NBA daily fantasy basketball is back! The biggest appeal of NBA DFS to me is how often you get to play. There’s NBA games just about every night. Tonight, we have a small three game slate, acting as an appetizer of sort for Wednesday’s huge twelve game full course meal. I’m going to cover two players from each game, one from each team. I tried to cover both cash games and GPP tournaments. You’re going to want to focus mainly on players from the Rockets/Lakers game and the Mavericks/Spurs as Vegas says those will be the higher scoring games.
So without further ado, here are the guys I’m looking at for the first night of the 2014-2015 NBA Season!
Jeremy Lin (DraftKings $6,400, FanDuel $5,500) – GPP
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With Steve Nash now out for the season, it’s officially Lin’s show in Los Angeles. Well, it’s Kobe’s show, but you get what I mean. Ronnie Price is the only other PG on the roster and he’s hurt. If Lin doesn’t play 35-40 minutes I’ll be shocked. Even being matched up against Patrick Beverley, Lin should be able to do enough to hit value. High over/under means lots of possessions so Lin should have plenty of opportunities for a big game. As much as I like Lin tonight, I can’t recommend him for cash games on DraftKings due to Tony Parker being the same price.
Trevor Ariza (DraftKings $6,200, FanDuel $6,100) – Cash, GPP
Replacing Chandler Parsons in the starting lineup for Houston is Trevor Ariza. Last year in 3 games vs the Lakers, Parsons average 17 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists. I expect Ariza to get a similar line, possibly with more rebounds but less assists. Ariza is a do it all type of player which is good and bad for DFS. In my opinion, if you want to be contrarian and go off of Harden, Ariza is probably a pretty safe pivot.
Anthony Davis (DraftKings: $9,500, FanDuel $10,100) – Cash, GPP
What do I need to write about this guy that hasn’t been written a million times? He’s matchup proof. He’s a Top 5 player in the league. In two games vs Orlando last year, Davis averaged 24 points and 18 rebounds. I’m not saying he’s going to have quite that big of a performance but I do think he is a must play. The addition of of Omer Asik should lighten the defensive and rebounding responsibilities for Davis, and allow him to be the focal point of the offense. I don’t know if you HAVE choose between either Davis or Howard but if that’s the decision you’re having to make, it’s Davis for me.
Evan Fournier (DraftKings $3,000, FanDuel $4,500) – GPP
Fournier is likely to start at shooting guard in place of Oladipo. NBA DFS is all about value and you don’t get much better value than a minimum salary in the starting lineup. He doesn’t need to do much to pay off his price. However, the Magic do still have Willie Green and Ben Gordon at SG on the roster, so Jacque Vaughn does have options if Fournier struggles. There’s also the possibility of Payton moving to the SG spot at times with Luke Ridnour at point. There is definitely upside to Fournier but I am not quite comfortable rostering him for cash games.
Boris Diaw (DraftKings $4,400, FanDuel $4,200) – GPP
Chances are, Tiago Splitter will miss the first game of the season. That should lead to Tim Duncan starting at center and opening up the starting PF spot for Boris Diaw. Diaw started one game vs Dallas last year and played 29 minutes. Diaw is not going to dominate the night for your team, but he is capable of giving you a little bit of everything as well as some salary relief.
Jameer Nelson (DraftKings $4,600, FanDuel $6,000), Devin Harris (DraftKings $4,200, FanDuel $4,300) – GPP
You’re going to want to pay for the Dwight Howard’s and the James Harden’s of the world, so going cheap at PG is not a bad idea. Normally I stay away from players going against the Spurs, but the prices of Nelson and Harris are low enough that I wouldn’t shy away completely. Nelson is slated to start and since Raymond Felton is out, Gal Mekel (yuck!) is the only other PG on roster after these two. For cash games this is a spot to avoid but, one of these two could deliver a decent night to round out your GPPs.
As always you can hit me up on Twitter (@brianjodoin) for any questions you may have or to yell at me if none of these guys work out.