After two thrilling games on opening night, we have our first large slate of the NBA season. New rotations and multiple players making debuts with their new teams steal the headlines, but there are also players returning from serious injuries and plenty of elite game environments to target. While the games listed in the Honorable Mentions section at the end of the article are high on my list, they will be popular. Thus, discussed are a few spots that may go overlooked in tournaments. It’s a Wet Wednesday edition of the Gems – let’s ride.
You will see a reoccurring message across all articles, but it’s truly imperative to success. The way NBA news rolls in unlike any other sport makes every slate different. Thus, it’s crucial to use our proprietary NBA projections and cheat sheet to build your lineups. Be sure to join the Win Daily Discord to get the insight you need to win NBA DFS tournaments.
In a game that will largely go overlooked on a large NBA slate, there is offensive upside to be had. The Wizards offense will continue to run through Bradley Beal, who is expensive tonight, but his teammates are not. Kyle Kuzma is coming of a career year where he averaged 17.1/8.5/3.5 on 45.2% shooting through a 24.3% usage rate. Facing off versus a combination of poor defenders and inexperienced wings, he may not make my final lineup, but Kuzma draws intrigue in my preview.
On the flipside of this game, get used to seeing Tyrese Haliburton listed here early and often. In 13 games for the Pacers last season, Haliburton was electric. The usage was modest at 20.2%, but he averaged an 18/10.9 double-double while also grabbing nearly five rebounds per game. Facing a Wizards perimeter defense that struggles to guard primary ball handlers, Haliburton finds himself as a key component of my NBA lineups tonight.
The pace of this one will be off the charts and both teams carry a ton of upside. Brooklyn had an offseason to remember, involving storylines surrounding their two star players, but their rotation remains intact and now has reinforcements. Should you choose to go with a 1-2 punch at the top of the pricing grid tonight from the same game, this is it. Beginning with Kevin Durant, your NBA lineups can generate upside from a back and forth in this one. Durant can score with ease, dropping nearly 30 PPG last season through a 31.1% usage rate. One of the safest players in the league to log heavy minutes nightly, Durant not only has a safe floor, but one of the highest ceilings on this slate.
Making his return to an NBA floor in this one is none other than Zion Williamson. The former Duke standout missed all of last season, but is back after averaging 27/7.2/3.7 across 33 MPG in his last full campaign. In a glorious matchup versus a Nets defense that struggled mightily on the interior last season, Williamson is intriguing for tournaments, barring any minute limitations. The Nets allowed over 47 points in the paint per contest last season, and didn’t address their interior defense in the offseason. A force in the paint that averaged seven paint touches per game in his last full season, good for 10th in the NBA, Williamson makes for a good target in tournaments.
Let it be known that both of these teams are tanking for Victor Wembanyama. Arguably the most hyped NBA prospect since LeBron James, if you have not seen footage of his game, I suggest going to watch it as soon as possible. Needless to say that these types of game environments will be elite for NBA DFS this year and we won’t have to wait until the later stages of the season to get exposure to them. With LaMelo Ball (ankle) not playing in the Hornets’ season opener, look for both Kelly Oubre Jr. and Terry Rozier to take all the shots they can handle. With Ball off the court last season, both Rozier and Oubre Jr. saw increases in usage and fantasy production. Rozier saw his usage rate increase from 23.4% to 25.5%, while Oubre Jr. saw an increase in usage from 22.9% to 25.9%.
Gone is Dejounte Murray, the former face of the Spurs franchise, as they now enter their biggest rebuild since drafting Tim Duncan. With Murray now in Atlanta, there are so many touches to go around offensively and the Spurs are in arguably the best matchup NBA DFS has to offer. Charlotte ended last season 5th in pace and 22nd in net defensive rating, struggling across multiple positions and player types. Dominating usage for the Spurs early on is Tre Jones, who will be supported by the likes of Josh Primo and Devin Vassell in the backcourt, with the duo of Keldon Johnson and Jakob Poeltl manning the frontcourt. In eleven starts last season, Jones posted a 13.5/4.6/7.5 scoring line on 48.8% shooting all on a mere 17.5% usage rate.
You can find me on Twitter @BetsByGhost and in the Win Daily Discord
Ghost has been playing daily fantasy sports everyday for the past five years, in addition to his season-long expertise across various sports. He has since set out to combine his passions of finance and sports to successfully become a professional DFS player. Having multiple GPP wins over the course of the last year (2019), the Canadian known as “Ghost” is seeking bigger and better things in the future. Ghost loves a healthy balance of both cash games and tournament play, but prefers the latter, especially in NFL and NBA, where he mostly plays single entry GPPs and 3-max tournaments. The Montreal, Canada native is looking to put Win Daily Sports on the map by representing the North of the border in all fields, specifically NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB, and eSports.
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