It’s been a pretty impressive start to the 2019-20 NBA season. We’re only four days in and we’ve already seen some amazing performances. Karl-Anthony Towns seemingly can’t be stopped in the post or beyond the arc, Trae Young ($8,800) dropped 38 points and some logo threes in the Hawks’ opening win of the campaign, and Luka Doncic notched his first triple-double of the year in Dallas’ victory over New Orleans on Friday night. Those are just off the top of my head, too. Still, we don’t necessarily care about points scored in the past, we care about who’s going to be scoring points in our DFS lineups this evening.
Its a nine-game featured slate on DraftKings. Let’s break it all down.
StudKyle Lowry, TOR at CHI, $7,300 – While I am somewhat hesitant about using the 33-year-old, 15-year veteran on the second night of a back-to-back, I’m just not sure what Nick Nurse’s other options are at this point. The Raptors’ head coach clearly does not trust the back-end of his bench, and that’s meant eight or nine-man rotations with Patrick McCaw ($3,100) and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson ($3,400) unavailable to play to this point. It has also meant a whole lot of responsibilities for Lowry. Through a pair of games, the All-Star is averaging an NBA-high 109.0 touches and, along with teammate Fred VanVleet ($6,200), is one of only two players seeing 40-plus minutes a night. It hasn’t been empty volume, either. Lowry’s putting up 25.5 points and 45.1 DKFP per contest. Put simply, Lowry provides an insane amount of floor with a price-point slightly over $7K.
Other Options: Kemba Walker ($8,200), Malcolm Brogdon ($6,500)
ValueDerrick Rose, DET vs. PHI, $4,900 – Philadelphia only surrendered 90.3 points per 100 possessions in its first contest of 2019-20, but Rose’s potential situation this evening trumps the tough matchup. Reggie Jackson ($4,800) is questionable to play tonight as he continues to deal with a nagging back injury that forced him off the court in the second half on Thursday night. I’d be surprised if the Pistons didn’t approach this scenario with caution; however, even if he does play, Rose is clearly the main shot creator and ball handler on this roster. His .697 true shooting percentage will fade over time, yet the fact the former MVP leads Detroit in both usage rate (33.1%) and field goal attempts per 36 minutes (18.7) is massive. You likely won’t be able to get him below $5K much longer.
Other Option: Coby White ($4,700)
StudJames Harden, HOU vs. NO, $10,200 – Harden had an awful shooting performance in his first game flanked by Russell Westbrook ($9,100) in over a half decade, yet don’t take that to mean his role or fantasy upside is somehow diminishing. Harden still led all Rockets players with 85 touches, he still posted a massive 29.3% usage rate in the 47 possessions he shared the court with Westbrook and he still finished the night with an insane 29 potential assists. Plus, while it’s difficult enough to fade Harden on any slate, it’s especially hard when he’s playing in the contest with easily the highest O/U on the schedule (237.5). If I’m spending up at guard, he’s my main target.
Other Option: Jrue Holiday ($8,500)
Editor’s Note: Holiday (knee) has been ruled out for tonight’s game vs. the Rockets.
ValueJaylen Brown, BOS at NYK, $5,000 – If you’re trying to figure out which Brown box score you want to put your faith in, I’d suggest the one where he wasn’t in early foul trouble and playing one of the better defenses in the NBA. Brown looked like a man worthy of a lucrative contract extension on Friday, collecting 25 points, nine rebounds and 46.25 DKFP against Toronto in 38 minutes of action. I’d be surprised to see him on the court quite that much this evening, yet the Knicks have looked frisky each of their first two games. New York’s also pushed the pace. A lot. The Knicks have averaged a whopping 109.75 possessions per 48 minutes so far in 2019-20 – the league’s third most. Brown may not be the No. 1 option on the Celtics, but how often do you find a player at $5K who just took 20 shots in his most recent matchup?
Other Option: Luke Kennard ($4,900)
StudBrandon Ingram, NO at HOU, $6,900 – Allow me to keep collecting components of what appears to be this slate’s highest-scoring affair. Through two games, Ingram looks like the player that we’ve been expecting to take the leap each of the past two seasons. He’s averaging 23.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per contest, all while shooting 50% from beyond the arc on 6.0 attempts a night. Yes, the sample size is minuscule and there’s no way a 28.0% usage rate sustains when Zion Williamson comes back into the fold in a month or two, but that’s a problem for the future. In the present, Ingram should not be priced below $7K.
Other Options: Kawhi Leonard ($8,900), Jayson Tatum ($6,500)
ValueJosh Hart, NO at HOU, $3,600 – Hart’s workload might not be quite as set-in-stone as Ingram’s, however, he’s another player who’s price point simply doesn’t match their production or matchup. Even in what appears to be an 11-man rotation for the Pelicans, Hart’s logged at least 26 minutes in both the team’s contests, averaging 15.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 32.1 DKFP. The numbers on the glass seem precarious to say the least, but there’s real value in a wing being utilized this often for a squad that led the NBA in pace during the second half of last season. It’s also just hard to ignore an asset that’s exceeded 9x value both times he’s taken the court in 2019-20.
Other Option: P.J. Tucker ($4,200)
StudDomantas Sabonis, IND at CLE, $7,500 – This isn’t a knock on Cleveland’s interior defense and rebounding. In fact, with Kevin Love ($8,400), Tristan Thompson ($5,700) and Larry Nance Jr. ($5,000) all healthy, the Cavaliers should be one of the best rebounding teams in all of basketball. No, this is a reaction to Sabonis’ introduction to the Pacers’ starting lineup and his playing 36 minutes in their opening matchup of the season on Wednesday. It wasn’t a fluke that the Gonzaga product scored 27 points and grabbed 13 boards. Sabonis’ 52 front count touches, 11 paint touches and 10 touches at the elbow currently lead all Eastern Conference players on a per game basis. If he’s going to be that involved in the offense, I don’t care who’s guarding him.
Other Options: Pascal Siakam ($8,500), Julius Randle ($8,000)
ValueRui Hachimura, WAS at SA, $5,100 – There’s something to be said for being a big fish in a small pond. Especially following the loss of Jordan McRae, the Wizards simply only have a few guys that can score the basketball. Hachimura is one of those individuals, so, through process of elimination, he gets to take a bunch of shots. It’s not like the lottery pick doesn’t have the capacity to turn this opportunity into something of value, either. While it certainly helps that he and Bradley Beal ($9,000) are the lone two players averaging more than 20 field goal attempts per 100 possessions for Washington, Hachimura’s also grabbing 7.5 rebounds per game and shooting 53.6% from two-point range. Enjoy the duopoly while the first-year forward’s price remains low.
Other Option: Serge Ibaka ($5,700)
StudNikola Vucevic, ORL at ATL, $8,300 – It’s currently unclear how much of a difference a few new faces in the Hawks’ rotation will make, but Atlanta had some serious issues limiting opposing big men last season. Vucevic, in particular, was an unstoppable force of nature when he got into this matchup. In four games, the All-Star averaged 25.0 points and 14.3 rebounds with a .646 true shooting percentage. Again, its up for debate as to whether or not any of that matters, but, even if it doesn’t, we’re talking about Orlando’s No. 1 scoring option and a man who’s going to see about 35 minutes of action this evening. With peak Vucevic consistently priced above $9K last year, there’s some obvious room to bring back value.
Other Option: Andre Drummond ($9,500)
ValueAron Baynes, PHO vs. LAC, $4,800 – Baynes’ price has jumped $1,600 in less than 24 hours, but the shift is justified considering the performance we witnessed on Friday. Baynes started, played 29 minutes and collected a respectable 15 points and seven rebounds before fouling out. However, the more meaningful development when it comes to projecting the veteran’s minutes might have been how competent Phoenix’s defense looked with Baynes manning the back line. You might want to play Frank Kaminsky ($4,000), who logged more minutes and scored more DKFP than Baynes on Friday, yet understand that his final numbers were inflated by overtime and 11 free throw attempts. Baynes is the Suns’ big man you want.
Other Option: Mitchell Robinson ($5,200)
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) 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.