Top Tier: John Wall- Most would see the matchup against Toronto and be worried, but the Raptors are traveling to DC after an emotional win against the Celtics and now Kawhi Leonard is out. Vegas set this game at a 216 O/U and it has since jumped all the way up to 220. Wall remains under-priced on DraftKings and is a fantastic play there, he’s still in play on FanDuel but you also aren’t getting a discount.
Mid Tier: Damian Lillard/Kyle Lowry- I know people will see Lillard vs San Antonio and probably move on, but the man is only $8,200 on DraftKings coming off a 28-6-4 opening game. The Spurs are missing some key defenders with Dejounte Murray hurt, and Kawhi Leonard gone as I pointed out on opening night. I’m not scared of this matchup and the salary is too good on Dame to pass up.
The other popular play here will be Kyle Lowry, who should pick up some extra usage and assists with Kawhi Leonard resting tonight. Both of these guys are strong plays, and can be used in all formats.
Low Tier: Jamal Murray- Murray doesn’t fit the typical “low tier” play, but this guy is way, way too cheap across the industry tonight. He played over 30 minutes in the Nuggets first game, but was a victim of poor shooting as he knocked down just three of 12 shots. The matchup is much better tonight against the Phoenix Suns who were the definition of a defensive sieve to the PG position last season. I like a few other plays in this game, so it’s nice to add-in Murray for correlation.
Cheaper Options (in order of preference): Darren Collison, Cam Payne, Fred VanVleet
Top Tier: James Harden- Much like LeBron (soon to come), I don’t think I need to really dive into what makes Harden a strong play in all formats. It’s James freaking Harden. This is the premier game of the night against the Lakers in real-life and in fantasy, and it’s all about whether or not you can fit in his salary or not.
Mid Tier: Victor Oladipo- Dipo gets a huge matchup boost tonight in terms of pace, and the fact that the Nets are playing their third game in four nights already. He hasn’t exploded yet this season, but he’s fell victim to a pair of blowouts and if there was ever a spot for him to get back on track it’s this one against the Nets.
Low Tier: Luka Doncic (FanDuel)- Doncic is point guard only on DraftKings, and I like him a lot there as well, but I included him here given all the other PG options on this slate. Doncic struggled to shoot and with turnovers in his first ever NBA game, but that doesn’t change the fact that he posted a 29% usage rate and looked fantastic passing and rebounding the ball. I’m assuming he will be low-owned given his opening night “let down” but I’m going right back to the well tonight.
Top Tier: LeBron James- LeBron posted a 31% usage rate in his first ever game as a Laker, and no he lines up against the Houston Rockets in a game with a monster 234 O/U in Vegas. You also have the narrative of it being LeBron’s first home game in LA, and I don’t think I really need to convince you why he’s a strong play. It comes down to Bron vs Harden on FanDuel and DraftKings and I think as of now I would lean towards LeBron.
Mid Tier: Josh Richardson- It’s funny to see Richardson at this price, but with some of the Heat’s injuries he has been locked into huge minutes and he has made some big adjustments to his game this season. I’ve always been a Richardson guy as you know, but he has taken on a much bigger role in the offense this season and sports a 27% usage rate alongside the other starters. We know he has peripheral ability, but with him commanding a bigger offensive load now he has the ability to continue to beat his price.
Low Tier: CJ Miles (FanDuel)- This falls under the FanDuel low score dropper of the day category, as Miles should see a few more minutes with Kawhi Leonard out. He has an extremely low floor, and only played 12 minutes last night, but that number should increase tonight and if you play him you are most likely assuming his score will be dropped anyways in hopes of jamming in an extra stud.
UPDATE: With Jimmy Butler out, you can consider Andrew Wiggins a great SF play in the Richardson tier.
Top Tier: LaMarcus Aldridge- Aldridge posted a 23.5% usage rate in the Spurs first game averaging just north of 1.1 fantasy points per minute. The biggest takeaway for me was that Aldridge played 41 minutes, and he should continue to do so with the Spurs lacking playmakers outside of Demar Derozan and maybe Rudy Gay? They are hurting with Murray out for the year, and the offense can flow through Aldridge…and we need to mention the hint of #revenge we have with him taking on his former team.
Mid Tier: Bobby Portis- This is the easiest play of the day, as Portis remains under-priced despite him dropping a 20-11 double-double in 33 minutes in the Bulls opener against the 76ers. With Lauri Markannen out, he is locked into heavy minutes and we can roster him with confidence until his price is moved up.
Low Tier: TOR PF’s- Minutes and usage will be plenty available for the Toronto Raptors tonight, and I like the value available here with their power forwards. Given the pricing, you can look at Paskal Siakam on DraftKings and Serge Ibaka on FanDuel. The O/U in this game is up to 220 after opening at 216 and it’s nice to bring back you Wall rosters with some Raps.
Top Tier: Nikola Jokic- I love Joker’s counterpart, DeAndre Ayton, tonight as well, but on the opposite side Ayton is not known as a strong defender. He has one of the highest ceilings on the slate if he can stay out of foul trouble, and he is one of the few center’s that possess triple double upside every time he takes the court. This is one of the most attractive games of the night for me, and Jokic should fall behind Harden/LeBron in ownership.
Mid Tier: DeAndre Ayton- Ayton remains under-priced even after he had an impressive 18-10-6 debut. The Suns pace in the preseason looks like it could be a trend that will continue into the season, and with the Suns no longer running like they have in the past, Ayton will benefit from the expected pace in this game against the Denver Nuggets, hence the 224 O/U. Ayton was limited at practice yesterday, but he was bumped up to probably for tonight’s game early Saturday.
Low Tier: Myles Turner- I’m just going to keep writing up centers against the Nets until the field comes to their senses, as I’ve successfully deployed Andre Drummond and Enes Kanter in back to back games at low ownership. Turner should fly under the radar after “struggling” in two blowouts to start the season, and he and Thad Young received a bump Saturday when Domantas Sabonis was ruled out.
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)