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 $26 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 for each position for tonight’s eight-game slate. Once you’ve seen who I like, be sure to lock in your line-ups and win some cash tonight.
Point guard – Ryan Arcidiacono, Chicago Bulls: $8.3 million
While he would n0rmally only be the third string option, Arcidiacono has been elevated into the starting line-up by Fred Hoiberg. Kris Dunn is out injured, and Cameron Payne was struggling badly on both ends, so the steady hand of floor general Arch has been given the nod. His physical profile limits his upside, particularly as a scorer, yet his floor general savvy has been enough for a 22.3 fantasy point per game average over the last four. And luckily, IQ isn’t as variable as scoring.
Point guard – Darren Collison, Indiana Pacers: $8.7 million
Having made an extremely slow start to the season, on pace for career-low marks in both scoring and assists, Collison has seen his price go down considerably. If the play now picks up, he will therefore be a value pick. And while it has only been two games, he has put up 28.4 fantasy points per game on average over the last couple. At that rate, this is a good value pick.
Shooting guard – Allonzo Trier, New York Knicks: $9.3 million
Trier continues to impress from the bench, wrenching away Trey Burke’s sixth man role with his turn-of-the-century style of Isoball. Three consecutive fantasy point performances above the 20.0 point threshold have seen him return a 28.5 fantasy point average over that time, widening out to 23.0 over the last seven. He is a relatively consistent and still-cheap pick.
Shooting guard – Bogdan Bogdanovic, Sacramento Kings: $9.3 million
As all good picks should be, Bogdanovic’s inclusion on this list is based on future performance rather than past. His price is low because he has missed almost all of the season to date, and has played limited time as he is phased back into the full rotation. But last time out, Bogdanovic showed the calibre of play he did as a rookie, recording 26.7 fantasy points with a versatile all-around performance, This is his usual range at an unusually price.
Small forward – Wilson Chandler, Philadelphia 76ers: $6.9 million
The trade for Jimmy Butler robbed the Sixers of the two best shooters in their starting line-up, Robert Covington and Dario Saric. And it wasn’t a good outside shooting line-up to begin with. To offset this, Markelle Fultz has been benched for J.J. Redick, and Chandler has been moved into the starting line-up as the stretch four. This is a position he is best suited to defend in the latter half of his career anyway, and the 20.8 fantasy points he posted in his first such game speaks to the minute allotment he will get for the time being.
Small forward – Justin Holiday, Chicago Bulls: $10.6 million
While not quite as shot-happy as he was allowed to be in the wilderness of last season, Holiday is still making sure he is getting his own, and volume equals value in fantasy play. Having no senior backup behind him also helps, and Holiday has responded with 20+ fantasy point performances in all but one of his last eight games, recording a 25.4 average in that time.
Power forward – Jeff Green, Washington Wizards: $8.6 million
The story of Jeff Green’s career is that he looks the part and occasionally does a bit of everything, but never does so for any consistent length of time to be an impactful player. Perhaps, then, his 27.1 fantasy points per game average over the last four will end tonight. It certainly will at some point. But if it doesn’t, Green represents strong value.
Power forward – Domas Sabonis, Indiana Pacers: $13.5 million
Operating in much the same fantasy point per game range as Green with far more consistency is Sabonis. Still coming off the bench, he is one of the league’s better reserve bigs, and has averaged 30.8 fantasy points over the last eight.
Centre – Ed Davis, Brooklyn Nets: $9.6 million
We suggested Davis before the Nets’ last game on account of the illness to Jarrett Allen keeping him out, and the Nets’ need for rebounding mandating that they give a big role to the NBA’s best rebounding reserve. They did just that by changing things up, elevating him to the starting line-up, whereupon he recorded 22.3 fantasy points. After recording 29.8 in the other Allen-less game, strongly consider Davis again should Allen be out tonight as well.
Centre – Jusuf Nurkic, Portland Trail Blazers: $15.4 million
Centre – Zach Collins, Portland Trail Blazers: $8.3 million
One is the small ball punisher, one is the small ball fit. Either way, both Blazers centres are playing well, and playing with fantasy value. After a big outing last game, Nurkic is averaging 40.1 fantasy points over his last six, while Collins thrives whenever Nurkic doesn’t.
Point guard – Jrue Holiday, $18.8 million
Shooting guard – Victor Oladipo, $19.7 million
Small forward – Kawhi Leonard, $17.8 million
Power forward – Pascal Siakam, $12.6 million
Centre – Ed Davis, $9.6 million
Bench – Mike Conley, $12.5 million
Bench – Justise Winslow, $8.8 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: Caris LeVert, Treveon Graham, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Jarrett Allen (Brooklyn), Jabari Bird, Marcus Morris (Boston), Denzel Valentine, Bobby Portis, Kris Dunn, Lauri Markkanen (Chicago), Alize Johnson (Indiana), Chandler Parsons, JaMychal Green, Dillon Brooks (Memphis), Dion Waiters, Dwyane Wade, Derrick Jones Jr, James Johnson (Miami), Trevon Duval, D.J. Wilson, Donte DiVincenzo (Milwaukee), Jerryd Bayless, Derrick Rose (Minnesota), Courtney Lee, Lance Thomas, Kristaps Porzingis (New York), Zhaire Smith, Justin Patton (Philadelphia), Seth Curry, Mo Harkless (Portland), Kosta Koufos (Sacramento), Pau Gasol, Dejounte Murray, Lonnie Walker IV (San Antonio), Norman Powell (Toronto), Raul Neto (Utah)
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!