The NBA season is back and keeping on the injury reports is going to be pivotal. For up-to-the-minute news, analysis and lineups, download the DK Live app, as NBA news, injury reports and betting lines can change throughout the day. We will keep you up to the minute on the DK Live app.
Here are some players to target for tonight’s main 11-game NBA slate on DraftKings:
StudChris Paul, OKC at UTA, $7,400 — The matchup against the Jazz is less than ideal, but I expect Paul’s salary to be significantly higher than this as the season goes on. Playing without James Harden, Paul is going to take on a much larger role this season, and his fantasy output should benefit. Last season when Harden was off the court, Paul had a 27.9% usage rating and scored 22.6 points to go along with 12.5 assists per 36 minutes. The only real question I have with his fantasy value is how many games will he play, and health isn’t much of a concern for DFS.
ValueIsh Smith, WAS at DAL, $5,300 — The Wizards are extremely thin at point guard. Coming into the season, the plan was for Smith to split point guard duties with Isaiah Thomas. After Thomas got injured before the season, Washington is left with Smith and Jordan McCrae ($3,000) as its point guards. This opens the door for Smith to open the season playing big minutes, and the Mavericks allowed the fifth most DKFP to point guards last season.
StudLuka Doncic, DAL vs. WAS, $9,400 — After averaging 43 DKFP per game in his rookie season, I expect Doncic to take another step forward this season. His efficiency figures to improve playing alongside Kristaps Porzingis ($8,200), and we saw Luka close out last season on a tear. He put up triple-doubles in three of his final four games, giving us a glimpse of what his future fantasy upside could look like. The Wizards’ defense doesn’t pose much of a threat and was 28th in defensive efficiency last season.
ValueMarkelle Fultz, ORL vs CLE, $3,900 — I really want Fultz to have a solid season. He gets a fresh start playing in Orlando, and it was nice to see him hit some jump shots in the preseason. Fultz opens the season as the backup point guard for the Magic and has a route to open the season with modest playing time. Even though his real life game left much to be desired last season, Fultz showed he can be a nice fantasy producer and put up counting stats when he’s on the floor. He averaged 19.22 DKFP in limited playing time in a suboptimal situation with the Sixers.
StudJimmy Butler, MIA vs. MEM, $7,600 — Butler is back to having his own team. He played well last season with the Sixers and Timberwolves, but he shared the court with other stars, which somewhat limited his usage. As The Guy in Miami, we should see production for Butler similar to his output from when he played for the Bulls. In his last season in Chicago, Butler averaged 44.39 DKFP.
ValueLuke Kennard, DET at IND, $3,300 — With Blake Griffin out until November with a hamstring injury, there is a significant usage and playing time gap to fill. One option is moving Kennard into the starting unit. The Pistons would be well served to create space around Drummond in the post, which is something Kennard can help with since he shoots better than 40% from 3 for his career. If coming off the bench, Kennard is a less appealing option, but whoever enters the Pistons’ starting lineup in place of Blake makes for a good value play.
StudLaMarcus Aldridge, SA vs. NYK, $7,300 — I expect the Knicks to lose a lot of games this season, again. One of the only bright spots for the future is Mitchell Robinson ($5,700). Robinson is a defensive force and one of the best shot blockers in the league, but he’s questionable to play after rolling his ankle in practice. If he’s out, the Knicks’ interior defense won’t be able to offer much resistance, putting Aldridge in a spot to put up a monster stat line.
ValueZach Collins, POR vs. DEN, $5,400 — With Jusuf Nurkic hurt and Al-Farouq Aminu ($4,000), Mo Harkless and Meyers Leonard ($3,100) on other teams, the Trail Blazers are going to be reliant on Collins this season. In the playoffs, Collins was starting to come into his own, leading me to believe that a breakout is coming this season. Collins scored .87 DKFP per minute last season, and he could push for 30+ minutes with Portland thinner in the front court.
StudKarl-Anthony Towns, MIN at BKN, $10,100 — The Timberwolves have hinted at using Towns in a role similar to what Nikola Jokic ($9,600) plays for the Nuggets. The plan seems to be for the ball to be in Towns hands more often as he facilitates the offense. He’s shown to be a solid passer for a big man and averaged 3.4 assists per game last season, a number that we could see go way up this season. Towns kicks off the season in one of the easiest matchups possible. The Nets were the worst team in the league defending centers for DKFP purposes.
ValueBoban Marjanovic, DAL vs. WAS, $3,200 — All we need from Boban is a few minutes on the court for him to put together a solid fantasy game. Not many players can score fantasy points as quickly as the gentle giant. Last season he scored 1.32 DKFP per minute and there is reason to think he could play 15-20 minutes tonight. Dwight Powell has been ruled out for the first two games of the season, opening up a void in the Dallas front court.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is gehrenberg) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.