Preseason NBA Thoughts 10/17/16

There are only four games on the slate tonight so it is more of a GPP night than a cash game night for me.  That being said, you can play cash games, too, because there is still a lot of dead money in preseason NBA since people don’t know how to adjust to late news correctly, especially because they haven’t heard of some of the guys that end up playing heavy minutes.  All four games tonight are expected to be relatively low-scoring, with the Boston and Brooklyn game having the highest Vegas total at 202.5.

Note:  DraftKings pricing and positions are used for this article.  Also, I am on the road today so I am writing this article before a lot of news has come out.  Be sure to check for updates on Twitter throughout the day and tune in to Fast Eddie Fear’s periscope leading up to lock.  I will do my best to post any changes to my rankings on Twitter before lock as well.

Point Guard

Matthew Dellavedova- $4,700- MIL at DET

Dellavedova played 27 minutes with Michael Carter-Williams sitting out Milwaukee’s last game.  The Bucks just traded Carter-Williams to the Bulls, so those minutes should still be there for Dellavedova today.  In addition, Rashad Vaughn is questionable and, if he sits, even more minutes will be available in the Milwaukee backcourt.  It is starting to get difficult to find great value plays since the preseason is almost over and sites have had time to adjust prices, so take advantage of Dellavedova being under $5,000 on DraftKings and a good bet to play 25-30 minutes tonight.

Kemba Walker- $6,700- CHA at CHI

Walker was allowed to play 24 minutes in his last game, and the Hornets have not played in a week, so I expect him to see a nice allotment of minutes tonight as he gears up for the regular season.  He is a safe play tonight since he should see a lot of minutes and has GPP upside as well.

Jeremy Lin- $6,200- BKN at BOS

Lin played 27 minutes in his last game and is the focal point of the Brooklyn offense.  He faces a Celtics team tonight that is pretty good defensively, but also plays at a fast pace.  This will allow Lin to have more possessions and more opportunities to pile up fantasy points.  At only $6,200, he is in play in cash games and GPPs tonight.

Shooting Guard

Nicolas Batum- $5,700- CHA at CHI

Shooting guard does not have many impressive options tonight, but Batum is definitely in play.  He played 27 minutes in Charlotte’s last game and should see similar minutes tonight since they haven’t played a game in a week.  He does not always score a lot of real-life points, but he does contribute across the stat sheet and that gives him a very nice floor for cash games at only $5,700.  He is also playable in GPPs because the fast pace of this game will give him a chance for more steals and, if he decides to be assertive offensively, he can score a lot of points at times.

Small Forward

Tobias Harris- $5,900- DET vs MIL

Marcus Morris and Stanley Johnson are both out tonight, which provides more opportunity for Harris.  He played 29 minutes in Detroit’s last game, and may have even played a little more if he had not picked up a couple of fouls early in the first quarter.  His price is still very reasonable considering the minutes he should see so he is a very strong option in cash games.  While he is viable in GPPs, fading him is probably the better play as he will be very popular and will have to deal with the athleticism of Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker, which could lead to him not scoring enough points to help you win a GPP.

Giannis Antetokounmpo- $8,700

Small forward is pretty weak today and Giannis is the best player available by far.  He played 24 minutes in Milwaukee’s last game and should see similar playing time tonight with a lot of minutes possibly available in the backcourt.  He probably will not be the best point-per-dollar play at the position, but he is a good bet to score the most raw points and there is merit to locking in those points at a weak position and looking for value elsewhere.

Power Forward

Jon Leuer- $4,400- DET vs MIL

Leuer played 18 minutes off the bench in his last game and 31 minutes the game before that, when he started.  The Pistons have not announced a lineup yet but, with Morris and Stanley Johnson out, he should see at least as many minutes as he did in the last game, if not more.  He is a strong GPP play if he is coming off the bench, and a play in all formats if he starts.

Jabari Parker- $6,700- MIL at DET

Parker has been seeing a lot of minutes as Milwaukee tries to get him to be more offensive-minded.  He played 29 minutes in their last game and was very aggressive offensively, taking 13 shots.  Kidd has said that he wants to see Parker attempt more three-pointers this season, so we can expect him to keep shooting often. Parker is a strong option in any format tonight since he should see plenty of minutes and scoring opportunities.

Blake Griffin- $8,200- LAC at UTA

Griffin is in an interesting spot tonight.  Chris Paul is questionable, which would obviously increase Griffin’s usage if he sits.  Derrick Favors is also doubtful for Utah, which would give Griffin a boost as the Utah interior defense suffers when Favors is not in the lineup.  On the other hand, Los Angeles is on the first half of a back-to-back and, the last time they were in this situation, the starters barely played (against Golden State when they lost by about 50).  Griffin is too risky for me in cash, since there is a relatively good chance he sees limited minutes, but his upside is worth the risk in GPPs so I will probably have some exposure there.

Centers

Andre Drummond- $8,600- DET vs MIL

Another day, another Drummond recommendation.  He has been balling out this preseason and should continue to do so today against Milwaukee.  Stan Van Gundy continues to play his starters heavy minutes, so we can count on another double-double today from Drummond.  He is the best center play in any format.