A few nights into the season and the luster is not lost. The story lines continue to be strong throughout the first week of the season, including the debut of both Hoodie Melo and Lonzo Ball (BBB) last night. Both looked comfortable in their first games of the year and were entertaining to watch. The NBA, TNT, and ESPN got it right this first week with which games to televise. Sidebar – how in the hell did the NBA scheduler know to have the Knicks and Thunder play tonight? Are sports fixed? I’ll make DJ cover that topic another day…
Tonight features a 10-game slate, showcasing some high powered offenses that should produce some strong fantasy plays. There are 4 games with an O/U above 220 points, let’s see where we can get our value.
Damian Lillard ($9,300 @ IND) – Still no CJ McCollum for POR makes this pick a no-brainer. Dame Dolla is poised to torch the Pacers tonight, a team which allowed 131 pts to the Nets in their first game this year, including 30 points to new Nets PG DeAngelo Russell. Dame is not cheap, but that’s OK. The projected O/U for the night is 226 pts., with POR as 3.5 pt. favorites. Lillard put up 27 points, 5 assists, 5 boards, 3 blocks and a steal against PHX on Wednesday and I don’t expect anything less against IND (maybe not 3 blocks).
Others – DeAngelo Russell ($7,300), Steph Curry ($8,800)
George Hill ($5,200 @ DAL) – Alright. We can’t pay up everywhere, so sometimes you have to get creative. I don’t feel like I’m sacrificing a lot with this pick either. As anticipated, Hill played the most minutes for the Kings on opening night of any player (33), and had a decent stat line – nearly enough to support his $5,500 salary on Wednesday. A slight salary dip certainly helps tonight as Hill will continue to play floor general in an offense that seems to spread the ball around. Hill only had 3 assists on Wednesday, which I anticipate to rise. D’Aaron Fox will supplant Hill as the starting PG at some point during the season, but not yet. Dallas is slated as the 5 point favorite, which actually fares well for us here, as we would anticipate Hill to log additional minutes throughout the second half.
Others – Bradley Beal ($7,100), Wesley Matthews ($5,100)
Jayson Tatum ($5,800 @ PHI) – His price will not be this low for much longer, and I’m going to ride him until it jumps. Tatum appears to be the direct beneficiary of the Hayward injury, as he has logged 37 minutes in back to back games to open the season. His scoring prowess has not showed yet, but he is stuffing the stat sheet for a rook. Yeah, yeah – only two games so far. But, Tatum is averaging 11 points and 9.5 boards per game so far. As he continues to get the minutes and comfort within the offense, I expect to see his scoring (and sadly his price) rise. Raise your hand if you had this projection before the season started…76ers are 1.5 point favorites at home against the Cs. Nobody? Nobody? That’s what I thought.
Others – Devon Booker ($7,000), Evan Fournier ($5,400)
Thad Young ($5,800 vs POR) – TY has been a long time DK favorite of mine. His price never seems to eclipse $6K for some reason, yet he continues to produce. Young logged a double double on Wednesday in the 140-131 win over the Nets, which was apparently played under All-Star game defensive format (aka, none). Young played 33 minutes, scoring 17 points, with 11 boards, 3 dimes, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Young won’t wow you with his box scores, but it never fails to open up the DK app and see a little flame emoji hanging out right next to my boy Thad.
*Fantasy Jags tip* – In a night with so many projected high scoring games, I’m electing to take an average price approach, getting mid-ranged players with upside across the board. Taking a studs and duds approach is best reserved for a night when you can guarantee which studs are going to have big games. With so many studs on the slate, you can’t afford to swing in miss by rostering multiple studs and having one fizzle. The average price approach can backfire too if multiple studs end up having huge games, but on days like today I prefer to play the floor, not the ceiling. (Although Anthony Davis was quite enticing tonight…)
Others – Kevin Love ($7,500), Skal Labissiere ($4,900)
Marcin Gortat ($5,600 vs DET) – Gortat had a great first game, at home against Cornrow-el Embiid (we prefer Fro-el Embiid here at Fantasy Jags), scoring 16 points with 17 boards, 3 blocks and 1 dime. What I love most about rostering Wizards players is the team’s complete lack of depth, which makes for great fantasy value. Gortat played 34 minutes against PHI, and probably stands to play more against DET. The Wizards had 5 players over 32 minutes, with the next closes at 19 minutes. The disparity is laughable, but it’s great to target. I listed Beal as an “other” option at SG above, but I’m all in on Gortat tonight. Drummond didn’t do a great job containing Dwight Howard on Wednesday, allowing him to score 10 points and collect 15 boards, and I expect a similar output from Marcin tonight.
Others – Willie Cauley-Stein ($6,200), Dwight Howard ($6,700)
|PG – Damian Lillard||$9,300|
|SG – George Hill||$5,200|
|SF – Jayson Tatum||$5,800|
|PF – Thad Young||$5,800|
|C – Marcin Gortat||$5,600|
|G – DeAngelo Russell||$7,300|
|F – Tobias Harris||$5,900|
|UT – Skal Labissiere||$4,900|
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