The first week of the season is in the books, and now that we’ve seen how lineups/minutes are shaking out, why not put a little money to work? We’ve got a healthy nine-game slate on tap tonight, so let’s dive into the slate and break down some of the best available options for NBA DFS.
Playing NBA DFS can be incredibly rewarding, but it can also make your head spin. It’s our job to make sure you’re winning as much as possible! There are countless variables that can lead to a player’s individual performance, but I’ve found it’s best to focus on just a few that can lead to better predictability.
My favorite factors to track for NBA DFS targets: Matchups (Offensive/Defensive Ratings), Opportunity (expected player minutes, game pace), and Recent Form.
This is the AM VERSION of a living article that will be updated throughout the day, as news comes through the wire.
LET’S GET INTO THE SLATE!!!!
If you also play season-long fantasy as well as doing the daily dance, make sure to check out the Fantrax Fantasy Basketball Commissioner. Its features blow every other option out of the water!
NBA DFS Targets and Preview for October 25
Celtics (1-1) vs. Hornets (3-0)
The LaMelo Ball era of the Hornets is officially underway. He’s got the same confidence he had as a scrawny high school kid pulling up from halfcourt, except now, he’s making smart basketball plays and putting his teammates in position to succeed. The Hornets are undefeated in this young season, and I don’t anticipate that changing against a Celtics team that’s still finding what lineups work best for them. The Hornets are a top ten team in terms of net rating, while the Celtics are bottom tercile (which is to be expected with a new coach still finding his footing). The C’s always put up a fight though, and I don’t anticipate a blowout considering both teams are in the top half of the league in pace, thus far.
DFS Targets: BOS targets: Tatum and Brown (if he plays). CHA targets: Ball, Hayward, Bridges, and Kelly Oubre, and Ish Smith for value.
Bucks (2-1) vs. Pacers (1-2)
Nothing says a new season has started like a veteran player shocking you with a performance. Myles Turner dropped a stunning 40 points, 10 rebounds, 3 blocks, and 5 3PMs the other night, and it goes to show you that every season there are a few guys that can completely change their identities/roles for the better (I’m looking at you, Julius Randle). Am I chasing that performance? Of course not. However, it’s important to note that you can’t bring last year’s biases into the new season. The Bucks are still the reigning champions though, and Giannis looks even better than last year. I’m expecting the Bucks and their 4th quickest pace in the league to handle this game.
DFS Targets: MIL targets: Giannis, Middleton, Holiday (if he plays), Allen, and Nwora for value. IND targets: Turner, Brogdon, Sabonis, and Duarte.
Pistons (0-2) vs. Hawks (1-1)
The Pistons are bad, and that’s a bias from last year you can carry with you until the end of time. Detroit will never be good at NBA basketball again, and that’s ok. The sooner we all accept this, the sooner we can move on with our lives. It won’t get much better when Cade Cunningham takes the court either. They’ve got a long rebuild ahead of them. Hawks win big. Stick with the stars in potential blowouts.
DFS Targets: DET targets: Bey and Grant. ATL targets: Trae and Collins.
Wizards (2-0) vs. Nets (1-2)
My Wizards are holding their own in the early days of the season. 2 wins down and 80 more to go, right? They’re currently 10th in the league in net rating. While it’s a small sample size, it’s probably is the best indicator that this isn’t necessarily a fluke of a start. They might be a decent team, despite getting rid of Russ. It’s their slow pace that worries me. At 21st in pace, I’m not sure they can sustain success against average teams. Most certainly not against James Harden and Kevin Durant. I’m expecting the Nets to win this one.
DFS Targets: WAS targets: Kuzma, Dinwiddie, Harrell, and Gafford. BKN targets: Harden and Durant.
Magic (1-2) vs. Heat (1-1)
The Magic are one of those teams that I won’t know exactly what they are until the middle of the season. And then I’ll probably say they’re bad. Until then, I’ll give them the respect that a team that’s 29th in net rating deserves. Expect a Heat blowout in this matchup. Tread carefully. I’ll just stick with the stars, as to not whiff on value plays.
DFS Targets: MIA targets: Butler, Bam, Lowry, and Herro. ORL targets: Suggs and Anthony.
Bulls (3-0) vs. Raptors (1-2)
The new-look Bulls are picking up where they left off with a 3-0 start. Unfortunately for Toronto, the Raptors are picking up where they left off, as well with a 1-2 start. Chicago is fourth in the league in net rating at the moment, but the Raptors are 15th. It’s not terrible, but there’s a big gap between the two teams. Toronto’s 28th-rated pace is what really gives me confidence that the Bulls should handle this game rather easily. I’ll just be targeting the stars.
DFS Targets: CHI targets: LaVine, DeRozan, Ball, and Vuc. TOR targets: Barnes and VanVleet.
Pelicans (0-3) vs. Timberwolves (2-0)
The Timberwolves are the fifth-best team in the league according to net ratings?????????????????????????? Minnesota is 2-0???????????? If there was any more proof that we are living in a simulation, this is it. The Pels look like a G-league team without Zion, and they look pretty average with him. They’ll be without him tonight, so act accordingly.
DFS Targets: NOP targets: Ingram. MIN targets: Towns, DLo, and Edwards.
Cavaliers (1-2) vs. Nuggets (2-0)
Nuggets. Don’t make playing DFS any harder than it needs to be. If you’re going to take a macro approach, you need to choose your battles. The Cavs aren’t good and won’t be for a while. Denver has championship aspirations and Jokic is getting better each year. Yes. The reigning MVP is getting better each year. Scary stuff.
DFS Targets: CLE targets: Mobley, Sexton, and Allen. DEN targets: Jokic and Porter Jr.
Trail Blazers (1-1) vs. Clippers (0-2)
The Blazers are 3rd in the league in net rating, despite their .500 record. The Clippers are 19th. I’m not expecting a blowout because Paul George is talented enough to stop that from happening on his own, but what’s interesting to me is that early indications are proving the Portland front office correct. This team as currently constructed is good enough to compete for a championship, despite the fact they stood still in the offseason. It’ll be interesting to see how the rest of the season unfolds for them, especially with an unhappy Ben Simmons on the trade block.
DFS Targets: POR targets: McCollum, Lillard, RoCo, Powell, and Nurkic. LAC targets: Paul George and Eric Bledsoe.
Don’t forget to check back later in the day as Bradlee will be updating his NBA DFS preview with all the info you need to turn tonight’s slate into a resounding success!
For help in getting ready for your season-long leagues, check out Bradford Nickerson’s Weekly Schedule Preview. and Mike Omelan’s Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire.
Fantrax was one of the fastest-growing fantasy sites of 2020, and we’re not stopping now. With multi-team trades, designated commissioner/league managers, and drag/drop easy click methods, Fantrax is sure to excite the serious fantasy sports fan – sign up now for a free year at Fantrax.com.