Five games. One after another. All on national television. And featuring a lot of the games’ biggest stars and best teams. What could really be better?
You mean other than it being Christmas and the holiday season and enjoying quality time with your families? That is good too but, let’s be honest, what you really want is a good old-fashioned GPP sweat. The drink isn’t such a bad idea either though and it helps with you both.
For those who have yet to subscribe, what are you waiting for? Until then you will get one free pick to whet your appetite. The highest projected scoring game on the slate features the Bucks and Warriors with an over/under of 232 and it is also the most lopsided affair as Milwaukee is currently favored by 9.5 points. We know all about the stars who will be taking the court, but remember we have that pesky thing called a salary cap. Things really couldn’t have looked much worse for Golden State in their season opener and my expectation is that will continue tonight. That brings us to the budget friendly Donte DiVincenzo ($4,700 DK, $4,500 FD) from Milwaukee’s starting backcourt. In his season debut DiVincenzo played 27 minutes against the Celtics and scored 15 points while chipping in five rebounds, three assists, and two steals. Repeating that performance isn’t a heavy lift.
Subscribers can now expect us to continue digging into today’s slate. Which point guards are coming off strong season opening debuts that make us want to roster them again? 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.
The same thing that makes this slate so exciting is what makes things so difficult as well; what superstar do you go with. For obvious reasons the NBA is looking to feature their best and brightest today so their no shortage of star power for your lineup. What we have to remember though is that all eight players go into a DFS lineup.
On a slate like this I like to meet in the middle. Start off with the one or two top end players you really need to have in your lineup along with a few cost-conscious options. Then meet in the middle and revaluate based on the available cap space. Approaching your lineup build this way helps to avoid being “stuck” at one or two roster spots.
Based on the timing of slates and wanting to get pricing out there are situations where we have a bonus game or two of players continuing to be undervalued. In that situation I have no shame in going back to the well. Jeff Teague ($4,200 DK, $5,800 FD) took advantage of Kemba Walker’sabsence in his debut with Boston and filled the stat sheet in his 25 minutes of playing time on Wednesday. Teague scored 19 points to go along with three rebounds, four assists, and two steals while putting up 36.8 Draft Kings and 37.6 FanDuel points. Staying in Boston I have no qualms pairing Teague with Jaylen Brown ($7,000 DK, $7,500 FD) who went off in his season debut scoring 33 points with five rebounds and four assists.
Zion Williamson ($8,100 DK, $7,700 FD) is an exciting player to watch and why wouldn’t you want to start your day with him in your lineups? While his price is below that of the true stars on the slate he isn’t without concern. Williamson did put up a double-double in his debut with 15 points and 10 rebounds but his turnovers did hurt his overall production. Instead if you want exposure to the Pelicans to start the day J.J Reddick ($4,400 DK, $4,500 FD) or Eric Bledsoe ($5,600 DK, $5,600 FD) might make more sense in your lineups. Reddick scored 23 points in his season debut while Bledsoe had 18 points and six assists in his first game with New Orleans.
An interesting name to me on today’s slate is Jimmy Butler ($8,000 DK, $8,200 FD) as he is not given the same respect or pricing as the other top options. Miami’s offense runs through Butler and with a 226 over/under we do expect some firepower to start the day. On Wednesday, Butler only scored 19 points but with seven assists and seven steals he didn’t leave DFS owners hanging. His teammate offers some salary relief as Duncan Robinson ($4,400 DK, $4,400 FD) went for 14 points and five rebounds in 30 minutes of play to begin the season.
From a Golden State perspective it really is Stephen Curry ($10,200 DK, $8,700 FD) or bust as the Warriors struggled to do much of anything on Tuesday while getting blown out. We do know that Curry’s usage will be high and we did get a double-double with 20 points and 10 assists but he is not a must owned here. Thanks to some cheaper backcourt options this feels like a slate where my salary cap emphasis will be in the front court. And there is my segue to Giannis Antetokounmpo ($10,900 DK, $11,600 FD) who started the season off with 35 points and 13 rebounds.
Kevin Durant ($9,400 DK, $8,500 FD) couldn’t have gotten off to better first few minutes of the NBA season but he settled down for a solid 22 points and five rebounds, albeit in just 25 minutes. I would expect more of the same today against Boston but I do some concern about building a lineup around that production. Especially when we have Kyrie Irving ($8,900 DK, $8,900 FD) who will be facing his old team with a chip on his shoulder while coming a 26 point, four rebound, four assist effort to start the season.
We aren’t hurting in the backcourt and if we are fading Williamson tonight our options at the center position really are between Anthony Davis ($10,300 DK, $10,600 FD) and Nikola Jokic ($10,100 DK, $9,700 FD). You can’t go wrong with either but I have no qualms about chasing Jokic’s season opening performance of 29 points, 15 rebounds, and 14 assists. Now we know this isn’t going to happen every game but it is what the Denver center is capable of and the production matches his skill set. Davis didn’t have a bad game in his debut (18 points and seven rebounds) but Jokic brings a lot more in the way of firepower as the Lakers fight a championship hangover.
For the same reason I staying away from LeBron James ($10,000 DK, $11,000 FD) who is also dealing an ankle injury. I don’t have concerns about him suiting up for the primetime match-up against Dallas but there are concerns about how many minutes he will play and how effective he may be after scoring 22 points in 28 minutes in the season opener. Another high-priced stud who while I’m not against using, I don’t consider a must start is Luka Doncic ($10,700 DK, $11,300 FD) after seeing him struggle on his way to putting up 32 points on Wednesday while struggling with his shot along with eight rebounds and five assists. I must say though that bar is raised pretty high when close to a 50-point DFS outing is considered an “off night”. My attention in this game is going to focus on Dennis Schroder ($6,300 DK, $5,000 FD) after we saw him fall two assists shy of a triple-double on Tuesday with 18 points, 12 rebounds, and eight assists.
After Paul George ($8,700 DK, $7,600 FD) scored 26 second half points on Tuesday his price sky-rocketed back up to where it should be. Depending on your lineup composition, he is a solid option to consider. If you fade Jokic in the middle, to me the clear pivot is Serge Ibaka ($5,400 DK, $5,500 FD) who put up 15 points and six rebounds in just 21 minutes to begin the season. And if you want to still roster a Nugget, the attention should fall on Michael Porter ($6,700 DK, $5,400 FD) who appears to be beginning a breakout season. Porter got things off on the right not Tuesday with 24 points and five rebounds while throwing a few assists, steals, and blocked shots.
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