The LeBron James $9800 decision looms over tonight’s NBA contests at DraftKings. That’s a fantastic price on the King when he’s in full triple-double mode. Playing with some back pain after sitting out much of the preseason, his minutes and explosiveness may be limited.
Definitely out are Kyrie Irving (knee) and Iman Shumpert (wrist) which means Mo Williams $4900 and J.R. Smith $4800 will log heavy minutes. Tristan Thompson $4600 can’t be in shape yet and Timofey Mozgov $4600 (knee) is sore, so Kevin Love $7500 will be a focal point and Anderson Varejao $3400 might surprise.
The Bulls have been focused on learning a new offense. What if that game goes way above the 197 O/U? A deeper Chicago bench should make the difference, but in DFS, we don’t care who wins. I may have been underestimating both the score and LBJ’s teammates, who figure to pick up the slack if he’s less than dominant.
Predictions are hard. I’m calling the Clippers to be this year’s Warriors in real life, but who knows? In the competitive fantasy leagues that most of us have played in for years (some of us for decades) we attempt to predict individual success on a season-long basis.
In that sense, DFS is much easier. We know Kent Bazemore $3000, Dante Cunningham $3000 and Tony Snell $3000 are starting. Using one (or all) of them tonight to win a few bucks does not commit to owning them for more than 48 minutes. By the next game, they may cost more and someone else could be better values.
Plays of the Day
The $300K Tip-Off Special is a $3 buy-in (FREE to new depositors at DK) that pays the top 24,000 finishers from up to 115,000 teams. First place wins $50,000. Enter now and you can make unlimited lineup changes until 8:00 Eastern. Even after the contests close, you can make substitutions until each player’s game begins.
Odds are even better in the $200K Crossover, a $27 buy-in where the top 1,850 of a maximum 8,450 teams share the guaranteed prize pool. Highest score wins $20,000.
Opening night with a 3-game slate is hardly a typical day in fantasy hoops. Once the season is under way, the routine begins with checking my rosters in Peach Baskets and other leagues, reviewing box scores and video, checking Twitter for relevant news and reading a few selected articles.
By that time, I’m well prepared for daily picks. My Short List (below) helps narrow down the options but still leaves many ways to assemble 15 guys in three salary ranges into 8-man lineups.
After four previous sample lineups that keyed on Stephen Curry $9500, here’s one that imagines Williams and Love going off. I’m not predicting the Warriors will lose, just starting from a different place in the ever-fascinating maze of possible winning combinations.
Remember, the big jackpots also pay out millions in consolation prizes. Tomorrow, there’s a $20 buy-in where the winner gets $100,000. An additional guaranteed $900,000 will be paid out in that event — even if it doesn’t fill — to thousands more of the top finishers.
If you’re not playing at DK yet, the start of a new season is the best time. Salaries will take a while to reflect current values. Those breakout guys you just drafted (I’m a proud Rodney Hood owner) might pay off handsomely until price adjustments are made.
For detailed statistical analysis of tonight’s NBA games and scientific estimates of each player’s daily fantasy value, you have come to the wrong place. This is one oldtimer’s spin on those numbers, offered as food for thought.
We all have other data sources that inform our decisions. On a scale of relying 100% on science to randomly picking names, I’m well above average. However, there’s some art to this game. My hunches are evidence-based, it’s just that my definition of “evidence” includes plenty of observation and just a bit of guesswork.
Best of luck this season. See you on the leaderboard at DraftKings.
|PG||Stephen Curry $9500||Jeff Teague $7000||Mo Williams $4900|
|SG||Jimmy Butler $7600||Klay Thompson $7200||J.R. Smith $4800|
|SF||LeBron James $9800||Harrison Barnes $4600||D. Cunningham $3000|
|PF||Anthony Davis $10400||Kevin Love $7500||Ryan Anderson $5000|
|C||Andre Drummond $8200||Al Horford $7300||Anderson Varejao $3400|
The Fantasy Spin features DFS advice every day of the NBA season. Follow Kent Williams @SheridanFantasy for updates.