Welcome, NBA and DFS fans, because the NBA season is finally upon us. As a Celtics fan, I’ve been looking forward to the start of this NBA season for a long time. Unfortunately, for many fans of NBA teams, this season just seems destined to be a Cavs & Warriors rematch regardless of how the regular season turns out. For the optimistics, like myself, this season is like any other NBA season. We still have a lot to learn about some young, up-and-coming teams, especially in the East. For now, I’m going to enjoy NBA fantasy being back. NBA is my personal favorite on DFS sites, so I will definitely be posting these here and there. I’ll most likely be doing at least one a week on nights where we have a lot of games to choose from. Good thing about tonight’s slate is all 10 games start at 7:00 or later, so no early games to worry about.
Just some tips for any one new to NBA in particular on DFS sites. The goal for total score is 300+ points. If you reach that, you’re all but guaranteed a return on investment, most likely in the tops of whatever contest you enter. On DraftKings, you get $50,000 to use towards your lineup, getting 6 points per $1,000 spent is the goal. On FanDuel, you get $60,000 per lineup, getting 5 points per $1,000 is the goal. Finding value is key, and with 82 games in an NBA season injuries occur all the time. Options will be there, and doing some research before putting a lineup in is necessary. Let’s get started.
Russel Westbrook against 76ers — DraftKings: $11,500 FanDuel: $12,000
Westbrook is going to be the best overall fantasy player come seasons end. The Thunder won’t nearly be at the level they were last season, but that won’t be an issue for Westbrook. He’s clearly shown that regardless of who is around and who is covering him he will put on a show. The 76ers are not good, and won’t be for a while despite 76ers fans optimistic phrase “Trust the Process”. Right now, either Gerald Henderson or Sergio Rodriguez will cover Westbrook, which is a joke. Pencil in Westbrook as an easy start.
Terry Rozier against Nets — DraftKings: $3,200 FanDuel: $3,500
Rozier played great in both summer league and Preseason. With the loss of Evan Turner in the offseason, Rozier and Smart have an opportunity to pick up that slack. So why Rozier tonight? Well, Smart looks to be out for the next couple weeks due to an ankle injury. Rozier will definitely see an uptick in minutes, and will most likely be the main ball-handler off the bench with Smart out. I love his scoring potential, as well as the possibility of the Celtics blowing out the Nets and Rozier getting even more minutes. With how cheap he is, Rozier is an easy play
James Harden against Lakers — DraftKings: $10,900 FanDuel: $11,200
This game will most likely be the highest scoring game tonight. The Lakers had an extremely tough defending against both guard positions last season and I don’t expect that to change. James Harden, like Westbrook, essentially is the offense. If he’s having a tough time, the rest of the team does as well. Harden should have no problem getting open and scoring points against the Lakers tonight.
Will Barton against Pelicans — DraftKings: $4,600 FanDuel: $5,100
Barton was the sixth man of the year last year, for me, in terms of fantasy. He didn’t start for the Nuggets, but he benefited off the bench from weak matchups and a lot of opportunities to have the ball in his hands. He’s earned himself a spot in the starting lineup due to his play, and Gary Harris being out with an injury. The only thing to weary of is the Nuggets are not short of scorers, with basically every position in that starting lineup having scoring ability. Barton is a cheap pick with the potential to tremendously exceed his value.
Andrew Wiggins against Grizzlies — DraftKings: $6,500 FanDuel: $6,600
Let me start off by saying I don’t love the SF position tonight. Paul George is the most expensive option, but not necessarily a good night for him going against the Mavericks. Wiggins has the ability to stuff the stat sheet, or fade away complete in a game. I like him agains the Grizzlies because they are decimated with injuries to start the season. With someone coming off the bench to take the duties of covering Wiggins, he may be in for a big night.
Rudy Gay against Suns — DraftKings: $6,300 FanDuel: $6,900
Gay is another guy I love mostly because of the matchup. Last season, the Suns were in the top five for worst defenses against the SF position. Like Wiggins, he can be streaky. I’m banking on this being a close game and Gay receiving extra minutes because of that.
Anthony Davis against Nuggets — DraftKings: $10,100 FanDuel: $10,200
Davis is basically working with a completely different team. Currently, the only player from last year’s starting lineup that will be in tonight’s is Omer Asik. Nor Jrue Holiday, Eric Gordon, or Tyreke Evans. It’s safe to say this entire team is going to revolve around Davis. It’s only a matter of time before he becomes a free agent and moves on, but this season is going to be a big one for him. With his ability to stretch the floor, it’s going to be real tough to cover him night to night.
Trevor Booker against Celtics — DraftKings: $4,200 FanDuel: $4,800
I hate to say this about my beloved Celtics, but they were terrible last season against PF and C positions. Especially against the team they play tonight, the Brooklyn Nets. It seemed like every game against them we got toasted by Brook Lopez. Well, tonight I expect a lot of production from Trevor Booker. Booker already had a double-double against the C’s in the preseason and has remained a cheap option despite now being a starter. Should be interesting to see who the Celtics put on him tonight, regardless I love his value.
Steven Adams against 76ers — DraftKings: $5,800 FanDuel: $4,700
Sneaky my favorite play of the entire night. Last season, I refused to jump on the Adams bandwagon and it mostly had to do with my affinity for Enes Kanter. Despite this, Adams remains the starting C for the Thunder and looks to remain that way the whole season. Him and Roberson are the only the returning starters other than Westbrook, so Adams was an easy choice between the two.
Jusuf Nurkic against Pelicans — DraftKings: $5,800 FanDuel: $4,600
Similar to Adams not only in price but type of play. Nurkic truly earned to be in the starting lineup for the Nuggets, and looks like he’s being extremely undervalued. Supposedly he lost 40 pounds in the off season and looks in great shape to run the floor. Let’s hope the promise he showed last season will grow into this one.
Be sure to check lineups before 7:00!! Both DFS sites lock the lineups when the contest starts, so you won’t be able to switch for the late games. Good luck!