Welcome in to a new year of Ben’s NBA DFS Building Blocks for DraftKings and FanDuel! In this article, I will highlight my favorite NBA DFS plays at each position for small-field tournament formats. If you’re interested in signing up for premium access, which grants you Core Plays for every slate, projections, Final Thoughts player pool + expert picks and our premium Discord click HERE. You can also sign up for our plethora of AI-driven sports betting tools and access to my weekly betting card by clicking HERE. Let’s get into the plays…
Welcome into the first big slate of the NBA season! Tonight, we have some pretty clear chalk due to some early mispricing from DraftKings, and some really interesting lower-owned options to go along with them. As it currently stands, here are the highest expected owned options on DK at the PG/SG spots: Desmond Bane, Tyus Jones, Zach LaVine, Jeremy Sochan, Jrue Holiday and Dennis Schroder.
We don’t have a ton of injuries to watch tonight, with Luka Doncic looking likely to play following going through shootaround. That leaves Darius Garland as the lone big question mark tonight. If he were ruled out, that would boost the likes of Donovan Mitchell and Caris LeVert into near must play territory.
I’m in agreement with a lot of the chalkier plays tonight due to the pricing being released in advance, it isn’t as efficient as it could be. Desmond Bane looks like a MIP candidate after averaging over 25 PPG in the pre-season. With Ja Morant out the first 25 games, he will be a staple for us the first few months of the season.
All of the Bulls big-three appeared underpriced tonight, and have a strong match-up against the Thunder. I think Vucevic is my preferred option of the trio, but all three can be used in all formats.
Players I like tonight that should be a bit lower owned are some of the spend-ups: Tyrese Haliburton, De’Aaron Fox and Jordan Poole. Haliburton was absolutely taking over to end last season, and this Wizards team will be one of the worst in the league this season. That game features one of the higher O/U’s on the slate, and pairing him with Poole is something I am considering in GPPs.
Fox absolutely cooked Utah last season, and is projecting for just 4% OWN% tonight. This is the type of player you can use in tournaments to differentiate a chalkier team, or someone you can swap onto if you early players let you down.
I also want to mention Tyler Herro. Herro is one of the guys I’m expecting a big leap from this season, and he looked like one of the focal points of the Heat offense in the preseason. He has a well above-average match-up vs Miami to start the season, and can be used in all formats on Wednesday.
PF is loaded tonight, with all of Jaren Jackson Jr, Evan Mobley, Obi Toppin and DeMar DeRozan carrying pOWN% numbers over 20%.
I agree with the numbers on all of these plays. Mobley gets a big boost starting at C for the injured Jarrett Allen, while Obi Toppin was left at min-price despite his starting role for Indiana. Toppin will be on 100% of my teams tonight on DK. Jackson is at-risk of foul trouble vs Zion Williamson, but is too cheap for his role sans Ja Morant.
Deni Avdija is someone I’m a huge fan of (you know if you’ve read my content) but I’m worried about how much we will see promising rookie Bilal Coulibaly. If Avdija is going to be chalky, I’m fine coming in underweight.
Pivots I like here are Brandon Ingram, Scottie Barnes and Ben Simmons. Simmons had a fantastic preseason and looks healthy and back to his old ways. At only $5,900 he can stuff the stat sheet on DK, and correlates with Evan Mobley on the other side.
Center is stacked on DK tonight, with all of Jackson/Mobley/Tobbin available there, as well as Myles Turner and Nikola Vucevic. All of these players carry over 20% projected ownership numbers tonight.
Turner has one of the best match-ups on the board. Washington profiles as one of the softest front-court teams in the league this season, and we saw Turner’s willingness to shoot the three ball last season as well. He’s had some big games vs WAS in the past, and I like him in all formats tonight.
Vooch could absolutely dominate the Thunder inside, and this is a guy that has had success vs softer front-courts. He was amazing in the preseason, and looks much more locked in to start 2023 than we saw from him at times last season.
For leverage plays in the mid-tier — I would be looking at Xavier Tillman in any non-JJJ lineup, as well as Jabari Smith who had a great pre-season for HOU.
The main play for me here has to be Victor Wembenyama. I’m not sure if we can truly guess how much he will be owned, especially in lower-dollar buy-ins, but right now he is carrying a 1% pOWN%. If he is actually this low-owned on DraftKings, I really want to be aggressive playing him. He put up video game-like numbers per-36 in the preseason, and we have no reason to believe he will play less than 30 minutes tonight. He was averaging almost five blocks per 36, and will be matching up with the Mavs rookie center Dereck Lively…All aboard!
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)