It would have been hard to script a better opening day of NBA action. Kyrie Irving returns to Cleveland with his new look Celtics, and the top two projected teams out West battle it out, back-to-back. It’s what dreams are made of and what every NBA fan has been waiting the last few months for. If that’s not exciting enough, you can add to the excitement by competing for $25,000 worth of prizes in the NBA DFS Season Opener Special. As a basketball fan and DFS player, it doesn’t get any better!
Steph Curry $9,500
Steve Kerr has said that Stephen Curry is in the best form of his career – which is saying a lot considering he was a back-to-back MVP only recently. But Curry has looked great in preseason and he’s finally comfortable playing alongside Kevin Durant and asserting himself. Curry was great last year and should be even better this year. At his price, he’s one of the undervalued elite PG plays.
Derrick Rose $6,300
I know we hear this every preseason, but Derrick Rose looks better than he has in a long time. He’s lost a reported twenty pounds and the results show on the court. He looks much more spry, explosive and acrobatic, and he seems geared for his best season since the MVP days. His body has finally had a sustained run of health and he says he’s experiencing fewer aches and pains after shedding the kilos. Rose projects as extremely valuable as the Cavs starting PG with Thomas out. His defense and efficiency are still big questions, but they aren’t questions we need to worry about for DFS. Rose will put up good numbers.
Eric Gordon $4,900
With Eric Gordon entering the season in supreme form,this looks like the steal of the day. The reigning 6MOY started last season well but hit a wall around the all-star break, after playing a few more games than he’s used to (75). However, he’s fresh, he’s motivated, he’s added some arc to his three-point shot, and he has been money all preseason. Gordon averaged 18.5 points per game in 26 minutes during the preseason and I know it’s only preseason, but don’t be surprised if Gordon pushes the 20ppg mark this season. The Rockets will largely play a 3 guard rotation, so Gordon will play 30 plus minutes and take plenty of threes playing next to two elite PGs.
Jaylen Brown $4,100
This is a little bit of a boom or bust pick, but as the Celtics starting SG, Brown should at least have the chance to put up numbers. Personally, I think Smart deserves this spot, but Stevens is going to run with Tatum and Brown and see how it goes. Getting a starter at $4,100 is always a great chance to provide value.
Gordon Hayward $7,600
New city, new role, but hopefully the same old Gordon Hayward. Hayward is super consistent and is always a great cash play. But should you be worried about the new system? Not really. Gordon played in an egalitarian system in Utah, and one of his motivations for going to Boston was to get more opportunity to run his own show. That opportunity takes a hit with Kyrie there now, but Boston will stagger those guys minutes and give them both a huge chance to shine. Expect Hayward to do just that.
Kevin Durant $10,200
With a few of the value options I’ve provided, you should have plenty of money to spend at SF. If LeBron is available, he’s definitely an enticing option against Kyrie in his “revenge game”. You know LeBron will want to dominate, however, he is battling with an ankle injury. Will he be good to go? If you know he will be, then take him. But if not, you can’t go wrong with KD. (LeBron went through shoot around and looks set to play. Maybe the ankle injury was all a rouse, although he looked less bouncy in preseason. Feel free to play LeBron, but there’s less risk with KD)
Kevin Love $7,200
Tyronn Lue has said that Love will get more of his elbow touches this year, and with Love as the starting centre, the Cavs offense is sure to be high octane. They may not be able to guard anyone, but as DFS players, who cares? They’re going to score a lot of points and Love will score a lion share of them. There’s every chance that Love scores more than 20ppg again this year with Kyrie gone.
Ryan Anderson $3,900
At $3,900, Anderson’s value is too good to ignore. Anderson will lose minutes to PJ Tucker and Luc Mbah a Moute, but he’s still starting and should see 25+ minutes per game. In that time, Anderson is more than capable of knocking down 5 threes and grabbing a few boards. If he does, the return on that 3.9K value would be immense.
Clint Capela $6,200
Clint Capela should be the recipient of a heap of lobs this season, with both Harden and Paul looking to dime him up on the roll. Capela was limited last season due to his conditioning (24mpg), but he’s hoping to make a leap to 30 mpg this season. That will do wonders for his numbers, and as an optimistic Rockets fan, a 14/10/2 season isn’t completely out of the realm of possibility. If Capela is going to be playable against a team like the Warriors on opening night, he will need to crash the boards and finish lobs. He looked very active on the glass in the preseason, so he seems likely to return value – and hopefully he surpasses it.