WATCH: NBA MATCHUPS – DRAYMOND GREEN
The NBA season is finally here, and we tip-off the first night with a three-game slate. Although it is a small slate, there are still a decent amount of studs to choose from, so let’s dive right in.
Stephen Curry ($9,600) – Curry averaged 0.82 points per minute in the preseason, and although this Warriors team is loaded with a lot of talent, based on the preseason, Curry remains one of the top options on this team. He also has a favorable matchup against Tony Parker who is another year older and will likely have trouble keeping up with Curry. In three of the four games against the Spurs last season, Curry topped 50 DraftKings points. He is also under $10,000 which is a plus as he was a five figure salary player for most of last season.
Other Options – Damian Lillard $8,500, Kyrie Irving $8,000
George Hill ($5,300) – Hill averaged 9.2 shot attempts in 22.8 minutes per game in the preseason. Assuming he plays the 30+ minutes he is expected to play, we could see him take upwards of 12 shot attempts. Based on the preseason, it is clear that he has been given the green light to be more aggressive on his new team. In two games against the Blazers last season, Hill averaged 28.2 minutes per game, 13.5 shot attempts, 16 points, four assists, 3.5 rebounds and 26.4 DraftKings points per game. Last season, Portland was amongst the top 12 in game pace. The potential game flow could play into Hill’s favor, and he comes at a reasonable price.
C.J. McCollum ($6,300) – Some people might be concerned about the matchup because the Jazz play at a very slow pace, but McCollum has fared well against them in the past. Last season, in four games against the Jazz, he exceeded value 75 percent of the time by an average of 6.85 points, per Fantasy Labs. He hit 6X in two of those games, smashing value each of those times. If you look back at last season, his average salary against the Jazz was $7,150, making him a bargain to start the season. He is one of my top options at the guard position in tonight’s slate. Keep in mind, he is eligible for the point guard position and could be played in that slot if you are trying to spend less there.
Other Options – Klay Thompson $6,500
Jonathon Simmons ($3,000) – Simmons sat out of the preseason finale with a calf contusion, but he is expected to play in the season opener against the Warriors. The Spurs will be without Danny Green, so Simmons could see some extra minutes in this contest. The Warriors play paced up, which could create more opportunities for Simmons. At min price and potentially playing 20-25 minutes in this contest, he has a good shot at hitting value and possibly exceeding it. Keep an eye on his status prior to lineup lock, but at this time he is expected to give it a go.
Other Options – Courtney Lee $3,700
LeBron James ($9,000) – James took it easy in the preseason, averaging 18.6 minutes per game, but now that the regular season is underway, he should play his regular 35+ minutes. He averaged 50 DraftKings points per game in four games against the Knicks last season. Melo is not known for his defensive skills, so LeBron should be able to score at will. It is worth noting, that he is eligible for the power forward position as well.
Other Options – Carmelo Anthony $7,600, Kawhi Leonard $7,600, Kevin Durant $9,400
Maurice Harkless ($3,700) – Harkless will get the start at small forward in the season opener for the Trail Blazers. He earned this by outperforming Evan Turner in the preseason, but I anticipate both will play relatively similar minutes. Harkless finished last season on a positive note and even logged in some big minutes in the post season and posted solid numbers. At this price, he should be considered a bargain and he see anywhere between 22-26 minutes in this contest. He averaged nearly a point per minutes in four games against the Jazz last season, averaging 22 DraftKings points per game.
Other Options – Kyle Anderson $3,500, Evan Turner $4,700
Kevin Love ($7,000) – Against the Knicks last season, Love averaged 37 DraftKings points per game and a double-double. He didn’t log many minutes during the preseason and should be well rested for a matchup that favors him. Keep in mind, he is eligible for the center position, and with the lack of options there tonight, he is certainly an option.
Other Options – Draymond Green $7,200, LaMarcus Aldridge $7,100, Kristaps Porzingis $7,400
Al-Farouq Aminu ($4,400) – Portland is a deep team this season, and aside from Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum, scoring will likely be inconsistent for the most part, but Aminu contributes in several categories aside from points such as rebounds and three-pointers. In his last 10 games of last season, he had four double-doubles. He was very hit or miss in the 2015-16 season but at this price he offers 6X upside, which is what you want to shoot for in tournaments.
Mason Plumlee ($4,900) – On paper, this does not appear like the best matchup, but I think a center like Plumlee will be just fine against this front court. Rudy Gobert clogs up the paint and destroys post-play endlessly, but Plumlee is a center that plays everywhere except the paint. If you look back at last season, Plumlee averaged over a point per minute against the Jazz and double-digit rebounds per game. While he isn’t the safest play, there is plenty of upside and ownership should be low.
Other Options – Trey Lyles $3,600 (GPP only)
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Armando28) 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.