The Vegas Lines
Highest Scoring Games
Nuggets vs. Rockets – This game opens as the highest scoring game of the night with a 214 o/u. This game could also get out of hand quickly if the Nuggets can’t maintain their pace. The Rockets like to move fast and Harden will be fouled a lot, look for points galore in this one.
Clippers vs. Kings – This West Coast frenzy will be a shootout with a 211 o/u. CP3 and company will look to start their campaign for a World Championship. The Kings may be without Rudy Gay, but George Karl will feed DMC and the Kings should stay in the game.
Lowest Scoring Games
Hornets vs. Heat – Steve Clifford likes to play slow and the Hornets come in at one of the lowest scoring games of the night at 193 points. The Hornets always play the Heat tight and this game will be all about defense. There won’t be a lot of fantasy goodness in the form of points, but there may be some value based on lower salaries of key players.
Jazz vs. Pistons – SVG has produced some 63-60 slobberknockers in the past, this 188.5 o/u may be no different. The Pistons will be rolling a back to back and the Jazz lack the firepower to run the score up. Guys like Hayward for the Jazz and Drummond for the Pistons, are in play, but if you are looking for points you may want to look elsewhere.
Pace of Play
Fastest Projected Games
Nuggets vs. Rockets – High scoring usually means a fast pace and the Rockets are one of the fastest paced teams in the NBA. Houston averaged 101.5 possessions a game last season and don’t look to be slowing down. Where do the Nuggets come in at you ask, 3rd, with 100 possessions a game. The players in this one will keep the gas pedal down all game.
Mavericks vs. Suns – Jeff Hornacek wants his players to push the ball all game. The Suns have two guards that are entirely capable of playing in Hornacek’s scheme. At 100.5 possessions a game last year the Suns proved that they are going to play fast. It will be interesting to see how the Mavericks start off, but we can count on Hornacek wanting to move.
Slowest Projected Games
Jazz vs. Pistons – The Jazz and the Pistons both ranked toward the bottom of NBA pace statistics last season. Each team averaged a whopping 96 possessions a game. Slow and steady usually wins the race, but in daily fantasy basketball this isn’t the case.
Cavs vs. Grizzlies – Both teams come into this matchup averaging 95.9 possessions a game. The Cavs will be playing the 2nd leg of a Back to Back and the Griz like to get the ball into the post. A snorefest yes, but the Cavs will be looking for their first win of the season.
Defense vs. Position
Best PG Matchup
Chris Paul vs. Rajon Rondo/Darren Collison – CP3 is a defensive force, but can also get it done on the offensive glass. George Karl has tapped Rondo as the Kings starter, but we could potentially see a minutes split between Rondo and Collison. Honestly, it really doesn’t matter who starts, CP3 has the ability to light up the night against one of the worst teams against PGs this preseason.
Worst PG Matchup
Mo Williams vs. Mike Conley – Mo had a great opening night for fantasy players, but tonight is another animal. The veteran comes off a back to back and gets one of the stingiest defensive teams in the NBA. Mike Conley and the Griz have given everyone fits, including the MVP last year during the playoffs. Mo should have opportunities, but he will definitely have to work for it against the 2nd best team against PGs.
Best SG Matchup
James Harden vs. Gary Harris – This should honestly be a no brainer, heck do we really even know who Gary Harris is? Harden will be looking to prove to everyone who the real MVP is and the Nuggets simply can’t guard the SG position. Containing James is difficult for an elite defender, let alone a new kid on the block. James Harden should be highly owned this evening.
Worst SG Matchup
Bojan Bogdanovic vs. Jimmy Butler – The Nets are riddled with injury and Bogdanovic gets the pleasure of drawing Jimmy Butler this evening, sounds like a recipe for disaster. The Bulls opened the season off with a win against the Cavs last night and Butler helped lead the way. Butler has only given up an average of 30 FPs to opposing SGs this season and tonight should be more of the same.
Best SF Matchup
Otto Porter vs. Aaron Gordon- Porter started to come into his own last season and has continued to build on this during the preseason. He draws the absolute worst team against SFs on the night. With everybody migrating to LBJ and KD, Porter could be a sneaky source of value tonight.
Worst SF Matchup
Luol Deng vs. Nicolas Batum- This matchup could work either way. Both guys are elite NBA defenders and usually play shutdown defense against opposing teams. With a slow pace and low scoring predicted I think it is best to look elsewhere for value.
Best PF Matchup
Kenneth Faried vs. Terrence Jones- Houston has trouble guarding the PF, this is no secret. This is partly because Terrence Jones has issues staying healthy, but also because of the pace they like to run. The Manimal will be called on to do a lot and should have no problem getting his fair share of points/rebounds. He is in a great spot to potentially reach value tonight.
Worst PF Matchup
Meyers Leonard vs. Anthony Davis – The Brow is coming off of a mediocre performance in Dub Country and should be looking for vengeance tonight. Meyers Leonard has the ability to be a stretch 4 and step out for the 3 ball, but unfortunately that’s pretty much all we can say to his credit. The Brow is searching for this seasons first win and will do all it takes to get it tonight.
Best C Matchup
Clint Capela vs. Joffrey Lauvergne- If you read this column throughout the season you will see a common theme…play bigs against the Nuggets. This matchup even throws another carrot our way as Capela gets the start in place of Dwight Howard. So a bare minimum priced guy versus the worst team against Cs in the league, you’re welcome.
Worst C Matchup
Timofey Mozgov vs. Marc Gasol – Memphis plays great D, this was mentioned earlier in the write-up. Marc Gasol is one of the best defensive Cs around and gets to take on a hobbled up Mozgov tonight. It wouldn’t surprise me to see a bigger minutes split with Mozgov and Varejao tonight, but neither player will be finding their way into my line this evening.
Lineup Quick Hits
Superstar Worth Paying For
James Harden ($10,100) – The Nuggets vs Rockets game should produce a lot of points and James Harden has the ability to put up a 4th of his team’s points. Harden is coming off an amazing 2014-2015 campaign in which he was in the running for MVP all year. Harden wants to prove that he is an MVP and should come out firing tomorrow night.
Save Big Bucks By Drafting
Nikola Mirotic ($6,400) – Mirotic has fit right in to Hoiberg’s offense. He has earned the starting PF spot and had a nice game against the Cavs. The only worry here is that he is on a back to back, but Mirotic is young and can fill a stat sheet. He would be more of a must play at 5,000 or less, but he has great value based on price on the large slate.
Dud of the Night
LaMarcus Aldridge ($8,100) – LMA was fantasy gold during his time in Portland, but unfortunately he is in the land of the Pop. He will get his minutes with the Spurs, but the ball has to touch a lot of hands in San Antonio. Coming in at an elite price, while playing true team ball could make for a depressing outing.