. With such a large slate of games there will be a lot of lineup differentiation so don’t worry about ownership. Target your players but make sure there are superstars in your lineup. Remember it is a superstar league and you need that upside. This is a balancing act as we need production out of each roster spot so don’t take too many unnecessary chances either.
Now let’s dig into some of the players that caught my attention, for one reason or another, while preparing for the slate of games:
Usage is the name of the game. We want players who will have the ball in their hand and that brings us to Luka Doncic ($10,000 DK, $11,400 FD) who I’m looking to build my lineup around for tonight. At this point reiterating his resume is no longer necessary and in what is projecting to be the highest scoring game of the night, why not take the best player? Chris Paul ($7,000 DK, $7,300 FD) makes his debut in Phoenix across the court but my focus is on Devin Booker ($8,900 DK, $8,400 FD) as he will likely benefit from his new point guard while trying to keep up with Doncic. If it works in your lineup, why not just roll with both?
Now that we blew our backcourt budget it’s time to take a step back and look for some value. He is slated to come off the bench for a Houston team that we have more questions than answers about but Eric Gordon ($5,000 DK, $4,500 FD) will be counted on to score for a Rockets team that can’t be expected to play defense. Last season he averaged 15.2 points per game and the usage will be there.
Jeff Teague ($4,000 DK, $5,800 FD) was acquired to back up Kemba Walker but with the incumbent sidelined for the next few weeks we have a bargain on our hands. Teague did come off the bench in the pre-season but he is slated to start for Boston and in his last pre-season game he put up 18 points. The veteran has a track record of success as a starter and last season in a backup role he put up a solid 10.9 points and 5.2 assists per game.
With Oklahoma City in the midst of rebuilding they shuffled some things around in their backcourt and as a result George Hill ($3,600 DK, $5,200 FD) finds himself as a starting guard. He can’t be counted as much of a scorer, 9.4 points per game last year, but Hill will chip in a few assists and rebounds per game as he provides a solid floor.
Lost in the midst of the abbreviated off-season Jerami Grant ($4,700 DK, $5,800 FD) now calls Detroit home. Grant jumps right into the Pistons’ starting lineup as he looks to take on the biggest role in his career and there is certainly opportunity to be found. He is coming of a 14-point, nine rebound performance in his last pre-season game after averaging 11.9 points and 3.5 rebounds per contest last season. Grant is a starter at a back-up’s price and there isn’t much standing in his way.
Despite the high over/under there likely won’t be that much attention on the Bulls from a DFS perspective so that brings us to Lauri Markkanen ($4,700 DK, $6,000 FD). The forward is a large part of Chicago’s future plans and I would expect to see him be heavily featured in the Bulls’ offense after averaging 14.7 points and 6.3 rebounds per game last year.
One of the hallmarks of being a successful DFS player is monitoring the injury reports and attempting to capitalize on absences. With Kevin Love sidelined tonight that means Larry Nance($5,900 DK, $5,100 FD) moves into the starting lineup after averaging 10 points and seven rebounds per game last season. Nance, at least temporarily, will see his workload increase following the 25 minutes per game he played last season as he looks to take advantage of a Charlotte team whose frontcourt leaves a lot to be desired.
As we focus on high usage backcourt players some cost cutting had to be done in the front court. That brings us to Marvin Bagley ($4,900 DK, $6,400 FD) who is part of what should be a high scoring game against the Nuggets. Last season Bagley averaged 14.2 points and 7.5 rebounds per game last year and as he is expected to be part of the starting lineup, I was pleasantly surprised at his price on Draft Kings.
Earlier we teased two rookies that we have our eye for tonight, so let’s take a quick look at Immanuel Quickley ($3,400 DK, $3,500 FD) and Patrick Williams ($3,000 DK, $3,500 FD). Quickley emerged on the scene late in New York’s third pre-season game and then he found himself in the starting lineup for their fourth and final game. It should be noted that Elfrid Payton was sidelined for that game but we can’t forget the complete performance we saw out of the rookie guard. His price doesn’t give us a high mountain to climb but at this point I would expect to see him come off the bench but have a real role. Williams on the other hand has a chance to be in Chicago’s starting lineup, although he likely will come off the bench behind Otto Porter, but we can’t ignore three straight double digit scoring games in the preseason and a 13-point, seven rebound performance in his last game. And at the minimum price too.
It’s impossible to roster every high-priced star but I am ignoring both James Harden ($10,400 DK, $10,800 FD) and Russell Westbrook ($9,300 DK, $9,900 FD) at least for tonight. The Rockets are simply a mess, Harden barely showed up to Training Camp, but most importantly he is not cheap and it is unclear how he will mesh both with a new coach and with John Wall. Westbrook finds himself on a new team and I just don’t want to commit such a large portion of my salary cap to an unknown quantity.
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