Preseason NBA 10/8/17

 

Note:  This article is being written late Saturday night/early Sunday morning so there is not a lot of news available yet.  Essentially, these are players that I like assuming that there is no news affecting them throughout the day or there is favorable news.  Be sure to check out Eddie’s periscope for further clarification.

 

Point Guard

 

D’Angelo Russell played 25 minutes in Brooklyn’s last game and he continues to dominate usage for the Nets.  Kenny Atkinson has stated that he will run a deep rotation in the regular season, so there is no reason to expect him not to in the preseason.  Still, Russell dominates usage with this team and is capable of exploding in 25 minutes if his shot is falling.  He is relatively expensive but has plenty of upside in this matchup as long as he is going to play 25-28 minutes.

 

Jrue Holiday will be playing without Rajon Rondo tonight which is something that can only help him as it means he is likely to have the ball in his hands more.  He averaged 1.0 DraftKings point per minute once DeMarcus Cousins joined the team last season, which gives him some value.  The minutes for the Pelicans’ starters is up in the air so be sure to check out any news that becomes available.  In his postgame presser after the last game, Alvin Gentry said that Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins would play more minutes tonight than they did against the Thunder and then they would not play much at all against Memphis in the final preseason game.  Holiday played more minutes than those two against Oklahoma City to “get him in a rhythm”.  My best guess right now is that Holiday remains close to the 25 minutes that he played against the Thunder and Davis and Cousins play about 25 minutes as well.  If that is the case, Holiday is a strong play.

 

Shooting Guard

 

Tim Hardaway, Jr. remains a strong play despite a disappointing game against the Wizards.  He will probably get a boost if Michael Beasley returns to the bench as Beasley’s presence on the same unit as Hardaway is not beneficial since the ball stops whenever Beasley touches it.  Still, Hardaway played 28 minutes and got up 11 field goal attempts.  He also ran some point with Frank Ntilikina (questionable for tonight) sidelined.  He is a strong tournament play in a pace-up matchup against a weak defensive team in the Nets.

 

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope played just 17 minutes against Denver but he did take 13 shots in those 17 minutes (making only 4 of them).  He draws a very favorable matchup tonight against a Kings team that has struggled to defend the three-point line and Buddy Hield who is one of the worst perimeter defenders in all of basketball.  Caldwell-Pope also contributues plenty of defensive stats that add to his value- particularly on FanDuel where steals and blocks win GPPs.

 

Small Forwards

 

Brandon Ingram is expected back for the Lakers and, unless we hear that he will play limited minutes, he makes for an excellent play as his price tag has remained low due to his injury.  It was a head injury and not a lower body injury, so I do not expect his workload or productivity to be limited.  He had the highest usage rate on the team in the last full game that he played and at only $5,100 on DraftKings that makes him a steal.

 

Power Forwards

 

Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins are very strong plays if they do, in fact, play more minutes in this game.  It is obviously important to pay attention to news coming out of New Orleans regarding that.  This is the last preseason game for them, in a sense, because Alvin Gentry does not want to play his starters much against Memphis in the finale because they play Memphis early in the regular season.  That means that any rhythm that he wants to get these guys into has to be accomplished tonight.  I would feel better about their minutes if Rajon Rondo were active but I still am guessing they see around 25 minutes tonight which would let us comfortably project them for 35-40 DraftKings points.

 

Center

 

Enes Kanter is stuck in the timeshare that is the Knicks’ frontcourt but he has shown from his time in Oklahoma City that he can produce huge stat lines in limited minutes.  He had a nice game against Washington in 23 minutes and he faces a weak Brooklyn frontcourt tonight.  His role likely depends on news throughout the day as he is more valuable if he is starting and Kristaps Porzingis is out.  Downgrade Kanter if Porzingis is in since it adds another body to the frontcourt rotation but roster Kanter comfortably if it appears that he is in line for another 22-25 minutes in this matchup.