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NBA Basketball DFS Advice

NBA Pre-season DFS Advice October 4, 2021

Ben Simmonds NBA DFS Pick
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 05: Boston Celtics Guard Terry Rozier III (12) guards Philadelphia 76ers Guard Ben Simmons (25) in the first half during the Eastern Conference Semifinal Game between the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers on May 05, 2018 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

NBA Basketball is back! Or at least the preseason is. Eighteen teams are going to take the floor for the first time of the season tonight, and we have a ton of information to cover for DFS. We are going to give our core lineup for tonight’s slate, as well as some general picks we are looking at for tonight. We will also take some time to discuss our general strategy in approaching preseason slates as teams typically have different ways of managing their rotation. As we have so many teams playing for the first time tonight, we will get the chance to talk about some of our value priorities coming into this season. A few teams lost a lot of talent over the offseason, and we know that means more DFS opportunity for whoever is left. We are always forced into some speculation for the first big slate of the season, but we have some great information to work with. One thing that we have to mention about this, and many other preseason slates is that salary is not going to be an issue, as we love a lot of cheaper plays here.

Here’s a balanced core For DFS Basketball 10/3/21 (using DraftKings Values)

Point GuardT. Maxey $5,100
Shooting GuardF. VanVleet $6,700
Small Forward   
Power ForwardK. Johnson $4,900
CenterK. Towns $10,900

It is safe to say that Ben Simmons is not going to be playing alongside the 76ers tomorrow. The Sixers are going to be shallow at the point guard and we really like getting to Tyrese Maxey at $5,100. One trend you will notice throughout this article is that we really like to get young guys for preseason slates. Teams often like to rest or limit their experienced stars and use the games as an opportunity to see what the young guys can do. Maxey is likely going to start at point for the Sixers, and we like him if that is the case. It is likely Maxey must take an extended role for this team due to the issues with Simmons, so we could see him get a serious test run this preseason. With Embiid listed out for tonight’s game, we expect Maxey to see a fantastic opportunity.

The Toronto Raptors are one of the teams we are looking at for value coming into this season. The Raptors lost their long-time leader in Kyle Lowry this offseason, and they didn’t replace him with as high usage guys. Furthermore, we already know the Raptors have a ton of injuries for tonight. Pascal SiakamGary Trent Jr., and Chris Boucher are all listed as out for this one. Fred VanVleet is one of our favorite plays here as he should put up a ton of shots even if his minutes are limited. VanVleet is also way too cheap at $6,700 here, which makes him a low-risk play. VanVleet is a fantastic option in general this season with Lowry gone, and we are looking to target him right away.

Like the Raptors, we are also all over the Spurs coming into this season. The Spurs lost a lot of there leading talent with DeMar DeRozanLaMarcus Aldridge, and Rudy Gay all leaving the team last year or this offseason. There is a huge opportunity for the young guys on the spurs to take the next step this year and we want to roster them in DFS before there prices adjust. Keldon Johnson is an absolute priority for us coming into next season as he is priced for a team when he was the third or fourth wing down the line. Johnson is only $4,900 here, so he opens a bit of salary elsewhere. However, the upside on Johnson is incentive enough. He is coming into his third year in the NBA, and he is a candidate to help lead the future of the entire Spurs franchise. He has the potential to take a huge step this year and it seems likely he gets the opportunity.

We mentioned in our introduction that salary is not going to be a problem tonight. We have a lot of fantastic value options like Johnson and Maxey, and we know a lot of stars are going to be listed out anyway. With that said, we are still going to draft superstars where we can afford them as they are able to consistently put up big numbers without as much risk. We really like using Karl-Anthony Towns in the center spot tonight as he only costs $8,100 and has some great upside. We know Towns is one of the best DFS producers in the NBA and it is very easy to pay up for him. Replacing Towns for another star is a fine play here but we really like him for the price.

Here’s a balanced core For DFS Basketball 3/10/21 (using FanDuel Values)

Point GuardT. Maxey  
Point GuardF. VanVleet  
Shooting Guard   
Shooting Guard   
Small Forward   
Small ForwardK. Johnson  
Power Forward   
Power Forward   
CenterK. Town  
Now what do you get if you sign up now for 199?
• Priorities at every position
• Some general strategy for the night
• Who to pick at point guard tonight

—– Paywall —–

Point Guard

Steph Curry – PG ($8,800 DK) Curry is expected to play tomorrow, so we are already thinking about him for this slate. With all the value tonight, we don’t mind paying up for expensive stars if we think they can have a big game. What makes Curry such a dynamic play here is his ability to stuff the stat sheet with three pointers in limited minutes. Few guys will play a lot of minutes tonight, so we want stars who can get us a lot of FPTS quickly. Curry is always one of the best options in the league in terms of upside and one of our favorites out of the guys available.

Reggie Jackson – PG ($5,100 DK) We just found out that Kawhi LeonardPaul George and a few other Clippers are going to be out tonight. The Clippers are now a great option for value plays starting with Jackson. Jackson has the potential to create his own offence and we saw him have some massive games when Leonard and George sat last year. He is another cheap play in the $5,000 range that comes with a ton of his own upside, which is what we are looking to build our squad with tonight.  

Shooting Guard 

Jalen Suggs – ($6,200 DK) We saw Suggs take on a massive role for Orlando during summer league and we expect to see a similar situation coming into preseason. The Magic are going to give Suggs a ton of opportunity this season as they want him to be able to take over the franchise. We often must worry about floor time for preseason slates, but we are not worried about the Magic giving Suggs his run in this one.

Malachi Flynn – ($5,300 DK) We have already talked about how much we love getting to all the value on the raptors coming into this season. With all the guys listed out tonight you really can’t go wrong with any Raptors that are going to play. The Raptors have shown a tendency to give Flynn a massive role when short handed and we expect he is a much bigger piece in the teams offence this year. Flynn has put out some crazy games and we saw him dominate in summer league. Flynn should be in for some safe minutes tomorrow and his price tag fits our build quite well.

Small Forward 

Scottie Barnes – (6,600 DK) Barnes is the most expensive rookie on this slate, but we really don’t care about salary as much as we do during the regular season. Obviously we are yet to see how Barnes produces in the NBA, but we know the Raptors plan on giving him a ton of opportunity. We expect to see Barnes carry the ball and create offence for Toronto, especially during the preseason. The floor time is the main attractor for Barnes, as he could be one of the minutes leaders on tonight’s slate. 

Power Forward 

Michael Porter Jr. – (7,600 DK) We know that the Nuggets are going to be extremely shorthanded tomorrow with both Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray out. Porter saw a massive breakout last season and he is expected to be even better this season. He is going to get the chance to produce tonight as should see fantastic usage while on the floor. Porter has great upside, and we feel pretty good about his minutes here. 

Precious Achiuwa – (4,200 DK) The Raptors are extremely thin on big men tonight with Boucher and Khem Birch listed out. We love Achiuwa here as we expect him to play a ton of minutes and he opens salary for stars. This season is going to be all about fostering young talent for the Raptors, so it is hard to think why they would not play Achiuwa tonight. If Achiuwa gets the start he is one of our favorite value options, but we are happy getting to him either way.


John Collins – (5,900 DK) The Hawks are another team with a gutted frontcourt tonight as both Clint Capela and Onyeka Okongwu are listed out for tonight. Collins has consistently dominated in games without Capela in the past as he is very productive when he gets to play the center. We like targeting any of the Hawks big men who are playing tonight but Collins is our favorite.

Andre Drummond – (5,600 DK) Embiid is not going to be playing for the Sixers tonight, so it is likely that Drummond gets the start in his absence. We have seen Drummond consistently stuff the stat sheet in around 20-25 minutes in the past, so we love getting to him for the preseason slates if he is going to start. Drummond can absolutely dominate in DFS with rebounds and points and the upside at this price is too hard to pass up on.

General strategy 

There are a few things to keep in mind for the preseason slates. One thing is that seasoned veterans often play very limited minutes, as we saw yesterday both Lebron James and Kevin Durant did not even play. The main thing we need to remember for these slates is going to be to check the news. We already have a ton of news about this slate and there is no doubt more news breaks as we get closer to lock. Keep an eye on who is out as some of the studs we like could end up getting sidelined. Beyond that, if a team ends up resting a lot of guys out of nowhere we will want to look at whose left for value. Another interesting thing to look out for is coaches statements. Last year some coaches were making statements before preseason games about how they are going to handle their guys minutes and it was some of the most valuable information to have. Keep an eye out and stay on twitter if possible. 

Go win your lineup and tell us how you did. Twitter (@FantasyDFSX) is a good place for that.

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