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 six-game slate. Once you’ve seen who I like, be sure to lock in your line-ups and win some cash tonight.
- Point guard – Tyus Jones, Minnesota Timberwolves: $11.2 million
Derrick Rose and Jeff Teague have been shut down for the remainder of the season, while Jerryd Bayless is too marginal of a player, Isaiah Canaan is gone, and Jared Terrell is not really a point guard. Jones thus gets an unimpeded run at the point guard spot, and by virtue of his steals, assists and lack of turnovers, he is productive to boot. Over his last four games, Jones has averaged 28.7 fantasy points per game.
- Point guard – Tomas Satoransky, Washington Wizards: $14.2 million
Similarly consistent is Satoransky, who does it slightly differently to Jones (a better scorer, yet aided by the presence of Brad Beal alongside him) while producing much the same sort of numbers. Over his last seven games, he has produced a fantasy point average of 32.2 per game, doing so within a narrow band between 25.4 and 38.4 in each game.
- Shooting guard – Rodney Hood, Portland Trail Blazers: $7.6 million
Regular starting shooting guard C.J. McCollum has missed the past few games due to injury, and will miss the next upcoming few as well. The reason why the Blazers traded for Hood this past deadline is precisely so that they would have better depth scoring options for situations like this, and while Hood is not nearly the off-the-dribble player that McCollum is, he is at least a good shooter and a shameless one. He has therefore produced with good fantasy value in the extra minutes available during this short stretch, having averaged 26.2 fantasy points over the last two.
- Shooting guard – Gary Harris, Denver Nuggets: $8.6 million
Harris is still far from the player he is when at his best. He is at least getting there, though. He recently peeled off four games in a row all in the low to mid-20s in fantasy points, and the advantage of his prolonged, injury-induced slump has been a reduced price. A night of 21 or so fantasy points for Harris is very solid value at this price.
- Small forward – Joe Ingles, Utah Jazz, $12.3 million
Ingles plays with a consistent temperament that gives itself to a consistent level of impact and production. He may never have the big games that some others in his price range may do, but he also never has blanks, either. With a 30.9 fantasy point average over his last five games, Ingles has value against any opponent, and tonight, his Jazz are going up against the Washington Wizards. And the Wizards cannot defend anybody.
- Power forward – Frank Kaminsky, Charlotte Hornets: $8.4 million
In the absence of Cody Zeller, Kaminsky has been getting a chunk of the resultant opened-up time at centre. And in the absence of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, he has also been getting some good time at power forward, too. The once-forgotten Kaminsky has thus had enough opportunity to play enough minutes to average 20.9 fantasy points per game over his last nine contests, and although MKG is now back, Zeller isn’t. And with a bad knee of his own, Bismack Biyombo is not doing anything in his place.
- Centre – Zach Collins, Portland Trail Blazers: $6.7 million
In the Blazers’ last game, starting centre Jusuf Nurkic suffered so serious of a leg injury that it was pointing the wrong way. He will miss an indefinite, but definitely long, period of time. Both Collins and Enes Kanter stand to be the main beneficiaries of this, yet from a fantasy point of view, we give particular attention to Collins. Kanter cannot defend the perimeter well, and will never be able to. Collins meanwhile has the potential, so he will get a good volume of minutes (the two will likely largely evenly split the time in a platoon), and his price is so low that the resultant production should carry excellent fantasy value.
- Centre – DeMarcus Cousins, Golden State Warriors: $15.8 million
Due to his load management, Cousins does not play every game. This combined with the residual effects of him missing the entire first half of the season keeps his price below his level of production, which is exactly what we look for in these last. In his last 13 games, Cousins has passed the 40.0 fantasy point mark ten times, and the 50.0 threshold three times. No other centre offers that at this price range.
Point guard – Tyus Jones, $11.2 million
Shooting guard – Rodney Hood, $7.6 million
Small forward – Paul George, $23.9 million
Power forward – John Collins, $15.5 million
Centre – Rudy Gobert, $20.5 million
Bench – JaVale McGee, $14.6 million
Bench – Zach Collins, $6.7 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: Omari Spellman, Miles Plumlee, Alex Poythress, Taurean Prince (Atlanta), Cody Zeller, Jeremy Lamb, Joe Chealey (Charlotte), Michael Porter Jr, Malik Beasley (Denver), Damian Jones (Golden State), Reggie Bullock, Josh Hart, Tyson Chandler, Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram (L.A. Lakers), Luol Deng, Taj Gibson, Derrick Rose, Jeff Teague, Robert Covington (Minnesota), Andre Roberson, Paul George (Oklahoma City), C.J. McCollum, Jusuf Nurkic (Portland), Dante Exum (Utah), Dwight Howard, John Wall, Devin Robinson, Trevor Ariza (Washington)
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!