John Wall – (9,800 DK/10,000 FD)
Wall’s been extremely efficient while showing off an improved jumper before resting in the final game of the preseason. Now he draws a juicy matchup in his regular season debut against a Sixers team that improved last year, yet still gave up the seventh-most PPG (108.1). Wall averaged 23.4 PPG and 10.8 APG at home and 27 PPG and 9 APG over 3 meetings with Philadelphia last year. Look for him to dictate the action in the Wizards home opener.
Damian Lillard – (10,400 DK/8,800 FD)
With C.J. McCollum suspended for the Blazers opener, Lillard will be a very popular play and justifiably so. He averaged 1.36 points per minute with a 2.2% increase in usage rate with CJM off the floor last year and should be able to dissect a Suns team that’s given up the third-most FPPG (49.67) and most PPG (26.01) to opposing PGs over the last two seasons. Lillard torched the Suns to the tune of 33.8 PPG on 47% FG shooting over 4 meetings last year and he has a great new running mate at the center position in Jusuf Nurkic.
Dennis Smith Jr. – (6,800 DK/4,300FD)
Dennis Smith Jr. is extremely cheap on FanDuel to open the season given his upside as the floor leader for Dallas.
Kyrie Irving – (8,500 DK/8,200 FD)
Kyrie Irving is going to hoist a ton of shots for the Celtics after Gordon Hayward’s season-ending injury and Terry Rozier ($3800/3100 as SG) should see more run as a result.
D’Angelo Russell – (6,600DK/6,600FD)
The Nets offense will likely run through Russell this year, making him an appealing early-season target until his price tag adjusts to his new usage rate. He was restricted by Byron Scott’s old school antics two years ago and bogged down in a deep Lakers rotation last year, but now he’ll start at SG on a team with only Jeremy Lin and Allen Crabbe as alternative scoring options. Brooklyn led the league in pace last year and the Pacers middling defense should become far worse with Darren Collison taking over for the much more athletic Jeff Teague at the point.
Jaylen Brown – ($3,900 DK/$3,700 FD)
It doesn’t matter of Brown is close to 90% owned tonight, you’re going to want to play the Celtics budding star at this ridiculously low-price tag. Minutes are money in NBA DFS and Jaylen played 40 minutes in the season opener due in part to Hayward’s season-ending injury. He didn’t shy away from big moments, taking and making huge shots down the stretch and guarding LeBron James, and draws another big challenge tonight with Giannis Antetokounmpo coming to town. The only way Brown fails to meet value is an injury or continuous foul trouble.
Rodney Hood – (5,800 DK/4,500 FD)
Rodney Hood is bound to see an increase in usage with Gordon Hayward no longer in a Jazz uniform and Ricky Rubio looking to feed the sharpshooter.
Victor Oladipo – (6,800 DK/6,100 FD)
Victor Oladipo will be the man in the backcourt for Indiana as they look to replace Paul George’s production.
Rudy Gay – (5,500 DK/5,500 FD)
With Kawhi Leonard (quad) expected to miss at least opening night and possibly more games, the Spurs should immediately look to utilize their new acquisition. Gay has been accused of playing selfish basketball at times, but chances are Gregg Popovich and his staff have already coached him up during training camp and will help him fit within their system. With LaMarcus Aldridge struggling to close the season and set to match up with the Wolves formidable front court, Gay could be the Spurs main source of offense at home in a winnable matchup against pure scorer Andrew Wiggins.
Jayson Tatum – (3,500 FD/4,100DK)
Tatum would’ve been a great value at PF regardless because Marcus Morris (knee) is still about a week away from returning, but Gordon Hayward’s season-ending injury forces him into must-play consideration along with Jaylen Brown. The rookie impressed tremendously with 10 points, 14 rebounds and 3 assists while playing 37 minutes and there’s been no time for his price tag to adjust, so you almost have to use him due to the Celtics suddenly shallow rotation.
Jeremy Lamb – (3,500 FD/5,700 DK)
Jeremy Lamb should soak up minutes over the next couple of months with Nicholas Batum out.
Otto Porter – (5,800 FD/5,700 DK)
Otto Porter has a great floor-ceiling combination in a plus matchup against the Sixers at home.
Anthony Davis – (10,800 FD/10,500 DK)
If you go cheap at SG and SF tonight, as makes sense, you’ll have enough money to insert AD at PF without much issue. He’s not expected to be limited by an illness in any way, but that questionable tag combined with a perceived tough matchup at Memphis should lower his ownership rate. Marc Gasol can only guard one of Davis of DeMarcus Cousins and that would leave AD to work against young PF JaMychal Green.
Aaron Gordon – (6,900 FD/6,300 DK)
Gordon flashed a much-improved shooting touch from the outside this preseason and is expected to make a leap in his fourth NBA season. If he can supplement his inside prowess with a perimeter game, the sky is the limit for a player with even more athleticism than Blake Griffin when he came out of school. Along with Elfrid Payton, he’s poised to lead a young Magic team that is flush with young talent and he should be able to bully Miami’s smaller frontcourt while Nikola Vucevic and Hassan Whiteside tangle.
Jason Smith – (4,000 FD/3,900 DK)
Jason Smith will likely start for Washington with Markief Morris (abdomen) out.
James Johnson – (5,500 FD/5,500 DK)
James Johnson is expected to come off the bench with Kelly Olynyk starting for Miami, but he matches up far better against Aaron Gordon.
Karl-Anthony Towns – (10,000 FD/9,400 DK)
It’s Towns’ world and the rest of the NBA is just living in it. Arguably a more talented and reliable player than Anthony Davis as the two phenoms under 25 years old, KAT will find more openings offensively now that Minnesota’s backcourt is far superior with Jeff Teague and Jimmy Butler added. A matchup against San Antonio is no longer daunting, as the Spurs struggled to guard opposing centers last year and jettisoned stout defender Dewayne Dedmon this offseason. If you don’t pay up for Davis on FanDuel, Towns is a fine alternative.
Jusuf Nurkic – (7,500 FD/7,500 DK)
Nurkic is poised to do big things in his second full season with Portland and should get off to a good start against a Suns team that starts ancient center Tyson Chandler ahead of slow-footed backup Alex Len, who is questionable with a foot injury as well. The Suns have allowed the fifth-most FPPG (52.09) to opposing centers over the last 2 seasons and Nurkic has a stranglehold on frontcourt minutes for the Blazers.
Dewayne Dedmon – (4,500 FD/3,600 DK)
Dwayne Dedmon is a decent bet for a double double as the Hawks starting center.
Myles Turner – (7,700 FD/7,200 DK)
Myles Turner blew up on Opening Night last year and has a greater opportunity this season with Paul George gone.
Plays of the Day
Value: Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are both vastly underpriced given their roles as the main forwards for Boston and their increased workload going forward with Gordon Hayward done for the season.
Fade: DeMarcus Cousins readily admits that Marc Gasol is the toughest defender in the league for him to face and he draws that matchup tonight, so he doesn’t seem to be worth the cost of his lofty price tag.