Welcome to the 2018-19 NBA season!
To help you with your DFS lineups at PlayON, we’ll provide daily editions of our NBA Preview all season long here at Daily Fantasy Focus.
Your NBA fantasy teams have a budget of $100 million to spend on a seven-player team, with players ranging in price from $29 million to $5 million. You must pick one player from each of the five NBA positions – point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward and centre – with two final picks being at whichever position you like. With the need to squeeze in that much under budget, we need to look for the best value picks in each night’s game, at all positions.
Below is a breakdown of my picks at each price point for each position for tonight’s seven-game slate. Once you’ve seen who I like, be sure to lock in your line-ups and win some cash tonight.
- Point guard – Jeff Teague, Minnesota Timberwolves: $13.3 million
With both Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns out, and Jimmy Butler long since gone, Teague has been essentially promoted to the primary offensive option. And given that he is playing this role alongside a fairly stitched-up roster around him, his importance is paramount. Over his last four games, Teague has averaged 35.6 fantasy points per contest.
- Point guard – Jalen Brunson, Dallas Mavericks: $10.3 million
With Dennis Smith Jr traded, J.J. Barea out for the remainder of the season due to injury, and Devin Harris too marginal to change much, Brunson is getting a good amount of late-season playing time at the point guard spot. And he is playing well in it, too. A much better complementary fit alongside Luka Doncic, Brunson has averaged 28.5 fantasy points per game in his last three contests, and the Mavericks have reason to keep giving him all the time they can.
- Shooting guard – Allonzo Trier, New York Knicks: $9.4 million
It remains hard to know quite what the juggling of the rotation will be for the Knicks on any given night. It can chop and change fairly regularly. It does however appear to be Trier’s turn right now, though, and when given minutes, Trier gets buckets. Buckets equal fantasy production, and Trier has averaged 27.1 fantasy points per game over his past six games.
- Shooting guard – Frank Jackson, New Orleans Pelicans: $6.4 million
With Jrue Holiday out, there are knock-on benefits to all remaining Pelicans guards. One of the major beneficiaries is proving to be Jackson, a young guard with upside whom it makes sense to give good on-court opportunities to down the stretch of an otherwise lost season. In his last three games, Jackson has averaged 26.7 fantasy points per game, increasing his output in each one.
- Small forward – Damyean Dotson, New York Knicks: $9.2 million
The above qualifying information for Allonzo Trier’s candidacy above applies to Dotson as well. The major difference is that he has been in the rotation for longer and is doing more. Taking much of what was Tim Hardaway Jr’s role, Dotson has averaged 27.8 fantasy points over his last ten games, rising to 45.3 last time out.
- Small forward – Otto Porter Jr, Chicago Bulls: $16.0 million
Since arriving on the Bulls, it seems as though Porter has somewhat shaken off the label that has plagued him for his entire career as being a reluctant shooter. He is instead gunning up the shots, and, as one of the league’s best catch-and-shoot players, this is proving highly beneficial to his production. In his last five games, since returning from a minor injury, Porter has averaged 41.7 fantasy points per game.
- Power forward – Dwight Powell, Dallas Mavericks: $10.2 million
If we use the barometer that a player should always record in points at least double his price in million if we are to pick them, then it is very much us worth knowing that Powell has done at least that in every game for a month. Indeed, he has had many games far in excess of that threshold. And so in those nine games hence, Powell’s average of 33.0 fantasy points per game is hugely enticing.
- Centre – Brook Lopez, Milwaukee Bucks: $13.6 million
Despite the fact that Lopez never gets much in the way of rebounds, he still returns substantial fantasy production by virtue of his scoring and shot blocking. And of course, being on the league-leading Bucks will help. Over his last nine games, Lopez has averaged 33.9 fantasy points per game.
- Centre – Mitchell Robinson, New York Knicks: $13.6 million
For the same price, Robinson is also available. The best second-round pick of the past draft has been getting better and better and better as the season goes on, and has been giving as much opportunity as can be as the team has cleared out the competition for playing time around him. In his last 14 games, much longer of a sample size than we normally are able to include in this space, Robinson has averaged 34.8 fantasy points per game.
Point guard – Ben Simmons, $20.5 million
Shooting guard – Lou Williams, $16.4 million
Small forward – Damyean Dotson, $9.2 million
Power forward – Dwight Powell, $10.2 million
Centre – Karl-Anthony Towns, $23.7 million
Bench – Mitchell Robinson, $13.6 million
Bench – Frank Jackson, $6.4 million
On any NBA slate of games, we need to be sure to avoid certain players each night. Here’s who you should steer clear of.
(Note that the NBA provides four different player injury classifications – ‘probable’ (meaning the player has a 75% chance of playing in the game), ‘questionable’ (50%), ‘doubtful’ (25%) and ‘out’ (0%). Such classifications are subject to change right up until game time; for the purposes of the below, we list anyone from ‘questionable’ on down as being picks to avoid.)
DO NOT PICK DUE TO INJURY/ABSENCE/SUSPENSION: Zach LaVine, Wendell Carter Jr, Chandler Hutchison, Denzel Valentine (Chicago), Larry Nance Jr, Tristan Thompson, J.R. Smith, Matthew Dellavedova, John Henson, Marquese Chriss (Cleveland), Luka Doncic, Kristaps Porzingis, Kostas Antetokounmpo, J.J. Barea (Dallas), Trey Lyles, Michael Porter Jr (Denver), Tyreke Evans, Alize Johnson, Victor Oladipo (Indiana), Luc Richard Mbah A Moute (L.A. Clippers), Tyson Chandler, Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Lance Stephenson (L.A. Lakers), George Hill, Sterling Brown (Milwaukee), Robert Covington, Luol Deng, Andrew Wiggins, Karl-Anthony Towns (Minnesota), Trevon Blueitt, E’Twaun Moore, Jrue Holiday (New Orleans), Mario Hezonja, Frank Ntilikina, Isaiah Hicks (New York), Zhaire Smith, Furkan Korkmaz, Jimmy Butler (Philadelphia), Evan Turner, Rodney Hood (Portland), Dejounte Murray, Rudy Gay (San Antonio)
That’s all for today’s analysis. Be sure to get your line-ups in, and check back every day during the season for our daily picks and advice!