Welcome to another NBA season! As we kick off the 2014-15 year, keep in mind that there are only three games on the schedule for Tuesday’s opener. Good luck!
POINT GUARD TARGETS
- Jrue Holiday vs. ORL ($7800) – Don’t be concerned if you’re worried about Holiday’s injury situation – he’s ready to go. Averaging 34.7 FPPG last season, Holiday is about as good ad it gets at the PG slot for the season opener. Defensively, Orlando won’t present too much of a problem.
- Jeremy Lin vs. HOU ($6400) – With the news that Steve Nash is done for the season, Lin gets an opportunity right away to secure the bulk of the minutes for the Lakers at PG. He does just about everything from a boxscore perspective, although one can hope that he bumps up his assist totals in the 2014-15 season. Lin is actually at a very reasonable $6400 salary.
- Patrick Beverly vs. LAL ($5100) – I wouldn’t call Beverly an extreme value here, but he does give a solid 22.1 FPPG for the price. The word is that Beverly improved his shot over the offseason and should be in line for a slight increase across the board with his PPG total from last year. I like the matchup as well facing the Lakers who won’t be that good defensively.
- Devin Harris vs. SA ($4200) – Again, the value isn’t tremendous here but you’ve got to consider the choices available on a very limited opening day slate of games. Harris should be the first guard off the bench for the Mavericks and has the opportunity to push his minutes well over the 21.1 he averaged in 2013-14.
SHOOTING GUARD TARGETSStuds
- James Harden vs. LAL ($10200) – It’s going to be tricky using Harden Tuesday considering the limited amount of choices with only three games scheduled. If you’re good at running with the “Studs and Duds” lineup then there isn’t a better player to go with than Harden. Well, maybe one player I can think of I’d rather have over Harden in every lineup! Averaging 38.3 minutes per game and 44.2 FPPG last year, Harden is superstar material.
- Monta Ellis vs. SA ($7800) – I’m not thrilled about the matchup, but I am positive that Ellis will chuck the ball up enough to be worth the chance at $7800. With 243 three-point shot attempts last year, Ellis should see an uptick there with the Mavericks.
- Danny Green vs. DAL ($4500) – Considering what’s available in this price range, Green offers good value assuming he nets 20-25 minutes on Tuesday. I wish he did a bit more defensively, but I’ll take what he contributes normally with his shot. And to be perfectly fair, Green does contribute well enough in all categories to slot here.
- Manu Ginobili vs. DAL ($4800) – The major concern with Ginobili every season is his injury history, and it looks like he’s battling minor injuries right now; however, he’s expected to be ready to go for the Spurs on Tuesday. If you’re looking for someone to fill the boxscore up for you at a reasonable tag, Ginobili is your guy.
SMALL FORWARD TARGETS
- Trevor Ariza vs. LAL ($6200) – Ariza is someone that normally wouldn’t be in the “stud” range, but again we’re faced with the options available considering the opening day schedule. There may not be a better defensive option available, but I know – it’s total points that matters. You can count on Ariza to get you the minutes to put up around 30-35 points in Tuesday’s contest.
- Chandler Parsons vs. SA ($7300) – I keep beating this into the ground, but I love players that can contribute across the board and fill up a stat line. Averaging 32.8 FPPG in 2013-14, Parsons has a fantastic shot at jumping up his FPPG number in his first season with the Mavericks. Oh, and it looks like injury-wise Parsons is good to go.
- Maurice Harkless vs. NO ($4600) – Look for third-year man Harkless to really take a jump up in his production. I expect Harkless to get more minutes this season in a starting capacity and to really generate across-the-board production. If there’s a negative here it’s Harkless’ lack of free throw production, although that should be improved this season.
- Wesley Johnson vs. HOU ($4000) – Johnson is going to get the opportunity for an early season minute increase considering the injury situation with the Lakers right now. I dig guys that can give me defensive stats, while also being able to put up the rock. Johnson’s 21.2 FPPG total should see improvement on the season with his minutes jump.
POWER FORWARD TARGETS
- Anthony Davis vs. ORL ($9500) – In only his second season in 2013-14, Davis saw a big jump up in production from his rookie year. I expect the same this season, although not quite as drastic. Davis is as good as it gets in the PF slot on Tuesday, although you certainly have to use a big chunk of your cap to land him. I’m okay with that if you are, considering his 44 FPPG average last season.
- Dirk Nowitzki vs. SA ($7400) – The season-opening price on Nowitzki isn’t bad actually, considering how safe you should feel regarding fantasy points from the big guy. Defensively, things won’t come easy for Nowtizki in the opener, but I have confidence that he’ll get his numbers anyhow. He’s certainly worth the risk at the price.
- Ryan Anderson vs. ORL ($5800) – I don’t really see Anderson as a “stud” option, but I don’t see him as a total value play either. But, I can’t help myself anyway and list him as a value play considering his ability to shoot three pointers. Plus, it looks like Anderson’s minutes will bump due to the Pelicans slotting Anderson in at SF as well as the PF slot. The versatility will be fantastic this season, even if it’s only a bump in average minutes played.
- Julius Randle vs. HOU ($4800) – I really don’t know what to expect in the first game of the season for Randle. He could get as many as 20 minutes, or as little as 5 minutes. He’s a risk in this slot, but if you’re willing to take the chance and if you’re got a good solid lineup built around a couple of superstars, then why not? The kid is obviously talented and we all know that Carlos Boozer isn’t getting any younger and his minutes aren’t expected to hike up anytime soon.
- Dwight Howard vs. LAL ($8800) – Howard will be ready for Tuesday’s game, which is why I slot him here. He’s an elite play and shouldn’t have a difficult time facing the Lakers. Howard is a double-double option just about every night averaging 41.9 FPPG last year.
- Nikola Vucevic vs. NO ($7600) – You have to love what you’re getting from Vucevic for the $7600 price tag. That salary should bump up quite a bit as the season progresses, with the expectation that Vucevic’s numbers jump across the board. The kid is a double-double threat every night while giving owners nice block totals.
- Tyson Chandler vs. SA ($5700) – At 25.8 FPPG last season, I love the points-per-salary value to start the season off for Chandler. Chandler is someone you want in your lineup for his defensive abilities, but don’t lock him out regarding double-digit point production from the court. Chandler has the chance to be the most valuable player in your lineup on Tuesday considering what he can do for the salary.
- Robert Sacre vs. HOU ($3000) – If you’re digging in the $3000 range to fill out your lineup, then Sacre is someone to take a look at. There’s no guarantee he’ll get enough minutes to be worth it, but this is an all-risk play because you just need a body to fill out your lineup. Don’t be surprised to see Sacre get some solid contributing minutes off the bench for the Lakers on Tuesday.
Good luck on Tuesday, and if you’re interested in the Twitter thing you can catch me here: @TheRolyPolyBoy